NFL coaches come from a variety of sources
Bucs fans want a new coach, and its on everyone's mind; where do we get one? Before you shout out the obvious, lets take a look at the different types and how trends affected the Bucs arriving in this situation in the first place. Seattle HC Pete Caroll actually falls into 2 catagories, NFL retread and college guy, but when he was hired by Seattle, he was considered a college guy. With the recent success of the Seahawks, the college guy was the new hot hire, and it led to the Bucs taking a shot at first Chip Kelly then Greg Schiano.
Let's be fair, while many will criticize Schiano's barely over .500 mark (by one game both over all and in Big East play) now, when he was hired, the worst thing anyone said was was "hmm" and "well, I guess we will see". Rutgers was a joke of a program, almost a division 2 school, then it started to compete with division one programs.
Among college coaches, its easy to see that he was one of the top candidates at the time. The question of "can a college coach make it in the NFL" is so old its not even funny. I remember the talk about John McKay when I was a kid, and he was succesful in bringing the i-formation and the 3-4 defense to the NFL. The Bucs were a Touchdown and FG away from a Super Bowl in 1979 thanks to McKay and his 4 USC National Championships.
Now this year, the NFL retread is getting a power look. The Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated, with pretty much the same players that won 2 games last year. The difference: Andy Reid, fresh off a decade of taking the Eagles to the playoffs seemingly every year and the NFC Championship game about every other or so. It's been noticed, and some popular retread coaches are leading the lists of many Bucs fans who want to replace Greg Schiano yesterday, or at the very least, before that billboard payment is due next month.
Fans want Lovie Smith, who started out in Tampa as the Linebackers coach under Tony Dungy. Smith took the Bears to the playoffs many seasons, built a top notch defense, and even made it to the Super Bowl before losing in the only rained on SB vs the Colts. Problem is, for every Caroll, there is a Schiano. For every Reid, there is a Jeff Fisher. There is no sure shot cure-all. Jon Gruden was a retread, but really he got us one Super Bowl. John Fox left the Panthers and had instant success with Denver. Meanwhile Mike Shanahan went from Denver to Washington to find mixed results.
But the Coaches who start out as retreads, usually came from the next group of coaches that fans never seem to consider first. The NFL Assistants who learn under another good coach. Tony Dungy was the Vikings defensive coordinator when the Bucs hired him as Head Coach, and he waited a long time for his chance, so he was out there for some time. Yet at the time, Bucs fans were calling for either Jimmy Johnson, or Steve Spurrier. Johnson failed at Miami, and Spurrier bombed in Washington, so Bucs fans would have been miserable had they gotten their way.
And contrary to popular belief in the Tampa Bay area, you dont need to be a Defensive or Offensvie coordinator. A position assistant can be just as qualified to make it as a head coach, but Bucs fans used that against Raheem Morris when the Bucs were losing under the Bucs last head coach. Even thought the reason for Morris failing had nothing to do with his professional experience.
Look at the teams this year that are showing a lot of promise. San Diego, Buffalo, Cleveland, the last two perennial losers in the NFL, are showing signs of turning their program around and playing respectful. The Bills and Browns are 3-4 in spite of losing their starting QBs. San Diego's new head coach Mike McCoy is getting the best out of Philip Rivers, McCoy is long time Offensive Coordinator under John Fox at both Denver and Carolina.
Buffalo's Doug Marrone worked as offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints under Sean Payton before going to Syracuse, then the Buffalo Bills. Cleveland hired Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski from the Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers. These teams bucked the trend to go to the college ranks, and picked up succesful NFL assistants who are hungry for their first team, and chance to put their name on something. One think about the current version of the trend..its OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS that are making the splash.
In Jacksonville, Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley is still winless, while the Raiders pulled in the DC of the Broncos, who was the secondary coach for the Saints. So perhaps the trend toward offensive coaches will continue, such as Bruce Arians, former OC and WR coach with Pittsburgh has Arizona playing competative. Colts are making it under former Baltimore Raven OC Chuck Pagano while the Dolphins are at .500 with the old OC of the Green Bay Packers. And what about Lovie Smith’s old team? The Bears went with offensive assistant and CFL coach Mark Trestman and they are doing the same thing; winning.