Coach Herm Edwards has kept his team together during a tumultuous season.
For the life of me, I canít understand Jets fans.
Case in point: There seems to be a faction of fans, both on this Web site and abroad, that have an axe to grind with Herman Edwards. They want him fired. This infatuation borders on obsession. Perhaps even lunacy.
Granted, you pay for your tickets. You watch the games on television. You buy Jets merchandise. So you are an extended part of the Jets family. And you are entitled to your opinions. But when that opinion borders on idiocy thatís where I draw the line.
How can you justify firing a man who has guided the team to consecutive playoff appearances, including a division title, in his first two seasons? How can you suggest firing a guy who, despite coaching marginal talent on defense, has kept this team together this season when lesser coaches would have had a mutiny on their hands?
Does Edwards lack clock management skills? Yes. Does he get second-guessed? Sure. What coach doesnít? Did you Jets fans want to fire Bill Parcells after his first season for opting to pull Neil OíDonnell in favor of Ray Lucas vs the Lions in 1997, when a victory would have sent us to the playoffs? Please!
Parcells was in the league for more than a decade at the time he pulled that ill-fated stunt. Herm is still a novice head coach. Give him time. Heís learning on the job. How did he do Monday Night? He had his team amped to kick some Titans butt on national TV. The 9-2 Titans, a team many have pegged for a date at the Super Bowl. Score: Jets 24, Titans 17.
Still want him fired?
The most unbelievable aspect of the fans clamoring for Hermís head are the candidates they suggest as his successor. The two most popular names Iíve seen on the message board are Oklahomaís Bob Stoops and LSUís Nick Saban.
Now here this! Stoops is not leaving OU. Besides, do you actually think he can make the jump from college to the pros and not miss a beat? Do you think he can do better with the back seven we currently have? Whatís more, he has never coached in the pros. Does winning a national title justify his candidacy? Itís a long way from Norman to New York.
Saban has NFL experience. And he might make a solid pro coach. But who really knows?
How are Butch Davis and Steve Spurrier doing? They came from powerhouse programs in college, Miami and Florida, respectively. And they have one NFL playoff appearance between them. This season their teams are a combined 8-16.
Then there are these doozies posted last week: Jim Fassel and recently fired Nebraska coach Frank Solich. Are you people frigging kidding me??? These fans must be the oneís who drive to Co-Tenant Stadium in a Volkswagen Beetle, packed 10 to a car, and walk to their seats wearing big, red floppy shoes and grease paint. Read: clowns!
Hereís what I fail to understand and/or grasp: arenít you tired of the Gang Green coaching carousel? Wouldnít you like to see the franchise enjoy some continuity and stability for more than a couple of years?
Since 1990 weíve had seven head coaches, including Herm and Bill Belichick (even if he was a coach in name only). Edwards already has the second highest winning percentage in Jets coaching history, trailing only the legendary Parcells. FYI: Edward has led the Jets to more playoff games than Parcells, 3-2.
The key to building a winning environment is stability in the coaching staff. It all starts at the top. Edwards has a tremendous rapport with his players. Chad Pennington loves Herm. Ditto Curtis Martin. And on and on. That goes a long way.
You cannot discount that in todayís NFL where the drill sergeants of yesteryear are dinosaurs. While Xís and Oís are job No. 1, people skills are also a premium. Herm has kept this team competitive despite a lean roster. He must be doing something right.
And donít discount his motivational skills. A recent Sports Illustrated poll rated Edwards the top motivational coach, so skilled that the NFL hires him to speak on its behalf.
Remain calm, all is well.
Frank Solich? LOL!!!