Theismann on Patriots: Watch out for Danny Woodcock

Needless to say, this got a big laugh out of the “No Huddle” crew, especially Deion Sanders. Take a look:

Hey, maybe Theismann is a big Billy Bob Thornton fan.

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Sharp: Rooney Rule is broken

Good point by Drew Sharp of the Detroit News about the broken Rooney Rule:

The NFL owes the Lions an apology — as well as $200,000 with almost seven years’ worth of accrued interest.

The league reprimanded the Lions in July 2003 for “violating the spirit” of the NFL’s then-newborn Rooney Rule in their aggressive, accelerated pursuit of a suddenly available Steve Mariucci. The Lions couldn’t attract a minority candidate for a precursory interview, because everybody knew Mariucci was the guy they wanted.

So explain this to me: How is what Washington did and what Seattle is trying to do any better?

The Redskins’ hiring of Mike Shanahan three days after they kicked Jim Zorn to the curb and the Seahawks’ lightning courtship of Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll after they surprisingly jettisoned Jim Mora after one season earned the league’s blessings.

They also had the approval of those very advocates of football diversity who accused the Lions of turning the Rooney Rule into a mockery seven years ago.

The joke’s on them now.

If such blatant circumvention of explicit league policy warrants so little consternation, then that must mean the Rooney Rule has outlived its usefulness and should be revoked or at least dramatically scaled back.

How the Redskins and Seahawks went about their hires was not how the Rooney Rule was intended to work when it was first established. Faking through an interview with a minority candidate isn’t honoring the rule – it’s spitting in the face of it.

Owners like Daniel Snyder and Paul Allen can hire whomever they want – after all, it’s their money and their team. But Sharp’s right – why were the Lions punished for being honest about wanting to hire Mariucci without interviewing anyone else and the Redskins and Seahawks get a free pass for making a mockery of the rule by setting up a couple of bogus interviews? The rule needs a serious makeover.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Lions go with another untested head coach in Swartz

Jim SwartzThe Detroit Lions found their next head coach in former Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator Jim Swartz, who was hired Thursday evening to take over a franchise in dire need of a facelift.

At least as a head coach, Swartz is unproven, untested and his ability to lead a team (especially one coming off an 0-16 season) is unresolved. Can he do it? Can he take the Lions from the pits of hell to at the very least, mediocrity? Maybe. Or maybe he follows in the footsteps of Rod Marinelli, Steve Mariucci and Marty Mornhinweg and gets ushered out the door as quickly as he was rushed in.

Lion fans had to have felt a little better when they woke up this morning. Matt Millen isn’t the general manager anymore, change is in the air and another offseason of free agent signings and high draft picks is upon them. But the cold, hard reality of the situation is that Martin Mayhew (Millen’s understudy) is the general manager, Swartz (again, unproven) is the change and what’s the point of getting excited about another offseason when failure is quickly to follow it?

If you ask me, William Clay Ford Sr. got it wrong again. He should have hired somebody from a winning organization (somebody who has won somewhere, sometime) to be the general manager instead of Mayhew. Why would you want the guy that was under Millen? Why would you want the guy that was three people under Millen for that matter? If they wanted real change, then they should have air raided the entire front office and started from scratch. (Although to be fair, Mayhew’s first move was trading Roy Williams to Dallas for draft picks, which looks like it was a solid move.)

It’s hard not to give a first-year head coach like Swartz a chance because of the success rookie head coaches John Harbaugh (Baltimore), Tony Sparano (Miami) and Mike Smith (Atlanta) had this year. But Swartz won’t be able to do his job effectively unless Mayhew does his.

The Lions have a long ways to go to get the taste of 0-16 out of their mouths. Change is what they needed, but is Mayhew and Swartz the right change? Time will tell.

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