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A Look at the QB Situations of the Potentially-Available Head Coaching Gigs

| December 22nd, 2017

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images (Edited)

The question I’ve been asked most since getting to Chicago: “Do you think Trubisky will be a positive when looking for a new coach?” My answer each time has been a definitive yes because I truly believe it will.

But I decided that, instead of leaning on my gut, to poll my two pals in the league on the question, factoring in all of the potentially-available gigs and their quarterback situation. I’ve grouped the teams into categories.

(I’ll be referring to my friends as AFC GUY & NFC GUY.)


Colts

They get their own category because think of the waters GM Chris Ballard has to navigate. When he’s looking to hire a coach in January he may not be able to tell the candidates whether Andrew Luck, their franchise quarterback, will require an additional surgery sidelining him six months or more. He won’t be able to tell the candidates if they have a franchise quarterback in 2018 or not.

NFC GUY: “Chris is going to have to sell that job. And every potential coach will want to know if they’re considering drafting a quarterback early.”


Bucs / Titans

These are two jobs that, should they come open, will come open with a quarterback in-place. But…do you want them?

  • Marcus Mariota has questions to answer regarding his play in 2017. Because he’s been awful. Said AFC GUY: “If he’s not hurt, he’s a problem.”

  • Jameis Winston will have gotten two coaches fired in three years. His relationship with Dirk Koetter “forced” Tampa to move on Lovie Smith and his relationship with Koetter now may bring Dr. Karma over for a house call. NFC GUY: “A little toxic right now but I really like Winston and a lot of coaches do too.”

Cardinals / Giants / Jets / Broncos

These are the four jobs that may be available where there’s no quarterback of the future, or honestly the present, on the roster. You can go through each of the organizations and break down the appeal of the individual gigs but when it comes to quarterbacks, there’s nothing there currently to deter or encourage a candidate.

NFC GUY: “If you love one of these quarterbacks in the draft, you’ll want these jobs.”

AFC GUY: “One of these teams is very high on Kirk Cousins. That could be a factor.”


Lions / Raiders

AFC GUY: “If the Lions fire Caldwell, there will be coaches lined up to get their hands on Stafford. He’ll only be 30 next season. You’re getting five more years of high-level play.”

NFC GUY: “Everybody knows Carr is playing hurt this season. The league knows how talented he is.”

These two jobs are fascinating and incredibly appealing because of their established quarterbacks.


Bengals

Nobody wants Andy Dalton.

AFC GUY: “Nobody. Except maybe Hue Jackson.”

Which is why the Bengals making a trade for the Browns head coach actually makes some sense if they don’t want to make wholesale changes at the position. Jackson not only likes Dalton, he also likes Dalton’s backup, A.J. McCarron, a restricted free agent this coming off-season. If the Bengals go elsewhere, they won’t be looking at a top of the line coach if that coach is told Dalton is their guy.


Bears / Texans

Here’s why these two jobs will have overwhelming appeal, especially to offensive-minded candidates: these QBs are relatively incomplete canvasses. Trubisky and Watson are both remarkably talented guys but coaches will have a chance to develop and mold them into elite NFL passers over their first few years on the job.

AFC GUY: “If you take the Texans job, you must insist on bringing in a backup that can win games should Watson miss time.”

NFC GUY: “Trubisky is raw. But his coaches are telling everybody he’s going to be elite. And those guys carry a lot of weight.”

You hear the same things about the Houston job you heard about Watson pre-draft. Some people think it’ll be the most coveted job in the league. Some people think Watson’s 2017 is a bit overrated and, I mean, he didn’t make it through the season healthy. Mike Florio said on PFT Live that Watson “makes your team a contender every single year.” Except, of course, this one.

Trubisky is a draw. The market is a draw. The top draft pick is a draw. (Houston doesn’t have a first-round selection.) The Bears are looking to hire a head coach at a moment where the job is more appealing than it ever has been.

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  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Nope, Nope, Nope. No coach will want to come to Chicago. Bears organization is the worst scenario in sports. NFL could put a franchise in Syria and sign a bunch of ISIS fighters for players and it would be more appealing for any coach.

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      The Damascus Deserters still need a quarterback. And their defensive line is shot. Uh…was shot.

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    • BearDown100393

      No nickels thrown around in Syria

    • AlbertInTucson

      “No coach will want to come to Chicago.”

      Patently untrue statement.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        Sorry Al, I forgot to use my sarcasm font.

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  • Scharfinator

    Does anyone have a credible source for Luck’s health? I keep hearing from news guys who hear it from these so called “anonymous” sources that he’s done.

    • DaBearsBlog

      Because he’s been in Europe, getting experimental treatments. The evaluations come in January.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I believe he’s back and there are concerns about his bicep.

    • BearDown100393

      He’s unlucky

  • SC Dave

    Thanks for removing the spambot, Jeff. I remember you said you have to do it manually.

    • DaBearsBlog

      They are getting super aggressive.

      • Bender McLugh

        It’s beginning to look allot like xmas

  • SC Dave

    So I was sorting on various columns on this page, looking at where the Bears rate relative to the rest of the league. Some interesting stuff.

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/defense/

    For example, the Bears have 39 sacks, which seemed okay to me. It is… they are 6th in the league.

    Passes defensed (25), and interceptions (29), are bad. Worse than I expected. F

    Fumbles? 10th in Forced which is okay, but amazingly we have recovered 13 of 14, which leads the NFL.

    I guess p-f-r is always the best, so here is the page of interest for team stats of all flavors…
    https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2017/opp.htm

    Note the defenses that give up the highest yards per carry; it may surprise you.

    • Bender McLugh

      The ypc given up & W/L numbers is a bit nutso on the surface. Good teams are now employing the Lovie bend-don’t-break defensive philosophy it would seem.

    • willbest

      a minus 1 kneel down really hurts a teams YPC run. As would generally being in a known running situation (clock kill mode).

      The other thing to keep in mind is you have sampling issues. With only 14 games played the opponent mix won’t necessarily be balanced. They might play a lot of top running offenses, or just a game without their run stuffing LB who is out for a concussion will skew the results. Keep in mind that the difference between allowing 3.5 YPC and 4.5 YPC is roughly 25-30 yards per game allowed.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Another broadcast great, Dick Enberg, gone at 82.

    • CanadaBear

      Johnny posted that at the end of the last thread. He worked pretty much right up to the end.

  • CanadaBear

    I believe the Bears job is definitely a coveted one. Partly because of the QB situation but as much as anything else, if you are successful, the town is yours. Every HC candidate thinks they will be successful. George doesn’t look very patient these days but a few wins would go a long way. The real downside is Pace. Do prospective candidates think he’s the real deal? If not, they won’t be signing on unless they have no other prospects.

    • willbest

      If a Browns HC brought home a lombardi trophy there would be a 50 statue of him outside the stadium.

      • CanadaBear

        But you would still be in Cleveland.

        • willbest
          • Big Mike

            Illinois is what happens when income inequality takes root. Chicagoland is a great place to live if you have some money. The population loss is primarily from Chicago. Too cold, too expensive, things are stacked against anyone not making $150k.

          • willbest

            I am not really following what you mean. California GINI is worse than IL and its still seeing positive (although slowing) population growth. So income inequality is not in and of itself a cause for population outflow.

          • Big Mike

            A state level comparison really isn’t meaningful when looking at the impact on net migration. Chicago and LA for example have comparable GINI coefficients. LA is worse. But that is the nature of Hollywood. Chicago is supposed to be a “working man’s” town. My point is income inequality hits cities like Chicago quite hard. It’s a silent killer of the economy. If social mobility (weak middle class) isn’t a reality, people bail.
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          • willbest

            So are you saying that the perception of a city is more important than the inequality. The people in LA don’t leave because they accept that they are “swinging for the fences”?

            Thats more of an opportunity argument than an inequality argument. I don’t think the two go hand in hand. And in fact if you look at a list of GINI countries you are going to find a lot of equal countries you would have zero interest in living in.

            A lack of opportunity seems to be far more on point.

            http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-illinois-population-decline-met-20161220-story.html

          • Big Mike

            You are right. A lack of opportunity is almost always present when there is income inequality. Income inequality is a measurement not a cause. When opportunity leaves, income redistributes. We’re way off topic, but as the people making the rules stack the deck in their favor, (politics, economics, regulations, even religion) the notion of a fair game, or “opportunity” is diminished. It’s the dystopian society of the “hunger games”, 1984 etc.

          • willbest

            income inequality is primarily the result of productivity inequality. This is blatantly obvious when you look at the salaries of NFL players but it applies pretty much everywhere outside of the threat of force too.

          • Big Mike

            Guy born on 3rd base, thinks he hit a triple. Productivity or winner of the lucky speed contest. ? Productivity defined by what measure? I would argue it is harde to break a generational cycle of poverty, than being born into affluence and becoming a “producer”

          • willbest

            How is any of that relevant to you as a business owner? You pay the guy capable of doing the more valuable work more money. His greater value added results in him having more money than the guy next to him. How he came to possess those traits isn’t on you.

            But if you are looking at root causes for this productivity gap, the cycle of poverty existed 20 years ago, but the opportunities were there. So why aren’t the opportunities there today?

          • Big Mike

            For minorities, people who couldn’t afford school the opportunities were not equal. Add in the war on drugs, where crack would put you in jail, but cocaine would get you a fine, you end up with 1/3 of black males between the age of 21-35 having served time. You can argue they knew the risk. Shouldn’t have broken the law, but there is no evidence in any study that will say the judicial and law enforcement system is color blind. The result is that from the jump, the contest is unfair. The guys that already had a bad deal, with less odds of being upwardly mobile, now have to compete with a foot in a bucket. Which if you take race out of it simply means you have a section of society that is permanently poor. Same in rural parts of America. Some people get left behind, some of the kids make it out, more don’t. As upward mobility become more difficult, there are fewer that make it out. What this creates is a permanent “dead weight” from a productivity standpoint. It is in every one’s best interest (morally, economically and from a safety standpoint) to help maintain a minimum standard of living for this under class.

            Where things have gotten worse, besides a growing underclass, is a shrinking, less well off middle class. Since the end of WWII the American middle class 21st percentile to the 79th percentile is the vast promise of the “American Dream”. Upward Mobility can be achieved with hard work, discipline, education, patience, and the occasional support of the government (Student Loans, Fannie Mae, and Medicaid in a pinch). Except this has become a big load of BS. The cost and value of an education is 5x what it was. In comparison to minimum wage its 2-3x more. The steady union jobs, factory jobs, that my buddies and their fathers took don’t exist. A combination of greed, technology and global economics killed them.

            The reason it matters to business owners is the middle class of the US is the greatest economic engine in the world. When they stop buying, the global economy stops. Not to mention the fire of anger and despair in the bottom 20% that we are throwing gas on when we make cuts to the social safety net, so we can offer billionaires more tax breaks, lower tax rates and even better tax shelters.

            The reason it matters to me, is I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in Chicago. My dad grew up in extreme poverty. His journey is far more impressive than the typical trust fund baby. My Dad’s family was on and off government aid, but after a tour in Korea, he stuck his foot in the ground and started the march out of poverty. He chased the dream and caught enough of it to get 2 of his 3 kids to college. Football got one of us through college, student loans the other.

            My businesses interests are varied. Where I can, I hire kids that need a break. In one of my business I trade growth for stability. Pay top dollar, provide excellent health insurance and am starting to match a small part of 401k contributions. In my other businesses, I’m cut throat. I tell people straight up. Put on your big boy/girl pants and produce or your done.

            My CFO estimates that all things being exactly the same, the new tax code will reduce the tax liability of my companies by nearly $400,000. Guess what, the money’s not trickling down. It’s going to make more money for my partner’s, investors and my family. Is that fair? I didn’t do anything. Guess what, the money’s not trickling down to employees either. I’m not changing my compensation structure because of tax laws. My investors, partners an I will probably take 1/2 of this, the other 1/2 will be put into non-payroll expenditures that grow the company. Meanwhile, $400,000 was added to the debt, or taken away from some family that needed food.

          • Ootenvault

            So why would you not distribute most of the $400,000 to worthy employees. Don’t they grow the company? They pay taxes on it and reduce the debt. And if you take $200,000, don’t you pay at the 50% level like I do and reduce the debt? BTW, if the tax law had not passed, are you suggesting the $400,000 would have be used to reduce the debt?

          • willbest

            He won’t because he doesn’t need to in order to retain them.

            He also somehow thinks 200k of cap ex won’t generate additional taxable income, so I presume then that he is sending that money out of the country

          • Big Mike

            The employees are already well compensated. Sure my companies, employees and my family all pay a nice chunk of taxes. But a $400,000 tax cut, doesn’t result in $400,000 of tax payments. Not even factoring in growth. Tax cuts have never stimulated the economy they way they were projected to. They have generated a short term stimulus to consumer spending, when the economy almost tanked in 2008. But that was more of a confidence booster.

            If only the 400,000 would have been used to reduce the debt. But I’m a realist. There’s a chunk that would have been wasted, but that’s any entity. There’s some of it that gets spend on stuff that doesn’t benefit me, or that I don’t particularly agree on, but redistributing dollars from the poorest to the richest is simply bullshit.

            Given the nature of the new tax law, Qualified Business Income calculations and the new 20% deduction (credit.. not sure what it is called) there is probably the opportunity to reduce my personal taxes significantly. It’s way out of my league to figure out, but I’m starting to read up on it and let the professionals sort it out.

          • Big Mike

            An old but interesting article on the topic https://www.citylab.com/life/2012/10/high-inequality-us-metro-areas-compared-countries/3079/
            Btw 2 bonus points for GINI Reference.

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          • Sactowns#1

            Stop telling us to put outlook on our iphones. next you’ll be telling me how to make thousands of dollars while working from home.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Just let it happen. Just get the Outlook. You know you want it.

          • SC Dave

            ha ha

            Eventually, we will ALL be assimilated by some organ of Crony Capitalism.

          • Big Mike

            That is so annoying. When I respond via email using my ipad… SMH. I have to change that default signature. Sorry 🙂

    • Sactowns#1

      Yup. lets see… how have the Saints done since Pace left and how have the Bears done since Pace came in?

      • CanadaBear

        You’re right Sac. That question put it all in the proper perspective for me. Even though it’s a false equivalency.

        • Sactowns#1

          I’m not saying correlation is causation but its certainly interesting.

  • DaCoaches Mustache

    Cardinals / Giants / Jets / Broncos
    These are the four jobs that may be available where there’s no quarterback of the future, or honestly the present

    – So you think Eli is dunzo? I’ve heard speculation that he would follow his bro’s lead to Denver to finish his career. Makes sense to me, he doesn’t fit on a rebuilding team like the Giants, but a team with some pieces i could see a few more good years for him.

    • BearDown100393

      Denver is probably the best fit. Not sure if he chooses to follow those footsteps or not.

      If Carson Palmer is done, Arizona might be the landing stop.

      • BerwynBomber

        My guess is DEN might make a play for Cousins. Pretty much thought that once SF went the JimmyG route.

        • BearDown100393

          Definite possibility

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky

          Same here. Elway is not at all afraid to make a move at the position.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Palmer looked “done” to me even before he got shelved this season.

        • BearDown100393

          He’s kind of the Freddy Kreuger of starting QBs?

  • Big Mike

    Seriously? “The Bears are looking to hire a head coach at a moment where the job is more appealing than it ever has been”.. Well good for us.

    • Papa Punked

      It was the most appealing when Lovie was fired and there was some veteran leadership that could help transition a new coach in. Now it’s a Browns sized trainwreck.

      • Dis Guy Trublinsky

        I completely disagree. That Lovie Bears team was at the very tail end of a contender level, but dying defensive core. That was the leading edge of the abyss.

        • SC Dave

          Well, they did not have “the guy” at QB, that’s for sure.

    • BearDown100393

      The job is as appealing as the perception in quality of Mitch as a quarterback.

      • Big Mike

        Fair comment. All things being equal in that good teams don’t usually fire a head coach. Bears have some nice pieces around Trubisky. OL, RB, etc
        Get Outlook for iOS

        • BearDown100393

          I agree. But it does happen. For instance, the Denver Broncos fired their head coach after a comparatively successful season.

          And the next season, the Broncos won the Super Bowl.

          • Big Mike

            And look how that turned out for the team lucky enough to get that HC. SMH 🙁

  • BerwynBomber

    Dang, does Jeff love dancing on Watson’s grave. I get the motive but it seems so petty.

    • Sactowns#1

      You have to get your shots in now before the next 8 years prove Pace screwed the draft. Of course the first chance he gets to talk bad about Jimmy G he will just to try to prove Pace didn’t also bumble the off season.

      • BerwynBomber

        Well, I’m a huge believer in Wentz and pretty much have been all-in on him since his first drive against us at Soldier as a rookie starting the second game of his career.

        But an ACL tear gives me major pause. As does Watson’s. I hope both guys come back, pick up where they left off and remain viable the rest of their careers. But there is no guarantee. (And Watson now has had two of them.)

        But yes you are EXACTLY right about the badmouthing and I’m sure the JimmyG stuff will begin as soon as he has a multiple INT game in a loss. Hell, Jeff still gets his digs in about Adam Gase.

        He simply can’t stand any shade is cast on his fave, obsessed over CHI QB love, whether it be Cutler or Trubisky.

        He is like the worst Little League parent imaginable in that regard.

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky

          The Jimmy G thing is a bit unfair though. His price tag prior to the season was far different what San Fran ended up giving for him. In fact, so high, that no quarterback starved team took him.

          Once Trubisky was drafted, there was no revisiting Jimmy Garappolo. So I’m not sure Jimmy G was ever really in play at a reasonable price for Pace. Plus, he’s already got several years in the league knocked out, will be due a new contract, and doesn’t have quite the measurable athleticism Trubisky has, to my eye at least.

          Pace has made his share of mistakes. Connor Barth, Mike Glennon, and Markus Wheaton immediately spring to mind, but I’m not sure it’s fair to hold Garappolo not being a Bear against him. And we still don’t even know who’s actually better at the position.

          • Sactowns#1

            Pace could have easily waited, since the consensus was this was a weak draft class. Ya know, sorta like the first year GM in SF did.
            It isn’t exactly rocket science.

      • SC Dave

        You know what, Sac?

        Your whole Watson over Trubisky thing has a patina of racism about it. What about when the next 8 years show *Pace* the obvious winner for picking Trubisky?

        Yeah, I know… another white guy.

        Deal with it.

        • Sactowns#1

          Lol. Then how exactly do you explain my lobbying for Jimmy G the last three years?

          Please tell me the last successful QB to come in with 13 games experience from a small school?

    • BearDown100393

      Not that I wish any harm or injury to Mitch, Jeff’s narrative would be 180 degrees should such an occurrence bestow upon his beloved #10.

    • SC Dave

      That’s because it is petty.

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  • BearDown100393

    Gidget would out-coach Hobo.

  • fishing florida

    MAYBE THERE IS SOME HOPE FOR THE BEARS. the aikman efficiency ratings may show so. The Aikman Ratings measure seven different categories of performance on both Offense and Defense. Devised by Troy Aikman in 2005 and compiled by STATS LLC, they provide a better measure of the qualities that win football games than simply total yards gained, the method used by the NFL to rank offenses and defenses. Originally designed where a score of 75 would be the average on both Offense and Defense, the swing towards Offense since has made a score above 80 the mean on that side of the ball while 70 has been an average Defense in recent years.
    The seven categories are Offensive Points (20%), Red-Zone Efficiency as measured by Points Per Red-Zone Possession (20%), Turnovers (20%), Yards per Rush (10%), Yards per Pass (10%), Third-Down Percentage (10%) and First Downs (10%).
    The Aikman Ratings measure seven different categories of performance on both Offense and Defense. Devised by Troy Aikman in 2005 and compiled by STATS LLC, they provide a better measure of the qualities that win football games than simply total yards gained, the method used by the NFL to rank offenses and defenses. Originally designed where a score of 75 would be the average on both Offense and Defense, the swing towards Offense since has made a score above 80 the mean on that side of the ball while 70 has been an average Defense in recent years.
    these ratings, to me, make more more sense than the NFL method of rating which is simply yards allowed on defense and yards gained on offense. not very insightful.
    The seven categories are Offensive Points (20%), Red-Zone Efficiency as measured by Points Per Red-Zone Possession (20%), Turnovers (20%), Yards per Rush (10%), Yards per Pass (10%), Third-Down Percentage (10%) and First Downs (10%). i haven’t found the defensive catagories yet.
    these ratings make much more sense to me than the NFL front office method of yards allowed on defense and yards gained on offense. their ratings are easy, but not very insightful. ”We would note for fans of teams near the bottom of the current Aikman Ratings that things can change quickly in the NFL.
    The Jaguars, now in 1st, were 26th in the final 2016 Aikman Ratings.
    The Rams, now 6th, were 32nd and last in the final 2016 Aikman Ratings.
    The Vikings, now 3rd, were 23rd in the final 2016 Aikman Ratings. ”———- aikman efficiency ratings. the ratings for the bears are currently 6th on defense and 24th on offense and 17th in total. they do not rate the special teams. what’s currently missing for the bears? perhaps what the jaguars, rams, and vikings acquired in making the improvements noted above – the right coaches and acquisition of playmakers. i see the bears quite lacking in both. not going to discuss ownership (it won’t change) and the GM much here. so, there is a lot to do. fangio is likely leaving according to reports. but, with a new coach, playmakers on the edge and secondary, and some time to adjust to new schemes perhaps the defense can become dominant in 1-2 years. so much work to do on offense, coaches and playmakers. and, will kyle long ever be able to be the player he once was? pace has drafted fairly well, but quite done quite poorly in free agency, which cannot continue. my right coach – dave toub and a hell of an offensive coordinator.

    • fishing florida

      For those who don’t want to read the long winded gibberish here are some footnotes
      1. Bears suck
      2. it can be turned around quickly
      3. new coaches.
      4. some playmakers
      5. resign Jay Cutler. (he is so fricken hot i love his sweet ass)

      • BearDown100393

        6. Sell the team

  • BuddhaJoe

    I can see the job being appealing. You’ve got a raw but talented QB, a pretty good O-line and a possibly great 1-2 running attack. On D you’ve got Hicks and Goldman, Floyd and Tre, and a decent safety combo in Amos/Jackson. And that’s assuming none of the other guys return or bounce back. There’s definitely a framework.

  • That Guy

    I think the biggest drawback on the Bears gig is going to be the expectations.

    We were patient for 3 seasons with Fox and that came after the failed Emery/Trestman experiment. Ownership trusts Pace, but I believe the general consensus is that the team has enough pieces to start seeing some serious improvement in the W column. This isn’t a job where you can pitch another 2-3 rebuild – Pace will need to show some more wins, led by a significant uptick in Trubisky’s production pretty much right away.

    You might think every coach believes he can win right away. They do. But every coach also likes to mold a team into his own system and fill the roster with “his” guys. That takes time.

    If you don’t like the roster and want to, say, rebuild the defense through the draft, there just isn’t the time to do it here. You’ve got to run with the horses Pace has and whatever you can get in this one off-season. If a coach doesn’t believe the team can do that and has another offer, I suspect that coach goes elsewhere.

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