By HCR Staff | August 25, 2019
Bruce Arians – he’s not a perfect game manager, but he has the clear ability to inject confidence into his teams. Personally, he’s an assertive type, and that’s how his teams play. We feel he is a significant upgrade over Dirk Koetter, and expect the Buccaneers to surprise.
Matt Nagy – Nagy obviously is showing a lot of early promise after a successful debut with the Bears. One thing we noticed, however, is that once he runs out of scripted plays to begin the game, he can struggle to adjust to game conditions. Like Sean McVay, Nagy comes across as very authentic and earnest with his staff and players, and thus far, that is working well for him. There now exists a lot of excitement around the Bears, and Nagy is responsible for that.
Dan Quinn – Quinn is relentlessly upbeat, like his mentor Pete Carroll. His players respect him, and he has an indefatigable spirit. We’d like to see a little bit more consistency of performance from his squads, but we also recognize that he has had some coordinator struggles.
Ron Rivera – Rivera is much like the defensive version of Bruce Arians. He is going to bring a very specific brand of football to the field, but we end up questioning his in-game judgment a little more than we would like. We like that he finally made a change at offensive coordinator, and with a healthy Cam Newton back at quarterback, we feel the Panthers will contend this season.
Kyle Shanahan – while his overall record is not good, it must be kept in mind that he took over a talent depleted squad. Combine that with the fact that the 49ers’ leadership is relatively inexperienced, and one can see why he’s had a slow start. Additionally, Shanahan has had tremendously bad injury luck. We feel he is equivalent to Sean McVay as an offensive mastermind, and if the 49ers can stay healthy this season, we expect to see better results.
Mike Tomlin – it might seem a bit strange to see a super bowl-winning head coach this low in our groupings, but we feel that Tomlin has some issues to address, and fast. Tomlin is not a good game manager, and we have always wondered about the level of discipline and control he has over his locker room. He benefits greatly from the most stable ownership in the league, as well as a terrific general manager in Kevin Colbert who consistently delivers high-quality talent.
Mike Zimmer – Zimmer is an old-school tough guy who knows how to coach an excellent defense, but he always is going to struggle relating to precisely what he wants out of his offense. He gives off the impression that he’s just one of those types of defensive coaches that happens to hate offensive football. Notwithstanding this, Zimmer has brought a sense of urgent purpose to the entire organization, as well as a much-needed edge. He is stubborn and most significantly, impatient. But that is exactly what we feel the Vikings need.
Anthony Lynn– he still makes too many game management mistakes for our liking, but he clearly has improved from his rookie season. Most importantly, he’s perceived as a very good leader for the entire organization. As a former player, he garners a different type of respect from his players, and as a person, he comes across with tremendous authenticity. We expect to see continued improvement from him in his game management, and the entire organization flies enough under the radar that Lynn does not have to deal with the same level of expectation that some other coaches must confront.
Frank Reich– like Lynn, Reich is a longtime former NFL player, and his experience as a quarterback certainly must help Andrew Luck. Reich exudes a very calm demeanor, and even though he had a couple of egregious game management errors last season, we see great promise. Most importantly, he has a terrific working relationship with Chris Ballard, who is one of the brightest young general managers in the game. The Colts are going to be a team to reckon with for a long time.
Bill O’Brien – he’s proven adept at taking over tough situations, and providing a good framework for a turnaround. However, we wonder if he has hit a ceiling, and it doesn’t help that he also is the de facto general manager.