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Reusse: Good thing that Wilf didn't take players' advice

  • Blog Post by: Patrick Reusse
  • December 30, 2013 - 1:56 PM

Give the Wilfs credit for this:They did not bother to take seriously any input from the players before firing Les Frazier.

Superstar Adrian Peterson vowed to make one last appeal to ownership and General Manager Rick Spielman on Monday morning in behalf of Frazier. Les was gone before sunrise (7:51 a.m.) -- making him the third head coach fired by the Wilfs in their nine seasons as owners.

This puts the Wilfs behind the pace of the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns, but on the same recent timeline for coaching changes as Washington owner Daniel Snyder (Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan gone), and ahead of Dallas owner Jerry Jones (Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips and the non-fired Jason Garrett) since the 2005 season.

When rich men enter the same stratosphere as Snyder and Jones when it comes to running through coaches, they deserve at least honorable mention in the wacky category among NFL owners.

Obviously, Spielman had pushed the Wilfs for this change -- as he had for the firing of Brad Childress with six games remaining in the 2010 season. The owners showed their belief in Spielman's personnel wisdom by giving him a promtion to all-powerful GM before the 2012 season.

They are still listening to him ... which is better than listening to the players.

The most-recent example that players are an even worse source for advice on coaches than a local sports media took place in the NFL as recently as Jan. 9, 2012.

The Kansas City Chiefs had won the AFC West in 2010 with the acerbic Todd Haley as coach. They flopped in 2011. They were blown out 37-10 by the Jets in early December and Haley was fired with his team standing at 5-8.

Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was given the interim job and the Chiefs won two of the last three -- beating Green Bay 19-14, losing in overtime 16-13 to Oakland, and interrupting the magic of the Denver Tebows, 7-3, in the season finale.

The players talked of how great it was to play for a coach such as Crennel -- a true professional who treated them as men.

Twelve days after the season finale, Crennel was given a three-year contract. Crennel then coached 'em up to a 2-14 record in 2012, tying Jacksonville for the worst record in the NFL.

Crennel was fired. He was owed $7 million.

Owner Clark Hunt also fired GM Scott Pioli, since his preferred candidate -- Andy Reid -- wasn't going to take a coaching job without personnel power.

Moral of the story: Never give the players a voice in hiring a head coach. It's even more dangerous than taking pointers from the media in hiring a head coach.

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