Grading the Head Coaching Hires
Throughout this time of the year some teams are in the playoffs some teams have already tasted bitter defeat and some are looking for new head coaches. So allow me to get right to it here are my grades thus far for some of the teams that have hired new head coaches. I wish every team the best but some hires I am more fond of than others.
Chicago Bears hire Matt Nagy: A Grade
I really like this hire for a wide variety of reasons. We have seen young coaches come into a situation with a young quarterback and flourish (Sean McVay) we have seen other coaches brought in and we see the opposite (Mike Mularkey). I do feel Nagy will be great for Mitchell Trubisky’s sophomore season in the NFL. He comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree and thus far it is a pretty good one with coaches like Jon Gruden, Doug Pederson, and Sean McDermott. In terms of fantasy football and real life football the stock of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen has just gone up even more. Nagy utilizes the running back very well and will create successful opportunities for the run game. Solid move for Da Bears.
Oakland Raiders hire Jon Gruden: A+ Grade
As much as I like the hire of Matt Nagy in Chicago multiply that by 100,000,000 times. Pun intended, Jon Gruden will restore the Raiders, Jon Gruden will bring the Raiders organization back to a respectable level where they belong. I am willing to make a bold prediction whether or not it comes to fruition is another story. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Jon Gruden will lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl title. I know. This is a very bold prediction because Gruden has been out of the game since 2008 and had a less than mediocre win-loss record after he won his first and last Super Bowl title with Tampa Bay. As a football fan it was a treat to watch the Jon Gruden press conference. Seeing the former players in the crowd some of which shall I say most of which were not even players that Gruden had coached in his last go around with the Raiders. It is safe to say though that the Raiders mystique is back and I expect that to lead to one thing regardless of how long he was out of the game as a coach, he was broadcasting at the highest level for almost a decade and got the chance to see the game from a different scope. What if Jon Gruden is better than he was before? think on that. This is great Jon Gruden is back where he belongs. Back in the National Football League and back with THE RAIDERS.
Indianapolis Colts hire Josh McDaniels: B- Grade
I could have easily given this hire a B+ but like every hire there are some risks. It has been confirmed by many outlets surrounding the league that the Colts have found their man in Josh McDaniels. I think this is a bit of an odd fit but one that is most beneficial to the face of the franchise Andrew Luck. McDaniels has definitely learned a thing or two not only during his time working with Tom Brady but from his failures as a head coach in Denver. Well at least I hope he has. If I was an NFL owner I wouldn’t have had McDaniels or Matt Patricia on the top of my list. Why? because we have seen this before we have seen assistant coaches leave the Patriots and have very lackluster results. Coaches like Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, and yes Josh McDaniels himself. I always side with history but the Colts are siding with the present. McDaniels is currently one of the top if not the top offensive coordinator in the league. He uses his offense in a very unique way allowing the players to fit one specific role and mastering that role. That is the mark of a great coach. Hopefully the 2nd time around works out for him. For now I give it a B- with potential to go up or possibly down.
New York Giants hire Pat Shurmur: B+ Grade
I think this is a great hire for the Giants. I really do. Pat Shurmur has worked wonders in Minnesota. I have always said the mark of a truly great coach is one that can achieve even in adversity. Shurmur has done that and much much more. No Bradford no problem, no Bridgewater no problem, enter Case Keenum. Shurmur has done a fantastic job at living by this “next man up” code. I was hoping that a franchise would take notice and give him another shot and the New York Football Giants did. Shurmur did have some dog days in Cleveland but in comparison to the current state of the Browns he actually did pretty well. I hope the best for him but the biggest question that faces the Giants now is who is going to be the Quarterback? if history tells us anything it is that to Pat Shurmur it really doesn’t matter.
CURVE BALL ALERT
I didn’t tell you all I would be analyzing the decisions of some teams to extend their coaches for 2018 and beyond so let’s get to it
Cincinnati Bengals extend Marvin Lewis: A Grade
Marvin Lewis might have nine lives as the head coach of the Bengals but guess what I actually liked this move. Sometimes you do have to stand by your guy regardless as to whether or not the expectations were not met Marvin Lewis is a good coach who players play hard for. I think the culture will need to change soon in Cinci and I don’t know if keeping Marv for the next couple years does that but what it could do is allow the Bengals to put all of their ducks in a row and figure out who the next head coach could be. This wasn’t the best list of candidates in my opinion and that helped Lewis’ chances at staying. Hopefully he can eventually get it right and leave Cinci on a high note he deserves that.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers extend Dirk Koetter: F Grade
This decision baffled me. The Bucs were suppose to be a sexy pick for the NFC South title and they were even chosen as the subject matter for HBO’s Hard Knocks. The offense was supposed to exciting the defense was supposed to be capable. Instead the Bucs had a lost season. One that further proved my point that Marcus Mariota was the rightful number one overall pick not Jameis Winston. I think Winston has talent but he needs everything around him and then some to be capable. Where as Mariota is capable even with limited talent around him. So with that in mind I thought it was painfully obvious to me that the Bucs would go in a different direction instead they stuck to the same staff that helped them look lost in 2017. A very questionable move indeed.
Well there you have it what do you think football fans?
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