The 27 Worst Decisions of the 2010 NFL Season
Every time we make a decision there's eventually some sort of reflection, like "I'm glad I went on that trip it was a blast!"
However this isn't always the case, and when it happens to head coaches, front offices and players, they will hear about it instantly and endlessly.
We all make mistakes and here are 27 huge ones from the 2010 NFL season.
The Redskins Trade for Donovan McNabb
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This was one of those things that was a bad idea from the start.
First off McNabb didn't fit in with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's style.
Secondly the Redskins gave up too much for McNabb. A second round pick and a conditional third or fourth rounder was way too much for the aging quarterback.
Third, even though McNabb is a more proven quarterback, Jason Campbell (who was later traded) would have been a better fit for the Shanahan system.
And lastly this move reeked of Dan Snyder trying to sell jerseys and club level seating.
Drafting Tim Tebow in the First Round
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It is really hard to get the talking heads in sports television, radio, and writing to agree on anything.
However, they all seemed to agree that Tim Tebow was worth a late second round, early third round draft pick.
So what did the Denver Broncos do? They drafted him in the late first round.
With all the help Denver needed on defense it's hard to imagine why they'd take Tebow so early other than they panicked and thought he'd be gone before their second round pick, or they really wanted to sell a lot of jerseys leading up to what they knew would be a terrible season.
They might not have won a lot of games, but the Broncos sure as hell sold a ton of Tebow jerseys.
The Buffalo Bills Draft CJ Spiller
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So you're the Buffalo Bills on draft day and your defense couldn't stop the run even if it's a four year old girl carrying the ball.
On top of that you have one of best running back tandems in the league with Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, so what do you do?
Well you draft running back C.J. Spiller (of Clemson) of course.
Though Spiller could have an awesome career in the NFL one day the Bills were probably the last team that needed to draft him.
They had so many other holes to fill that adding a third running back with a first round pick might have been the dumbest draft move since the Lions felt you could win a Super Bowl by drafting a wide receiver every year.
The Cowboys Handing the Redskins 7 Points Before the Half.
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You're on the road on opening day and deep in your own territory down 3-0 with 23 seconds to go before halftime and no time-outs, what do you do?
Conventional wisdom says you kneel and go into the locker-room to regroup.
Well in 2010 the Dallas Cowboys felt conventional wisdom was for sissies. Whether is head coach Wade Phillips' call or offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's call to throw a screen pass to Tashard Choice, it was dumb decision.
Choice caught the ball and then ran into Mr. Opportunity DeAngelo Hall who stripped him and took it in for six.
This one play was a microcosm for the 2010 Dallas Cowboys, just one bone-head move after another. So much for being the first team to play in a Super Bowl in your home stadium.
Benching McNabb with 2:45 to Go in Detroit
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In spite of all the people who hated Shanahan for having the gull to bench McNabb either in the Detroit game or at the end of the season, both moves where needed.
However, if Shanahan wanted to bench McNabb in the Detroit game he should have done it a lot sooner.
Unless a player is hurt you don't bench them with that little time left, especially the quarterback.
This was the one time the Redskins really needed McNabb on the field because of the pass rush by the Lions they needed someone who was mobile and not lead foot Rex Grossman.
Even if Grossman wasn't so painfully slow he was set up to fail because it usually takes a back-up a series or two to get into rhythm with his receivers since he doesn't practice with them as much during the week.
Grossman didn't have a series or two. There was less than 3 minutes to go, he needed to click right away and he didn't.
What makes the benching worse is the parade of excuses used by the head coach after the game and then during the week (which was a bye-week, so that's even worse).
Had Shanahan come out and said exactly why he benched McNabb than a lot of negative attention could have been avoided and the Redskins might have played better in the long run.
The NFL Constantly Changing Their Mind on Illegal Hits
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Rodger Goodell is probably going to be known for three things when he retires as the NFL Commissioner.
Number one, on his watch he allowed the 2011 Lockout to happen.
Number two, he cracked down on all the knuckle heads in the league who had poor conduct away from the field.
and number three, he couldn't make up his mind on what kind of hits were legal and what hits were illegal.
It seemed like every week last season the NFL had created a new rule against some form of tackle. It was becoming ridiculous.
Now I understand that the NFL wants to protect their players but constantly changing rules is only going to confuse the players and officials and mess up a game that is pretty close to perfection.
Libertarians believe less government interference is the best thing, well I want to start an NFL Libertarian party and our motto is "The less League office interference in the game, the better."
James Harrison Threatens to Retire over New NFL Rules
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Whether it's on the field or comments off the field James Harrison just can't seem to stay out of trouble.
Back when the league was handing down heavy fines (Harrison was fined the most for illegal hits) and new rules Harrison said he didn't know if he could play in the league anymore and said he might retire.
Honestly I don't think Harrison, for one second, was actually going to retire but it's diva outburst like this that are slowly turning the Steelers into America's most hated NFL team.
The Vikings Give Up a 3rd Round Pick for Moss
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Moss's departure from Minnesota the first time was a long time coming. His bad attitude clashed with the way the Vikings were ran and he seemed to be a perfect fit when trading to the malcontents of Oakland.
Fast forward to 2010 and the dysfunctional Vikings already had enough to deal with in their horrific start of a season that trading for Randy Moss seemed like a good idea somehow.
Moss wasn't there long, didn't contribute anything, well except getting the head coach fired, more on that later.
The Patriots Trading Moss
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First off, well done by the Patriots for getting Moss from the Raiders for only a 4th round pick then trading him to the Vikings a few seasons later for a 3rd round pick.
However, the Patriots didn't have much in the way of wide receivers outside of Moss and Wes Welker, so when they got rid of Moss they severely hampered their passing game.
I'm not saying they would have gone to the Super Bowl with Moss still on the team, but they would have been better off in the post-season had they had him.
However, if they re-sign him in the off-season and he has a great 2011 I will eat my words on questioning the Patriots for this move.
The Broncos Bench Kyle Orton
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The Broncos were terrible in 2010 but that had little to do with Kyle Orton.
Orton only started 13 (as well as played in) games in 2010 but was well on his way to destroying his break out numbers of 2009.
The reason for his benching?
Well the Broncos were so terrible they needed to get butts in the seats so what better way of doing that than start the man with the best selling jersey of 2010 Tim Tebow.
The move didn't help the Broncos in 2010 and may have hurt them for the future.
Tim Tebow may or may not be an All-Pro one day, but many agree he needs a few years on the bench to work on his mechanics for the pro game.
With the Broncos benching Orton for the last three games of the season they may have burned a bridge with him and he may want out of Denver.
That would force the Broncos to start Tebow and give him less time to work on the things he needs to work on to be a great quarterback.
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Just Albert Haynesworth whole presence on the Washington Redskins roster in 2010 was a bad decision on the Redskins' part.
They should have never signed him in 2009 and when he kept refusing to show up to OTAs and then showed up to training camp out of shape they should have cut him or traded him.
But know they kept him.
And then through out the season the Redskins should have traded him away for anything but were stubborn and kept him, and they still have him.
This is a bad decision that could spill over into the 2011 season.
Dez Bryant Pays for Dinner for the Boys
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The Cowboys were off to a terrible start in 2010 so what did they do?
Did they study film and the playbook harder? No.
Did they stay after for practice? No.
Did they get together and talk about how to change the season? No.
So what did they do?
They have rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant buy them dinner and run up a $54,000 bill.
If every member of the 53 man roster was at that dinner (and they weren't) that would have averaged out to just over a $1,000 per person. I have a family of 3 (with two dogs as well) and we don't spend $1,000 on food in four months, let alone one night.
The Seahawks Trade for Charlie Whitehurst
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Though it turned out to be a bad decision, trading a second round pick for Donovan McNabb makes some sense. He's an All-Pro who's been to the Super Bowl.
However, trading a second round pick for back-up Charlie Whitehurst made absolutely no sense at all.
Pete Carole sees something in the quarterback though, at least I hope he does for the high price he paid, but it wasn't shown in 2010.
And since Whitehurst is the only QB under contract for Seattle in 2011, I wish them all the luck with that trade.
Cutting Matt Leinart
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To say Matt Leinart has been a disappointment since being drafting by the Cardinals would be an understatement.
Even so, he was the best option for the Cardinals at quarterback in 2010.
So what did the Cardinals do? They cut him in the pre-season.
They probably wouldn't have been much better with him under center in 2010 but in the weak NFC West he might have played well enough for them to make the play-offs.
The Bengals Sign T.O.
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What does every NFL team need? If you said two diva wide receivers then congratulations you're probably the owner of the Bengals and rich.
However, you were also the laughing stock of the AFC North and did the dreaded first to worst drop.
The Bengals went from being the best team in the AFC North in 2009 to the worst and the major difference between the two seasons was adding T.O.
I'm not saying it was all Owens' fault but the distraction of him and Chad Ochocinco having a reality show probably didn't help the team focus on Sundays.
Big Ben Partying with Underage Girls
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Before 2010 kicked off Ben Roethlisberger thought it would be a good idea to drink with a couple of under aged girls in a bar near Atlanta.
And because alcohol helps us make even brighter decisions he felt taking one of those girls to a stall and have his body guard block the entrance was another top decisions.
Now I'm not going to accuse him of anything or pretend I know what happened. But when you are a top five quarterback in the NFL and you on the cusp of another season where you're the favored to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl you should probably be doing something different then the scene described above.
For his part in the innocent Big Ben was suspended at the beginning of the season which turned out to not really affect the season of the Steelers but it doesn't change the fact that Ben's actions were stupid and could have affected his team greatly.
The Packers Not Trading for Marshawn Lynch
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At the beginning of the season it seemed like Packer running backs were dropping like flies.
At week three it seemed like the Bills were working on a deal to send Marshawn Lynch to the Packers.
However, the Packers got cold feet and even though they did win the Super Bowl it's hard to imagine that they wouldn't have been more dominate with Lynch in the back field.
The 49ers Can't Make Up Their Mind at QB
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Before Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach of the San Fransisco 49ers he was trying everything he could to save his job.
One of his decisions (which probably most contributed to his downfall) was the constant changing of the quaterback.
It would go from starter Alex Smith, to David Carr to Troy Smith and back again.
All the while, because of the terrible NFC West, the Niners were still in the title hunt. Had they just stuck with one guy (really didn't matter who, but I would have gone with Alex) they might have won the division and Singletary might still be the coach, which may or may not be a good thing.
Titans Announcing They're Parting Ways with Vince Young to Keep Jeff Fisher
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Towards the end of 2010 it became apparent that for the Titans it was either head coach Jeff Fisher or quarterback and former first round pick Vince Young.
Well owner Bud Adams came out and said he was getting rid of Young in order to keep his coach.
Fast forward a bit and Jeff Fisher resigns over a dispute with the Titans about hiring his son as a coach.
So even though he's still on the roster, the bridge with Young is burned and the coach they were trying to keep left.
Maybe next time Bud Adams won't be so quick to speak.
Holding onto Wade Phillips for Too Long in Dallas
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I really don't know what Jerry Jones saw in Wade Phillips to keep him around so long, but you can ask any Dallas fan and they'll tell you he shouldn't have even been the head man to start the 2010 season.
Even so it was apparent early on that Phillips had lost the team and the season and should have probably been gone after week three or four.
It might not have made a difference in the end results for the Cowboys, but it probably wouldn't have hurt them either.
Titans Pick Up Randy Moss from Waivers
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The Titans were having enough problems in 2010 that they didn't need to add one more.
However they decided to add one more and signed Randy Moss off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings.
Moss' performance in Tennessee was forgettable and will quickly move on once free agency begins.
Musical QBs in Oakland
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Like their Bay Area brother, the Oakland Raiders couldn't make up their mind who they wanted as their quarterback.
And like the Niners they were in such a weak division had they just stuck with one for all 16 games they might have done better than 8-8 and won the AFC West.
The Redskins Giving Donovan McNabb a Contract Extension
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After his benching in Detroit the Redskins wanted to curb all of the talk of a rift between the team and the quarterback so they signed him to an extension with a huge bonus at the start of 2011.
When this all happened it was probably made up in the head coach's mind that McNabb wouldn't be his quarterback in 2011 so the big bonus McNabb get at the start of the season makes him really hard to trade.
Brad Childress Cuts Moss Without Permission
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What's the quickest way to get fired as an NFL head coach?
Apparently not consulting anyone before cutting a wide receiver the team just paid a third round pick for.
Brad Childress did just this and even though he was probably going to get fired anyways this just sped up the process.
Brett Favre Not Retiring After 2009
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In the 2009 season Brett Favre came so close to the Super Bowl he could taste it.
It must have tasted sweet because he brought his old body back for 2010 and got the crap kicked out of him for his efforts.
2009 was such a sweet year for Favre that everyone outside of Green Bay had kind of forgiven him for his unretiring spectacle of 2008 and 09.
He would have been remembered for the great year he had in 09 and not the costly interception that ended the Vikings' season.
However he came back in 2010 and went out with a whimper. His season was terrible and for the first time in his career he went to the disabled list.
The Bears Not Improving Their O-Line Before 2010
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The Bears' offensive line of 2010 was terrible and in spite of that they made it to the NFC Championship game.
A game in which Jay Cutler finally got injured. With the number of hits he had taken in 2010 it was bound to happened and happened in the worst possible game.
I dare to think that had the Bears just had a decent to good O-Line they might be the Super Bowl champs and not their division rival.
The NFL Lockout
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Though the lockout didn't happen until 2011, we knew about it during the 2010 season because of the owners opting out of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Instead of getting something done in 2010, the owners and players waited and waited and waited until the last minute and of course nothing got done. The owners locked out the players.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and we could have a new CBA before the end of the month.
BONUS Bone-Headed Decision
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This bonus comes courteous of Kevin Deagan in the comments section.
I knew I was forgetting something when I put this list together but I couldn't put my finger on it.
Kevin reminded me of the Broncos trading a then unknown Peyton Hillis (and draft picks) to the Browns for Brady Quinn.
Another smart move by the Broncos in 2010.