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Head Coaches - former OC or DC? (1 Viewer)

lod001

Footballguy
It's always been a league where bad teams steal coaches from winners.

After watching the Falcons hire a DC as head coach and then get to the SB only to lose their OC to another team. Then the Eagles win the SB, then lose their OC & QB coach to other teams, it seems to me that in 2018 with the rules overwhelmingly favoring scoring and penalizing defenses for tackling the QB, you would want your HC to be a former OC. Both teams laid eggs the following season because new coaches were hired. Atlanta definitely faltered miserably with their new OC and are not what they once were, even though the personnel is better. Wentz doesn't look like himself either. Groh comes out and says, 'we are trying to figure out where Tate fits in'. Oh that's nice.

Now look at the team at the top. Ignore NE because there is no competition over there and Brady/Belicheck is an anomaly. Ignore Pitt as well because Ben's got 15 years experience running that show. That's why Haley was allowed to walk. Both teams are near the end of their runs anyway.

Lets look at the top 3 O's in the league, which happen to be the real top 3 teams followed by NE and probably PITT.

NO: Payton calls everything. Who's their OC? Well he's a guy that has been there for 9 years now and no one is interested even though they won the SB while he was OC. Guy's name is Carmichael but no one wants him because they know the brain is Payton. No one is even sniffing around because they all know it's Brees/Payton that makes that team go. Or maybe he knows that and is declining jobs because he got one of the easiest, safest fulltime gigs in the NFL. I mean he's the 'OC' of a perennial top 10 offense.

KC: Andy Reid runs the show. CHI grabbed their OC but they didn't miss a beat because their HC is an offense HC. CHI is not doing bad so far with their new found OC, who replace a dinosaur.

LAR: Todd McVay. He's the brain there so you can take their run game coordinator or pass coordinator but you cannot disrupt their O. This team is the #1 reason to hire an OC. The team was garbage with a DC and went from garbage to a powerhouse the minute they inserted an offensive guru. He's the HC & OC.

GB has McCarthy but apparently Rodgers is tiring of him, hiring Philbin as 'OC' was just dumb. He's terrible.

Philly: Pederson needs to gain experience to the point  that his OC is just hanging around cashing paychecks or they will continue down this road of losing coaches. Reich is doing quite well now putting up points in Indy. Nobody wants Groh now but if they get back to the elite on O, Groh will be hired elsewhere whether he is HC material or not.

KC, barring injury has Mahomes for the next 15+ years. If you try and build a winner defensively, you will never sustain it. No one ever has because you have to replace a lot of guys that end up signing elsewhere. you'll get a handful of years and are lucky to win 1 SB, see CHI, SEA, BALT (twice with 2 different Ds), TB. Now with the new rules, once again, good luck trying to win with D when you tackle the QB and what would have been a 3 & out is now a 1st down.

So I've started to wonder in NFL circa 2018, why would you ever hire a DC as your HC? If you get to the SB because you have a strong O, you are most assuredly going to lose your OC. You should be trying to find an HC that is an offensive guru especially because of the rules now in place. Seems that is almost as hard as finding an all pro franchise QB but that's what teams should be looking for. Obviously not every team has a top of the line QB but if I'm GB, the next guy is a former OC and not a reject like Philbin. CLE better be hiring an offensive guru as well. Same with the Jets. Even if you had a DC that knew his #### and hired a great OC, he will lose that OC as soon as the O is successful. You can't franchise your OC.

 

jtp1982

Footballguy
Good points, totally agree

Another reason you’re going to see guys going OC to head coach more and more exclusively next couple seasons is that the defensive minds could be playing catch up for a bit trying to figure out how to deal with the new NFL.  Specifically:

1) how to matchup with schemes like you see in LA and KC, and even Indy and Chicago.

2) and what are the best basic techniques to play great defensive football without getting penalties in this brave new world of less brain damage.

Going to be really interesting to see what the league looks like in two years as all this plays out.

 

zftcg

Footballguy
What's interesting is that we may already be there in terms of teams not building up their OCs. Reid lost his last two OCs and then promoted his RB coach. Now maybe Bienemy will eventually become a HC candidate, but it's a virtual certainty that won't happen next year. Payton and McVay also don't have to worry about losing their OCs. The only OC who could be a candidate for next year is McDaniels, who has some, shall we say, baggage that may limit his options.

My guess is you'll see a bunch of college coaches getting hired next year.

 

Wise Old Owl

Footballguy
I agree with your overall point but there are a few examples recently that prove that reaching on a rising OC isn't the safest play. Both NYG and TB recently fired older HCs in an effort to prevent their OCs from being poached and Macadoo and Koetter were/are awful. For every McVay or Nagy you have Gase, McCoy or Chip Kelly. Coaches that were considered offensive minds who didn't pan out. Look at Shurmur this year.

I think the biggest problem with hiring a DC as a HC is they may only know how to coach a specific system and they waste years rolling over personnel to get to that system. Wilks and Joseph this year are great examples.

 

lod001

Footballguy
I agree with your overall point but there are a few examples recently that prove that reaching on a rising OC isn't the safest play. Both NYG and TB recently fired older HCs in an effort to prevent their OCs from being poached and Macadoo and Koetter were/are awful. For every McVay or Nagy you have Gase, McCoy or Chip Kelly. Coaches that were considered offensive minds who didn't pan out. Look at Shurmur this year.

I think the biggest problem with hiring a DC as a HC is they may only know how to coach a specific system and they waste years rolling over personnel to get to that system. Wilks and Joseph this year are great examples.
It certainly not a guarantee but hiring a DC as HC means the OC will be taken once the team is successful offensively. Best to swing for the fences with an IC as HC rather than hire a solid DC because your O will not be the same year after year. The HC needs to be able to keep the O as consistent as possible regardless of who they lose in the coaching ranks.

 

btemp

Footballguy
1) You're taking an INCREDIBLY small sample size and drawing sketchy conclusions.

Sean McVay hasn't won a single big thing yet. Pederson is an OC coach who's own offence is struggling. 

There is a lot of evidence that coach's who call plays struggle long-term. Of course, there are exceptions like Sean Payton - who went 7-9 3 straight years years and has been in one Super Bowl. 

When you look at Win %, Playoff Wins, and Playoff Win % you're looking at (1) Belichick and then Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Andy Reid, Pete Carroll, and Mike McCarthy. McCarthy doesn't belong, he's a terrible coach who rode the best QB talent of this generation to Valhalla.

You see a mixed bag: 3 defensive coach's who do not call plays and an offensive coach who does (and hasn't at times). And a ST coach. And 3 DCs, 1 ST coach, and 1 OC (McCarthy) have won SBs. 

2) Of the coach's who have won multiple Super Bowls (its a small list): 7 DCs, 6 OCs.

3) Personally, I think teams should hire more ST coaches like Harbaugh (or Toub). There are a host of reasons but for starters they understand, interact with, and coach the entire team. They're big picture thinkers and leaders. Good OC/DCs =/= Good HCs. There is very little overlap. 

 

jtp1982

Footballguy
As a Ravens fan Harbaugh has a lot of strengths that do seem to relate to his background as a ST coach like you’re saying.  He comes across like a very good manager across all aspects of the team.

But since he wasn’t absorbing an offensive scheme and playbook back in his Any Reid Philly days, it always feels like offensively we are making due with the most adequate NFL OC the market could provide when we needed one.

I’ve heard this same complaint about Harbaugh from multiple different people over the years, he’s more of a manager than a coach.  He’ll manage the coaches really well, but he’s not bringing a lot to the table himself as far strategies on how to win football games.

So given how rare a top class offensive mind is I can see how if you find one willing to come to your team you offer him the head job.  It keeps him there longer and they like the newnes and control.

The tables will turn as defensive coaches find what works, but for now I can see with my own team why this model is attractive and I think we’ll see more of it for a couple years.

 
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zftcg

Footballguy
I agree with your overall point but there are a few examples recently that prove that reaching on a rising OC isn't the safest play. Both NYG and TB recently fired older HCs in an effort to prevent their OCs from being poached and Macadoo and Koetter were/are awful.
Apart from the discussion on this thread, can we all agree that firing a HC in order to avoid having the OC poached is a really bad idea? It's bad in the short term because it rushes the process and has you making decisions based on what other teams think (reminds me of empowers who refuse to give raises until their employees get an outside offer, then try to match. Never works out well.)

Second, you're giving HCs even more of an incentive not to hire talented young OCs, even though, as a team, that is exactly what you would want them doing.

 

lod001

Footballguy
1) You're taking an INCREDIBLY small sample size and drawing sketchy conclusions.

Sean McVay hasn't won a single big thing yet. Pederson is an OC coach who's own offence is struggling. 

There is a lot of evidence that coach's who call plays struggle long-term. Of course, there are exceptions like Sean Payton - who went 7-9 3 straight years years and has been in one Super Bowl. 

When you look at Win %, Playoff Wins, and Playoff Win % you're looking at (1) Belichick and then Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Andy Reid, Pete Carroll, and Mike McCarthy. McCarthy doesn't belong, he's a terrible coach who rode the best QB talent of this generation to Valhalla.

You see a mixed bag: 3 defensive coach's who do not call plays and an offensive coach who does (and hasn't at times). And a ST coach. And 3 DCs, 1 ST coach, and 1 OC (McCarthy) have won SBs. 

2) Of the coach's who have won multiple Super Bowls (its a small list): 7 DCs, 6 OCs.

3) Personally, I think teams should hire more ST coaches like Harbaugh (or Toub). There are a host of reasons but for starters they understand, interact with, and coach the entire team. They're big picture thinkers and leaders. Good OC/DCs =/= Good HCs. There is very little overlap. 
This is forward looking based partially on the new rules favoring offense. Don't look at what was. Look at what is. This league is all about putting up big scores, not defense. Like I said before, never in the history of the league have you had gifted 15 yards & a 1st down because the defender tackled the QB. You give that advantage to good QBs and they will finish it with a score. Drives are kept alive now that we're punts before.

I agree that there are coaches who struggled handling play calling as well as being HC. I just think it's now a more coveted type of coach because you won't lose continuity as other teams feast in your success.

 

lod001

Footballguy
Apart from the discussion on this thread, can we all agree that firing a HC in order to avoid having the OC poached is a really bad idea? It's bad in the short term because it rushes the process and has you making decisions based on what other teams think (reminds me of empowers who refuse to give raises until their employees get an outside offer, then try to match. Never works out well.)

Second, you're giving HCs even more of an incentive not to hire talented young OCs, even though, as a team, that is exactly what you would want them doing.
Yes, you don't fire the HC to save the OC & promote him if you are successful. You hope the HC becomes better & better at running an offense. Sean Payton a prime example. Question: was Payton always completely in charge from His first year or did he evolve into what he is today? As a Wentz owner, that's what I'm hoping with Peterson. As a Mayfield owner, I want the best Offensive minded coach they can find and not a reject like Haley.

 

zftcg

Footballguy
Yes, you don't fire the HC to save the OC & promote him if you are successful. You hope the HC becomes better & better at running an offense. Sean Payton a prime example. Question: was Payton always completely in charge from His first year or did he evolve into what he is today? As a Wentz owner, that's what I'm hoping with Peterson. As a Mayfield owner, I want the best Offensive minded coach they can find and not a reject like Haley.
All that said, as a Washington fan I can't help wonder what would have happened if they had fired Gruden and promoted McVay.

 

Slider

Footballguy
With the scoring now the problem with a defensive coach is if you get down by 10 it's over.

I've always been a fan of an O guy as HC and a decent D guy. You then need a QB and you're on your way. Your D guy needs a line and some decent CB's. 

That's how I'd build it.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
I am not convinced the coach’s speciality makes that much difference. For most franchises, the secret is getting a top flight franchise QB on a rookie deal and hitting on a couple other draft picks. That opens up a limited SB window. Once everyone needs to get paid, many top teams will struggle to stay at the top of the heap. 

I expect the Rams will not be as good in a few years with all the money they have shelled out and will have to shell out. 

 

lod001

Footballguy
I am not convinced the coach’s speciality makes that much difference. For most franchises, the secret is getting a top flight franchise QB on a rookie deal and hitting on a couple other draft picks. That opens up a limited SB window. Once everyone needs to get paid, many top teams will struggle to stay at the top of the heap. 

I expect the Rams will not be as good in a few years with all the money they have shelled out and will have to shell out. 
This is correct. They will lose players. KC will lose players. They both have a window right now before they have to shell out more to keep their franchise QB. However, they can't lose the brains behind the operation. That's what I'm getting at. Hire a DC and you will lose the brains behind the O and O is where it's at in the NFL.

 

lod001

Footballguy
What I have been talking about in the Daboll thread just happened. Indy intercepted the ball at the goal line but got a bogus penalty for helmet to helmet. So instead of stopping  HOU, Hou scores the next play. You can't stop that with a great D. 

 

lod001

Footballguy
Randy Gregory, sack of Carson Wentz. 2nd & 27. Um, nope. That's a 15 yard penalty and an automatic 1st down. result: TD Philly.

 

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