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Coaching Class 2006

Coaching Class 2006

 

Of the ten head coaches hired by NFL teams in 2006, Mike McCarthy has the best record. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much.

 

 

 

 

When Mike McCarthy was hired to coach the Green Bay Packers in January 2006, the reaction by Packer fans and NFL fans alike could be summed up in one word: “Huh?” McCarthy was the least known of the ten coaches who were hired that year, and hardly anybody seemed to think he was a good choice.

By that standard, McCarthy has already exceeded expectations. Five of the ten coaches have already been fired. This is shaping up to be a very poor group of coaches overall. So maybe we should consider ourselves lucky that our guy is one of the few who still has a chance to make a name for himself.

Is there anything to be learned from this mess? Let’s start by taking a quick look at the facts:

Coaching Class of 2006

Eric Mangini, New York Jets
Records: 10-6, 4-12, 9-7
Status: Fired after 2008 season

Dick Jauron, Buffalo Bills
Records : 7-9, 7-9, 7-9
Status: Still employed

Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
Records: 6-10, 8-8, 8-8
Status: Still employed

Herman Edwards, Kansas City Chiefs
Records: 9-7, 4-12, 2-14
Status: Fired after 2008 season

Art Shell, Oakland Raiders
Record: 2-14
Status: Fired after 2006 season

Scott Linehan, St. Louis Rams
Records: 8-8, 3-13, 0-4
Status: Fired four games into 2008 season

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
Records: 10-6, 7-9, 8-8
Status: Still employed

Rod Marinelli, Detroit Lions
Records: 3-13, 7-9, 0-16
Status: Fired after 2008 season

Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings
Records: 6-10, 8-8, 10-6
Status: Still employed

Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
Records: 8-8, 13-3, 6-10
Status: Still employed

 

Remember when Eric Mangini was called “Man-genius”? Remember when Rod Marinelli was going to bring a “new culture” to the Detroit Lions? Remember when Art Shell…okay, that was a horrible hire from day one, especially when Shell hired an offensive coordinator who had been out of the NFL for years and was running a bed and breakfast up in Idaho. It’s true—check it out: click here.

Mike McCarthy was not a sexy hire by any stretch of the imagination. He was not a minority, he was not good-looking, and he was coming off a stint as coordinator for the worst offense in the NFL. But give the guy credit. He stuck around, he kept working, and he still seems to enjoy a seamless relationship with his GM. And yes, his record of six games over .500 beats all other comers. (The closest is Sean Payton at two games over .500.)

So maybe what we’ve learned is that the “buzz” surrounding a coaching hire is no more reliable an indicator of success than the “buzz” surrounding an NFL draft prospect. Success or failure is mostly determined by factors that we can’t even see. That’s why they interview these guys and do extensive background checks.

Here’s a question: Of the five remaining coaches from the class of 2006, would you trade McCarthy for any of them? I would say “No” to Jauron and Childress and “Maybe” to Kubiak and Payton. But because McCarthy is already in Green Bay, he is more valuable to us than either of those coaches. I also think he has a slightly better chance of succeeding with his own team than either of them do. Payton is a drill sergeant type whose style may be wearing thin, while Kubiak is trying to lead an expansion franchise to its first playoff berth. McCarthy, at least, is only one year removed from a 13-3 season, and his team seems to have a solid foundation to build upon.

This is a huge year for all five remaining coaches who were hired in 2006. Childress and Jauron are probably in the most danger. But the law of averages suggests that at least one or two of these guys are going to be successful in the long run, and it’s not so far-fetched to think that Mike McCarthy could turn out to be the best of the class of ’06.

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Comments (15)

Paul's picture

Great post Greg I agree with just about everything you put, I did not like the McCarthy hiring at first, I had wanted Payton but he quickly showed that he has what it takes to be a good if not great coach in the NFL.

I also think that people are being to hard on him for this season. It's not like we acted like a team who didn't come to play like the Lions, we were competive in almost every game this season and lost an amazing 7 or 8 games by 5 points or less, if one different call had've been made, one ball bounced diffrently we could have easily went 12-4 and everyone would be calling him a genius, I know Wins are the bottom like to most people but I am still very happy to have a team that is competive and not a pushover.

Lets hope we can turn those close losses into wins and the 3-4 works out. Only time will tell.

Andyman's picture

It was another one of those out-there moves by TT (well, at the time it was pretty much his first move, but still) that seems to be working out. I think McCarthy is a great coach who just needs help from his supporting cast and talent. Look what he did 2 years ago. Not much changed going into last year, just lost some of the fundamentals, and I think he can work on regaining that and get back to where he was. Of course he isn't completely blameless in last season (no one is) but looking back, I wouldn't trade him for any of those guys hired back in '06.

Pack93z's picture

Another quality article.. while looking at the other hires. an argument can be made for MM belonging at the top.. while remaining a non sexy pick at the time.

But one could look at the 07' class of coaches that includes Tomlin and Whisenhunt and make a case that maybe we still have some work to do as coaches of a franchise. Both got their teams to the big game in one less year, while the Steelers had a strong roster when Tomlin took over, the same cannot be annointed with the Cards. Just a case in point.. we have some work to do this season.

BTW.. did up a different graphic that could be used.. a little clearer resolution to fit some very pointed and clear writing..

<a href="http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj103/pack93z/GregCGridiron.jpg" rel="nofollow">Hover here to see it!</a>

Pack93z's picture

Sure.. no attaching images hey Trom and Alex... here is the link. lol.

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj103/pack93z/GregCGridiron.jpg

packerslounge's picture

Oh Pack Pack Pack. Just hover over the link my friend. It pops up. Great image too.

I would take McCarthy over any of those names right now - without a thought.

Greg C.'s picture

Cool! I've got Pack93z providing some kick-ass graphics to go along with my article. I appreciate this, as it is well out of my league. I just recently figured out how to adjust the brightness on my computer screen. I had been squinting at the damn thing every time I logged in on a bright, sunny day.

Pack, you are right about Tomlin and Whisenhunt. Pretty impressive. The turnover in the coaching ranks has been interesting to watch these past few years. We're seeing fewer and fewer retreads and a lot more young guys, in their early 40s and even 30s. That's a good thing.

Pack93z's picture

No problem Greg... hope I offended no one by doing it.

And Alex.. oh where have the days of static images gone. lol.

On a different note.. I found it a bit odd that the Cards cut ties with Pendergass (sp?) this offseason after a decent playoff run for the defense.. they elevated their play in the crunch.. yes they gave up the drive in the superbowl.. but so did Pitt and that vaunted D late in the game..

Comes back to that patience notion we were discussing last week.. sometimes it take a little time for units or teams to fall into place for a coach or staff..

Pack93z's picture

So an honest question, well a two part.

Part one... If the Packers go lets say 6-10 or something in that neighborhood, does he stay on for another year?

Opposite direction... if the Packers rebound to a above 10 win mark, where will the credit fall, MM or the Capers hire?

Andyman's picture

Honestly, I think both TT and MM might be on the block if they have another year like this. They took a LOT of heat for the Favre thing last year, and the fact they lost 7 more games the following year doesn't bode well for them. I think we can't really say where credit will fall until we see how they get those wins.

longtimefan's picture

i am pretty confident that if they do not have a winning record,Ted will be gone

Asshalo's picture

not relevent to this topic, but a very similiar article to one on here about a month back:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80eabdc5&amp;template=without-v...

You guys have touched on Canty but Igor Olschansky of the chargers would be good too. I really like that they drove home the point that we don't really have a good compliment to Kampmann at OLB. I would love it if we got Suggs. E Brown or Orakpo have the size and ability to convert there too. I read an article sayign Orakpo should be the DE compliment to Jenkins. He's got the height but he may need to gain a good 50 lbs for that to work.

Peppers doesn't seem like an option anymore. I heard he wants to play OLB-- but he seems to big to play that-- that and the fact the panthers are probably going to tag him and ask for a draft pick in the range of first to second round.

Asshalo's picture

and the point about gaining 50 lbs was sarcastic. I don't think he'd work at DE in a 3-4-- even a hybrid.

Greg C.'s picture

I think that with another 6-10 season or worse, Thompson and McCarthy will both be gone. At 7-9, it could go either way, and 8-8 will be enough to buy them another year.

It's not that simple, of course, but those are the numbers I'm going with. Thompson and McCarthy's fates are probably tied together. I don't think Thompson could afford to fire McCarthy and start over with another coach if things go bad this year.

As for the others, I think Childress needs to win a playoff game, Jauron and Payton need to at least make the playoffs, and Kubiak might survive if he finishes 9-7 and misses the playoffs.

packerslounge's picture

I just read this again and realized you said MM wasn't good looking. I know he isn't Rodgers or anything, but I always found him to be quite handsome.

Greg C.'s picture

Sorry, Alex. I just don't recall the ladies swooning over McCarthy when he was hired, although he wasted no time finding himself a wife in Green Bay, so once again, I tip my cap to him.

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