The Quick Hook Coach Debate – Is Four Games Into a Season Too Early?

Read Loyal Homer and Bleacher Fan’s arguments about the timing of firing a head football coach, and if four games into the season is too soon.

Yesterday The Sports Debates discussed which preseason favorite NFL teams have already fumbled their chances of making the NFL postseason. Today, we will discuss the OTHER teams that we did not mention in yesterday’s debates. You know, those teams that are so despicable, so terrible, SO disorganized and unprofessional that their loyal fan bases are already discussing what it will take to give their team’s head coach the quick hook or axe (depending if you like fishing or lumberjack metaphors better).

It does not matter if a coach has been with a team for four weeks, four years, or four decades. If perception has shifted to the point where the majority of the fan base is no longer supporting the current coaching regime, it is likely fans and media will pressure an owner or general manager to make a change.

There are a few teams in the “coach status pending review” category right now. The Cleveland Browns, the St. Louis Rams, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tennessee Titans, the Carolina Panthers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all examples of winless teams through four weeks of the 2009 NFL season. While Titans head coach Jeff Fisher is the longest tenured coach with any of those teams, he is fair game in the evaluation process for this debate. So are the five (of seven) other head coaches in their first season with new organizations.

There are countless examples on both sides of this debate. Some coaches are forced out before they are really given an opportunity to prove how effective they are as head coaches, and some coaches are given too much slack and perpetually underperform in their leadership role. Both scenarios are nightmarish for general managers. They are constantly toeing the line, trying to give rookie coaches the slack they need to learn, grow, and become great coaches while balancing the immediate needs of the organization, players, and fans. It is certainly not an easy job, and it requires more intuition than math.

Fortunately, The Sports Debates exists to give needy general managers the input they need to be more effective in their jobs. Today’s debate question: Is four weeks in to the young NFL season too soon to fire a head coach?

Bleacher Fan, the known Cleveland Browns lover and Pittsburgh Steelers hater, will argue in favor of early termination for an underperforming head coach. Bleacher Fan will provide the rationale necessary to pragmatically cut a coach loose early in the season. On the other side of the debate is Loyal Homer, who is responsible for arguing that four games is too early in the season to give up on a coach and that patience is a virtue rewarded with championships.

May the best debater win! But, since I am not debating this one, may one of the other debaters win!

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