NFL will have 20 offensive head coaches, only 12 from defense

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NFL head coach hirings are skewing offensive.

Of the 32 NFL head coaches in 2019, 20 of them will have offensive backgrounds and only 12 will come from the defensive side of the ball. That comes from TheBigLead.com and assumes that the Bengals will hire Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor and the Dolphins will hire Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores.

In the past, there was always close to an even split between offensive and defensive head coaches. From 2002 to 2016 there were always between 14 and 17 coaches whose background was in offense. In 2017 that number hit 18 for the first time, in 2018 it remained at 18, and in 2019 the number will hit an all-time high of 20 offensive head coaches.

The reason for the offensive trend is that a lot of new offensive coaches have had success recently. That includes Eagles coach Doug Pederson, Rams coach Sean McVay, Bears coach Matt Nagy, Colts coach Frank Reich and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn. The owners who have seen the success those coaches have had want to emulate it.

But like a pendulum, football always swings the other way eventually. Soon NFL owners will want a smart defensive coach who can figure out how to stop those hot new offenses. Defensive coaches will have their day, even if that day does not come for another year.

24 responses to “NFL will have 20 offensive head coaches, only 12 from defense

  1. The Broncos are already ahead of the curve – Fangio has proven he can severely slow down and stop the newer offenses

  2. John Harbaugh was a special teams coach. After his early success all those guys started getting interviews

  3. So long as the rules skew Offense and the NFL is systematically rigging itself towards offensive production, you’re crazy NOT to have an offensive coach to take advantage.

    Yep – defensive coach apologists will state you need a defensive guy to combat this and on an even playing field, you’re right but you can be the best defensive coach in the country, so long as the league will allow the offense more leeway to do what they want – you’ll not consistently win.

    Your team MUST be offensive in nature, even if you’re a defensive HC. They rules allow one side a slingshot and the other a machine gun – which side do you think you should be on? Even if you’re the greatest sling shot user we’ve ever seen?

  4. That would make sense, given the league rules have been changed in favor of the offense. Also there are quite a few teams always in the playoff mix that defy the old adage of “defense wins championships”.

  5. Paul Harmon says:
    January 12, 2019 at 10:12 am
    The Broncos are already ahead of the curve – Fangio has proven he can severely slow down and stop the newer offenses

    ————-

    Did he come with Khalil Mack?

  6. Many of the so-called offensive head coaches have a very strong defensive coordinator that has full control over the defensive side of the organization. Examples include Jim Schwartz in Philadelphia and Bob Stoops in Kansas City. The offensive-defensive difference is way overblown. Now if we want to open up a can of worms, we could ask about the racial and ethnic makeup of the coaches compared to the players.

  7. A great offense sells tickets but defense wins championships!
    Exhibit A: the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. Last playoffs it took a goal line stand against Atlanta in the 1st round and stripping the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands in the Super Bowl!

  8. rkt4mayor says:
    January 12, 2019 at 11:07 am
    A great offense sells tickets but defense wins championships!
    Exhibit A: the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. Last playoffs it took a goal line stand against Atlanta in the 1st round and stripping the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands in the Super Bowl!
    —————————————–

    Situational defense and turnovers are what won, not a dominant defense. The Eagles D was ripped to shreds by Brady, they just had a few timely plays and their own offense played near perfect.

  9. amurdora said:
    January 12, 2019 at 10:27 am
    Paul Harmon said:
    January 12, 2019 at 10:12 am
    The Broncos are already ahead of the curve – Fangio has proven he can severely slow down and stop the newer offenses

    ————-

    Did he come with Khalil Mack?

    ————

    No need. He has Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

  10. The truly great coaches are functional on both sides of the ball. Like Bekichick, people thinks he’s a defensive specialist. Nah, he knows a lot about offense. That’s why he can plug in any O Coordinator and the Pats offense continues to roll.

    Bill Walsh knew defense. Even the great Jim Harbaugh knows enough about defense to hire the right guys. That’s why his defenses are always top notch.

    I don’t know why these teams hire these specialists who only know one side of the ball and are dependent on big name coordinators.

  11. “The Broncos are already ahead of the curve – Fangio has proven he can severely slow down and stop the newer offenses”

    Please stop that malarky,as everybody knows the Bears defensive personnel were much better overall than the little horses personnel in Denver and Fangio wont be nearly as successful next season.Denvers day in the nfl spotlight ended awhile back.

  12. The NFL has become an offensive league. You have to have a good offensive who can just about score at will. It also puts butts in seats at the stadium. Fans want to see great offense. It’s a long season, and injuries do happen. The team with the most talent and depth usually makes the playoffs. A good offensive team can win enough games to make the playoffs. A good defensive scheme designed for a particular offense can help with games once the playoff begin.

    In a nutshell, that why teams are looking for offensive minded coaches.

  13. john harbaugh was a special teams coach for the eagles before becoming a hc of the ravens, its time for him to return to his specialty.

  14. The Super Bowls that stand out in my memory when there was a top offense vs a top defense, the defense nearly always wins…Ravens Giants in 2000, Rams vs Pats in 2001, Seattle Vs Denver with Manning, Bears in 85, list goes on and on. When a dominant defense plays a dominant offense, the defense nearly ALWAYS wins…That’s not the matchup every year, obviously, but when it is, that’s what usually happens. So I’d try to find a top defensive mind over an offensive guy

  15. Clearly, what is needed is a rule mandating that defensive coaches must be interviewed for every open position, since their absence in equal numbers is automatic evidence of discrimination.

  16. Wick City says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm
    John Harbaugh was a special teams coach before being promoted to HC. So, it’s 20-11-1.

    ——

    Sort of. He played defensive back and was also Philly’s secondary coach for 10 years when they had a run of high level DBs like Brian Dawkins, Troy Vincent, Al Harris, Bobby Taylor, Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard.

    But he had limited college experience coaching running backs and tight ends, too, which lots of guys have done. Bill Belichick was a young WR coach with the Lions in the 70’s, but of course is mostly known for his work on defense.

  17. Offense may win in September, but look at scoring in December and January…almost every team in the playoffs has a good to great defense.

    NFL owners and GMs are a bit like lemmings, they follow the few leaders even if off a cliff. A couple teams having success on offense…let’s find the next Sean McVay! We’ll see if Shanny Jr, LaFleur, Kingsbury, and Kitchens actually work out before pronouncing it he right thing to do. So far Gase has been meh. Only Arians is proven.

    A strong defensive background HC who hires a good (smart, creative) OC can do the same thing.

    The high scoring Rams? They ran the ball today. 250 rush yards vs 180 passing yards.

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