Our first Odds & Ends of 2017 begins with news of the San Francisco 49ers firing general manager Trent Baalke before the game and head coach Chip Kelly after the team’s 25-23 loss to Seattle on Sunday.
Baalke had been the team’s general manager since 2011 and served in that role during the Jim Harbaugh era, a successful time for the team that saw three playoff appearances and a trip to Super Bowl XLVII. After Harbaugh was fired, the team has yet to relive that success. With bad drafts and questionable head coaching decisions and even a reluctance to pursue free agents with the team $50 million under the salary cap, the writing was on the wall for Baalke’s time in San Francisco.
Meanwhile Kelly had just come from a moderately successful time as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. However, the roster that he inherited was a terrible one and while he and the team won their opener against Los Angeles, they proceeded to lose their next 13 games,a franchise record.
I think Baalke definitely had to go. He was not very superb when it came to drafting players they really needed. He wasted a first-round draft pick on A.J. Jenkins in 2012 when T.Y. Hilton,Brian Quick, Mohamed Sanu,Travis Benjamin,Marvin Jones Jr, and Alshon Jeffery were available at the time of Jenkins’ selection. He also was notorious for drafting a punter in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. Another miss was the team passing a young quarterback out of Mississippi State by the name of Dak Prescott,who went on to get drafted by Dallas.
Kelly,however,got a raw deal. Sure,his system isn’t exactly pro friendly, but it would’ve been interesting to see what he could’ve done with a more talented roster. Instead,he was a lame duck coach in a nearly impossible situation. I honestly don’t see who is going to want to go and coach in San Francisco. I mean,this is the team that chased Adam Gase away because they wanted to pin Jim Tomsula on him to be his defensive coordinator. Gase is now in Miami and got the Dolphins to the playoffs in his first season on the job. This is a team that really needs to get its act together and find a way to get the fans to come back and watch this team play.
One departure I was surprised to see to an extent was the one of Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak. Kubiak was in his second season in Denver and fresh off of a Super Bowl championship. However, health troubles continued to plague the 55-year-old coach and he has decided to retire.
“As I told our team last night, this is an extremely difficult decision to step down as head coach,” Kubiak said in a press release. “I love to work and I love football, but ultimately the demands of the job are no longer a good fit for me. I gave everything I had to this team the last two seasons, but this year, in particular, has been tough on me. As hard as it is to leave this position, I know that it’s the best thing for myself, my family and the Denver Broncos.”
Kubiak was 21-11 in his time as Denver’s head coach,and leaves with an 87-77 record lifetime. The now-former head coach is unsure of what he willl do next.
“I’m not sure what my future holds, but I know that I’ll always consider myself a Bronco,” Kubiak said. “This team is in good hands with a lot of outstanding people, and I expect great things ahead for the Denver Broncos.”
It’s a sad day when a man like Kubiak has to hang it up like he’s doing,but it is for the best. He did a good job in Denver and even did an exceptional job in Houston,he helped get the Texans on the map. Maybe we’ll one day see him in a front office role or even on television as an analyst. In any case,I hope he stays in the game in some capacity.
Aqib Talib continued to show how dirty of a player he is and has been on Sunday when he attempted to rip a gold chain off the neck of Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree after the two exchanged words after a play in Denver’s 24-6 win over Oakland.
Talib explained that he was annoyed that Crabtree has been wearing the chain all season, so he decided if he had a chance he was going to try to rip it off his neck.
This isn’t the first time Talib has been a loose cannon or shown his dirty ways. Last month in a game against the Titans, he took offense to receiver Harry Douglas taking a knee to his teammate,Chris Harris Jr. and retaliated by fighting with Douglas on the sidelines the very next play. He’s also had tussles with players like Steve Smith Sr. when both players were on other teams.
Talib has anger issues and I,for one,am glad he isn’t on my team anymore. Even when he was on my team and he did something stupid,it bothered me greatly,like the aforementioned scuffle with Smith. He didn’t need to do that and when that happened, thank goodness Belichick kept him out of the game to think about what he did. Some of you Broncos fans may like him because he’s on your team,but eventually there will come a time when you get tired of his antics and want him to be sent packing. I oughta know.
With just under four minutes left in the Patriots’ 35-14 victory, it appeared that Suh pushed and took a swing at Patriots tailback LeGarrette Blount, and Blount responded by grabbing and ripping off Suh’s helmet. Blount was flagged for a facemask and it appeared to be over at that point.
Blount had some strong words about Suh after the game.
“He’s a dirty player,he’s always been a dirty player. There’s no room in the game for that,” Blount told WBZ-TV in Boston, “At some point in time,you know,guys have to defend themselves when they’re doing,you know,the things that he does…all in all,you know,he got his ass beat and they lost and he ran in the locker room after the game.”
Blount is right. Although the guy who punched a player in the face in college after the game is not always the best choice to talk about being dirty, Blount hasn’t had those tendencies as a pro,Suh however has. Talk to any Packers fan who saw their favorite players kicked and shoved when he was in Detroit. His rap sheet is huge and I honestly don’t expect to him to change anytime soon.
My local NBC affiliate in Sacramento,KCRA-TV has been blacked out since 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve and as of press time has yet to return to my satellite provider,DirecTV. This is due to a carriage dispute between Hearst Television,the parent company of KCRA-TV and DirecTV over the fees that are charged to the provider to carry the station on its service. As a result,any home or business that has DirecTV does not have KCRA-TV and sporting events such as last night’s 31-24 Packers win and today’s NHL Winter Classic will not be seen by myself or anyone who has DirecTV unless we buy an antenna so we can watch one channel. Next week’s Wild Card Weekend is also in jeopardy of not being shown if a deal between the two sides isn’t reached anytime soon.
Viewers in other big cities like Boston, Louisville,New Orleans,Louisville,and Orlando are also affected by the blackout by Hearst and many of them just like many of us in the Sacramento market were not able to watch last night’s game or other NFL action.
It’s pretty disappointing that a service such a local television station isn’t made available to people who pay their bills on time and expect to see the games and shows they want to watch and instead are told to go buy an antenna and watch us that way instead. That,to me,is terrible customer service. It’s also not 1957. It’s 2017 and I shouldn’t have to go to Target and get a piece of equipment to watch one station for a three hour football game or a three hour hockey game. Instead,I would have preferred an apology from the station and a statement like “We’re doing everything possible to restore carriage and service to our loyal viewers in the market we serve. We apologize for the inconvenience.”, but that statement has yet to be made. Instead, we as customers are being told to go fuck ourselves and go buy an antenna to see the station.
If you’re wondering,I was able to get a stream from NBC Sports to see the last nine minutes of the game, but it shouldn’t have come to that. It should never come to that. Ever.
That’s all for Odds & Ends this week,see you next time!