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“I’ve done both jobs before,” he said Monday before quickly clarifying. “I haven’t done both of them at the same time before. I’ve been a defensive line coach and a defensive coordinator before, so I’ve done dual roles in the past. I kind of understand what it takes.”

Crennel, who lost and was fired as Cleveland’s head coach even with a coordinator, had to have misspoken there. Surely he knows better than anyone that being a position coach is nothing like being a coordinator, and neither of those jobs is anything like being a head coach. So what if he worked with linemen on the same days he designed a defensive game plan? He never would’ve been asked in those jobs to also sit in on offensive and special-teams meetings, have daily news conferences, and appear in marketing material as the team’s face.

“If any one of us knew what the answer was, we wouldn’t be sitting where we’re sitting right now,” Pioli said. “But I also don’t think it’s the end of the world. We have 14 games left. We’re certainly digging a hole but it’s not something we can’t get out of. Everyone within the organization is disappointed in the results so far. We’re all surprised because I don’t think any one of us went into the season thinking we would be 0-2. I don’t think any of us anticipated that.

At least the Saints have one of the best quarterbacks in the game, but Drew Brees, having to play in comeback mode in eight-point losses to Washington and Carolina, has thrown four interceptions.

“Here are the numbers we are discussing … the last 0-2 team that made the playoffs and won the Super Bowl was the New York Giants in 2007,” said Aaron Kromer, the Saints’ offensive-line coach who is serving as interim head coach for the first six games of the season.

Kromer, 45, follows head coach Sean Payton, who’s serving a season-long suspension for misleading NFL investigators looking into the bounty scheme, and interim head coach Joe Vitt, who was suspended for the first six games of the regular season for his role in the pay-for-performance scandal.

The Texans had managed to compile a .500 record in the first two years of their existence. Head coach Hank Stram got the notion of signing Len Dawson, a player who he had coached at Purdue University earlier in his career, and who had recently been released by the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. (These things happened back then, too, sports fans so don’t act surprised like they are of recent vintage.) Well thought of when he came out of college and drafted by the NFL, Dawson’s talents had declined probably as much from under-use as anything else. Indeed, he admitted as much. Still, Stram knew him and believed he could be the catalyst to take his team to the next level.

Enter Hunt, who as legend would have it, believed the Oakland Raiders, a franchise barely surviving, needed a new quarterback. Hunt, as league founder, believed the existence and well-being of the league was no small matter and his responsibility in a way was to see it survive.

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