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  1. #1
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    Life as an Offensive Coordinator



    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.

    Code:
    AFC
    
    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
    
    NFC 
     
    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
    Looking at this list there are a bunch of take-aways for me.

    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.




  2. #2
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    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Sparano was also a HC.
    Never get in a fight with a pig; you both get muddy, and the pig likes it...





  3. #3
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    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by Shas View Post
    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.

    Code:
    AFC
    
    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
    
    NFC 
     
    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
    Looking at this list there are a bunch of take-aways for me.

    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.
    I got sick of our play-calling and "experts" calling our system old and simple. I still feel for Cam. I liked him, liked his successful days with us....and I feel bad for his kids and wife if/when they have to move. I don't know exactly where the Ravens offensive woes begin and ends, but I know there was more wrong than just Cam most the times.

    I also don't agree with the timing, they should of let him go earlier, or in the offseason. An established franchise should never have to resort to this kind of firing this late in a playoff run season.
    ::Flacco Superstar::





  4. #4

    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    It isn't just the OC getting scapegoated that leads to this kind of turnover. It is that HC's turn over and they bring their own guys. Plus there is the fact many OCs leave to become HC's. There is simply a lot of shuffling that goes on, more than there are coaches being run out of the league (for supposed poor performance).

    It would be good to try to separate out OC changes that are made by teams that have had a relatively stable HC. Or even OC's that get canned and take a demotion with their new team (vs. another OC job).

    Plus I don't really think name recognition or even (distant) past accomplishments really count for much these days. Some of the up-and-comers, the whippersnappers, look very talented, and I suspect part of the reason is that they have not been tainted by habits learned back when the game was different. And by different I mean like 3 years ago or more.

    These young OCs come in fresh, look at the rule changes and the trends of the league and what is succeeding and they emulate and maybe slightly adapt that stuff. A grey-haired career OC, especially a stubborn one who had a lot of success years and years ago, would need to ditch a lot of the "work" or "knowledge" he had banked in the past just to keep modern, and human nature makes this hard to do.
    Last edited by Haloti92; 12-11-2012 at 03:58 PM.




  5. #5

    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenousD View Post
    I got sick of our play-calling and "experts" calling our system old and simple. I still feel for Cam. I liked him, liked his successful days with us....and I feel bad for his kids and wife if/when they have to move. I don't know exactly where the Ravens offensive woes begin and ends, but I know there was more wrong than just Cam most the times.

    I also don't agree with the timing, they should of let him go earlier, or in the offseason. An established franchise should never have to resort to this kind of firing this late in a playoff run season.
    I would wager almost 80 percent of fans in the NFL want their offensive coordinator fired year in and year out. If you go to other message boards it is a common refrain. O-Coordinators are often used as scapegoats by fans. Hell, just look at entire 178 year history of the Ravens, have they had one Coordinator that people actually LIKED? Marchibroda maybe but even then people complained he was too pass happy. Even when Billick briefly took over the playcalling duties in 2006, people bitched and complained about the lack of Jamal Lewis in the playoff game.

    I'm not saying it wasn't time for a change. It was. But Coordinators are just constant gripes for fans who love to complain. They are very easy targets.




  6. #6

    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by Haloti92 View Post
    These young OCs come in fresh, look at the rule changes and the trends of the league and what is succeeding and they emulate and maybe slightly adapt that stuff. A grey-haired career OC, especially a stubborn one who had a lot of success years and years ago, would need to ditch a lot of the "work" or "knowledge" he had banked in the past just to keep modern, and human nature makes this hard to do.
    At the end of the day, it seems like Offensive Play Callers eventually burn out and get too smart for themselves. The best ones, Sean Peyton, McCarthy, McDaniels, Andy Reid way back when, Mike Holmgren even further back always get promoted to HC and still call the plays...but the game eventually seems moves past most offensive play-callers.




  7. #7
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    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by esmd View Post
    Sparano was also a HC.
    Yep, of course. Thanks. Meant to mark him and just skipped him over.




  8. #8
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    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by s.r.genovese View Post
    I would wager almost 80 percent of fans in the NFL want their offensive coordinator fired year in and year out. They are very easy targets.
    You're right and boards light up with how much smarter 'we guys' are than the coordinators. That's why I was never too quick to bash Cam and I hope he has a smooth transition. But I also do believe it was time for a change
    World Domination 3 Points at a Time!




  9. #9
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    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by Haloti92 View Post
    It isn't just the OC getting scapegoated that leads to this kind of turnover. It is that HC's turn over and they bring their own guys. Plus there is the fact many OCs leave to become HC's. There is simply a lot of shuffling that goes on, more than there are coaches being run out of the league (for supposed poor performance).
    That's a fair point. The tenure of head coaches is generally longer than that of OC's, but that doesn't mean the new OC was replacing a fired one...some OCs get hired as head coaches and leave for a promotion, not a firing.




  10. #10

    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by Shas View Post
    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.
    No, it's both. I don't care how good a motivator your are, if your scheme stinks, or if you can't make adjustments, you won't succeed. Cam wasn't a motivator or a good X's and O's guy.

    I'll agree that it's bad to hire an "offensive genius", because if he were really a genius, he wouldn't be available.




  11. #11

    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    (Who knew, BTW, that Cavanaugh is currently the QB coach for Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow? Adds up, right?)
    I knew. I have seen him on the sidelines at jets games. He was the OC at Pitt for a while under Dave Wannstadt I think.




  12. #12
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    Re: Life as an Offensive Coordinator

    cavanaugh is still int he NFL???




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