Unemployment Line

unemployment-linewaiting for a job…coaches from l to r: Jim Fassel, Brian Billick, Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Herman Edwards, Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Holmgren (I think Mr. Billick just got denied his unemployment check)

Never have we seen such a collection of coaches, out of work, all at the same time with no more job openings to be had. But, this economy is setting all kinds of firsts for the working public. Between these 8 coaches they have 10 Super Bowl appearances and 6 Super Bowl rings. Oh, and 2 guys who play to win the games/except in the playoffs.

Who’s most likely to work again? Ranking these 8 unemployed coaches…

1. Bill Cowher: Stock has fallen just a bit after the Steelers won a Super Bowl so quickly after his departure, leaving him as the worst Steelers head coach in the last 40 years. Still, a legend and a future HOF coach. The chin did leave us as a very successful coach, an impressive resume, including a Lombardi Trophy, a COY award, a stifling D, a franchise QB and an awful, chin enhanced sideline mascot.
Last Seen: hanging out at girls basketball games and sticking his chin around CBS.
What’s he doing in 2010?: Still could work in nearly any city he wanted. Turned down several jobs as he’s waiting for the right gig. My guess, coaching either the Redskins or the Panthers, whichever team stinks in ’09. Thankfully the Browns couldn’t sway him. I might have cried a confluence of rivers.

2. Mike Shanahan: Hasn’t won consistently since John Elway retired. Had one final gasp for breath by making it to the AFC title game following the 2005 season. Only to be buzz-sawed by the Jerome Bettis farewell/homecoming tour.
Last Seen: crying in a corner after his 25th RB got injured…later found sniffing around Valley Ranch in Irving, TX.
What’s he doing in 2010?: The lure of Shanahan will evoke visions of Parcells wooing Jerry Jones into temporary submission, giving up control for a very short period of time. Coaching the Cowboys. Also seen purchasing supplies for Lane Kiffin and Jon Gruden’s incident below.

3. Jon Gruden: Built a Super Bowl team in Oakland and then moved to TB to ride Dungy’s wake all the way to defeating that Gruden built Raiders team. Then, he promptly led the Bucs down a steady downward spiral.
Last Seen: losing to the Raiders to get knocked out of the playoffs…2 weeks later was picked up along with Mr. Kiffin for a TPing incident in Oakland
What’s he doing in 2010?: No idea, except I believe some desperate team that thought they were going to be good in 2009 will implode and call Gruden to instill discipline in a talented and underachieving team. Sounds a lot like San Diego to me, maybe Cincy.

4. Brian Billick: The offensive, QB genious that single handedly resurrected the career of Randall Cunningham in Minnesota (sarcasm) never got a QB or an offense in Baltimore. But that defense was special. Special in a criminal kind of way.
Last Seen: A season has passed now and a year was spent working for ABC, NFL Network and FOX. Can’t seem to find an identity, no surprise there.
What’s he doing in 2010?: Probably some sort of TV gig; maybe heading back to his game show roots or possibly filling in for Reverend Camden in a 7th Heaven reunion special. Seems to me it won’t be coaching: No one trusts his offensive ability and everyone knows he was the beneficiary of a good D, not the other way around.

5. Mike Holmgren: Still harboring bitterness towards the Steelers (and the refs for some reason) about his teams inability to compete in Super Bowl XL. The team promptly imploded and the Seahawks returned to the roost at the bottom of the NFL food chain.
Last Seen: Debating whether to come back or to stay retired while airing his sour grapes on national TV prior to SB XLIII. Get over it, Walrus.
What’s he doing in 2010?: Hanging out on some yet to be named pregame show on the weekends and visiting his little buddy Brett on his tractor in Mississippi, thanking him for making him a legend too.

6. Marty Schottenheimer: Long time Browns, Cheifs, Chargers, Redskins and who knows what other teams…won at a very successful rate between September and December. In January…well, that’s the knock. The Marty-Ball didn’t seem to have the same magic in the playoffs.
Last Seen: Flirting with the Browns (maybe only in the minds of fans and bloggers) about a potential return as a back-up singer to his fomer assistant (now front man) Bill Cowher. The reunion tour could have been brilliant for the Brownies…nope, Manginious it is. Fools.
What’s he doing in 2010?: Not much other than watching the calendar and clock tick down on a career that should have lasted 2-3 years longer in San Diego.

7. Jim Fassel: Led the Giants to a surprising Super Bowl berth in 2000 only to be offered up as a sacrificial lamb to the Ravens D (Thanks a lot Jim). Several years later, realized he couldn’t beat the Ravens, so he joined them. It was not a good fit as he was run out of town. Maybe it was really an evil plot by Jimmy to undermine the Ravens and drive them into the ground. Well, if nothing else, he partially contributed to Billick’s demise.
Last Seen: Taking his tour of revenge to the Raiders. He begged and pleaded for a chance to coach in the most disfunctional family in all of sports. When all others were running for their lives Fassel charged in with guns blazing and still got shot down.
What’s he doing in 2010?: Probably wallowing in self-pitty and walking tall bay bridges contemplating the value of his coaching life. Or maybe just nothing.

8. Herman Edwards: OK, he really has no business being on this list. He’s never really been a good coach in his 8 years as a head coach (5NYJ, 3KC). His career 54-74 record with only 4 winning seasons and 1 division title don’t merit much consideration for a 3rd chance. But, I have to recognize that he belives he’s good enough, smart enough and doggone it people DO like him. And, I have to believe as far as retreads go, he wants to coach and will get some sniffs in the future.
Last Seen: Walking out of his KC office after being strung along by the merciless Scott Pioli, as Scott tried to decide what he wanted to do with the mess that Carl Peterson left him.
What’s he doing in 2010?: Playing monopoly, Risk or any other ridiculously long board game and after his friends have bailed out because they have other places to go and things to do, Herm erupts on them declaring that he’ll never give up because he plays to win the game!

There are several others over the past couple seasons that have been downgraded from Head Coaches to Assistants elsewhere. They’re not unemployed in the NFL ranks, plus most of them never had the success that merited mention…guys like Rod Marinelli, Jim Haslett, Cam Cameron, Scott Linehan and Romeo Crennel. The above 8 guys are coaches that will actually be remembered by not only their teams but by many other football fans, the latter list of guys will only be remembered in nightmares and in sentances preceded by curse words.

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