Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Jim Fassel has been talking to every media outlet that will have him about how the Redskins' coaching search went down, blaming Snyder, Billick, and bloggers. He told Clark Judge of CBS Sportsline

"I heard someone say there are no more George Youngs or Jim Finks in this league, people who really know the game. And I think that happened here. I don't think Dan surrounded himself with enough football people."

If it were my interview, the obvious follow up question is "I don't think Dan has surrounded himself with any football people," or perhaps "You mean Vinny Cerrato isn't enough football people for you?"

Fassel has also been doing the radio show circuit, telling Mike & the Mad Dog

"My biggest mistake was going to Baltimore," Fassel said. "That was the biggest mistake. I don’t think I needed to do that and when I went there and it was such a mess and got caught up in all that stuff."

I'm a little biased, but I think it was better for him to be the assistant coach of a potential playoff team as opposed to unemployed, but maybe I'm wrong. In all seriousness, the thing you have to realize about fired head coaches is that is they immediately take another job they're working for free. For example, when the Redskins fired Marty Schottenheimer they were required to pay him the rest of his contract minus whatever he made in coaching during the duration of that contract. So when he immediately took the San Diego job, Snyder owed him the terms of his contract minus the terms of his contract with the Chargers. But Fassel had sat out a few years and had fallen out of the rotation of guys who came to mind when a spot opened up.

He also told the John Thompson Show (whose motto is "occasionally with John Thompson") that the bloggers are to blame.

"When I got the New York Giants job I remember telling my family that, 'You know, you cannot hold the lead in these jobs in major markets.' Because you've got bloggers, and they're saying, 'No, this isn't the right guy, and that ain't the right guy,' and you can't hold the lead, because you are going to take the hit. I mean, when you're the lead dog, you're going to take the hit. And I think the longer it went, the longer it went, the longer it went..."

Besides sounding like the end of The Aviator there, now he just sounds whiny. Every single coaching hire this season has come under scrutiny, and most teams don't have the luxury of buying the fan sites. But what I found most telling is his description of what was asked by Snyder and Cerrato in the same interview.

"Everything. From the standpoint of ok, When we travel, how do you want the plane to be? Who sits up front? Who sits here? How are you gonna do this? When we travel do you have bed checks? Do you put the team in a hotel Saturday night? Practice, what do you think about practicing and training camp and all that stuff? Sometimes one question leads to another. I will say this, they are very organized, VERY organized. Vinny basically asks the questions and he's got about five pages of questions."

When I picture these interviews with potential head coaches, I never imagine being asked asinine questions like seating plans on the airplane. I could imagine asking if you believe the players should wear suits on the airplane, but I can't picture Dan Rooney asking Bill Cowher if Rod Woodson would sit next to Greg Lloyd on team flights.

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