NFL Coaching Carousel Gets Crazier

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by AAAintheBeltway, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. So Tampa Bay suddenly decides to fire Jon Gruden and GM Bruce Allen in mid-January and promote to head coach an anonymous guy who had just been appointed their D coordinator. This is a team that is like $40 some million under the salary cap. You have to wonder if that was Allen's choice or dictated by ownership. Do you think maybe Gruden could have held that team together with two or three all pro talents that money oculd have put on their roster?

    Whatever, we now have a situation with a number of teams still looking for head coaches, a couple have filled positions with guys that they might want a mulligan on had they known Gruden, Shannahan, et al would be available and a few more, like the Redskins, with unproven coaches on thin ice.

    I look at the Browns and shake my head. Why hire a guy like Mangini who didn't exactly light it up with the Jets, who probably have more talent than the Browns? Why go to the poisoned "Belichek pool" of coaches again when they have been mostly unsuccessful, eg Crennel, Weis, Mangini?

    Who would I hire to run my team? There are two schools of thought here. One, is get a younger assistant from a winning program. We see this at work with Jim Schwartz of Tennessee to the Lions, Josh Daniels from the Pats, Spagnuolo from the Giants. The other approach is to hire a seasoned, proven winner. Usually this is tough to impossible, since such coaches are usually either unavailable or have unrealistic demands. The odd thing now is that there is an unprecedented number of such guys on the block, eg, Cowher, Shanahan, Gruden, Holmgren, Brian Billick, all Super Bowl winners, as well as guys like Jim Fassel, Dan Reaves, proven bigtime coaches who want back in.

    This season has seen stunning success from rookie coaches, but I have to think that is the exception. If you can hire a proven winner, you're foolish to take a chance on a young guy who might or might not pan out.
  2. I think what's happening in the NFL is a kin to what happens in trading. What made you successful at one time is not working anymore... but you either don't know how, or refuse, to adjust. Hence all the new blood. It doesn't help that the new blood, Harbaugh for example, is winning. The NFL is no different than the music bus.; find the hottest trend and squeeze all the life out of it.

    Personally, football is football and adages remain timeless. However, the superstar/athlete is not. That's why a head coach has to be well versed in the current idiopathic dysfunctions of todays stars. Offensive and defensive coordinators run the show while the head coach has to run the show behind the show. All about adjustments on every level.

    EDIT: Imagine having to deal with the likes of a Jerry Jones, Shneider or Davis. WTF? How CAN you win? Then to have players on your team making wayyyy more money than you??? What a job. Just look at Dallas. Although never hire a coach who's father was a Bum.:D
  3. It's interesting that two of the teams playing yesterday have elderly D coordinators. Dick LeBeau is 71 and Jim Johnson is in his late 60's I believe. Baltimore's Rex Ryan is no teenager either. Clearly there is a huge advantage to having continuity on either side of the ball, with players executing a system they are familiar with and trust. By contrast, three of the head coaches are relatively young, with Andy Reid the exception.

    For other teams, like the Pats, the more usual formula is to have an experienced head coach and younger coordinators. The problem with that is you have to deal with constant turnover in your coordinators, at least if they are successful.

    From a team management standpoint, I think the situation of older coordinators, who perhaps have seen their dreams of becoming head coaches dashed, and a young head coach, is fraught with potential problems, despite the success of that formula this year.

    Teams looking for a new coach have a dilemma. If they sit and wait to see who becomes available, they might lose an attractive candidate to another team. This year, sitting and waiting seems to have been the better approach. I don't see how the owner of a perennial loser can turn down the chance to put a Shanahan or Gruden in charge. For that matter, Brian Billick seems preferable to me to an untested coordinator.

    Other than the teams actively looking for a head coach, several teams have coaches on obvious thin ice. The Vikings come to mind. Nothing against Brad Childress, but they never should have lost at home against the Eagles.

    Jim Zorn's Redskin honeymoon ended with the team's second half collapse. Owner Dan Snyder has always had both a quick finger on the coach ejection button and a fascination for big names. He has to be drooling over the chance to have a star like Gruden or a multiple Super Bowl winner like Shanahan running his toy.

    San Diego? They should never have fired Marty Schottenheimer. Norv Turner is a nice guy and a great playcaller. Few put him in the elite category of head coaches.