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December 31, 2013

Black Monday and my Hall of Fame votes

Rex Ryan and Mike Tomlin were spared on Black Monday.

I would hope and expect it wasn’t an easy decision keeping the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers coaches.

Once deemed to be “close” to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the coaching ladder, both fought for their jobs the last month of the season.

And somehow they both survived.

Is that good news for the Patriots, as both franchises (and coaches) have been legitimate rivals for Belichick’s throne?

Tomlin’s teams have gone 16-16 without a trip to the playoffs for the second straight season while Ryan’s Jets are 22-26 the last three seasons without a playoff game.

Both men are a tad strange. I think Ryan’s underpublicized “foot fetish” issue was the creepiest thing I’d seen from a coach and Tomlin’s interference with the Ravens’ kick return was one of the weirdest acts I’ve seen from a coach at any level in any sport.

But both have found ways to motivate their teams and make the Patriots’ existence a little uncomfortable, to say the least.

But just because they won a few games in December, when both were unofficially eliminated, they’ve earned the right to stay on board?

Are the Steelers really a threat to do anything in 2014?

Everybody of note on that team, outside of running back Le’Veon Bell, is on the last legs of his career. And their once-proud defense, with its 75-year-old defensive coordinator, is not proud any more.

As for the Jets, is there one person ... just one ... who truly believes Geno Smith is a franchise quarterback?

The days of defense and running the ball can get you to 9-7, at best. On a good year, maybe with the copy of the ‘85 Bears defense, maybe a 10-6 record is possible.

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