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NFL Offensive Coordinators Fired

The NFL Is a Copycat League, Even With Goofy Trends

The latest NFL trend is for teams to fire their offensive coordinator just over a week before the start of the regular season. Three NFL offensive coordinators were fired this week. That might not sound like a big trend, but keep in mind that represents 10% of the NFL Offensive Coordinators in 4 days time – when it was unheard of to see an OC fired this close to Week 1 of the NFL Season. But the NFL is a copycat league, if nothing else.

2009 Trend in the NFL

During the 2008 NFL Regular Season, it became the trend to fire coaches midseason. Sure, that’s happened before, but last year saw four NFL head coaches fired before the season was half over. (The trend actually carried into the NBA Regular Season.) This year, NFL head coaches want to be more proactive: they’re firing their offensive coordinators before anyone fires them.

Kansas City Chiefs Fire Offensive Coordinator

On Monday of this week, new Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley chose to fire Chan Gailey as the Chiefs offensive coordinator, after the Chiefs’ preseason offense looked terrible. Dwayne Bowe has looked great despite a demotion, but the rest of the offense has looked awful. This culminated in a play where new starting QB Matt Cassel was hurt after a botched play, and Todd Haley had had enough.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fire Offensive Coordinator

Yesterday, new Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris chose to fire his offensive coordinator, Jeff Jagodzinski, who was fired as the Boston College head coach back in January, after being told not to take job interviews by the university. People applauded Morris’s hiring of a former NFL coordinator (Packers 2006), but the passing game had looked bad in the preseason.

Neither Byron Leftwich or Luke McCown have looked particularly good, though that might be a case of mediocre quarterbacks and a missing Antonio Bryant. This could be panic from a 33-year old head coach, but I guess the Bucs spent a lot of money rebuilding that offense in the offseason, so they aren’t going to be patient with so-so progress.

Buffalo Bills Fire Offensive Coordinator

In many ways, the firing of Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator, Turk Schonert, is the least surprising. For one, Turk Schonert was the offensive coordinator last year, so you can say Schonert has at least had a chance in Buffalo. Also, certain Bills players had been critical of Schonert’s playcalling, and Lee Evans had to be assured by the Buffalo Coaching Staff last week that the offense was going to come around.

Then you have the Pittsburgh Steelers defenders making fun of the Bills in the postgame, after last week shutting the Bills out in a preseason contest (the Steelers first-string defense outscored the Bills first-string offense, 7-0).

Dick Jauron is on the bubble this year himself, so when that new no-huddle offense Turk Schonert was installing began to flounder, it was no real surprise that Jauron ditched his struggling OC for new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt – especially when two other teams did the same this week.

It’s a copycat NFL system. When the Wildcat worked, everyone began getting their Wildcat Package ready. So when one or two teams start firing coordinators, that gives bright ideas to other NFL teams.

But you have to think that’s a bad sign, when you’re in that kind of disarray just 10 days before another long NFL season.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 2:39 pmand is filed under NFL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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