When it comes to another opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL, Dennis Green should…uh…throw in the towel.
Green was dismissed one day after the Cardinals concluded a 5-11 season with a 27-20 loss at San Diego. He finished with a 16-32 record at Arizona. The Cardinals will pay $2.5 million to buy out the final year of his contract.
I have always said that I believe Green would make a very good talent scout. He has a solid track record of drafting good offensive talent. In 2004, Green’s first draft with Arizona, the Cards took Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald with the third overall pick. He and fellow WR Anquan Boldin each had over 1,000 yards receiving in 2005.
In his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, Green looked like a genius after snagging Randy Moss with the 21st pick in the 1998 draft. Moss was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. In 1999, Green used the Vikes’ 11th selection to take little known University of Central Florida QB Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper eventually put up some gaudy numbers as Vikings signal caller until suffering a severe knee injury in 2005
While Green brought his keen eye for offense to Arizona he also brought along an unwanted aspect of his personality: his penchant for scapegoating.
Green demoted offensive coordinator Keith Rowen after six games and replaced him with Mike Kruczek, one of many shakeups on his staff during his time with the Cardinals.
He made several moves that seemed to backfire, beginning with the abrupt release of offensive lineman Pete Kendall on the eve of his first training camp. In his first season, Green benched quarterback Josh McCown for Shaun King even though the team had won three of its last four. By the time McCown got the job back, the Cardinals had lost three straight.
Fair or not, Green will most be remembered for his meltdown after a Monday Night loss to the Chicago Bears earlier this season. The Cards blew a 20-point lead in the second half and lost 24-23.
I believe Green’s strongest attribute, scouting talent, could be best utilized behind the scenes in a front office capacity. However, given his egomaniacal tendencies, I’m sure he would prefer to be on the sidelines again soon.
Look for that to take place in 2008. He’s getting $2.5 million to sit at home in ’07.