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Is NFL Head Coaching becoming a Short-Term Gig?

February 08, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

If Jon Gruden comes back how long will he coach in the NFL?Bring a team a Super Bowl and you are hero for a year. Don’t return and quickly your name pops up everywhere in rumors of leaving, firings, etc. We know how the NHL and NBA work, in that the second a team sinks, booting the coach seems to be easy. We never really saw that as a common practice in the NFL, where a head coach comes in and tries to put a “system” in place, and usually has a few years to see if the team can succeed within it.

We have seen some NFL head coaches like Philadelphia’s Andy Reid, and the recently fired Jeff Fisher from Tennessee that had lasted 10+ years with the same team. Then we have some like Mike Singletary, who seemed to have the Niners growing one year, bad the next, and then he was gone. Coaches in the NFL breed from so many places like college, and all types of coordinating positions on the 32 pro clubs. A hot team can have its coordinators become valuable to lots of teams really quick.

This NFL season gets even trickier in that the league currently has no bargaining agreement with the players union, so everyone is watching dollars and cents. We saw San Francisco bring in Jim Harbaugh as the new head coach, and we saw Jon Fox get a new job already, but the usual huge names like Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden not getting many looks. Yes, they are excellent coaches, but with dollars tight does anyone want to give them a big contract only to go into a lock-out? Or do teams just love the new wave of coordinator or young gun college coaches?

No, I don’t have all the facts as to how or why these moves get made, but being a sports fan and a guy who always has his nose in the news, you see more than enough rumors, and hear more of the same old stories of who is going where, who could be drawn to leave and who wants what job. What I did here is give you some names, and the recent things that have been going on as potential rumors etc.

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles: Andy has had tremendous regular season success with the Eagles, and always has them playing near the top of the league. However the city and its desperate wanting of a Super Bowl can have Reid in hot water. Over the past few years you could hear Eagles fans asking for Reid to be let go. His relations with players such as Donovan McNabb, and his recent QB mess with Mike Vick and Kevin Kolb could prove that Reid may be out of ideas, and out of love with this team. With former Eagle coaches like Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher and Brad Childress roaming around without head jobs, a move could be possible next year if Reid can’t get this team on track. Moves like naming former Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo as new Defensive Coordinator could be the type of thing to doom Reid.

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints: A recent leak on ESPN by reporter Ed Werder gave us the scoop that Payton is moving his family to Dallas, Texas. Already the rumblings have started: “Is Payton leaving the Saints for the Cowboys, where he was an assistant in the past?” or “Is he going to be distant from the Saints now?” Well Payton is a good coach and a smart one as well so I think the Saints are in good hands, but now-a-days some owners, like Jerry Jones, are willing to pay anything to get the fans what they want.

Jon Gruden, Monday Night Football: Jon Gruden is still under contract with ESPN this year, so it is safe to assume he won’t be going anywhere this season, but his name is always a hot topic. Why, you may ask? Well Gruden has won a Super Bowl, and has had good success. Plus Gruden is also a good sell as a younger, excitable coach. Being in the Monday Night booth keeps him on top of what is going on in the league, so it is not like he will be stale. Random blogs have him linked to Dallas, Philly and just about any big time college team. He is a certain asset, but his asking price may be way too high, eh hem, Washington.

Jeff Fisher, Free Agent: Fisher had a good run with the Titans, and despite what we first heard about how he was fired in favor of Vince Young, is not all that true. The Titans also have been heard to be looking to trade Young. Fisher is a hard-nosed coach that also seems to always have pretty good relations with his players. Many were buzzing about him being a great Defensive Coordinator candidate, but he will most likely take at least a year off. He seems to be very much on top of the game and his style has not gotten stale. As much as the Titans thought it was time for a change, it may have been needed for Fisher as well.

Some coaches are still hanging on to jobs and we cannot help but wonder for how long. Marvin Lewis is still hanging on in Cincy, but it may have been the surprise run of 2009 that may have saved him for another season. Gary Kubiak continues to get the Texans to play decent football, but they still can’t get a good enough defense on the field to make the playoffs. Yet his good offensive skills keep him on board. And of course, we always have an eye on Eric Mangini, who is always on the chop block.

Than we have the guys who are back in coordinating, like Charlie Weis and Josh McDainels. McDaniels had a very short run as head coach of the Denver Broncos, but shortly after losing that job he took the spot as the Offensive Coordinator of the St. Louis Rams. Weis was the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010 after a 5 year run as head coach for Notre Dame. Instead of looking for a pro spot, he opted for the offensive coordinator spot at the University of Florida. How long before he opines for a head job will most likely be determined by his success.

The off-season in the NFL is always loaded with fun rumors, exciting changes and new surroundings, so stick around because before you know it, you will have football on your lips again.

If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected].

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