Sorry for the delay in getting your Roundtable out to you, and this time we are talking Rookie Head Coaches, this year there are 7 new coaches, and in case you need the List;
Jim Caldwell (Det)
Jay Gruden (Was)
Bill O’Brien (Hou)
Mike Pettine (Cle)
Lovie Smith (TB)
Ken Whisenhunt (Ten)
Mike Zimmer (Minn)
Archie: Longevity is not the strong suit for many of today’s new coaches. But, given the list, I will say Jim Caldwell will last the longest.
EJ: I’ll go with Lovie Smith. Maybe it’s because I like what Tampa Bay has been doing for a few seasons now, you have to think it’s eventually going to pan out. They had the wrong head coach in Greg Schiano, but in Lovie Smith the Bucs have a guy who has had long term success in the NFL, and he’s a players coach. If the Bucs can figure out the quarterback situation, the rest of their offense and their defense is strong enough to keep them in the playoff hunt over the next few seasons.
David: I’d look at Mike Zimmer. As you all know, I’m a HUGE Teddy Ballgame fan, they have a lot of good parts sitting there. Zimmer has made good defenses from harsher situations than he has in Minny, on paper. If Teddy is the QB I think he is, then he’s going to be very successful.
Mariner: I believe Lovie Smith will be the last to get fired. The Tampa Bay Bucs looked promising during the Raheem Morris days, and then Schiano ran them into the ground. Lovie Smith is a proven winner from his time in Chicago, and his defensive mindset can only help a defense ranked 17th overall (16th vs the pass, and 18th vs the run). It is a middle of the road defense with a last place offense. They will need work on the offensive side of the ball, but if Love Smith can turn this defense around, it should be easier to get the offense going. The Bucs showed signs of promise, even with Schiano running them into the ground. It won’t happen this year, but maybe next year Tampa Bay goes 9-7, and then the following year after that, they break through and make the playoffs.
Zach: Lovie Smith, for sure. And I’m not being a homer on this one. Sincerely, Smith should still be coaching in Chicago right now. Nothing against Trestman (who Chicago got lucky in acquiring), but Lovie is a genius who was born to be the big dopper in Tampa. I actually think we’re talking a legacy of Bill Belichick-worthy stint. Not Jeff Fisher.
Archie: Flip a damn coin here. I think with all the missed chances the Texans went through the past three years or so that Bill O’Brien is on the shortest leash.
EJ: Jay Gruden. For some reason I think Daniel Snyder was thinking he hired Jon Gruden, until he was sadly disappointed at the introductory press conference. Nothing about Gruden’s time as an offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals makes me feel that he can handle coaching the Washington Redskins. If he can’t get RGIII playing at an elite level, he’s going to be out in 2 years. Guarantee it.
David: Ken Whisenhunt. Tenn is a great place to play, with a lot of good talent. Problem is, If the Jags have a QB, they could be sitting in spot 4 for a LONG time. If Jake Locker isn’t the answer, they are toast. Even the Browns can get to third place with a 6-10 record. If the Jags right the ship, they could pass the Titans and stay ahead.
Mariner: Mike Pettine will be the first one fired, just because Cleveland is a black hole of an organization, and they have no clue what they are doing out there. names like Johnny Manziel and Miles Austin give them hope offensively, but the Browns are a bigger mess than anything right now. If this team starts 3-2 like last year, and then drops 10 of its next 11, like last year, Pettine will be the next one out the door. They have a running joke about the revolving door of QBs, but the same thing is happening to the coaches, keeping the Browns as the biggest joke in the league.
Zach: Mike Pettine. After Chud was fired, NO-ONE wanted to coach for Cleveland. Is it hard to imagine why? Finally, Pettine dived on that grenade and will be the next one to get chucked after two years, when Manziel is a bust and the Brownies have won eight games in two years. Cleveland has some SERIOUS in-house issues they need to clear up before they will ever be able to compete in any fashion besides the NFL draft. It’s actually kind of sad, really.
Archie: Hell yeah, playoffs are free on TV. Oh! You mean from the sidelines. I actually think Jim Caldwell stands the best chance of his Lions getting a WC berth before any of the others. I will have to wait and see how the other coaches build their teams. Currently the Lions or the Texans have the strongest core to begin with.
EJ: Jim Caldwell. The Lions greatly underachieved the past few seasons. Their defense is decent enough, and that offense is loaded. I expect the Lions to win some shootouts, and I don’t see why this team can’t win 10 games and the NFC North with Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and rookie Eric Ebron.
David: Det, Min, Hou should all be battling for a playoff spot in the closing weeks of the season, I could even see the Redskins making a push- with that crappy division. The only ones I see shit out of luck is Tampa and Cleveland.
Mariner: I think the only one capable of seeing his team in the playoffs in their first year is Jim Caldwell. The Lions do have a team built for the playoffs. The only reason they missed it last year was because Jim Schwartz had lost the locker room. I do think O’Brien, Zimmer, and Lovie all get their teams to the playoffs, but maybe not in their first season. Had Minnesota retained Jared Allen, I might have said yes to Zimmer seeing the playoffs in his first year. But there are questions on that defense, and even at QB, with rookie sensation Teddy Bridgewater.
Zach: I think Wisenhunt, Gruden, Smith, Caldwell, and even O’Brien. I’m calling it now: this is the year of the rookie coach. ONLY, because the coaches previous probably shouldn’t have been fired, but that’s just me. The only coach who should’ve probably been fired out of the coaches listed above is Schiano in Tampa. So really, it’s like what Gruden did with Tampa: won a Superbowl with Dungy’s team. I think that’s what we should expect out of the rookie coaches this year.
4. Rank the coaches, how they will do?
Archie: 1. Caldwell 2. Zimmer 3. Whisenhunt 4.O’Brien 5. Gruden 6. Smith 7. Pettine (Only because of the franchise)
EJ: In order of preference, and in order of who will get fired first to who will get fired last: Gruden, Zimmer, Pettine, O’Brien, Whisenhunt, Caldwell, and Smith. I like Lovie, and I think Caldwell will do well for a few seasons in Detroit, and as much as I liked Pettine when he was the defensive coordinator for the Jets, I don’t think he lasts long in the mess that is Cleveland. I’m not crazy over Zimmer either. He doesn’t strike me as someone who can handle being a head coach.
David: 1. Zimmer 2. O’Brien 3. Caldwell 4. Gruden 5. Whisenhunt 6. Smith 7. Pettine
Lovie Smith is far down on this list because of the mess that the Bucs offense is, and O’Brien is inheriting a 2-14 team. But my overall rankings have them higher. If we look at how they will be ranked according to tenure at their respective teams, I see it as this:
Mike Zimmer (Minn)
Mike Pettine (Cle)
5. How many coaches will be fired this year?
Archie: I can see where 1 from the NFC South (Mike Smith), and possibly 4 from the AFC, (Philbin, Bradley, and Allen
all of which are in their 3rd season of initial HC position and possibly Marrone who is in his 2nd season as first HC job).
EJ: I’ll go with four coaches. Marvin Lewis of the Bengals, Jason Garrett from the Cowboys, Joe Philbin of the Miami Dolphins, and Dennis Allen of the Raiders. In my opinion Lewis and Garrett should have been fired seasons ago. I like Philbin, but at the same time he does deserve the blame for whatever was the issue in the Dolphins locker room last season, and for the Dolphins underachieving in general and Dennis Allen is self explanatory. The mess that is the Raiders isn’t his fault, but with the Raiders looking at a season where they could be bad (once again) I can’t see him surviving a season where the team isn’t likely to get to 7 wins.
David: I’m looking at the Giants, Marvin Lewis (again) Rex Ryan (again) Miami, the Cowboys, and the Chargers. Add one if Nick Sabin wants to come back to the NFL.
Mariner: That is always hard to tell. I think 4out of this class, one is definite (Pettine), but maybe two (if Gruden absolutely tanks in DC). Overall, there has never been more than seven. Five seems like a good number, so I’ll go with that. I think Pettine will be definite because of the mess Cleveland is. Oakland, if they have a down year compared to last year, could see their coach fired, and Dallas, if they go 8-8 for 4 years in a row (or if they do worse), won’t be able to find a plausible excuse to keep Jason Garrett. Throw in 2 firings no one sees coming, and there’s your five.
Zach: Hopefully, none. It’s getting ridiculous that there’s this expectation to cut ties after a coach doesn’t perform in one year. It’s like the team (Cleveland) expects a miracle. It’s simply pathetic and unassuming to fire a coach after one year, especially when you have someone who is a respected coordinator around the league, and all signs point towards them succeeding within five years. Five years should be the new norm. Hire the right coach for a job and give him five years to turn stuff around. If he failed in five years, he should be let go. Otherwise, let the coach do his job and keep the chatter in-house. Not everything NEEDS to go to the media.
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