Happy Veteran’s Day: A salute to Soldiers and Veteran NFL Coaches

110713-military-cpVFW Post 9793 (William Leavell Post) – Your humble West Coast reporter here, drawing yet another holiday Monday post…though unless you’re a teacher or a postman, chances are you’re working today anyway. Still, a hearty thanks to all our veterans for your service and sacrifice. I hope the beer is extra cold today. As for veterans of this site, like myself, it’s weeks like this – a pre-Thanksgiving lull thick with teams on bye and crappy games (us West Coast viewers were treated with a trifecta of crappy California teams on the tube yesterday) – that require some extra inspiration. I’m going to seek it from some veteran coaches in action yesterday.

Tom Coughlin. This is his eighteenth year as a pro football head coach, with the worst start since his very first, back when he led the expansion Jaguars in 1995 and didn’t let his players wear sunglasses. In summer sessions. In Florida. He’s grown a lot since then, and may have righted the ship here a bit by holding on, overcoming another Eli pick-six and getting one of their own, beating the visiting Raiders to make it three in a row and stay miraculously in the hunt with their bell cow back just returning for the first time this year.

What does John Fox say?  Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
What does John Fox say? Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!

Jack Del Rio has been around long enough to be the guy who replaced Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville. He spent nine underwhelming (and under .500) years there. Now the defensive coordinator for Cookie’s Broncos, he was pressed into duty when head coach John Fox went under the knife for open heart surgery this week. He’s now undefeated in Denver, though it is the first time the Broncos failed to score thirty points in a game all year. Speaking of veterans, with Peyton Manning rolling along even on a hobbled ankle, I think I could coach that team to a win for one game this year. Lost in that story is the footnote that Chargers first year head coach Mike McCoy came from Denver and had been one of Fox’s loyal assistants since Carolina. It would probably have been him stepping in this week if he was still there.

Meanwhile, Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak actually suffered a stroke last week during the game–could coaching be more hazardous to your health than playing?–which put Phillips back in a familiar role: coaching a loser. Bum Phillips’s son has been coaching in some form since 1969…in fact, the first time he filled in as an interim head coach was for his father, almost three decades ago in 1985. Yes, he’s been mediocre for just that long, like a pitcher who’s just good enough to lose twenty games. He’s a defensive specialist whose head coaching resume is smeared with playoff losses and other ignominious endings. Add to that yesterday’s game in Arizona, where the Texans played spiritedly but fell short…leading to the all-too-familiar image of Phillips grimacing as he took off his headset in the end. Still, nice to remember he was a coach in Houston back when this was a thing:


A veteran of fraud, Fake Sandy Alderson tomorrow.

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About West Coast Craig 226 Articles
West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.