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Pros and Cons of Coaching Changes

NFL Betting: Pros and Cons of Coaching Changes

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

The trend in the NFL seems to indicate that coaching tenures are getting shorter. This is the era of firings after one year and rotating carrousels at the coordinator positions. The NFL coaching landscape has less stability than ever before. It can be hard to not only stay on top of it all, but to truly fathom all the ramifications that each coaching change represents.

Before looking at the new head coach, why did the old one leave? Did he retire? Was he fired? Did he take a new gig? Not all coaches leave bad situations. A coach could over-achieve with a lesser team to pave the way for a more lucrative job with a more renowned team. He could have retired while still doing well. More often than not, however, he was fired and not because there were good things happening with the team.

A coach can get fired for under-achieving with an otherwise good team. They might even be having winning seasons, but that's not enough when you're projected to go deep into the playoffs. A team like that is perhaps more likely to flourish under a first-year coach. The tools are in place and someone just needs to let it come out properly. Other coaches get fired for bad seasons when it's doubtful that Vince Lombardi could right the ship. The coach got fired out of a feeling of just trying to get the ship headed in a different direction, but it's simply a bad team. In cases like this, it's going to take one heck of a new head coach to make a significant dent.

You might have always felt a coaches' style was wrong for a team. The coach is conservative, while the roster is full of guys who should be turned loose. Some quarterbacks do better under different coaches and systems. That goes for all the positions. If the new coach has a system that you suspect is more conducive to the players and skills at his disposal, that's a potentially good sign.

Interim coaches provide an interesting dynamic. The only way to become an interim coach is in the event of a mid-season firing. Therefore, the team is always doing poorly. And the bookie will continue regarding them as such when setting the spreads. But it's hard to not notice that a lot of teams see a surge in form immediately following the naming of an interim coach. The previous coach may have lost the team. Whatever he was saying was just falling on deaf ears. Now there's a new voice and teams seem to respond.

Watch out for these bad teams for a short period following a mid-season firing. For the next few or several weeks, they are likely to be a little better than before. They might eventually revert to their prior form, but the interim coach usually breathes a little wind into the sails of a struggling team. It can have a temporary galvanizing affect on the team. And since many interim coaches become the full-fledged head coach, players are eager to make a good impression during this period.

With interim coaches or even full hirings made in the postseason, be aware of determining if a team has truly turned things around or if there is a honeymoon affect. You will often times see a turnaround. But for every team that sustains that momentum and turns around the franchise, there are other teams that eventually fall by the wayside. Whatever mojo that new coach brought to the table suddenly wears off. The honeymoon is over. And it can take a while to realize it.


With new hirings, keep an open mind. The tendency is to clamor for a recognized name. When a team makes a big-name hire, people get excited. The media pumps it up. And naturally, the optimism grows. But remember that a lot of the more highly-regarded head coaches around today were at one time no-name hirings that made people roll their eyes. In addition, a lot of older big-name coaches' celebrity outshines their actual present-time merit as leaders. Not all legendary coaches come back and have success.

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