Eric Chase Blog

 

Whisenhunt Questions Need Answers.

Accuse of me being the most Satanic devil's advocate ever. 

Tell me I'm using the Hubble to fry an ant (a coach). 

But I think I'm more right than wrong in my quest to show you that Ken Whisenhunt should not be the Lions breakaway leader for their open head coaching position.

If I'm using a telescope to vaporize Whisenhunt, the Lions should be using it to scour the ends of the earth for the best person to be their next CEO of Sundays. If the Lions' brass botches, I would think sports fanatical Detroiters buying Fords would be in question in the future.

If they're apprehensive to hiring an assistant without NFL head coaching experience, astute as that person may be, then really the front office should've fired itself. It's the fault of those executives (Millen) that the Morhinweg's and Marinelli's never panned out. Geez, give yourselves a slap on the back for getting a passing grade on the Schwartz hiring though!

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By supposedly being truly uninterested in hiring a first-timer, the Lions are potentially preventing themselves from hiring a Mike McCoy. 

Want an even more impressive hire from the non-retread ranks? Chuck Pagano. Who was a defensive coordinator for ONE year with Baltimore before heading to Indianapolis.

Because they haven't hit a coaching home run before - and lots of other recent questionable decisions - the Lions are right to doubt their skill to uncover a Mike Tomlin, who like Pagano was a DC for ONE year in Minnesota nor was he EVER a head coach before Pittsburgh thoroughly vetted him and decided he was the right man to succeed Bill Cowher. Again, fire yourselves, or find someone to help you through the process. They can't afford to keep bumbling through the prime's of Stafford, Suh and Johnson. 

Being thorough and meticulous isn't interviewing Mike Munchak. With a 22-26 record in Tennessee is he REALLY the man who can change the culture (their words) AND be a championship head coach? I think from afar we all confidently say NO. 

With the Lions trying to find their man, no one will, or should, accuse them of trying to be too foreward thinking or outside of the box. Smash the box. That's why they need to strain all sorts of CL's to kick the tires of someone like John Pagano in San Diego, Ben McAdoo in Green Bay, Adam Gase in Denver, and I assure you that no one will censure you for leaking some public interest in Andrew Luck's offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton. Andrew Luck's almost hand picked position coach, nahhhhh, who'd want that!?

I couldn't convince you and you're still set on Whisenhunt. 

OK, give me just a few more moments. 

Did Whisenhunt keep Ryan Mathews healthy for 16 games so he could churn out 1200 rushing yards? 

Did Whisenhunt campaign for the Danny Woodhead addition so that he could put up a thousand total yards, and finally fill the vacated Darren Sproles role of 76 catches?

Did he convince the war room to take Cal's Keenan Allen to replace the production they lost when Vincent Jackson bolted for Tampa (Robert Meachem was a BUST), so that Antonio Gates could once again find room operate (from 49 to 77 catches this year)?

Did HE revitalize Philip Rivers, or did his head coach, former Broncos OC Mike McCoy play a larger role in that. 

Extra Credit: With Carson Freakin' Palmer and his spaghetti for elbow ligaments, did Whisenhunt get Arizona to a 10-6 record this year in the toughest division in the NFL?

Except for the last, the answers at best are foggy, but they're questions that need to be asked. 

Do a quick Google of Matt Leinart Ken Whisenhunt and you're not going to like what you unearth. 

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From Bill Barnwell at Grantland from back in November of 2011. These are pasted from the column, so please read it for context. Then smash your wishes of Whisenhunt in Detroit. Please. 

Leinart started the 2007 season as the team's starting quarterback with shaky numbers — 60-of-112 for 647 yards with two touchdowns and four picks — and Whisenhunt temporarily benched him for Warner. The situation resolved itself when Leinart broke his collarbone and missed the remainder of the season. In his stead, Warner was unsurprisingly brilliant, completing 62.3 percent of his passes and averaging 7.6 yards per attempt.

In 2008, the situation came to a head in training camp. When faced with a decision between a Hall of Fame quarterback and a developing young one, Whisenhunt made the only wise decision he's ever made with quarterbacks: He chose the Hall of Famer. 

When Warner retired after the 2009 season, Leinart was seen as the starter-in-waiting. The team brought in former Browns colossus Derek Anderson to compete, even as Anderson was coming off of a season in which he completed just 44.5 percent of his passes and threw an interception every 18 passes.

Anderson was arguably the worst opening-day starter in football, and the team bounced between him and rookies Max Hall and John Navarre Skelton throughout the season. Each rated among the worst quarterbacks in football. The following year, Whisenhunt traded for Kevin Kolb. Kolb was, not coincidentally, one of the worst quarterbacks in football this season before suffering an injury. Whisenhunt is the primary reason Matt Leinart is considered a bust, and over the course of his career as Cardinals coach, Whisenhunt has shown virtually no ability to pick the right starting quarterback for his team.

 

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