5 NFL 'Geniuses' Who No Longer Deserve the Title

Matt KingFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2011

5 NFL 'Geniuses' Who No Longer Deserve the Title

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    "Genius" is a term that gets thrown around way too much in the coaching ranks.

    In the NFL especially, where the tide shifts at a moment's notice, yesterday's genius can be today's goat in no time flat.

    Let's take a quick look at a few guys in the National Football League that probably shouldn't be called a genius again for a little while.

Mike Shanahan

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    Maybe it was just the John Elway effect, but Shanahan was touted as a genius for years during his tenure in Denver.

    His zone-blocking scheme created 1,000-yard rushers out of seemingly thin air. You could never count out the Broncos with Shanahan on the sidelines.

    Then came a couple straight years of epic collapses and Shanahan was fired and picked up by the Redskins, who have continued to be terrible, even with Shanahan at the helm.

    Hard to remember how good he used to be with how terrible his teams have been lately.

Mike Holmgren

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    Now a suit-and-tie businessman off the field as the Browns' president instead of the gruff coach on the field, Holmgren can no longer be considered a genius.

    Once the great Green Bay coach who worked so well with Brett Favre, then the guy who brought the Seahawks to the cusp of a Super Bowl victory, Holmgren has so badly handled the Cleveland franchise that they may be crippled for the next five years.

    Seriously, that team is in bad shape, and Holmgren is a big reason why.

Bill Belichick

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    It's hard to find a coach more glorified than Bill Belichick, but if you've watched the Pats lately, he doesn't quite seem like the genius that he once was.

    For one, New England can't stop anybody. That defense is just a sieve. The old Belichick built hard-nosed "bend-but-not-break" defenses out of scraps. This is just embarrassing.

    And the offense hasn't been at the same kind of standard, either. Sure, Brady and Welker have a great chemistry and have been putting up big numbers, but the last few weeks they've had plenty of problems getting the ball into the end zone. Today's game against the Giants being no different.

    Belichick is far from being done as a coach, but I just don't think he's as sharp as he used to be.

Norv Turner

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    Norv Turner has always been hailed as something of an offensive genius. But lately the Chargers have looked more hapless than anything else.

    It's hard to believe that Philip Rivers would devolve this quickly if there wasn't some sort of a drop-off in the coaching side of things.

    That Chargers-Chiefs game last week was a perfect example of how Turner and San Diego just booted away a perfectly winnable game, like they didn't even want it.

    Sorry, Norv, but not only does "genius" not apply to you, but "head coach" may not apply to you very much longer, either.

Rob Ryan

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    To be fair, the only person to call Rob Ryan a genius was probably Rob Ryan himself.

    From the Star-Telegram

    "I take a lot of pride in my job. I'm the best at what I do. Every once in a while you throw a dud out there. You can't be great if you can't come back from one bad game."

    From what I can tell, Dallas is 18th in the league in total points allowed per game, which is how I'd measure greatness at what he does. And 18th is a far cry from "the best."

    It's not a stretch to think that every member of the Ryan household probably thinks of themselves as a genius, but Rob is the one who definitely has the furthest to go.