I do feel a little badly for Cam getting shitcanned during the holidays. I was reminded he has kids in school here. Even when you have money in the bank, losing your job life turns upside down for the entire family. I guess it's a bit like life in the military -- stress and moving a lot -- only with more money.
Harbaugh mentioned Cam has had a long run here, and that's something I had not thought of. Five seasons is a long time for an NFL offensive coordinator.
I suspect that this is true because our tendency to scapegoat these guys brings them down well before the fickle finger of fate reaches the head coach, GM, owner, or players. The "Pawn" metaphor may be apt when it comes to offensive coordinator.
So here is the list of NFL teams, their current OCs, and their year hired.
Looking at this list there are a bunch of take-aways for me.
Buffalo Bills Curtis Modkins 2010
Miami Dolphins Mike Sherman* 2012
New England Patriots Josh McDaniels* 2012
New York Jets Tony Sparano 2012
Baltimore Ravens Jim Caldwell* 2012
Cincinnati Bengals Jay Gruden 2011
Cleveland Browns Brad Childress* 2012
Pittsburgh Steelers Todd Haley* 2012
Houston Texans Rick Dennison 2010
Indianapolis Colts Bruce Arians 2012
Jacksonville Jaguars Bob Bratkowski 2012
Tennessee Titans Chris Palmer* 2011
Denver Broncos Mike McCoy 2009
Kansas City Chiefs Bill Muir 2011
Oakland Raiders Al Saunders 2011
San Diego Chargers Hal Hunter 2012
Dallas Cowboys Bill Callahan* 2012
New York Giants Kevin Gilbride* 2006
Philadelphia Eagles Marty Mornhinweg* 2006
Washington Redskins Kyle Shanahan 2010
Chicago Bears Mike Tice* 2012
Detroit Lions Scott Linehan* 2009
Green Bay Packers Tom Clements 2012
Minnesota Vikings Bill Musgrave 2011
Atlanta Falcons Dirk Koetter 2012
Carolina Panthers Rob Chudzinski 2011
New Orleans Saints Pete Carmichael, Jr. 2009
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Sullivan 2012
Arizona Cardinals Mike Miller 2011
San Francisco 49ers Greg Roman 2011
St. Louis Rams Brian Schottenheimer 2012
Seattle Seahawks Darrell Bevell 2011
One, the short tenures, as I mentioned. Cam had been the longest-tenured OC in the AFC, and only the Giants and Eagles had had OC's in place longer than the Ravens had kept Cam.
Second, I'm sure there are a bunch of names here who elicit the same comment from a bunch of us: "who?' We put so much scrutiny on our coordinator, and spent so much time wishing we had another one that it may be kind of surprising that there are not more marquee names on this list -- guys whom you'd expect put Cam to shame.
It suggests to me that maybe too much is expected of the OC -- which relates directly back to the high turnover rate.
In baseball if a batter makes an out two out of three times he steps to the plate, he's considered a great hitter. The expected success rate for an offensive coordinator is much higher I'd say.
(This is starting to sound like an apology for Cam. It's not. Or at least I didn't start out meaning to go down that path. I only meant to compare him to other OC's in the league, and I was a bit surprised what I found on the surface. Although, I've always said that the quality of players account for 80-90% of success or failure, and coaching and luck account for the small minority. So I should not be too surprised by an uninspiring list.)
The last thing I'll note relates to the asterisks. Did you catch what these refer to? I've marked the former head coaches who are now OC's. A third of them, if I'm counting right.
I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but Caldwell continues a string of OC's for the Ravens who've been Head Coaches. Caldwell for the Colts (and Wake Forest). Cam for the Dolphins (And IU). Neusheisel was at Colorado and Washington (but never in the NFL, if you still want to count him). Billick was his own OC. Before that it was Fassell who had been the Giants HC.
Then you get to Cavanaugh, finally, who did not have any head coaching experience. (Who knew, BTW, that Cavanaugh is currently the QB coach for Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow? Adds up, right?)
Before that it was Marchibroda who was his own OC (Kirk Frenentz, now the Iowa HC, was his Assistant HC/Offense.)
I've always claimed it was a bad idea to hire "offensive geniuses" as your head coach -- it's a people/organizational/motivation job, not an X's and O's job. The former head coaches here, and their failures as head coaches, attest to that. Billick was an exception because I do think he was a PR/motivator more than an Xs and Os guy.
The one positive thing I'll say about the ex-head coaches listed here is that the Peter Principle may apply -- they did so well as OC's earlier in their careers that they were promoted to their level of incompetence, exposed, quickly fired, and then settled back down to life as an offensive coordinator.
Hopefully Caldwell can be that successful, last five years here like Cam, and happily endure all the hate that we are about to heap on him.
Welcome to Baltimore Jim. Bring your hard hat and earplugs.