HomeDa Birds NewsThe NFL coaching carousel spares no one

The NFL coaching carousel spares no one

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Bill Belichick’s 24-season tenure with the Patriots has come to an end. It did not end with a triumph, but rather fizzled out. In 2023, Belichick failed to make the playoffs for the third time in five seasons and had not won a playoff game since the 2018 Super Bowl victory. If he were to coach somewhere next season, he would be 72 years old, tying the record for the oldest head coach to start a season in NFL history. Even if he had returned to the Patriots for another season, his performance and age would have been working against him.

Pete Carroll, had he been retained, would have become the oldest coach in NFL history next year at 73. This season marked the second time in four seasons that he failed to make the playoffs, and he has won only one playoff game since 2016. His time in the league was inevitably drawing to a close, and like the man who replaced him in New England, that time has now arrived.

Mike Tomlin, who will be 52 next season, has also not won a playoff game since 2016. There are reports that the Steelers would be willing to entertain trade offers for him. Despite his relative youth compared to Belichick and Carroll, Tomlin’s coaching tenure may also be at a turning point.

The era of the iconic head football coach, the culture-building figure who serves as the face, heart, brain, and soul of a team, is coming to an end. The NFL is now operating more like any other sports league, hiring coaches to provide short-term solutions and replacing them at the first sign of trouble. The days of five-year plans and longer rebuilding periods seem to be a thing of the past. Life moves fast in the NFL, and coaches are not immune to the swift passage of time. The fact that Belichick and Carroll were head coaches when this article was initially written is a testament to how quickly things can change.

Coaches like Arthur Smith, Brandon Staley, Josh McDaniels, and Frank Reich have all been fired within a few seasons of their tenure. This is becoming the new norm in the NFL, mirroring the frequent turnover seen in other professional sports leagues.

Furthermore, the turnover of head coaches is not unique to the NFL. Other major leagues also experience a high rate of coaching changes. The NHL, NBA, and MLB all have comparable numbers of head coaches who have been in place for three or fewer seasons. This trend is indicative of the increasing volatility and demands within coaching positions across all major sports.

Even accomplished coaches like Doug Pederson, Super Bowl winner, find themselves on the hot seat after a single losing season. Similarly, Brian Daboll, who managed to reach his third season with the Giants, will likely need a playoff appearance to secure his job for another year. Coaches like Matt Eberflus and Robert Saleh are also under pressure to show significant improvement in their respective teams to ensure their continued employment. The landscape of coaching in the NFL is rapidly evolving, and the expectations for success have never been higher.

The reigning Coach of the Year winner, Brian Daboll, is already facing scrutiny, indicating that no coach is safe in the NFL. Even experienced coaches like Mike Vrabel have found themselves out of a job after winning the Coach of the Year award. The pressure to perform and deliver results is at an all-time high, leaving many coaches vulnerable to rapid changes in ownership’s expectations and priorities.

In conclusion, the NFL coaching landscape is rapidly evolving, and it is no longer a safe haven for long-tenured coaches. The pressures to produce immediate results, combined with increased ownership impatience, have led to a high turnover of coaching staff. It remains to be seen how these trends will continue to shape the future of coaching in the NFL.

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