NFL Coaching Carousel: New Faces In New Places

New Year, New Coaches: A few weeks ago the NFL saw a total of 7 head coaches fired by their old teams. Those teams were the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Diego Chargers. Since then all 7 coaching vacancies have been filled. Here’s a rundown of who was hired:

Arizona Cardinals: Bruce Arians, who led the Colts to an 11-5 record as interim coach in the absence of Chuck Strong, who battled Leukemia last season.

Buffalo Bills: Doug Marrone, former Syracuse Orange head coach, went 25-25 in four seasons with the Orange and has 7 years of NFL experience with coaching staff stints with the New Orleans Saints 2006-2008 and  the New York Jets 2002-2005.

Cleveland Browns: Rob Chudzinski, former Offensive Coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and also was OC for the Browns in 2007-2008.

Chicago Bears: Marc Trestman, former CFL coach for the Montreal Alouettes winning two Grey Cup titles, also has 17 years of NFL coaching experience spending most of that time as an offensive coordinator for a number of NFL teams.

Kansas City Chiefs: Andy Reid, Former Philadelphia Eagles Bench Boss, spent 13 years with the Eagles, leading them to five NFC Championship game appearances and a Super Bowl in 2004, he finished last season with a record of 4-12.

Philadelphia Eagles: Chip Kelly, former Oregon Ducks head coach, went 46-7 while helping to turn the Ducks into a college football powerhouse. Kelly also led the Ducks to a BCS National Championship in 2011. Kelly has no previous NFL experience.

San Diego Chargers: Mike McCoy, former Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator who helped the Broncos along the way to a 13-3 season that ended with a playoff loss to Baltimore last Saturday (January 12th).

Best and Worst Hire: From the list of recent hires above, here’s my choice for who nailed it and who should have kept looking:

Best: The Arizona Cardinals have earned my nod for the NFL’s best off-season coaching move with the hire of Bruce Arians. I chose the Cards over Kansas City hiring Andy Reid for a few reasons.

1. Arians led a Colts team that nobody had winning more than 4-5 games to an 11 win season and a playoff berth. 2. He coached on a team with a green-horn QB in Andrew Luck and found ways to win. 3. He displayed leadership all season long as he stepped in for Chuck Strong, and picked up the teams spirits to push forward.

It’s all of those reasons that I have Arians having success in Arizona with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Kevin Kolb/ John Skelton, Adrian Wilson, and Patrick Peterson.

Side note on Arians: To have success, he will need to address the teams QB situation. Last year Kolb and Skelton shared duties in leading the team. The Cardinals have the 7th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Which could give them the option to go for either Geno Smith of West Virginia or Matt Barkley of USC (then again, Matt Leinart didn’t exactly workout in Arizona). Any way you slice it though, Arians will need to resolve that position if he is to ultimately succeed.

Worst: This one is pretty clear cut in my mind. The Philadelphia Eagles took a gamble on hiring Chip Kelly and that’s exactly what Kelly will be in Philly, a risk. Kelly certainly isn’t the first college head coach to try his hand on the NFL Grid-iron.

Some college head coaches like Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers head coach) Pete Carroll (recently with the Seattle Seahawks) Tom Coughlin( New York Giants 2 Super Bowl Rings) and Jimmy Johnson (Dallas Cowboys Head coach in the 90’s who won 2 Super Bowls) are having/had great success in the NFL . However, more often than not, “The Old College Try” doesn’t pan out so well for most NFL teams. Here’s a list of college coaches who weren’t so hot in the NFL:

Steve Spurrier (Washington Redskins for 2 years going 12-20 before retreating back to college ball)

Nick Saban (Miami Dolphins for 2 years going 15-17 before taking the Alabama job and building a college dynasty)

Bobby Petrino (Atlanta Falcons for 13 games of the 2007 season left with 3 games still to play, the Falcons finished with a 4-12 record. Petrino returned to college to coach Arkansas)

Rich Brooks (St. Louis Rams for 2 years going 13-19 and was fired, which allowed him to return to college and coach Kentucky)

Unlike Harbaugh, Carroll, Coughlin, and Johnson, I forsee Kelly falling into the same category as Spurrier, Saban, Petrino, and Brooks. I just don’t see his offensive schemes working at the professional level.

Also, unless Kelly, an offensive minded guy, can somehow work wonders with his defensive coordinator and the Eagles defense (who gave up an average of 27 points per game last year and ranked 23rd in rush defense with 126yds per game) things will not get any better in the city of brotherly love.

Final Thoughts: With the new coaches in place, it will be interesting to see what these new bench bosses can do next season. Which coach do you think will have the best season? Who will have the worst season? Leave a comment below.

Advertisements

Flaw in an NFL rule? How much did it effect the Patriots?

Well that was devastating…I’m not going to sit here and tell you a full story on how or why the Patriots lost this game, its over and done with. I’m just as upset as the next guy and I’m sure none of you want to hear any more about it.

Obviously there has been some post game comments by Tom Brady’s wife taking shots at their wide-receivers lack of ability to bring in the big catch, but then again what does she know? Here comes something I’m sure most of you haven’t heard about.

20120207-095859.jpgQuick rewind here: Go back to the Patriots play with 17 seconds left with the ball on their own 44 yard line. Brady lines up and out trots 12 Giants defenders. Was it intentional? Doesn’t really matter anymore and if it was then it’s a smart call by Coughlin and the Giants staff. They run the play; Brady sees the flag and then takes his shot down the field. The pass falls incomplete with 9 seconds to go in the game and the referee makes his call. The Giants get a 5-yard penalty for too many men on the field, and yes that’s the right call. But what about the clock? The clock stayed at 9 seconds remaining. Some of you might be asking what my point is here. So instead of the Patriots getting two, or even three shots at the end zone they end up with one. What is 5-yards at this point in the game? It’s nothing. Anyone in his or her right mind would exchange 8 seconds run off the clock for 5 yards at this point. What prevents a defense from sending 16 guys out there in this situation? It’s a very slim possibility any team completes a big play against 16 defenders. Clearly this is not the reason for the outcome of this game, but I am pretty certain the NFL will be changing this rule.

Patriots vs. Giants: Head Coach

Happy Monday everyone, today we will take a look at one of the most important parts of both teams: Head Coaches

The Giants Tom Coughlin often finds himself on the hot seat during the regular season, but somehow manages to turn it all around late in the season and heads into the playoffs on a solid note. Coughlin is a good coach with a lot of experience but he is often questioned about being able to have control of an NFL team at his age. He has as much experience as almost any coach in the NFL as far as years in the league, but when it comes to winning it all, his stats are just average. Coughlin is a solid coach but seeing as who he is going up against, I’m sure you know where this is going.

Overall grade: B

20120130-163047.jpgBill Belichick can go down as one of, if not the greatest coach in NFL history with a win this upcoming Sunday. As a head coach this will be Belichick’s fifth super bowl appearance since taking over as the Patriots head coach just over a decade ago. Bill is 3-1 career in the Super Bowl. Belichick is one of the best in history when it comes to making something out of nothing. The defense had terrible numbers as far as yards against this season, and that’s what everyone’s focus has been on. I could be wrong , but I’m pretty sure yards against isn’t what wins or loses a game, points do. The Patriots ranked 15th in points against; allowing 21.4 ppg. With a secondary as inexperienced as what they have, Belichick has done a great job with it. The Patriots bend but don’t break style has allowed them to be where they are today.

Overall grade: A+

Edge: Patriots