Boling: Mistake by Mora isnt a huge one
DAVE BOLING; THE NEWS TRIBUNE
RENTON To be honest, after Seahawks coach Jim Mora finished his postgame debriefing Sunday, a number of us in the media volleyed a question: Do you remember a coach around here skewering a player as specifically as Mora did placekicker Olindo Mare?
Mares two field goal misses (in six attempts) contributed to the 25-19 loss to Chicago. But so did a number of other failings by players and coaches.
When asked to address the topic, Mora repeated the missed field goals were not acceptable. The first flurry of unacceptables would have flown without much opposition. But when he elaborated on the point, and talked about looking to make personnel changes, it spurred considerable public debate.
Had Mora gone past a reasonable call for accountability and into the territory of finger-pointing while having long professed a win-as-a-team, lose-as-a-team mentality?
A day later, Mora took a bit of a mulligan.
I think I let the emotion of the game get to me in my answers about Olindo, Mora said Monday afternoon, going on to compliment Mares kickoffs and successful field-goal attempts. I feel strongly; were all paid as professionals to make plays, to make decisions as coaches.
Were all accountable, he said. I want him to make those kicks because I think hes absolutely capable of making those kicks, but there were a lot of plays in that football game that affected the outcome. When the question was directed at me, I answered it honestly, but with probably just a little too much, uh
you fill in the word.
because I have a lot of respect for Olindo Mare.
Usually, that kind of criticism is conducted in the locker room, and is considered family business.
I think Mora went a little far, actually, and although the heat-of-battle excuse is valid to some extent, hes got to be better at this sort of thing. Its not the kind of distraction a 1-2 team needs.
Frankly, Ive been impressed by how well Mora has done thus far in front of the microphones and cameras.
Hes been pretty convincing that what youre getting from him is often unvarnished sentiments from his heart. Individual accountability has been a theme. His Seahawks staffers call guys out in meetings
even the veterans, even the stars.
Weve noted a number of times that he and the staff coach with a great deal of passion. Those guys felt gut-shot after this loss.
One problem is that its unfair to expect him to be as polished at this as his predecessor, Mike Holmgren. Holmgren was a genius at this part of the job. He came off as presidential in most cases. He might blister the paint in the locker room, but by the time he stepped to the podium, he was under control and measured in his statements.
How would Holmgren have responded to the same stimuli? Well, sure, those missed field goals hurt, but we shouldnt have been having to settle for field goals so many times instead of getting in the end zone. You know, kicking is a tough job; you stand on the sidelines and then are asked to come in and win or lose the game. Tough job.
If pressed, he might have added, Olindo Mare is one of my favorite guys
and kickers, sheesh, you know kickers (rolling his eyes in a non-verbal, unquotable gesture). We all have to look at ourselves and we have to be honest about how we performed
we have to be honest
all of us.
He might have then launched into a story of a kicker he had in Green Bay or San Francisco, adding an amusing anecdote that showed something of their quirky nature. Everybody would have laughed and the moment would have passed.
Guys like that are rare.
I doubt therell be any significant damage done to the psyche of Mare (a veteran), or the teams respect for Mora.
Remember San Francisco coach Mike Singletary last year, dropping his pants at halftime to get his teams attention, and then singling out tight end Vernon Davis? The result in Singletarys case was that the team responded, and Davis is a more productive player.
Kinda depends where things go from here.
Players are the first to know when a coach is phony, when hes being something other than himself. If Mora is square and fair and forthright in all other regards, harsh comments about the kicker in a postgame interview wont mean much to everybody else in the locker room.
Mora hinted that it was a topic discussed in a team meeting on Monday.
Incidentally, Mora said that Mare is not being delivered a pink slip.
At least not today.
Games are emotional, you have to do a good job of gathering yourself before you say something you regret, Mora said of his postgame performance. And thats something Im getting better at.
Fair enough. The guy dropped his guard a bit, which is infinitely better than dropping his drawers.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440