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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