Stephen, you have permission to print this and take to Dad.
What JJ will NOT be asked to do-change his style. Of course, most GM's are never seen/heard, much less owners, but Jerry will be Jerry. If the Boys are winning, it's OK.And with a new stadium, he's going to continue to make himself the face of this franchise, so deal with it.
1A) Fire Wade Phillips now. With both WP and Garrett next year, he will be a lame-duck coach, and the players will tune him out. It's not really his fault, but the situation is what it is. I know, you said he was your guy next year, but like GHWBush and "Read my lips," you spoke too soon. Just get up there and admit you made a mistake, it's not all Wade's fault, but the situation looks bad for next year. Save face by mentioning that when you first backed Wade for next year, you had no idea a 44-6 thrashing By a Divsion Foe, no less, was coming. I think that gives you the right to say things changed. Pull this band-aid NOW.
1B) Promote Garrett. He may or may not be ready, but let's find out. Trust your instinct, you saw something that made you want this guy in charge. Why waste next year going 7-9 first? He may flame out (Which will be his new nickname with his red hair, if he does, "Flameout"), but Gruden, Cowher, and Fisher were nobodies when hired. New stadium, new coach-let's start now, because this team is not going to work for Wade next year, esp. if he's like Holgrem was this year, his successor sitting right there next to him. Don't waste 2009 with Phillips in charge.
2) Make Campo the DC and go back to the 4-3. We've had 4 drafts since the switch, and still don't have the personnel. Were you watching the games this weekend? 3-4's require speed and athleticism, and while Ware and a few others bring that, overall no one is confusing our D with theirs, or Philly's. Pitt, Balt., and Philly all have dominant SAFETIES who allow the front seven to run wild. Do we? Let's not even go there. And why are we wearing Ratliff down playing nose tackle? Remember Leon Lett? I'm having visions....And, Let Ware play run and pass rush at DE, and forget about coverage.
3) Eat the $10 Mill. and cut TO. The guys been OK, and many here will defend him based on his Stats, but you know the truth, Jerry. You know you signed him for one reason and one reason only---to get to, and hopefully win, the Super Bowl. Did you risk everything and pay him $40 Million to pad his stats for the HoF?? No. He could have 100 catches, 1300 yards, and 12 TD's, but you don't care , Jerry. You want something else....
Now, we had 2 good shots, and blew it. Was it his fault?? No, there's plenty of blame to go around. BUT, was he good enough to make up for the others' mistakes, did he get you over the hump? No. And now, he's getting older.
And it may not even be his fault, it may be perception more than reality, but he's a distraction away from football for this team. Perception is reality, they say. Your team should have beat both Arizona AND Pitt, and on the road both times, too. You're not that far away from the SB, Jerry! And this one guy is not going to make the difference. Sports is full of teams that lost the big name, but did better despite it. Other guys step up. So, do it, now.
Follow these steps and this team might have a chance next year. Stay on the path you're on now, and we're looking at .500 or worse year, I believe.