Lots of head coaches in the NFL have talked tough over the years. You frequently hear new coaches talk about how they are going to have tough, disciplined teams.
How they are going to have open competitions and that the best performer, not the biggest contract, will be playing on Sundays. How they want the "right 53" players who will work with the coaches and do what it takes to make the team better.We've heard all these things from Todd Haley. Haley has no problem calling the team he took over fat and lazy, although his conditioning has not equaled improvent 4th quarter performance. He talks tough about discipline and punshing players for mistakes, but they are still bitten by penalties and turnovers.
So you can question how much of what Haley does is his natural motivational instinct and how much of it is an artificial tactic that he uses without any real intent to take really follow through with it. The case of Dwayne Bowe being benched in meaningless preseason games for dropping balls, but not being benched during the regular season when the games count despite the continuing drops is an example of why this question arises.
The Larry Johnson situation is going to be Haley's biggest test to date. Will Haley enforce the discipline he preaches and deal with LJ, or will he prove himself soft and ignore the comments?
This should be an easy chance for Haley to prove he's not a paper tiger. You have an aging running back who has been ineffective for the last several years with a history of legal problems and antisocial behavior. Despite Haley backing up LJ's poor performance this year, Johnson throws him under the bus. That is bad enough, but then Johnson went on to get into a pissing match with fans that he should have simply ignored, waving his millions in their face and then using a couple of bigoted slurs in a public forum.
This is a no brainer Todd. Get rid of an unpopular and ineffective locker room cancer and prove you are the tough coach you say you are all in one shot. Larry Johnson must be dealt with swiftly and decisively.