It takes a village to raise a quarterback. But what about a head coach?
Increasingly, the league favors younger and less experienced head coaches, and the failure rate and head coach turnover appear to be similar to quarterbacks. It doesn’t always depend on the individual himself (and hopefully possibly herself), and there are surely other factors involved, of the obvious at least often taken into account.
Of course, the list and its development are essential. But working for the right owner at the right time and having truly engaged, forthright and stable leadership at the top is paramount. What is the level of immediate expectations? What does the market look like in terms of fans and media? Is there a history of at least some recent success?
Are other parts of the franchise still in transition – the front office or the business operations? Is the team at risk of being sold and falling under new management in the near future? Are there any coaches or general managers who get a second contract there? Recent history of infighting and stabbing in the back? Is the owner easily influenced by outside voices and the media?
Please check the registration box to confirm that you wish to subscribe.
Thank you for your registration!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
An error occurred while processing your subscription.
When it comes to the ability to earn in the short term, to maintain it, and to have some job security, it all matters. We have reached the point in the offseason where the rookie head coaches have had the chance to spend months in their new organizations and go through that first draft. We pretty much know the range of talent at their disposal and, for what it’s worth, a spring of false practice is behind them.
What seems like the best time to revisit this class, look at the big picture, and see which ones are in the best position to be successful. There really is a huge chasm in the number of these stacked situations, and a huge gap in the resources and assets they have at the start of their head coaching career. History will tell that most of these men will go extinct, but keep in mind what they step into and how many of their predecessors also failed in these same places.
From best to worst:
1. Brandon Staley, loaders
It is the place. Second-year stud QB, front office that has gathered talent in abundance, in the shadow of the Rams so the heat isn’t too hot. Owners who may not be spending the most, but tend to be loyal. I took part in the playoffs not so long ago. Staley is an expert on the defensive side of the ball, with a plethora of interesting chess pieces available. Make Drew Brees available for Justin Herbert? Like. The training had held them back, but the management of the game is about to improve.
2. Urban Meyer, Jaguars
I suspect it ends up being a brief experience – about two years – but that would probably be because Meyer is walking (let’s just say there’s a story). But Shad Khan hasn’t spent weeks trying to woo him to throw him away quickly. He hopes Meyer – a kind of god in this part of the country – can help him build this practice center and raise the profile of the franchise nationally (and internationally). And he gets Trevor Lawrence. Sure, a lot of Meyer’s college manners seem destined to evolve at the NFL level (à la Chip Kelly, among others), but he gets all the power and a ton of money and maybe could stay team president. . consultant or something once he’s done being on the sidelines again.
3. Nick Sirianni, Eagles
When Jeff Lurie fired Doug Pederson, he made it clear that this team was not on point and needed a reset to possibly return to the Super Bowl. Yes, he does get mixed up and can make life difficult for those around him, but they recently won a Super Bowl. The owner will spend like crazy and the bar got really low there after the 2020 season debacle. And they have a ton of project capital. And they play in the NFC Minus. And after hitting Pederson faster than anyone would have thought on the Super Bowl Parade, you tend to think Sirianni gets a decent run here.
4. Dan Campbell, Lions
He and rookie GM got a long-term deal, and another Ford family member is now in charge, which probably buys them three years unless things go downhill. The property seems to understand that this is actually a rebuild which for me makes it a cut above a few of those other gigs, where the teams pretend to be something they’re not . It will be a long climb out of the mess of the old regime – there were constant issues between staff and locker rooms, and the list is grim. Oh, and the nebulous roles of guys like Rod Wood would make me very nervous, and Chris Spielman doesn’t have much experience as a team president. Yes, most of these franchises were a horror show for good reason, and we’re evaluating a curve here, but I guess I’ll put it in here.
5. Arthur Smith, Falcons
Heavy is the leader of those labeled as a QB-guru or an offensive prodigy. People expect immediate results. And this owner has withstood a full rebuild and kept Matt Ryan around (despite giving Julio Jones over for cash / cap reasons), which sends an odd signal. They have no hope of immediate success with this defense, and the QB is in decline. But the goal seems to be to win as quickly as possible, despite a horrible cap situation and with an aging core.
6. Robert Saleh, Jets
Oh man, Woody Johnson is back and the first press interaction was already a circus. Good luck with that. The stud’s left tackle hasn’t been able to do much this offseason and the QB looks awfully green, excuse the pun, and is already caught up in the vax / anti-vax and mask / anti-mask stuff ( just look at Twitter). The Johnson family have rarely enjoyed a harmony between the front office and the coach, and this team always seems destined for the last page of the gossip newspapers. Difficult to shake off.
7. David Culley, Texans
Good luck. The poor guy has to wait until his mid-60s to get his first shot and he’s doing it with the Texans at the worst possible time. All kinds of palace intrigue, a waiting coach (Josh McCown) hanging around, a horrible roster and a rookie GM who comes from New England, where dismissing someone after just a year is never an option . Oh, and they’re at war with their QB franchise which could end up being suspended for a while for the various allegations made against it. Brutal.