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Mirer Hasn’t Earned The Right Yet To Run Off At The Mouth

Dave Boling Tacoma News Tribune

Advice to Rick Mirer: Shut your face.

Go ahead, grow old and fat on that $12 million you didn’t earn from the Seattle Seahawks and stop whining about never having the right coaching, never getting a fair chance, never being in the right system.

Cash your checks and quit blaming everybody else for your failures.

I think most of us would have been happy to see Mirer traded to Chicago, and to simply write off his dismal four years in Seattle as an experiment that failed to bear fruit.

These things happen. Some guys don’t pan out despite everyone’s best intentions and efforts.

Leave it at that and move on.

But in recent newspaper stories, Mirer childishly blamed his woes on ineffective coaching by Dennis Erickson and his staff.

And for this, he deserves a public caning.

Fact is, for years, we in the Seattle-area media gave him the benefit of the doubt because he was such a likable guy with strong PR skills.

But when he failed to beat out Erik Kramer (a 33-year-old journeyman coming off a broken neck) as starting quarterback for the Bears, it came as no big surprise to many of us who witnessed Mirer’s inability to ever gain command of anything beyond the game’s rudiments.

If great quarterbacking is an art form, as some suggest, Mirer never got past stick figures with chewed-off Crayolas.

And in return for four years of massive paychecks, Mirer threw 56 interceptions in 51 starts, and very visibly contributed to the region’s disenchantment with the entire franchise.

So one can only imagine the wild exchanges of high-fives that must have taken place in the Seahawks’ office when the Bears gave up the 11th pick in the first round of the draft for Mirer.

After the Bears committed to an $11 million contract for Mirer, team personnel director Rod Graves was quoted on the record that Mirer would have to bomb spectacularly to avoid being the team’s No. 1 quarterback.

But that’s exactly what he did. And he’s blaming the Seahawks.

The offense in Chicago is more “specific” than Seattle’s, Mirer said. Everyone is on the same page, not like in Seattle. Specific situations had particular plans, while Seattle’s approach was to reach into a bag and gamble, he claimed. The staff in Seattle didn’t go over things enough and “when you don’t know how (the receivers) are going to run a route, how are you supposed to have confidence in where to throw it?”

Yeah, Rick, Erickson sure has a lousy track record with producing quarterbacks.

He took a veer-option guy named Ken Hobart at Idaho and got more than 9,000 passing yards out of him. At Washington State, Timm Rosenbach went from being a quarterback who struggled so badly he offered to convert to linebacker, to making an NFL roster in one year.

And Gino Torretta, whose arm would never inspire folk songs, won a Heisman Trophy thanks to Erickson’s offensive system.

Curious, too, that all the coaching problems that afflicted Mirer didn’t seem to be so fatal when John Friesz came in to run the offense.

Mirer said his confidence was undermined when Erickson replaced him at halftime of the second game last season. “That proved to me my job wasn’t as solid as it had always been.”

Hello, Rick, reality calling. Is anyone home?

How about your performance the previous year against Arizona when you threw two passes - both interceptions? How about last year when, at one point, you had nine interceptions and only one touchdown?

Those embarrassing efforts weren’t enough to cause you to question your skills?

Truth be told, Erickson showed faith in Mirer far beyond that of most rational coaches. He and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski repeatedly stood up for him in print, and continued to start him despite incontrovertible evidence that he was hopelessly lost on the field.

And even if the scheme was difficult for Mirer to grasp, that never explained his sheer physical inability to deliver the ball.

Many, many times, despite Mirer’s incapacity to “look off” defenders, receivers would somehow pop into the open. Mirer frequently saw the man undefended and proceeded to throw it 10 feet over his head, or to deliver it on one hop.

That, friends, has nothing to do with the offensive scheme, or the patience and confidence of the coaching. It has to do with having a right arm that has no business in the NFL.

And now, with the comments he’s made, Mirer once again showed he cannot read the situation or hit his target.

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