|Written by Michael Amato|
|Tuesday, 05 February 2013 22:51|
NFL Coaching Carousel Fantasy Implications
The Cardinals offense in 2012 was ranked second from the bottom in points per game and dead last in yardage per game. Ken Whisenhunt will now be taking over as offensive co-ordinator for the San Diego Chargers, who finished just ahead of Arizona in yardage per contest. Not exactly an upgrade on the Chargers part is it.
While Whisenhunt has had some decent success running offenses over the years, Bruce Arians has a much better reputation with quarterbacks. He was Peyton Manning’s first quarterback coach when he broke into the NFL with the Colts, and did great work with Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh as well. Not to mention the job he did filling in for Chuck Pagano in 2012 with the Colts. Andrew Luck looked like a seasoned veteran under his watch throwing for over 4,300 yards and 23 touchdowns. You would have to believe Arians could at least make Kevin Kolb, who would figure to be ahead of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley on the depth chart, look serviceable. There is also the possibility that the Cardinals could draft or acquire another quarterback to compete for the starting job in 2013. Either way expect improved play at the position under Arians this season.
Another player Arians should help is Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals standout had the fewest catches he has had in a season since 2006, and only 798 yards and four touchdowns. If Arians can help Fitzgerald the way he revived Reggie Wayne last year in Indianapolis, who had over 100 catches and 1,300 yards receiving, Fitzgerald owners will be very pleased.
Buffalo Bills: Chan Gailey out – Doug Marrone in
Marrone comes over from the University of Syracuse where he loved to throw the football. The Orange averaged 289 passing yards per game in 2012 which was good enough for 29th in the nation, and quarterback Ryan Nassib threw for over 3,700 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Marrone also was the offensive co-ordinator for the New Orleans Saints pass happy offense from 2006-08. He might be able to provide some stability to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s game if he is retained at quarterback, but C.J. Spiller fans might want to be cautious. Spiller could become the feature back under Marrone, but still may not see heavy carries.
Chicago Bears: Lovie Smith out – Marc Trestman in
Trestman comes in as the polar opposite to the defensive minded Lovie Smith. His work with quarterbacks over the years should come as a welcome sign to both Bears fans and Jay Cutler owners. Trestman is fresh off of a five-year stint coaching the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League where he led the team to two Grey Cup titles.
Trestman was instrumental in developing Bernie Kosar at the University of Miami and helped Jake Plummer to a 3,737 yard passing season with the Arizona Cardinals. He also worked with Steve Young in San Francisco and was the offensive co-ordinator in Oakland when Rich Gannon won the MVP in 2002. Look for Jay Cutler to become much more consistent and polished under Trestman’s watch.
Cleveland Browns: Pat Shurmur out – Rob Chudzinski in
Chudzinski is an offensive guru that should breathe some much needed life into the Cleveland Browns organization. He was actually in Cleveland earlier in his coaching career as an offensive co-ordinator from 2007-08. In fact, in 2007 the Browns were eighth in the NFL in total offense and sent four players from the offensive side of the ball to the Pro Bowl, including quarterback Derek Anderson. Yes you read that right; Derek Anderson did indeed make a Pro Bowl.
The best thing about Chudzinski just may be his versatility. He was able to do wonders for a pocket passer like Anderson, and while serving as offensive co-ordinator for the Carolina Panthers, helped Cam Newton to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. If Chudzinski’s track record holds true, Brandon Weeden could be an interesting sleeper for the 2013 fantasy football season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Mike Mularkey out – Gus Bradley in
Bradley should help improve a Jaguars defense that ranked 28th in the league last season. He just spent the past four years as defensive co-ordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, who led the NFL in total defense in 2012 while giving up only 15 points a game. The Seahawks also had arguably the best secondary in the league and finished in the top 10 in interceptions.
The Jaguars were one of five teams that didn’t record a defensive touchdown last year, so Bradley should be able to at least improve on that slightly. You may not want to rely on Jacksonville as your main defense in 2013, but they could be an interesting play against weaker offensive opponents, as well as during bye weeks where strong defenses are at a premium.
Kansas City Chiefs: Romeo Crennel out – Andy Reid in
Reid will be facing a serious challenge in Kansas City to improve an offense that was dead last in the NFL in 2012. The Chiefs only averaged a measly 13 points a game and were only converting third downs at a rate of 33%. A major issue was the play at quarterback as Matt Cassel had the worst QBR of any starter last year, and backup Brady Quinn threw just two touchdowns to eight interceptions in relief. There is a strong chance Reid will bring in his own guy either through the draft or via free agency to be the quarterback in 2013. However, unless his name is Joe Montana or Dan Marino, there are probably not enough weapons in Kansas City to merit making him your fantasy starter next year.
One player that should benefit from Reid rather quickly is Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs running back had over 1,500 yards last season and finished fourth in rushing. Reid typically is a pass first coach, but with all the new faces that should be arriving in Kansas City, expect him to rely on Charles heavily until everyone gets used to his system. Reid also should help Charles when it comes to catching balls out of the backfield, as he was great at transforming Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy into dual threats in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid out – Chip Kelly in
The Eagles have a lot of solid pieces in place that should make Kelly’s job a little easier. Last year, at the University of Oregon, Kelly ran an offense that ranked second in the nation with an average of 49.6 points per game, and third in rushing with 315 yards per contest. It remains to be seen whether or not quarterback Michael Vick will be back next season since he is scheduled to make over $15M, but Kelly’s offense usually requires a mobile signal caller, so keeping Vick is not out of the question. There have also been rumours of the Eagles targeting Dennis Dixon, who flourished under Kelly at Oregon in 2007 and became a Heisman contender.
Kelly’s biggest impact could be with LeSean McCoy, since he differs from Reid when it comes to running the ball. Kelly is a run first guy and in 2012 at Oregon running back Kenjon Barner put up over 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns. If McCoy can stay healthy in 2013, look for him to be in the top five in rushing.
San Diego Chargers: Norv Turner out – Mike McCoy in
McCoy is similar to the aforementioned Chudzinski in how both have had great success working with different types of quarterbacks. McCoy helped Kyle Orton have a career year in 2009 and essentially changed the Broncos entire offense last year to at least make Tim Tebow look respectable for a short while. Of course this year Peyton Manning enjoyed a bounce back campaign under McCoy as well.
There is a strong chance that Philip Rivers will return to form as a top ten quarterback and a serviceable fantasy option in 2013 with McCoy at the helm. Rivers has really struggled with interceptions in recent years, so if nothing else McCoy should at least be able to help limit those going forward. McCoy’s familiarity with the AFC West should make the transition for Rivers and the rest of the Chargers a little smoother.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 22:53|