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View Full Version : NY Times' Harvey Araton on the Edwards Situation. Jan 6th


nychief
01-05-2006, 09:36 PM
TimesSelect If the Jets Drop Edwards, They Kick Themselves


By HARVEY ARATON
Published: January 6, 2006


WHILE Tom Coughlin was basking in the glow of his behavioral adaptability yesterday and revving up his large brain for Sunday's playoff challenge of the Carolina Panthers, Herman Edwards was apparently still in the process of being jettisoned by the Jets, between limbo and Kansas City.

What a difference a few shredded bones and ligaments can make, as opposed to a couple of healthy playmakers, in the public perceptions of coach and career.

A year ago, Coughlin was defending the 6-10 start of his Giants' reign of terror while Edwards was batting .750 with his third playoff appearance in four years as the motivational messiah of Weeb Ewbank Hall.

"You have a coach who last year was one game from the championship game," said Terrell Buckley, the Giants' veteran cornerback who last season had a one-year stint with Edwards and the Jets. "This is a league that has a short memory."

And so selective, in the case of the Jets' owner, Woody Johnson, that rather than heighten Edwards's frayed sense of security during an entirely explainable plunge to 4-12 this season, he apparently is willing to let his coach negotiate with the Chiefs, accept a slab of ribs as compensation and begin the next Jets era with the wildly anticipated recruitment of - well, he probably won't be able to tell us until he stops holding his breath.

On the car radio during my drive home from Giants Stadium, one of several metropolitan area news media critics not quite bereaved by the leaks of Edwards's imminent or speculated departure was demanding that the next Jets coach not be Jim Fassel, or any other retread.

I wondered: If Fassel - who has held one head-coaching job, made the playoffs in three of his seven years with the Giants and took them to a Super Bowl - is a retread, what does that make Coughlin, who began 2005 working on four successive losing seasons in two N.F.L. cities?

If Edwards is leaving, you could make a case that Fassel is the best available replacement, given his familiarity with the territory and reputation as a molder of quarterbacks, the Jets' most pressing issue. Granted, Fassel's appointment would not stoke a blaze of exhilaration in the heart of the Jets' superfan, Fireman Ed, but when there is no to-die-for candidate and vacancies all over the place, who exactly will?

Jim Haslett, recently deposed by New Orleans after one playoff appearance in six years? Mike Tice, who went down with the Vikings' love boat? Steve Mariucci, who was such a big hit in Detroit? An offensive or defensive coordinator who would add a fresh coat of guesswork on an organization that has made an art form of uncertainty and upheaval?

Let me pose this improbable scenario: If Southern California's Pete Carroll were to announce he wanted back in with a Jets franchise that fired him in 1994 after one year on the job, that would quench the thirst for celebrity. But a skeptic could also question Carroll's late play-calling on Wednesday night, as well as what on earth compelled him to make a spectator of Reggie Bush on fourth-and-2.

The point is that you can spin the evaluation of all pro football coaches not named Belichick any way you like - Bill Parcells has won one playoff game since 1996 - and find something you can argue as grounds for divorce.

"Clock management - what part of clock management?" Kareem McKenzie, the Giants' right tackle this season after three years with the Jets, said when questioned about the most common criticism of Edwards's game-day coaching. "As far as I knew, he never called a play. That's the offensive coordinator. Ultimately, the coach takes the blame if anything goes wrong with the team, but who does the fault lie with?"

As always in these cases, nobody is going to emerge without blame. Edwards will be called a contract jumper, an extortionist, but the business of coaching is all about timing and context. That's why Parcells was always angling for a better gig, why Belichick didn't want to follow Parcells's act with the Jets.

Would it have bankrupted Johnson to bump Edwards's salary up from the lower end of the coaching spectrum to alleviate his anxieties, maybe tacked on another year to the contract? Of course he didn't have to, with two years remaining, but if reconciliation is out of the question, Johnson is about to cut off the face of his team to spite the coach. On principle, he will lose a good man for whom his players worked hard. They will remember that the owner's word - he promised them Edwards's return - means nothing. They will believe the franchise is adrift, and cursed to boot.

"Just looking at the Jets' history - I mean, wow," McKenzie said. "Two quarterbacks ending their season in one game - whoever heard of that happening before?"

And given the Jets' past, how can they open the door and let a coach with a .600 playoff qualification rate walk out?

"You never want to be anywhere where you've been successful, proven that you are the guy, and it's questioned," Buckley said, adding that if Edwards is going to Kansas City, "He's probably tickled pink."

There were indications yesterday that compensation talks had stalled, from the Chiefs' end, but Edwards will eventually get credit for his positive aura, for being the first coach in Jets history to make the playoffs three times. He will get a fresh start, just like Coughlin, who last season looked like Freddy Krueger in a headset to Michael Strahan and company, but whose 11-5 turnaround was described yesterday by Strahan as "a testament that it's his team."

As long as Tiki Barber stays healthy and it doesn't go 6-10.

E-mail: hjaraton@nytimes.com

nascher
01-05-2006, 09:41 PM
good read thx !

siberian khatru
01-05-2006, 09:42 PM
The point is that you can spin the evaluation of all pro football coaches not named Belichick any way you like - Bill Parcells has won one playoff game since 1996 - and find something you can argue as grounds for divorce.

Ding-ding-ding!

Halfcan
01-05-2006, 09:52 PM
So how many picks are the Jets going to give us to take Herm? I wouldn't settle for anything less than three 1st rounders. Then they can hire Norv.

nychief
01-05-2006, 09:56 PM
I think it puts things in perspective.

SLAG
01-05-2006, 10:41 PM
So Herm Is a good thing?

nychief
01-05-2006, 11:03 PM
So Herm Is a good thing?

Depends on who you ask.

SLAG
01-05-2006, 11:08 PM
Depends on who you ask.


Heres a link to the jets board.... Answer from a Jets Fan



http://www.jetsinsider.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107184&page=2&pp=20

Mr. Kotter
01-05-2006, 11:54 PM
Excellent read. Thanks.

Everybody who claims to have an opinion on our new HC, whoever it turns out to be, would do well to read it. :clap: