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Is it Time For the Pittsburgh Maulers to #FireKirby?

The Maulers have been in disarray since the season began. Kirby Wilson is at the heart of every issue this team has, whether it’s offensive play calling, lack of trust in the coaching staff, or player personnel moves. It’s time the Maulers move forward. #FireKirby

Could Former Battlehawks Head Coach Be The Ideal Replacement for Kirby Wilson?

During this USFL season a question has come up over and over again. Is Kirby Wilson in over his head? I think at this point the question isn’t if he is in over his head, it’s can he recover from how bad it’s gotten? With only 3 weeks remaining the Maulers have a real possibility of finishing the season with just one victory.

Fans have begun to suggest moving on from Kirby Wilson, and honestly how can you blame them? Multiple occasions this season Kirby Wilson has looked tone deaf. Whether it was early in the season when United by Football aired an episode that depicted a very emotionless roster cut. Or the constantly churning carousel of quarterbacks he has had. It seems to get worse as the season drags on.

Learning How to Call Plays

Early in the season, there were also questions about playthe calling. Antiquated 7-8 offensive linemen sets, and a very forced run game. It became tough to watch at points in time. Whether it was Kyle Lauletta or Josh Love they couldn’t find a rhythm that led to the release of Love, and Lauletta, as well as thev subsequent additions of Vad Lee, and Roland Rivers III.

Lee came out on fire in his first action, but in recent weeks has looked terrible. It’s as if in his first appearance they didn’t ask too much, and simplified the offense. Then when it was seen that he was the starter going forward they threw the entire playbook at him. This may have overwhelmed him, but this isn’t the only issue.

In fact the miscommunications at times have been comical. Vad Lee had a two interception game a week ago in which he targeted one of his top receivers in Bailey Gaither both times. On one occasion Gaither didn’t even look back at the quarterback allowing the defender to jump the route. Whether it was the quarterback or receiver at fault, the fact remains this is professional football and the onus falls on the coach to correct such things.

Redemption in week 7?

Heading into week 7 I had hope he would in fact correct these issues with Vad Lee at quarterback. However this past weekend things got so much worse. Lee has at times voiced his frustration, as a leader has the right to do. However this has caused him to butt heads with Wilson. This came to a head this past weekend when less than a week after signing Roland Rivers III as a back-up quarterback, Wilson thought it would be a good move to bench Lee.

You might ask, “Why would he bench his most promising quarterback this season midway through a competitive game?” Which is a fair question. The answer he gave? Bad Body language, if that isn’t an old school mentality peeking through the modern design of the USFL I don’t know what is.

QB Carousel Spinning Too Fast?

The fact is Kirby Wilson, should by no means be brought back to Pittsburgh as the head coach of the Maulers in 2023. In fact there is another man who endeared himself to Spring Football Fans in 2020 who is currently unemployed. That man is Former St. Louis Battlehawks Coach Jonathan Hayes.

Jonathan Hayes has a background that is remarkably similar to Kirby Wilson with one caveat. He spent more time as a player, than Wilson, and less time as a coach. This particular fact may prove to be an asset to a team like Pittsburgh.

While Kirby Wilson has quickly alienated himself from his players in a manner only a true player’s coach can rebuild from. That is where Hayes comes in. As a former player Hayes seemed to win over his players in St. Louis, and had his roster playing well despite a lot of youth on the roster.

Jonathan Hayes, Player Coach?

Most importantly, Hayes is more of a modern coach in terms of his approach to the game. He was able to find success with Jordan Ta’amu as a rookie, something Todd Haley is currently struggling to do with the same quarterback 2 years later. With the constant uncertainty at the quarterback position since this season launched, his ability to coach a rookie quarterback to success in the XFL cannot be ignored.

Most Influential Coaches in Hayes’ Career

Jonathan Hayes has a unique view on offense that was crafted during years learning under some very successful coaches. Names like Hayden Fry, his college head coach that helped lead Hayes to a bowl game in all three of his seasons in college.

Hayes was then drafted in 1985 by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2nd round 41st overall as a tight end. He would stay with the Chiefs until 1993, nine full seasons. During this stretch he would cross paths with Marv Levy in 1982. Levy was hired in 1978 immediately following 5 straight playoff appearances and 2 Grey Cup victories as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes.

In 1989 Marty Schottenheimer was hired as the head coach of the Chiefs. He would lead the team to the playoffs for the last four seasons of Hayes’ career in Kansas City. Ultimately in 1994 Hayes moved on to the Steelers, where he joined Bill Cowher. Cowher was a branch off of the Marty Schottenheimer coaching tree so the move made a lot of sense.

Wrapping Up Career In Pittsburgh

Hayes would play with the Steelers until 1996. He would retire following the 1996 season. It was in 1999 that he got his first position coaching in college under none other than Bob Stoops a man he would coach against in the XFL many years later. He would stay in Oklahoma with Stoops until the Cincinnati Bengals came calling in 2003.

At this point he leaps to the NFL, with just four seasons of coaching experience. While in Cincinnati he was able to coach Tyler Eifert, and Jermaine Gresham to three pro-bowl appearances. He would ultimately stick with Marvin Lewis and the Bengals until 2018, or 16 seasons.

20 Year Vet Gets First Chance to be Head Coach

After his contract had expired with the Bengals, Hayes hoping to showcase his ability to run his own team, agreed to coach in the East West Shrine Game. This move did in fact work, because a little over a year later he was named the Head Coach of the St. Louis Battlehawks. His first ever full-time job running a team.

Wilson is another career position coach, that got his first chance with the USFL to be a head coach, and Hayes did the same in the XFL. Yet Hayes was able to lead his team to a 3-2 record in 5 games, while through 8 weeks, Kirby Wilson and the Maulers have just 1 lonely win. If nothing else, it certainly can’t get any worse for Pittsburgh at this point.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mark Chirhart

    June 6, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    This is a great assessment of what’s going wrong with the Maulers. It’s embarrassing to watch. And the RB he cut over pizza was better than any of the backs he’s got on their roster right now. He needs to go.

  2. The fish

    June 15, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    Do they even fire coaches at this level? Nah just kidding. I love Coach Kirby!!

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