A few of the coaching vacancies in the NFL have been filled, with a new trend beginning to emerge in terms of qualifications to be a coach.
Offensive coordinators and QB coaches are in style
The current fad in the NFL seems to be shifted towards hiring young coaches who have experience as play callers or that have shown the capacity to get the best out of the quarterback position. Six coaches have been hired so far and only 2 of them have previous coaching experience..
A lot of people in the league are calling it the Sean McVay effect.
One other trend what it also obvious is that owners are leaning more towards hiring offensive minded coaches. Five of the six coaches hired so far were offensive coordinators/quarterback coaches. These trends are fine but one thing that hasn’t changed is that to be a successful head coach in the NFL, you must be a leader of men. Just because you are a good play caller or you know how to get the best out of the QB position does not necessarily make you fit to lead a team. When you take a closer look at the resumes of some of the coaches hired, there is little evidence that shows they know how to lead.
Coaches short on experience
The coaching hire that is being questioned the most at the moment is the one made by the Arizona Cardinals when they hired Kliff Kingsbury.
There are two reasons for the growing skepticism about this hire. First of all, he had a loosing record as a college head coach. In fact, he only had 2 winning seasons out of 6 and when you take into account he coached Patrick Mahomes, that isn’t very impressive. The other issue is that he has no NFL coaching experience.
What he does have in his favor is that he is known for being great with quarterbacks and the Cardinals have a young QB who needs work. The thing is, they are essentially putting all of their eggs in one basket in terms of this hire. They don’t know if he can win at the pro level, they also don’t know if Josh Rosen is any good yet. Realistically they couldn’t be sure if the guy they fired was any good after only one season in charge of a rookie QB and a ton of injuries.
What will happen next year in Arizona is anyone’s guess at this point.
Another coach very short on experience that is getting a chance is Matt LaFleur with the Green Bay Packers. Unlike Kingsbury, LaFleur does have NFL experience but as a coordinator. In fact, LaFleur is only a few years older than his new franchise QB, Aaron Rodgers. LaFleur only has two years of offensive coordinator experience and his most recent year with the Titans was not very impressive. They finished near the bottom of the league in offense.
Many people are saying that the hire does make sense from the standpoint of the system that he likes to employ. He runs the West Coast offense which is what Aaron Rodgers is used to. The other thing working in his favor is that every QB he has coached has had their most productive seasons with him by their side. Only Mariota was not able to show such improvement but it must be taken into account that he was injured for basically the entire season. This hire should work to the benefit of Rodgers who is the most important piece of that franchise until he no longer plays there.