Crossing the line
Saturday, in the New York Daily News, New York Jets beat writer Manish Mehta wrote an article titled “NY Jets interview Doug Marrone, and with Bills, the average ex-coach rubbed many in the organization the wrong way”. After reading the article, I have one thing to say, it’s total garbage! In this year’s hiring cycle, I have seen media getting more involved with their opinions than at any other time in the past. In the case of Marrone and the Jets, all you have to do is follow Mehta’s tweets over the last week, and you see he is one who wants to sabotage the Jets possible hiring of Marrone. He doesn’t want Marrone to be the coach, so he will make his feelings known in any way possible.
There are some media who are very knowledgable people, have strong connections, and come up with excellent perspective in regards to some coaching/GM candidates. Mehta isn’t one of them. This article was nothing but an immature hack job. He quotes “sources” inside the Bills' front office, but names none. Were they the General Manager or CEO? I highly doubt it.
I know that Marrone had some problems with a couple of writers at the Buffalo News, but the people he had problems with, know absolutely nothing about football. He was criticized for being a conservative coach. What these people don’t realize is that Doug Marrone just coached the Buffalo Bills to their first winning season in 10 years, and they are complaining about it.
Going into the season, there wasn’t anyone around the league who felt the Bills had the slightest chance of having a winning season. Yet, 17 weeks later, we find that they swept the entire NFC North which included two playoff teams, swept Mehta’s Jets by 20 and 35 points respectively, and also beat the New England Patriots.
The Bills did this with an average roster and a journeyman quarterback. The naysayers in the Buffalo media felt the Bills should have been in the playoffs. These people are dreamers. The reality is this team was not a playoff team and was also one of the better coached teams in the NFL. When you look at Mehta’s article, you see the same “quotes” that negative Buffalo writers have written or talked about on talk radio which leads me to believe that Mehta’s sources were his media friends.
After spending 30 years in the National Football League, I have no problem with a writer or a radio host giving solid informed opinions. I do have a problem when they write/talk about things they know nothing about. Some of these media types feel that they are better prepared to make the football decisions than the real football people. Most of these people never played or coached the game past high school, and if given the opportunity to make a decision, wouldn't know where to start. Mehta is one who would fit that category.
Thae fact is, Doug Marrone is highly thought of by respected football people throughout the National Football League. What Mehta is trying to do is manipulate the process with his writing when, in reality, it’s an area he knows nothing about. This type of “manipulation” does not go on just in New York. I have seen it in Chicago, where the Bears are in the process of hiring a new General Manager and Coach just as the Jets are. Being that I live in Chicago, I can’t believe the things I have been hearing about some of the candidates. They seem to pull names out of a hat and push those names, yet they know nothing about the people they are talking about.
They also do the opposite and criticize a candidate because of his “association” with someone they don’t like. That type of thinking is ludicrous. Each candidate has to be measured on his own merit and philosophy, not what his bosses or friends may have done in the past. In each organization, there is a chain of command. Top employees know where they stand in the chain and don’t sabotage what their boss is trying to accomplish. Their job may be to give their opinion, but in the end, the final decision rests in the hands of the decision maker. The subordinate shouldn’t be judged on those decisions but only on the input he had in that decision. Yet, many in the media seem to think the opposite. That’s not right.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe