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What is in a Name?

by Tyson Rauch
Senior Columnist

Lombardi : Legend
Parcells : Winner
Belicheck: Genius
Haslett: Loser
Fassel: Retread
Mangini: Savior

It is funny how one name can conjure up such strong opinions from fans across the NFL. With the coaching carousel running full speed in the NFL, prospective names are being shot around like a machine gun. Along with those names the fans and media are also attaching labels to them. The question is this: How do you get this label and, better yet, how do you get rid of it?

Starting with the first question: How does a person attain the label of winner or loser? Is it the team’s overall performance? Win/loss record? NFL experience? Many fans express their opinions of coaches but do they actually spend any time analyzing that person and their resume? Do they do any research on any occurrences that could have hindered success for the person, i.e. injuries, cheap owner, bad call, etc.? Or do they listen to what the almighty media tells them and just run with it?

Once this label is attached to the coach, how do you get rid of it? If you are successful, the answer is pretty obvious but what about the coaches who endured some tough seasons? Once a loser, always a loser? Are NFL coaches not able to learn from their mistakes?

On Monday morning many talk show hosts began to analyze the potential replacements for Herman Edwards and the list of candidates was the same on almost every station. The comments and opinions varied but nothing really seemed to be encouraging. Then one member of the media mentioned a coordinator from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, Eric Mangini. Mangini? Who is this guy? Turn the channel; there is this name again. Did I miss something? Then the topper was when turning on WFAN 660 Radio this morning, Joe Benigno starts off his show by saying, “It is a no-brainer. The Jets must go after and get Mangini. Do whatever it takes but get him.�

Does anyone actually know anything about Eric Mangini other than he is a Bill Belicheck disciple? Do you know his track record? Tendencies? Coaching style? Ability to manage and evaluate talent? Or do you just know that since he has been a coach and coordinator under Bill that he has to be good?

I am not saying I am opposed to the NY Jets meeting with Eric Mangini, but I am hoping that the fans and media open their eyes and minds to all candidates. I think it is sad that Eric Mangini has been receiving all of this hype when a person like Mike Heimerdinger and the likes have spent their entire life in the NFL, paid their dues and still do not get a chance from the media and or fans. Sometimes there is more behind a name. Hopefully, Terry Bradway understands this. Let the best man win, not the man with the best name.

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