FanPost

Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Coaching Part 2

Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Rookie Quarterbacks
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Rookie Wide Receivers
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Broncos Offense, a History
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Running Backs
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Time of Possession
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Coaches
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: The Challenges

In my first piece on coaching, I talked about success and retention rates among young coaches in this league. In this post I wanted to look at something a little different. I was reading that among NFL head coaches and offensive and defensive coordinators, few have actual NFL playing experience. Of head coaches, only 31.3% have NFL playing experience, for OC's, 25.4%, and DC's, 15.6%. I found that to be very strange, not so much for head coaches, but for offensive and defensive coordinators. The percentages are even lower for position coaches. Now this intrigued me, concern what the Broncos coaching staff's playing and coaching experience was.

This post will be covering each coach and coordinator on the team, as well as discuss the benefits and disadvantages to hiring a coaching staff that has NFL playing experience.

Preview:

So I wanted to take a look at how our team stacked up compared to the league average, but I also wanted to talk about my feelings on this topic and get some feedback from you guys. This is going away from the standard present table format for a bit, but I feel it will still fit the bill of educating members and myself.

I started thinking about this topic when I was over on Phinsider, the Dolphins SB Nation page, they were discussion Chad Pennington and what his future could hold. Most don't think he should start, to fragile at this point, but he is  loved by both Dolphins and Jets fans. The Dolphins, not just fans, their FO as well, want Pennington to stay on the team, even at the QB coach if he doesn't make the roster. This got me thinking, Pennington is almost perfect in terms of being a passer:

- Very quick release
- Solid footwork
- Brilliant football mind, able to read defenses
- Hard worker
- Has knowledge of a number of different systems

This looks like the guy I want teaching quarterbacks how to improve. No, he doesn't have a big arm, but to improve players, you don't need to outgun them, you need to be more polished then them. Pennington is a perfect guy to be a quarterback coach. I then thought about a guy like Jason Campbell, who has experienced the same system for more then a year once in his career, that knowledge of different systems would help teach younger quarterbacks how to learn systems quicker because he's done it. Now neither of these quarterbacks were great, Pennington has had a good career, Campbell has been average, but both have been in a lot of situations, and a guy like Pennington seems like a guy that could help fix any small imperfection in a developing quarterback. Campbell is a guy who can help young quarterbacks transition easily to new systems because he's done it.

These two examples got me thinking, why do teams hire coaches who have limited playing experience, may not have played the position they are coaching, and have little in common with the players they are coaching? Would you rather have a guy who spent time in college as a defensive back coaching your running backs? Not me, I'd rather have a guy whose played the position, has solid fundamentals and can teach them. To me, this is an important difference to what seems like the norm in the NFL.

Now obviously I don't think this should apply to a head coach for instance, because he isn't over a specific group, but for position coaches, why not hire a guy whose mastered the position, has experience, and knows how to improve others?

Just my thoughts on the topic, I'd love to get your input on the topic.

The Table:

Okay now back to our regularly schedualed mind-numbing stats. So the first table is of each coach, the position they coach, whether they have NFL experience and for how long, and what they college position and experience was. S&C is strength and conditioning.

Coach

Position

NFL Playing Exp.?

Seasons

Position?

College Playing Exp.?

Position?

J. Fox

HC

N

-

-

Y

DB

M. McCoy

OC

Y

3

QB

Y

QB

D. Allen

DC

N

-

-

Y

Safety

A. Gase

QB

N

-

-

N

-

E. Studesville

RB

N

-

-

Y

DB

T. Tolbert

WR

N

-

-

Y

WR

C. Barone

TE

N

-

-

Y

OL

D. Magazu

Off. Line

N

-

-

Y

DT

B. Callahan

Quality Control-O

N

-

-

Y

QB

W. Nunnely

Def. Line

N

-

-

Y

FB

R. Smith

LB

N

-

-

Y

OL

R. Milus

Secondary

N

-

-

Y

CB

S. Garnes

Assist. Secondary

Y

7

Safety

Y

Safety

Je. Rodgers

ST Coord.

N

-

-

Y

LB

K. Burns

Assist. ST

Y

12

LB

Y

LB

Ja. Rodgers

Quality Control-D

N

-

-

Y

QB

R.Tuten

S & C

N

-

-

Y

OL

J. Lovett

Assistant S & C

N

-

-

Y

Multiple

G. Saporta

Assistant S & C

N

-

-

Y

WR

Total


3

22


18


 

For the second table, we look at each coaches coaching experience, both in the NFL and college, and whether they are even coaching the position they played.

Coach

Position

NFL Coaching Exp.

College Coaching Exp.

Coaching a Position They Played

J. Fox

HC

19

10

-

M. McCoy

OC

12

0

Y

D. Allen

DC

9

6

Y

A. Gase

QB

10

3

N

E. Studesville

RB

3

14

N

T. Tolbert

WR

9

11

Y

C. Barone

TE

7

17

S

D. Magazu

Off. Line

8

30

N

B. Callahan

Quality Control-O

1

2

Y

W. Nunnely

Def. Line

17

18

N

R. Smith

LB

23

9

N

R. Milus

Secondary

12

9

Y

S. Garnes

Assist. Secondary

1

4

Y

Je. Rodgers

ST Coord.

2

7

Y

K. Burns

Assist. ST

4

0

Y

Ja. Rodgers

Quality Control-D

2

8

N

R.Tuten

S & C

16

16

-

J. Lovett

Assistant S & C

2

4

-

G. Saporta

Assistant S & C

16

14

-

Average:


9

10


 

Review:

A few notes:

  • We only have three coaches with actual NFL playing experience, that's 16% of the total coaching staff, far below the league average of 26%. Luckily all three are coaching positions similar to what they played, McCoy (QB) is the OC, Garnes (S) is helping the secondary, and Burns (LB) is on the ST coaching staff.
  • Our quarterback coach, Gase, actually has no college or NFL playing experience.
  • It's strange to me that Studesville, a linebacker, is coaching our running backs, he also coached linebackers in college as well, so his time with running backs is rather limited.
  • Other coaches who are coaching very strange positions for what they played include:
    - Magazu (DT) coaching the offensive line
    - Nunnely (FB) coaching the defensive line
    - Smith (OL) coaching the linebackers
  • An interesting find, our tight end coach, Barone, played offensive line, and seems to have experience with coaching TE's to block, rather then be active in the passing game, which also fits Fox's mold. The more I read about this, the more likely we take a pass catching TE early in the draft, the less likely it seems.
  • On average, our coaches have nine years of NFL coaching experience and ten years of college coaching experience.
  • Eight out of the 15 coaches who coach positions, excluding HC and strength and conditioning, don't have experience playing the position they are coaching.
  • Teams that have an above average number of coaches with NFL experience, more then 33%, win two more games on average then those who have below average.

So there are a few of my notes, I'd love to hear your thoughts on players like Pennington's future as a QB coach, or whether it's better to stick with the current formula.

Next time on Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Terrell Davis's Future

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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