The old adage that the NFL stands for “Not For Long” could apply to coaching staffs just as easily as it can to the players.
As Mike Clay of ESPN showed in a chart posted to his twitter account on Thursday, the turnover among the top three positions on NFL coaching staffs (head coach, offensive/defensive coordinator) over the two last seasons is sizable. The turnover of the coordinator positions, in particular, is staggering.
Since the start of the 2017 NFL season, over 75 percent of coordinator positions in the NFL have changed. Only 15 out of 64 coordinator positions remain the same as they were for the start of the 2017 season. Just four offensive coordinators are serving in the same role: Ken Whisenhunt (Chargers), Josh McDaniels (Patriots), Pete Carmichael (Saints) and Kyle Shanahan (49ers). In fact, half of the league has new offensive coordinators this season alone.
On the defensive side, 11 coordinators remain in place: Leslie Frazier (Bills), Rod Marinelli (Cowboys), Todd Wash (Jaguars), Gus Bradley (Chargers), Wade Phillips (Rams), George Edwards (Vikings), Dennis Allen (Saints), Jim Schwartz (Eagles), Keith Butler (Steelers), Robert Saleh (49ers) and Greg Manusky (Washington).
That’s a turnover rate of 76.6 percent in just two years.
This turnover has happened for a number of reasons. Coordinators are prime candidates to become head coaches and 15 head coaches across 14 teams (Arizona twice) have made changes in the last two years. New head coaches then, mostly, hire new staffs which include new coordinators. Then there are also head coaches that remain in their jobs but change their coordinators in an effort to revitalize their efforts.
The hiring of Lou Anarumo as defensive coordinator by the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday completed the hiring cycle for the 2019 season among the three top coaching positions. The odds say a large number of those coaches will be looking for jobs again after the upcoming year is complete.