Why A Coordinator Is Better Than A Retread

January 3rd, 2012

Based on NFL history, Joe will take Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski in a heartbeat over Jeff Fisher to replace Raheem Morris.

Joe has been pondering this for some time, since it appeared possible roughly six weeks ago that embattled Bucs coach Raheem Morris could be jettisoned.

Joe wondered what type of coach the Bucs should get. Initially Joe was against a coach that would change the defense to a 34 defense as the Bucs are stocked with 43-front defensive players.

But as horrid as the Bucs are defensively, what mental midget would argue the Bucs defense shouldn’t be retooled?

Joe’s a history guy. History shows us patterns. And to ignore history and to ignore patterns is a perfect way to sink further in the quicksand.

Let’s take a look at very recent NFL history, this year to be precise.

Of the 12 NFL playoff coaches who will lead their charges in the coming days in a quest for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, nine had zero NFL head coaching experience prior to their current jobs. The three playoff coaches with previous NFL head coaching experience are Bill Belicheat, Tom Coughlin and John Fox.

In the last three Super Bowls, none of the five coaches (Pittsburgh was in the Super Bowl twice in the past three seasons) had NFL head coaching experience prior to their current gigs.

See a pattern there? Joe does.

Then, let’s take a look at how Super Bowl coaches fared when they moved to other teams after a brief layoff. It’s not pretty, believe it or not.

Below is a graphic compiled by Jason Lisk of TheBigLead.com of every coach that led a team to a Super Bowl, took at least one year off, and then took a job with another team. The coaches’ success usually did not arrive with them at their new job.

So history says the odds of Bill Cowher or Jeff Fisher leading the Bucs back to a Super Bowl are not good, not good at all.

Given the success of coordinators/position coaches turning head coaches and the limited success of successful head coaches coaxed out of retirement, Joe will easily take the former.

Sure, a coordinator/position coach may not make fans storm Ticketmaster to buy season tickets, but is the goal to build a Super Bowl contender or a quick fix to sell tickets?

After all, the Bucs already had a Super Bowl-winning coach who wasn’t selling out the football stadium on Dale Mabry Highway.

55 Responses to “Why A Coordinator Is Better Than A Retread”

  1. Garv Says:

    I had never heard of him before this season. Do you really think ownership would go that way? I believe they’ll be going with a well known HC who will excite the base as well as command respect. Someone who may not be loved but respected.

    Guessing like the rest of us though and not typing Chudzinski would be a bad choice.

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    Chudzinski…eh…Take away the fad of an option offense and what do you really have?
    Truth is, you never know what is going to happen with ANY new coach. It isn’t the selection of said coach that makes the difference, it’s what he does after he gets here.
    That said, I do think you go offensive minded.

  3. Travis Says:


    Give Dungy a palace and 100% control, whatever it takes to get him back.

  4. Joe Says:


    As Joe asked, is the goal to initially sell tickets or to go the distance? We will find out in a few weeks.

    You ask who heard of Rod Chudinski? Joe will ask outside the Tampa Bay area, who heard of Mike Tomlin? Or better, who heard of Mike McCarthy before the Packers hired him?

    Respect is earned. Anyone can earn respect.

  5. Joe Says:


    Chudzinski…eh…Take away the fad of an option offense and what do you really have?

    Chudzinski’s resume is somewhat uninspiring, prior to working with Cam Newton. He was Eric Mangini’s quarterback coach.

    Chudzinski was Kellen Winslow’s position coach at Miami.

    Joe has to give credit where credit is due. Chudzinski has done a helluva job with Cam Newton.

  6. Buc N' A Says:

    YES YES YES! Joe! you hit the nail right on the head. Retreads only end up in one place. Torn off the rim and discarded on the side of the road. They never work. All these calls for Bill Cowher, Fisher, Sherman for crying out loud – really? – NOOO!! How many years did it take him to win a Super Bowl? 15?!?!!? He would have been fired from any other team after losing all those AFC Championship games. He got his through longevity not pure talent. Chudzinski – or some no name hot shot is fine with me. Look how well Shannahan is working out in DC. Give me young and hungry any day. Youngry – yeah I said it. Ahh, still love ya Raheem, but sadly it was time to go. Go get some more experience and then make us eat our words. I’ll be pulling for ya anytime you’re not playing the Bucs. : )

  7. Bobby Says:

    Totally agree Joe. Old coaches are like old people in general….slow to change their ways. This is a new league with a new mind set and the New England’s and New Orleans of the league, and even Green Bay to an extent, have shown that a team who can light up the score board has a better chance of winning than a team who has a dominant defense but an average offense. That mindset seems to have flipped. Give me a great offense with an average defense and we can win the superbowl. I really like Tom Clements, the QB coach for Green Bay. He’s turned virtually every QB he’s coached into a pro bowler and just look at what Flynn did last weekend. He could make Freeman elite. He’s been in the Packers system so he would demand discipline and I’m sure good OC’s and DC’s would love to come work for him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying ignore the defense but I already like our D-line when healthy so get some LB’s and DB’s and we’ll have a much improved defense. Primarily, they just need a much better defensive scheme.

  8. jarrett Says:

    I would like to have Derrick Brooks interviewed i know he has never expressed interest, but every time i hear him speak on the radio, the guy is a motivator and a leader of men. I would also like hardy nickerson interviewed. Top choice has got to be fisher though, most prepared and would restore a little credibility. I might be a little crazy on the derrick brooks thing , but i really feel he could hold people accountable.

  9. CharlieB Says:

    I’m ok with the idea of a coordinator, but one that has been successful for more than a year would be preferable.

  10. eric Says:

    Winning the Super Bowl is a disqualifying factor? Silly notion. That is simply a testament to how hard it is to win one.

    Lots of coaches have won in their second stints. Vermeil, Coughlin, Shula, Bellichick, Shanahan, Gruden,

    And, Parcells and Holmgren reached the SB with new teams after winning it all.

    And look at the list of failed coordinators. Mcdaniel, Crowell, Rams coach, Denny Green, Mangini, Buddy Ryan, Soprano, Capers, etc.

    Give me a retread please.

  11. D Says:

    This is an illusion, you realize that right? What we have here is an attempt to statistically explain history– to try to rationalize luck, opportunity and a 52 team roster, against 13 other teams and whomever in the playoffs.

    This is no more valid than saying that Tom Brady used to have bad luck against the Broncos.

    Meaningless. Garbage. Usually bumped by ESPN folk who want to make a story out of nothing.

    We could play the same game with age or coaches whose last name starts in a vowel.

  12. eric Says:

    Oh, I forgot Dungy. Won it all in second stint.

  13. Jake Says:

    It is important to get someone in here that will not be a mere puppet for the front office on personnel decisions. Getting someone without clout, stature in the league or a strong voice should serve as a red flag that spending isn’t about to change. This hire will tell us much of what we need to know about the truthfulness of the statement Glazer made about spending what they need to spend to win.

  14. NunPuncher Says:

    Fisher, Clements, Chud, or Mularkey

  15. eric Says:


    Right on sir.

  16. Hillbilly Heaven Says:

    Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl for Dungy

    Don’t you remember Peyton overriding Dungy’s 4th down decision to kick? Peyton sent the kick team back off and went for it, got it, and won the game.

    The big question is: with the best QB of our lifetime, why is it that Dungy only managed to win it once?

  17. Dave Says:

    I usually agree about retreading old coaches, which is why I was all on board to give Raheem a chance for the first 2.5 years, but I like the idea of Fisher.

    1. His record is great
    2. He is still fairly young
    3. He has not been out of the loop for years
    4. He knows what he is doing.

    NUMBER 4: I think this important because of the youth of the team. He would not have a learning curve. he knows what he wants to do and would start doing it from day 1. He would be in control

    For the record I feel the same (MOSTLY) about Cower, I just think he is not going to coach again, but I could be wrong.

    I am all for a real good coordinator coming in as well. As long as it is someone who has been a coordinator for more than one year. I do not want a 1 hit wonder. I would prefer someone who has done it a few years and is in total control.

    AND PLEASE, no one mention Norv Turner as even a remote possibility

  18. Dave Says:


    “Give me a retread please.”

    Is ignorant.

    Maybe a retread works, maybe a coordinator works, maybe Raheem would work in 2 more years, who knows.

    The bottom line is do not limit yourself and demand one or the other. Just try to find the best man for the job. (Personally I think it is Fisher)

  19. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    Great article man, you really did some worthwhile research and you and I agree completely that a re-tread isn’t what THIS team needs. If we’re trying to build a lasting contender the Bucs need to get a first time coach that actually wants to make the Bucs HIS team, and set his legacy as a Buc coach. I don’t want some has been that relies on their star power or big name, I want someone hungry to prove that they are the best. Peyton, Smith, Tomlin, McCarthy, the list goes on and on. Stud coordinators turned into premier head coaches.

  20. eric Says:

    Actually if you take the last 14 Super Bowl winning teams, nine were coached by so-called “retreads”.

    Ill take my chances.

  21. ScottB Says:

    Why not look to the college ranks. Jim Tressel is unemployed or some other rising star. The 49er’s did okay with Harbaugh this year.

  22. I_Miss#40 Says:

    I vote for a coordinator with a successful track record of talent development, and work experience under a successful and consistent head coach. May the best candidate win ( and by win I mean be over paid so we get our first choice rather than left overs because coaching elsewhere is more attractive.

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    With you on this one , Eric. Fisher is a proven commodity. That’s very important with a young team. They don’t have to be “sold” On his schemes. He’s already proven he’s a winner. They know they get on board, or stay at the station. This team quit on it’s last coach- embarrassingly so. We have to have a presence at HC. A newly promoted Coordinator will not carry the same weight.

    Plus Fisher is still young, and still looking for his Ring. This guy will be a great fit.

    I’m wondering about Co- ordinators. I like Mike Martz, if Chicago cuts him loose. His system is a nice fit here, would need some blazers at WR, but we gotta add that anyway. Freeman would be a perfect QB for Martz

    Defense is almost up in the air! We have 5 great D-linemen, and absolute trash everywhere else( Except Ronde, who needs to move to FS this year).
    LBers And Secondary have NOTHING worth keeping, so any scheme is a possibility at this point. Although a 3-4 would move us away from our only good defensive players.

  24. Mark Says:

    Take down Chud’s picture. Without Cam Newton, he’s a nobody. How about a guy like Vic Fangio? Joe Philbin?

  25. hfxbuc Says:

    Sheesh….note to self never call Joe a mental midget.

  26. Joe Says:

    Thanks FreemanBomb5!

  27. SteveK Says:

    Glazers better man up and spend.

    We should go offense and start tapping Freeman’s talent.
    I still have nightmares of checkdowns to Lumpkin.

    These Bucs need a D Coordinator that is a complete hard a$$. Time for softy McCoy to earn that pay check, maybe he should spend less ti
    E on twitter, and more time in the weight room strengthening his biceps.

    The new coaches 1st move should be to rid the team of Hayneswurf. He is turrible, and you can’t win with a moron like that.

    Hustle, Discipline, and consistency should be the new model for success around here.

    Dom has two strikes on him:
    1. Signing Derrick ward, Quincy Black, and cutting Derrick Brooks
    2. Not being active in FA this past season, a d having to pick up Hayneswurf.
    3. Potentially being inactive in FA Again, and failure to get some speed on O. No excuse, for bow our GM is a “juice box hero”.

  28. SteveK Says:

    For now our GM is a juice box hero**

    FACT: best GM in Bay Area is Andy Freidman, Dom can’t even carry his jock.

  29. Buc Neckid Says:

    Didn’t we just go the Coordinator Route?
    We need an established Coach that the Young team can buy into,
    not a “hope to be” philosophy of some youngry coordinator.
    The team needs stabilization and QUICK.

  30. eric Says:

    Fisher is riding in a helicopter with Dolphins owner.

    Hope the Glazer boys arent sitting on their hands listening to Dom.

    Look at the coordinators that guy has picked!

  31. SteveK Says:

    We need a proven commodity. Time to take the trash out, send Dom packing.

  32. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but there was NEVER a blackout during the Chucky era. In fact, since Joe faithfully believes everything stated by the Glazers, they had a waiting list for season tickets into 2008.

    Further, it is idiotic to say that just because a coach won a super bowl somewhere else that he would be a poor selection. So Joe, are you saying that since pre-Dungy a black head coach hadn’t won a super bowl that it was a bad idea to hire Dungy and Mike Tomlin. Of course not.

    The list above is exclusive and a few of those guys had success with other teams: Parcells took the Patriots to the Super Bowl, Vermeil took both the Eagles and Rams to the Super Bowl and had the Chiefs playing very well; Seifert took over an expansion franchise; and Jimmy made the playoffs 3 out of 4 years.

    I will take making the playoffs three out of the next 4 years or making the super bowl.

  33. Joe Says:


    Philbin is very interesting to Joe and Joe will try to do some serious research on him. Thing that scares Joe is it appears Philbin works mostly with the offensive line. Now if Philbin could bring Tom Clements here as his offensive coordinator, Joe would be all over that.

    If Clements is given the Penn State gig — he’s a finalist — you can take him off the board for any Bucs gig.

  34. Some dude Says:

    The stats are pretty convincing, coaches who have taken time off are not as good the next time around…

    However it shows nothing about coaches who are freshly fired and move to a new team within the offseason. For instance, guys like Dungy and Gruden, who were successful with their other teams. Or some current examples; John Fox, Tom Coughlin, or Bellicheat.

    Luring a HC of another team to Tampa worked before, why not try it again?

  35. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Even though he had Steve McNair and Eddie George for a good chunk of his tenure, Jeff Fisher still only managed an overall record barely above .500. Be careful what you wish for.

  36. eric Says:

    I am thinking Bob Kraft is rather pleased he didnt implement Joe’s theory when he foolishly hired retread Bill Bellichick.

  37. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    What about Chip Kelly from Oregon?

  38. Dave Says:


    “Correct me if I am wrong, but there was NEVER a blackout during the Chucky era.”

    Correct, but after the end of his last season and the start of ticket sales the next… he was about to have blackouts.

    Besides, I do not care if they hire Fisher & Cower, it will not sell out all the seats until they start winning and winning with promise.

  39. A REAL Bucs Fan Says:

    thomas 2.2 Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong, but there was NEVER a blackout during the Chucky era.

    You are not wrong, however there would have been IF the Glazers had not bought up the remaining tickets that year.

    Buc Neckid Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Didn’t we just go the Coordinator Route?
    We need an established Coach that the Young team can buy into,
    not a “hope to be” philosophy of some youngry coordinator.
    The team needs stabilization and QUICK.

    No we did not. Raheem didn’t count as a coordinator because he only held the position a week…he never even did any work in the position.

    He was a defensive backs coach with very little overall experience.

    However, a guy like a Tom Clements would be perfect for the role.

    Possesses 19 years of coaching experience, including two seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator.

    Prior to Green Bay, spent 10 seasons coaching quarterbacks under some of the game’s most successful coaches, including Bill Cowher, Mike Ditka and Lou Holtz.

    Played 12 years in the Canadian Football League at quarterback and was a seven-time divisional all-star and two-time Grey Cup champion; was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1994.

    An All-American at Notre Dame in 1974, he finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting that year.

    In Green Bay he worked with Favre, Rodgers and Flynn. Rodgers became the first QB in league history to throw for at least 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter, and he narrowly missed a third straight 4,000-yard season in 2010 with 3,933 yards despite missing 1½ games due to a concussion. And we all know what he’s done this year.

    Previous experience:
    Was offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills.

    In 2004, the Bills’ offense increased its scoring output by 152 and reduced its number of sacks allowed from 51 to 38, fewest by a Bills team since 1999. The unit was highlighted by RB Willis McGahee, who became the fifth running back in Bills history to register back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, covering each year of Clements’ tenure. In addition, QB Kelly Holcomb set a club record in 2005 with a 67.39 completion percentage, surpassing Jim Kelly’s 1991 mark, 64.14 percent.

    Prior to joining the Bills, Clements served as Pittsburgh’s quarterbacks coach for three seasons (2001-03) under Bill Cowher. In 2002, he helped Tommy Maddox earn the Comeback Player of the Year award from The Associated Press, as Pittsburgh’s passing offense ranked seventh in the NFL, its highest finish since 1980 with Terry Bradshaw under center.

    Clements also worked with Pittsburgh’s Kordell Stewart (2001) and Kansas City’s Elvis Grbac (2000) during each quarterback’s best season, both culminating in Pro Bowl berths. Mike Ditka gave Clements his first NFL coaching job, hiring him to coach the Saints’ quarterbacks (1997-99), a group that included Jake Delhomme and Kerry Collins.

    Prior to his post with the Saints, Clements served under Lou Holtz as quarterbacks coach (1992-94) and wide receivers/assistant head coach (1995) at his alma mater, Notre Dame. While with the Fighting Irish, Clements coached eventual 1993 NFL Rookie of the Year QB Rick Mirer, and WR Derrick Mayes, the Packers’ second-round draft pick in 1996. In addition, he tutored QB Ron Powlus, Notre Dame’s career passing leader in attempts, completions, yardage and touchdowns at the time of his graduation.

    So you can see…
    A guy like Clements, with 19 years experience in offensive coaching would work wonders here. He’s had success almost everywhere he’s gone.

    He is the perfect head coach to bring up Freeman into what he could be. If we got his as HC and the defensive line coach of the ravens as DC…I would be extremely happy.

  40. Bucnnole Says:

    For the past seven weeks I’ve been one of the only ones who thinks it’d be ideal to go after a top tier college head coach. With the instant success of Jim Harbaugh, who had no offseason to even mean his players, it would be a good fit to get a college HC with retread Oc/Dcs like a Jack DelRio, Rid Marinelli, or a Mike Martz to pair together. I say MIKE GUNDY!!! 45 yrs old, hard ass, exciting, and smart. Played QB fir Ok St with Barry Sanders. Why not???

  41. A REAL Bucs Fan Says:

    Some dude Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    The stats are pretty convincing, coaches who have taken time off are not as good the next time around…

    However it shows nothing about coaches who are freshly fired and move to a new team within the offseason. For instance, guys like Dungy and Gruden, who were successful with their other teams. Or some current examples; John Fox, Tom Coughlin, or Bellicheat.

    In such cases, I would think the offensive-minded coaches would fare better because of the defensive rule changes. For example, Herman Edward has said he would ignore the new rules and not worry about penalties if he were coaching again.

    Even since Dungy retired and Gruden left the game, things have changed. I think Dungy would fare well because he was a delagator, but Gruden, would not because he wants to do it all.

    Although Gruden is an offensive-minded coach, he is horrible at player development. It could be said that he has NEVER developed a players at all.

    And although he is referred to as an offensive guru, he has a history of giving up on QBs too quickly unless forced to not do so. As a wise QB once said, Gruden likes to date QBs, he doesn’t want to marry one.

    Imagine if he had a team where Peyton Manning became QB and Manning lost 3 games in a row. Gruden would bench him instead of giving Payton time to work things through…which we all know Manning would do.

    In fact, I would argue that Peyton Manning could become a better offensive coach than Gruden can ever hope to be.

  42. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Just curious…do we still have to abide by the Rooney Rule? We just fired a minority coach.

  43. holymoly Says:

    What about Steve Mariuci , haven’t heard his name much .

  44. Garv Says:


    I’m not typing Rob Chudzinski would be a bad choice. But at this time, right after Raheem Morris does anyone really believe the Royal’s will pick a HC that will make prospective season ticket buyers go “huh?”

    I realize that all Head Coaches come from somewhere with experience. Raheem was an exception, having never coached in the NFL beyond a DB coach. He had one year (1) as a DC in college and no HCing experience. Tomlin at least was a DC for the Vikings before the Steelers hired him.

    Buyers are going to want more than this, especially now and I think the Glazers are going to hire a name that has some WOW and a qualified, ready to coach now guy. They really have to and their pattern of operation tells me they will.

  45. Mean D Says:

    Great reason to hire Chudzinski. Plus Chud wouldn’t step on the toes of Joe’s beloved Dominik.

  46. stevie wonder Says:

    Lane kiffin anyone?

  47. crazy Says:

    IF the @apple report that a “handshake deal” is in place then that rules out the league people currently under contract, doesn’t it? So who among the former coaches/coordinators and college ranks is the best fit for a salary between Raheem’s and Gruden’s?

  48. CC Says:

    Give us Fisher and allow him to pick his coaching staff. It will be an experienced staff that will have respect from the HC.I have more faith in going that route than allowing another assistant and Dom choose a staff. Fisher will get only qualified assistants. He is still young and has a wealth of knowledge. I don’t want to see a HC and staff without experience that we HOPE will work out.

  49. Bobby Says:

    I like Clements. Hope the Glazers can lure him away from Penn State. My guess will be he’s high on the list. It would probably take a long term contract and at least 3-4 million a year to even get him to think about giving up a probable lifetime deal at Penn State if he were successful.

  50. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Scotty

    “Just curious…do we still have to abide by the Rooney Rule? We just fired a minority coach.”

    I would imagine that yes, they do have to interview a minority candidate lest they get fined like the Lions did when they hired Mooch. That’s probably why Joel mentioned that there would be a long and exhaustive search.

    That’s some good CYA on his part.

  51. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Most of those superbowl coaches went to teams that were terrible. Of course your record is going to suffer. We just tried this plan with Morris. He went what 17-31 as a HC….We need a real coach like Fisher to help out our young guys and to get rid of atleast 20 guys on our team. Its sad cause we just did this 3 seasons ago. I don’t want Cowher as our HC, but Fisher would be the perfect fit…

  52. K2theSoldier Says:

    So suddenly winning a Super Bowl is something negative. Wow. Unbelievable the lengths people will go to to discredit coaches/players. Cowher won a Super Bowl and based on a silly statistic with no concrete reason behind it, you’re going to say that hiring a no-name offensive coordinator is a better choice than a proven Super Bowl winner. Read that aloud and tell me it doesn’t sound ridiculous.

  53. K2theSoldier Says:

    Just picture this: Dominik and Joel Glazer look at list of candidates.
    Dom– “Hmmm, this Fisher guy has a career winning record, had some very successful years in Tennessee, got to within a yard of a Super Bowl and is loved around the league. Ugh, but see, that Super Bowl part just really throws me off Joel, Super Bowls are icky and gross and indicate failure. Everybody knows that only loser coaches go to Super Bowls”

    Joel– “I agree, I was thinking we should go more towards the route we did with Raheem and choose a coach who has very little experience as a head coach in the NFL, has proven nothing as anything other than a play caller, and overall has none of the accolades that Fisher or other former pro coaches have. Sound like a good idea? I mean, we tried it before, why not try it again?”


  54. CH Says:

    Don’t forget that Derek Anderson made it to the Pro-Bowl under Chud.

    Derek Anderson blows.

  55. StatsAreForLosers Says:

    joe, you need to be a little more open minded with your statistics interpretations… in the league right now (including coaches fired in season), there are 7 HC with previous HC experience, and 25 HC without. meaning, 21% have previous HC experience, 79% do not. you mention that 75% of playoff coaches had no previous experience, and looking at these numbers, this is almost the exact number that you would expect. your stats prove nothing except that you can frame statistics out of context to mean anything you want them to. be careful what you reference.