Friday, September 12, 2008

Trust Forbes on Money...Not Football

by: Michael Steffes

You may have seen this article already. The hard working Eric Williams at the New Tribune linked to it this morning.

Forbes has come out with their annual franchise values. The Hawks are worth an estimated 1 billion dollars (pinky to mouth like Dr. Evil). This is up 10% from last year, and ranks in the middle of the pack for the NFL. No surprise there.

This is the funny part. Forbes feels the need to go all "Lame Duck" football operations critique on us, saying....

When Paul Allen owns your team some strange things can happen. Following last season the Seattle Seahawks did a strange thing when they announced that 2008 would be the last one for head coach Mike Holmgren, and that he would be replaced by Jim Mora in 2009. Team owner Paul Allen, worth close to $17 billion, has not been cheap when it comes to spending on players and coaches. But his management style, both with the Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, is somewhat bizarre. Allen clearly kept Holmgren too long (nine seasons and a 4-6 record in the postseason) and in this case the team passed up Gil Haskell (the team's offensive coordinator who has been with the franchise for eight years and has been tutored by Holmgren for over 10 seasons) for Jim Mora, who was fired by the Atlanta Falcons as their head coach after a disappointing 7-9 record in 2006.
The funny thing is that they don't have a clue about this stuff really, and just using some logical reasoning you can see that. I am not going to be so bold to yet make a judgment on the Mora hire, although the track records of coaches in their second job is pretty impressive. But I will pass judgment on their assessment that Haskell should have been hired. Yes, he has been Mike Holmgren's right hand man for nearly a decade, but he doesn't call plays. In fact, he has zero experience running the team other than for a practice hear or there. Essentially he has been Mike's confidant. The coaches coming out of Mike Holmgren's tree have often been position coaches (Andy Reid, John Gruden, Jim Zorn, etc) Not the offensive coordinator.

A second piece that Forbes overlooks is that the NFL is always on the lookout for new, successful coaches. Gil Haskell hasn't had an interview in years. He is not seen as that type of personality. All of this doesn't mean he wouldn't make a fine coach, but it certainly provides a strong enough base to avoid the criticism for not hiring him. If an offensive coordinator is head coach material, usually he isn't an offensive coordinator for long (Ken Whisenhunt, Scott Linehan, etc). Gil has made a career out it. ~END~