Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Man Thinks He's Nostradamus

I’m gonna do something that I wouldn’t normally do. Probably at once the first and last time that I do this. But my lady keeps telling me I should be an announcer because I frequently make calls before the sports analysts on football and Nascar telecasts. Now of course I shouldn’t be an announcer--at the very least you must be able to talk to do that. My predictive skills involve a little sleight of hand born from years of experience watching. One trick is a familiarity with a particular announcer’s style. Another comes from the predictability of the sports themselves. Flag in the offensive backfield? Offensive holding. Flag on a return? Illegal block in the back. Crash in the third turn? Jimmy Johnson did it.

Now there may have been a couple of instances when I was really astute or really lucky but I’m not quite the expert I may have led her to believe. That’s not going to stop me here. The prognosticator is at work. Formulating my theory before my views are warped and corrupted by the Houston sportswriters. Because I think I know what they will be saying and I doubt that the reactions will be favorable.

The Texans have hired Dan Reeves as a consultant. I like it. You see I was afraid that Dom Capers would take the full hit on this one and I think the blame lies a little higher. In my view this at least gives him a fighting chance. Now I don’t know how much influence he’s had on personnel decisions—if his opinions have directly accounted for all the Texan’s player moves maybe he should shoulder a greater share of the blame. But while I’ve never been a fan of his style of team I see a lot in him that I respect. He works hard. He doesn’t badmouth his team. His players seem to like him as a man if not a coach.

Reeves is going to be evaluating players and making suggestions. How will his observations line up with those in place among the current front office? Charley Casserly cannot feel good about this. Who’s opinions will be valued more—the man who’s been involved in 9 Super Bowls or the man who’s team is 1-12? I’ve experienced this type of thing first hand. You bring in someone from outside and tell your department head “This is not a demotion. We want to help you.” It is a demotion though. You don’t hire a man who commands the kind of money that Dan Reeves must bring to be a consultant. Yeah, I know, a six-week commitment. But you are Casserly and you are the one the boss confides in. It’s not a sign of confidence when the boss need another set of eyes. My feeling? If I was Casserly I would resign. Bob McNair is giving him an “out” and that’s the kindest way to put it.

So Dan Reeves will be the next GM of the Texans. Probably in time for the draft. And should his vision not mesh that well with Capers or the team not show drastic improvement by early next year, than Dom is on shaky ground too. Dan Reeves would probably consent to double-duty as a head coach with a lot of authority over player transactions. I like to think that two classy guys like Reeves and Capers could get along, Dom doing the coaching and Dan making all the personnel calls. But neither of them will be consulting Casserly.


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