If, in fact, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid is fired at season’s end, we’ll be in the market for a new leader on the grid iron. Besides the aspects of personality characteristics, track record and reputation, one big question is whether or not we should bring in an offensive or defensive-minded head coach.
And furthermore, does that matter?
Well, since winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal, I thought I’d take a look at all of the head coaches who have ever coached in the big game. Going in, I thought they’d predominantly be coaches with an offensive background, and I was correct…
Out of the 46 Super Bowls, there have been a total of 47 different coaches. Of those 47, 30 were from an offensive background, including nine of the past 15.
Of the 46 teams that have won the Super Bowl, 27 have been by an offensive-minded head coach. However, five of the past 10 winners came from a defensive background.
To go just a little bit beyond the background of the head coach, I also took a look at the past 10 Super Bowl teams to compare how many of them had a top-10 offense and/or a top-10 defense.
In other words, I wanted to see if there seems to be a correlation of whether having a top offense is more important than having a top defense.
Of the past 10 Super Bowl teams, there have been 12 that had a top-10 offense and also 12 with a top-10 defense. There has been only one year where neither of the Super Bowl teams had a top-10 offense and two years where there wasn’t a top-10 defense.
However, five of past six Super Bowl teams have had top-10 defenses compared to just three for the offense.
So, what does all of this tell us? It actually tells me that, no matter how much everyone says that the NFL has turned into an offensive league, defense is still just as important.
Furthermore, there isn’t as much of a disparity between offensive and defensive-minded head coaches as I thought there would be, especially more recently. Overall, it does lean more towards having a coach that is more of an offensive guru, but not enough to sway me to think the Eagles need to find an offensive guy.
Also, there have only been eight more offensive coaches that have won the Super Bowl than defensive coaches (27 – 19).
The fact of the matter is that, if you bring in an offensive guy, he needs to hire a defensive coordinator that can take care of business on that side of the ball. And obviously, it’s vice-versa if you bring in a defensive guy.
We need to look no further than our own back yard for proof of that. Andy Reid’s Eagles were at their best when Jim Johnson was running the show on defense. Without a good DC, Reid has struggled.
Hiring a good coordinator to run the part of your team that you do not specialize in is of great importance. A great coordinator will offset an area of weakness of a head coach.
Before looking up these stats, I wanted a defensive guy but thought we needed an offensive guy to have a better shot at getting to a Super Bowl. Now, I think we can honestly go either way without any worry of one having a better chance than the other.
The only question left is, who?