John Madden
John Madden
Tough to see a guy like Reeves get fired
By John Madden

It's always tough to see a coach get fired. You hear rumors all the time that so-and-so will be fired, and lists are put together of coaches who will probably be out of a job. But we often forget that they're still human beings, and they have families that are affected by the firing. In addition to the head coach, his assistants are also affected, because they go too.

You know this will happen every year, but you still hate to see it happen.
In this business, you know this will happen every year, but you still hate to see it happen ... especially to a guy like Dan Reeves (who was fired Wednesday by the Atlanta Falcons).

Reeves is a good coach and a really good guy. You always want to have coaches in the league who maintain the league's integrity as well as the integrity of the organizations they represent -- and Reeves is that kind of guy. Whatever the NFL wants to stand for, Dan Reeves stands for!

Lots of people talk about the list of coaches who likely will be fired, but the one thing that isn't talked about is this: Where are all the candidates for the vacant positions? I'm not sure there are as many capable replacements who will be able to do as good a job as a coach like Reeves. Some organizations that are thinking about making a change will eventually come to that realization -- and probably won't make a change.

When it's all said and done, I'm not sure that we will see as much turnover as we are speculating about now.

Besides the Falcons' head-coaching change, there's a pretty hot rumor that Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Rich McKay might be going to Atlanta to work for owner Arthur Blank as his GM. So the managerial change might not be solely head-coach driven -- it may be part of a bigger structural change for the organization.

Some people are being critical of Reeves and his decision to leave the team now instead of finishing the season, even though he knew he would be terminated at the end of the campaign. But he made the right decision!

Reeves did what he had to do -- and what anyone else would do if you knew what he knew. You don't want to be a lame-duck coach. It's better to have an interim head coach like Wade Phillips finish the season than to have a situation where you're asking yourself everyday why you're there (when you know you won't be there after the season).
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