Ever since the Chargers lost to the Patriots, there's been talk of San Diego firing it's head coach, Marty Schottenheimer. The man has over 200 wins over his career, but has a lousy record in the playoffs - something like 5 - 12. So, he's gotten a bad rap for not being able to win the big one. He's never won a Super Bowl. But, does that make him a bad coach? Or at least bad enough to be fired?
His team had the best record in the NFL this season. His #1 player is the league MVP. The Chargers lost two games by a total of 6 points to AFC Playoff teams. His team ended the Colts 2005 undefeated season. They've gone 43-22 since he took over, won the division twice and made the playoffs twice.
But, he didn't get to or even win the Super Bowl, so he should be fired. Sorry, I don't get that. Here's my theory why: Consistantly winning teams make more money than teams that win the Super Bowl one year and flop the next.
Examine the case of Tampa Bay head coached by Tony Dungy (now of the Colts). From 1996 - 2001, he built a killer defense, went 48-42, had 3 winning seasons, won the old Central divison once, and made the playoffs 4 out of 6 years. They even almost made it to the Super Bowl. The next year they did and won it... under a new coach. The 2002 Bucs - the team that Tony built - took home the trophy under new head coach Jon "Chucky" Gruden and have since done squat. We'll never know, but there isn't much doubt that Coach Dungy would have won that Super Bowl had he been allowed to continue with the success he built.
As evidenced when he was hired to coach the Indianapolis Colts and continued being successful. The Colts may not have one the big one or have a good playoff record. But, they have been consistant winners with Coach Dungy at the helm. Since 2002, the Colt have won the divison four out of five years, made the playoffs every year and amassed an incredible 60-20 record. A consistant winner. Who do you think made more money from 2002-2006? I'm betting on the Colts.
Now, take a look at Bill Cowher. He's been head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 years, since 1992, retiring at the end of this season. In that time, he posted a 143-80 record, won the divison title 9 times, made the playoff every year but 3, made it to the Superbowl twice and won it once. Only three seasons were losting seasons - 6-10 at worst. If that's not consistant winning, I don't know what is.
When a guy has that much success, you don't fire him. The bottom line for NFL teams is to make money. Is Marty making money for San Diego? You bet. I don't see how they fire him. From a business point of view, it would be stupid.