Crazy days at NFL coaches Job Fair
By Chris Connelly
Special to Page 2

Steve Spurrier
Steve Spurrier loads up for Fun 'n' Gun in D.C.
Business at the Unscripted Job Fair (est. 2002) has never been brisker -- but while we're understandably proud of some of our most recent placements, there is so much left to be done. Here's a status report, and if you don't see your name or position mentioned, please leave your business card at the front desk and one of our counselors will contact you shortly. Thanks, and have a super day!

Client: Steve Spurrier
Job: Coach, Washington Redskins
Ah, perfection! As they say in homicide, it's the place where motive meets opportunity. Not since Jimmy Johnson joined the Cowboys has there been a more luscious coaching scenario. Spurrier wants even more nationwide acclaim and attention than he's already had, and possesses not just the savage smarts but also the gleeful drive to Fun 'n' Gun it to glory. (Yes, the Schottenheimer-acquired personnel would be better suited to a run-oriented attack ... as the American left said after the 1969 moon landing, So What!)

Meanwhile, Washington is a media-drenched city on a war footing that couldn't be more ready to embrace a charismatic coach of the sport that most resembles battle itself. What George Allen was to Richard Nixon, so will Steve Spurrier be to George W.! Spurrier's aggro style -- who didn't love the confidence he showed at his coming-out party? -- will get even the Tuesday Morning Quarterback, Gregg Easterbrook, to watch the Redskins games in an upright position! (Is it too late for the Visa people to add some visor-shopping to their Hogettes commercial?) And props to the frequently maligned Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who when Spurrier ditched Florida went for him like Kid Rock went for Pamela Anderson.

Client: Marty Schottenheimer
Available jobs: Carolina, San Diego

Kid Rock, Pamela Anderson
Dan Snyder went after Spurrier like Kid Rock after Pamela Anderson.
"Let nothing become us like our leave-taking" was the mantra of our very first boss, the head of the Montessori school where we taught English, Latin and gym, and where our initial day of work coincided with the Yankees-Red Sox playoff game, and ... uh, where were we?

Anyway, on the basis of their dignified farewell press conferences, Marty and his brother in on-time departure Tony Dungy more than lived up to that notion. Schottenheimer's now said to be hot on the trail of the Chargers job. After all, who better than ball-control Marty for the franchise too scared to draft Michael Vick?

We at the Job Fair can respect that move in a Dan-Reeves-to-the-Giants way -- a supposed retread who gets hired by an awful team to Clean Up This Mess!, then does Better Than Expected out of the box and wins league-wide praise before he struggles to get to the Super Bowl level ... and the limitations everyone always thought he had become evident once again ... and he latches on with another rotten organization desperate for him to Clean Up This Mess!

But something about this feels ... wrong. Should the team famous for Hadl-to-Alworth and Fouts-to-Joiner, the team that saw the full flowering of such offensive genii as Sid Gillman and Don Coryell, the team that should time its inevitable move to Los Angeles (Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone!) with the return of those gorgeous '60-era uniforms ... in short, should a team forever identified with the very best of the passing game, that's soon to move to a city that responds to glamour and excitement like no other ... should this team be content to hand the ball off to LaDainian Tomlinson and mold Drew Brees into the 21st century Trent Dilfer on its way to losing the 2003 AFC championship game? (And should you be paying any attention to the opinions of a man who can write a sentence that long?) No.

Marty Schottenheimer
Look for Marty Schottenheimer to clean up somebody else's mess.
We'd rather see Schottenheimer in Carolina, where everyone and everything seems to need a butt-kicking, including that Big 12 passing attack. There, Marty could run it all he wants, and if he wins just a few of the close ones that George Seifert's guys let get away, he'd be a hero. Schottenheimer's buttoned-up, tough-in-the-trenches style of improvement is entirely what's needed here.

Client: Marv Levy
Job: Indianapolis

We're sorry, but is working for Fox Sports so bad that a guy who's already in the Hall of Fame would want to leave the TV world and coach again? Thank God Marv is clearly so sharp, or we at the Job Fair would have images of Mr. Martini from the nightmare section of "It's a Wonderful Life." (Can't you see Bill Polian's face as he discovers exactly why his old friend Marv has been calling? There's an awkward moment for you.)

If Marv really does want back in, we at the Job Fair suggest he wait until Tim Murphy gets another gig -- isn't he up for one just about every month or so? -- and snap up the job at Harvard, so Marv would be head coach at an institution where he already has a degree ... and where his team will presumably get all of his allusions to Shakespeare, from a class act who in his 70s seems less the deluded Lear than the wistful Prospero: "Now my charms are all o'erthrown/And what strength I have's my own/Which is most faint ..."

Client: Jim Mora
Job: ????

Marv Levy's ideal replacement on Fox.

Client: Tony Dungy
Job: Indianapolis

Tony Dungy
Somebody tell the Colts that Tony Dungy's a perfect fit for Indy.
Again, here's the satisfying feel of the right man for the right job. Yes, it concerned us here at the Job Fair when Ray Anderson (the agent who blew a hole in the side of Red McCombs' bank vault and got Dennis Green outta Dodge and into the fishing boat before what would have been the most humiliating appearance on a Monday night since that Sharon Lawrence sitcom) said he'd welcome interest from the Colts in Dungy; it concerned us because it sounded like Anderson was asking the Colts to express some damn interest, for God's sake.

Sounds as though they've talked since, though, and what feels from this distance like a perfect fit may yet happen.

Client: Bill Parcells
Job: Tampa Bay

Oy. We at the Job Fair are relieved and pleased that the backlash to this debacle-in-the-making has already begun, with ace New York columnists Harvey Araton and Steve (Walt Must Go!) Serby already registering their doubts, and an unattributed quote calling Parcells a liar prominently featured in Friday's New York Times story on the NFL's warning against tampering. Forget for a moment Parcells' 10-year, Nic-Cage-and-Patricia-Arquette-esque flirt with the Tampa Bay job, which back in 1992 climaxed in Da Tuna's hilarious no-I-won't-yes-I-will-no-you-won't triple lutz with Hugh Culverhouse. Forget even the disarray in which Parcells left his respective franchises when he decided (sooner than most people had figured) that it had come time to leave town. Forget all that, and Parcells in Tampa Bay still seems like the wrong idea.

Bill Parcells
Can even the great Bill Parcells improve upon the job already done in Tampa?
Why? Because in his three (progressively less successful) stints before this one, Parcells has taken over truly dysfunctional teams, ripped everybody a new one, changed the losing attitude, brought in a mess o' new players, cashiered plenty of the old guys, and won with ferocious defense and a dogged running attack. Except for the part about ripping everybody a new one, isn't that pretty much what the last guy did? And isn't that why he won so many games in the regular season over the last few years? What Tony Dungy never quite managed to develop was a passing attack that could get the job done when the games meant more. Is that the task that gets you to pick up the phone and beg for Tuna? Tell it to the Guy in the Glass.

Parcells will inherit a 9-7 team with a D good enough to beat the Rams. Won't matter. He'll rip it to pieces -- he has to; otherwise why hire him? -- even though this franchise has been rebuilt more times than the Bruckner Interchange. And this time, Parcells' achievements in the regular season won't matter. He was hired for one reason: to win playoff games because that's what the last guy couldn't do. He won't coach a game that truly matters for another year. Pressure? Just a little. For the first time in Parcells' career, it will be hard to improve on the record of the man who preceded him. And to do it with just a tweak here or there just doesn't suit the man in question. Look what Parcells' pal Bob Knight did when he joined Texas Tech: took over a team with rock-bottom expectations that was just glad to have him. It's why Parcells would do well to consider other options, or just stay at home.

But we at the Job Fair have only the power of persuasion. Next week, we'll tackle the baseball world. So many placements, so little time.

Chris Connelly writes a weekly column for Page 2. "Unscripted with Chris Connelly," the TV show airs at 5 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday on ESPN.





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