It is what wins championships nowadays. It is also sells tickets. We all know the trends by now when it comes to winning a Super Bowl in this era. You gotta have a good offense. You gotta have the QB. Sure, a top tier defense will get you to the playoffs, but the last 10 years tells us that Super Bowls are won by offenses. However, when it comes to leaders of those offenses on the sidelines, the head coaches' pedigree is dead even between offensive and defensive gurus.
Before Black Monday happed, there were 16 head coaches who had come from a defensive background.
Why is it so even if we are in such a pass happy league?
—If you find a good QB, you don't have to worry too much about the offensive coach. Put Dick Jauron with Peyton Manning and even Dick couldn't fuck that up..I think. All about the QBs at the end of the day.
—I've always believed defensive coaches tend to be better motivators. I know it sounds stupid, but there seems to be more yelling involved with defense than on offense. I just think of the likes of Rex Ryan, Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh.
–Since 2005, 37 head coached have lead their teams to the playoffs. 20 of them came from a defensive background. In terms of multiple appearances, defensive coaches win out against offensive gurus: John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy and Love Smith vs. Mike Shanahan, Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton, John Gruden and Mike McCarthy. Only in 2008 and 2009 did the NFL have more head coaches with offensive backgrounds make the playoffs than defensive backgrounds.
—I wouldn't exactly put this as black or white because it is only like 4 guys in the group, but statistically speaking, defensive coordinators tend to evolve into offensive minds over time. Bill Belichick (No offense in Cleveland), Bill Parcells (Defense only with Giants), Marty Schottenheimer (Offense stunk in KC, but got way better in San Diego), Pete Carroll (Offenses stunk with Jets/Pats), Tony Dungy (Offense stunk in Tampa, got better in Indy), and John Harbaugh (Defensive guy). It took a while to go from being defensive guys to knowing a thing or two about offenses, but it happened. I know..QBs were the difference in most cases.However, I can't really think of many offensive guys who became defensive minds besides Brian Billick. But I think that was more about defensive coaches and Ozzie Newsome knowing how to draft defense.
–There always seems to be more offensive coordinators/fired head coaches out there than defensive coordinators. So, hire a defensive head coach and then a retread offensive coordinator. Of the 7 coaches fired on Black Monday this year, 5 of them were offensive minds.
What is best for the Bills?
If you look at the top 10 offenses in the league, 6 of the 10 head coaches have a defensive background (Jim Schwartz, Bill Belichick, Chuck Pagano-I know he was hardly there, John Fox, Mike Smith, and Schiano). Now, if you look at the top 10 defenses, 3 of the 10 head coaches come from a offensive background (Gary Kubiak, Norv Turner and Jim Harbaugh). What are the common denominators here? QBs for the defensive coaches (Stafford, Brady, Manning, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman) and really good defensive coordinators (Wade Phillips and whoever the hell the guy is in San Fran).
So, what would be easier for the Bills to find here, A better defensive coordinator or a franchise QB? I think we know the answer to that.
The Bills have way more talent on the defensive side of the ball. Yes, I'm fingering Dave Wannstedt for the job he did with the defense. For the defense to have this amount of talent and to set records in futility, is remarkable. But ability wise, I still believe they have talent on the defensive line and at certain parts in the secondary. I think they are better at crucial positions on defense than they are on offense.
Defense needs more coaching help and if you find a QB, it won't matter what type of offensive mind you have.
Mike Zimmer- A Favorite of Frank G. because of his tenacity and leadership abilities. Been a defensive coach with the Cowboys, Falcons and Bengals. Has coached in a 3-4 and 4-3 defense. Coached under Bill Parcells during his years in Dallas. Defense has been ranked in the top 10 in 3 of the last 4 years. Had a top 5 defense with the Bengals and Cowboys.
Verdict: I like him. Been on the head coaching radar for a while now. Seems like a dickhead. Only issue I have is why hasn't he been a head coach yet? He was a decent coach with the Cowboys and was a part of Parcells coaching tree, yet, he's been a coordinator for 10 years. Is there something to it? Also, maybe he can get Hue Jackson to come with him to call the offensive plays? I'd sign up for this.
Ray Horton- Who?! Yeah, I didn't know who he was either until like a week ago. He has done a lot of nice things in the desert: 12th in yards given up and 3rd in takeaways. They also have over 80 sacks in the last two years. He was an assistant coach with the Steelers before going to Arizona. Doug Whaley/Pittsburgh connection? Makes sense. Plus, the guy has dreads! That would be fricken awesome to have the first NFL coach with the locks. I can only imagine some douche bag from Parts unknown in Buffalo will tip over his trailer in disgust because of that.
Verdict: He's only been a coordinator for two years. I wouldn't be against him, but I think he's a little too green on the coaching front. Plus, he's a 3-4 guy and I don't know if the Bills can handle going back to that front. Mario Williams doesn't seem like someone who would want to play OLB. We all know in order for a 3-4 to really work, you need LBs, which we all know are a glaring need for the Bills. However, since the Bills are interviewing him, I'll put him on the finalist list.
Perry Fewell- You remember him? Funny, but when he took over for Jauron, I didn't want any part of him. It mostly consisted of him being a part of the Jauron regime and hearing how the Bills were going after the likes of Cowher and Shanahan. Of course, had I known they'd hire a retread failure like Gailey, I would have been in favor of Fewell staying. Fewell does have a Super Bowl ring, but his defenses have been very much like a riddle trapped in a enigma. Since being with the Giants, they have ranked 7th, 27th and 30th in yards given up, but have been in the top 5 in forcing turnovers and in sacks in 2 of his three years there. The Giants' defense do have a lot in common personnel wise with the Bills. Great defensive line and physical corners.
Verdict: I like Fewell, but the Buffalo connection still throws me for a loop. I hate everyone who is associated with this organization since 2000 and I'm not sure fans would like seeing a familiar face from the past who was Dick Jauron's understudy. Even still, I'll put him on my list of finalists.
Gus Bradley- Defensive coordinator for the Seahawks. Young dude who worked as linebackers coach under Monte Kiffin in Tampa Bay from 2006-2008. Been running the Seahawks' defense since 2009. Defense started off badly in 2009/2010, ranking in the bottom 3rd of the league. However, they have been in the top 10 the last two years and finished the season 1st in points allowed.
Verdict: Young guy who learned under Monte Kiffin. One of those "Yeah, I wouldn't hate it, but is there anything else out there?" kind of guys
Final word: Obviously, fans would love to get a coach who is more adequate in all phases of the game. However, you are only going to pick from a litter of coordinators whose talents fit better in either offense or defense. I'd like to have a defensive head coach. I think if you get a franchise QB in here, it won't matter who the offensive coach is. Besides Jim Harbaugh, who was the last coach to really take a unknown QB and make him into an all-pro? QBs make the offensive coordinator, not the other way around.
As far as finalists go from this list: Zimmer, Horton and Fewell make it.
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