The interim coach vs. the replacements
Look no further than our own defensive coordinator, Jim Haslett, if you’re curious about the "Interim Coach Effect." In 2008, Haslett was named the interim coach of the St. Louis Rams after Scott Linehan’s firing for beginning the season 0-4. Haslett’s next opponent would be none other than the Washington Redskins, whom he defeated 19-17 at Fed-Ex Field.
Another, more right up in your grill, example is Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys. I couldn’t have been happier about Dallas’ 1-7 start this season, but Jerry Jones didn’t share my sentiment. Wade Phillips got his walking papers and offensive coordinator and long-time Dallas golden boy Garrett would finally get his shot. Since becoming Dallas’s Interim Head Coach, Jason Garrett won his first two games then lost his first Thanksgiving Day to the defending champions New Orleans.
Players are frequently jettisoned from rosters during the regular season, but if an owner wants to truly impact his organization there is no better way to say “I’m furious at all of you” than by firing the head coach. Brad Childress, or Chilly - his all too appropriate moniker, was where the buck stopped. Leslie Frazier is where the buck stops now, and it appears from player and fan reactions that this is the sort of positive charge the Vikings desperately needed.
I’d be feeling sorry for myself if I were the Redskins. They are at a point where every game is critical to advance to the playoffs, and the Vikings looked like they’d at least be a nice break from the tumultuous schedule ahead. Instead, the Redskins are banged up across the board and the Vikings are breathing new life, fighting for their own jobs and the fate of their interim head coach.
The Vikings, much like the Cowboys, clearly have the talent to win, but didn’t produce the results.
Fortunately there is a silver lining. Grandpa Favre’s play as the season wears is known to decrescendo, and this has already been one of the southern slinger’s worst outings in his illustrious career. His biggest injury to himself is his pride, which won’t allow him to miss a game to rest his geriatric bones considering the pills aren’t cutting it anymore. If the Redskins can force bad throws and keep him pressured Favre could give away the game, but chances are Frazier will entrust the ball with the true confidant of the Vikings' offense: Adrian Peterson.
This 2010 Redskins team feels much like a replacement team from the strike seasons, and if the labor union and owners can’t come to an agreement look for big things out of the 2011 Redskins!
In the meantime, even with the losses of Landry, Portis, Torain, Dockery, McIntosh, Rogers, Hicks, etc., they still pulled off an away win against the formerly NFC perfect Titans. But asking for a big win from the replacement reserves against the posi-charged underachieving Vikings might be too tall of an order.
| November 26, 2010; 2:13 PM ET
Categories: Evan Bliss, Redskins | Tags: Evan Bliss, Redskins
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