With the recent headlines and talks of Nelson being a lame duck, there is much confusion over what is to be done regarding the head coach position. I was listening to Steinmetz the other day, and he was discussing about how Lacob would not be applauded for bringing Nelson in for another year, and how that would be a bad thing.
Why not hand the team over to Keith Smart for a year? There's a couple reasons why I think this would be a smart move.
1. He is liked by the players and fans - He is one of the names the majority would likely be in favor of salvaging through the fire and brimstone reconstruction period. He is familiar with the team, and the young core that is still intact. Instead of rushing in and bringing a new coach to the team with a completely new philosophy, the team would be able to take baby steps away from Nelson's style, as Smart is not completely out of the mold of Nellie after being under him a number of years, and the transition to some day having a new coach, rather than abruptly, would come about much smoother. I can't imagine fans or players being very upset to learn that Smart will become the temp coach for the upcoming season. He has earned it.
2. It buys us time - While Smart is coaching throughout the season, it gives the owner a better chance to evaluate our team, and certainly our young talent. This gives Lacob a better feel for who would fit in with the current roster, and our improvement led by Keith Smart, would mutually attract potential coaches who keep a watchful eye to the team, knowing well that a desirable position will soon be made available. Who knows, maybe we make the playoffs and people actually want to come coach our team.
3. There is little risk involved - Coach Smart deserves a shot at being a head coach, plain and simple. If he succeeds, he may even show the league promise enough to earn himself a few bidders by season's end. We may even want to keep him around. If he fails, the owner will still not look as bad given that it is something the fans would have supported in the first place, and the players as well. It's a good PR move and it relieves Nelson, while keeping a piece of Nellie behind with his underling, to keep the transition a little less combative. Most importantly, I'm sure Keith Smart would except less than a lucrative contract, given that this is his first head coaching job and all. I'm confident that he would not turn down terms for one year and lesser money to show his stuff.
To summarize, Lacob saves face by dumping a lame duck who has received much criticism, he rewards a very likable guy within the organization, he avoids making rash decisions, the players have time to adjust better and grow under a similar, yet very different voice, and the outcome of the whole situation is favorable if we either win or lose. Win - Smart proves he can coach. Lose - The decision wasn't infamous to begin with, so fans would show their obvious hypocrisy by being outrageously disgruntled. If he fails, given his status, we would have an out from his contract, since it would be a small one, losing less money than if we were to abruptly sign the wrong coach for a number of years.
What do you guys think?