Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Grimm sees red

Russ Grimm joined the Arizona Cardinals as assistant head coach - offensive line. He resumes his partnership with Ken Whisenhunt who was DC on Bill Cower's staff with the Steelers.

Grimm probably had the deal in the works since Sunday afternoon when he learned that he would not be the next Steelers head coach. One wonders if he should have waited a day or so to understand if he would be considered for the Cowboys opening. Maybe he heard they would not look his way, or maybe he just didn't care for the personalities involved.

Grimm was not selected for the Steelers opening and likewise lost out to Whisenhunt for the Cardinals job. The universal assumption that Grimm was a shoo-in for Pittsburgh no doubt had an effect. He was named a candidate for the Bears head coach position that went to Lovie Smith in 2004. There might be a positive side effect. Attention to Grimm's career highlights his performance as a Hog just weeks before the Hall of Fame vote on the class of 2007.

Yesterday, Al Davis selected Lane Kiffen as the Raiders head coach. I applaud young Kiffen, I really do. But, he is also an example of why there is a Rooney Rule. The kid's never been a head coach and has never coached in the NFL. At least Steve Spurrier, Butch Davis and Nick Saban held the top job at the Division 1-A level. Like many college coaches, they weren't successful. (Jimmy Johnson succeeded under very special circumstances). There are at least 12 African-American NFL coordinators, not to mention the other 52, who were stronger candidates on paper. A few candidates flat refused to be interviewed. Youth, inexperience and a weak resume may be just what Dr. Davis ordered.

A Raiders player with coaching aspirations must look at that and shake his head. Perhaps he could get himself adopted by Tony Dungy or Don Shula or Jim Mora. Famous last names seem to help.

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