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It Pays to Stay an Assistant

By Tony Kornheiser
Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Now that Gregg Williams is off the table -- and, by the way, with the money he's making to remain a background singer here, Williams can afford to make it a solid gold table -- let's address the mounting coaching vacancies in the NFL.

This week six coaches have been fired. Dick Vermeil quit. And Mooch got blown up a month ago. That's at least eight coaches out the door. (In recent years around here, the big news would be that the Redskins' head coach wasn't one of them!)

The one most likely to be hired is Mike Martz, a self-acknowledged genius. Undoubtedly, with months of downtime already in which to prepare a presentation on his own behalf, Martz will wow somebody in an interview with how he can make a team score 100 points. My guess is that somebody will be Matt Millen, and Martz will wind up in Detroit, in a dome again, trying to turn a football game into a track meet.

Oddly, I think Mike Tice is quite hirable. After a string of disasters this season, he finished 9-7 and proved he could keep a team focused on something other than lap dances. Maybe Tice, who'll work cheap, will end up with Al Davis (who pays cheap) in Oakland, where Tice could reunite with former fave Randy Moss. Additionally, there's lots of dock space in Oakland for boat parties.

I love Norv, but he's unhirable now. Same with Dom Capers, whose specialty is sinking an expansion team just when it's supposed to rise. Jim Haslett got a bad roll from the Saints. Nobody could have won under those chaotic circumstances. But, come on, Haslett hasn't been to the playoffs in five years.

The real raw deal went to Mike Sherman. This guy was 53-27 in five years at Green Bay prior to this one. (Contrast that with hot boy Gregg Williams's 17-31 in four years at Buffalo.) This season Sherman lost his top four running backs, and three of his top four receivers. And they chop him? Call his agent? I'd call Jackie Chiles.

But after all this, someone needs to tell me why Vermeil retired. He's the best of the lot. He can cry for my team anytime.

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