McCarthy presided over an offense that was historically bad, one of the worst in San Francisco history. The 2005 49ers produced only 3,587 yards of total offense, the fifth-lowest total of any team since the NFL started playing 16-game schedules. San Francisco finished with just 17 offensive touchdowns and only 1,898 passing yards -- both franchise lows for a 16-game season -- and the 49ers' 191 first downs also were a new team low.
Now Jim Bates, the man who made the Packer defense respectable, is gone. The Packers will have their 4th defensive coordinator in 4 years in 2006. Ed Donatell got the axe after Sherman didn't have the guts to go for it on 4th and 1 and the defense gave up a first down on 4th and 26. Bob Slowik got the axe the next year because his defense was confused and underachieving. Jim Bates moved on to greener pastures after Ted Thompson passed him over for head coach.
The only bad news left to come out of Green Bay is Brett Favre's retirement. Favre will probably wait until the staff is set before he makes his decision. The Packers, though, will have to face facts and being rebuilding -- and I don't think Favre wants any part of that.
Fortunately, there is college basketball. It's but 6 weeks to March. If the Badgers learn to handle the press and Alando Tucker can make 55% of his free throws, Bo Ryan's squad will be headed deep into the tournament.
And remember this -- 2006 isn't Wisconsin's year. Next year they'll return four starters and have the luxury Carl Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft battling it out with Michael Flowers for the open spot. Beware the Badgers next season.
Meanwhile, the Gopher's mens team is striving to suck so bad that media attention finally shifts to the Gopher's womens team.
By 10:29 AM, at
This year I quit while I was ahead (after only 3 games) and was therefore unable to gloat when the Redskins made the playoffs and several other 3WN reader supported teams did not. (I'm trying to avoid making eye contact with D, at least until Denver puts him in his place this weekend.) But speaking of next year...
Gibbs seems to have finally gotten the team back on track after a truly dismal decade and if they can find another legitimate receiving threat to complement Moss and Portis while keeping their defense together they might be a real contender. One starts to wonder, "Hmm, is Gibbs the kind of coach that could rehabilitate someone like Terrell Owens?" I have yet to figure out what has happened with LaVar Arrington and while I would hate to see him go he was not much of a part of their defense this year and letting him go will free up a lot of cap space. Next year I will not be quitting early.
[Jerjo, did you move?]