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Was Rich Kotite the Worst Head Coach ever?


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The Ultimate Piece of (You Know What)

By bsd987, Section NFL

http://www.sportscolumn.com/story/2005/8/19/165311/178

Every year we await football season like die-hard conservatives await new furs from a recently endangered animal. We make our projections and tell everyone how right we'll be.

And then the crazy people like myself even project which coaches will be fired. Ah, how fun it is. So I got to thinking, just who is the worst head coach of all time?

Is it Dan Reeves, the only non-interim head coach to be fired from three different teams since the merger?

No, as much as I hate him as a coach, he once was actually a good coach (NOT with the Falcons).

Is it Rich Kotite, 4-28 with the Jets after getting fired by Philly?

No, Dan Reeves was worse.

Is it Terry Robiskie, who failed miserably twice as an interim?

No, it isn't.

There is only one way to show who the worst of all time is. Yes, I did it by record.

Now, not everyone is eligible.

Each coach must have coached at least 16 games. Sorry Dick Modzelewski, your 0-1 mark with Cleveland in 1977 is ineligible.

Secondly, only records since the advent of the AFL count. Any coach who coached before 1960 is ineligible. Sorry Phil Handler, your 4-34 mark with the Chicago Cardinals in three different stints from 1943 thru 1951 is ineligible.

Thirdly, ties count as half a win and half a loss. Not that this disqualifies anyone, but it does change the rankings slightly.

So here are the six worst coaches of the last 45 years:

6. Jim Ringo: 3-20 with Buffalo from 1976-1977

Five games into the 1976, the Bills sported a 2-3 record, the exact same record the Boston Patriots had when they fired Lou Saban fifteen years earlier. This time Saban jumped the gun and resigned, just like he had more than a decade earlier after leading Buffalo to its only two league championships.

The new coach: Jim Ringo.

The team collapsed. Even though O.J. Simpson ran for more than 1500 yards and did not murder his ex-wife during the season, the team went winless under Ringo, finishing up with a 2-12 mark. Jim Ringo was 0-9.

Despite the atrocious finish, Jim Ringo was retained. But not to worry, they'd still struggle.

1977 was the last for O.J. Simpson in Buffalo and Jim Ringo as a head coach. Simpson was injured early and often, rushing for barely 500 yards and not once finding the end zone, except when the teams cleared the field for halftime.

In the second to last game, the Bills defeated the Jets 14-10. It was not Ringo's first win, but it was his last. You'll see later on why I mention this later on.

The team went 3-11, leaving Ringo 3-20 in more than one and a half years. It also left him jobless.

Oh, and the sixth worst coach of all time.

5. Marty Feldman: 2-15 with the Oakland Raiders from 1961-1962

Early in the 1961 season, Oakland began the tradition of dismissing coaches.

Eddie Erdelatz, fresh off of a 6-8 season in the team's first ever year, was fired in

September, even before the first game was played. Marty Feldman was hired, beginning the fifth worst coaching job of all time.

The team struggled to a 2-10 mark, even worse than the one put up the year before. The team scored 237 points, dead last in the AFL. To make matters worse, they surrendered 458 points, dead last in the AFL.

This franchise, originally intended to be in Minneapolis, not just encountered a 2-10 mark, but also had the worst offense and worst defense in league's short history.

In fact, no team would surrender more points than the Raiders did in 1961 until Denver in 1963. And other than the Oakland team in 1962 (which barely cracked 200 points), no team would score less than 237 until both Miami and Denver failed to in 1966.

But (somehow) Feldman was invited back.

Al Davis quickly realized his mistake and fired Feldman after an 0-5 start. The team would finish 1-13, but Feldman would not.

He took a 2-15 mark into the NFL record books, good for fifth worst of all time.

But don't worry Feldman, the coaches only get worse from here.

4. Rick Venturi: 2-17 with the Colts in 1991 and the `Aints in 1996

Well, the only coach to make the list that was never a head coach and the only coach to make the list that coached two different teams: Rick Venturi.

In what is an AFC dominated list, Rick Venturi became eligible after his stint with New Orleans (where he is now the defensive coordinator; and when I say now I mean, "How the hell has this guy not been axed yet?"), an NFC team. No other coach of an NFC team is on the list.

But his terribleness started in 1991 with the Indianapolis Colts.

In between Ted Marchibroda's two failures will the Colts in two different cities, the Colts had relative success in the 1980s before changing coaches more times than an NBA first place team in the 1990s.

Ron Meyer began his fifth full season, never going worse than 7-9 in a year.

Well, until 1991, when Indianapolis scampered off an 0-5 start.

Out with Ron Meyer, in with the fourth worst coach of all time. Hello, Rick Venturi.

Over the three games Venturi coached before the bye-week, the team went 0-3, scoring a whopping fifteen points and surrendering 80. In the five games under Meyer, other than one 24-point outburst, the team had not scored more than seven in any one game.

Venturi could not even get the team to seven (3,6,6!!!)!

Despite not scoring a touchdown in four consecutive games, the Colts went into the bye week with hope. Maybe they could win a game.

First game out of the break, they scored 6. But they only surrendered 10. And then the following week they won, 28-27 at the New York Football Jets. They'd lose out, playing only two more close games, finishing 1-15.

But Venturi got his win. And ten loses.

Eight games into the 1996 season, Venturi got his second chance. Long-time coach Jim Mora was fired. Being that the team was 2-6, Mora did not have a chance to do his "Playoffs?!?" sketch, which he made famous three games before he was fired in Indy. But he did have a chance to go 2-6.

Enter Rick Venturi, again.

The team would lose its first six games under Venturi, three by one score. Then his team went on the road and defeated the Giants, 17-3.

A one-point loss in week seventeen marked the final game Venturi coached with the Saints, as he was fired after a 1-7 mark.

But if a team ever needs a coach for one game and that game is played in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Rick Venturi is your man.

2-0 in that city, 0-17 everywhere else.

Congrats on being number four!

3. Harvey Johnson: 2-23-1 in 1968 and in 1971 with Buffalo

Ah, another coach from Buffalo and the third from the AFC East (remember, in 1991 Indy was an AFC East team).

Two games into 1969, Buffalo parted ways with Joe Collier. In his final game, Oakland whooped up on Buffalo 48-6 in Buffalo.

Not to worry though, Harvey Johnson is always there. Nothing beats the third worst coach of all time, except for all but two other coaches in NFL history.

In his second game, the team defeated the Jets 37-35. The game was played at Shea, but the Jets still managed to lose to one of the worst coaches (this was the first time though).

After another loss, the team tied the third year Dolphins 14-14 in Miami. Then it lost eight straight, but four by four points or less.

Harvey Johnson got the boot.

But he was brought back in 1971.

The Bills were shut out four times in 1971 and surrendered 20 points in all but a 19-0 loss at Minnesota. In week 11 they upset the Patriots 27-20 to avoid the winless season Tampa Bay would convert in the AFC West in 1976.

Only three losses were by less than eleven points and the team finished dead last both in offense and defense in the 26 team NFL. Harvey Johnson was canned, but he got to keep his record.

2-23-1, good for third. We're proud of you Harvey!!!

2. Rod Rust: 1-15 with New England in 1990

1989 marked the final year of Raymond Berry's tenure, a 5-11 mark. He had taken the Patriots to their first Super Bowl appearance, where they ran into the nearly unblemished Bears.

But 1990 marked a new beginning as Rod Rust was hired as Patriots coach. And things started out alright, losing by three to Miami and then traveling to Indianapolis and winning 16-14.

Then the Pats lost 14 consecutive games, scoring more than ten points only four times. Only three games were even within one score!

The team scored 181 points, last in the NFL. They surrendered 446, second only the 3-13 Browns 462.

There is nothing more to say, other than Rod Rust did not get a second chance.

But hey, at least he was consistent. Other than his first two games, every game he coached was a brutal defeat. Consistency usually is good.

Speaking of consistency, the AFC East is consistently providing coaches for this list. That is four of them so far.

And for those who wonder where he is now, he is the defensive coordinator and linebackers' coach for Winnipeg of the CFL. In 2001 he was the head coach of Montreal and took the team to a 9-2 start before the quarterback went down. The Alouettes would finish off with seven consecutive losses and a 9-9 mark, leading to the dismissal of Rust.

He has been back and forth between the NFL and CFL, holding jobs with the Falcons, 49ers, and other teams, since losing his job in New England.

But at least we can all now remember Rod Rust. You were the second worst coach in NFL history! Much congrats.

1. Bill Peterson: 1-18 with the Houston Oilers from 1972-1973

Ah, number one.

May I start off by congratulating Bill Peterson and his entire family. He is the worst head coach in NFL history.

After two quick losses to start of the 1972 campaign, Houston came how for its home opener and won 26-20. Now, we all have figured out by now that the team that Houston beat would be the Jets, who have given three of the six worst coaches of all time their first career victory and another one his last win.

Nobody knew it at the time, but this would also be Peterson's last win, another notch on the Jets' trophy case.

The team would lose its final eleven games, seven times being held to single digits and only three times losing by one score.

Although the defense was decent for most of the season, in the final game it surrendered 61 in a 61-17 loss to the Bengals. That dropped it to 25th in the 26-team league. Oh, that was the same rank as the offense.

But Peterson was brought back for another season.

The Oilers lost their first three games by fourteen or more points before losing a close 31-26 game to the Rams. But Denver whopped Houston 48-20, spelling the end to the worst head coach in NFL History.

After a 1-13 season and an 0-5 start to a second year, Bill Peterson was fired as head coach of the Houston Oilers. They would win one game under Sid Gillman and seven the following year, but with a 122-99-7 career mark there is no way he can be considered the worst of all time.

That honor goes to Bill Peterson. And I don't know if it will ever be usurped.

I congratulate you. With your record you deserve this title.

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I'm not familiar with the other coaches on that list but I've watched football for the past 20 years and the worst coach I have ever seen was Rich Kotite. The guy was absolutely clueless. Made Herm Edwards look like Bill Belichek.

Rod Rust was worse. The Pats scored 181 points in 16 games. That is beyond horrible!

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Wow, that's Art Shell-esque. I'm surprised Artie-boy didn't make the list.

It was a horrible season. 25,000 people in the stands for each home game, Victor Kiam as the owner, the Zeke Mowatt/Lisa Olsen "incident".

Need I say more?

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Yes Rich was the worse. Before the Jets hired him, the jets were having problems winning at the end of the season and who do we hire a coach that can't win at the end of the season. Kotite lost his last seven in a row with the Eagles before the jets hired him. He must have had a good relationship with Mr. Hess.

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The Ultimate Piece of (You Know What)

By bsd987, Section NFL

http://www.sportscolumn.com/story/2005/8/19/165311/178

Every year we await football season like die-hard conservatives await new furs from a recently endangered animal. .

That's funny. I am a die-hard conservative and I could not care less about furs. And I love animals. I must be a closet liberal. :)

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