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Archive for the 'Coaches' Category

Super Bowl XXV: Correcting the Narrative

28th March 2011

Super Bowl XXV. Giants-Bills. Wide Right. 20-19. Bill Parcells. The Gameplan to End All Gameplans™. Our brains have been indoctrinated for years with the message that Parcells concocted the perfect gameplan to defeat the high-flying Bills. By "controlling the clock," "shortening the game" and by implementing a "ball-control offense", the Giants pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. When the franchise faced an even taller task 17 years later, New Yorkalready had the blueprint on which to build:

Giants coach Tom Coughlin doesn't have to look far to concoct a game plan for toppling an offensive powerhouse in the Super Bowl. His mentor did it 17 years ago.

When the Giants arrived in Tampa for Super Bowl XXV in 1991, the AFC champion Bills had just scored 95 points while humbling the Raiders and Dolphins in the playoffs.

New York coach Bill Parcells shortened the game by milking the clock and relying on Ottis Anderson, who ran for 102 yards en route to MVP honors in a 20-19 triumph.

The Bills, led by Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and Hall of Fame back Thurman Thomas, had possession for less than 20 minutes as Buffalo suffered the first of four consecutive Super Bowl defeats.

And for one of the few times in Super Bowl annals, the more talented team walked out a loser.

Such narrative has been as connected to the game as "Wide Right" since the moment the final gun sounded. Here's what the New York Times published after the game:
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Posted in Coaches, History | 30 Comments »

Which players have played for the most coaches?

30th November 2010

On Sunday, Leslie Frazier became the 8th coach Brett Favre has played for, following (alphabetically) Brad Childress, Jerry Glanville, Mike Holmgren, Eric Mangini, Mike McCarthy, Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman. Where does that rank among all players since 1950? Even among quarterbacks, it may not place as high as you think (all data current through the 2009 season):

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Name # coaches seasons C/S list
Steve DeBerg 11 21 0.52 Leeman Bennett, Frank Gansz, Pete McCulley, John McKay, Fred O'Connor, Ray Perkins, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Don Shula, Bill Walsh, Sam Wyche
Archie Manning 11 14 0.79 Ed Biles, Bud Grant, Ernie Hefferle, Dick Nolan, John North, Bum Phillips, J.D. Roberts, Dick Stanfel, Les Steckel, Hank Stram, Chuck Studley
Marty Domres 10 9 1.11 Monte Clark, Sid Gillman, Ted Marchibroda, Don McCafferty, Walt Michaels, John Sandusky, Howard Schnellenberger, Harland Svare, Joe Thomas, Charlie Waller
Jeff George 10 12 0.83 Joe Bugel, Dennis Green, Jon Gruden, June Jones, Ted Marchibroda, Ron Meyer, Terry Robiskie, Marty Schottenheimer, Norv Turner, Rick Venturi
Vinny Testaverde 9 21 0.43 Bill Belichick, Herman Edwards, John Fox, Al Groh, Ted Marchibroda, Bill Parcells, Ray Perkins, Richard Williamson, Sam Wyche
Babe Parilli 9 18 0.50 Lisle Blackbourn, Paul Brown, Hugh Devore, Eddie Erdelatz, Weeb Ewbank, Mike Holovak, Ray McLean, Gene Ronzani, Lou Saban
Mark Herrmann 9 11 0.82 Don Coryell, Hal Hunter, Frank Kush, Ted Marchibroda, Ron Meyer, Dan Reeves, John Robinson, Al Saunders, Rick Venturi
Chris Chandler 9 17 0.53 Joe Bugel, Jeff Fisher, Dick Jauron, Chuck Knox, Mike Martz, Ron Meyer, Ray Perkins, Dan Reeves, Richard Williamson
Dick Shiner 8 11 0.73 Bill Austin, Blanton Collier, Chuck Fairbanks, Otto Graham, Bill McPeak, Chuck Noll, Norm Van Brocklin, Alex Webster
Dave Krieg 8 19 0.42 Jeff Fisher, Wayne Fontes, Chuck Knox, Mike McCormack, Jack Patera, Buddy Ryan, Marty Schottenheimer, Dave Wannstedt
Greg Landry 8 17 0.47 Monte Clark, Mike Ditka, Rick Forzano, Tommy Hudspeth, Ted Marchibroda, Don McCafferty, Mike McCormack, Joe Schmidt
Tobin Rote 8 17 0.47 Lisle Blackbourn, Hugh Devore, Sid Gillman, Ray Malavasi, Ray McLean, Gene Ronzani, Mac Speedie, George Wilson
Mike Pagel 8 12 0.67 Bud Carson, Rod Dowhower, Hal Hunter, Chuck Knox, Frank Kush, John Robinson, Marty Schottenheimer, Jim Shofner
Bill Munson 8 16 0.50 George Allen, Rick Forzano, Chuck Knox, Don McCafferty, Jack Patera, Tommy Prothro, Joe Schmidt, Harland Svare
Norm Snead 8 16 0.50 Bill Arnsparger, Bud Grant, Joe Kuharich, Bill McPeak, John McVay, Dick Nolan, Alex Webster, Jerry Williams
Brad Johnson 8 15 0.53 Brad Childress, Tony Dungy, Dennis Green, Jon Gruden, Wade Phillips, Terry Robiskie, Mike Tice, Norv Turner
Randall Cunningham 8 17 0.47 Brian Billick, Fred Bruney, Dave Campo, Marion Campbell, Dennis Green, Rich Kotite, Ray Rhodes, Buddy Ryan
Lamar McHan 8 10 0.80 Jack Christiansen, Weeb Ewbank, Red Hickey, Pop Ivy, Vince Lombardi, Ray Richards, Don Shula, Joe Stydahar
Sonny Jurgensen 8 18 0.44 George Allen, Bill Austin, Hugh Devore, Otto Graham, Vince Lombardi, Bill McPeak, Buck Shaw, Nick Skorich
Gus Frerotte 8 15 0.53 Brad Childress, Dick LeBeau, Scott Linehan, Bobby Ross, Nick Saban, Mike Shanahan, Mike Tice, Norv Turner
Steve Beuerlein 8 16 0.50 Joe Bugel, Dom Capers, Tom Coughlin, Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Ryan, George Seifert, Mike Shanahan, Art Shell
Ralph Guglielmi 8 9 0.89 Chuck Drulis, Pop Ivy, Joe Kuharich, Mike Nixon, Ray Prochaska, Allie Sherman, Nick Skorich, Ray Willsey
Charley Johnson 8 15 0.53 Chuck Drulis, Ed Hughes, Pop Ivy, Wally Lemm, Ray Prochaska, John Ralston, Ray Willsey, Charley Winner
Hugh Millen 7 9 0.78 Marion Campbell, Jerry Glanville, Jim Hanifan, Dick MacPherson, Wade Phillips, John Robinson, Mike Shanahan
Rich Gannon 7 18 0.39 Jerry Burns, Bill Callahan, Dennis Green, Jon Gruden, Richie Petitbon, Marty Schottenheimer, Norv Turner
Zeke Bratkowski 7 18 0.39 Phil Bengtson, Dan Devine, Paddy Driscoll, George Halas, Vince Lombardi, Harland Svare, Bob Waterfield
Steve Bono 7 15 0.47 Jerry Burns, Bud Grant, Mike Holmgren, Chuck Noll, Marty Schottenheimer, George Seifert, Dick Vermeil
Brett Favre 7 19 0.37 Brad Childress, Jerry Glanville, Mike Holmgren, Eric Mangini, Mike McCarthy, Ray Rhodes, Mike Sherman
Billy Joe Tolliver 7 11 0.64 Mike Ditka, Jeff Fisher, Jerry Glanville, Dan Henning, Jack Pardee, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer
Ron Jaworski 7 16 0.44 Fred Bruney, Marion Campbell, Chuck Knox, Buddy Ryan, Marty Schottenheimer, Don Shula, Dick Vermeil
Jeff Garcia 7 11 0.64 Butch Davis, Dennis Erickson, Jon Gruden, Dick Jauron, Steve Mariucci, Andy Reid, Terry Robiskie
Don Horn 7 8 0.88 Phil Bengtson, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Prothro, John Ralston, Lou Saban, Nick Skorich, Jerry Smith
Trent Green 7 12 0.58 Cam Cameron, Herman Edwards, Jim Haslett, Scott Linehan, Mike Martz, Norv Turner, Dick Vermeil
Dan Pastorini 7 13 0.54 Marion Campbell, Tom Flores, Sid Gillman, Ed Hughes, Ray Malavasi, Bill Peterson, Bum Phillips
Jim Hart 7 19 0.37 Don Coryell, Joe Gibbs, Jim Hanifan, Bob Hollway, Bud Wilkinson, Larry Wilson, Charley Winner
Tom Flores 7 10 0.70 Joe Collier, Al Davis, Eddie Erdelatz, Marty Feldman, Harvey Johnson, John Rauch, Hank Stram
John Hadl 7 16 0.44 Dan Devine, Sid Gillman, Chuck Knox, Bum Phillips, Bart Starr, Harland Svare, Charlie Waller
Jeff Blake 7 14 0.50 Brian Billick, Bruce Coslet, Jim Haslett, Dave McGinnis, Andy Reid, David Shula, Lovie Smith
Mark Rypien 7 14 0.50 Bill Belichick, Rich Brooks, Joe Gibbs, Jim Mora, Richie Petitbon, Ray Rhodes, Dick Vermeil
Vince Evans 7 19 0.37 Neill Armstrong, Mike Ditka, Tom Flores, Jack Pardee, Mike Shanahan, Art Shell, Mike White
Wade Wilson 7 18 0.39 Jerry Burns, Jerry Glanville, Bud Grant, Jon Gruden, Jim Mora, Les Steckel, Barry Switzer
Joe Ferguson 7 18 0.39 Chuck Knox, Ron Meyer, Ray Perkins, Jim Ringo, Darryl Rogers, Lou Saban, Kay Stephenson
John Reaves 7 16 0.44 Ed Biles, Paul Brown, Bill Johnson, Ed Khayat, Mike McCormack, Ray Perkins, Homer Rice
Warren Moon 6 17 0.35 Hugh Campbell, Gunther Cunningham, Dennis Erickson, Jerry Glanville, Dennis Green, Jack Pardee

Posted in Coaches | 4 Comments »

Coaching Resumes updated through 2010

23rd November 2010

Cam Cameron Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks -

For all of the current and past NFL head coaches we have updated full coaching resumes through the 2010 season. It would be nice to get a coordinator list at some point. We'll have to add that to the todo list.

Posted in Announcements, Coaches | Comments Off on Coaching Resumes updated through 2010

Checkdowns: Smart Football Retrospective on 4th-and-2-gate

19th November 2009

One of my favorite football blogs is Chris Brown's Smart Football, and yesterday he had a very thoughtful post about Bill Belichick's controversial decision:

"It’s not really fair to pick on Tony Dungy, who was an excellent football coach, because his excellence had nothing to do with any training in statistics or probability. But his comment that 'you have to play the percentages and punt' is symptomatic of a wider issue, which is that when something 'feels horribly wrong' we inherently want the evidence to comport with that feeling and we convince ourselves that it does. Dungy is a conservative guy, he likely would say that punting gives him plenty of chances to win, he’s a defensive coach so he has no qualms about showing faith in his defense, and, bottom line, the idea of putting that much significance on one play just didn’t sit well with him. That’s all fine, but it has nothing to do with the percentages. Yet his brain and experience had told him that somehow the percentages supported it too, and thus Belichick’s move was the 'risky gamble.'"

You already know how us stat geeks feel about Belichick's call, but it's nice to see someone with a great deal of expertise in the X's and O's also think critically about the decision to go for it.

Posted in Checkdowns, Coaches | 18 Comments »

Belichick, Peyton Manning, and 4th down decisions

16th November 2009

Internet message boards, twitter feeds and sports media are blowing up over Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th and 2 from his own 28-yard line, up by six points, with 2:08 remaining. First, a quick review of the play.

The Pats came out with three WRs to Brady's left, with Wes Welker the nearest receiver to Brady on that side of the field. On Brady's right was Randy Moss isolated out wide, with Kevin Faulk in the backfield. Indy came out looking like they were going to blitz six -- they had the four WRs in tight, man-coverage, and safety Melvin Bullitt about fifteen yards deep to Brady's right. Brady then sent #33, Kevin Faulk, to go line up as the inside WR on the right side, and #33 (Bullitt) for the Colts came in to line up against him. Indy was now going to rush six against NE's five, while NE knew all five of their WRs were in single coverage. Brady recognized that he was going to have to make a quick and accurate pass.

It turns out that Faulk was the primary read all along, as he took twp steps, did a quick fake left, and then curled right just a yard or so past the first-down marker. Since the drive started after a touchback, the Pats needed to get to exactly the 30-yard line for the first down. The ball hit Faulk's hands but he bobbled the ball; Bullitt pushed Faulk backwards, and by the time he landed with possession of the ball, he was on New England's side of the 30-yard line.
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Posted in Coaches, Insane ideas, Statgeekery | 51 Comments »

Checkdowns: All You Ever Wanted to Know About the TTU “Air Raid Offense”

11th November 2009

92894908_Tx_Tech_v_MinnI'm a big fan of Mike Leach and Texas Tech's offensive scheme, especially the way he's been able to plug in seemingly random guys at QB and consistently produce video-game numbers no matter who's under center. This year, obviously, they've had some trouble settling on a QB to run the Air Raid offense, but if you add up the composite stats for Taylor Potts, Steven Sheffield, and Seth Doege, you get a quarterbacking group on pace for these stats when it's all said and done (bowl game included): 446-for-657, 5206 yds, 41 TD, 16 Int. Compare that to some other numbers in the Leach era:

2009 (Pace) 446 657 5206 67.9 7.92 42 16 Taylor Potts
2008 465 662 5371 70.2 8.11 48 10 Graham Harrell
2007 544 763 6114 71.3 8.01 51 15 Graham Harrell
2006 438 655 4803 66.9 7.33 39 11 Graham Harrell
2005 391 588 4666 66.5 7.94 34 12 Cody Hodges
2004 426 651 4796 65.4 7.37 34 18 Sonny Cumbie
2003 506 777 6179 65.1 7.95 53 23 B.J. Symons
2002 515 767 5444 67.1 7.10 50 15 Kliff Kingsbury
2001 419 617 4019 67.9 6.51 27 14 Kliff Kingsbury
2000 403 661 3855 61.0 5.83 25 19 Kliff Kingsbury

So this year doesn't really represent as drastic a drop-off as you might think for Leach's passing attack, it's just that he's using 3 QBs instead of having one rack up all the eye-popping numbers. Anyway, all of this is an excuse to direct you towards Chris Brown's terrific archive of Air Raid-related reading material at Smart Football. Kinda makes me want to go out and throw 60 passes right now, you know?

Posted in Checkdowns, Coaches, College | 4 Comments »

Dick Jauron?

16th October 2009

Here are some facts that will blow your mind. I know they caught me off guard, because I haven’t really paid much attention to Dick Jauron’s coaching career.

If he coaches seven more games, Dick Jauron will rank in the top fifty all-time in games coached in the NFL. Take a moment and let that sink in for a bit, before we get to the names around him.

Now, take another moment, and let it sink in some more. Top fifty all-time. No, really, think about it.

Since he debuted in 1999, the only men who have coached more games are Andy Reid, Jeff Fisher, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren, Tom Coughlin, Mike Shanahan, and Bill Belichek.

So far this year, he has passed Doug’s boy Wally Lemm, Vince Lombardi and Bobby Ross in games coached. He will pass Steve Mariucci, Joe Kuharich, John Madden, John Robinson, Brian Billick, and Jimmy Johnson if he can avoid the axe for seven more games. He will then rank right behind Buck Shaw and Bill Walsh in games coached.

Only Norm Van Brocklin has a lower winning percentage than Jauron’s among coaches currently in the top 50 in games coached. And Van Brocklin basically coached two expansion teams: the Vikings for the first six years of their existence, and the Falcons starting in their third season. He had five non-losing seasons. Jauron has one.

I am actually hoping that the Bills show signs of life, rebound for a good stretch, and that Jauron makes it to the end of the season. It's like a poker hand where you've hung around too long. Why fold now, at the river? You've put a lot of chips in the pot, let's just make sure that they've got your 10 high beat.

At this point, we are pot committed on Dick Jauron finishing in the top fifty, so let's make it happen. Please.

Posted in Coaches | 11 Comments »