No job is safe these days

Oct 122008
Authors: Sean Victor Star

Has the economy’s recent collapse got you feeling a bit worried about the security of your job?

Or maybe you’re currently looking for one, but the idea of an interview has got you feeling a bit uneasy.

Either way, just be glad you don’t play quarterback for Steve Fairchild.

Because at any time — whether it be during the middle of a practice or during the middle of the third quarter — your job could be suddenly snatched away faster than your parents just lost their 401 K.

Just ask Billy Farris, who was yanked by Fairchild on Saturday in the midst of battling the nation’s best defense, not to mention trying to overcome a couple of dropped touchdown passes also.

“I was a little surprised,” Farris said of getting pulled. “But that’s kind of how (Fairchild) does things. He’s done it in practices before when things weren’t going right. And he did it in the game.”

That’s the way things have been since day one under Fairchild. Every player interviews for his job on every play.

After Saturday’s 13-7 loss, Fairchild said he’s “anxious” to pull the starter if he isn’t getting the job done and would even venture to put in a third or fourth quarterback if need be.

“That’s just the way life is around here as a quarterback,” he said.

Tough love for a guy who used to play the position himself.

But don’t worry. “There’s no hard feelings.”

Plus, it’s not like Fairchild is pulling a Joe Glenn, Wyoming’s coach who has used four quarterbacks so far this year.

Now I’m certainly not one for moral victories. There’ve been way too many of those by this team in the past few years. However, it is refreshing to know that Fairchild is more than willing to mix things up to turn things around, especially at the quarterback position.

For the last two years, Caleb Hanie owned the position. As Hanie’s backup, Farris only saw garbage time and never threw more than 20 passes in an entire season.

Already this year Kubiak has thrown the ball 33 times. And Saturday was anything but garbage time, as the Rams were within one score of winning the game when Farris was replaced.

After all, isn’t that what a leader is supposed to do when times are tough? Create change?

At least that’s what I’ve been hearing lately.

But if you’re going to coach your starting quarterback with the philosophy that he could get pulled at any time, shouldn’t the same go for the backup too?

Apparently not.

While Kubiak’s final numbers weren’t terrible, 12-of-24 for 121 yards and one interception, it was clear that once the he entered the game, TCU’s defense smelled the blood of a redshirt freshman and went in for the kill.

So after three of Kubiak’s first four drives stalled following a sack on third down, you’d think coach would’ve considered putting the more-experienced Farris back in.

Or not.

“You know I didn’t,” Fairchild said. “Maybe I should’ve.”

And maybe I should realize hindsight is always 20-20 for a Monday morning quarterback.

As to whether Farris will start this week at undefeated Utah, Fairchild said “probably.”

“We’ll talk about it,” he said.

Sounds like yet another interview.

Sports columnist Sean Star can be reached at

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