The Best / Worst Head Coaches Come from

Just curious what others here think about how to go about evaluating head coaching candidates for the NFL. It’s such a different job that some of the logical precursors to it often don’t give you a good idea as to how the candidate will perform.

I’ve come around to @wesleysh21’s stance of preferring retreads. Specifically, I like guys with success who were let go just to “change things up”. Guys like Andy Reid and Marvin Lewis come to mind as examples.

My list of “don’t likes” is:

I don’t like college HCs who simply out-recruited their competition. Brian Kelly is a perfect example here. His success at GVSU, CMU, Cin, etc. was because he could just get players a step up from the competition. You can see at ND that he’s struggling a lot more because it’s hard to just out-recruit at the highest level of CFB. I put Saban in this category, which is my explanation as to why he struggled in the NFL.

I don’t like “innovative system” coordinators as HC candidates. The Mike Martz type. These guys tend to be so laser focused on their system that they can’t actually be the broader leader that is necessary for NFL head coaches. I think they also have a hard time adapting to the talent that they have.

It’s early, but at this point I’d classify the “QB whisperer” into the group of don’t likes, too; the Dirk Koetters of the world.

What say you?

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I took a philosophy of football class with him while working on my Masters at CMU. He literally said “it’s way more about recruiting than coaching, at this level.”

Made me laugh.

I’m just a fan along for the ride, and don’t have much other input. I just want a winner. I feel this regime can take us back to playoff contention. I’m not sure if they can get to the big dance? Time will tell.

I think there’s no substitution for NFL experience. Coaches who have been around the NFL a while are often able to assemble a quality coaching staff. I too like coaches with HC experience for this very reason.

NFL teams have a tendency to always be looking for the next fresh HC. I think this is a big mistake. Especially grabbing a guy from the college ranks who has no NFL ties or experience. Or a guy who has been stuck under one HC. Those types fail more often than not. Mainly due to the fact that their staff just isn’t good enough. Coaches who have been around a while, who have studied under multiple HC’s tend to make the best Head coaching candidates in my mind. Obviously there’s always exceptions.