Jun
26
2014
First and 10
By
67279 views
18 comments

Every NFL head coach essentially takes the same path to their job. They work their way through the assistant coaching ranks, starting at the bottom of the totem poll, bouncing from place to place in order to move up the ladder, and finally landing a job as a coordinator. In that spot, they flourish, becoming an integral part of a team’s success.

Because of that, a coach becomes a hot commodity; every downtrodden franchise wants to tap into the magic they’ve demonstrated on either the offensive or defensive side of the ball, a formula that has proven successful elsewhere. So, they get tabbed as a head coach, the only remaining level of advancement.

However, some guys simply aren’t ready for that step. As a coordinator, they thrive because the job is about X’s and O’s; that’s where their talent lies. But as a head coach, they struggle because it’s much more about managing every detail of the team than drawing up plays on a chalkboard; that’s not their strong suit.

Norv Turner has been the best recent example of this phenomenon. Wade Phillips is also on the list. Both are great football minds who have had monster success as offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively. But both have struggled as head coaches, lacking some trait that would allow them to flourish as the top guy.

But they aren’t the only ones who fall into this category. Today, there are plenty of head coaches who are no different than Turner and Phillips; they’ve be much better off as a coordinator than the top guy.

So with that in mind, here are 10 current NFL coaches who would be better suited to be a top assistant:

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10. Rex Ryan

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Ryan is too emotional to be a head coach

Ryan’s bombastic personality makes him an engaging guy to cover; he’s always got a great one-liner ready to go. But he seems to lack the buttoned-up, details-oriented traits that make for a great head coach. His emotional approach is sensational as a coordinator, where he can fire up his defensive troops and get them to play for him. But when it comes to leading an entire organization, he’s too all over the board.


9. Jim Caldwell

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Caldwell could use a little more fire

People want to downplay Caldwell’s success as the quarterbacks coach in Indianapolis because he had the good fortune of leading Peyton Manning. But they have a much harder time discrediting the work he did in Baltimore, where he took over as offensive coordinator late in the 2012 season and helped lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl title. That said, the quiet demeanor that keeps QBs on an even keel doesn’t work when he’s the head coach.


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Comments
  1. Walter Spargo

    I have to respectfully disagree about Dennis Allen. You have to consider what he had to work with in Oakland as far as his roster was concerned. To get 4 wins out of those rosters was masterful work on his part. I can’t wait to see what he does with the much improved roster he has this year and the 2 seasons of experience under his belt.

    • Gustav Flores

      You are the worst. I can not see this list seriously so why would you dare to post it? I am so confused. You should not be allowed to write for any other web page ever!!!

  2. Walter, how then do you explain Hue Jackson obtaining 8 wins with the almost identical roster?

    This article is also completely stupid. Rex Ryan isn’t head coaching material? He should have won coach of the year last year, and took his team to two AFC Title games. Jim Caldwell? Super Bowl Winning Coach Jim Caldwell can’t be a HC?

    Dennis Allen = Norv Turner or Wade Phillips? WRONG. Dennis Allen had NO SUCCESS EVER in his career. He had ONE good season as the secondary coach in New Orleans. Since then , his units have performed far beneath average. He was DC in Denver for ONE YEAR, where his unit was ranked 21. They improved from 28 or so the year before HOWEVER, he also got Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil back from injury. Also that unit was playing hard because of the “Tim Tebow” effect.

  3. Give Zimmer a chance damn, camp hasn’t even started yet and you’re labeling him a failure?

    • Cover 32 is straight BS. They list Jay Gruden and Zimmer who haven’t even coached there first game in the NFL yet.

  4. Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, George Allen, Marv Levy, Bud Grant, Hank Stram, Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs, and on, and on and on. All of these coaches started as assistants and all have totally different and unique personalities. There is no litmus test to be a winning NFL head coach. It is a skill that can be gained in a variety of different ways. No one set of coaching skills can guarantee success.

  5. Yeah, Dennis Allen has little chance of winning. His leadership skills must be terrible the way his teams quit on him the last two years and the way the veterans don’t support him. Oh wait, that’s just the opposite of whT happened in Oaktown he last two years. Allen is steady and methodical. His players love him. He and Reggie have a plan and they haven’t panicked along the way. If he, like the rest of the football world, can find a solid QB, he will win in Oakland. Belechick has arguably the best in the league and he hasn’t won the whole thing in 10 years but DA should hang it up because he couldn’t win with Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn, and Matt McGloin. Alrighty then.

  6. Man, I didn’t think anybody fired coaches faster than my Browns. Kicking Pettine to the curb before he coaches a game? Sure hope you’re bold prediction is wrong.

  7. The incredible arrogance of this alleged writer is limitless. To include THREE coaches who have yet to coach a single game!!!!

  8. Gordon Arber

    Wow, most of these guys haven’t had more than a year experience and you’re writing them off. Yes Joe Philbin is on the hot seat; but give guys like Doug Marrone another year or two, and guys like Petine at LEAST as season!

  9. rockettraider

    Give Dennis Allen a chance just a chance….used to be that 2 year was nothing in the NFL…..Cmon

  10. Phfaah!!!

    Tom Cable could go on the list last year when he was Raiders HC–brilliant coaching o-line, but not so hot at the top. The Peter Principle doesn’t work in the NFL: Talented managers will be promoted until they reach a position of incompetence.

    Guys don’t stick when they’re mediocre. Gus Bradley was overrated at the Hawks because he was running defensive genious Pete Carroll’s D. Bradely moved on and the Hawks D just GOT BETTER. Bradley’s trying to run the same D in J-Town–it is reminiscent of the Bill Walsh WCO coaching tree.

  11. Anonymous

    Tom Cable could go on the list last year when he was Raiders HC–brilliant coaching o-line, but not so hot at the top. The Peter Principle doesn’t work in the NFL: Talented managers will be promoted until they reach a position of incompetence.

    Guys don’t stick when they’re mediocre. Gus Bradley was overrated at the Hawks because he was running defensive genious Pete Carroll’s D. Bradely moved on and the Hawks D just GOT BETTER. Bradley’s trying to run the same D in J-Town–it is reminiscent of the Bill Walsh WCO coaching tree.