When it comes to wagering on the National Football League, knowing coaching tendencies is of the utmost importance. Is the boss defense-first or an offensive guy? How much does he like to run or pass? Here’s a quick rundown of the coaching changes from this past offseason and how they’ll affect teams moving forward:
Kansas City hires Todd Haley
Haley – the former Arizona offensive coordinator who orchestrated the offense that saw the Cards go to the Super Bowl – takes over from Herm Edwards in KC. He gets himself a solid QB in Matt Cassel, a gifted young receiver in Dwayne Bowe and a solid-but-injury-plagued running back in Larry Johnson. Haley likes to throw the ball and run a big-play offense, so look for Kansas City to improve on the 18.2 points per game they put up in 2008.
New York Jets hire Rex Ryan
After parting ways with Eric Mangini (who we’ll get to in a minute), the Jets went out and nabbed Ryan, the former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator. Nicknamed “The Mad Scientist” for his uber-aggressive and wild blitzing schemes, Ryan is a good fit for the Jets. He likes a 3-4 defense and the Jets already have the personnel for such a scheme; look for New York to pressure the QB a lot more this season and improve on the 41 sacks it had as a unit last year.
Cleveland hires Eric Mangini
The “Mangenius” wasn’t out of work for long this offseason. He was fired by New York on December 29, 2008 and hired by the Browns on January 7, 2009. Mangini inherits a Cleveland team with a lot of flaws, but that’s kind of his specialty. In 2006, he took over the 4-12 Jets and led them to a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance.
Denver fires a legend, hires Josh McDaniels
It’s never easy replacing a legend, and Josh McDaniels is about to learn this the hard way. He’s set to take over from Mike Shanahan, a two-time Super Bowl who coached the Broncos for the last 14 years. To make matters worse, McDaniels has had a very rough go of things in Denver; he got on the wrong side of franchise QB Jay Cutler, a situation that ended with Cutler demanding – and getting – a trade to Chicago. Now, McDaniels faces another problem with star WR Brandon Marshall, who is unhappy with his contract situation and also requesting a trade. This could be a very tumultuous season for McDaniels, who at 33 is the fifth-youngest coach in NFL history.
Tony Dungy walks away, Jim Caldwell steps in
The Colts have been grooming Caldwell for some time to be Dungy’s replacement. But even though he’s been prepped, the move still comes with risk. Dungy is an icon in Indianapolis; he led the Colts to the playoffs in seven straight seasons, winning at least 12 games in six straight seasons and the Super Bowl crown in 2007. Given that most of the Colts roster remained unchanged, any slip-ups or slumps will likely be pinned on the rookie head coach.