Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
The NFL has nine new coaches this year. We all saw most of this coming....but, what is surprising is the attempt by NFL owners to bring in new faces...those who have not been head coaches...those virtually in obscurity in their DC positions. Tomlin was a DB coach at Tampa and then chosen as a DC by Brad Childress in Minnesota. He had players older than he.
Now, I have said for years that the NFL recycles old coaches like beer cans...but no more.
Here are some of the fresh faces around the league and what I think of them of course.
We might as well start with the best. The only thing that I find wrong with Tomlin is he is a Pittsburgh Steeler....I'm just not a fan of the team.
But, you gotta give it to Tomlin. Two years in his new position and a playoff appearance and a Super Bowl Championship.
I remember when the Rooney's were interviewing Tomlin...I initially didn't remember him...and vaguely remember him on the Gruden staff that won the Super Bowl.
The message boards were tearing Tomlin up..."no one is going to hire this guy. The Rooneys just have to interview a black candidate. Well, suddenly Tomlin got a second interview and Rooney himself said he was, "just impressed." The fit seemed too good....the rest is history.
But, what maybe lost here is this coaches' demeanor...his quiet swagger....his obvious confidence.
I love to hear him speak...I love his outlook on life. Without a doubt he is my favorite Coach in the NFL and my favorite newcomer even though it happened two years ago.
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
John Harbaugh was a virtual unknown too...a coach of the DBs and special teams. An assistant originally hired by Ray Rhodes with the Philadelphia Eagles and then retained by Andy Reid. But, again the theme here is not even a coordinator...but a new face with fresh ideas hopefully. I didn't think much of the move except I knew Brian Billick wasn't long for the position. But, you have to give Harbaugh credit...in his first year he takes them to the AFC Championship Game with a rookie QB. You have to say this was a very good move by the powers that be with the RavensReheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I am not sure about Coach Morris...in a matter of weeks he goes from getting promoted to DC to then interviewing and getting the head coaching job. I can't knock him for that though. Everyone should sieze their oppotunities. He is the youngest coach in the NFL now. So far though I haven't been terribly impressed. I want to seed what the season does for him. Does he emerge as a leader? He has named his starting QB in Leftwich...a reject of their northern counterparts the Jacksonville jaguars.
Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos
So far McDaniels seems as arrogant as his former boss. He is an example fast track promotions through the NFL and facing nothing that has humbled him yet. I think it was bad move to let egos get in the way and get rid of the franschise QB...but then I think it was a bad move to entertain conversation to get Matt Cassel. All of this and I think the Broncos are in for a long season...and I think McDaniels will be the first to go in this group of young guns....