This is the question that I have been pondering since the debacle last week. I don't think I really thought the Panthers had a chance of bypassing us until I saw that sloppy excuse for a game in Tennessee. A finish behind Carolina in the division means we took a major step backward. That team was abysmal last season. To think that they have bypassed us in team development is infuriating. Of course, they have Cam Newton, and the absence of Peyton Manning has shown what an incredible difference a good QB can make on a bad team.
Gruden was fired for much less. Of course, patience had worn thin with him so it isn't even close to the same situation. The more I think about it, the more I think that if they sweep us then Morris needs to go, and Dominik needs a stern talking to. This team could easily be in playoff contention if we had added two or three free agents at key positions.
Strictly adhering to "the plan" was a mistake. I'm sure the original plan didn't predict the new labor agreement and one of the best free agent classes in history. To only walk away from that bounty with a punter is unforgivable. There also seems to be a serious disconnect with front office personnel's evaluation of on field talent. Quincy Black did not deserve that contract, and his play has actually gotten worse. There were lots of linebackers in free agency that could have come in and outplayed Black. Same goes for Biggers (although Morris get's a pass on that one. I agree he showed enough last year to warrant a good hard look).
Either way, this franchise is in major meltdown mode. A last place finish in the division after such a promising season last year (albeit with a much easier schedule) should be the death knell for the current regime. As I've said for awhile now, not every team can emulate Green Bay's strategy. It took some great drafts and quite a bit of luck for them to end up where they are roster wise right now. Don't we think that if every team could just draft players and never have to shell out big bucks for free agents that they would? Of course they would. It's a great way to run a football team IF you draft lights out and don't mind rebuilding for a couple of years.
Right now we're seeing what happens when you don't draft lights out. We're seeing why the Green Bay Packers are the exception and not the rule. We're seeing why 30 other teams realize that if they want to win they need to have the best possible players playing at every position, and that sometimes you have to admit weakness and take drastic steps to improve yourselves with free agent acquisitions. By drastic steps I don't mean signing a safety, a punter, and the Eagles 5th WR. This is getting a little long, so if you want to keep reading, read more after the jump. Otherwise, here's a poll for you:
I'm getting away from Morris, and focusing more on Dominik here, but Morris will be the first to fall. Dominik has shown enough to earn himself next year no matter what. He isn't going anywhere. So, we're left to wonder whether or not Morris will be hung out to dry for the 2011 season. Don't get me wrong, he hasn't done anything to deserve to stay. A horrible defensive scheme, absolutely atrocious team discipline on the field, and questionable game time decisions all lead me to believe he doesn't deserve to be an NFL head coach. I certainly won't be sad to see him go if they choose to fire him.
I'm just saying that many fans seem to think that Raheem is responsible for the lack of success this season, and while that is partially true, I believe the majority of the blame lies at the feet of Mark Dominik. Of course that blame can only be assigned if he is indeed being given an open check book by the Glazer family like he says. If he is being hamstringed by ownership then he has done a fairly good job of squeezing talent out of the dollars he has to work with. I think the lesson we should learn with this experiment called "the plan" so far, is that nine times out of ten, you get what you pay for (with the exception of outside linebacker's named Quincy Black).