Every offseason, several teams make the decision to go in a new direction by making a change at head coach. In 2012, five teams -- the Rams, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Colts and Dolphins -- fired their head coaches. We also have 15 new coaches at the all-important offensive coordinator position.
To get everyone back up to speed, here's a team-by-team review of the coaching staff along with some key pass/rush statistics from the 2011 season. These changes are vitally important to fantasy football owners and lay a solid foundation in preparing for the 2012 fantasy football season.
HC Ken Whisenhunt starts his 6th year. OC Mike Miller coaches the offense with help from assistant HC and offensive line coach Russ Grimm. Team coaching staff has significant ties to the Bill Cowher Steelers
2011 Pass/Rush: 58.6%/41.4% - Pass/Rush TDs: 21/12 - Yds/Catch: 12.9 - Yds/Rush: 4.2
HC Mike Smith is entering his 5th season with the Falcons
. Smith has led the Falcons
to four straight winning records and playoff appearances in 2008, 2010 and 2011. OC Dirk Koetter replaces Mike Mularkey. Koetter was the OC in Jacksonville for the last five years. The Jaguars
were middle of the pack in both total yards and scoring in 2009 and 2010 before a disastrous 2011 with rookie QB Blaine Gabbert
2011 Pass/Rush: 56.7%/43.3% - Pass/Rush TDs: 29/14 - Yds/Catch: 12.0 - Yds/Rush: 4.0
HC John Harbaugh enters his 5th season as the lead man in Baltimore. Harbaugh worked for Eagles
HC Andy Reid and has led the Ravens
to the playoffs in each of his four seasons as HC. OC Cam Cameron is a proven NFL OC who is largely in control of the team's offensive play calling.
2011 Pass/Rush: 54.2%/45.8% - Pass/Rush TDs: 21/15 - Yds/Catch: 11.6 - Yds/Rush: 4.3
HC Chan Gailey enters his 3rd season as a head coach in Buffalo. Gailey was hired for his offensive mind and has held various OC jobs in the past. OC Curtis Modkins enters his 3rd year in the position and is also the RB coach.
2011 Pass/Rush: 59.6%/40.4% - Pass/Rush TDs: 24/12 - Yds/Catch: 10.8 - Yds/Rush: 4.9
HC Ron Rivera enters his 2nd season as head coach of the Panthers
after successful stints as defensive coordinator for the Bears
. OC Rob Chudzinski came over in 2010 with Rivera from San Diego. Under his leadership, and with the addition of QB Cam Newton
, the Panthers
finished 7th in total yards and 5th in scoring in 2011 after finishing last in both categories in 2010. It should be noted that Chudzinski served as the Browns
OC in 2007 when Derek Anderson
, Kellen Winslow
& Braylon Edwards
all posted career-best numbers.
2011 Pass/Rush: 53.9%/46.1% - Pass/Rush TDs: 21/26 - Yds/Catch: 13.1 - Yds/Rush: 5.4
HC Lovie Smith is a veteran coach in his 8th year with the Bears
. Lovie got himself off the hot seat in 2010 with an NFC North title, but a so-so year in 2011 has him on shaky ground. OC Mike Tice takes over for Mike Martz, who resigned after the 2010 season. Tice was the head coach of the Vikings
from 2002-2005 (32-32), where in 2002, 2003 and 2004, they finished in the top 8 in scoring and top 4 in yards behind a potent passing game that featured Dante Culpepper and Randy Moss
. The offense took a nosedive in 2005 when Brad Johnson
took over at QB. This will be the first time he will serve as an offensive coordinator.
2011 Pass/Rush: 50.9%/49.1% - Pass/Rush TDs: 18/10 - Yds/Catch: 12.5 - Yds/Rush: 4.4
HC Marvin Lewis enters his 9th season with the Bengals
, after getting off the hot seat in 2010 with a 9-7 record and a playoff berth. OC Jay Gruden enters his 2nd season calling plays for the Bengals
. Under Gruden's guidance, and despite rookie QB Andy Dalton
taking over for Carson Palmer
, the Bengals
improved from 22nd in scoring in 2010 to finish 18th in 2011.
2011 Pass/Rush: 54.0%/46.0% - Pass/Rush TDs: 21/10 - Yds/Catch: 11.4 - Yds/Rush: 3.9
HC Pat Shurmur enters his 2nd season with the Browns
. Shurmur called the plays in 2011 and will continue to do so in 2012 even though GM Mike Holmgren hired OC Brad Childress to coach the offense in 2012. Childress did not call plays while in Philadelphia, but did as the head coach for the Vikings
in 2006. The team improved its scoring average for four consecutive seasons, culminating with a #2 ranking with Brett Favre
under center in 2009. Under Shurmur, the Browns
finished #30 in scoring and #29 in total yards in 2011.
2011 Pass/Rush: 57.9%/42.1% - Pass/Rush TDs: 16/4 - Yds/Catch: 10.3 - Yds/Rush: 3.7
HC Jason Garrett enters his second season as the lead man in Dallas, and will once again call the plays despite the addition of OC Bill Callahan, who will assist Garrett and coach the offensive line. The Cowboys
were #15 in scoring and #11 in yards in 2011.
2011 Pass/Rush: 58.3%/41.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 33/5 - Yds/Catch: 11.8 - Yds/Rush: 4.4
HC John Fox is in his second season as the head honcho in Denver. He traditionally opts for a run-heavy, conservative approach, but that's going to change with the addition of QB Peyton Manning
. OC Mike McCoy remains as the team's play-caller and has a long history with Fox, having spent six years with him as QB coach in Carolina.
2011 Pass/Rush: 44.1%/55.9% - Pass/Rush TDs: 20/11 - Yds/Catch: 12.5 - Yds/Rush: 4.8
HC Jim Schwartz enters his 4th season as the head coach in Detroit and is mainly focused on the defense. OC Scott Linehan remains as the team's play-caller. The Lions
were #4 in scoring and #5 in yardage in 2011, and were the most pass-happy team in the NFL with a 65/35 run/pass ratio.
2011 Pass/Rush: 65.2%/34.8% - Pass/Rush TDs: 41/9 - Yds/Catch: 12.0 - Yds/Rush: 4.3
HC Mike McCarthy is in his 7th year as the head coach and the team's primary play-caller. Expect the powerful offensive attack to continue. New OC Tom Clements replaces Joe Philbin, but there's no doubt that this is McCarthy's offense.
2011 Pass/Rush: 58.3%/41.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 51/11 - Yds/Catch: 13.7 - Yds/Rush: 4.0
HC Gary Kubiak is in his 7th season as the Texans' head man. He has a heavy hand in the offense and still calls the plays on offense with input from OC Rick Dennison, who enters his 3rd year with the team. Both men came from the same Mike Shanahan-led system in Denver.
2011 Pass/Rush: 46.1%/53.9% - Pass/Rush TDs: 20/18 - Yds/Catch: 12.8 - Yds/Rush: 4.5
HC Chuck Pagano takes over for Jim Caldwell, who was fired after the 2011 season. Pagano was the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens
in 2011 after coaching the secondary for three seasons. OC Bruce Arians comes over from Pittsburgh where he served as OC for the last four seasons. Overall, the Steelers
were mediocre in points and yardage during his reign.
2011 Pass/Rush: 58.3%/41.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 14/8 - Yds/Catch: 10.7 - Yds/Rush: 4.2
HC Mike Mularkey takes over the reins after the Jaguars
fired Jack Del Rio. Mularkey was the OC in Atlanta for the last four years, and was the OC in Miami in 2006 before being demoted to TE coach in 2007. He was the head coach for the Bills
from 2004 to 2005, amassing a 14-21 record. OC Bob Bratkowski will reportedly call the plays for the Jaguars
. He was the OC for the Bengals
from 2001 to 2010. The offense peaked from 2005 to 2007, finishing in the top 11 in both points and yards for three consecutive seasons before losing QB Carson Palmer
for the 2008 season.
2011 Pass/Rush: 49.1%/50.9% - Pass/Rush TDs: 12/9 - Yds/Catch: 10.5 - Yds/Rush: 4.0
HC Romeo Crennel took over for Todd Haley, who was fired after a 5-8 start in 2011. He was the head coach for the Browns
from 2005-2008 (24-40). He was the Chiefs' defensive coordinator before becoming head coach. He still runs the defense. OC Brian Daboll replaces Bill Muir, who retired earlier this year. Daboll has ties with Crennel and GM Scott Pioli from their days in New England. He was the OC in Cleveland in 2009 and 2010, and the team finished near the bottom of the league in both points scored and total yards during his tenure. He then became the Dolphins
OC in 2011; Miami improved from #30 in points scored in 2010 to #22 in 2011. The Dolphins
were very balanced in terms of rush/pass.
2011 Pass/Rush: 51.0%/49.0% - Pass/Rush TDs: 13/4 - Yds/Catch: 11.0 - Yds/Rush: 3.9
HC Joe Philbin takes over for Tony Sparano, who was fired after four seasons with the Dolphins
. Philbin was the OC for the Packers
, though he didn't call the plays in Green Bay. The newly-hired OC Mike Sherman spent six years as the head coach of the Packers; his teams finished in the top 6 in points scored four times in that span. He served as the Texans
OC for two seasons before becoming the head coach for Texas A&M. He spent four years at A&M and coached the Dolphins' first round draft pick, QB Ryan Tannehill
, for his entire college career. Tannehill comes to Miami already very familiar with Sherman's version of the West Coast offense.
2011 Pass/Rush: 50.1%/49.9% - Pass/Rush TDs: 20/11 - Yds/Catch: 12.2 - Yds/Rush: 4.2
HC Leslie Frazier enters his 2nd full season as the lead man in Minnesota. He was formerly the team's defensive coordinator. OC Bill Musgrave is in his 2nd year; he led the Vikings
to a 10-spot (#29 to #19) improvement in points scored despite rookie Christian Ponder
taking over at QB.
2011 Pass/Rush: 53.3%/46.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 20/18 - Yds/Catch: 11.4 - Yds/Rush: 5.2
HC Bill Belichick is in his 13th season as the Patriots' head coach and is a great defensive mind. OC Josh McDaniels replaces Bill O'Brien as the team's offensive coordinator/QB coach, and will handle the playcalling duties. During his run from 2005 to 2008 as the Patriots' de facto OC, the team finished in the top 10 in points scored for four consecutive seasons. He spent the 2009 season and part of the 2010 season as the HC for the Broncos
. He then served as OC for the Rams
in 2011. His offenses have not had much success outside of New England, but then again, he was working with QBs like Kyle Orton
and Sam Bradford
instead of Tom Brady
. He should pick up where he left off in 2008.
2011 Pass/Rush: 58.3%/41.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 39/18 - Yds/Catch: 13.1 - Yds/Rush: 4.0
Linebackers coach Joe Vitt takes over as interim HC for Sean Payton, who has been suspended for the year as part of the Saints' bounty scandal. Vitt himself is suspended for the first six games of the season, so O-line coach Aaron Kromer will fill in while Vitt is out. OC Pete Carmichael is entering his 4th season with the Saints
and took over playcalling duties when Sean Payton injured his leg in the middle of 2011. He continued to call the plays for the rest of the season and postseason.
2011 Pass/Rush: 60.6%/39.4% - Pass/Rush TDs: 46/16 - Yds/Catch: 11.7 - Yds/Rush: 4.9
HC Tom Coughlin enters his 9th season with the Giants
. OC Kevin Gilbride is in his 6th season running the Giants' offense. Expect more of the same from the G-Men.
2011 Pass/Rush: 58.9%/41.1% - Pass/Rush TDs: 29/17 - Yds/Catch: 13.7 - Yds/Rush: 3.5
HC Rex Ryan is in his 4th year as head coach for the Jets
after a disappointing 8-8 season in 2011. Ryan was the Ravens' defensive coordinator for four seasons and is a great defensive mind. OC Tony Sparano joins the Jets
after a three-plus year stint as the Dolphins' head coach. He has a run-first mentality, which fits in with the Jets' conservative approach.
2011 Pass/Rush: 55.3%/44.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 26/14 - Yds/Catch: 11.4 - Yds/Rush: 3.8
HC Dennis Allen is in his first year as the Raiders' lead man. He's young (39), but has previous coaching experience with the Saints
, and was most recently the defensive coordinator for the Broncos
in 2011. OC Greg Knapp was most recently the QB coach for the Texans
, but was the OC in San Francisco (2001-2003), Atlanta (2004-2006), Oakland (2007-2008) and Seattle (2009). Knapp and Allen know each other from their days with the Falcons
. In nine seasons as an OC, his offenses had an average ranking of #17 in points scored and #15 in total yards. He intends to install a run-first offense that is "explosive" in the passing game, but the plan is to go with a zone blocking system, which may negatively impact Darren McFadden
in the running game.
2011 Pass/Rush: 52.8%/47.2% - Pass/Rush TDs: 19/16 - Yds/Catch: 13.0 - Yds/Rush: 4.5
HC Andy Reid is in his 14th season with the Eagles
. OC Marty Mornhinweg enters his 6th season as the team's offensive coordinator. Like Reid, Mornhinweg is another long-time disciple of the West Coast offensive system.
2011 Pass/Rush: 55.2%/44.8% - Pass/Rush TDs: 22/20 - Yds/Catch: 13.0 - Yds/Rush: 5.1
HC Mike Tomlin is in his 6th season running the Steelers
and has enjoyed great success. OC Todd Haley joins the Steelers
after being ousted as the Chiefs' HC in the middle of the 2011 season. He ran the Cardinals' offense in 2007 and 2008; those teams finished #7 and #3 in scoring, respectively. When he was the HC for the Chiefs
, they improved from #23 in scoring in 2009 to #14 in in 2010.
2011 Pass/Rush: 55.3%/44.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 21/13 - Yds/Catch: 12.6 - Yds/Rush: 4.4
HC Norv Turner is in his 6th season with the Chargers
, but has previously been the HC for the Redskins
(1994-2000) and the Raiders
(2004-2005). He calls the plays for the Chargers
. OC Hal Hunter was promoted from offensive line coach to OC this season. Under Turner, the Chargers
have had a top 5 scoring offense for five consecutive seasons.
2011 Pass/Rush: 57.3%/42.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 27/16 - Yds/Catch: 12.6 - Yds/Rush: 4.3
HC Pete Carroll enters his 3rd season with the Seahawks
after leaving USC with a decade of head coaching experience. OC Darrell Bevell is now in his second season after coming over from the Vikings
. He has a West Coast background, but the Seahawks
run more than most teams due to limitations at QB (though that may change if Matt Flynn
is under center). Assistant HC Tom Cable and Marshawn Lynch
helped to revitalize the rushing attack in 2011, and both return in 2012.
2011 Pass/Rush: 53.3%/46.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 15/15 - Yds/Catch: 11.5 - Yds/Rush: 3.9
HC Jim Harbaugh is in his second season running the 49ers
after a terrific rookie year where he guided his team to the NFC Championship Game. OC Greg Roman came over from Stanford with Harbaugh. Due to Alex Smith
's limitations at QB, the 49ers
had the 3rd-most run-oriented offense in 2011, rushing the ball on 52.3% of their offensive plays. The team has stressed the receiver position this offense, and may open things up as their confidence in Smith grows.
2011 Pass/Rush: 47.7%/52.3% - Pass/Rush TDs: 18/14 - Yds/Catch: 11.5 - Yds/Rush: 4.1
HC Jeff Fisher joins the Rams
after a very long tenure as the Titans' lead man. Prior to becoming Tennessee's head coach, he coached defense and will likely exercise a heavy hand on that side of the ball with new DC Gregg Williams suspended indefinitely due to the bounty scandal in New Orleans. OC Brian Shottenheimer comes over from the Jets
after a rough 2011 as New York's offensive coordinator. In six seasons guiding the Jets' offense, his teams had an average ranking of #16 in scoring and #21 in total yards gained. His offense is similar to the one the Rams
utilized in Sam Bradford
's rookie season, and the QB is happy about it.
2011 Pass/Rush: 57.3%/42.7% - Pass/Rush TDs: 9/7 - Yds/Catch: 11.2 - Yds/Rush: 4.1
HC Greg Schiano takes over as head coach for the Buccaneers
after a long stint as the HC at Rutgers. He has a defensive background. OC Mike Sullivan will run the offense after coaching the Giants
wide receivers and QBs. Sullivan learned under Giants
OC Kevin Gilbride, so expect a similar offensive attack.
2011 Pass/Rush: 63.0%/37.0% - Pass/Rush TDs: 17/9 - Yds/Catch: 10.5 - Yds/Rush: 4.2
HC Mike Munchak is in his 2nd season as the Titans
head coach after taking over for Jeff Fisher, with whom he worked for for 14 years. OC Chris Palmer enters his 2nd season as the Titans' offensive coordinator. The Titans
threw more than expected in 2012, but finished #21 in points scored and #17 in total yards. Palmer has 20 years of NFL experience developing QBs Eli Manning
and Tony Romo
among others, so he should be good for young QB Jake Locker
2011 Pass/Rush: 60.9%/39.1% - Pass/Rush TDs: 22/8 - Yds/Catch: 11.7 - Yds/Rush: 3.8
HC Mike Shannahan is in his 3rd season with the Redskins
after a year out of coaching. Shannahan coached 12 years for the Broncos
and is known for a run-heavy West Coast offense, although in 2010 and 2011 the Redskins
were one of the pass-heaviest teams in the league. OC Kyle Shannahan enters his 3rd year with the Redskins
and is the son of HC Mike Shannahan. Kyle runs a West Coast offense which is less run-oriented than his father's version, posting a 61%/39% split in 2011.
2011 Pass/Rush: 59.5%/40.5% - Pass/Rush TDs: 19/8 - Yds/Catch: 11.7 - Yds/Rush: 4.0