Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Super Bowl Thoughts

Fun game with the Patriots and Colts, and it was a good way for Indy to finally get over the hump. Winning the Super Bowl is now really important for them, but wanting to win it isn't going to accomplish the victory. The polls I've seen thus far as well as picks suggest the Colts are the favorite amongst most. I can see why, given the Colts D has been playing well and the Colts are clearly the higher prestige team with their offense. But this is a classic good defense vs. good offense matchup, and my inclination, particularly in football, is to take the defense in those games. So I'm picking the Bears. This also reminds me of the Rams-Patriots Super Bowl, with the more explosive offensive team getting all the props and the defense oriented team being overlooked.

As an aside, am I going way out of a limb in suggesting Bill Parcells is overrated as a coach? With him leaving the Cowboys (I don't buy this is a permanent retirement), there is all this hyperbole coming in his direction, and I don't accept it. Don't get me wrong. I think he's a very good coach. But he has gotten a lot of hype and status because of his style as well as the major franchises and media centers he has coached for. He had a tremendous record with the Giants, but no more impressive than Joe Gibbs with the Redskins, and he has been above average but unspectacular with the Pats, Jets and Cowboys. I think perhaps people should tone it down a little on the hype.


Anonymous Phil said...

Todd, the Patriots had averaged something lke four wins in the four years previous to Parcells' arrival. And I believe that they sold out something like one game over the past three years. Here in New England, even some of their road games were blacked out on television. The franchise was on the road to ruin and/or St. Louis before the Parcells hire.

Not only is his work in New England his best coaching work, it's the most important bit of coaching in recent NFL history. Without the turnaround from 1993-1996 (which also coincided with the drafting of Drew Bledsoe and the Robert Kraft's ownership), there is no Patriots dynasty that would follow or even no Patriots to speak of.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Parcells took a 1-15 team (a laughingstock, the Clippers of the NFL) and brought them to prominence and a trip to the Super Bowl within a few years. He went to the Jets, a team that had 4 wins the previous 2 years, and took them to the AFC Championship game within 2 years. He took the Giants, again a franchise who was nothing for so long, and won 2 Super Bowls with them. His work in Dallas was ok...The Boys weren't much when he got there, and he was a bothed FG/hold away from the divisional games. He's leaving them in good shape with a good QB and Defense. He's a great coach/motivator. All you have to do is ask the players (the majority/strong majority) that have played for him. And I'm not even a fan of any of the teams he has coached...so there is no bias here.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Fair points. I think it's worth pointing out, though, that Parcells' record as Patriots coach was an even .500. And they had been very successful in the years prior to the four dreadful years you alluded to.

I don't see much of an argument for New England being his best coaching work given he was .500 and he won 2 Super Bowls with the Giants, and I disagree even more strongly with the notion that it's the most important bit of coaching in recent NFL history. Belichick deserves much more credit for the Pats' success, and there are tons of other examples of coaching turnarounds more impressive than Parcells and the Pats. Just as a random example, Tony Dungy took a Tampa Bay Bucs team that had averaged less than 4 and a half wins over the previous THIRTEEN years and went 54-42 with them.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

"And they had been very successful in the years prior to the four dreadful years you alluded to."

Irrelevant. That talent was either aging or long gone. Truthfully, only the record over the previous two years is relevant as that gives a fair picture of the talent on hand. As I clearly established, the franchise was in as bad of shape as any NFL franchise has been in the last twenty years. .500 (including a Super Bowl) was an enormous improvement over extinction. And remember without Parcells, there is no Belichick.
There's also much more to this than win-loss records, which is why I can't believe you refrenced Tony Dungy; who is amongst the worst strategic minds in the NFL. Bill Callahan went to a Super Bowl with the Raiders in his first year, and he was a poor coach. Dungy fits into the same category of a coach who has success but does not stand out amongst his peers save for the fact that he has been blessed with superior talent. And if Dungy was the categorical success you claim, why was he fired from Tampa Bay? And why did the team improve even further upon his departure? I can't attribute much, if any, success that the Bucs had to him.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Tony Dungy blessed with superior talent? He took a Bucs team that had nothing and was much worse than the Patriots and built them into a contender. And when he left they had one more good year and then fell back into crappy mode. I can't believe you are so dismissive of him. Dungy was let go from Tampa Bay because despite turning the franchise around they couldn't get over the hump in the playoffs and they felt they needed someone else to change that. And coincidentally, that's been true of Parcells the past 15 years as well.

I'm simply flabbergasted that you would say you can't attribute much if any of the success of the Bucs to Tony Dungy. That strikes me as unbelievably absurd.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

What have the Patriots won without Charlie Weiss and Romeo Crennel? They beat up on a poor AFC east and are not the same team with just Belichick at the top. Scott Pioli deserves as much credit as the coaching staff.

Parcells has always been an excellent judge of talent, as well as being able to get HIS guys to perform at very high levels. His teams have gone from poor before he got there to very good or great while he was there. I don't know how you can say a guy who won 2 superbowls as a head coach is overrated. It honestly makes no sense. The logic doesn't even work in the NBA...I mean is Larry Brown overrated too? Is he a poor coach because he was undermined behind his back and the players rebelled against him with the support of the GM? No. And this is exactly what happened with Parcells.

In that meeting, Parcells had to come up with a way for the Cowboys to be successful without TO. If that wasn't an option, neither was him coaching. It's that simple. And with that new stadium being built I would expect a marquee name.

As for Tony Dungy, he knows defense. That's about it. As a head coach for him to be shown up any time Peyton wants to go for it on 4th down is absurd. It undermines him and puts on display what Peyton thinks of his offensive mind. The fact that he hands the reigns off to Moore and Manning shows that his only reason for coming to the Colts was to build a defense good enough to get them to the superbowl. Peyton the player-coach is good enough to win with that help, or so he thinks.

Dungy wasn't a good enough coach to get the Bucs to win a Superbowl, but he built one hell of a strong defense. Tampa went out and got an offensive minded coach, and they didnt have "one more good year" they won the fucking superbowl. Tampa Bay isn't the largest market and wasn't going to pay all these aging veterans and have over the course of time been breaking down the team, with Derrick Brooks being the only prominent defender left from that superbowl winning defense. A healhty Simeon Rice (missed 8 games) makes them a more dynamic defense, not to mention they lost Chris Simms and had to start a rookie who got by on pure talent for a good 3 weeks before reality set in.

Bill Callahan isn't a poor coach either. Oakland had their run at the Superbowl and they lost. That's tough to recover from. They lost Gannon and wanted to rebuild. Who's won since? While Callahan has done a remarkable job rebuilding a Nebraska football program that was on the decline.

To say Parcells is overrated is as close to blashphemy as I've seen on this blog.

Todd, was in attendance for my first redskins game in week 17. At least when you're sitting their you don't notice the opposing running back has 230 yds. It made me feel better to know Tiki was a Redskins fan growing up. Officially putting him in my good graces on his way out. (Although this is the retirement I'll believe when I see) I fear Ronde coming to the Giants and a return for Tiki.

12:15 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

had to start a rookie who got by on pure talent for a good 3 weeks before reality set in.

Please don't ever reference Bruce Gradkowski with 'talent' ever again.

(Okay, this is just me being a Bowling Green alum, but I don't care, I hate that bitch).

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

"He took a Bucs team that had nothing and was much worse than the Patriots and built them into a contender."
Todd, Dungy took over a 7-9 team. Parcells took over a 2-14 team. I rest my case on that point. I'm sorry to be rude, but you're very, very wrong on this one.

Objectively, Dungy is strategically inferior to Parcells and many other coaches. Every piece of objective reserach into football has concurred that coaches are not aggressive enough vis a vis fourth downs at all parts of the field. In Pro Football Prospectus 2006, Jim Armstrong wrote a detailed essay/analysis on the aggressiveness of coaches on fourth downs and such. Parcells ranked third behnd Belichick and Cowher. Dungy, despite being blessed with an elite running back and the game's best quarterback, ranked toward the middle of the pack. Pigskinrevolution.com has developed a computer program named ZEUS that can be used as a guideline to evaluate coaches' in-game management. I'd wager dollars to donuts that, when they go public with their evaluations of all coaches after the Super Bowl, Dungy will rank poorly.
There's a lot more to coaching than in-game strategic management, but I just provided cold, indisputable evidence that Dungy left a lot more points on the board than Parcells and many other coaches have.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ZEUS coaches rankings will be posted on pigskinrevolution.com and espn.com sometime during the next week.

7:48 AM  

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