I gotta admit that I thought Tony was the real deal, being hand-chosen by the successful coach who knew him best and seemingly orchestrating the greatest turn-around in league history. However the cracks did start becoming more visible in his questionable time outs and other field decisions (props to WV.. where the heck is he, who was on top of that long before anyone else). However, what did it for me was him throwing his players under the bus for poor execution while indemnifying and enabling Henning and his play calling which was so predictible our opponents admitted they could figure out at least 3 out of every 5 plays.
As hindsight is always 20/20 vision, I'm at a point where I don't even think he deserves that much credit for the epic turnaround; instead I'm now believing that while the Tuna is an azzhole, stole Wayne's and Steve's money essentially and is an outmoded general manager whose old school philosophies are outdated, in the year 2008, he demonstrated that as a field coach he still had it and was hands-on. It wouldn't surprise me if he was actually giving Tony instructions through some transmitter directly or by way of an assistant coach. So yes, given what has transpired since, including never seeming to climb that new coach learning curve, I'm thinking that success was a combination of Parcells as the de facto HC, Pennington's acquisition and the usual smoke and mirrors. Remember it wasn't Tony who came up with the Wildcat, but Parcells who was on record as saying even before the Fins that he believed that the old single wing formation can be updated and successfully re-introduced into the NFL.
Now I'm just glad he's both gone and thankful that he's playing a pivotal role for a divisional opponent.
photo by Valerie