Obviously, no NFL player enjoys getting cut. And despite how cold and calculating some of them might look at times (that means you, Belichick), we’d imagine no NFL coach enjoys doing the cutting, either. A large percentage of NFL coaches are constantly in danger of being fired; they know the feeling. Knowing you’re putting the brakes on someone’s career, even though it’s pat of the job, isn’t a fun burden to carry.
Take a couple of the “you’re cut/demoted” scenes from this season of Hard Knocks. When he cut Chad Johnson, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin looked like he’d have rather been anywhere else. When quarterback Matt Moore was told he wouldn’t be the starter, the meeting was over in a matter of seconds. Coaches try to let players down gently and show they’re not enjoying the process either… but they also need to stay as even-keeled as possible. Can’t let emotions get in the way of doing business.
Well, except in some cases. And earlier today, we saw just such an exceptional case when the Redskins released tight end Chris Cooley. This would have been Cooley’s ninth season with the Redskins, and not only was he one of the longest-tenured members of the team, he was among the most accomplished, catching 428 passes for 4,703 yards and 33 touchdowns during his time with the team. And today, he sure seemed like he wished that time could have continued on another year, despite only catching eight passes in five games last season:
That’s about the most praise you’ll ever hear a guy have for an organization that just cut him loose. Especially when that organization is the Redskins. We kid, we kid. Except we don’t, really. Chris Cooley really, truly loved being a Redskin, and that’s why fans will miss him as much as they will. And it’s not just the fans who’ll miss him – judging by how he looked during his remarks, the guy who cut him will, too:
Back when we wrote about the Hard Knocks scene where Philbin broke the news to Johnson that the Dolphins were cutting him loose, we said this:
Firing people in any line of work isn’t fun, especially when you’re a first-year head coach like Philbin and you haven’t cut as many guys as, say, the Jeff Fishers and Mike Shanahans of the world.
Well, there is the Mike Shanahan of the world, in that video above. Form the looks of it, cutting never gets any easier.