I don't often go beyond some light ribbing and criticism of players and coaches (OK, sometimes a bit harsher...), but Jim Mora has crossed a certain line that I don't respect. Because SBN is kind enough to give me this forum, I can say whatever I want about it, and so I'm going to speak my mind as kindly as possible, considering that it is echoing with words best written as $@#$@#$! First, the interview:
Mora: Well, I really have a lot of respect for Ty, and I know he'll do a great job. But if he ever decides to move on, and get in the NFL or you know, go back to Notre Dame or whatever, if that job's open you'll find me at the friggin' head of the line with my resume in my hand ready to take that job.
Interviewer: If you're available.
Mora: It doesn't even matter if I'm available.
Interviewer: So if you just won the Super Bowl, and it's available, you're there?
Mora: I'd be there
Interviewer: You're there, okay.
Mora: I'd do it, I promise you that. Now, I want to see Ty succeed, and I want to see that program succeed. But if he decides at some point that he's ready to move on and they want me, I will be there. I don't care if we're in the middle of a playoff run, I'm packing my stuff and coming back to Seattle.
Interviewer: So, are you saying...
Mora: You know, it's funny, and I mean that, and I'm dead serious, the further I get away from it the more I'm drawn to it. You know, that's the job I want, so...
Interviewer: You would leave the Falcons for that job?
Mora: Yeah. As I sit here, I'm looking at a Husky helmet.
Big props to both SportsGuru of Mile High Report and BGN Jason of Bleeding Green Nation, a pair of excellent bloggers who called my attention to this. I'm embarassed to say I was on the road most of today, so I just found out about it now. But be sure to peruse both of these, so that hopefully you can see where I'm coming from.
Let me be frank. This interview is disgusting in its blatant disregard for the job Mora already has. Because of the telescoping lens of the mainstream media, Vick and the players get much more blame than the coaching staff. Greg Knapp comes under more fire than Mora. Yes, it's fairly likely that a losing season will mean his job. I recognize that. But Mora has dealt with little criticism, and had he simply remained quiet that might have continued. Instead, he chose to poison the rest of the season and the locker room by openly admitting he'd rather be somewhere else.
In other words, Jim Mora went on the radio and acted like a jerk. I don't know any other way to put it. Combining this with Mora's earlier statements that he doesn't intend to change the playcalling, it becomes too easy to suspect Mora of not really caring about the job he's got. And if I were McKay and Blank, I wouldn't put up with that crap. As soon as the season was over, and possibly before, I would kick his Washington-coaching-gig-craving ass to the curb. If the job opening comes along and he gets it and does well, more power to him. I've never disliked Jim Mora. But right now, I'm very unhappy with what I perceive as a total lack of class and common sense. The players will likely respond to this, but I bet they'll handle it better than their coach. And that's maybe the most damning thing of all. I don't think it's unfair to say that Mora might know he's headed out the door, and he's certainly hastened his exit at this point.
Update [2006-12-15 18:21:46 by Dave the Falconer]: ESPN has little story about this; Mora was pretty quick to say he was joking, but as the story notes, he doesn't sound like he's yukkin' it up at any point, and I don't believe him. At all. Despite Blank's statement late in the story, I don't think he does, either. I doubt the players do. Heck, Jim Mora probably knows he wasn't joking. Actions speak a little louder than words, though, so we'll see what he does in the coming weeks. For your own sake and the fans, prove yourself, Coach.