It’s not yet official, but it appears that USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will replace Ty Willingham at Washington. He has denied it through USC, but that means nothing – the season is still on and USC has a game to prepare for. This move gives us a lot to think about:
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Worst NFL Game of the Week – It could be argued that we get this one out of the way tonight when Oakland visit San Diego. That one could be ugly, but there are, sadly, worse. St. Louis at Arizona should be ugly – the Rams were blown out once already by the Cards, and they were better then than they are now. New England at Seattle could be ugly unless we see a much improved Seattle team suddenly. We won’t. The ultimate choice is clear, though – Cleveland at Tennessee. Ken Dorsey against the most ferocious defense in the league. Good luck with that.
The Carolina Hurricanes made a coaching change. They ditched Peter Laviolette, the winningest American born coach in NHL history, and the man who led Carolina to a Stanley Cup win. He was there for five mostly solid years, but they have missed the playoffs two years in a row and were barely holding on to a spot this year. In his place they have hired Paul Maurice. This a case of total deja vu – Maurice was the coach who was fired in Carolina to make way for Laviolette. The two men are the only two coaches the team has ever had. The other part of the move is that Ron Francis, the assistant GM and the all time scoring leader for the Hurricanes, moves behind the bench as associate coach. The move makes some sense. Laviolette is a good coach, but the team wasn’t going anywhere, so a change is good. Few players are still around from the first Maurice era, so he is as good as a fresh voice, especially when paired with Francis. The two will bring new energy to a team that desperately needs it. Maurice will also be hungry for redemption after a rough year in Toronto last year. I expect a decent bounce in the short term as a result of this move.
A slightly belated look at what transpired in football action over the weekend, and we could be learned from it:
1. Big 12 QB’s non-throwing hands are fragile – Graham Harrell completely shattered his non-throwing hand early in his game against Baylor, yet was somehow able to overcome it and lead a comeback to avoid embarrassment. Sam Bradford hurt his, too. Both guys should be okay by the time they next take the field, but one thing is clear – being a Heisman candidate in the Big 12 is dangerous. If I was Colt McCoy I would be sleeping with one eye open.
Wow, is this ever a terrible Monday night game. If someone paid me to come up with something nice to say about these teams or this game I would have to give the money back. With one exception – Steve Slaton has had a very good game, and that’s becoming a trend for him. The biggest problem is that we are getting exactly the same game that it looked like we would get. I just wish the league would do something about these terrible Monday night matchups – like cancel them.