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How did new Head Coaches do in Week One ?

As Jerry Glanville so eloquently stated, the letters “NFL” stand for “not for long” when you’re not doing your job. And as a head coach in the NFL, your job is simple: win games. Your career resume may be jam-packed full of wins and other accolades, but it’s very often a “what have you done for me lately” mentality.

Five NFL head coaches (Rex Ryan, Jeff Fisher, Mike McCoy, Gus Bradley, Chip Kelly) learned that the hard way last year, getting fired by their respective teams. Another (Gary Kubiak) chose to retire due to health concerns. So, all told, six teams headed into 2017 with new(ish) faces on the sideline.

Inevitably, more coaches are going to get fired this year. But when one door closes, another opens. Let’s accentuate the positive by looking at how the teams “under new management” will do this year,all these sports betting sites have already set the win totals. Week 1 is in the books. Most importantly we’ve finally seen them all in action.

Buffalo Bills — Sean McDermott

Don’t read too much into the Bills Week 1-win over the Jets (21-12); it was the Jets. Buffalo is already looking ahead to the future. And, at this exact moment, McDermott appears to be a part of said future. If that remains true, the Bills can at least expect a respectable defense as long as McDermott is around.

Denver Broncos — Vance Joseph

Do not count the Broncos out of the race in the AFC West. Though Vance Joseph may have proved he shouldn’t be calling plays for a defense last year in Miami, he is a phenomenal motivator with a great football mind. Being able to step back and oversee the entire team will bring out those strengths in the new Broncos head coach.

With Joe Woods studying under Wade Phillips for two seasons, expect the same aggressive defense in Denver. The offense will not be the same group from 2016, though. Joseph brought in former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy as his offensive coordinator, along with former Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to coach the QBs. It’s a loaded coaching staff in the mile-high city, and you shouldn’t be shocked if the Broncos wind up back in the playoffs as a result.

Los Angeles Chargers — Anthony Lynn

In hiring former Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, the Chargers were looking to bring a respectable ground game with they packed up from San Diego and headed to Los Angeles. It became apparently last year that QB Philip Rivers needs less pressure on his aging arm. As much as Lynn may promote and institute a power running game with Melvin Gordon, we won’t see the team in the top-half of the league in rushing until they address the subpar offensive line.

If the Chargers are able to make some additions up front, the AFC West will tighten its grip on the designation of the NFL’s best division.

Los Angeles Rams — Sean McVay

Last season, it appeared Jared Goff’s career would resemble that of notorious draft busts Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell. His terrible 63.6 passer rating doesn’t even accurately portray just how bad he was in his first season. But in Goff’s first game under new head coachSean McVay, we started to see why the Rams selected him first-overall in 2016. His 117.9 passer rating was third-best in the league in Week 1, and the Rams offense scored a league-high 46 points.

Yes, he was facing the Colts’ awful defense, but McVay is quickly proving himself as one of the league’s top QB-whisperers, a reputation that is being solidified by the decline in Kirk Cousins’ play now that McVay isn’t calling plays for Washington.

Long have we wondered just how good the Rams could be with even an average offense. Under McVay, the offense has the potential to be better than average. Watch out for the LA Rams in the coming seasons.

San Francisco 49ers — Kyle Shanahan

The 49ers’ roster has a ways to go before it’s capable of putting Kyle Shanahan’s offensive genius to proper use. Brian Hoyer isn’t the worst starting QB in the league, but he’s also not talented enough to fully capitalize on Shanahan’s brilliant Xs-and-Os.

You can at least expect to see an aggressive offense with a respectable ground game in San Francisco this season. But until the 49ers draft their franchise QB, Shanahan’s talents will go to waste in the Bay Area.

Jacksonville Jaguars — Doug Marrone

It’s not quite right to say that Marrone is a “new” head coach, since he took over when the Jaguars fired Gus Bradley at the end of last season. However, Week 1 was his first game without the “interim” label. It hasn’t taken long for the Jaguars to adopt Marrone’s run-first mentality, evident by the 36-to-21 run-to-pass ratio in Week 1.

Marrone’s style of play is exactly what Jacksonville needs to thrive with Blake Bortles under center. The QB has struggled with turnovers throughout his short career, and lately has seen his mechanics turn to absolute garbage. The Jaguars drafted a bell-cow in running back Leonard Fournette and they have a defense loaded with talent. Expect the Jags to finally start making some big strides under Marrone.

 

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Jamil Farmer

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