Friday, January 26, 2007

Maybe it's Not All Ken Anderson's Fault

To be honest there wasn't a great deal of enthusiasm when the announcement was made that Ken Anderson had been hired as quarterback coach for the Steelers. Certainly, some of that stemmed from his long association with the Cincinnati Bengals. Everyone associated with Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic is old enough to remember a time when Mr. Anderson competed on the field, and was just one of those players that Steelers fans loved to hate.

But in addition to that was the fact that Mr. Anderson had been fired by one of the more respected head coaches in the NFL, Jacksonville's Jack Del Rio. After all, if Mr. Anderson wasn't good enough to be the quarterback coach for the Jaguars then why in the world would anyone want to entrust Ben Roethlisberger's future to him?

However in doing some research we found this item of interest from the February 4, 2006 -- the day before the Steelers won the Super Bowl -- Florida Times Union (emphasis added):

" While Jack Del Rio aspires to build the Jacksonville Jaguars into a Super Bowl contender, he's quietly developing a reputation as having a quick trigger.

Del Rio has fired seven assistant coaches and demoted two others from his original 16-member staff. It's the highest dismissal rate in the NFL among the 13 teams that have the same head coach in place since 2003.

Last week's firing of offensive line coach Paul Boudreau means that only six Jaguars assistants -- defensive coordinator Mike Smith, defensive line coach Ray Hamilton, strength and conditioning coach Mark Asanovich, tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts, quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson and defensive assistant Todd Howard -- remain in the same capacity in which Del Rio hired them.

It's one thing to have high turnover because coaches leave for better jobs. But the Jaguars' revolving door is due to Del Rio being unsatisfied with results, and that's also a reflection on the man who does the hiring.

Del Rio caught a lot of flak in 2003 for leaving an ax in the locker room, a motivational ploy to implore his players to keep chopping wood. Punter Chris Hanson sustained a season-ending leg injury when he swung the sharp object and missed his target.

The cutting tool immediately was removed, but Del Rio still wields a different kind of ax. The clear message to his coaches is that he's not afraid to use it. . .

In addition to viewing Mr. Anderson's dismissal in a different light, one wonders why a coach would go to work in Jacksonville?

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