Coach Talk

Posted: December 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 76 Comments »

I’m still working on the DGR.  The hot topic with Eagles fans is what will happen with the coaching situation.  As I’ve written, I just don’t see any realistic way Andy Reid returns.  With that in mind, here is a quick list of guys I’m checking out.  I haven’t come close to making up my mind, but you guys want to know some names so here goes.

I’ve broken the candidates down into categories.  I’m also listing a quick note or two with each guy.  This is very simplistic, but it’s what I can offer for now.

* * * The coaches are listed alphabetically, not in order of preference. * * *

Top 5 Guys who have already been an NFL coach

Jim Caldwell
Kevin Gilbride
Scott Linehan
Mike Nolan
Steve Spagnuolo

Caldwell has been HC in college and pros. Worked with Peyton Manning for years. Background is with QBs.  Downside is that he might not be the guy to jump start an organization.

Gilbride was bad in San Diego as the head man, but has been a terrific assistant for the Giants. Has done wonders with their passing attack and developing WRs.

Linehan has had success with 3 young QBs – Culpepper, Bulger, and Stafford. Downside is that he’s not had great rushing attacks. Is that him or lack of talented RBs?

Nolan has an incredible background. Top 10 defenses at multiple stops. Son of an NFL HC. Started the rebuilding in SF, but could not get the offense to develop.  Never had winning record.

Spags built a strong reputation by what he did with the 2007-08 Giants defense.  Went to the Rams and struggled mightily, but was hurt by the loss of Pat Shurmur after 2010 season.

Top 5 Offensive Coordinators

Pete Carmichael – Saints
Jay Gruden – Bengals
Dirk Koetter – Falcons
Mike McCoy – Broncos
Greg Roman – Niners

Carmichael is part of an offensive machine in New Orleans, but how much is him vs Peyton and Brees?  Dad was a football coach and Carmichael has a good background.  Is he ready?

Gruden is the younger broth of Jon and the son of an NFL scout.  Great success as player and coach in the Arena League.  Has done a terrific job developing Andy Dalton in the last 2 years.

Koetter was head coach at Boise and Arizona State.  Has been OC for Jacksonville and Atlanta i the NFL with mixed success.  Worked with Andy Reid at 3 stops in college.  Oddly, Koetter was the big dog then.  He was the OC, Reid just the OL coach.

McCoy had success with Jake Delhomme in Carolina.  He’s worked with Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and Peyton Manning in Denver. McCoy has been able to adapt to the different players and their skill sets.  Former QB himself.  Has never been part of a great offense.  Does like the running game.

Roman worked under Dom Capers at a couple of stops.  He then ended up at Stanford with Jim Harbaugh.  Roman followed him to the NFL and has done a great job with the running game out there.  It is very creative and not just straight ahead power football.  Roman has also had success working with young QB Colin Kaepernick.  In the past he worked with less mobile guys so he isn’t tied to one type of player.

Top 5 Defensive Coordinators

Gus Bradley – Seahawks
Perry Fewell – Giants
Vic Fangio – Niners
Ray Horton – Cardinals
Mike Zimmer – Bengals

Bradley was the LB coach in Tampa in 2007-08.  Monte Kiffin is a big supporter of his.  Bradley worked for a year as DC under Jim Mora and then Pete Carroll kept him as DC when he took over.  That’s a highly unusual move and speaks well of Gus.  Extensive college background as well.

Fewell has a great reputation, but his track record is more mediocre than you’d think. He’s never had a defense finish Top 10 in points and yards in the same season.  I’m interested because his players play hard and they respond to him.  He has finished Top 5 in takeaways for 4 straight years (BUF, 3 with NYG).  Did win a ring last year.

Fangio is a tough case.  Dom Capers disciple. Has had a few good years, but also plenty of bad ones.  Found a home working under Jim Harbaugh.  Guided Stanford to 11th ranked scoring defense in 2010.  Has posted great numbers in SF, in points, yards, and takeaways.  Not sure I see him as HC material, but has been really good for last 3 years.

Horton has been the DC in Arizona for 2 years.  Terrific background as positional assistant prior to that.  I think he’s a bit overrated and not ready for HC spot.

Zimmer had success at Dallas and Cincy.  #1 defense in 2003.  Top 10 unit the last couple of years.  Very good with players.  More than an X’s and O’s guy.  Has done well with troubled guys in Cincy.  Isn’t necessarily media savvy and that could be an issue in Philly.  Is he just a terrific DC or HC material?  Has been part of dysfunctional organizations.  Did spend 4 years working for Bill Parcells.

Top 3 Misc Candidates

Bruce Arians – OC/interim HC of Colts
Winston Moss – LBs/Asst HC of Packers
Dave Toub – STs with Bears

Arians was the OC for the Steelers for several years and had good success there.  Has done very well with Andrew Luck.  Has done an amazing job with the Colts this year while replacing Chuck Pagano. That is good, but can be deceiving. Soft schedule + emotional bond for players can lead to success that gives you a false positive.

Moss has been rumored as a HC candidate for a couple of years.  Good positional assistant and a coach that Mike McCarthy sees as a key leader inside the organization.

Toub is a Reid protege that has built great STs units in Chicago for years.  He can coach.  He can lead.  Is he HC material?

Top 5 College Coaches

Chip Kelly – Oregon
Doug Marrone – Syracuse
Bill O’Brien – Penn State
Chris Petersen – Boise State
David Shaw – Stanford

Kelly is a dynamic college coach.  His teams have been explosive on offense and highly successful.  He is very aggressive and innovative, yet his offense is based on running the ball.  Kelly has no NFL experience and there are questions about exactly how he’d adjust his offense for the NFL.  I think he’s smart enough to do that and not need a Michel Vick type of athlete to run it, but that’s strictly a guess.

Marrone worked for the Saints under Payton before heading to his alma mater to take over.  He’s done well at Syracuse after taking over for the disastrous Greg Robinson.  Marrone’s background is largely on the OL, but he was the OC under Sean Payton for 3 years with the Saints.  Played in the NFL and coached there for 7 years.

O’Brien did a great job with running the PSU program this year.  The team went 8-4.  He turned the offense from 110th in scoring to 66th.  It was 54th in yards.  O’Brien has an excellent college background and worked well with Tom Brady and the Patriots offense for a couple of years.  The downside is that he’s a Belichick assistant and those guys have really struggled away from New England.  Also, it wouldn’t look great if O’Brien walked out on PSU after just one season.  He does have a son who has serious medical issues.

Petersen has done a phenomenal job at Boise.  He’s shown no desire to leave, but he’s worth talking to.  He’s hired great assistants year after year (because he keeps losing them to promotions).  Petersen is a gifted offensive mind and knows how to teach.  Could he handle the pressure of the NFL?

Shaw has an extensive NFL background, including time with the Eagles.  That was under Jon Gruden in the 90s.  Shaw’s dad was an NFL coach so he was raised in a pro atmosphere.  He replaced Harbaugh at Stanford when Jim left for the Niners.  Shaw is a Stanford grad and many feel that is his dream job and he won’t want to leave.

* * * * *

Guys I Don’t Like

* Jon Gruden – gifted coach, but he’s the NFL’s version of Larry Brown.  Always tinkers with the roster.  Doesn’t develop young talent.

* Mike Holmgren – just seems like he may have burned out on the game.  Lots of questionable moves in CLE.

* Josh McDaniels – started 6-0 with Denver and then went 5-17 the rest of the way before being fired.  A little too dictatorial for my taste while out there.  Went to Rams as OC in 2011 and the offense was horrible.  Sam Bradford regressed under him.  Josh is great with Tom Brady, but I’m not sold on him.  Might be good in college.

* Kyle Shanahan – has posted good numbers while the OC in Houston and Washington, but was working under Gary Kubiak and his dad.  I don’t trust that.  Would like to see him on his own before considering him.

* Darrell Bevell – interesting OC background and some stuff to like, but track record with young QBs makes me nervous.  Russell Wilson has just 33o passing attempts.  He’s had a good season, but hasn’t thrown more than 37 passes in a game.  I just don’t know if you can win in the NFL like this.  Bevell did a lot of the same stuff in MIN when they ran a conservative attack.

* Jim Tomsula – Great DL coach for the Niners. Very few DL coaches become successful HCs.  Buddy Ryan was one, but even Buddy couldn’t win in the postseason.  You’re much better off with LB and DB coaches.

* Nick Saban – Another Belichick assistant.  Thrived in college, not so much in the NFL.  I’d be nervous about him. He was quick to jump ship in Miami.  Seems to prefer the college game.

* Brian Kelly – Odd person to figure.  Has done a great job this year, but was up and down previous 2 years.  Great at Cincy, but that was when the Big East was down.  Not sure what to make of that.  Did a great job at Grand Valley State.  Big negative is how he treats players and assistants.  Kelly is a big time screamer.  That won’t fly in the NFL.  I’m interested in him, but would be scared of him as well.

* * * * *

I may find others to add to the lists, but these are the key guys that I’m focused on.


76 Comments on “Coach Talk”

  1. 1 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 5:07 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Not sure at all. I think Lurie hires the man and not the resume. I don’t think you can just look for the most “qualified” coach as determined by ESPN. it could be anyone.

  2. 2 shah8 said at 5:29 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Oh god, no, I really hope that doesn’t happen…

    Worst experiences with Atlanta scene sports comes from owners being buddy buddy with new potential coaches. The disasters of Jim Mora Jr. and Bobby Petrino are directly related to being able to interview well with Arthur Blank.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 6:05 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I don’t think he means personality so much as the guy who really feels right for the job. The big selling point for Andy was his infamous blue binder where he had all these elaborate plans already made up. Andy proved he was ready to be the HC.

  4. 4 austinfan said at 6:30 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    That’s underrated, you get hired in January, you have three months to evaluate 60 players (53 plus PS), decide who to keep, get ready for free agency and a month later for the draft.

    Then as soon as the draft is over, mini-camps begin and you have to install your schemes in two months to prepare everyone for TC, which is a whirlwind.

    You can be smart as a whip, clever as a vixen, but if you’re not highly organized you’re gonna fall behind and make mistakes.

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 5:33 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Very true. Resume gets you in the door, though.

  6. 6 Chris Lloyd said at 5:12 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Out of these candidates, I want an Offensive minded Coach who has a good image. Mike Mccoy seems to fit the bill. But is he HC material?

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 5:32 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    That’s the question. Andy Reid was HC material, but wasn’t even the OC with the Packers. Other guys have a great track record, but then prove to be in over their head.

  8. 8 mcud said at 5:13 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Interesting note…I’ve read that BOB and Marrone are best friends. Package deal? BOB is my favorite candidate listed. It would be fun to see if Toub is another John Harbaugh as well.

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 5:32 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Great point on Marrone and BOB. I’d love BOB if Penn State wasn’t in such an awkward spot.

  10. 10 Andrew Rush said at 10:17 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    They are close – Marrone was one of the only coaches who called BOB before looking at PSU players last fall. Marrone isn’t leaving Syracuse for another OC gig though, been there, done that. I think he would leave for an NFL HC spot. Best thing about DM, we’ve watched him get better as a head coach over the last four years, constantly learning and evolving. He tried to do too much pro stuff early on and adpated.

  11. 11 SleepingDuck said at 5:14 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    How much success of a coach is credited to the coach for planning and scheming and how much of it is from the players’ natural abilities? I hope that made sense.

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 5:31 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Combination of factors. There is no perfect formula.

    Some coaches are better motivators than tacticians. Others are the opposite. Coach needs something about him that stands out and brings out the best in his players.

  13. 13 laeagle said at 5:22 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Great, great stuff as usual. Looking forward to the feedback on this thread.

  14. 14 dislikedisqus said at 5:25 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I don’t know who the right person is but i think he needs to 1) have an OC who will be committed to the run, 2) be committed to winning with defense and lean toward a 4-3, 3) not be a system guy but someone who focuses on making people reach their potential, i.e., be a Foles guy. I am not interested in a tear down and rebuild. Lot of talent here. I doubt Lurie is either.

    I think there was a SD ST coach that some people think is ready to moce up to HC.

  15. 15 austinfan said at 5:43 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Top 5 Guys who have already been an NFL coach

    I think Spags is the only one I’d consider, depending on what when wrong in St Louis – Belichick had to fail in Cleveland to become who he is today. However, Spags hasn’t done a great job as DC in NO, though there are extenuating circumstances.

    Top 5 Offensive Coordinators

    Carmichael – Might as well go Marrone, who probably had more to do with putting together the NO offense.

    Gruden – good fit with a young QB, even if he fails, could leave a franchise QB behind him.

    McCoy – does making silk purses out of sow’s ears correlate to making high quality silk purses out of real silk?

    Roman – we have the RBs and he’s worked with Alex Smith as well, so he knows how to maximize a caretaker.

    Top 5 Defensive Coordinators

    Bradley – has worked with the right guys, but that’s a problem as well, has he ever owned a defense?

    Fewell – Giant defense is too erratic for my tastes.

    Fangio – No, his overall record is too spotty

    Horton – No, he’s a 3-4 guy and hasn’t shown enough to be a HC.

    Zimmer – Is he too nice? This teams needs a shakeup, not necessarily a screamer, but someone who holds players accountable and will clear out the dead wood.

    Top 5 College Coaches

    Chip Kelly – he scares me, no NFL experience, trick offense that may not translate, you’d have to trust his presumed brilliance and organizational skills.

    Doug Marrone – safe pick, has won at Syracuse (which is hard), and has the pro credentials as well, I like the NO offensive scheme, sort of an upgrade on the WCO where they run the ball and spread it around, using RBs and TEs.

    Don’t think O’Brien or Shaw are leaving, they’re in perfect spots, good salaries, little pressure, beautiful living environment – there’s more to life than the NFL.

    Just say no to Saban

  16. 16 Matthew Donaldson said at 10:38 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    I actually really like Fewell as a DC. For the most part the Giants defense has been terrible due to lack of talent being forced on the field. A good example of this is their cornerback situation at times. When you are forced to having your 5th string CB as one of the top guys its hard to make that work.

    His defenses also make the big plays, by generating turnovers and historically getting sacks. You also, don’t see too many mistakes like missed tackles or blown assignments (Antel Rolle excluded).

    He also, seems like he is able to adapt his defense to his players pretty well. An example of this is the 3 safety looks he uses from time to time.

    I don’t like him as a HC candidate, but I do think he is a pretty good DC.

  17. 17 D3Keith said at 5:48 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    So far Shaw is the guy I want most, although I reserve the right to change my mind seven to 10 times as we examine the candidates (when they are actually candidates) more closely.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 6:07 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    That’s the spirit.

  19. 19 Michael Riccardi said at 6:12 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Shaw is definitely worth feeling out, but Stanford is the ultimate low-pressure high-reward job.Laid-back fan base does not mind if you go 7-6 as long as you beat Cal 2 out of 3 years.

  20. 20 Michael Riccardi said at 6:11 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Winston Moss comes from a gold-standard organization in GB, and looks ready to be a HC in this league, but I don’t think the Eagles are in a position to transition to a 3-4 defense in 2013. Of the offensive-minded coaches, you really have to like Greg Roman for his work in building a run-oriented offense in SF (and working with Alex Smith whose skill set is not unlike young Mr. Foles) and Bill O’Brien, who has gotten a lot of mileage out of an offense led by Matt McGloin, who is long on grit but short on talent.

  21. 21 47_Ronin said at 7:23 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Winston Moss has been an asst. coach in 4-3 schemes with the Seahawks, Saints and Packers (before they switched). I’m positive he could coach a 4-3 personnel team.

  22. 22 shah8 said at 9:37 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Thinking about the broad Green Bay coaching umbrella, I’d look at what has happened with Oakland and the lack of success by Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie so far. Allen’s supposed to be a good defensive guy, but the defense is absolutely atrocious. McKenzie hasn’t done much other than be like Holmgren in bringing players he is comfortable with rather than seriously find talent and negotiate favorable deals.

  23. 23 bridgecoach said at 1:37 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Winston Moss is also the guy who transitioned the Packers from 4-3 to 3-4 and back to a hybrid. He is the head coaches organizational guy, Since the Packers named Moss Assistant Head Coach (5 years ago), they have been ranked first in the NFL in total takeaways (166), interceptions (126) and second in opponent passer rating (73.1). Packers under Moss had the top ranked defense in 2009 and 2010 (Super Bowl victory). And he values linebackers…

  24. 24 47_Ronin said at 11:13 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Back when Reid was looking for a DC before he settled on Castillo Moss and Horton were identified as possible candidates, I think either of them would’ve done a better job than the Washburn-Castillo combination.

  25. 25 shah8 said at 6:12 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Bevell has done a good job, actually. Now with the body of work coming together–much of what was annoying about him are directly related to the limitations of the QB and Carroll’s preference for run-based offense. That’s just as an OC, though.

    My feelings are already known, I think. I want a coach with excellent administrative capabilities. That made the writeup for Petersen the most attractive…He keeps losing subordinates to better jobs? Must be doing a good job finding talented coaches–and I think non-overrated and mollycoddled talented subordinates will make the biggest difference on the Eagles team.

    Chip Kelly, I would be wary, because too many of his players have a tendency to be too light and non-durable in the NFL, and I’d wonder if his scheme depends too much on speed at the expense of accomplishing necessary power tasks and player durability. I’ve already disagreed that he would find Foles appetizing–it’s one thing for spread guys like Chizik/Malzahn or Nutt/Petrino to adapt their schemes, but it’s not just the lack of mobility that’s an issue. Those western SEC and Meyer all ran their offenses through a crazy dynamic rusher, and the QB is only as dynamic as needed (often seriously undynamic in the case of LSU). Kelly’s scheme is more dependent on a QB that makes faster passing decisions than Foles (at least the Foles I have seen), never mind command the attention of the LBs on the ground. Watch more Oregon football. It’s not even all that much like West Virginia’s spread concepts today with Holgorson, unlike the days of Rich Rodriguez. If you’re hiring Chip Kelly, and hiring him for his grasp of Xs and Os, you are almost certainly not going to have Foles as a likely starter, full stop. Doesn’t matter if Foles is good or not, Foles is just entirely the wrong kind of QB.

    Ex-NFL Head Coach list isn’t that appetizing. Add Hue Jackson to the list. Did more with less talent on offense. Rather strong history of success wherever he’s gone. Obviously, give him a strong-minded DC, and no trade authority.

    I do think we should go with the coach on the O side, since that’s where the talent is heaviest. I have to say, though, that I’m not a huge fan of most of those guys. The only one I’d want is Roman.

    Can’t assess the DC guys at all.

  26. 26 Steag209 said at 12:33 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    I love watching Boise play and would love to see more background info on Peterson, him succeeding in the NFL wouldn’t surprise me at all, my only concern is what Tommy said, can he handle the transition from Idaho to Philly?

  27. 27 Mike Roman said at 6:26 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I like Bruce Arians. Has a Philly background from Temple. I believe he was Peyton’s first QB coach and he’s done a great job with Luck and the Colts this year. He also knows how to draw up a good passing attack, which is needed to win in the NFL. He spent a lot of years with a winning franchise in Pittsburgh and he’s coached every offensive position at some point in his career. He’s older, but not ancient.

  28. 28 Michael Riccardi said at 6:37 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Bruce has coached and does like running backs. His Pittsburgh offenses got a lot out of RBs like Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall. He’s a solid coach with vast experience.

  29. 29 Iskar36 said at 6:33 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Great job at organizing a list of some quality names. My one question would be, are there any guys that are not currently on the radar that are worth considering. In other words, would AR have been a guy that would have made this list 14 years ago? Are there any additional positional coaches who stand out?

  30. 30 Michael Riccardi said at 7:00 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Aaron Kromer, who was interim HC for the Saints first six games, has a long track record as a solid O-line coach and may be the one positional coach who seems most ready to be an NFL HC right now. Has worked with Jon Gruden and Sean Payton.

  31. 31 JJ_Cake said at 6:38 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I got a bad feeling about our choices Tommy…. only one Bill among all of them. Doesn’t bode well for the high percentage of HC “Bill’s” wining the Super Bowl statistics. 🙂

    On the serious side, I would love for this defense to get fixed, but is that even possible these days? Look how the “great” Texas defense got torched by Brady and the Pats last night. The NFL has structured the rules to gimp defenses beyond where they can be effective. What kind of great athlete would want to play defense when good solid “legal” shoulder pad hits that separate the receiver from the ball get penalized? (ref the Cincy/Dallas game).

    Reid was probably right in knowing the league was going to a passing league and trying to build us in that image, just wrong with his choice in QB.

    Seems like our D actually played well enough during the first three games, but maybe fell apart when they realized the Offense couldn’t do anything. It’s the same thing the AZ Cards defense is doing, they “check out”, or don’t play as intense when the rest of the team sucks.

    I hope the next coaches can help groom Foles to be Brady-esque, and put together a good offensive line. The best defense these days is to put together a good enough offense that keeps the other team off the field!

  32. 32 Cal Setar said at 7:24 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Your point about the league skewing in the favor of offenses is exactly what gives me pause about going with Foles. I like Nick and think he did a really good job in both the Cowboy and Bucs games. But I think we’re heading to a place where the best teams aren’t going to be the ones that can stop the other team with strong defense, while relying on a safe and reliable offense. It’s going to be the teams that can win shootout after shootout.

    Not saying Nick can’t develop into a QB who can win games like that. It just makes me wonder if having more of a game manager type is nothing more than a ticket to repeated close but no cigar years. Watching Matt Schaub get abused on one side, while watching Tom Brady race his team up and down the field on the other, had to be pretty eye opening for Texans fans last night.

  33. 33 JJ_Cake said at 11:40 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I think there are only 2 QBs who have been consistently elite in this past decade: Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning. Rarely if ever will you see them have a bad game.

    How many opportunities are there for getting a QB like that? I think Luck is it. So we’ve had hundreds of other QBs in the league over the past decade and we’re talking about a 3% chance of getting a great one.

    Brees, Rodgers, Eli, …. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone, but the point is, those guys “can” play like elite QBs, but are not in the same category of Brady and Manning.

    Having said that, I’m sure none of us would mind having a Brees, Rodgers or ..*cough* Eli.

    RG3 looks great, but seems like Mike Vick. No thanks. (And I supported Mike, and still respect the man. Great arm, good leader, and came off like a team player unlike some of the other QBs we’ve had).

    I’d rather have Foles than any (except Luck) of the guys who came out this year. I think he’s got the “best” chance at being as Brady’esque or Peyton’esque, or Rodgers’like than any of the other guys. Why? Foles can’t rely on his athleticism to bail him out of trouble. He also has something that can’t be taught or trained, size. Foles is closer to a Brady or Manning size than RG3, or Russel.

    We have no idea if Foles has “it”, but he’s shown a lot of good things so far for a rookie. I agree with Tommy, Foles has looked better than Kolb, and some of the other developmental QBs we’ve taken.

    The team will still need more than a QB to fix this mess though. I think Brady and Peyton would get crushed behind the team we’re currently fielding.

    Jury is still out on Foles, will he be a Schaub, or a Brady? Should be interesting to watch.

  34. 34 Cal Setar said at 9:02 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Yeah, I mean of course we don’t know yet with Foles, and I’ve said before that I think he’s got a great demeanor and more than enough physical skill. That doesn’t mean he’ll be elite though. I hold out hope, as I’m sure most of us do, that he will be elite. But I guess I’m just saying that if he turns out to be pretty good and not “great”, it’s not going to mean much other than some playoff and maybe NFC championship game appearances without ever getting over the hump and winning the big game. Just for fun, the last 10 superbowl winning QB’s and the game MVP’s:

    Super Bowl 36. Tom Brady (MVP), 1 TD
    Super Bowl 37. Brad Johnson (Dexter Jackson), 2 TDs
    Super Bowl 38. Tom Brady (MVP), 3 TDs
    Super Bowl 39. Tom Brady (Deion Branch), 2 TDs
    Super Bowl 40. Ben Roethlisberger (Hines Ward), 0 TDs
    Super Bowl 41. Peyton Manning (MVP), 1 TD
    Super Bowl 42. Eli Manning (MVP), 2 TDs
    Super Bowl 43: Ben Roethlisberger (Santonio Holmes), 1 TD
    Super Bowl 44: Drew Brees (MVP), 2 TDs
    Super Bowl 45: Aaron Rogers (MVP), 3TDs
    Super Bowl 46: Eli Manning (MVP), 1 TD

    Elite QB’s win superbowl’s. Pretty good ones don’t, unless they have Dexter Jackson. Again…I’m not trying to hold Nick Foles, the man of 4 professional starts, to a ridiculous standard. I’m more just thinking out loud about our hopes for him in relation to our ultimate hopes for the team.

  35. 35 Anders said at 6:29 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Nick Foles does not look like a game manager type of QB at all. Foles might not pan out, but not by lack of abilities.

  36. 36 Cal Setar said at 9:03 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    I don’t think we can say for certain that Foles does or doesn’t look like anything yet. He’s had 4 starts.

  37. 37 Anders said at 9:21 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Alex Smith to me is the perfect example of a game manager right now and when you watch him play and Foles play, Foles look like a QB there can carry his team. Alex Smith can not do that.

  38. 38 Cal Setar said at 9:35 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Fair enough. I guess I just don’t see that yet. He’s done some really good things that give me hope. But at this point, those things give me hope that he can be a starter in this league…not necessarily an elite one. That being said, he certainly does possess certain attributes (his demeanor, his command of the huddle and offense, his arm strength) that could lend themselves to elite QB play.

  39. 39 Anders said at 9:36 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Im not saying he will be elite, but I also think there you dont need to be elite to not be a game manager (I dont see guys like Ryan or Stafford as elite just yet, but they aint game managers either).

  40. 40 Cal Setar said at 9:38 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Ok…but do you see either one of those guys as super bowl winning QB’s? I don’t.

  41. 41 Anders said at 10:51 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    After 2007 and last season Im going to say you never know (I think Eli is at the same level as Ryan and Stafford)

  42. 42 Matthew Donaldson said at 10:47 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    I agree, just going back to this season and last I can’t see a game where Smith was forced to throw as much as Foles was this past Sunday and had success. I realize Foles being able to do it once doesn’t mean he can do it consistently, but at the same time it is nice to see him fill a role that was far more than not losing it for his team.

  43. 43 Ark87 said at 8:07 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    On the contrary, only 1 Biil, the choice is clear!

  44. 44 Patrick said at 6:40 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Mike McCoy, Greg Roman, Gus Bradley, Chip Kelly and David shaw are my favorites.
    The 3 NFL guys just seem like good choices. All of them have really solid backgrounds, all of them delivered results, all of them seems to have some creative/smart moves up their sleeve.
    Chip Kelly could be the wildcard who might light up the NFL or he will be highstepping his way back to college after 2 disastrous years.
    David Shaw seems like a REALLY good cancidate, but the whole thing about him loving Stanford thing just seems like too much smoke not to lead to the fire at some point. I doubt he will leave Stanford

    I cant really figure out a guy like Jay Gruden. obviously smart and have done some good things with Dalton, AJ Green and the whole Bengals offense, but i just have this weird vibe about him. Might be as simple as the whole irregular AFL background, but i dont think i would be comfortable with him right away.

    The former HCs all really scare me. Mike Nolan seems to deliver good defenses, but he doesnt strike me as the guy we need right now. I think a guy like McCoy, Bradley or Kelly would really be able to grow with the job and revamp the organization like Andy did when he first got here. I also really want to like Fangio because his defense is awesome, but as Austinfan mentions, i would have liked to see better overall results. Ray Horton is a guy I like, just now as a head coach. I would also wonder if he delivers the same result outside of his “zone” of Steelers guys.

  45. 45 Yuri said at 11:04 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I agree on avoiding former HC — both the guys Tommy likes and dislikes (don’t qualify to say too much about the rest). And… I am not sure in what world Caldwell is a top HC candidate today. Nolan is the only guy I would consider if only for being sharply dressed on sidelines. John Feinstein was complimentary of him in Next Man Up, but of course his SF experience was not that great.

  46. 46 quest4fire said at 7:59 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Lurie loves New England, the list needs to be narrowed to the following Patriots coaching staff:
    Dante Scarnecchia- Asst Head Coach, Josh McDaniels- OC, and Matt Patricia DC

  47. 47 ezgreene said at 8:04 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I know it’s your preference, but I couldn’t agree less with McDaniels. Bradford was looking quite good until his OLine and WRs went kablooey with injuries. His current offense is a wonderful mix of high-tempo and clever personnel and formations.

    I’m all in on him

  48. 48 TommyLawlor said at 9:30 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    Bradford looked good in 2010 under Pat Shurmur. McDaniels got the job in 2011 and Bradford regressed. Offense finished 32nd in Pts, 31st in Yds.

    Doing a great job with Tom Brady is tricky to evaluate. Gotta give Brady an awful lot of that credit.

  49. 49 Anders said at 6:31 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    I think Pat Shurmur is very underrated and I dont understand why people are talking about him getting fired. He have gotten a crappy Browns offense to look legit with 3 rookies at QB, RB and WR. The progress shown by Weeden, Richardson and Gordon should give him atleast 1 more year.

  50. 50 Midnight_Greenville said at 9:12 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    What about Rich Bisaccia, ST coordinator for San Diego? Mike Mayock was really high on him as a candidate. Would love to find the next John Harbaugh.

  51. 51 SteveH said at 9:13 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    I wouldn’t touch Nick Saban with a ten foot pole. That guy was ready to bail the moment things didn’t go his way.

  52. 52 Matt Hoover said at 9:26 PM on December 11th, 2012:

    When you cover assistant coaches and positional coaches Tommy, I would love your take on maybe adding Tom Bradley formerly of penn state as the secondary coach, which is something we desperately need to address to help improve our secondary

  53. 53 Steag209 said at 12:28 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Just from what I’ve read/heard over the last year or so, of the guys you put up there these are who I’d like to see so far. (studying for finals otherwise I’d actually write something with it)

    Mike McCoy – Broncos
    Greg Roman – Niners
    Gus Bradley – Seahawks
    Mike Zimmer – Bengals
    Chris Petersen – Boise State
    David Shaw – Stanford
    (No way in Hell O’Brien leaves, idk about Shaw but I’d bet he won’t leave either and all the hype around Kelly scares me a little)
    Dave Toub – STs with Bears – Idk about HC but intriguing as heck

  54. 54 shadrach said at 12:46 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    I completely understand it is Reid’s time to go from Philly. But the funny thing is, if you put Reid’s name on your list, I would think he is as good as any of the other candidates. But we will move on.

    I like Chip Kelly. The gimmick tag does not do him justice. He is an extreme innovator, but a logical innovator, not afraid to change how the game is played on a fundamental level, if it gives his team a competitive advantage.

    Kelly has said that he does not have a system. Rather he creates systems that fit the players he has. He said if his players were suited for a power i, he would run a power i. I think if he likes Foles enough, he would tailor an offence around him, rather than only look for a very mobile QB. I think Foles has the football IQ to handle Kelly’s strange one word plays, hurry up offense. Perhaps, the only “system” Kelly will stick to is his belief in fast tempo.

  55. 55 bridgecoach said at 1:26 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Completely agree. Kelly has the meticulous organizational skills to run an organization. It’s like he is playing three dimensional chess while the rest of the NFL is playing checkers. We can use an infusion of smart finding ways to win, instead of watching dumb ways to come up short.

  56. 56 Iskar36 said at 2:00 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    The problem with Kelly is while we would HOPE he can adapt his offense, there is absolutely no one who knows that he can, including Kelly himself. I agree it is too simplistic to say Kelly is simply a coach who succeeds based on gimmicks that would not work in the NFL, but since he has not tried adapting an NFL offense, we have no clue how successful he would be. You can argue that the other coordinators/coaches are mysteries as well, but at least they have had success within the NFL.

    To me, Kelly comes with way to many moving parts for me to be comfortable with the idea of him becoming head coach. He absolutely has boom potential, but the bust potential is extremely high as well, and that part scares me away.

  57. 57 Anders said at 8:39 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Kelly’s coaching background make me think that he 100% can adapt his scheme. Before he was with the Ducks and began his famous spread offense, he coached an ultra conservative power I offense.

  58. 58 shah8 said at 1:50 PM on December 12th, 2012:

    Think about what players he recruits. That tells you everything about what he thinks *his* system needs. Oregon is a reasonably high profile program, as well.

  59. 59 Anders said at 2:14 PM on December 12th, 2012:

    Isnt that what a smart coach does? Recruit players there fits his scheme? But just because his current scheme at Oregon requires a certain type of players, does not mean he cant alter his scheme to the personal at place.

  60. 60 DanJ3645 said at 7:08 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    It feels like Chip Kelly is being talked about as a boom or bust option. But if you ignore his offensive scheme it sounds like he has a very well thought out method and strong administration capabilities to maximise a major limitation – practise time.
    He seems like someone who is willing to make changes and adjustments base on data, and to analysis and review ‘fundamental truths’ of the game. This sounds like it could be very exciting and would be fun to go along for the ride.

    From a X’s and O’s point of view who ever Kelly brought onboard as OC and DC would make a huge impact on transferring to the NFL.
    Tommy – do you have any insight on who could be brought in and their backgrounds?

  61. 61 Anders said at 9:35 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Im not Tommy, but I think Joe Lombardi (QB coach of the Saints) has a bright future as an OC and he already have a solid background from a team using as many 4 WRs sets as anybody in the NFL and they mix and match their WRs based on down and distance.

    Gill Byrd (safeties coach of the Bears) and Darren Perry (safeties coach of the Packers) are in my opinion two up and coming DCs. Both have been tutored by great defensive minds and both have been part of some of the better take away secondaries in the NFL over the last couple of years.

    Rex Ryan could also be great DC for us, but not somebody I would want as my HC.

  62. 62 Mark Sitko said at 8:13 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    This is amazing Tommy – the kind of info only available here (or on Blogging the Beast – you and Jimmy are the BEST) – keep up the excellent work here and on the podcast (PS – funniest thing I have ever heard you say was just in the last podcast – in regards to one station giving us some shots of Foles footwork…you said something like “That is a lot better than on Fox, where we get Billick talking about shit that doesn’t exist!” – Classic Tommy, CLASSIC

  63. 63 Brit_Bill said at 8:48 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Have you missed out Todd Bowles because you don’t believe that move is possible? If, now that the wide 9 is gone, the D starts performing how they were supposed to after all the free agents arrived, is there any chance that Bowles might be an option?

    After everything, I still think Bowles is a good coach. Is it possible that he was brought in because Andy was likely to be on his way out and Roseman and Lurie thought that the transition might be smoother if a potential Head Coach candidate was with the team already and getting to know the players?

  64. 64 dawkinsfan said at 10:52 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Wrote a second article on the o-line. Let me know what you think.

  65. 65 Ark87 said at 11:34 AM on December 12th, 2012:

    Foles mania has been unleashed!

  66. 66 Steven Marquez said at 12:54 PM on December 12th, 2012:

    No Rick Dennison? His offense is consistantly one of the best running teams in the NFL, and the upswing of the Houston offense came when Dennison came along. His scheme fits a lot of the offensive talent we already have, and would be a benificial scheme to move forward with as far as the ZBS helping the running game and protecting the passer. He’s got a strong offensive background, and he played LB and ST in the pros, which could give him an overview of the whole team and what it takes to control all those areas.

  67. 67 T_S_O_P said at 1:22 PM on December 12th, 2012:

    There is something about Buddy Ryan punching Kevin Gilbride that deters me from the latter.

  68. 68 Raul Estrada said at 2:00 PM on December 12th, 2012:

    Lovie Smith is probably on the hot seat, too. If he came here as DC, he’d have a good DL to work with. He can help load up with the LBs and DBs to have a formidable defense.

  69. 69 Nick Carter said at 5:17 PM on December 13th, 2012:

    RE: Jim Caldwell

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  76. 76 gwifi404 said at 12:18 PM on December 26th, 2012:

    Why is Joe Vitt not mentioned? Defensive minded coach and has helped the Saints rebound this season