My father and I were talking last Saturday as we saw the Fighting Irish fall to the Huskers in double overtime.
My father questioned why Notre Dame should fire Charlie Weis because to him, it looked like Weis's players were failing him.
I quickly corrected him by telling him how "awesome," Jimmy Clausen is as a quarterback and the fault should be laid upon Charlie Weis.
He has lost five games this season and all were decided by seven points or less.
If Weis was losing 56-3, then I'd defend him for poor talent, but in clutch moments and close games, you have to be the coach that calls the right plays and inspires your team to victory.
Weis is more than likely gone after this season, so my question is the same as everyone else: Who will replace him?
There was talk about Jon Gruden, then Urban Meyer, and even Nick Saban for the head coaching job.
However, Gruden is staying on Monday Night Football, Meyer just publicly stated that he wants to stay in Florida (let's assume his feelings are genuine), and I don't see Saban leaving Alabama before he wins them the title.
Saban hasn't won it yet, and even if he does this year, I don't think he'll pass up the $4 million a year contract he has with the Crimson Tide.
However, I think that the Irish need to forget about a couple of big names and look somewhere else.
Like the NFL.
The NFL fires/retires two to three coaches every year now. Last year, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren, Tony Dungy, Jim Haslett, Herman Edwards, Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, and Rod Marinelli all left their head coaching positions.
Some coaches who could possibly lose their jobs this year are big names like Jeff Fisher, Jack Del Rio, Jim Zorn, and Wade Phillips. Dick Jauron has already been fired by the Bills.
So, why not look at them?
Let me tell you something. I'm in total agreement with Greg Brinda, a football radio announcer for Cleveland, and he said, "I'd love to have Jeff Fisher coach my football team, any day of the year."
Jeff Fisher has over a hundred wins in the NFL and has been to the Super Bowl and lost only by half a yard. That's how close he was. He's an awesome, cool guy that players will look up to, and he can take ordinary teams and turn them into elite playoff teams.
However, if the Irish are lucky, the owner of the Titans, Bud Adams, will fire Fisher like the idiot he is, and Jeff Fisher could come to Indiana.
The amount of talent in the NFL is immense. I could see Marty Schottenheimer, with his legendary motivational speeches, be able to help turn things around in South Bend.
Schottenheimer may want to run the ball more, but he'd have a tough defense, and a pretty good quarterback to get the team ready. Also, the last time the Irish won the championship was with Lou Holtz, who had his team run more than they passed.
I can add in Romeo Crennel, who is a very good defensive coach. There is Jim Zorn, who will get fired (trust me), and he is a Seahawks legend at quarterback. I could see him grooming the men under center for the Irish.
Tony Dungy is easily one of the most loved men in football history. I never met the man and I love him. His presence, his kind voice, and his belief in his players give the image of a father who is coaching his kids.
These guys at Notre Dame are kids. Who better to teach a kid something than his dad?
Where else can I go?
I know the game is different in college, but I think that if a guy can coach in the NFL level and take his team to many victories, then I don't see why he couldn't do it when college football is so much easier to comprehend.
The reason I say that is great college coaches like Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier tried coaching in the NFL and failed miserably in the process.
The college coaches who go to the NFL generally don't have success, but I think the NFL guys can come down to the college level. Lane Kiffin went back to the college level after a stint with the Oakland Raiders.
Granted, no coach has gone from the NFL to college and won a championship, but there is a first time for everything.
Why shouldn't they get one of these guys? These men are smart enough to be great in the NFL, I'm sure they can come to the collegiate level. Some of these men secrete leadership just with their walk, and it is much easier to teach kids, who are in it for fun, than adults, who may only be worried about their juicy contract.
I wouldn't choose any college coach right now over a real NFL guy like Jeff Fisher or Tony Dungy. I think the only college coach who can probably draw more respect from me is Joe Paterno and maybe Mack Brown.
The Irish have to regain the strength they once had because of the image they hold through movies like "Rudy" and they need a great coach to do that.
I think that coach can be found in the NFL.
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