NFL Handicapping: New Offensive Coordinator Breakdown, Part 2
by Robert Ferringo - 7/17/2013
Earlier we discussed the Peter Principle and how it relates to NFL coordinators . We took that a step further and broke down the newest crop of offensive coordinators throughout the league, as well as the “stock potential” of each of these new coaches. Here is Part 2 of our look at the new offensive coordinators taking over for the 2013 NFL season:
Greg Olson, Oakland – This one is really just a vintage Raiders hire. Olson has been an offensive coordinator with Detroit, St. Louis and Tampa Bay and has seven years of experience. But at every one of those stops his offenses were pathetic. And in his seven-year OC career, his offenses averaged a shockingly poor 15.6 points per game. He is, in true Raiders form, a loser.
Much has been made of Olson’s shift away from the zone-read blocking scheme in the running game (you know, because the zone-read hasn’t worked at all for Houston, Washington or Seattle lately) and to more of a power running game. The idea is that the power running game best suits Oakland running back Darren McFadden’s running style, so that’s a good thing. Right. Got it. But is it a good thing to tailor your entire offense around an injury prone running back that is likely to leave in free agency after the season?
Stock Recommendation: Sell in a big way.
Ken Whisenhunt, San Diego – Whisenhunt flamed out as a head coach in Arizona but still has an excellent NFL resume. He worked in Pittsburgh from 2001-2006, serving as OC for the 2005 Super Bowl Champions.
That title team was a ground-and-pound Steelers squad that loved to work in trick plays and wrinkles. Then Whisenhunt shipped off to Arizona, where he took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2008 on the strength of a prolific passing attack. That shows the versatility and adaptability that new Chargers coach Mike McCoy is being lauded for. Whisenhunt and McCoy are now tasked with rebuilding and rebranding a Chargers offense that has finished in the Top 5 in scoring in eight of the past nine years.
Stock Recommendation: Definite buy, and I think this is a decent long-term hire. Whisenhunt is a capable coordinator, and I expect a smooth transition. But my questions are about San Diego’s talent, not their coordinators.
Pat Shurmur, Philadelphia – There is no planet on which this hiring makes sense.
The bobblehead media are all predicting high-octane offense from new Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s offense. But then the Eagles go out and grab Shurmur, who is one of the most conservative offensive play callers in football. Huh?
Shurmur was the OC for two horrific St. Louis offenses in 2009-2010, and he called the plays for two terrible attacks in Cleveland in 2011 and 2012. Shurmur’s teams have averaged a paltry 15.3 points per game over the last four years and averaged over 6.0 yards per pass just one time. I put the “over/under” on the Eagles offensive rank this year at 21.5.
Stock Recommendation: I can get behind Shurmur’s style in the right situation. But this isn’t the right situation. This hiring is an obvious sell.
Aaron Kromer, Chicago – I don’t know why, but all I can picture when I think of Kromer is Nick Crozier from “Any Given Sunday”.
Kromer has a decade’s worth of NFL experience, but this is his first gig as an OC. He was the interim coach for the Saints for the first six games of last year, and that experience was invaluable for the up-and-comer. New Bears head coach Marc Trestman promises to bring a unique attack to the Windy City after decades of conservative, run-oriented offenses. Kromer has seen a high-octane offense up close and personal while working in New Orleans over the last five years. But he won’t have Drew Brees or Sean Payton in Chicago.
Stock Recommendation: Hold.
Mike Shula, Carolina – I think that Shula is a step up from former OC (and current Cleveland head coach) Rob Chudzinski. I felt Chudzinski received way too much credit for his work with the Panthers the last two years. And I feel like Shula will help give this Panthers team an identity.
Shula is a very conservative offensive voice. And you can be sure that he is going to feed a lot of carries to Carolina’s well-paid backfield. Those people that are expecting to see the high-scoring Carolina attack of 2011 will likely be disappointed by Shula’s much more methodical approach.
Stock Recommendation: Buy.
Harold Goodwin, Arizona – I can’t say that I’m too familiar with Goodwin’s stylings. I do know that his entire career has been as an offensive line coach. Generally those guys bring a more run-oriented philosophy to the table.
I also know that Goodwin was handpicked by Bruce Arians after the pair worked together in Indianapolis last year and Pittsburgh prior to that. Arians, despite his Pittsburgh Steelers pedigree, is a daring play caller and will maintain that duty this year as the Arizona head coach.
Goodwin was chosen to lead a staff that also includes venerable Tom Moore, the Colts OC with Peyton Manning for 12 years. Arians and Moore are proven commodities, so it will be interesting just how much control Goodwin will actually have over the offense.
Stock Recommendation: I’m buying this one, but not based on Goodwin’s behalf. The Arians-Moore brain trust is really as good as it gets.
Robert Ferringo is a lead writer for Doc’s Sport and he has earned over $9,000 in football profit for his clients over the last 15 football months. He is looking forward to another amazing season on the gridiron and has banked five of six winning NFL seasons, two of three winning years and 27 of 39 winning football months. Sign up today and start earning and CLICK HERE to claim a $60 free credit to be used toward the purchase of Robert’s plays.
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