Week 8 And Another Thing
1: Coaching Hot Seats Kevin Sumlin and Jim Mora seem to be back in the safe area among head coaches but Butch Jones, Larry Fedora, and Gus Malzahn are now squarely in the line of fire along with Mike Riley at Nebraska. Jones has failed miserably at Tennessee, Fedora can’t justify the setback thea North Carolina experienced this season, Reilly lost his advocate as Athletic Director, and Malzahn has proven to be incapable of winning consistently enough at Auburn to deserve another chance. Of the four Mike Riley is most likely to be done in coaching as his age would make him a less attractive candidate. Malzahn would be in a good position to coach again immediately, albeit not at a program that expects to win consistently.
2: Louisville and Washington State AD openings It’s rare that two major programs make AD changes in the middle of football season but both Louisville and Nebraska did, albeit for very different reasons. The Cougars lost Bill Moos to Nebraska and are now also in the position of trying to find a replacement. It is worth noting that the ongoing FBI investigation could create a slew of new vacancies throughout the NCAA.
3: Houston Nutt and Ole Miss finally resolved their legal issues in a settlement and one wonders if Ole Miss doesn’t wish they had made that deal way earlier. Aside from costing Hugh Freeze his job, and possibly short term future employment, and reigniting an NCAA investigation into the University, Ole Miss now look like imbeciles for getting themselves into this mess to begin with. There’s a reason why Universities that fire coaches should insist on a non disclosure agreement and this case is exactly why.
1: This NFL season has been defined, in part, by quarterback injuries. Andrew Luck was going to miss time, everyone knew. Ryan Tannehill was lost during the preseason, Sam Bradford has missed some time and now Aaron Rodgers is out for the year on a perfectly legal, though violent hit. Alex Smith, who is enjoying a career resurgence in Kansas City was also the victim of a hard hit, though one that was not completely legal. Despite the NFL’s wishes quarterbacks will still be at risk of being hit as long as they play. There’s not too much more the NFL can do, especially given the realities of the game.
2: The new 49ers regime certainly sees to be operating with a sense of confidence regarding their long term viability. How else could they justify releasing Navorro Bowman when a trade had been worked out with the Saints. Certainly Bowman could have played hardball with the 49ers but without any real leverage he would have likely been a Saint and the 49ers would have a 6th or 7th round pick, which they desperately need. It’s nice for fans to see a General Manager care about the team’s history, and treat the veterans accordingly, but the 49ers can’t be dumping their best players without getting compensation.
3: Andrew Luck’s most recent setback should not spell the end of his 2017 season just yet. There are a number of good reasons why Luck might not play in 2017 but if he is 100% healthy then he probably should. Every NFL player risks injury each time they step onto the field so that shouldn’t be a factor. Luck might demand a trade in the offseason and having a few games to show he’s back in form will make it easier for the Colts to demand a premium for him. Finally, Indianapolis cannot afford to look like they are tanking. Given the other issues surrounding the league right now that would be another black eye that the NFL can ill afford to take.
And Another Thing
The Colin Kaepernick grievance puts the NFL in a precarious position. The deck is certainly stacked against Kaepernick but the burden of proof is attainable and Mark Geragos - Kaepernick's lawyer - is already canvassing former NFL employees that might have information that multiple teams communicated together regarding their apprehensions about signing Kaepernick. If any credible evidence is found it will be a huge black eye for the league and will engender some animosity from the NFLPA as both sides begin to prep for a work stoppage in a few years.