It’s almost a foregone conclusion that Andy Reid will not be returning as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. Though I think there is a slight possibility that he does return, as outlined here, I still feel the odds largely favor a parting of ways.
I’ve also done a little research recently to determine if there has been a noticeable difference between the success rate of offensive-minded or defensive-minded head coaches when it comes to getting to, and/or winning, the Super Bowl in recent times.
And since there doesn’t appear to be any real discernible difference, I now feel free to consider both sides of the ball when looking for a head coach. Previously, I was under the impression that offensive-minded coaches had more success.
And while that statement itself is true, the success rate of offensive coaches isn’t vastly superior to their defensive counterparts. They’re closer to being about even than you might think.
With that said, here are my top two current NFL coordinators to keep an eye on when it comes time to fill our vacancy…
Gus Bradley – Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator
Bradley will likely get serious consideration for head coaching vacancies this offseason. Seattle’s defense has been surprisingly stingy and is the third-overall ranked defense in the NFL right now.
They’re also third in points allowed with a mere 16.8 points-against average. They’re tied for 10th in the league in takeaways (17), 12th in sacks (29), third in TD passes given up (12) and ninth in average opponent passer rating (78.2).
Bradley’s first coaching job in the NFL was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he spent two seasons working closely with Monte Kiffin. He then was named Seattle’s defensive coordinator in 2009 under Jim Mora.
Bradley was retained by Pete Carroll in 2010, who, by the way, is a good defensive mind. Under Carroll and Bradley, Seattle’s defense has improved each season and they’re playing very well this year.
One thing to note with Bradley too is that since he’s been there, they’ve built a pretty good secondary by drafting safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor in 2010 and signing CFL cornerback Brandon Browner in 2011.
All three of those guys have been either named to the Pro Bowl or Pro Bowl alternates. This would bode well for the Eagles since the secondary is the biggest problem on this team. Seattle also runs a 4-3 defense so the aspect of a huge change in the defensive scheme (and thus players) would not be an issue.
Bradley has learned under two well-respected NFL defensive minds and has a good track record. The down-side is that the Seahawks may make the playoffs which means we’d have to wait to interview him and possibly miss out on other candidates if we ended up not landing him.
Mike McCoy – Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator
I can make McCoy sound like the greatest coach on the face of the planet with one sentence: He made Kyle Orton look like a respectable NFL QB and devised ways to score on offense with Tim Tebow at quarterback.
That’s about all he needs to put on his resume and teams should be lining up to interview him.
This is McCoy’s fourth season as offensive coordinator in Denver. In his previous three seasons, his offenses have finished 15th, 13th and 23rd in total yards. However, we have to consider what and with whom he’s had to work with…
He inherited Kyle Orton in 2009 and with the help of his scheme and Brandon Marshall, turned him into a top-half of the league passer. Then he accomplished the same feat with Brandon Lloyd at WR the following season.
In 2011, it was pure magic. McCoy transitioned the offense from Orton to Tim Tebow and was actually able to create an offensive scheme mid-way through the season to get the best out of what he had in Tebow.
That was largely responsible for Denver’s magical run to the playoffs with a QB that was once described as “a good running back” by Brian Urlacher when he was asked if he felt Tebow was a good quarterback.
How Denver was was able to win with Tebow was an incredible “magic trick” orchestrated by McCoy.
Denver’s offense has catapulted up to second in the NFL in total offense this year, though that is thanks to Peyton Manning. However, we have to give credit to McCoy as well.
McCoy spent from 2000 through 2008 in various positions (assistant, WR coach, QB coach) on the offensive coaching staff for the Carolina Panthers. He is credited with getting the most out of ex-Panthers QB Jake Delhomme and even turned him into a pro-bowler.
As a matter of fact, that’s the best way to describe McCoy: he is able to get the best out of mediocre talent. Since 2000, McCoy has maximized the talents of quarterbacks such as Steve Beuerlein and Rodney Peete along with Delhomme, Orton and Tebow.
He also was Carolina’s wide receivers’ coach in Steve Smith’s rookie year. He helped develop Smith into an elite level wide receiver and has always been able to find good receivers for his system.
He also believes in running the ball, as evidenced by his offense being No. 1 in the NFL last season in attempted rushes along with having the eighth-most rushing attempts so far this year. I’m not worried about where his offenses have ranked in rushing, I only looked at rushing attempts because that tells me how much he will run the ball, regardless.
Don’t underestimate that stat right there…we need an offense that will emphasize running the ball next season with LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown.
A few teams were interested in McCoy last offseason, most notably the Miami Dolphins. He had two interviews with the team before they ultimately gave the job to Joe Philbin. More teams are likely to be interested this offseason, but like Gus Bradley, the Broncos will be in the playoffs.
So, again, teams will have to gamble and wait before interviewing him.
I honestly really like both of these candidates. I can’t say I like one that much more than the other, but if I had to choose between the two, I’d probably go with Mike McCoy…just because he’s used to working with, and getting the best out of, mediocre talent.
However, I’d be happy with either guy. I think both will be favorites to land head coaching jobs once their season ends. The question is, how many candidates could the Eagles potentially lose out on by waiting for one of these guys that, in the end, they may not even land?
I don’t even want to think about that right now, but rather just think about one of these guys running the team. We have to think Lurie will be aggressive in going after a top-notch coach to get this team back on track.
Right now, I’m just lukewarm on a college coach like Chip Kelly, who has no NFL experience. I’d rather take the odds on Bowl Game Betting than bet the odds on a college coach becoming a successful NFL coach.
That’s why I’d rather go with an up-and-coming NFL coordinator or position coach and go from there.
McCoy and Bradley are tops on my list at this time.