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Archuleta in danger of being benched

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http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=77809

 

NFL GameDay - Is there a good time to fire a coach?

By Darren Urban, Tribune

October 29, 2006

It seems too early to be talking about an NFL team firing their coach.

Looking around the NFL, there are plenty of teams floundering, but few coaches that are seriously on the hot seat.

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There is much talk about Romeo Crennel already being in trouble in Cleveland, but this is only his second season. Jacksonville’s Jack Del Rio could have issues if his team continues to spin downward.

 

Joe Gibbs seems more likely to walk away from the Redskins rather than get fired by owner Daniel Snyder, who idolized Gibbs. Tennessee’s Jeff Fisher may or may not stay with the Titans, but he would have multiple jobs to choose from if he hit the open market.

 

Then, of course, there is Arizona, where Dennis Green and his 12-27 record is clearly fighting for his future with the team. That’s assuming he wants a future with the team.

 

Make no mistake, Green wants to succeed with the Cardinals, but he won’t be crushed if he doesn’t. He has a beautiful home in San Diego and he will have collected around $10 million from the Bidwills by next year even if he is shown the door.

 

There would be a couple of benefits from cutting Green loose before the end of the season. The Cards could openly start searching for a new coach, and perhaps new general manager if the Bidwills decide Rod Graves — who is working without a contract — must be let go as well. It would also show the team won’t stand for the lack of progress shown on the field.

 

But I also recall some comments made by Steelers owner Dan Rooney at the most recent Super Bowl, when he was talking to a bunch of writers about why he chose to stick with Bill Cowher a couple of seasons ago when it seemed to everyone that it was time to finally switch coaches in Pittsburgh.

 

Rooney believed that every time a team brings in a new coach, it essentially becomes an expansion team. He didn’t want to start from scratch.

 

There are quality components with the Cardinals, high quality younger players a new coach could work with. But make no mistake — if Green goes, the Cardinals will be starting over. Again.

 

JAGS FALL APART

Remember when the Jaguars were 2-1, having beaten Dallas and Pittsburgh and nearly upsetting Indianapolis? Well, that was a long time ago.

 

The Jaguars were shocked by Houston, 27-7, last week. Quarterback Byron Leftwich is ticked off about being benched, although Del Rio thinks Leftwich has a bad ankle and has turned to David Garrard. Leftwich said his ankle is fine.

 

Safety Deon Grant is upset with Del Rio after a misunderstanding got Grant briefly benched this week. Running back Fred Taylor is complaining about a lack of carries in part because his contract incentives can’t be reached. Defensive end Bobby McCray was arrested for reckless driving, and the Jags have also suffered season-ending injuries to defensive stars Reggie Hayward and Mike Peterson.

 

THIS N’ THAT

Texans defensive end and No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams, on the possibility of sacking Texas product and Titans QB Vince Young today: “I guess it’ll make the media happy to sack Vince. I want to sack everybody; I hope I do.” . . .

 

Philadelphia’s Brian Westbrook (13 carries for 101 yards, 7 catches for 113 yards) became the first player to have an 100-100 double in 20 or fewer touches since Dallas’ Herschel Walker had 122 rushing yards and 170 receiving yards on just 16 touches against Philly in 1986. . . .

 

Chandler native Adam Archuleta, who signed a big freeagent contract with the Redskins in the offseason, is in danger of being benched for veteran safety Troy Vincent because Archuleta is struggling so much. . . .

 

Not only are the Dolphins one of six one-win teams, but Miami has played the easiest schedule thus far and have the hardest remaining schedule of the six teams, facing opponents who have a combined winning percentage of .596 so far. That puts the Dolphins — a preseason playoff pick by many — in line to end up with the No. 1 overall draft pick.

 

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN TODAY'S GAMES

 

Blowout or bust

The Chargers lost a heartbreaker in Kansas City last week and host St. Louis today knowing they need to pile on the points. Since December of 2004 and including the playoffs, San Diego has lost nine straight games decided by four points or less. In six of those games, the Chargers had a lead in the fourth quarter.

 

Ocho Cinco returns

Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis had asked wideout Chad Johnson to tone down his act this year. But after muddling through six games with one touchdown, Johnson had enough heading into the Bengals’ game against Atlanta.

 

The man who wears No. 85 said he wanted to be called “Ocho Cinco” and called out Pro Bowl Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall by saying today, “DeAngelo falls.”

 

“I’m going to score more than once,” Johnson predicted. “I’m tired of being quiet. I ain’t had no motivation. I ain’t had no energy. I ain’t had no drive. I don’t care if they put five people on me. I’m going to get it done this week.”

 

The “D” in Denver

The marquee matchup is Indianapolis’ trip to play the Broncos, especially after the Colts and Peyton Manning lit up Denver for 90 points in two blowout playoff losses after the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Manning threw for 835 yards and nine touchdowns in the two games.

 

“It’s a whole different ballgame,” promised cornerback Champ Bailey, who wasn’t on those Broncos’ teams.

 

Denver’s defense is ranked first in the NFL in points allowed, surrendering just 7.3 per game and just two touchdowns total. Both TDs came through the air, but that still makes the Broncos the stingiest pass defense in terms of touchdowns.

 

Serious underdogs

Ravens coach Brian Billick didn’t try and hold back his perception of his team’s trip to New Orleans to play the surprising Saints in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

 

“Obviously, they are the sweethearts of the league,” Billick said. “Everybody loves them, and deservedly so. You go in and beat them, you might as well go and beat up Mother Teresa. You know, ‘You scums, what are you doing here?’ ”

 

No place like domes

Many expected the Patriots to be right where they are, 5-1 and atop the AFC East. No one expected the Vikings, who host New England Monday night, to be 4-2.

 

It should be the makings of a good game, although Tom Brady’s history says that may be moot. Brady has started nine dome games in his career; he has won all nine. Brady did play in the last Pats’ dome loss, a 34-9 Thanksgiving massacre at Detroit started by Drew Bledsoe. Looking ahead The Colts must go to their house of horrors — New England’s Gillette Stadium — for a Sunday night showdown.

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Struggling with what? His stats are nice, but I haven't seen him play every week.

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The “D” in Denver

The marquee matchup is Indianapolis’ trip to play the Broncos, especially after the Colts and Peyton Manning lit up Denver for 90 points in two blowout playoff losses after the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Manning threw for 835 yards and nine touchdowns in the two games.

 

“It’s a whole different ballgame,” promised cornerback Champ Bailey, who wasn’t on those Broncos’ teams.

 

 

Yeah, in 2004 it was like he wasn't even there. :D

 

Seriously, he's done a nice job on Harrison holding him to 14 recs, 122 yds and only 1 TD in their 3 matchups since 2004. It's just that R. Wayne has 23 recs for 449 yds and 6 TDs in those 3 games. Maybe they need 2 Champ Baileys. :D

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