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diabsoule
11-30-2009, 01:16 AM
For about a week, I have been tossing around thoughts in my head concerning the NFL head coaching landscape. I've been thinking about how it has changed, potential head coaching candidates, how the old guard has stepped down and the new guard has taken over, and what will come of things. I could have kept going with the writing but I felt it was long enough and did not want to end up babbling. I was also getting considerably exhausted.

In honor of The Who playing the Super Bowl halftime show, all of the sections will be labeled with titles of The Who songs.

Young Man Blues

There is a shift occurring in the NFL right now and it is not taking place on the field. Instead of changes in players or schemes, rather the change is happening on the sidelines and how the games are managed. Just a few years ago as many as five active head coaches were looking at the possibility of being inducted into the Hall of Fame: Bill Cowher, Mile Holmgren, Tony Dungy, Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Shanahan. Now, there is only one who remains that is actively coaching that is qualified for a bust in Canton - New England head coach Bill Bellichick. The other head coaches around the league have a long way to go before they could realistically be considered for a spot. The attrition among head coaches is ushering in a change that is taking place in how teams are moving away from proven coaches, who also happen to be older, to hiring young assistants to lead their franchises.

Hired in 2007 to coach the Oakland Raiders, Lane Kiffin was 31 when he became the youngest head coach ever in the NFL. Raheem Morris and Josh McDaniels were both 32 when they were hired this year to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos, respectively. Eric Mangini was 34 when he was hired by the New York Jets. Hiring youthful coaches is nothing new. When he was hired for his brief stint with the Los Angeles Raiders, Mike Shanahan was 35. After he was fired by Al Davis four games into the 1989 season, Shanahan went on to be an assistant coach for five more years before he was given another chance at head coaching. Just like Shanahan, Lane Kiffin was given one full season and then fired four games into his second season. He is now the current head coach at the University of Tennessee.

Although there have been success stories when hiring young assistant coaches (Bill Cowher, Don Shula, Jon Gruden, Al Davis, John Madden), the current trend and record of the young coaches is extremely hit or miss. Currently, there are only two young head coaches that are finding success. In his third year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin, who was 34 when he was hired by the Rooney family, has already won a Super Bowl. Josh McDaniels, in his first year with the Broncos, is 7-4 as of now which is good for second in the AFC West. On the flip side, Eric Mangini did have a winning record in his first year with the New York Jets so the jury will be out on McDaniels especially for at least a couple more years.

Substitute

There used to be a time when owners and general managers would hire a head coach and give him time to implement his system with personnel of his choosing. Now, however, head coaches usually have less than four years to prove whether or not they will be successful. The average lifespan of an NFL head coach is 3.74 years, which is less than the life expectancy of the common house mouse. Exactly half of the head coaches in the league are either in their first or second year, that number jumps to 21 if head coaches in their third and fourth years are included (22 if Dick Jauron is included).

Out of those head coaches, several are on the hot seat. First year head coach Raheem Morris of Tampa Bay looks like he will be fired at the end of the year and there are rumors swirling about Eric Mangini's fate, whose also in his first year with the Cleveland Browns. Second year head coach Jim Zorn is more than likely gone from Washington after this season and there is always speculation concerning current third year head coach Wade Phillips' fate. The seat under Houston's Gary Kubiak, whose in his fourth year, keeps getting warmer and it is anybody's guess on what will happen with Tom Cable in Oakland.

There are five coaches in the league that have been with their respective teams six or seven years and out of those five, three are on the hot seat. Jack Del Rio and John Fox, who have coached the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers respectively for seven years, and Lovie Smith, who has been with the Bears for six years, are all questionable to return next year. Out of those three coaches only Jack Del Rio of Jacksonville has failed to bring his team to the Super Bowl and he is at the disadvantage of playing in the same division as perennial playoff contender Indianapolis Colts.

Three of the most stable franchises in the NFL also have the three longest tenured coaches. Jeff Fisher of Tennessee, Bill Belichick of New England, and Andy Reid of Philadelphia have a combined 41 years of head coaching experience. Fisher and Reid have been with the same teams for 26 years and Belichick, after a five year layover in Cleveland, has been with New England since 2000. Not only are those three head coaches the longest tenured but they are also three of the most successful head coaches currently in the league. Combined they have been to the playoffs twenty times, have six Super Bowl appearances, and three Super Bowl victories.

From 2006 to 2008, most of the elder statesmen of the league either retired or were fired. Since then, several teams with new head coaches are still trying to find the perfect replacement for their departed franchise figureheads. Combined Mike Shanahan (Denver), Mike Holmgren (Seattle), Bill Cowher (Pittsburgh), Tony Dungy (Indianapolis), Herm Edwards (Kansas City/New York Jets), and Marty Schottenheimer (San Diego) have 89 seasons of NFL head coaching experience under their belt, 54 of them with the same team. Along with numerous division titles, conference championships, and playoff appearances, those aforementioned coaches possess five Lombardi Trophies out of eight appearances.

Who Are You

Next year there could be up to eight coaching vacancies and as this season winds down talk is beginning to heat up about potential coaching replacements. Every year since his retirement, Bill Cowher has had his name tossed around for head coaching openings. The same goes for Pete Carroll, Kirk Ferentz, and Jason Garrett. Now, however, there will be a host of talented, qualified candidates that will be looking for work come January. The Buffalo Bills have already approached Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher for their current head coaching position. Both turned down the offer. Recently, Bills ownership sat down for seven hours with former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan to discuss what he could bring to the table. There have also been rumors regarding current Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis and where he might end up. Some point to Kansas City where they have an offensive coordinator opening and where he could reunite with former Patriots personnel director Scott Pioli.

Other qualified coaches that will be looking for work include former Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, former Super Bowl winner Brian Billick, long time defensive coordinator Jim Bates, and former offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski. All of these names along with the usual suspects of former St. Louis Rams head coaches Jim Haslett and Mike Martz, former N.Y. Giants head coach Jim Fassel, and long time successful head coach Marty Schottenheimer who usually see their names pop up on a coaching candidate list.

Outside of that who's who of former NFL head coaching personnel the options narrow considerably. Leslie Frazier, the Minnesota Vikings current defensive coordinator, seems to be the hottest commodity going as far as coordinators. Former Buffalo Bills head coach and current New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has had his name mentioned as a potential head coaching candidate. Another defensive coordinator who could be called for an interview is Cincinnati's Mike Zimmer. Finally, Dolphins secondary/assistant head coach Todd Bowles is getting his name mentioned more. Any team that runs a 3-4 defense may want to look at former University of Virginia head coach Al Groh, who could serve as a positions coach or as defensive coordinator.

The problem that some of these franchises will soon run into is that most of the fresh, young faces have already been head coaches before and have failed. If a team does not want to take a chance on one of the four coordinators who will be looking to try their hand at being a head coach, then they will have to take a re-tread head coach.

Let's See Action

There is a question that has dominated leadership studies for quite some time: are great leaders born or made? This question is mostly asked in reference to military personnel but a football staff shares many of the same characteristics as a military staff just as there are many similarities between the gridiron and the battlefield. When retired general Colin Powell was asked what makes a great leader he responded that great leaders get the most out of people, convey a sense of purpose in a selfless manner, and learn from trial and error. He continued by stating that effective leaders never show fear or anger and have to have a sense of optimism. They also can not worry about what happened in the past. Those qualities are also what makes a good football coach.

Some of the best coaches in the NFL do just that. One would never see former NFL head coach Tony Dungy shouting at the ref or jumping up and down waving his finger over a bad call. Current head coaches Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, and Jim Caldwell do not do those things either. Jeff Fisher can be animated on the sidelines but he is also a leader. Would the Titans have won five straight after starting 0-6 if he wasn't one or would they have quit on him? He knows to concentrate on one game at a time and not look overlook the game they have coming up that week.

Good leaders are not just on the field, they are also in the front office. General managers and owners need to make the right decision on who to hire when choosing a head coach. Jim Mora Jr. was never able to win over the Atlanta players when he took over the team in 2004 yet he was made the coach-in-waiting in Seattle. He has started off 3-6 in his first year with the Seahawks and there does not seem to be any sense of purpose or direction when they play. Wade Phillips is known for his ability to coach a defense, however, his tenure in Dallas has been marked by sloppy football. Mental mistakes and penalties have drastically hurt the Cowboys ability to make the playoffs or get past the first round when they do. Raheem Morris had never been a coordinator before he was promoted to head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before the season started he fired his offensive coordinator and just last week he fired his defensive coordinator. Although a good leader knows when to move or fire certain ineffective staff members, the moves made by Morris show a leader acting out of desperation.

There may not be an answer as to whether or not leaders are made or born but it is evident that it takes a certain amount of charisma, intelligence, character, and discipline to become a successful head coach in the NFL. Some men have it, other don't, but all too often the front office personnel have trouble finding the type of coach they need that would lead their men to victory on the field. Even if they do manage to hire the right coach, some may not give him the right amount of time to properly insert his personnel into his scheme to see if it would be successful. As has been pointed out, some of the recently retired great coaches were with their organization for at least five years and were proven to be successful and the current successful coaches have been with their teams for at least ten years.

I Can't Explain
with help from RavenofProphechy

Below are the rankings from best to worst of the current NFL head coaches (Dick Jauron not included). This was a lot trickier than first thought:

1. Bill Belichick – The obvious choice for number one.

2. Mike Tomlin – Two division titles and a Super Bowl win all before the age of 37.

3. Tom Coughlin – Repeated playoff success with the Jaguars and now the Giants, with whom he has won a Super Bowl.

4. Andy Reid - 5 division titles, 5 NFC Championship game appearances, and one Super bowl appearance

5. Sean Payton – Went to the NFC championship game in his first year and is quite possibly the best offensive mind in the NFL.

6. Jeff Fisher - 6 playoff appearances, 3 division titles, 2 trips to the AFC Championship game, 1 Super Bowl appearance, and a partridge in a pear tree.

7. Ken Whisenhunt – Took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl in just his second year and has them primed to go back to the playoffs this year.

8. Jim Caldwell – People criticized the hire but there are few doubters left now that the Colts are 11-0.

9. John Fox – 3 playoff appearances, two division titles, and one Super Bowl loss, however, he has been on the hot seat the past three years.

10. John Harbaugh – Went to the AFC Championship game in his first year.

11. Jack Del Rio – So far, he has the Jaguars back in playoff contention but needs to do better in the playoffs.

12. Josh McDaniels – No one thought he would be doing this well with the lack of talent on the Broncos roster.

13. Mike Smith – Took an Atlanta team to the playoffs last year which no one expected. He will have to rebound after an eccentric sophomore campaign.

14. Mike Singletary – Has the 49ers playing with purpose, discipline, and pride and that's showing on the field.

15. Norv Turner – People love to hate him as a head coach but he has brought the Chargers to the playoffs in both of his seasons as head coach and has them peaking at the right time this year.

16. Brad Childress – Has improved the Vikings each year as head coach but his epically poor clock management and play-calling haunts him in close games.

17. Wade Phillips – Outperformed critics so far but will need to make the playoffs and advance past the first round.

18. Tony Sparano – Has used the Wildcat effectively since becoming a head coach and turned Miami back into a competitor.

19. Gary Kubiak – Great offensive minded head coach but has hovered around mediocrity since his time in Houston started.

20. Mike McCarthy – Has talented skill positions but needs to build up his offensive line and I question his and Ted Thompson's decision to switch to the 3-4.

21. Lovie Smith – Went to the Super Bowl just a few years ago but his defense and tenure with the Bears is fading fast.

22. Rex Ryan – Has instilled purpose, attitude, and aggressiveness into the N.Y. Jets.

23. Marvin Lewis – The Mike Zimmer hire has worked wonders and, so far, has turned around a franchise.

24. Jim Schwartz – It will take a while to change the attitude in Detroit but the wheels are in motion.

25. Jim Zorn – Not much to do when you are handcuffed by poor personnel decisions made by the front office.

26. Jim Mora Jr – Questionable hire looks even more questionable now that they will end up with a losing record in his first year.

27. Steve Spagnuolo – It will take a while to turn around the offense but he has the defense playing well.

28. Todd Haley – Fiery, fiesty individual has been the antithesis to how good leaders are made.

29. Raheem Morris – Slowly building the Bucs but has stumbled out of the gate and made several questionable moves.

30. Tom Cable – Puppet head coach to dictator Al Davis.

31. Eric Mangini – Gruff, loud, demeaning, and egotistical. His style of management is not made for the NFL now and it shows with how Cleveland has given up on him.

Flyboy
11-30-2009, 01:37 AM
I <3 Sean Payton. He's matured so much as a coach since 2006.

BlindSite
11-30-2009, 02:36 AM
The article is good, the rankings though, laughable.

MetSox17
11-30-2009, 02:55 AM
the rankings though, laughable.

Agreed. tenchar

Gay Ork Wang
11-30-2009, 03:03 AM
Lovie Smith should be 52

diabsoule
11-30-2009, 03:09 AM
The article is good, the rankings though, laughable.

Thanks for the feedback on the article. I did my best, along with RoP, in coming up with coaches rankings but, as I pointed out, it was a lot tricker and more difficult than I thought. I doubt I could have assembled the coaches in a numerical order which would have made everyone happy.

Gay Ork Wang
11-30-2009, 03:19 AM
what are you basing the rankings on?

Saints-Tigers
11-30-2009, 05:07 AM
I don't see how Morris, despite how the Bucs have been, can be worse than Mangini.

General Zod
11-30-2009, 09:28 AM
Really good article. I don't care for the rankings so much. I see a lot of coaches that I wouldn't agree with there spot.

How is Eric Mangini not the worst coach in the NFL right now?

diabsoule
11-30-2009, 12:05 PM
it's fairly dishonest to claim that reid, fisher and belichick are paragons of stability and success based on three super bowl victories by ONE of them.

why are we giving jeff fisher and andy reid any credit whatsoever for failing utterly to win the only game that matters? and especially fisher, having only even gotten there ONCE.

Jeff Fisher, I admit, is the weakest of the longest tenured coaches. His career winning percentage of .557 in fifteen years with the same team and having only taken his team to the playoffs six times is dwarfed when compared to a coach who was with his team for the same amount of time. Bill Cowher, in fifteen years with the Steelers, took them to the playoffs ten times, went to the Super Bowl twice, and owns one Lombardi Trophy. At least Andy Reid has been to five NFC Championship Games and has won one. In fifteen years, Jeff Fisher only has one AFC title.

I do not think it's fairly dishonest to say that those three coaches are paragons of stability especially when looking at how long they have been with their respective franchises. Success? Possibly, especially when considering Jeff Fisher's record, but I do not Andy Reid or Bill Belichick are unsuccessful. Sure, Reid did lose the Super Bowl the only time he made it but at least he made it. He's only one of eight head coaches currently in the NFL right now that have at least been to the Super Bowl. I personally can not blame Reid for losing it, especially when he had to coach against the best coach this decade in Bill Belichick.

I will be reconfiguring my coaching rankings. I put them together when I was very tired so now that I'm wide awake my train of thought will be more lucid.

bigbluedefense
11-30-2009, 12:17 PM
this is one hell of a thread.


one thing i would be interested in knowing: how has stability at the coordinator positions effected the success of teams?


the steelers have had LeBeau and Capers for the longest, and Im very confident that those great coordinators played a serious role in their ability to find continuous success.

Ditto for Philly and Jim Johnson.

The Giants only had great success with Coughlin when we had Spagnuolo as DC.

So how much does having great coordinators play a role in having a successful team? And how important is stability in the coordinator positions vs constantly changing schemes?

Id be interested in knowing that.

diabsoule
11-30-2009, 12:33 PM
this is one hell of a thread.


one thing i would be interested in knowing: how has stability at the coordinator positions effected the success of teams?


the steelers have had LeBeau and Capers for the longest, and Im very confident that those great coordinators played a serious role in their ability to find continuous success.

Ditto for Philly and Jim Johnson.

The Giants only had great success with Coughlin when we had Spagnuolo as DC.

So how much does having great coordinators play a role in having a successful team? And how important is stability in the coordinator positions vs constantly changing schemes?

Id be interested in knowing that.

That will be coming in part 2. While doing the writing for the Coaches Corner I had began thinking of coordinators and how they are responsible for a good bit of a team's success.

A Perfect Score
11-30-2009, 12:35 PM
this is one hell of a thread.


one thing i would be interested in knowing: how has stability at the coordinator positions effected the success of teams?


the steelers have had LeBeau and Capers for the longest, and Im very confident that those great coordinators played a serious role in their ability to find continuous success.

Ditto for Philly and Jim Johnson.

The Giants only had great success with Coughlin when we had Spagnuolo as DC.

So how much does having great coordinators play a role in having a successful team? And how important is stability in the coordinator positions vs constantly changing schemes?

Id be interested in knowing that.

I really agree with the coordinator business. I posted this in the Ravens team forum, in response to Hines claiming the Steelers were one of the more talented teams in the NFL.

I dont know about the most talented teams in the league sort of deal. Ive always been a firm believer that scheme plays a big role in your success. Im not saying you dont have talent on your team, you certainly do, but I think the elite talent on your team is the coaching staff. You consistently get great coaching and that allows for some players who I dont consider extremely talented players (a la your OLB's, although I do love Woodley) to put up better numbers then they would in other situations.

You are right though, it has been inconsistency that has screwed you this year.

I think having effective coordinators has a huge effect. Just look at the Ravens this year. It wasnt the loss of guys like Bart Scott that hurt so much...it was losing Rex Ryan and replacing him with the much more tame Greg Mattison that has practically eliminated our pass rush and seriously hindered our coverage abilities.

CC.SD
11-30-2009, 12:39 PM
Hm I love your thoughts, but those rankings seem pretty off. Definitely a tricky task to take on though considering how mercurial opinions of coaches can be.

diabsoule
11-30-2009, 12:44 PM
I think having effective coordinators has a huge effect. Just look at the Ravens this year. It wasnt the loss of guys like Bart Scott that hurt so much...it was losing Rex Ryan and replacing him with the much more tame Greg Mattison that has practically eliminated our pass rush and seriously hindered our coverage abilities.

The same can be said about the Giants on defense and the Steelers on offense, to just name a few. It is evident now that Steve Spagnuolo clearly affected the Giants success on the field. His defensive schemes with numerous line stunts and twists confused the offensive line and allowed for a more effective pass rush.
The Steelers were more balanced when Ken Whisenhunt was their offensive coordinator. He had a few gadget plays but stuck to the roots of Steelers football: smashmouth football. Bruce Arians scheme is based on five step drops and plays that take a while to develop. In essence it seems, he has installed a workable version of the spread offense. With Roethlisberger holding onto the ball longer than he should this just increases his chances of getting sacked.

diabsoule
11-30-2009, 01:29 PM
Coach rankings have been updated. I based them off of the leadership formula that I wrote about along with how successful they have been to date.

Cicero
11-30-2009, 01:37 PM
Ruskell is out at the end of the year so Mora probably will be gone too.

Matthew Jones
11-30-2009, 01:41 PM
Awesome writeup. +rep.

D-Unit
11-30-2009, 02:01 PM
I applaud the effort, but it seems the coaching rankings are being based off win/loss records and how far he's taken that particular team. I'd be more interested in rankings that factored in W/L record of their HC careers and also factor in time w/team. ie. No way Raheem Morris is a bad coach because the Bucs have been bad in his first year.

But at the very least you should consider..

Coaching development - as far as if he's improving, worsening, staying neutral. Does he make the right adjustments, game time decisions, do what's best for the team? Can he develop coordinators and sustain their losses.

Respect - Do his players buy into what he's all about? Can he bring in past players to help implement his scheme? Or do players not want to play for him?

NY+Giants=NYG
11-30-2009, 02:04 PM
this is one hell of a thread.


one thing i would be interested in knowing: how has stability at the coordinator positions effected the success of teams?


the steelers have had LeBeau and Capers for the longest, and Im very confident that those great coordinators played a serious role in their ability to find continuous success.

Ditto for Philly and Jim Johnson.

The Giants only had great success with Coughlin when we had Spagnuolo as DC.

So how much does having great coordinators play a role in having a successful team? And how important is stability in the coordinator positions vs constantly changing schemes?

Id be interested in knowing that.

Great coordinators factor in a lot! Look when the Steelers won with Cowher, LeBeau and Whisenhunt! That is a sick coaching trio! Our problem is we hire idiots! Coughlin-Huffy-Lewis = Epic Fail, so we fired the two fools, and promoted Gilbride and hired Spags. That worked out, and then Spags left, and now we have Gilbride who is above avg, though I am not a fan of him, and we promoted Sheridan as a first year DC, and he looks to be in over his head.

So while Coughlin is a good coach, I would rather keep him, and cycle through coordinators until we get a good combination.

Monomach
11-30-2009, 02:12 PM
I see three guys beneath Lovie Smith in those rankings that I would happily take.

Lovie Smith is one of the worst in-game coaches I have ever seen. Perfect example: the infamous timeout against the Seahawks in the 2006 playoffs. Or any challenge, ever.

D-Unit
11-30-2009, 02:31 PM
I see three guys beneath Lovie Smith in those rankings that I would happily take.

Lovie Smith is one of the worst in-game coaches I have ever seen. Perfect example: the infamous timeout against the Seahawks in the 2006 playoffs. Or any challenge, ever.
I agree Lovie is pretty clueless.

diabsoule
11-30-2009, 02:33 PM
I applaud the effort, but it seems the coaching rankings are being based off win/loss records and how far he's taken that particular team. I'd be more interested in rankings that factored in W/L record of their HC careers and also factor in time w/team. ie. No way Raheem Morris is a bad coach because the Bucs have been bad in his first year.

But at the very least you should consider..

Coaching development - as far as if he's improving, worsening, staying neutral. Does he make the right adjustments, game time decisions, do what's best for the team? Can he develop coordinators and sustain their losses.

Respect - Do his players buy into what he's all about? Can he bring in past players to help implement his scheme? Or do players not want to play for him?

Coach rankings have been updated. I based them off of the leadership formula that I wrote about along with how successful they have been to date.

The rankings for me were lagniappe. Just something extra that I could have fun with, just like I do in my power rankings. Even though the Lions have only won 2 games I have Jim Schwartz ranked in the mid twenties because Detroit seems to be buying into his scheme and attitude. Raheem Morris is rated low because he has already fired his offensive and defensive coordinators this season. His team is fighting on the field but his poor coordinator decisions have factored into his rating.

After the top 10-15 coaches, I think it's just a crap shoot of mediocrity. But, like I commented earlier I did my best, along with RoP, in coming up with coaches rankings but, as I pointed out, it was a lot tricker and more difficult than I thought. I doubt I could have assembled the coaches in a numerical order which would have made everyone happy.

The points I was wanting to make were conveyed to the best of my ability in the sections.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
11-30-2009, 03:51 PM
Good write up, Grapes.
http://www.coachdepot.com/images/cherry/don_cherry_01.jpg

BlindSite
11-30-2009, 05:06 PM
I think balls coaches have is an under looked at factor to. McDaniels for example, trading away guys he didn't want, trying to get solely the ones he did and for the most part it is working.

Balls to stick with the guys you have even if it ends badly, like John Fox, Raheem Morris to throw in Freeman, Fisher with vince young.

How those moves go are a huge part of how good a coach is.

It's a delicate balance imo listening to the public opinion and going with your gut, sometimes it works (morris, fisher, mcdaniels) sometimes it doesn't (fox).

CC.SD
11-30-2009, 06:14 PM
Not enough respect for Jeff Fisher's mustache up in this thread.

Look there are easy arguments against Fisher when you look at long term success but I think a big part of the reason he has been so resilient is because of the kind of team he builds. With a few rebuilding exceptions, his Titans have always been a down and dirty, physical football team that ultimately commands respect. It's easy to see why Titans ownership would have a difficult time sending it away, despite the fact that they've never quite made it over the hump.

CC.SD
11-30-2009, 07:12 PM
given that i've been critical of him...

i don't dislike the way he goes about building his team. but really, who cares? if it's not producing, there's something wrong. and that's NOT to say that he should've been fired 5 years ago. he seems like a pretty good guy in the organization, but if we're talking about GREAT coaches (or really, even good coaches), i don't buy for a second that his name should be mentioned on the same page as belichick, let alone in the same breath.

i keep wanting to say kubiak reminds me of a younger fisher for some reason, but i'm sure it's not at all backed up by the numbers.

The bottom line is there, you're right, and I agree he's not a GREAT coach, but reality is he fields competitive teams and the Titans fan base is strong ($) so his longevity is extremely explicable. If they part ways it had better be for someone with a clear vision and track record, I don't see TN hopping on the 'hire a successful young assistant' train.

TitanHope
11-30-2009, 08:13 PM
given that i've been critical of him...

i don't dislike the way he goes about building his team. but really, who cares? if it's not producing, there's something wrong. and that's NOT to say that he should've been fired 5 years ago. he seems like a pretty good guy in the organization, but if we're talking about GREAT coaches (or really, even good coaches), i don't buy for a second that his name should be mentioned on the same page as belichick, let alone in the same breath.

i keep wanting to say kubiak reminds me of a younger fisher for some reason, but i'm sure it's not at all backed up by the numbers.

I'm probably one of the biggest supporters of Fisher and his mustache there is, but his one downfall is the postseason. That aside, how has he not produced? In league that's hard to win every Sunday, year in and year out, Fisher fields winning and competitive teams. He hasn't had a losing season since 2005, and that was after a two year stretch of a cap purge.

Over the past decade, 6 double-digit win seasons, 3 losing seasons, and one 8-8 season. He's had ok postseason success with McNair, his only franchise QB, and they got to 3 AFC Championships, winning one of them and getting to the Super Bowl. Albeit you don't get anything for showing up, but it's not like getting to the Super Bowl or conference championship is an easy feat. He hasn't had a franchise QB since Mac, and that's contributed to two 1-and-done Playoff performances.

I think you're being too critical of him when his only fault is not winning the Super Bowl. I understand that's the ultimate measure of coaches, but the guy's been successful despite overseeing a franchise relocation, cap purge, cheap ownership and incompetance at GM, and no HoF assistants underneath him or HoF QB (although I hope McNair somehow gets in).

yodabear
12-01-2009, 07:46 AM
I agree Lovie is pretty clueless.

I was listening to a Chicago radio show yesterday on my way back from Florida. They were hilarious when talking about Lovie that he is clueless, he doesn't know how to manage a football team, he has no fire, etc. But part of the hilariousness was that they were absolutly right on.

NY+Giants=NYG
12-01-2009, 12:37 PM
I was listening to a Chicago radio show yesterday on my way back from Florida. They were hilarious when talking about Lovie that he is clueless, he doesn't know how to manage a football team, he has no fire, etc. But part of the hilariousness was that they were absolutly right on.

You have to be a good motivator and be able to connect with your players. I don't mind the lack of fire part of the equation. Not all coaches have to scream and yell like manics. Dungy, Smith and Walsh, from what I remember, were calm and cool. If you want a yeller, usually teams have 1 or more guys who are screamers to get your message delivered. There are many ways to skin a cat, and thus in the business world and in coaching, you can be a leader in different ways.

Gay Ork Wang
12-01-2009, 12:54 PM
Rex was his QB afterall

SFbear
12-01-2009, 01:19 PM
Lovie Smith was pretty good about getting his players to play hard until this year. The fans that cared about him showing emotion were just trying to fill some emotional void in their lives. I was willing to tolerate his horrible game time decisions, poor clock management, and offensive ineptitude as long as the defense played well. He and the rest of the Bears organization have always been clueless on the offensive side of the ball but this year Lovie's reputation as a defensive guru took a serious hit.

NY+Giants=NYG
12-01-2009, 01:41 PM
Lovie Smith was pretty good about getting his players to play hard until this year. The fans that cared about him showing emotion were just trying to fill some emotional void in their lives. I was willing to tolerate his horrible game time decisions, poor clock management, and offensive ineptitude as long as the defense played well. He and the rest of the Bears organization have always been clueless on the offensive side of the ball but this year Lovie's reputation as a defensive guru took a serious hit.

That's the thing though, it all depends on the coach, but usually once you're a HC at any level it's about managing people under you. We stink this year and it's because of injuries and our coordinators are having issues, specifically our DC. Our red zone offense can't score, and our red zone defense can't stop anyone. I know fans tend to point to HCs, and while the buck stops there, that's why you have coordinators. They pretty much run practice and the HC just checks each unit or station or even can talk it up with the GM, owner, or whoever else he wants. If the offense and defense is having issues the ones to blame usually are the coordinators.

Gay Ork Wang
12-01-2009, 01:42 PM
Lovie took over the defense though

NY+Giants=NYG
12-01-2009, 01:53 PM
Lovie took over the defense though

He is the DC? If so, maybe he can't handle doing both jobs.. Zorn couldn't handle being a HC, OC, and QB coach, lol all in his first time as a HC. That's not uncommon. This happens at all levels as well from HS ball to NFL.

FlyingElvis
12-01-2009, 02:19 PM
Average leaders look good with great players (see Chilly, Brad) and average players can look great under the leadership of a great coach (see Patriots, circa 2001)

The most important aspect of the original post, imo, has been overlooked in the ensuing discussion. That is the point about the small window of time most coaches are given to win. 3 years is just enough to turn a bad franchise into a mediocre franchise, not turn it into a playoff bound, perennial competitor.

On top of that the coaching carousel we have seen in recent years impedes the progression of talent for younger players. Hell, it could even be argued it hurts the ability of veterans to play at peak levels. Learning new systems, lexicons, and even personalities among the staff every year or 3 is not conducive to fielding a competitive team year after year.

Gay Ork Wang
12-01-2009, 02:21 PM
He is the DC? If so, maybe he can't handle doing both jobs.. Zorn couldn't handle being a HC, OC, and QB coach, lol all in his first time as a HC. That's not uncommon. This happens at all levels as well from HS ball to NFL.
well at least he is calling the plays.

NY+Giants=NYG
12-01-2009, 02:30 PM
well at least he is calling the plays.

Maybe he can't handle doing both. In previous years you had a DC right? Rivera?

Gay Ork Wang
12-01-2009, 02:31 PM
Maybe he can't handle doing both. In previous years you had a DC right? Rivera?
well last year it was Babich. Rivera was 06.

D-Unit
12-01-2009, 02:52 PM
Rex Ryan is awesome! He brought in Joe Girardi to teach Matt Sanchez how to slide. LOL! Awesome!

DiG
12-01-2009, 03:00 PM
Rex Ryan is awesome! He brought in Joe Girardi to teach Matt Sanchez how to slide. LOL! Awesome!

zorns got the most elaborate sliding drills and campbell still doesnt know how to slide. every time he does it looks like hes going to break his legs.

vikes_28
12-01-2009, 03:10 PM
Childress is good where he is. I would, however, have to disagree with some of the coaches that are higher up.

CC.SD
12-01-2009, 03:38 PM
Rex Ryan is awesome! He brought in Joe Girardi to teach Matt Sanchez how to slide. LOL! Awesome!

This is goddam hilarious.

D-Unit
12-01-2009, 03:47 PM
zorns got the most elaborate sliding drills and campbell still doesnt know how to slide. every time he does it looks like hes going to break his legs.
Campbell doesn't understand how to do anything that's "elaborate".

DiG
12-01-2009, 03:53 PM
Campbell doesn't understand how to do anything that's "elaborate".

did you listen to those colt podcast? in one of them colt and cooley make fun of campbells inability to slide. its pretty funny.

yodabear
12-01-2009, 10:01 PM
I think Spags is a good coach. Just as really good players can make an at best average coach look good (ahem....Brad Childress). really bad players can make a good coach look terrible.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
12-01-2009, 10:11 PM
Yeah, Rams are still a few years away from serious contention, hopefully Spags gets to stick around.

andyjo672
12-01-2009, 10:32 PM
I think Spags is a good coach. Just as really good players can make an at best average coach look good (ahem....Brad Childress). really bad players can make a good coach look terrible.

I really think Brad Childress gets a bad rap. He took a team quarterbacked by Gus Ferotte and Tarvaris Jackson to a division title and playoff appearance last year. He took over a team that was realing from the Tice era and has assembled a great group of talented players and they're performing at the level they should be. To me, that seems like a good head coaching job. Remember, there are plenty of talented teams that are disappointing. You can't hold it against Childress that he's coaching a talented team, and they're doing what they should be doing.

Iamcanadian
12-01-2009, 10:41 PM
I really think Brad Childress gets a bad rap. He took a team quarterbacked by Gus Ferotte and Tarvaris Jackson to a division title and playoff appearance last year. He took over a team that was realing from the Tice era and has assembled a great group of talented players and they're performing at the level they should be. To me, that seems like a good head coaching job. Remember, there are plenty of talented teams that are disappointing. You can't hold it against Childress that he's coaching a talented team, and they're doing what they should be doing.

I fully agree.

TitanHope
12-01-2009, 11:31 PM
shanahan hadn't had a losing regular season since like, 2000. that said, you shouldn't get a cookie for going 8-8 and if your team can go 13-3 in the regular season, it seems unconscionable that it can't win a playoff game.

and again, no one is saying he's a bad coach (i think i mentioned it elsewhere, but i kind of like the guy). he just shouldn't be mentioned as a great coach solely because the titans haven't axed him yet.

isn't having no coaching tree whatsoever also a bit of a black mark? i mean, belichick doesn't have one because he's an arrogant prick and all of his assistant's seem to think the personality is more important to emulate than the actual coaching.

*shrug*

i assumed an eagles fan would take more issue with my labeling of reid, tbh.

The team lost to the Ravens because CJ got hurt. He was their MVP last season, and while he's finally getting the love this season, guys like Haynesworth and Collins were attributed to the Titans's success. The Titans had that game in hand before CJ got gang raped by Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed, and even could've won without him had the refs not missed that brutally obvious delay of game call. But hey, I'm not bitter...

The Shanny situation is kind've different, since he had GM powers, didn't he? Fisher's never had complete control of the team. Either way, Fisher is 96-64 over the past 10 seasons ('99-'08), with 6 Playoff births. No one deserves a cookie for 8-8 (I'ma lookin' at you Kubiak), but Fisher is exceeding that. His downfall is not winning a Super Bowl in his time as longest tenured coach in the NFL.

He does have a coaching tree - Gregg Williams, Jim Schwartz, and he's now got notable assistants under him like Dave McGinnis. Plus, many of his assistant coaches have gone to better gigs like Mike Sherman going from RB Coach to Offensive Coordinator in Washington. Mike Heimerdinger went from Tennessee OC to NY Jets OC. When Herman Edwards was released, Dinger interviewed for HC position and eventually landed in Denver as an assistant HC. He's not Holmgren by any means, but he's got limbs.

And this is all without considering what he does off the field like being Co-Chair of the Competition Committee.

Anyway, I'd agree he's not "great." To be great, you have to have more postseason success than Fisher has. I'm hoping he gets that with the Titans before the inevitable "It's time to move on" point comes.

I think we agree for the most part. Dunno about those Eagles fans they. They got a love-hate relationship Reid, and everybody else for the most part.

Thumper
12-02-2009, 12:11 AM
What's the problem with Andy Reid in this thread??

I'm pretty sure that I read the problem with him was he made the NFC Championship game 5 times and doesn't have anything to show for it. Well first off, 5 NFC Championship games and 1 NFC Championship is more than a large majority of teams can say they won, so whatever. They haven't won anything but it took Bill Cowher 15 years to win his and he is currently the most highly regarded unemployed coach on the market who could probably get just about any job in the NFL if he truly wanted it.

Reid is a good head coach, Bill Belichek is a great head coach. The difference between them is that Bellichek creates great game-plans and is a great coach on Sundays as well while Andy Reid creates great game-plans but can't adjust them on Sundays to save his life, he is a terrible in game coach but from Tuesday to Saturday he might be the best in the NFL.

It really is a love/hate relationship with Andy Reid with Philly, you hate him when he refuses to run the damn ball and when he wastes timeouts. But we love him when he constantly wins games, has the team in the height of the playoff race and we love the stability he brings to the Eagles. With 114 total wins in 10 3/4 seasons, I have to say that I am happy with him as a coach. Sure after a tough loss to Dallas I might be fuming but at the end of the day I have to remember that Andy Reid is a great coach who has brought the Eagles from a doormat team in the 90's to a constant contender in this decade.

And njx9 I don't even think that you can rationally argue that Andy Reid is in the same boat as Mike Martz and John Fox. Especially considering Andy Reid has nearly doubled their win totals, has made the playoffs as many times as Martz and Fox combined and has taken his team to 3 more conference championships than Martz and Fox combined. I can't sit here and call Andy Reid an all time great because he isn't but I can confidently say that he is a better coach than John Fox and Mike Martz.

diabsoule
12-02-2009, 12:25 AM
What's the problem with Andy Reid in this thread??

I'm pretty sure that I read the problem with him was he made the NFC Championship game 5 times and doesn't have anything to show for it. Well first off, 5 NFC Championship games and 1 NFC Championship is more than a large majority of teams can say they won, so whatever. They haven't won anything but it took Bill Cowher 15 years to win his and he is currently the most highly regarded unemployed coach on the market who could probably get just about any job in the NFL if he truly wanted it.

Reid is a good head coach, Bill Belichek is a great head coach. The difference between them is that Bellichek creates great game-plans and is a great coach on Sundays as well while Andy Reid creates great game-plans but can't adjust them on Sundays to save his life, he is a terrible in game coach but from Tuesday to Saturday he might be the best in the NFL.

It really is a love/hate relationship with Andy Reid with Philly, you hate him when he refuses to run the damn ball and when he wastes timeouts. But we love him when he constantly wins games, has the team in the height of the playoff race and we love the stability he brings to the Eagles. With 114 total wins in 10 3/4 seasons, I have to say that I am happy with him as a coach. Sure after a tough loss to Dallas I might be fuming but at the end of the day I have to remember that Andy Reid is a great coach who has brought the Eagles from a doormat team in the 90's to a constant contender in this decade.

And njx9 I don't even think that you can rationally argue that Andy Reid is in the same boat as Mike Martz and John Fox. Especially considering Andy Reid has nearly doubled their win totals, has made the playoffs as many times as Martz and Fox combined and has taken his team to 3 more conference championships than Martz and Fox combined. I can't sit here and call Andy Reid an all time great because he isn't but I can confidently say that he is a better coach than John Fox and Mike Martz.

Just a correction: Cowher took the Steelers to the AFC Championship game in his third year and the Super Bowl in his fourth year, and another AFC Championship game in his sixth year. All told, Cowher took his teams to the playoffs 10 times in fourteen years, reaching the AFC Championship game 6 times, winning two of those, went to Super Bowls and won one.

Thumper
12-02-2009, 12:44 AM
Just a correction: Cowher took the Steelers to the AFC Championship game in his third year and the Super Bowl in his fourth year, and another AFC Championship game in his sixth year. All told, Cowher took his teams to the playoffs 10 times in fourteen years, reaching the AFC Championship game 6 times, winning two of those, went to Super Bowls and won one.

Correction? I think you mean addition because I didn't have anything wrong in my post, you just added more details.

And it should be noted that Andy Reid made the NFC Championship in his third year, took them to the superbowl in his 6th year. All in all Andy Reid has made the playoffs 7/10 times and is well on track to make it 8/11, has made 5 NFC Championship games and won one and has went to one superbowl. Andy Reid has 10 playoff victories in his ten years and is in a position to try and add to that this season.

After Bill Cowher's 11th season he had made the playoffs 8/11 years, 3 AFC Championship games, one superbowl and had 8 playoff victories.

Fairly even, Andy Reid actually has a slight edge with more playoff wins and championship games.

TitanHope
12-02-2009, 08:22 PM
*shrug* you still had a mammoth defense last year and... chris henry! i mean, um.

i just have a hard time buying it. a great coach shouldn't be completely reliant on a single player for his team's success. just look at mcdaniels and the way the team reacted anytime they even thought chris simms might play.

the shanny situation was solely used because it's irrelevant how long it's been since you had a losing season. it doesn't necessarily mean you're a really successful coach, if you're never capable of doing anything with all of those 8-8+ years.

well then why did you say he's never had elite assistants? =P

and wasn't it buddy ryan who signed williams, or is my google-fu off?

Hey, don't you knock Chris Henry! The man has Madden KR rating of 85!!!

He wasn't completely reliant on CJ, since the Titans and Ravens were very competitive for the rest of the game. But when it's two strong defenses facing each other, Chris Johnson was the difference. No one else on the Titans offense had that play making ability. After he left, the offense was reliant on the likes of Kerry Collins and LenDale White to produce points against the Ravens DEF...yeah, not good.

Buddy did hire Williams, but it was as ST Coordinator. When Jeff Fisher replaced Buddy as DC in '94, Williams was appointed LB Coach. That same season Fisher became interim HC, and eventually got the job indefinitely. Williams remained LB Coach until '97 when Fisher promoted him to DC.

I guess Fisher has had some pretty good assistants. The ones he has now are great, aside for Cecil who is still a bit of an unknown - but I have high hopes after what I've seen the past few games. Heimerdinger at OC and McGinnis as Ass. HC/LB Coach, and great position coaches like Mike Munchak and Jim Washburn. Cecil was a helluva DB coach too.

I never really like Schwartz as a DC. Now, that doesn't mean I don't think he'll be a great HC, because I do and always thought he'd make a better HC than coordinator. But his defenses sucked ass until Haynesworth became a monster. Eh, but to be fair, when your secondary consists of PacMan Jones, Reynaldo Hill (not the safety, the sucky ass 7th RD CB), Tank Williams, and LaMont Thompson, you don't exactly have much to work with. He used the talent well when he had it too...ok, so maybe he wasn't that bad. Gregg Williams was good though. We almost brought him back this offseason and had him in before the Saints, but for whatever reason they try to sign him on the spot.

But yeah, rambling now. My main point was he's never had a stalwart like Pittsburgh HC's have had in LeBeau or Reid has had in Jim Johnson. Those guys are HoF'ers.

but that's hardly relevant to his coaching. it just means i now blame him for treating qbs like ballerinas.

I..uh..er..yeah, I got nothin.

wogitalia
12-03-2009, 12:28 AM
I really think Brad Childress gets a bad rap. He took a team quarterbacked by Gus Ferotte and Tarvaris Jackson to a division title and playoff appearance last year. He took over a team that was realing from the Tice era and has assembled a great group of talented players and they're performing at the level they should be. To me, that seems like a good head coaching job. Remember, there are plenty of talented teams that are disappointing. You can't hold it against Childress that he's coaching a talented team, and they're doing what they should be doing.

The Frerotte/Jackson excuse doesn't cut it, they were both guys he picked and wanted and refused to give up on. Throw the Ryan Cook thing in while we are on that train of thought.

What he has done is accumulate a lot of talented players and he deserves credit for that, Favre included, but if you have watched any Vikings games, you could not help but go away from them thinking they should be better. His playcalling is overcome by the talent he has accumulated but as a coach he does not positively influence results.

Has done a heck of a job on the talent side of things and deserves credit for that and you won't find many Vikes fans that don't give him that credit but he has helped put together a team that is the definition of "winning despite the coach, not because of".