I got to talking to my dad tonight, and the conversation about head coaches in the NFL came up. We threw out how coaches don’t come from prestige roots anymore, for example the Jon Gruden’s, Andy Reid’s, Steve Mariucci’s, Dick Jauron’s and Ray Rhodes’ of the league. These were guys who assisted Mike Holmgren in Green Bay, learned the ways of coaching, and then went on to do things on their own. Some, like Jauron, weren’t that successful, but you can’t argue the success of Gruden, Reid and Mariucci. Our argument was that too many guys, like Jason Garrett, Norv Turner, Wade Phillips, Rex Ryan, and good ol’ Dennis Allen get jobs with no pedigree behind them. No history of being a proven winner, whether it be as a head coach somewhere else or an assistant under a proven head coach. Now, Turner and Phillips are arguably the best offensive and defensive coordinators respectively, but as leaders of men that’s where they lack. They can’t seem to get that approach and their teams suffer the consequences. However, NFL managements never get this idea and keep on handing out opportunities.
The only team that we could think of that never misses on a head coach was the Pittsburgh Steelers. And that was because they’ve have 3 head coaches since 1969. Coach Noll from 1969-1992; Coach Cowher from 1992-2006; and Coach Tomlin from 2006-Present. This got us to thinking about the most futile organizations when it comes to selecting head coaches. That was, teams who’ve had the most coaches per their years of existence. My guess was the Oakland Raiders. His was the Detroit Lions. I won. The Washington Redskins have in fact had more coaches than anyone in NFL history, with 26, but their organization has been around since 1932. The end result was that the Redskins have had one coach per 3.07 years of existence while the Raiders have had one coach per 2.88 years of existence. That’s bad, folks. Considering teams like the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and New York Giants have had 15, 16 and 17 coaches in 91, 92, and 87 years respectively.
The Raiders are just bad, bad, bad and have been since I can remember. They had that little run, when they had Jon Gruden as coach (ding, ding, ding, the Sports Reporter strikes), but since that its been guys like Bill Callahan, Norv Turner (ding, ding) Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson and now Dennis Allen. Hue Jackson was probably their best guy, but they canned him after an 8-8 first year record. Laughable, right? It is considering guys before him had winning percentages of .469, .281, .125, .250, and .386. But, that’s Rrrrrraaaaaaaiiiiddaaaaa foootball.