Which New Coaches Will Have the Largest Fantasy Impact in 2014?
2014 brings seven new NFL coaches to teams this season. A new coach brings a new system offensively and defensively which can have a big impact on your fantasy players. Here are the seven new coaches and their teams:
1. Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns- Mike Pettine the former defensive coordinator of the Bills and Jets lands his first head coaching gig in Cleveland after the Browns fired Rob Chudzinski their third coach in four years. Pettine brings his knowledge to the defensive side of the ball, so his fantasy impact will be minimal. However, the key for a first time head coach is bringing in a coaching staff that is reliable and experienced. I personally am not a fan of Pettine’s choice of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to run the Browns offense. Shanahan to me, seemed unorganized at times in Washington running the offense for father and head coach Mike. Statistically Kyle has put up decent numbers, but wins haven’t factored well into the equation. While I like the talent on the Cleveland roster, the Browns track record on keeping a consistent coaching staff is terrible, and this coaching staff won’t impact fantasy land much this season.
Fantasy Impact Meter: Low
2. Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions- Caldwell was the most intriguing hire this off season. To me, the Lions personnel and Caldwell are opposites, but some say opposites do attract. Caldwell brings a calming sense to the Lions that they did not see under former coach Jim Schwartz who was a lot more aggressive in his coaching style. Caldwell of course was somewhat successful in his first stint as head coach in Indianapolis, but with Peyton Manning on the roster some have said not securing a Super Bowl title was a failure. In the experience Caldwell brings, he hired a first time offensive coordinator in the NFL in Joe Lombardi who previously was the quarterbacks coach of the Saints. I love the hire, anyone on a Sean Payton coaching staff comes with a wealth of knowledge and will fully be prepared to handle the duties. Being the grandson of Vince Lombardi doesn’t hurt either. If Lombardi brings the Saints offense to Detroit to work with the weapons of Stafford, Johnson, Bush, Bell, Tate, the list could go on and on, look out. The fantasy impact could be high with Caldwell and his staff.
Fantasy Impact Meter: High
3. Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans- O’Brien did a masterful job resurrecting Penn State past the Jerry Sandusky scandal succeeding the legendary Joe Paterno. While he performed well the college game was not for O’Brien, Bill did not enjoy the schmoozing with the boosters of the program and wanted to run his college program more like the pros, as he learned under New England head man Bill Belicheck. O’Brien ran the offense during parts of his time in New England so his offensive style works well in the pro game. The one thing that is lacking under his first year as coach is a quarterback, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently the starter heading into the season. This does not scream fantasy impact, Fitzpatrick is a very capable backup but we have seen him as a starter before in Buffalo, and trust me it was not something fans wanted to watch. O’Brien is known as a quarterback whisperer, so he can work his magic on the young quarterbacks on the roster in Case Keenum and rookie Tom Savage, but do not look for a lot of fantasy impact year one.
Fantasy Impact Meter: Low
4. Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings- I thought Zimmer was due for a head coaching job back when he was the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys under Bill Parcells. For some reason, NFL GM’s weren’t ready to hire Zimmer yet. Luckily for Mike, the Vikings hired him and he walked into an ideal situation in Minnesota. The Vikings are only a full season removed from making the playoffs and the roster is not void of talent. Having running back Adrian Peterson makes life a lot easier on a rookie head coach. Zimmer being a defensive minded coach will count on his staff to run the offense. Out of all the new head coaches I felt like Zimmer made the best hire of a coordinator in Norv Turner to run Minnesota’s offense. Norv does not get the credit he deserves due to his failed head coaching gigs, but the man is an offensive wiz dating back to his days as OC of the Cowboys helping them to two Super Bowl titles. Turner has a knack for turning tight ends into playmakers (Novachek, Gates) so Kyle Rudolph could see a jump in production. The main concern for Zimmer and Turner is who will start at quarterback between Matt Cassell, Christian Ponder, and rookie first rounder Teddy Bridgewater. I have a feeling we will see all three of these quarterbacks at some point take the field in 2014, which means the fantasy impact could be minimal, but in the future I can see big things building in Minnesota.
Fantasy Impact Meter: High
5. Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Lovie Smith was the biggest coaching name to land a job in 2014, after taking 2013 off. Previously the successful coach of the Chicago Bears, Smith brings a respected presence to the sidelines of Tampa Bay that was not seen under previous coach Greg Schiano. Smith is known for his knowledge on the defensive side of the ball, running the cover two in Chicago for so many years. Lovie Smith’s hire of offensive coordinator was Jeff Tedford the former University of California coach, who is very well respected amongst his peers. Tedford, similar to Bill O’Brien is known for his quarterback philosophies, which will help bring along young second year quarterback Mike Glennon. More importantly, Glennon can learn from Josh McCown who was brought in from Chicago in the offseason to be the starter, at least temporarily. I do not expect to see a large fantasy impact from Lovie Smith or his staff, however the fans in Tampa will expect to see an impact on the win loss column.
Fantasy Impact Meter: Low
6. Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee Titans- It was only a matter of time before Whisenhunt was back as the head coach of an NFL team. After turning around the Cardinals franchise in Arizona, taking them to their only Super Bowl, Whisenhunt spent last season as the offensive coordinator in San Diego reaching the divisional round of the playoffs. Whisenhunt a former NFL tight end has wealth of knowledge and experience, one of the reasons why I think Titans tight end Delanie Walker will have a break out season. The best hire on Ken Whisenhunt’s staff was bringing former Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton to Tennessee with him. Horton who I believe will soon be an NFL head coach, works wonders on defenses turning disgraceful ones into top ten powers. This may have an impact on Tennessee’s team defense in fantasy but nothing that will win you your league championship. Whisenhunt went with a first time offensive coordinator in Jason Michael who was previously the tight ends coach in San Diego with him. The jury is still out on whether Michael can succeed as an OC, but his first job will be to turn Jake Locker’s potential into fruition.
Fantasy Impact Meter: Medium
7. Jay Gruden, Washington- I was surprised it took this long for Jay Gruden to get a head coaching gig. Not only is he a Gruden, but his resume speaks for itself having been in a coaching role since 1997. The last few seasons have been spent in Cincinnati running their high profiled offense with Andy Dalton and AJ Green. While they were successful every year it did not translate into playoff wins. Gruden now moves onto Washington coaching a very talented offense with RG3, Alfred Morris, Desean Jackson, the list could go on. Can Gruden get Grffin back to his form pre ACL injury? If he wants to be a successful head coach he better, or owner Dan Snyder will look for another coach who can. If Gruden can bring the Bengals offense to Washington, it could be a dangerous combination in fantasy sports.
Fantasy Impact Meter: Highhttps://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/which-new-coaches-will-have-the-largest-fantasy-impact-in-2014/FF Analysis2014 brings seven new NFL coaches to teams this season. A new coach brings a new system offensively and defensively which can have a big impact on your fantasy players. Here are the seven new coaches and their teams: 1. Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns- Mike Pettine the former defensive coordinator...Dan SchalkDan Schalkmyfantasysportstalk@gmail.comAdministratorDan Schalk is a sports enthusiast with degrees in Sports Coaching and Sports Management. He founded MyFantasySportsTalk in July of 2014 to bring a new platform to the sports media industry and allow various sports fans across the country have their voices be heard. Hailing from Buffalo, NY the land of the real chicken wing, you can stay up-to-date with Dan on Twitter @ffsportstalk You can also check some of Dan's work at Fantasypros.com, as he covers the Houston Astros as a team correspondent.MyFantasySportsTalk