Has the game passed older coaches by?


On this week’s podcast, we break down the early playoff picture, dish on future head coaches and discuss Week 13.

Coaching changes are on the horizon. It’s a matter of when not if certain coaches will get canned but what’s the story with the incoming class of head coaches? Unlike years before there isn’t a wide swath of home run candidate. Outside of Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, no single coach at the NFL or college level stands out as someone that teams will be falling over themselves to hire.

The inspiration for this thought was Cleveland. Hue Jackson is almost certainly going to be fired, but who will replace him? One name that Browns fans should research is Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. He’s a sneaky choice to pluck from the Belichick coaching tree and is a low profile enough hire that we could be talking about him next year the same way we are Sean McVay right now.

One thing Cleveland and other teams can’t do is go to a stale well of older head coaches. Jon Gruden and others are sexy picks but there’s an argument to be made that the game has passed them by. Nothing against coaches we grew to love in the late 90s and into the 2000s, but the game is different now and guys like Mike Shanahan, Jeff Fisher, Rex Ryan, and others who had success in another decade failed to adapt. There’s a reason Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and Dan Quinn are leading the next generation of head coaches — teams need to find one of those and stop digging up fossils in the hope of turning back the clock.

Among this and other topics we discussed:

  • Breaking down the playoff picture (1:15)
  • What’s Jimmy Garoppolo’s future in San Francisco? (6:10)
  • Chip Kelly belongs at UCLA, not the NFL (9:30)
  • Jason Garrett’s job security in Dallas (11:30)
  • How talented is the incoming NFL head coaching class? (13:40)
  • Has the game passed by older coaches? (17:30)
  • Should Cleveland hire Mike Vrabel as head coach? (18:30)
  • Week 13 picks and predictions (20:15)
    • Verderame melts down about the Chiefs (29:55)
    • Is Matthew Stafford responsible for Lions struggles? (43:20)
    • Who wins: Vikings or Falcons? (46:20)
    • Can the Panthers go into New Orleans and win? (56:47)

That’s just the cliff notes version, in case you’re in a pinch and can only dig into the meatiest parts of the podcast. Every game is broken down (yes, even the Browns-Chargers funeral) so the whole episode is worth a listen.

If you want to be a part of the show, feel free to hit us up on Twitter. Find myself (@jdavhill) and Matt (@MattVerderame) to discuss any and all things you agree or disagree with. There’s no such thing as a dumb conversation. Send them your questions or suggestions and become a part of the show.

Check out Stacking The Box every Tuesday morning on iTunes.

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