Friday, October 24, 2008

Is Jim Mora Already on the Hot Seat?

by: Michael Steffes

I know many of the readers already want him gone, but wanting does not make it so.

However this is something that Mike Florio suggests as well in his latest column for the Sporting News. Florio regularly writes for popular football blog As Florio queries,

At what point does the implosion of the Seahawks taint the coming tenure of assistant coach Jim Mora, Jr., who'll take over for Mike Holmgren after the season? If the team doesn't piece together a few wins before season's end, Mora could be the first coach to be on the hot seat from the moment he got the job. Since Wade Phillips.
While it is possible that Jim Mora will have a lot of eyes on his performance next year, it is almost unthinkable that he won't get his chance next year. Whether you like that idea or not, it is something that Hawk fans need to accept. And likely, this year's performance is not "tainting" the organization's view of him. As Mike Sando wrote recently,
Mora got credit for the secondary showing improvement in 2007. Are we to assume that he has become a bad secondary coach in the last few months, and that he therefore would not be the right head coach?
That would be folly. Judging almost any individual's performance on a team with this much suck is difficult. The pass rush is affecting the secondary, and the offense not staying on the field is affecting the pass rush. It is a team effort. That said, it does appear that Kelly Jennings has regressed this year, but this happens all the time. It appeared Julius Peppers had regressed until a resurgence this year.

Regardless, Mora will not be judged on this. He has already been judged. He is the next Seahawks coach because he had a .500 record in a situation Tim Ruskell realizes was less than ideal. An owner was meddling with the coach and his QB, which is probably one of the reasons Ruskell left Atlanta. He also took a team to the NFC Championship game in his FIRST year as a head coach, and that is something very few can claim. And for those who say Mora later got fired for poor coaching, that doesn't accurately paint the whole picture. Mora had two specific media gaffes (calling someone on his cellphone to find out playoff scenarios during a game, and talking about the Huskies job) that led more directly to his dismissal, especially with an owner who is overly worried about public perception.

I don't know whether or not Mora will be good for the Seahawks, but I do know this: the organization is going to give him ample time in the job so that they can find out. Whether you like it or not, Mora isn't on the hot seat, and after next season I hope we can still say the same thing. ~END~