I am not an Ireland basher (most of the time). But watching our team this year has lead me to the conclusion that it seems Philbin is having to outscheme and really play close to the vest so much offensively because of our lack of talent around a rookie QB.
I am very impressed with Philbin. I know we can question several areas (as anyone can do on a Monday AFTER the game), but he seems to keep the team in every game and give us a great chance to win. Love the gambles he takes (going for it, onsides kicks, fake punts) that are calculated and smart. I also think if you looked at our talent against the other teams we have played we ought to be 3-9 instead of 5-7 (and 2 missed FG's from being 7-5). Sometimes coaches have to make lemonade from lemons and I feel he is doing just that. Although I am not a fan of our offensive playcalling, I understand why we run the ball alot. I think that is Philbin doing what is needed to protect his young QB since there is not a lot on the outside to throw the ball to.
How he coaches the last 4 games will be very telling as to what he feels are his long term goals. I'd love to see Lamar Miller
and several of the younger guys start to get some playing time. Winning is important and I'd never want to see us lose, but at this point it is more important to develop some guys. Whatever we finish this season, I see Philbin as the best we've had since some guy named Shula was roaming the sidelines.
Now, Mr. Ireland...Not so impressed. I am not just picking on him for how bad this team is, since I honestly do think Parcells had way more to do with that than him. I am simply basing this off last offseason. So here is my list of good and bad he has done:
Good: 1) He is fantastic at finding special teams players, late round picks and undrafted FA's. Thigpin, Moore, Matthews, Clay and more. I think he also had a say in Wake, Bess and others also.
2) He seems to be able to attempt to change with coaches philosophy. He changed the type of players to what Philbin wanted in last years draft. Got rid of Marshall and Davis (I am guessing at Philbin's suggestion).
Bad: 1) Constant misses on guys. This list is way to obvious, so let's simply look at this seasons disaster at WR (Nanee, Armstong and others). He also seems to have missed on the TE in the 3rd round. Could list many...many more, but not sure how many of those were on him and how many on Parcells.
2) Not addressing obvious flaws with the team. I am not a GM. Despite how many of us on here may think we know football, we are not professionals for a reason. But if we can see the obvious (lack or WR and DB) you'd think a professional could. To me this is what has crippled this team. What is worse is that we have a promising rookie QB getting hammered by fans now that is in gun fights with a butter knife. We have exactly 1 take away in the last 5 games on defense. This was obvious during the offseason and was not addressed.
So Philbin > Ireland in my book. I'd love for us to take a serious look at bringing in someone from Green Bay as a GM that could mesh well with Philbin's approach.