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Panthers Fire Ron Rivera

In rather stunning news, the Carolina Panthers have fired Ron Rivera, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Rivera was hired by the Panthers in 2011. He went 76-63-1 as their head coach (3-4 in the playoffs), leading them to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl berth in 2015. 

Just a month ago the Panthers were 5-3 and in the heart of the NFC playoff race, but four straight losses to the Packers, Falcons, Saints, and Washington have dropped them to 5-7.

Cam Newton's future with the team is very much in doubt, and as NFL Network's Tom Pelissero notes, there may be more changes in management to come. The Panthers could be radically different in 2020.

Comments

188 comments, Last at 10 Dec 2019, 1:53pm

1 Pro-football-reference…

Pro-football-reference already has Perry Fewell (with an 0-0 record) listed as one of the Panthers' coaches this year. He's just the fifth head coach in Carolina history.

Rivera may not be a great coach, but it's sure not going to be easy for the Panthers to go out and hire a better one.

6 Reid, Carroll, and Harbaugh…

Reid, Carroll, and Harbaugh are a clear step up, I think.

Tomlin and Payton probably are. There are other guys I hold in higher esteem than Rivera, but are either retired, out of work, or not tenured long enough to tell.

8 I disagree. Rivera is at…

I disagree. Rivera is at least as good coach than all five of them. All five of them have also gone through much worse stretches without even having their starting quarterback and entire defensive tackle position injured.

32 Bill Belichick has won with…

Bill Belichick has won with Matt Cassel straight out of high school and Jimmy G and Jacoby Brissette making their first career starts. Also you are painting Kyle Allen as if he's literally incapable of throwing a football. This is wrong. Kyle Allen strikes me as a pretty typical backup that has shown more than someone like Mason Rudolph or Luke Faulk. 

143 This argument is ridiculous…

This argument is ridiculous. Matt Cassel was the backup at USC for four years and regularly went against future pros in practice. He was not straight out of high school and his background meant he had less of a jump than several small school QBs (including Garoppolo). All three Pats QBs went on to be starters, though Cassel is a lot closer to Andy Dalton than Brady. There is no reason to exaggerate. Nobody else here is arguing Belichick isn't the best current coach and he's arguably the best NFL coach ever. Morganja is well-known here as disliking the Pats. Don't feed the trolls. 

145 My point was less about the…

My point was less about the pedigree of these players and more to recognize that he was starting people who had never played a down of nfl football when he got them. Even if all of them became world beater's later, its unlikely they were that quality making their first starts.  

150 They aren't cherry picked…

They aren't cherry picked. They were the players Belichick coached to success not named Brady. I could go back to the Cleveland days, but I didn't follow the league back then so I don't really have a sense of the situations there. 

104 Belichick's basically the…

Belichick's basically the same way with regards to QBs - Cassel, Garoppolo, and Brissett all started elsewhere, and while the jury's still out on Garoppolo and Brissett my guess is that in the end it's going to be a similar situation as with Reid's QBs. That's not to downplay the "Reid makes quarterbacks better" idea. I just think it's a basic characteristic of a head coach, period. 

I'm torn on Rivera, because I think he's done a good job with what he's had. I think the Panthers have drafted well, but not correctly - they've had way too much focus on skill position players in the high draft slots and way too little focus on the lines, so it's not terribly surprising to me that they've been so up and down. And with Rivera I don't know how much of that to put on him, and how much of that to put on the GM. 

31 Reid won four games with AJ…

Reid won four games with AJ Feeley. One with Koy Detmer. Two with Mike McMahon. Three with Kevin Kolb.

He also treaded water or better with Jeff Garcia, Vince Young, Mike Vick, Nick Foles, and Alex Smith.

47 But I guess it didn't get…

But I guess it didn't get old.

I'm not sure what my point is, other than it's interesting how sometimes coaches seem to be on the hot seat as if they can't do it any more, and then save themselves.  I think Coughlin won one or two Super Bowls in seasons he was rumored to be fired.  Maybe this means we give coaches too much credit? 

9 Definitely: Belichick…

Definitely:

Belichick

Probably:

Kyle Shanahan

McVay

Reid

John Harbaugh

Carroll

Payton

Maybe:

Jim Harbaugh

Pederson

Arians

Reich

Zimmer

McDermott

 

So I would guess he's something like the 10th best coach in the league. Better guys exist, but few if any of them will be on the market. I would trade O'Brien for him in a heartbeat.

 

18 I think Reid is definitely…

I think Reid is definitely better.   

 

Rivera has the benefit of coaching a long time and in a variety of circumstances that hes a much more of a known quantity than say McVay or Shanny the younger or even Harbaugh. 

 

Carrol and Payton have the benefit of their qbs to muddy stuff. 

 

I sort of view Rivera in the same way I view Lovie Smith, except he had a better qb. 

30 The Bengals have not been…

The Bengals have not been terrible for most of Harbaugh's tenure with the Ravens. Marvin Lewis had them consistently competitive. They've made the playoffs six time during Harbaugh's run. This year is really the first season the Bengals have been totally awful.

120 Yes, he's a very underrated…

Yes, he's a very underrated coach in my opinion. The lack of playoff wins is unfortunate but also largely bad luck. They almost beat the Steelers in the playoffs in 2015 with their starting QB out. If Dalton stays healthy that year who knows what happens, but their chances at a deep playoff run and even a Super Bowl win were significant.

86 You are literally claiming…

You are literally claiming that Rivera is the 2nd best coach in the NFL? He's a good coach, undoubtedly, but calling him the 2nd best in the league is laughably silly. 

You're spamming the thread with this take. We get it, you think Rivera is the 2nd coming of Tebow or whatever. Geez. Calm down.

180 I don't think he's claiming…

I don't think he's claiming that Rivera is the second best coach in the NFL, just that only Belichick is indisputably better. Personally I think that's a bit much, Shanahan, McVay, Peyton, and Harbaugh are also clearly better coaches in my opinion.

3 Absolutely terrible news for…

Absolutely terrible news for Panther fans. Ron Rivera was hugely popular. Everyone I have talked to so far down here in Carolina is pissed at Tepper. If he was trying to sabotage the franchise, he couldn't have done a better job. They are going to take a huge hit in popularity. Stupid, stupid, stupid move.

42 It's about to get a whole…

It's about to get a whole lot less large and varied. 
Carolina is a relatively new team. People didn't grow up with them. I have already heard a lot of people thinking about giving up on the Panthers and going back to their original teams. 

44 The Carolina Panthers…

The Carolina Panthers official Twitter and Facebook accounts have been flooded with "fans" screaming for Rivera and Hurney's collective heads for years.  The posts have become more numerous and more toxic this year than in most previous years.  Of course, most of these "fans" have also been screaming for the team to cut/trade Cam for years.  They were absolutely insufferable when Kyle Allen was 4-0, despite the running game and defense doing 90% of the heavy lifting in those games.  I don't wish Kyle Allen any misfortune, but it was nice to see the hateful fervor toward Cam subside somewhat when Allen inevitably came back down to earth after his 4-0 start. 

54 Mouthbreathing talk-radio…

Mouthbreathing talk-radio fans of pretty much every team except New England (and boy howdy, do I preemptively pity whoever succeeds Belichick THERE) want their coach's and/or quarterback's blood every time the team loses a game.

I grew up in Pennsyltucky, and can attest that rank-and-file Steelers fans bitched about wanting Bill Cowher fired for nearly a decade before he won them a Super Bowl, and have been bitching about wanting Mike Tomlin fired ever since the Tebow Game. If Tomlin walks and they end up with Mike McCarthy, they're going to find out quickly and painfully just how good they had it with Tomlin.

Fans who don't think critically about the game (which is 90% of fans) are always happy to indulge in the "hell, I could coach the team better than this bum!" fantasy.

181 You have no idea how many…

You have no idea how many times I have looked at the TV screen and said, "I'm going to be pissed if McVay calls x again, now would be a perfect time for y", only to have McVay call x and have it work beautifully. It's become a meme in the house now.

"If play action is working, just keep calling it, I don't want to see another 2 yard run ffs."

*Gurley runs for 8 up the middle.

"What kind of moron never runs the ball, I mean come on now"

It helps that we say the first part ironically.

7 I don't like the move. I'm…

I don't like the move. I'm not sure why you would expect the Panthers to be contenders this year with Kyle Allen as their QB. I would imagine Rivera would be a strong candidate for head openings around the league once the season's over. I'd certainly rather go with him than, say, Mike McCarthy.

11 I can see every team with…

I can see every team with the exception of the Raiders and the Chiefs making a play for him. If this is Belichick's last season, now would be the time to pounce on a great coach before getting stuck with Josh McDaniel for the next decade.

13 Absolutely 0 chance O'Brien…

Absolutely 0 chance O'Brien gets fired - Cal McNair is obviously completely sold on him.

But even speaking of the teams I know less about, I don't think coaches who would otherwise keep their jobs are getting fired because Rivera is available. I think he'll get his pick of the the teams that were going to sack their coaches anyway, but I don't think he'll be seen as an unmissable commodity who you should drop a successful established coach to go after.

21 I don't think the league as…

I don't think the league as a whole will see it that way. Now, you might be right and they might be wrong: I think it's very hard indeed to evaluate coaches and I could believe he was anywhere between the 2nd and maybe the 16th best coach around, but I think he'll be seen as a good, relatively safe option, not a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love my team to hire him (though they won't). But I don't think there's going to be a feeding frenzy, just good but normal offers.

45 Depends how good you think…

Depends how good you think Rivera is. If I'm right and he's the +/- 10th best coach in football, I think it's reasonable. If morganja's right and he's the 2nd, then teams should be considering ditching decent coaches to get him.

19 Rivera never struck me as a…

Rivera never struck me as a capital-G Great coach, but he seemed competent (tactical blunders in the Super Bowl aside) and the team was at least competitive year-in, year-out. This year the player they built the team around got hurt, replaced by an undrafted player who couldn't even start in college no less, and they've still got a decent record, with good wins at the Texans and against the Titans, and they played tough against most of the contender(ish) teams they've faced. Getting blown out by the Falcons and losing to the Squirrels wasn't good, but they had a chance to at least tie the latter game at the end of regulation, but for said undrafted collegiate non-starter deciding to run for the other goal line. On those merits, I certainly wouldn't have fired him, and I tend to think competent coaches are like competent QBs, if you luck into one you grab hold and you never let go.

I would say, if you're really going to clean house, get a new GM and everything, he's not so irreplaceable that you mandate the new guy keep him even if he doesn't want to. But it sounds like they're keeping the GM, so this doesn't really make sense to me from a good-of-the-team standpoint, just the GM buying himself another year or so with the new ownership by tossing him under the bus. Silly and shortsighted.

Not for nothing, but John Fox had essentially the same resume when they let him go.

EDIT: He had a couple Super Bowl appearance few years later (and then a less than glorious tenure with the Bears after that).

88 Rivera never struck me as a…

Rivera never struck me as a capital-G Great coach, but he seemed competent 

This is my assessment as well. He's above-average, and the Panthers will probably take a step or two backwards with their next coach. But he's not some elite wondercoach that 93% of the league will be chasing. 

Morganja is just spamming the thread with that hot taek though.

24 If Tepper is going to fire…

If Tepper is going to fire Rivera for 'mediocrity' after losing his starting quarterback and ravaged defensive line, who is going to take the job? There is no job security. No starting quarterback, an already failed GM, and a bunch of peeved players.
What is even worse, is Tepper saying in his statement that 'we are going to take a comprehensive look...."
WTF?
One might think that you take a 'comprehensive look' before firing your coach.
I guarantee that the coach he hires will be far, far worse than Rivera.

34 I didn't like firing…

I didn't like firing Harbaugh after his previous three years were(in order), NFC Championship game, SB, NFC Championship game(which btw, were all very close). 

50 It's not on Marty's level,…

It's not on Marty's level, but firing Lovie Smith after a 10-6 season to bring in Marc Trestman did not turn out so well. In fact, his last three seasons with the Bears were 11-5, 8-8, and the aforementioned 10-6.

Rivera actually strikes me as very similar to Lovie - not tactically dazzling, but a solid coach who gets the most out of his players. It's a lot like market timing: you not only have to know when to sell, but also when to buy. And just like market timing, luck matters far more than skill. 

Note: I thought Trestman was a great hire at the time, though I also thought firing Lovie was a mistake. 1 for 2 is not bad. 

62 First of all, Rivera is…

First of all, Rivera is latino so I guess we are now generalizing to minorities. 

I think you have to look at each of these individually. Marvin Lewis and Cincy had an amicable divorce of sorts. I think all parties knew a deep rebuild was coming and preferred to part ways.

 

Lovie Smith got caught in gm politics and Jay Cutler. When you trade 2 first rounders for a qb and the offense still stinks, there's a sense that Love was never going to be able to turn around the offense. Coaches often get the axe for the sake of Qb development. Its why Lovie was fired for the incompetent Dirk Koetter. 

Jim Caldwell and Ron Rivera I think deserve the mystery firing award, though I suspect both of them fall into the GM politics category as well, they just haven't been publicized. Jim Harbaugh parted ways because he and Balke(and York) didn't get along. Marty got fired because he and AJ Smith clashed. 

Meanwhile, Hue Jackson was allowed to remain a head coach despite amassing a truly remarkable 1-31 record in two years. 

I think we ought to be careful about suggesting racial undercurrents when we don't know the truth. 

 

68 Oh, I agree, it's probably…

Oh, I agree, it's probably nothing.  But just something I noticed as names were popping up.  Though it's possible that minority coaches are (perhaps subconsciously) given less rope when things start slipping.

122 While I don't think the…

While I don't think the firing was a good idea, Ron Rivera being let go is not that mysterious. There's a new owner who probably wanted to get his own guy from the start and was only going to keep Rivera around if his results were too good to make firing him at all reasonable.

177 This makes sense to me...

I think the owner is trying to put his own stamp on the franchise. I wouldn't have fired Rivera, though. I'd have let him have one more year. Maybe they bring Fox back? Heh. 

92 And speaking of the Cowboys,…

And speaking of the Cowboys, I think Jerry Jones finally has his excuse to move on from Jason Garrett.  A clear upgrade in the coaching dept, and one who also (apparently) doesn't aspire to a GM role.  Rivera seems well-enough equipped to deal with Jones's meddling and assorted media clowning.

100 Reminds of the Eagles/Reid…

Reminds of the Eagles/Reid and Broncos/Shanahan, in that it was going to be nearly impossible to find someone better.

Oddly enough, both teams eventually circled back and hired an offensive coordinator of their former coach and ended up winning a superbowl.

80 Hoping it's Adam Gase.

Hoping Tepper hires Gase away from the Jets.  Tepper wants an offensive mind, doesn't he?  I just hope the Jets don't have to send him a first round pick for it to happen.

38 Surprised, but not shocked

Overall, nine years is a long run, even for a good run.

I think Rivera is a great coach. He has his flaws like everyone else, but his teams were always well prepared. He always seemed a pretty calming influence. He would be perfect for a team like the Browns or Bears going forward.

I know its meaningless small sample stuff, but I've always liked the fact he is 2-0 against the Patriots as coach of the Panthers. His teams generally always played the best teams in their conference tough with few exceptions, like the annual fight-to-the-death against the LOB Seahawks or even his games againts the Packers or Harbaugh 49ers.

I'll be shocked if his replacement has a better career in Carolina.

67 Who was surveyed?  The NFC…

Who was surveyed?  The NFC South has a reputation of being very volatile, with probably the most worst-to-first single season turnarounds of any of the 8 divisions since the divisional realignment in 2002.  Carolina's run of 3 straight division titles just a few years ago was the first time any team so much as repeated as division champs in the NFC South.  The Saints have just repeated that feat this season.  I don't expect them to reign supreme until Drew Brees is 45 years old, though.  To say Carolina can't win 9 games in the next 4 seasons is a completely asinine hyperbole.  Hell, it's still not totally impossible for them to do it this year.  They've certainly had highly improbably late-season runs before. 

70 Depends. I have a feeling…

Depends. I have a feeling Buffalo will need a new DC next year, given how closely these franchises align.

 

Frazier has the makings of a good HC, his end in Minnesota notwithstanding. 

43 I have been a Panthers fan…

I have been a Panthers fan since day 1. I've watched a LOT of 7-9 football in my lifetime. There haven't been enough 11-5 or 13-3 seasons, but that one 15-1 season was a hell of a lot of fun to watch. The Carolina Panthers, coached by Ron Rivera, still hold the NFC record for consecutive games won in the regular season, at 17 games.

It wasn't always pretty, but I never felt like the team gave up on Coach Rivera. There were several seasons where the team would start slow, but they kept digging, they always played hard, and they were always maddeningly close to winning games. There were also a lot of games where they played down to seemingly-inferior opponents.

I don't think Rivera deserved to lose his job, considering the lost seasons of Cam Newton, Kawann Short, and Graham Gano in 2019. The fall-off to their replacements has been noticeable, to say the least. Chris Hogan might have contributed to the WR corps, but he's also been out for nearly the whole season. The team played without Donte Jackson, one of their top 2 DBs for a month. The best offensive lineman, Trai Turner, missed 3 games. Their best nose tackle, Dontari Poe, is out for the rest of the season. Pass-rusher Bruce Irvin missed the first month of the season. Mario Addison missed a game because his brother was killed. The offensive line has been in shambles all season long, starting four different players at left tackle in the first 7 games. Two of those guys were 2nd-round and 6th-round rookies. The pass protection has been BRUTAL this season. I don't know how much of that is O-line talent (or lack thereof), how much is scheme (or lack thereof), and how much is Kyle Allen not having enough experience in the pocket or reading potential pressure/blitzes. But whatever it is, it's killing them game in and game out.

It's been a terrible season, but the team is still 5-7. Mathematically, I think they are technically still alive for a playoff spot. It's not going to happen, but it is not yet impossible, either.

The backup kicker cost Carolina a potential win in New Orleans just 2 weeks ago. Gano isn't perfect, but even he wouldn't miss 2 XPs and a 28 yard field goal indoors.

They played their asses off and were within 2 inches and a 2-point conversion of tying the Packers, in the snow, in Green Bay when time expired. Maybe they don't win in OT, but no one expected them to be close in that game.

They beat Houston in their building 2 months ago, and beat Tennessee at home a month ago. Both of those teams appear to be playing for the AFC South title as of now.

They lost against the Bucs in week 2, failing again on 4th and short in the shadow of the end zone, trailing by 6 points.

They played the Rams tough in week 1, losing by just 3.

The blowout to the 49ers was bad, even for a road game against a superior opponent.

The blowout at home to the visiting Falcons was really bad, even if those same Falcons had just embarrassed the Saints in their home stadium the week before.

The loss to the Redskins this past Sunday was just atrocious. The Panthers built a fast 14-0 lead, but then got bludgeoned on the ground to the tune of 250 yards, by a team that averaged 86 rushing yards a game in their first 11 games. It was 29-14 in favor of Washington, and it looked over. The Panthers scored, recovered an onside kick, and still had a chance on 4th and goal to tie the game with just a few seconds left. Because of course they did. They failed. Because of course they did.

There a lot of problems with this 2019 Panthers team, but I can't say Rivera deserved to lose his job because of this team's performance. They are literally 5 yards and a few easy kicks away from being potentially 8-4 instead of 5-7.

Injuries happen to every team, and everyone has to step up and perform. At the end of the day, they just haven't performed well enough to change close losses to close wins.

I read somewhere (maybe here?) that no coach has ever won his first super bowl with a new team after his 3rd or 4th season, maybe it was the 5th season. Either way, Rivera was in his 9th season with the team. So, in that regard, maybe it was time for a new leader in Carolina, if only to shake things up and try a new approach.

I was hoping that Tepper's time in Pittsburgh taught him the value of management stability. Maybe that only works when management continuously performs at a higher level, providing for their own stability.

I don't think Rivera is the can't-miss coaching hire of the last half-century, but I do think that if he takes his time and finds the right team to join, he has a better than average chance to succeed again. I hope he does well for himself and his new team, except when his guys play against my favorite team.

51 " I read somewhere (maybe…

" I read somewhere (maybe here?) that no coach has ever won his first super bowl with a new team after his 3rd or 4th season, maybe it was the 5th season. "

 

That seems like a self-fulfilling stat, because most coaches (I assume) get fired by their 6th or 7th season if they don't have the goodwill of a Super Bowl win.  I'd be curious how many coaches get a 7th season without a Super Bowl win in the first 6.  I would guess the number is fairly small.  Even fewer if you exclude guys like Andy Reid who have double-digit wins almost every year.

53 Not sure about that stat

In recent times, Cowher was way past year 10 when he finally won a Super Bowl.

A bunch of recent coaches were in Year 5: Dungy (IND, '06), McCarthy (GB, '10), Harbaugh (BAL, '12)

56 Maybe *appearing* in a Super…

Maybe *appearing* in a Super Bowl early on buys a few years.  Cowher also gets the "10+ wins every year" exemption, having won 10+ games in 8 of his 13 seasons before winning a Super Bowl.

63 Cowher

He got to a Super Bowl early in an era when the NFC was very dominant.  There was a down period between '98-00, but they weren't bad, just middling.  Credit has to go to the Steelers for not panicking and understanding that Cowher wasn't the problem. 

69 Bill Cowher. Jeff Fisher…

Bill Cowher. Jeff Fisher. Jon Gruden. Tom Coughlin (in Jacksonville). Dennis Green. John Fox. Marvin Lewis. Jason Garrett. Lovie Smith.

Norv Turner, believe it or not, got 7 years with Washington (and 6 with San Diego).

...Marvin, Lovie, and Garrett are the only guys I can think of (besides Reid) who coached a 7-year stint that lasted into the 2010s, though. Well, Fox was fired by Carolina in 2010 (and succeeded, of course, by Rivera).

Bill O'Brien looks like a good bet to get a 7th year in Houston; he's in Year 6 now.

46 I don't think Rivera is a…

I don't think Rivera is a great coach, but there are very few genuinely great coaches in a given time. I think he's proven to be at least a very good coach, and this moves seems questionable. I know nothing about the Panthers, but feels like an internal power struggle where the GM is determined to prove that he's a genius. That rarely works out well.

59 This did have a premeditated…

This did have a premeditated feel to it. Taken in the aggregate, Rivera has definitely overachieved given all of the context of this season so either this was a knee jerk reaction to a bad loss to the Squirrels (possible), or the GM and/or Owner were wanting to jettison Rivera earlier but didn't think they had the public support to do it. A 4 game losing streak and a bad loss to a terrible team ostensibly gave them the cover they were looking for. 

74 Based on the transcript of…

Based on the transcript of Tepper's media session today, that appears accurate.  He had already made the decision, potentially as early as the day he bought the team before the 2018 season.  He decided not to pull the plug immediately, and waited.  Once this season started spiraling out of control, he knew he needed to make the change.  He says he wanted to wait until the end of the year, but could not ethically allow himself to search for Rivera's replacement behind his back.  He felt it was more fair to Rivera to be honest with him up front, allowing both parties to move on at the most opportune time.  Tepper waited until he felt sure this season was a lost cause.  He wanted the Panthers to have the chance to make the first moves toward their next coaching decisions with complete transparency, so they wouldn't be at a competitive disadvantage in their search (starting after other teams have apparently already started, despite their officially being 0 other openings). 

https://www.panthers.com/news/david-tepper-interview-transcript-ron-rivera-head-coach

75 I guess once you accept…

I guess once you accept whatever faulty logic he was using to assess Rivera the coach, his firing makes sense and is probably fair to everyone involved(although he's willing to pay Rivera to sit at home for the last month of the season, which seems like a silly move). 

I really really wish I could understand why owners think they know about football. David Tepper is a hedge fund manager. Contrary to popular opinion, being a hedge fund manager is a pretty complicated business and I can't imagine it affords you the time and energy to be good at something else that's complicated. Unless he's delusional enough to believe hedge fund expertise naturally lends itself to football evaluation. 

 

 

78 Based on his comments, he…

Based on his comments, he admits to being an idiot that doesn't know what to do.  His plan is to create the structure that should allow his team to establish long-term success, where the best people are put in the best position to succeed.  He says he isn't afraid to admit he's made a mistake, and move on and try again if something doesn't work.  It sounds like his solution is to throw a lot of money into the operation in an attempt to hire the best people, and to let them do their jobs.

Reading through the transcript, it does sound like he was pushing Rivera to look harder at new-age stats and analytics, along with more forward-thinking processes, as he said that has had a huge impact in his financial success as a hedge fund manager. 

Maybe we will finally get an owner that is open to letting a coach be substantially more aggressive with decisions on 4th downs, 2 point tries, onside kicks, etc, just to see if it actually works. 

94 His plan is to create the…

His plan is to create the structure that should allow his team to establish long-term success, where the best people are put in the best position to succeed.  He says he isn't afraid to admit he's made a mistake, and move on and try again if something doesn't work.  It sounds like his solution is to throw a lot of money into the operation in an attempt to hire the best people, and to let them do their jobs.

Go ask the Fords how well that works.

109 On the other hand, ask…

On the other hand, ask Robert Kraft or Steve Bisciotti.

It's a great strategy if you're smart/lucky enough that the people you hire actually are the best.  If not, not so much.

124 Biscotti did decide to go…

Biscotti did decide to go with John Harbaugh as head coach, but Ozzie Newsome was general manager of that team before they even became the Ravens.  The same Ozzie Newsome who told the previous owner to hang on to Belichick, and Modell didn't listen.  In other words, Biscotti already had much of the organization in place already.  A better example is Jerry Jones firing Landry for Jimmy Johnson, which is what Panthers fans would hope happens, and is not very likely.

148 Actually, I was thinking of…

Actually, I was thinking of DaCosta, not Newsome.  But in any event, the point under discussion is about owners judging the value of their decision-makers, whether brought in from outside or promoted/retained within the building.  Kraft and Bisciotti have good track records for such judgments; the Fords do not; and the jury is still out on Tepper.

95 I do wonder whether a…

I do wonder whether a younger owner with a finance/tech background like Tepper might inherently over-value the analytical aspect of NFL coaching, whilst under-valuing the motivational/locker room aspect. As you mention above, Rivera - a former player - clearly excels at the latter. Same with Pete Carroll. His strategical approach to the game can be infuriating and has undoubtedly costs Seattle on occasions. But his players love him and are always ready to play. Of course you want the best of both worlds. But be careful replacing a guy like that. Motivating an entire NFL locker room cannot be easy, it’s not like a regular business.

That said, Tepper is a smart, successful guy, so as long as he is genuine in his desire to hire good people and not interfere, who am I to argue. 

 

98 It's far more than just…

It's far more than just motivation and glad handling, though. Wade Phillips was a brilliant defensive tactician, an excellent motivator, and beloved by his players. He was also a below average head coach. 99% of what a head coach does is invisible to the average fan. 

I don't know nearly enough to say what exactly makes a head coach great. But, more importantly, I would guess neither does Tepper or, really, just about every other owner or GM in the league. It's actually proven much harder than finding a competent QB. They might get lucky and find someone better, but the guy they got rid of has proven to be well above-average. An analytics guy ought to understand that the new coach will most likely be worse. 

115 Phillips is surely a better…

Phillips is surely a better DC than a HC; but are we sure he was below average as a head coach?  He won 56% of his games (which, on its own means he was probably above average), and that includes his 3-7 record as an interim.  He won 60% of his games in Buffalo and 60% of his games in Dallas - something none of his successors at either franchise were able to do.  Parcells didn't win 60% of his games in Dallas, either.

 

But I agree with your overall point, that there is more to being a good head coach than being a good coordinator.  In fact, the skill set of being a good head coach is different than that of a coordinator.

102 I think this only makes…

I think this only makes sense if the Panthera are going all in on analytics and Rivera flat out refuses to get on board. If that's the case, it kind if needs to happen.

I'd like to see a team with a secure, offensive-minded head coach just offer Rivera $10M a year to be defensive coordinator. Someone like the 49ers (if Saleh gets a HC job), Rams (once Wade retires), Eagles, or Bucs. You rarely see someone with his resume/market take/keep a coordinator job even if the money is just as good, but I think a lot of that is ego based, with guys feeling the need to finally rise to the level of NFL Head Coach. (I'm not criticizing that mindset, I've mentioned before that the same thing happens with lawyers/judges.) Rivera has been there already. With no cap on coach salaries, I'd be curious what he could be worth as a coordinator. 

72 GM Marty Hurney and Rivera…

GM Marty Hurney and Rivera seemed to have a very good working relationship. It was said that Rivera was one of Hurney's biggest supporters when Hurney was brought back to the team after Dave Gettleman was fired.  ESPN's clueless Panthers beat writer seemed to think Hurney was likely to get fired at the end of the season as well, so I don't see this as a power struggle between Rivera and Hurney. 

Tepper's statement today seemed a vote of confidence for Hurney, who he thinks is "an excellent evaluator of college talent."  Then again, Tepper also said he was looking to add new management positions, an assistant GM and a VP of Football Operations.

https://www.panthers.com/news/david-tepper-interview-transcript-ron-rivera-head-coach

57 I already had a crazy dream…

I already had a crazy dream where the Bears sign Newton in the off-season, now I can have a crazy dream where they sign Newton AND Rivera. Worst decision Lovie ever made was dumping him for Bob Babich, and I'd love to have him back in Chicago.

81 What’s the chance that happens?

I mean really, how likely is it that Nagy gets fired this off season? 

5%?  15%?

If I were Ryan Pace, I would dump him (to save my own job) and roll the dice on another HC to see if they can salvage Trubisky.  

Because, there’s 100% probability that all three of them (MT, MN, RP) are all gone after 2020 given the trajectory Nagy has this team on right now.  

 

 

 

 

61 surprising move

Guess it's a bad idea to lose to the Redskins.

Honestly I didn't see this coming.

In terms of the coaching tiers:

Belichick

Harbaugh, Reid, Carroll, Payton, Zimmer - well established

Reich, Shanahan, McVay, Pederson - good thus far

Tomlin, Gruden - Super Bowl winners that I don't think will repeat any time soon

I'd definitely take the first five before Rivera and maybe most of the second four. But Rivera's definitely in the upper half of NFL coaches.

66 I think I'd definitely put…

In reply to by RickD

I think I'd definitely put Tomlin in the good. His work this season has been impressive.

 

I don't know how to shake my feelings about Gruden the GM and Gruden the head coach. In totality, I think he makes the Raiders worse. 

90 I have always really viewed…

In reply to by RickD

I have always really viewed Rivera and Carroll as being very similar, although Rivera has been more aggressive on 4th down calls, in general. Carroll has benefited from a better QB who has remained more healthy. Tactically, in-game, I really don't how Carroll has shown himself to be any better of a coach than Rivera. And in terms of midweek preparation and team organization, I think both are equally adept and well loved by their players.

This isn't a knock on Carroll. I honestly think both Carroll and Rivera are about equal, and both among the top ten coaches in the league.

73 I was thinking as a Colts…

I was thinking as a Colts fan, which coaches would make me willing to fire Reich in order to hire them. The obvious one is Belichick. I would include Reid as a no brainer as well. Jon Harbaugh and Sean Payton maybe/probably - though its a bit murkier.  Pete Carrol and Tomlin are in the conversation I suppose. 

 

And that's really it. Rivera, like others mentioned, seems like a competent, affable coach who will get your players to try hard and avoid locker room controversies. Thats a lot of value and he might even be better than that, though I have a hard time distinguishing him as a coach from John Fox pre Broncos or Lovie Smith pre Buccaneers.

 

I guess I'd rather hold out hope that Reich turns into something special and I think that's probably what the other fan bases who are not ready to axe their coaches are also thinking. 

76 Belichick is 67 years old …

Belichick is 67 years old (Reich is 57).  Would you still fire Reich to hire Belichick?  How many coaches maintained success into their 70's?   Even Shula, Landry and Vermeil didn't make it to 70.  Halas' last season was 72.  If you knew Belichick was going to quit after turning 70 (in 3 years) would you still want him?

101 It's possible that I'm…

It's possible that I'm falling under Patricia's beard hypnosis, but I don't think he's done a terrible job. I watch a lot of NFC North, and the Lions have played well in every game that I've seen this year. They've come up short in a lot of close games, which is something I generally attribute to luck rather than poor coaching. I'm not saying he's great, but the Lions look much better to me than their record.

119 He's 9-18-1 with basically…

He's 9-18-1 with basically the same roster Caldwell went 36-28 with.

He was brought in the fix the defense. They've gotten worse.

He was brought in because Caldwell lost two playoff games. No risk of that with Patricia!

83 Not sure if I would rank…

Not sure if I would rank Reid over Rivera. Reid's offensive playcalling is great, he prepares his team well, but so does Rivera. And Rivera actually will go for it on fourth down, and not blow games at the end with foolish time management.
Harbaugh and Carroll I can understand. McVay and Pederson have had early success, but man are their teams struggling now, and Goff and Wentz are at least healthy enough to be playing. I wouldn't dump them for Rivera, but I would choose Rivera over them as a hire.

I wouldn't get rid of Reich if I were the Colts. He had that team going to the second round last year when they looked dead in the water, and this year without Luck they have a shot at the playoffs, even with Brissett missing parts of a couple games.

The Panther's owner said that he was looking at offensive coaches. Well, here are the coaches who have won a Super Bowl in the last 15 years:

Belichick- defensive genius- 6 Super Bowl victories
Doug Pederson- offensive background- 1 victory
Gary Kubiak- offensive genius, but had defensive help- 1 victory (Wade Phillips)
Pete Carroll- defensive genius- 1 victory
John Harbaugh- special teams and defensive backs- 1 victory
Tom Coughlin- offensive background- 2 victories
Mike McCarthy- offensive background- 1 victory
Sean Payton- offensive background- 1 victory
Mike Tomlin- defensive background- 1 victory
Tony Dungy- defensive background- 1 victory
Bill Cowher- special teams background- 1 victory

84 I wanted to see if there was…

I wanted to see if there was a pattern, and it doesn't look like it.  Pairing a defensive genius with a star quarterback seems to lead to Super Bowl victories, but aside from Belichick's dominance no real patterns come out.  Perhaps picking a special teams guy should be done more often, since the only two to become head coaches over the last twenty years .won the Super Bowl.

85 I'm surprised you're not…

I'm surprised you're not instantly taking Reid. His track record with various quarterbacks is really special. And unlike say Sean Payton, we have a lot of evidence that he has been successful with a wide variety of quarterbacks of various styles. 

 

This is not a knock on Rivera, who I like a lot as a head coach. I just really really think the world of Andy Reid

89 I like Andy Reid a lot, but…

I like Andy Reid a lot, but his botching of playoff games is a big turnoff to me.  Mind you, he doesn't blow it with bad preparation during the week, but managing the endgame poorly.  He's great at turning teams around, and getting better offensive and quarterback play than other coaches, but the Eagles had to move on from him to pull off a championship.  So I don't see him head and shoulders above Rivera, who is more aggressive with 4th downs and 2 point conversions, and doesn't botch the use of timeouts.  At least with Reid, I can understand why people consider him better than Rivera.  McVay and Pederson haven't proved that they are better than Rivera yet, and honestly, Pederson's seat might be getting hot.

Another thing I wanted to point out is where Rivera won't go to be a head coach: the AFC East.  I doubt he wants to play his pals in Buffalo twice a year, even if the Johnsons become smart and dangle millions in front of him.  The other three teams won't be looking for a head coach unless something weird happens.  I could see Rivera going to Buffalo in an advisory role, but Cleveland or Atlanta seem more likely.

110 "but the Eagles had to move…

"but the Eagles had to move on from him to pull off a championship. "

Yes, they totally moved on from Reid, by firing the guy they hired to replace him and hiring a guy that Reid basically taught and going back to the general manager they had when Reid was there. Hiring Pederson was basically an "oops, our bad, can we have you back please?" to Reid.

Reid lost his job in Philly because that season had a ton of things going wrong, including Reid's son committing suicide at training camp before the season. I'm almost positive that Lurie let Reid go because he knew he wasn't going to be able to coach there anymore anyway.

This "botching of playoff games" comment makes no sense either - Reid's lost his last 4 playoff games by 1 score or less. You'd feel better about him as a coach if he lost by more? I mean, look at the 2015 season KC/NE playoff game or the 2004 season PHI/NE Super Bowl. People criticize Reid for taking too long on the last drives of both of those games and having to onsides kick. You'd feel better about him as a coach if they played faster and didn't get the touchdown and lost by 2 scores? How does that work?

112 I got the sense that Reid…

I got the sense that Reid was fired as a reaction to a season that had devolved into a circus. Between the sky high expectations and dream team comments to the hiring of Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator - it exploded all at once.

 

Pat, you and I disagree on the game theory aspects of Reid's late in the game tactics. I understand your point that its better to be measured and ensure you score rather than rush haphazardly and not score. But teams practice 2 minute drills all the time. Teams practice hurry up offense all the time, precisely when game situations dictate that possessions and time are now scarce resources. Reid's strategies effectively mean the defense cannot concede even one first down or its over. And that's asking a lot against top competition in the playoffs. I think its better to maximize the possessions you get and give your defense more margin for error. 

123 "I got the sense that Reid…

"I got the sense that Reid was fired as a reaction to a season that had devolved into a circus. Between the sky high expectations and dream team comments to the hiring of Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator - it exploded all at once."

Yeah, and my point is that it devolved into a circus because Reid wasn't actively coaching the team. He actually took a large portion of time off in the preseason after his son committed suicide and heavily deflected any time reporters asked him about it (which they did constantly). And it's not like the problems with his son came out of nowhere - he was at training camp because Reid was keeping him closer because of the problems he was having. 

What I'm saying is that it's not that they had to move on because they didn't think Reid as a coach couldn't get them to the Super Bowl. I'm pretty sure they moved on because they didn't think Reid would get back to his old level of coaching due to what was going on. They might've even thought that he wouldn't get back to his old level of coaching in Philly because of those specific circumstances.

"Pat, you and I disagree on the game theory aspects of Reid's late in the game tactics. I understand your point that its better to be measured and ensure you score rather than rush haphazardly and not score. But teams practice 2 minute drills all the time. Teams practice hurry up offense all the time, precisely when game situations dictate that possessions and time are now scarce resources."

The disagreement isn't about game theory. The game theory here is perfectly simple: if taking your time raises your chance of getting a touchdown by enough that even with the low percentage of recovery and score again, your total percentage is higher, taking your time is the right decision. That's it.

The disagreement is about just about how often Reid's teams would score if they were rushing. My point is that Reid's teams score so often in those situations that we bring up the clock management stuff all the time, which implies that if Reid is taking a more measured approach, it does have more value.

In SB XXXIX, Philly was down 10 with 5:40 to go, against a team favored by 7 over them. That's a 0.7% win chance probability. 99.3% of teams can't come back in that situation. That's 1 game in 140 that teams win. They scored a touchdown, and were now down 3 with 1:55 to go and the other team with the ball at the 40. That's a 3.57% win chance probability. If they had done it in 1 minute less, it'd be a 7.21% win chance probability. That's why this makes no sense to me. Reid regularly ends up in the 3.57% win chance probability situation there, which means he's doing 5 times better than a typical coach, and yet we're knocking him because he's not doing it 10 times better.

People are treating it as if it's a fault because he's not winning games that you'd have to look at over 100 games with similar situations to find 1 win. This clearly makes no sense. It's just a doofy narrative.

"Reid's strategies effectively mean the defense cannot concede even one first down or its over. And that's asking a lot against top competition in the playoffs."

I just don't understand this argument. Of course it's asking a lot: you were in a garbage situation in the first place! You had less than a 1% chance to win! Obviously a ton's got to go right in those situations.

In the old Clutch Encounters article, they made a similar point, that Reid had like a 1-8 record in 4th quarter comebacks in the playoffs, which looks terrible. Completely ignoring the fact that that means that 9 times in the playoffs, he got a team to a 4th quarter comeback situation.

This is why measuring coaches is tough. If a coach gets a team that realistically shouldn't make it into the playoffs regularly, they'll lose in the playoffs regularly, and people will point to the losses, and not the fact that he got there when the majority of coaches don't

132 You don't think Reid's…

You don't think Reid's strategies run counter to what most coaches would do? Most prefer the hurry up style for the reasons I outlined. 

This whole disagreement boils down to probabilities of scoring relative to possessions. I believe Reid tilts too far in the conservative direction on this. I could be wrong - the probabilities are so team conditioned that its largely unknowable. Still, there is a reason teams practice these situations. I suspect Reid does too and might even change his behavior with Mahomes in there. 

146 "You don't think Reid's…

"You don't think Reid's strategies run counter to what most coaches would do? Most prefer the hurry up style for the reasons I outlined."

You think other coaches never have drives that take too long down two scores in the fourth quarter? Or leave too much time on the clock for the other team?

Of course they do! It happens all the time! It's just that Reid's teams tend to be in more visible situations, and people see it more, because Reid's teams tend to be good. Team down 15, gets the ball with 5:24 remaining. Takes until the two-minute warning to score a touchdown. Kicks off to the other team, doesn't get the ball back until basically no time remaining, loses. That's Drew Brees and New Orleans.

Team down 12, gets the ball with 5:43 remaining. Takes until the two minute warning to score a touchdown. Kicks off to the other team, gets the ball back with a little over a minute to go and no timeouts. Team loses. That's Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

Most of the other quarterbacks in that same situation are not good quarterbacks, but again - Reid's only really had a top-tier quarterback for two years. McNabb, much as I loved the player, is not a Hall of Fame quarterback.

Case in point: Yes, Reid has the longest drive in that situation - with Alex Smith. Shock, I know, that the guy who the checkdown stat is named for had a drive that took forever. With Mahomes the clock management criticism of Reid is now that he scores too quickly. It's just a narrative people built up and they stick with.

176 Belichick and Brady just got…

Belichick and Brady just got done losing to Houston in a game where they scored two TDs too slowly to make up the deficit. We'd have crucified Reid for doing the same thing.

Even though they pulled the Falcons game out, arguably Belichick adopted a too-slow attitude there, too. NE benefited from low-probability turnover luck and Atlanta flatly mismanaging the end game.

178 That's a great example of…

That's a great example of this bias as well: many people might just ignore those drives and say "oh, that game was over, those plays don't matter, there was no way they could win." But if Brady had scored that first touchdown faster and ended up with the ball back with, say, 20 seconds left, now we criticize him for clock management? Doesn't make sense - you do a bad job managing the clock and lose big, and no one glances at it. You do a better job, still lose, but it's competitive, and now you get criticized for it?

 

156 "The disagreement isn't…

"The disagreement isn't about game theory. The game theory here is perfectly simple: if taking your time raises your chance of getting a touchdown by enough that even with the low percentage of recovery and score again, your total percentage is higher, taking your time is the right decision. That's it.

"The disagreement is about just about how often Reid's teams would score if they were rushing. My point is that Reid's teams score so often in those situations that we bring up the clock management stuff all the time, which implies that if Reid is taking a more measured approach, it does have more value."

 

I think it's safe to accept your premise that the more time an offense has, the more likely it is to score.  That is, taking six minutes is more likely to result in a touchdown than taking two minutes, and taking two minutes is more likely to result in a touchdown than taking thirty seconds.

The problem is, with just over six minutes left, if you take six minutes, then your only option from that point on is recover an onside kick and get into an extremely rushed situation.

If you operate with more urgency to score your first touchdown, you wind up with more options for the second.  If you onside kick and recover, you can be more deliberate on the second drive.  If you fail to recover or kick deep, you can force a defensive stop and then still rush.

If you assume scoring drives are independent of one another, then going slowly to score the first and rushing to score the second has the same likelihood of success than rushing to score the first and going slowly to score the second.  Therefore, it shouldn't matter what you do first.

And that's where I firmly disagree with a point you made in another post.  In the playoffs, all that matters is winning.  Losing by one point is no better than losing by fourteen - you're going home either way.  Maximizing your chance of scoring the first touchdown, so you only lose by seven, is far less important than maximizing your chances of scoring twice.

 

169   "The problem is, with just…

 

"The problem is, with just over six minutes left, if you take six minutes, then your only option from that point on is recover an onside kick and get into an extremely rushed situation."

You're not trying to take six minutes! It's just that if you're taking what the defense gives and hoping your guys make a play, sometimes it's going to take too long, and you're going to have to onsides kick afterwards and have a short stretch to score again. That's just life. You were already screwed to begin with. The alternative is a higher chance of just going three and out and getting into a 4th and long and losing straightaway. If it works well, you'll score in a reasonable amount of time and have a reasonable amount of time remaining.

If "scoring quickly" is the best option, why don't teams just throw deep every play when they're down by multiple touchdowns? Quickest way to score, right? Obviously, because the success rate of those is too low. Why don't teams run the ball when they're down multiple touchdowns? Because they take too long.

Late game drives are always a balance of clock versus chance for success. The entire point that I'm making is that people criticize a coach for a drive taking too long ("bad clock management") but they don't criticize coaches for failing entirely. And so in fact if a coach succeeds, but it ends up taking too long, they get criticized more than the coaches who just flat out fail. Which makes zero sense.

There are no magic coaches out there who can regularly come back from 2 scores down with 5 minutes to go. It doesn't happen. If one coach fails by pressing too fast and another one fails by scoring too slow, it's no difference.

170 My problem is, its not throw…

My problem is, its not throw deep or play normal. There are many many things you can do when you are in a crummy situation to come back that don't involve 3 straight hail marys. How about running hurry up? What about throwing balls aimed to the sidelines? Targeting in the middle only on deep seems and then running to the line to kill the clock? Another issue with Reid - he notoriously doesn't save his timeouts for these kinds of situations. Sure, at the time you can say he didn't know he'd be in this mess, but that's the point! You buy insurance because these things can happen and you can't always foresee them. 

I have a vague memory of those losses to Pitt and NE, but I distinctly remember being frustrated by Reid who played the situation like he was down 3 instead of down multiple scores. Just to repeat - there is a middle ground between throwing a bunch of desperation heaves and operating with urgency. Your argument seems to be...well, if he did those things, the balance between lost scoring and time would still not be worth it. I assert the opposite. 

 

173 "How about running hurry up?…

"How about running hurry up? What about throwing balls aimed to the sidelines? Targeting in the middle only on deep seems and then running to the line to kill the clock?"

Those sound great! I wonder why Reid doesn't do those.

Wait. He does! Chiefs-Broncos, 2017. Mahomes, straight down the field into field goal range in under 2 minutes, run the ball to salt the time away, game over, Chiefs win. Chiefs-Chargers, 2014. Alex Smith, 1:30, seven plays, 72 yards, 1 timeout, field goal, game over, Chiefs win. This year - 2019, Chiefs-Lions, Mahomes, a 13-play drive in 2 minutes! Touchdown, Chiefs win. I've watched like 80-90% of Reid's games over his entire career. There are plenty of examples of the things you're talking about.

So why is there this narrative about Reid? Keep in mind, over Belichick's entire career, he's had Brady for all but 1 season. Absolute HoF QB. For Payton's entire career, he's had Brees for every single season. Absolute HoF QB. For Reid's career, he's had McNabb (not HoF), Jeff Garcia (not HoF), Michael Vick (not HoF), Alex Smith (not HoF), and now Mahomes. Prior to Mahomes, these are not elite quarterbacks. And people look at that list and say "man, Reid can do great things with limited quarterbacks!" And now with Mahomes, he's running these precision 2-minute drives and people are somehow not realizing Reid's coaching this guy. Or they blame him for punting when virtually every other coach does too, or somehow using timeouts too early and then scoring too fast or something.

And then those limited quarterbacks suddenly struggle sometimes (not even all the time!) when they're asked to play in a situation where virtually all QBs lose and people say "man, that Andy Reid, why can't he run his offense faster?" He can't run his offense faster because the quarterbacks couldn't do it reliably!

And of course, whenever I point this out, people then say "well, that's still a limitation, maybe he should focus on coaching those QBs to do a better job in those situations." Sure, and maybe I should focus on winning the lottery, too. There's no reason to believe that those quarterbacks could do better in those situations. There isn't a coach out there winning games down 2 scores in 5 minutes with mediocre-to-good quarterbacks. But even if he could - again, those situations are losing situations already. It doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time coaching to improve a 1% chance-to-win to 2% when you could be coaching to not get in the 1% situation in the first place.

171 theslotlook covers most of…

theslotlook covers most of false dichotomy you've presented, but I'll touch on this:

"Late game drives are always a balance of clock versus chance for success. The entire point that I'm making is that people criticize a coach for a drive taking too long ("bad clock management") but they don't criticize coaches for failing entirely. And so in fact if a coach succeeds, but it ends up taking too long, they get criticized more than the coaches who just flat out fail. Which makes zero sense."

This is a strawman.  No one is saying Reid is any worse than coaches that consistently lose in - or fail to even get to - the playoffs.

But the thing here is that Reid is a great offensive mind.  If you made a list of coaches that could come up with ways to score more quickly, he'd be at the top of that list.  But he really doesn't seem to even try to increase the pace of his offense.

We know that fast-paced offenses can work (though maybe not as effectively in the NFL as in college).

So I guess I will talk about the false dichotomy you've presented.  It's not "go at your normal, deliberate pace" vs. "throw bombs only".  There are plenty of ways to speed up your offense without changing it completely.

172 I gave those two examples to…

I gave those two examples to illustrate the spectrum of choices available. A dichotomy implies only two choices. I gave two extreme examples and then said that offense was about finding some balance in the middle. theslothook implied that I was suggesting that those were the only two. I literally said it's about finding some balance in the middle, implying there were not only two.

"But the thing here is that Reid is a great offensive mind.  If you made a list of coaches that could come up with ways to score more quickly, he'd be at the top of that list.  But he really doesn't seem to even try to increase the pace of his offense."

Ooh! I've got a way to increase the pace of his offense! Draft a good decision making quarterback with excellent throwing skills! And guess what? Now suddenly we have all of these examples of super-short scoring drives by an Andy Reid coached offense. And we suddenly criticize him for scoring too quickly. This, from a guy who coached pretty much the first example in the NFL of a guy sacrificing a scoring chance by going down at the 1 to ensure there wouldn't be any time for the other team to score.

You want examples of a false dichotomy? People believing that McNabb could run a fast, hurry-up offense against the Patriots and be successful. People believing that Alex Smith - the quarterback who the checkdown stat was literally named for - could score an 80-yard touchdown against a good pass defense in the Bucs in less than 10 plays.

Even in these comments, someone said Reid is a "QB elevator" - he makes quarterbacks look better than they are. So why does everyone think that Reid's the problem when those quarterbacks can't win in situations that only Hall of Fame quarterbacks have ever won?

Because they think that Reid should trot Alex Smith out there and have him try to identify coverage at the snap, step up, and throw a 20-yard dart four times? You think that would work better?

Reid doesn't turn mediocre-to-good quarterbacks into Hall of Fame quarterbacks. He finds what a QB is good at, and then finds a way to win with that. When he gets put into a situation where the only way to win is to do something the QB is not good at, he loses. This is not bad coaching or game management, because most of the time, he never gets into those situations.

184 "You want examples of a…

"You want examples of a false dichotomy? People believing that McNabb could run a fast, hurry-up offense against the Patriots and be successful. People believing that Alex Smith - the quarterback who the checkdown stat was literally named for - could score an 80-yard touchdown against a good pass defense in the Bucs in less than 10 plays."

Pat, I know you're smart, so I just have to assume this paragraph got away from you.  A false dichotomy is not "people expect something they shouldn't"; that's just... poor expectations?  False hope?

"Reid doesn't turn mediocre-to-good quarterbacks into Hall of Fame quarterbacks. He finds what a QB is good at, and then finds a way to win with that. When he gets put into a situation where the only way to win is to do something the QB is not good at, he loses. This is not bad coaching or game management, because most of the time, he never gets into those situations."

But why does Reid get a pass for this?  What you're saying is basically that it's good strategy to say, "Well, my QB can't do this thing, so we might as well not try even though that guarantees a loss."  I find it hard to believe you'd be defending any other coach so vehemently (so much italicized text...) if he seemingly refused to take chances despite the situation not being ideal.  "The Patriots cornerbacks can't cover big receivers, so it's totally fine Belichick's game plan allowed for Alshon Jeffery running free" does not seem like a solid argument to me, so why is "McNabb can't operate a fast offense that effectively, so we won't even try even when game situation dictates"?

185 "A false dichotomy is not …

"A false dichotomy is not "people expect something they shouldn't"; that's just... poor expectations?  False hope?"

A false dichotomy is when a situation is presented with two exclusive options when in fact there aren't two exclusive options available. The common example is when there are actually more than two options available, but less than two options available is also a false dichotomy. So in this case what I'm saying is that people look at the New England-Philadelphia endgame and they think that Reid had a choice between running the offense at the pace it ran, or running it faster, in hurry-up, and he made a poor choice, when in fact there was no choice available. The full description is that a false dichotomy is a dichotomy which is not jointly exhaustive or not mutually exclusive. A dichotomy where one choice actually exhausts the full span of possibilities is a false dichotomy too. OK, pedantic details off.

"What you're saying is basically that it's good strategy to say, "Well, my QB can't do this thing, so we might as well not try even though that guarantees a loss.""

Woah, it doesn't guarantee a loss! They had the ball back with 46 seconds left down 3! New England did a great job punting and pinning the Eagles deep. A different bounce of the ball and it's totally possible that Philly could've had the ball at the 20 yard line instead of the 4. At that point you've got 46 seconds and maybe 50 yards to go to tie the game. That's not an insane ask, especially if you couple that with the chance of an onsides kick recovery. It's asking a lot of your defense, but the Eagles had just forced a 3 and out from the Patriots the play before.

""The Patriots cornerbacks can't cover big receivers, so it's totally fine Belichick's game plan allowed for Alshon Jeffery running free" does not seem like a solid argument to me"

See, this is the logical flaw here that I'm trying to point out. In your example it's not that Belichick would plan for Jeffery to be running free, just like Reid's not planning for them to have to go 96 yards in 46 seconds. But the other team gets to play as well, and if you have limited players there's only so much you can do. You can't praise a coach for papering over players' weaknesses and then roast them when the weaknesses get exposed.

Another similar argument would be McVay/Goff in last year's Super Bowl. I don't blame McVay for being screwed when Belichick forced Goff to make decisions on his own. That's a limitation of Goff that McVay hid from the rest of the league successfully. That's a good coaching job, not a bad one.

Players have to be able to take blame as well, and that's what I'm saying here - the "late game clock management" crap that Reid gets blamed for is pretty much people blaming Reid for only having good, not elite, quarterbacks. Which is why it makes no sense since his success with those quarterbacks is what everyone thinks makes him a good coach.

187 I am going to look at just…

I am going to look at just the 2015 NE loss and the 2016 Pitt loss. Looking over the final set of drives, against the pats they were down 13 with about 7 minutes to go. They proceeded to run a nearly 6 minute drive and 16 plays en route to a td. That then left them with one shot at stopping NE, which they did not do.

 

Against Pittsburgh it was even worse. They were down 8, so you can talk yourself into thinking it was a one score game. However, 2pts is hardly automatic and if you don't get it(which they did not), its effectively the same situation as NE - one failed stop and its over. And again, look at the time taking between plays. 

 

I agree with Eddo's point - if your qb cannot operate a fast pace offense when circumstances dictate, then you either need to practice it better or move on. And since I've seen Alex Smith operate such a circumstance and win vs the Saints, this seems like a stretch to say...Alex Smith cannot do this so why even bother. 

Andy Reid is a creative play caller and a very good schemer. I just can't accept that it will fall apart if he's forced to do it even 20 percent faster than normal. He, like every coach in the nfl, practices 2 minute drills for a reason. 

 

 

126 'You'd feel better about him…

'You'd feel better about him as a coach if they played faster and didn't get the touchdown and lost by 2 scores? How does that work?'

 

Yes, I would.  To be fair, he had Alex Smith in that loss, so throwing deep down the field might not have worked, but they could have gone no huddle at least.  I don't blame him for the Pats loss last year (they had to come back big, and he didn't have a decent defense), but the loss to the Titans was terrible,  as was the loss to the Colts when leading by 28 points.  He blows big games in the playoffs repeatedly.  Mind you, I'm not saying he's not a good coach, but is he better than Rivera?  At least Rivera shows better tactics late in games.  If I'm hiring a coach, I ask them when they would go for it on fourth down, when they would go for two, etc.  If I don't like the answer, I'll discuss why I don't like the answer (chances are they are being too conservative), and if it seems they don't have the openness to change for the better, I won't hire them even if they have the record Reid does.  Doing what Reid does won't bring you a Super Bowl, and that's what you should be looking for in a coach.  

131 No, I'm a fan of the Jets. …

No, I'm a fan of the Jets.  They've won one more Super Bowl than either the Chargers or Andy Reid have.  Perhaps that will always be true.  If Andy Reid doesn't change his late game strategies, or the Chargers don't change owners, we will be approaching certainty on that. 

135 Ok, just saw your second…

Ok, just saw your second post, so maybe I should be less snarky too.  I agree with you about Reid building teams up from the bottom (he's almost at Parcells' level for that), and yes he moved on from Smith.  With Mahommes there is a great chance the Chiefs finally win it all again, but Reid needs to go more aggressive than he has in the past.  Like Lincoln Riley, he builds these great offenses, but depends too often on a weak defense instead of taking more chances (4th down attempts, 2pt conversions) with his offense.  

 

I'm a Jets fan, I'd be happy stinking for five years if on the six year they won it all.  I realize the best chance to win it all is to make the playoffs every year, but if a coach makes strategic decisions that lessen their chances in tight games, why would I want them coaching my team?  I want what happened with Pederson in Philadelphia, even if both of us agree Pederson is not as good a coach as Reid.

This seems pretty far afield from the main topic of where Rivera will end up, whether he should have been fired (we probably both agree he shouldn't have been), and whether he's a top ten or top five coach in the league (definitely top ten, not sure on top five but probably?)

144 "Like Lincoln Riley, he…

"Like Lincoln Riley, he builds these great offenses, but depends too often on a weak defense instead of taking more chances (4th down attempts, 2pt conversions) with his offense."

Well, I definitely agree he needs to get better at evaluating his defense and defensive coach candidates. Totally agree there. I tend to think he overvalues free agent pass rushers quite a bit - I'm usually of the opinion that if a guy is really a great pass rusher... teams don't let him go. Period. So anyone you're getting is usually flawed in some way. Long history of Reid's teams signing pass rushers that don't work out.

I don't buy the "he needs to be more aggressive on 4th down" because 4th down plays are constrained, and Reid's success comes from scheming lesser talent guys open. That doesn't work on 4th down plays because you don't have time to let the play develop. It wasn't until very recently that he has mostly upper-tier talent, and so I'm not surprised that in general he's been reluctant to go for it on 4th down.

If you look at the 4th down success for Alex Smith and the Chiefs vs Mahomes and the Chiefs, for instance, it's pretty stark: a 74% success rate with Mahomes vs a 50% success rate with Smith. Reid's rate of going for it on 4th and less than 2 has also increased from 40% to 56% over the past two years as well. (If you want another Legend of Patrick Mahomes detail, when Mahomes has received the snap, he has never failed to convert a fourth down. Ever.)

130 I should be less snarky. "as…

I should be less snarky.

"as was the loss to the Colts when leading by 28 points."

Reid took a 2-14 team and the next year, they were 11-5. You think he magically made the team solid and without any flaws? Of course he didn't. He adapted to what he had and found ways to make his team perform better than they actually were. Then when he came up against a good team in the playoffs, they lost. Shock.

Vegas had that line as KC -2.5, but I have no idea why. The Colts had just beaten the Chiefs 23-7 two weeks prior and had home field advantage. DVOA had that game as a push given HFA.

I really can't understand the thinking here. You have a team that was dead last in DVOA suddenly becoming an 11-5 team in the playoffs the next year, and you think the guy's a bum because he lost in the playoffs.

"but the loss to the Titans was terrible,"

You're right! I wonder if Kansas City did anything after the loss to Titans to try to improve even more. Like, maybe trade away their starting quarterback because the coaches knew that their new quarterback was ready to play next year, when their old starting quarterback, while solid, wasn't able to stretch the field against the Titans. Remind me again how that's not good coaching?

Losing doesn't mean you're not a good coach. Teams lose. It happens. It's what the coaches do with the talent that's on the team, and how they adapt to it that matters. 

125 I don't think the assessment…

I don't think the assessment of Sean McVay's team as really struggling now makes sense. That's only true relative to where they were last season. They are 12th in DVOA, i.e., they 'deserve' to be in the playoffs. The big reason they probably won't be making it is because they are in an extremely tough division in the superior conference. Put them in the AFC and they are likely either in a Wild Card position or winning their division if they were in the AFC South.

The Eagles are struggling to a much greater extent but it's worth pointing out DVOA thinks they are the 10th best team in the league.

182 Yeah this. The Rams are 7-5,…

Yeah this. The Rams are 7-5, 12th in DVOA. The only AFC teams with a higher DVOA, BAL, NE, KC, and BUF (barely). So if the Rams were in the AFC, they would be the fifth best team, and clearly in the playoffs, as you said. The Eagles are again, even better in DVOA. If 10th best in DVOA and 12th best in DVOA is "really struggling this year" then I don't know what to say. In contrast, the Panthers are 27th in DVOA.

Looking at his Win-Loss Record, Rivera is 76-63-1, for a 54.6% winning percentage. Doug Pederson is 34-26 for a 56.7% winning percentage. McVay is 31-13 for a 70.5% winning percentage. Pederson maybe, but it's sort of a stretch to say that McVay isn't a clearly better coach than Rivera at this point.

91 As a Panthers fan, I was…

As a Panthers fan, I was initially shocked and disappointed about this decision. It is clear, though, that Tepper wants a more analytics driven approach to operations and decision making. If Rivera definitely is not onboard with that, as in, if he was completely inflexible to relinquishing some decision making to analytics rather than his gut, then I can see how this latest losing streak served as the opportune time to make the move. I certainly think it is better for both parties to cut the ties now, rather than wait until the end of the season.

Morganja's hyperbole aside, there is no doubt that Rivera will be quickly hired and be able to make a difference in another organization. Living in SE Michigan, I'd like to see the Lions hire Rivera. They've got offensive talent, and as the list of Super Bowl winning coaches shows, pairing a defensive head coach with a talented QB is a pretty good recipe for potential success. That was true in Carolina with a healthy Newton.

97 Analytics are great - I…

Analytics are great - I would think that just about everybody on this site agrees with that notion. The problem is that analytics are not everything, or even the most important thing. They are a force multiplier that depends on the other 95% of things being handled competently to be effective. The Panthers might get lucky and find The Guy, but it seems far more likely that they'll get someone who does the 5% right and is noticeably worse about the other 95%. Or, worse, a yes-man who does exactly what the suits want him to do, and no more. 

The goal shouldn't be to convert more 4th and 2s, but to convert more often on the previous three tries. I think most people here understand that analytics are contextual, but a lot of quants make the mistake of only seeing the numbers.

107 The first thing analytics…

The first thing analytics people should be aware of is the limits of your understanding. I have worked on problems where I've had to basically say there was no there there after a large amount of data exploration.

 

If tepper really is versed in the nuts and bolts of statistics, he needs to be aware that models are slaves to the assumptions and inputs you put in. And as you said, there is no measurement for what makes a good coach. It's why I scoff at Morganja's near certainty about Ron Rivera's coach ranking.  

 

The only current coaches that would give me that level of certainty are belichick and to a lesser extent Reid and that's only because they've achieved extreme long-term success with a large permutation of factors having come and gone. 

 

111 "he needs to be aware that…

"he needs to be aware that models are slaves to the assumptions and inputs you put in."

It's worse than that, because all inputs to any statistics of football are automatically biased, because teams are trying to win. A model might think that it makes sense to pass every single play, for instance, but if a coach sees in practice that this plan is physically impossible, it never happens in the actual inputs, and the model has no idea why. The model doesn't know that what isn't tried doesn't work.

"The only current coaches that would give me that level of certainty are belichick and to a lesser extent Reid and that's only because they've achieved extreme long-term success with a large permutation of factors having come and gone."

I think that's a great point. I think Reid going to Kansas City and instantly turning that team into a perennial playoff contender completely sold me on how good a coach he is.

Honestly I think Belichick just skews every single coaching argument there is. People forget there's never been a coach like him (or a franchise like the Patriots, if you want to think of it that way). Ever. So when ranking coaches in this era, I pretty much just pretend Belichick doesn't exist and evaluate the other coaches pretending the Patriots don't exist. Because if this Patriots franchise existed in the 1980s, you'd be having the same questions regarding Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh, and that's just insane.

"It's why I scoff at Morganja's near certainty about Ron Rivera's coach ranking."

Well, to be fair, he's not trying to use statistics to prove it or anything. He's just stating that he's confident in his opinion based on watching the games, which is fine. Rivera's been coaching in the NFL for a very long time, and again, given that actually bad coaches disappear, that's actually a decent indicator that he's better-than-average.