While Eric has made tremendous strides over the past few weeks, his head is deservedly on the chopping block because he has some "splaining" to do. Here is what decides Mangini's fate:
- First and foremost, why wasn't Mangini able to form an effective partnership with George Kokinis? This gets sticky for Eric, as if you can't coexist with your friend, what would indicate he would form a partnership with "Holmgren's guy"? The end result - a lawsuit, a bunch of old Jets, and 3 second round busts (possibly).
- Secondly, why have the QBs regressed? I understand that neither is the second coming of Peyton Manning - but have either of them looked this bad? You can beat some bad teams with a QB that doesn't "blow" the game - but you will need an effective QB to reach the next level.
- Third, does Mangini have a plan to address the QB issue? The handling of the QBs looked cumbersome, illogical, and ad hoc. What came first, the bad QB handling or the detiorating QB perfromance?
- Finally, does Eric really develop and play the best players? When you can time Jamal Lewis through the hole with a calendar - it is an issue. When you and I know he is washed - the coach should too. This is perplexing, as the J-E-T-S were played out of the playoffs because an injured Brett Favre couldn't perform. Why was Harrison not a contributor while games had some meaning? Is Jake whatever his name really a better WR prospect than Robo?
So should Mangini be fired? The answer is simple - Maybe. He deserves significant credit for the late push, even if it was primarily against mediocre teams. In addition, his defensive game plans are creative, as he has used mirrors to compensate for the injuries and lack of talent.
My preference is to keep Mangini with the following conditions:
- Daboll goes. Yesterday. All offensive coaches too. No quality control coach moving to receivers coach.
- Mangini presents the case of dumping DA and giving one last gasp of developing BQ. He works with Holmgren to find the perfect QB coach/Offensive Coordinator to tutor and develop Quinn. My guess is Zorn. While a longshot to succeed - he definitely will fit the WCO better than DA. If Mangini feels that DA vs. BQ - the sequel - is a possibility - he goes.
- Mangini must subjugate his ego and prove that he can work with Holmgren, Heckert, and Zorn. I really think he has a chance to do this. I do not think he is as big an ego maniac as the media would have you believe. In addition, very few teams have an owner that would let a coach of Mangini's stature act as the football czar - so he will be motivated to stay.