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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Coaching Nonsense

So, now there are a few more guys out there in new jobs since I last
checked in on coaching.

No one wants to coach the Browns, and I can understand why. It's
funny, this time last year they were putting together an impressive
staff, and their only major impediment was their QB situation and it
looked like they would build a good team.

I'm sure Peyton Manning's word is helpful, but I don't know if I'd take
a current player's word for it if I'm a competing owner or GM. Manning
made that call for new Lions coach Jim Caldwell, but I don't know if
that's the way to go for either guy. I'm sure Caldwell is thankful to
have a job, but I don't know if the Lions upgraded or if they did
anything other than hire another guy. The system stays the same, sure.
I don't know that Caldwell has a lot to draw from, to fill out a staff
either. His hire of Ravens' assistant Teryl Austin as DC is uninspired.

Ken Whisenhunt turned down the Lions to take the Titans job.
Whisenhunt runs a solid offensive philosophy but he doesn't have a good
quarterback. He's let his defensive staff go (Jerry Gray, the modestly
evil Gregg Williams) and the principal guys on offense (Dowell Logains,
Dave Ragone). No hires are imminent as of yet.
Ray Horton as most likely DC would be a good hire, though I don't know
that the Titans have 3-4 personnel. Horton's the best available DC at
this point.

The Lions aren't really a 'better' choice, but Whisenhunt probably
would've gone further with that franchise overall; they have the QB and
the WR, and Whisenhunt succeeded with ideal options in those spots. He
didn't when he had less at QB. Titans have the 11 pick and Jake Locker,
neither of which could be Matthew Stafford. Caldwell will be good
enough with that situation, but I don't know that he's the coach
necessary to fix the rest.

I don't know what to make of Jay Gruden. I guess that's the move that
the Redskins needed to make, and it's not a terrible hire. But, Gruden
doesn't have a lot of roots, and Jim Haslett is one, so he'll probably
stay. Which isn't ideal - that defense needs to change as much as
anything. 27 year old Sean McVay is interesting, and has associations
with both Gruden and Haslett, but has to get really experienced, really
quickly. Expect growing pains.

I think Mike Zimmer is a very interesting hire for Minnesota. He was a
guy on my short list, and he should be able to retain something of a
hard-nosed air in MN. Adding Norv Turner as OC is smart, and Turner
has first pick of Browns' offensive assistants to fill out a job. I
think that Adrian Peterson/Toby Gerhart, Kyle Rudolph, Matt Kalil,
Cordarelle Patterson are a great place to start off for Turner, but
he'll need a QB. I think, so far, the Vikings have done what I'd most
want to have happen of the available coaches barring a potential college

Which, I know that some of the top candidates (David Shaw, Kevin
Sumlin) have outright told teams no, but there are still some offensive
guys in college that I'd love to have (Gus Malzahn is definitely
interesting, for instance).

No one wants that Browns job, or the Browns are holding out hope for
someone between the 49ers and Seahawks.

Ben McAdoo goes to NY Giants as OC - that should be interesting.
McAdoo is a WCO guy and Manning is a deep ball guy, but I think the way
that McAdoo will help Manning is in packaged plays. I do think that
Kevin Gilbride had to go - I don't know that TEs coach Mike Pope needed
to, and I think Pope is a top flight assistant. I don't know if Adam
Gase is a guy who is ready for a head coaching job (or deserves one),
but Pope's a guy who will probably end up in Denver in some form as a
top assistant, and was at one point John Fox's candidate for OC in

Bill O'Brien still wouldn't have been my Texans choice. He's chosen to
drop all assistants, but Romeo Crennel at least makes some sense as DC.

I like Frank Reich as the new Chargers' OC. I like the former
Bill/Panthers QB and hope he's taking the next big step in a long,
fruitful career, and I hope one day I'm talking about him as a potential
head coach. If not, he can always be a Scott Bakula impersonator.

No idea what to make of the Bill Lazor hire in Miami, or whether he'll
be doing Philly type stuff with them; chances are, he won't, but it's
interesting. Mike Sherman didn't produce, and it's amazing that he's
gone from being a Packers coach with GM type power and playoff teams, to
being unable to succeed as an OC or a college coach.
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