Chicken or the egg? Lard 12-16-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday's story about Denver's potential interest in Mike Mularkey raised concerns about the future structure of the team's front office - the idea of hiring a coach before a GM caused some discomfort. But while the personnel problems of the past 10+ years in Denver can largely be blamed upon the team's lack of a quality GM to help select players, the role of the GM in the NFL is not typically what it is in other professional sports. There is no person more important within a football organization than the head coach, and this is the case even in the presence of a commanding GM like Bill Parcells, Bill Polian or Scott Pioli, although these three men happen to also be very good at selecting head coaches. This isn't baseball, where the GM and his decision making are much more crucial to winning than the manager and his calls are.

When it comes down to it, the head coach is responsible for the schemes, the playbook, the play calling, motivating and teaching the players - everything that happens on the field and in the locker room, including winning and losing. The personnel the GM selects has to match or fit the schemes of his head coach. As Pat Kirwan writes in the oft-quoted (here, anyway) Take Your Eye Off The Ball,

In an ideal situation, then, the general manager should support the head coach...he should have enough football experience that he can be a valuable contributor to the head coach's vision...He can't be seen as outranking the head coach, especially in the eyes of the team.

This is not to say the GM is unimportant - in fact, that's how the Broncos have gotten into this mess in the first place. It's important that the Broncos hire an adequate GM who will carry an appropriate workload and is given enough of a voice in selecting players so that the head coach is not all-powerful. But whether the GM or the head coach is hired first isn't crucial - what matters is the two men are able to work together. Frankly, there have been a lot more successful coaches than GMs in NFL history, and if Pat Bowlen wanted to go the route of the authoritative personnel man, he missed the boat in a big way when he failed to hire Scott Pioli two years ago.

Ultimately, it's all about the head coach. For all the Bill Cowher fans out there, hiring him would (hopefully) mean him bringing along a GM who shares his vision of how a team should be constructed. That is the structure he succeeded under in Pittsburgh, and while the Steelers have had good GMs over the years, they have had exceptional coaches for the past 41 years (Chuck Noll, Cowher, Mike Tomlin). Teams can win championships without über-powerful GMs; they have never done so without a great coach. Just take a look at our pals out in San Diego for a prime example...


Eric Studesville and Kyle Orton spoke with the press yesterday.

Tim Tebow, Eric Decker, Mario Haggan and Justin Bannan talked to reporters. (Audio)

Orton did not throw during the open portion of yesterday's practice, reportedly due to soreness from Sunday's rib injury.

As LJ details, Tebow and Brady Quinn instead took the snaps, and in that order.

Woody goes through a list of GM and HC candidates - his choices would be Indy's personnel director Tom Telesco for GM and Stanford's Jim Harbaugh for HC. Now, if Telesco could bring Peyton Manning along or Harbaugh Andrew Luck, then we're talking...

Notes from Klis - Brian Xanders joined Bowlen and Joe Ellis at the league meetings yesterday and several players are banged up, although Spencer Larsen returned to practice.

Legwold says opponents are focusing on stopping the Broncos' passing attack. Well, considering that passing=winning, that would make sense.

Legwold can't see the Broncos ending up with Luck. Personally, I don't see why Tebow's contract figures in any equation. Either he's going to be our QB someday or not, and that should never be decided by how much cash he's pulling down - plus it's peanuts for an NFL QB.


Jason Campbell has been playing through shoulder stingers this season.

Tafur asked Tom Cable yesterday about a disastrous call where Jokeland sent out five safeties against the Jaguars.

In case you're interested, Steve Corkran asked Jarvis Moss for his opinion on the Broncos' player moves under Josh McDaniels.

Cam Inman says QB stability by the Bay is a thing of ancient history.

Jenkins on what to expect tonight from Dolts/Niners.

Acee says it's high time for the Dolts to get it done. Plus, his notes.

Matt Cassel practiced yesterday, but whether he'll play Sunday is unknown.

Notes on the Chefs from Kent Babb.


The Vikes have apparently added QB Patrick Ramsey.

Texans DE Mario Williams, Titans DT Tony Brown, Giants WR Steve Smith and Cowboys KR Kevin Ogletree are done for the year.

Roger Goodell is high is hoping for a new CBA by the time of the Super Bowl.

Mike Lombardi says the Vikings need to find stability.

Part 3 of Andrew Brandt's CBA primer.

Brian Burke on going for two more often.

Orton has plummeted to 10th on Luis DeLoureiro's QB efficiency ratings. Plus, the horrid passing attack of the Panthers.

Mike Silver has the Broncos as 31st out of 32 in his weekly rankings.

Not only did Sal Alosi tell a bunch of Jets to line up along the sideline on Sunday before he tripped a Dolphin, but Jets ST coach Mike Westhoff says the Pats do the same thing.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

The Lard