Criticisms of Mooch Uncalled For
January 8th 2003
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Until Steve Mariucci wins a Super Bowl he may never be safe in San Francisco. Fans and many media members believe his time is near an end in San Francisco as the teamís head coach, despite his great record during his tenure when compared to the rest of the league. The criticisms some have of Mariucci however are widely uncalled for.
He is not Bill Walsh, there is no doubt about that - and that is something Mariucci will never be able to live down. Not being Bill Walsh, Mariucci, or Mooch as he is more commonly referred to has a different style of coaching and football. Itís one of balance, that at times has been called predictable.
One however, can not ignore the facts, and the wins. While he may only have three playoff victories to his name, Mariucci has done an astonishing job with a team that was plagued by declining veteran talent, enormous salary cap debt and a management crisis. In the past two seasons only the Packers have won more games the 49ers. He has been to the playoffs four times in the last six seasons. All that is ignored however when fans are reminded that after this season Mariucci has but one year left on his contract.
There is nobody eligible in the NFL or College ranks right now that would be a better coach than Mariucci. A case could be made for a few NFL head coaches that are tied down to their jobs, but those that are available at best would be equal to Mooch. The coach has done some incredible things with limited talent, and while his playoff experience is still rather limited, Mariucci does not deserve walking papers - not yet anyway.