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Qualified for the job (cont.)

Posted: Monday January 8, 2007 3:48PM; Updated: Monday January 8, 2007 3:48PM

If by chance I encounter a situation where I don't quite understand how I got into that situation, I intend to follow the example of great men like Dennis Green ("They are who we thought they were!"), Herm Edwards ("You play -- to win -- the game!") and Jim Mora (both of them). I will lash out at the media, certainly confusing them (and, in turn, the fans) by speaking without logic and switching tenses at will.

As for my on-field coaching style and philosophy, I'm not sure exactly how I will approach this, other than I am positive that I won't employ whatever is the most logical plan of attack, particularly with my offense. For instance, the Falcons have the fastest quarterback in the NFL and a subpar group of receivers, but they've insisted on using a precision passing offense for the last three years. The Bears have been winning games but can't seem find any offensive consistency, but Lovie Smith has not seen fit to make a QB change. The Broncos were on track to make the playoffs, but Mike Shanahan decided to start a rookie the rest of the way, eliminating their chance of postseason play. These moves might not seem reasonable to the casual NFL fan, but that's why they're fans and not a potential NFL coach like myself. Trust me.


If my coaching decisions do not lead to wins, I will place the blame squarely on my players. This is something I've learned from watching some of the great NFL coaches, most recently Bill Parcells. Over the weekend, the Cowboys lost a nailbiter to the Seahawks after their starting QB, Tony Romo, famously fumbled away a snap on a field goal attempt. Why was Romo in there to hold? Because he used to be the back-up QB, a position that historically doubles as the field-goal holder. But when Romo was elevated to the starting gig, Parcells never bothered to switch him out as the field goal holder. And when the Cowboys recently switched kickers and brought in Martin Gramatica, Parcells again didn't switch out Romo, even though he certainly had less time to devote to practicing with the field-goal team. So after driving the Cowboys down for the game-winning field goal attempt, perhaps a mental lapse wasn't surprising. But Parcells smartly refused to take any blame. "It looked like a good snap," Parcells harrumphed. "I can't tell you what happened after that." I will follow Parcells' lead and blame everyone but myself.

Now, about my contract. I'm not looking for a huge payday, just something commensurate with other NFL coaches, at least a few million dollars per season. And I will gladly sign as long a deal as you present. (Wink wink! Of course, we both know contracts don't mean anything. Ask Nick Saban! Or look at this example: Six months ago, Louisville inked Bobby Petrino to a 10-year contract extension. Today was named coach of the Atlanta Falcons. The fans in Atlanta will welcome Petrino, who said, "This is where my family wants to be. This is where I want to be. I want everyone to really believe it." The only problem is that he said that in July when he signed the decade-long deal with Louisville.)

In closing, I understand that you've each invested a great deal of time and money into your franchises, so I know your expectations are high. You probably think you deserve to win a Super Bowl, and I agree fully -- you do deserve to win it all and be known as one of the greatest owners in NFL history.

And I can make that happen for you. Just trust me.

Lang Whitaker is the online editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.

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