FanPost

Defining Elite in 2012

It's been a LOOONG time since I have written a fan post of any kind. Heck in three years I haven't posted a tonne of responses either (although I can reference Guppy without looking it up and wonder what happened to Anne Retart? :-} ). Ok credential's aside, (if those count as any, which in reality they don't) I've been thinking a lot about the HC situation and discussion that has been happening here on AP. And I keep getting hung up on Elite. As it seems that word gets bandied around like a ping pong ball, quite a bit these days.

A lot of AP'ers have been saying they want an Elite HC. And Romeo isn't it. But what does that mean? And more importantly who does that refer to? Read on after the Jump and lets figure it out (if we can) together, and if we can't well, lets have a good discussion anyway.

*** Warning this is not a short read***

Ok, So if we ask my good friend Webster (and no I don't mean this guy)

840114_medium

via www.sitcomsonline.com

then Elite is defined as:

1. The choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons.

or

2. The persons of the highest class.

So what we get is the person who is collectively thought of as the best and classiest at something. Extrapolating from that to the NFL is a little tricker. I think the best (in the football world) is considered going to and winning the SB, Elite deals with going to and winning the big game multiple times. By that standard, the truly Elite HC's are a very small number. Instead I'm thinking that there are levels of best. For the sake of this article I'll attempt is to examine Elite through the lens of W/L record, Division Titles, Conference and SB**. I'll examine those names who are bandied around as the Coaches AP'ers want to see as the new HC, compared to Romeo, and compared to those HC's that seem to be uniformly regarded as elite that are still coaching. Of course this is all open to interpretation.

**Full disclosure here: I'm using www.pro-football-reference.com as my main source of information.

Point 1: Coaches AP'ers talk about as opposed to RAC.

First off I'll just say that I'm not going to examine any Coordinators as it's hard to really figure out how to compare them. They controlled one aspect of their teams, that (if we are talking about them as possible HC's) has performed well. But IF they make the move to HC there's just too much unknown's to decide if they'll make an elite HC (See Todd Haley, McDouche bag). That said, it seems in terms of HC's that folks most want to see, or discuss the most as Elite (or argue the most about as elite) and going solely on reading many posts, threads and responses, are:

Jeff Fisher, Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden (and I'm going to throw in Marty too as he's mentioned [more out of reminiscence than reality] and is our winningest coach ever). So lets compare them.

Coach

Seasons (as HC)

W/L Record

Playoff Appearances/

Division Titles

Post Season Record

SB Appearances

SB Wins

Fisher

16.5 (Houston and Tenn)

142-120 (.542)

6 apps

4 titles

11(games)

5-6

1

0

Cowher

15 (Steelers)

149 - 90 (.623)

10 apps

9 titles

21(games)

12-9

2

1

Gruden

10 (Oak and TB)

95 - 81 (.540)

5 apps

5 titles

9 (games)

5-4

1

1

Marty

24.5 (Cle, KC, SD, and Wash)

200-126-1

(.613)

13 apps

8 titles

18(games)

5-13

0

0

Going by SB's Cowher and Gruden are Elite. Going by Post Season, Cowher is Elite, Fisher and Gruden are relatively close and Marty (although constantly got his teams there), just couldn't win in the Post Season. Going by seasonal W/L record, Cowher and Marty are Elite and Fisher and Gruden are interchangeable. Also of importance is that when you look at overall records, Marty in 25 season had 2 (yup that's it!) losing seasons. One was his final season with KC and one was his 2nd season with SD. Pretty amazing. Cowher had 2, Fisher 6, and Gruden had 3.

But you also have to look at when they went to the SB. In other words how long did it take them? Cowher went to the Big Game in his 4th year but didn't return till his 14th. Fisher went in his 6th year and never returned. Gruden went in his 5th year (1st with TB) and never returned. Also of note the team Gruden left (Oakland) went the year he left... And Marty as we know, never went.

So what does this all mean? Fisher did go to the Big Game, but his average W/L record, and Post Season teams, I think, don't put him in the Elite status. Cowher went twice but twice in 15 years! Yet if you look at the teams he built they were continually strong, and continually missing 1 thing. A franchise QB. It took them drafting a Big Ben to become the dominate powerhouse they now are. They always had amazing D's. But now under Tomlin, they've gone to the SB twice and are now making a 3rd run. We'll examine that in a bit. Gruden? Well Gruden has close to the same W/L ratio as Fisher, but in less time. All of his Post Season appearances were due to winning his division, and he's 1 for 1 in SB's. Not too shabby. Does that make him Elite?

And in the end... Cowher and Gruden aren't coming back. Fischer wants an established QB situation - which we do not have. So getting rid of those three candidates who would you rather have? What other Elite Coaches are out there to be had? And do we need someone who is, by this analysis, considered Elite?

Point 2: Current 'Elite' Coaches.

So who's an Elite coach that is currently in the game? No, not one we are going to get, but one whom we can measure Elite by? Tomlin? Bellicheck? Peyton? McCarthy? Coughlin? Lets look at those guys and find out why.

Coach

Seasons (as HC)

W/L Record

Playoff Appearances/

Division Titles

Post Season Record

SB Appearances

SB Wins

Tomlin

5 (Steelers)

55-25 (.688)

4 apps

4 titles

7(games)

5-2

2

1-1

McCarthy

6 (Packers)

63-33

(.656)

4 apps

3 titles

7(games)

5-2

1

1-0

Payton

6 (Saints)

62-34

(.646)

4 apps

4 titles

6(games)

4-2

1

1-0

Belicheck

17 (Cle/NE)

175-97

(.643)

11 apps

10 titles

21(games)

15-6

4

3-1

Coughlin

16 (jags/NY)

142-114

(.555)

8 apps

7 titles

15(games)

8-7

1

1-0

Looking at these Coaches, there are some things that we can easily extrapolate.

1) They stay with their respective teams for a long time - no hire/fire merry go around.

2) That's because they WIN. And win a lot.

3) Which means they go to the Post Season often and most of the time (if not all the time) by winning their respective divisions.

4) All of them have a franchise QB. And all the teams (accept the Saints) drafted their QBotF! From there it gets a little trickier; Coughlin, and Belicheck drafted their QB's, Payton got his outta FA (but gambled on Brees being the ONE), Tomlin and McCarthy had their respective QB's on the team.

5) Tomlin, McCarthy and Payton all came up from other non HC'ing jobs but all had experience in the league. Belicheck and Coughlin were on their second HC'ing jobs (having failed the first go around) proving they learned a lot from their first exerpiences. Remove Cleveland from Belicheck's w/l record and he's got a ridiculous 139-53 record (.747). Remove the Jags from Coughlin's record and he's 74-54 (.578), but has gone to the playoffs 5 times in 7 years with the Giants.

6) None of these guys came from College before HC'ing.

So in terms of Elite, I'd put all these guys up there. Coughlin might be a stretch but his teams (with the Giants) compete and get into the playoffs.

In Conclusion:

Is there an Elite coach out there to be had? Tough to say, but I'm going to say no. Fisher and Gruden just aren't on the same level as the above coaches. Gruden's HC'd two teams, and after going to the SB, was worse on TB than on Oakland. Fisher, could become that Elite HC we want - but he had a long time in Houston/Tenn and his record compared to those who are Elite, doesn't put him in that group. Cowher isn't coming here. And if he was? Would he have the fire to go back to the big game? Marty? Well I love me some Marty but that's cuz I grew up on him. And really, we know he isn't coming back.

One thing's for certain, compare all these guys with Romeo, and the Elite HC's have Elite QB's. For Romeo to succeed, we need one! You can't just look at RAC's time in Cle and say he's going to do mediocre. As per Belicheck and Coughlin, the second time around they went to the next level. Could there be an Elite HC out there who's a Coordinator now? Sure. But for that guy to succeed we need (you guessed it) an Elite QB. And personally I'd like to draft one, 29 years is long enough! Could that person be another Haley? That's a possibility too. But Haley picked up this team with a lot of major problems, not the least of which was a loosing mentality. And has left it in a better place for the next HC.

Maybe Haley will prove to be an Elite HC with his next team. Maybe not. But to find out if Romeo can be that guy - based on what he's done with our D, continuity (no more of this coaching ring-around-the-posey) and the player's response to him in the last three games of the season - we need a QBotF.

Ok AP. Have at it.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Arrowhead Pride

You must be a member of Arrowhead Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arrowhead Pride. You should read them.

Join Arrowhead Pride

You must be a member of Arrowhead Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arrowhead Pride. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker