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2009 NFL Coaching Changes
John Tuvey
June 27, 2009
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And you thought there was change last fall!

When the 2009 NFL season kicks off in September, a whopping 11 new head coaches will be walking the sidelines. That number ties the record first set back in 1997 and represents more than one-third of the league.

But that’s not where the change ends. Nine of those 11 new bosses have new offensive coordinators, while three additional teams have someone else running the offense. On defense, the turnover is even more dramatic; ten of the 11 new coaches have new coordinators (Greg Manusky remains in San Francisco), plus 11 more are different from a year ago.

What to make of all the changes? Glad you asked. Here’s a brief rundown of the 14 teams with new head coaches and/or offensive coordinators, as well as links to more in-depth analysis of each new regime.

Head Coach Changes

Cleveland Browns
Eric Mangini moves from the Jets to the Browns, where he inherits a team that in many ways resembles the club he just left. Brian Daboll comes along for the ride and will call plays for the first time in his NFL career. Read full analysis »

Denver Broncos
Is Josh McDaniels the next Mike Shanahan? The Broncos think so, picking from the Patriots coaching tree in hopes of landing the next offensive mastermind. But will McDaniels and OC Mike McCoy be able to create the magic without Jay Cutler and potentially Brandon Marshall? Read full analysis »

Detroit Lions
Jim Schwartz has nowhere to go but up in Detroit, and the longtime Titans’ defensive coordinator—and first-time NFL head coach—filled out his staff with plenty of experience to help with the rebuild. New OC Scott Linehan has a track record of improving his charges, and he’ll have Calvin Johnson and top pick Matthew Stafford as building blocks. Read full analysis »

Indianapolis Colts
The transition from Tony Dungy to Jim Caldwell was expected to be seamless… but that was before the Colts lost both coordinators and the offensive line coach as well. Will Clyde Christensen and Pete Metzelaars carry on the tradition of Tom Moore and Howard Mudd, or will the upheaval in Indy be too much for even Peyton Manning to handle? Read full analysis »

Kansas City Chiefs
Todd Haley capitalizes on Arizona’s Super Bowl run with a promotion to Herm Edwards’ old job in Kansas City—with ex-Patriots mastermind Scott Pioli running the front office. But unless Dwayne Bowe is Larry Fitzgerald and Matt Cassel is Kurt Warner, Haley and holdover OC Chan Gailey have their work cut out for them. Read full analysis »

New York Jets
Rex Ryan flies from the Ravens to the Jets—and brings a handful of key defensive players with him. Offensively, however, Brian Schottenheimer is a holdover from the Eric Mangini administration—though he’ll be working with an offense helmed by Matt Sanchez instead of Brett Favre. Read full analysis »

Oakland Raiders
The Cable Guy isn’t going anywhere… or maybe Al Davis couldn’t find anyone else who would take the job, so he brought back Tom Cable to finish what he took over a month into the 2008 season. Cable will also call the plays, a job he took from Greg Knapp (now with the Seahawks) about a month after being named interim coach. Of course, Al’s suggestions are always just a phone call away… Read full analysis »

Seattle Seahawks
Jim Mora’s succession of Mike Holmgren was in place prior to last season, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be change. The aforementioned Knapp brings his version of the West Coast offense to Seattle, and it’s a bit more run-oriented than Holmgren’s teams have been in the past. How does that bode for Matt Hasselbeck? Read full analysis »

San Francisco 49ers
Mike Singletary removed the “interim” from his title at the conclusion of the 2008 season, and one of his priorities in the offseason was to find a run-first offensive coordinator. Meet Jimmy Raye, whose NFL coaching career started 32 years ago as San Francisco’s wide receiver coach and traversed nine organizations before returning to the Bay. He wasn’t necessarily the Niners’ first choice (read: others reportedly turned the job down), but with Singletary at the helm you can be sure this team won’t be caught with its pants down. Read full analysis »

St. Louis Rams
Former Giants’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is tasked with turning around the Rams, who of late have been far from the Greatest Show on Turf. Spagnuolo turned to a colleague from his Eagles days, Pat Shurmur, to direct the St. Louis offense. You’ll recognize the Philly version of the West Coast offense, with Steven Jackson playing the role of Brian Westbrook. Read full analysis »

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raheem Morris replaces Jon Gruden, and with the new Bucs’ coach focusing on the defensive side of the ball he’ll turn his offense over to former Boston College head man Jeff Jagodzinski. Jagodzinski, in turn, may be turning his offense over to a rookie quarterback. Stay tuned; this could get interesting. Read full analysis »

Offensive Coordinator Changes

Arizona Cardinals
With former OC Todd Haley now in KC, Ken Whisenhunt will go back to calling the plays—which is what landed him the head job in Arizona to being with. Russ Grimm will handle the running game while Mike Miller coordinates the passing game. Will three heads be better than one? Read full analysis »

New England Patriots
Bill Belichick will go back to calling the plays while grooming the next Josh McDaniels: new Patriots quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien. Should we expect any wrinkles in the Patriots Way? Read full analysis »

New Orleans Saints
Pete Carmichael, who had previously turned down coordinator opportunities elsewhere, gets promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. Shouldn’t make much of a ripple in New Orleans, but it’s worth examining nonetheless. Read full analysis »

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