The NFL is an ever-changing and evolving game. Long gone is the old school mentality of running the ball 35-40 times per game. Those days have come and gone with the dinosaurs. Today’s game has progressed and evolved to the point of innovative, aggressive and original passing concepts. Leading the way in most cases is a breed of young, bright and offensive-minded head coaches. This is the wave of the future and will most likely continue to be an important factor in the hiring process for teams looking for new head coaches.
Young, Offensive Minded Head Coaches Are the Future
Out With the Dinosaurs
In today’s NFL, you rarely see big, bruising running backs built to carry the load and run the ball 35 times per game. The concept of smashmouth football is almost obsolete. Pounding the ball and running it down the opponent’s throats is a dying breed amongst most head coaches. This style of old-school 1980’s football is not part of game planning today.
Many coaches in the 1980’s exemplified this style when it came to game planning, including Dan Reeves, Chuck Knox, and Mike Ditka to name a few. Some older generation football fans may long for this. This league has become a passing league. Passing statistics have escalated. New records are being set and will continue to do so.
The Thirty-Something Club
It is quite obvious that the template for top coaching candidates is young, offensive-minded head coaches. These candidates preferable have some experience either developing quarterbacks or have played the position themselves.
Leading the way is the head honcho of the Los Angeles Rams. Sean McVay was the first outside the box hire that has paved the way for others. McVay is the youngest head coach in the league at 33 years of age. He became the youngest coach in league history at the ripe age of 30. He is also the youngest head coach in league history to lead his team to the Super Bowl.
The second youngest head coach in the league is Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals at 36 years of age. Following that is Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers and Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers, who are both 39 years old. Kliff Kingsbury (40) of the Arizona Cardinals, Matt Nagy (41) of the Chicago Bears and Adam Gase (41) of the New York Jets are just outside of the thirty-something club.
All of these head coaches have something in common. Aside from either being former players, they all have been successful offensive coaches in some capacity in the league, whether it be quarterback coach or offensive coordinator.
In today’s NFL, the general consensus is that many young star players are high maintenance and carry some baggage. These young head coaches are able to relate to players these days much better as opposed to older head coaches in their 50’s or 60’s.
The Template is Obvious
Owners and front office staff have different preferences and needs when it comes to running their organization. Ultimately and essentially, the goal remains the same – to find the right person for the job to become the next head coach of your NFL franchise. In many respects, NFL head coaches are CEOs. Finding the right personality to lead your team and handle day to day pressure is not an easy task.
Younger, offensive-minded head coaches offer a fresh perspective and bring a level of ingenuity to the job. This trend should continue for many years to come, as more bright minds throughout the collegiate and pro coaching rank continue to cultivate, grow and develop.
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