JEFF: Another Helping
By Jeff Falconio
Every now and then, my co-host Dan O'Donnell makes a valid point. Those moments are rare but they do happen. One point OD has made in the past is that coaches are hired to be fired. There are two examples of that this week. The first came over the weekend when West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez made the jump to Michigan. My first thought when I heard the news was "why?" The obvious, and only real reason, is money.
Rodriguez built up the Mountaineers to a national power with BCS appearances and Heisman trophy candidates. Rodriguez is a West Virginia guy. He played his college ball there and is loved throughout the state. He has been wildly successful and could pretty much do no wrong in the eyes of the Mountaineer faithful.
So he'll go to Michigan, where right away the expectation will be to jumpstart Michigan back into the national championship spotlight. Nevermind the fact that it will take a few years to recruit the players necessary to run Rodriguez's version of the spread option offense. Rodriguez must win right away. You think he felt that kind of pressure at West Virginia, a program that for years was in the shadow of programs like Pitt and Penn State? Not only that but Rodriguez is not a "Michigan guy" and if results don't come right away the fans will likely turn on him.
The second example was the news out of Miami today that Bill Parcells will take over as VP of football operations for the Dolphins. Although not a coaching position, Parcells will wield a lot of power over the hapless Dolphins. Parcells has won everywhere he's been, so guess what the expectation will be? Yup, you'd better win right away. Instant gratification is king in the NFL and guys like Parcells are brought in to turn a franchise around, no matter how bleak the situation looks.
Parcells led the New York Giants to two Super Bowls then quickly turned around a dormant New England Patriots team in the mid-90's. However, he wasn't quite successful coaching the Jets or the Cowboys. Neither team made a Super Bowl appearance under Parcells and Dallas could only muster two one-and-done playoff appearances. Still, Parcells is Parcells and success is measured at a super level. It will take all of Parcells's talents and knowledge to turn around the 1-13 Dolphins in 2008. Don't be surprised if in a few short years the Tuna gets washed ashore.