Monday, January 10, 2005

Deja Vu

Monday, January 10, 2005

Hmmm, I feel like I just wrote this column. Sure, it was two years ago, and sure, I only wrote it in email format to a few friends. Still I feel like I just had this conversation and that the sentiment hasn't changed much. Some of the names are different (Pete Carroll), and some are the same (Romeo Crenel), but basically the list of guys I don't want is longer than the list of those I do want.

Here's a brief recap on my conversation with DMJ on this very topic in January of 2003.

From: SR Subj: Head Coach
Here are some names I've heard that I think could work out for the 49ers:
Lovie Smith (Rams D-coordinator)
Ray Rhodes (Broncos D-coordinator)
Rick Neuheisel (U of Washington head coach)
Jim Tressel (U of Ohio head coach)

Names I've heard that I don't like:
Dennis Green
Tom Coughlin
Ted Tollner (SF QB's coach)
Mike Riley (Former SD head coach)
Ted Cottrell (Jets D-coordinator)
Jim Mora Jr.

Dark Horse???:
Willie Shaw (Vikes D-coordinator)
Terry Donahue
June Jones (U of Hawaii head coach)

When Hell Freezes:
Jim Mora Sr.
Marv Levy
Wade Phillips
Art Shell
Mike White
Joe Bugal
Barry Switzer

From: SR Re: Head Coach
Jimmy Johnson?

From: DMJ Subj: Dumb
Glenn Dickey said in today's Chron that Neuheisel would take the job if the team offered it, despite his denials. Apparently him and Donahue have some (good) history. Erickson would be a disaster.

From: SR Re: Dumb
And dumber...

49ers comfortable with Erickson hiring
Noooooooooooooo!!!!!........... Erickson WILL be a disaster. ESPN reported that Neuheisel said he had not been contacted, nor was he interested. May the spirits of Frankie Albert and Vic Morabito save us all.

From: DMJ Re: Dumb
I don't know who those people are. Explain, please. For some reason, I
didn't watch the news last night, nor this morning.

From: SR Re: Dumb
I'm going to assume you mean you don't know Albert and Morabito. (You better know Ricky, Ricky can't stand people not knowing Ricky.) Vic Morabito was Eddie D before Eddie D. He was the founding owner of the 49ers back in 1946. He tried to get an NFL team but was rebuffed and so he helped found the AAFC. He paid players well and loved the game. Frankie Albert was Steve Young before Steve was. Back when QB's threw less and ran more Albert threw a lot. He was the first star QB in SF. People mention Montana, Young and now maybe Garcia, but they forget about Albert, Tittle, and Plunkett...and Steve Deberg. Roger Craig? How about Hugh MacElhenny, Joe Perry, and John Henry Johnson? Along with Albert they formed "The Million Dollar Backfield" in an era when if four player's salaries added up to a million dollars it was big news. So there you go, your 49ers history lesson for today. There will be one comprehensive final at the end of the semester.

OK so that kind of went off on a tangent. The point is that I was wrong about Neuhiesel, he would have been a disaster also. I was right about Ericsson tough. The guy I liked, Lovie Smith, is now the HC in Chicago, Green, Coughlin, and Mora Jr. all have other HC jobs too. Cotrell is back in the mix, Donahue is out, and the rest of the names are out dated and not worth discussing.

So, here we are, two years and a world of talent away from 2003. For the record I still hope they call Jimmy Johnson. I know he's old, and we all still remember him for his 63-3 playoff loss in his last game, but maybe he's reenergized now. OK, back to reality, let's see who's out there...

First off, "owner" John York said he wants to look for a "proven, winning NFL coach," which would seem to rule out the man who seems to have grabbed the headlines recently, USC HC Pete Carroll. Good old Pete, the D-coordinator for the Niners last championship. The thing is, Carroll, like Ericsson, is a great college coach who has totally bombed as an NFL head coach. Prior to 1994 Carroll was fired by the Jets; and afterward he was fired by the Pats. Still, Carroll is currently the hot guy even though he says he's not interested. "Not interested" is the same thing Neuhiesel said around the time of his secret interview. Carroll should stay at USC. He's been very good there. He should not ever leave USC. Ever. He should retire after that job. At the very least he should never go back to the NFL.

The sad thing is that the landscape is very bleak right now. There are no hot coaching candidates. I can't even come up with a good list of who I don't want. And my list of who I would want is exactly two, Johnson and the guy the Niners can't get and never should have let go, Steve Marriuci. I think the Dolphins got the only real viable college guy and the list of coordinators is uninspiring. Romeo Crenel seems to have the inside track, but who knows how he'd do as the top guy? So, here is my please, please God no list in no particular order, including guys who haven't been officially mentioned:

-Pete Carroll
-Dave Wandstat
-Greg Williams
-Wade Phillips
-Ray Rhodes
-Jim Fassel
-Dan Reeves

Other than that there are two coaches that are at least a little bit interesting. Mike Holmgren, who still hasn't shown that he can win without Brett Favre, and Raven's D coordinator Mike Nolan who is the son of former SF head coach Dick Nolan. Both men have SF ties, which is nice. Holmgren brings a pedigree that includes a Super Bowl win, and ties to the Bill Walsh era. Nolan brings a good defensive mindset and by being an unknown won't have to face the same kind of pressure the other candidates may face.

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