When some coaches get fired, they either move into broadcasting or on to other coaching jobs with nary a word about their former employers. Better to go out gracefully and avoid leaving a trail of devastation in your wake. Evidently, former Seahawks head coach Jim Mora does not subscribe to that theory. Since he was handed his pink slip in January after a terrible 5-11 season (two of those victories were against the Rams, and another against the Lions), Mora has spent some time on the NFL Network, and a bit more time on Seattle radio making veiled statements about his former team. On Monday, he went on Seattle's ESPN Radio affiliate, laid it all out, and exposed some of his own worst tendencies.
Mora is a smart guy when it comes to X's and O's, but he hasn't always been so good with impulse control -- he was fired in Atlanta after saying on Seattle station KJR that if the head football coach job at the University of Washington, his alma mater, was ever open, "you'll find me at the friggin' head of the line, with my résumé in hand, ready to take that job. ... I don't care if we're in the middle of a playoff run, I'm packing my stuff and coming back to Seattle."
Mora wound up packing his stuff and doing just that, but the Seahawks found him to be an unworthy successor to the Mike Holmgren legacy. Mora, who would have been better off taking the high road, told host Kevin Calabro that, "I'm not going to say I wish the organization well. I wish the players well. I have a lot of good friends that are players there, and I wish the best for them. I've been a Seahawks fan since 1976, and uh, I can't say right now that I feel that same way. Maybe I will one day again, but I'm still a fan of the city. Like I said, I love this city. I'm trying to figure out a way to stay here and coach, and I don't think that's going to work out."
Mora was unhappy that he was asked to do press conferences (later blaming Dave Pearson(notes), the team's Vice President/Communications & Broadcasting, for his own overlong media meetings) while the team was meeting with Pete Carroll, the man who eventually replaced him. And he didn't like that team owner Paul Allen never spoke to him. Fair points -- but as his employer, the Seahawks had every right to speak to Carroll while Mora was on the books, and Allen had every right to let his football people handle the termination.
Mora dug the biggest hole for himself when he turned to matters of football, and the questionable trade the Seahawks recently made for San Diego quarterback Charlie Whitehurst(notes). "I had no idea who Charlie Whitehurst was until there was talk about him," Mora said. "I had never heard of the guy. Then I was reminded that he was the guy who threw the interception to Nick Reed(notes) in the pre-season. So, I don't know much about the guy. ... I have some friends on the San Diego staff, and they're feeling pretty darn good about the deal."
This, more than anything else, indicated why Mora seemed ill-suited to handle a rebuilding project like Seattle's. Whitehurst wasn't just the guy who threw a pick to a rookie defensive end -- he threw 29 passes in Mora's first preseason game as the Seahawks' head coach. And Mora had to be reminded who Whitehurst was? The best coaches in the league would remember Whitehurst down to shoe size and blood type. With that comment, Mora proved that when you open your mouth to attack others, you'd best have your own house in order.