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How Do You Fire A Nice Guy?

Good Guy With Mediocre Results

Good Guy With Mediocre Results

After losing to the San Diego Chargers on wildcard Saturday the Indianapolis Colts face a big dilemma.  The dilemma is plain and simple; how do the Colts divorce themselves from Coach Tony Dungy without looking like the bad guy.  Dungy has been a good coach for Indy for seven years.  I say “good coach” because four times in seven years the Colts have been bounced out of the playoffs in their first game.  Twice the Colts were boat-raced by the Patriots, and once they won the Super Bowl.  With a collection of potential Hall of Famers and perhaps the best quarterback of all-time, winning one Super Bowl in seven years is in no other terms, a failure.  Winning twelve regular season games six years in a row is a good accomplishment, but if you go out and lose in week 18 the luster on that accomplishment is tarnished. 

The problem the Colts face is delicate.  Tony Dungy is the embodiment of midwest values.  He’s a devote Christian who is very active with youth in the Indy area.  He’s shown his fallibility by dealing with the death of his son publicly.   He’s also a very hard working dedicated coach.  However, look back at his years at Tampa.  He turned the team around, but it was Jon Gruden who took them to the Super Bowl.  In Indy, Dungy inherited a playoff team that was primed for multiple Super Bowl runs.  What was Dungy supposed to bring to Indy?  Defensive intensity is the answer.  Now answer honestly, how dominant has Indy’s defense been in the past seven years?  Not so much.  Consider Dungy’s coaching nemesis across the field on Saturday night.  Norv Turner has been the media whipping boy wherever he’s been, but what’s Turner’s record in the past two Decembers/Januarys?  12-1.  Dungy’s is not nearly that good, but again he gets a pass because he’s such a good guy.  And therein lies the problem.  Because the NFL is filled with sordid characters and borderline tyrannical coaches, Dungy’s humble positive nature has been overly-celebrated which clouds his mediocrity.  If the roles were reversed, Turner would be facing immediate firing if his team stunk it up on Saturday.  No doubt about that.  The time has come for the Colts to respectfully remove Dungy, but in true Dungy form look for him to remove himself. 

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

January 5, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, General, NFL | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Straight Cash’s Wild Card Weekend Picks

This NFL Wild Card weekend will have dirty birds, rookie QBs, MVPs, All-Days, Burners, Bolts and Colts. It also features all 4 home teams as underdogs — first time I’ve ever seen that. Let’s get to the picks. Short and sweet.

Dreaming of days with Martz and Faulk

Dreaming of days with Martz and Faulk

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals, 4:30pm EST, NBC
Line/Total: ATL -2, o/u 51

The pick: Over 51

It’ll be a shootout in the desert. The Falcons will score points because the Cardinals are 0-6 against teams who were in the top 10 in rushing (the Falcons are ranked #2 behind the Giants). Then, after a steady diet of Mike Turner and Jerious Norwood, Matt Ryan will open up the field against Arizona’s 22nd ranked pass D. On the other side, Arizona will take to the air because they are dead last in rushing, and so we’ll see the Kurt Warner show against Atlanta’s very shaky secondary. This game may also get messy with the presence of John Abraham and his 16.5 sacks. Though a lot of things point to an Atlanta win, you cannot count out Captain Kurt at home. He will go down chucking the ball to his talented trio of receivers, and if he misses, well that’s just better field position for the dirty birds. One big stat: the over is 9-1 in Arizona’s last 10 home games.

Will Peyton take it lying down?

Will Peyton take it lying down?

Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers, 8:00pm EST, NBC
Line/Total: IND -1, o/u 50

The pick: IND -1

The Chargers may be on a roll with 4 wins in a row to close the season, but if you look closely they were against the doormat Chiefs, lowly Raiders, and self-destructing Broncos and Bucs teams. The Colts are riding a 9-win wave themselves with quality victories over the Steelers, Patriots and a 23-20 Week 12 win over the Chargers at Qualcomm. In this matchup of two premier QBs, I’ll take Indy’s 6th ranked pass D over the 31st ranked San Diego pass D (only the Seahawks were worse). It will be close throughout, but look for the Colts to slow this game down, and finish with a vintage Peyton Manning, long, drawn-out, antsy, multi-audible, drive.

Will Ed Reed touch the ball more than Ricky Williams?

Will Ed Reed touch the ball more than Ricky Williams?

Baltimore Orioles at Miami Dolphins, 1:00pm EST, CBS
Line/Total: BAL -3, o/u 38

The pick: BAL -3

Baltimore’s D will be too much for Pennington and Miami. In their 27-13 Week 7 win over the Dolphins, the Ravens stopped the vaunted Wildcat offense allowing only 71 rush yards and forcing a pick 6 courtesy of Terrell Suggs. Look for Baltimore to bring the same defensive gameplan and challenge Pennington to go deep (not his strength) where my pick for Defensive Player of the Year, Mr. Ed Reed (and his 9 INTs), will be waiting. All rookie QB Joe Flacco has to do is his best Kerry Collins imitation and take care of the ball and make simple, low risk plays, and leave the rest to Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, Suggs and company. The Dolphins’ and Pennington’s comeback story has been inspiring this year, but it ends this weekend.

A little help on "O" please

A little help on "O" please

Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings, 4:30pm EST, FOX
Line/Total: PHI -2, o/u 41

The pick: PHI -2

If the Eagles were facing any other NFC playoff team, I might think twice about picking them because of their inconsistency and much too frequent brain farts. But against the one-dimensional Vikes, it makes it easy for D-guru Jim Johnson to scheme up ways to stop Adrian Peterson and expose the Vikings passing game. Yes, Minnesota has the top-ranked rush defense, but Philadelphia isn’t too shabby at #5. The difference is that Philly has a very efficient McNabb, who’s making the right reads of late. Also, the Eagles 3rd ranked pass defense will feast on Minny’s 25th ranked pass offense. Nothing else here other than the Eagles secondary has been swarming, and if any bit of the intensity brought against Dallas shows up, it’ll be a long day for Tavaris Jackson. Hopefully, we don’t get any of this on the sidelines.

USC’s KO of Penn State started the year off right. Straight Cash record for 2009: 1-0

Good Luck everyone.

January 3, 2009 Posted by | General, NFL, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments