Well, here we are. The final part of our month long series “Gotta Do Better”. So far, we have looked at quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. So, for our fourth and final installment, we are going to take a look at coaches who have no choice but to step it up in 2016.
Chip Kelly: San Francisco
Honestly, I’m left kind of wondering how Kelly got another NFL job in the first place. He may have left Philadelphia with an overall winning record (26-21), but in the process, he destabilized the roster when he shipped off big named playmakers such as LeSean McCoy (Bills) and DeSean Jackson (Redskins), as well as creating a whole heap of locker room discourse.
Kelly has now entered himself into a bleak situation with the 49ers. Their defense is still feeling the hurt from the rash of players who last off-season either retired or left for greener pastures in free agency. Then, there’s their offense, which is about as certain at quarterback as the weatherman is forecasting next month (Seriously, what is going on with Colin Kap?). That, along with being completely devoid of playmakers makes for a team with a ton of problems.
If Kelly wants to stick around in the NFL past this season, he is going to have to find a way to bring stability under center, and bleed as much production from a young, yet mostly under achieving supporting cast.
Jeff Fisher: Los Angeles
First off, it felt kind of weird to write ‘Los Angeles’ in the line above, but let’s not get hung up on that.
The Ram’s brass has been very kind to Jeff Fisher with the support they have shown him over the last 4 years, despite not having once delivered them a winning season. This is a very rare show of faith in what is typically a win-now-or-else type of atmosphere throughout the league.
Fisher has built himself one of the most fearsome defenses in the league, made all the better with 2014 first round draft pick Aaron Donald simply dominating opposing offensive lines. Yet Fisher has yet to fashion together an offense that can consistently put points on the board, which puts all the more pressure on his defense.
Fisher and the Rams have made it clear (for now at least) that Case Keenum is going to be starting under center in week 1. That could change depending on how the draft works out. L.A is expected to take a quarterback, but nobody is quite sure when.
The Rams currently hold the 15th overall pick. Most mocks have them either taking Lynch in the first or Cook/Prescott in the second-fourth rounds. However, if Jared Goff or Carson Wentz face an Aaron Rodgers style draft day slide, don’t be surprised if they decide to pull the trigger on one of them and force Keenum down the depth chart.
If Fisher wants to be the Head Coach in L.A next year, he has to get into that 9 or 10 win column, or else the patience the Rams have shown him thus far could run out.
Rex Ryan: Buffalo
You almost feel bad for Ryan. The guy has so much charisma and is rarely seen without a smile on his face. Luckily, I’m a Patriots fan, and I would drink Rex’s tears like the blood of Christ.
Ryan went into Buffalo knowing that the quarterback situation was a little murky, but still with the expectation that his defensive scheme was going to dominate as it was being carried out by one of the league’s top units in 2014. Unfortunately, many players found Ryan’s system to be much too complicated, and often limited a player’s ability to ‘just play the game’.
Now, the situation in Buffalo is even bleaker than before. Mario Williams, Chris Hogan, and Nigel Bradham among others have all flown the coop, and Ryan has to fill those holes with acquisitions that are unlikely to deliver the same kind of production.
Ryan isn’t going to have a whole lot to work with, but even with all that considered, nothing short of a playoff berth is going to keep Ryan is Buffalo past 2016.
Gus Bradley: Jacksonville
It feels like I have to put Bradley on this list, but I don’t think it will matter come the end of this next season. Thanks to a few well-made draft selections, Bradley now has himself a franchise quarterback in Blake Bortles, three field stretching and end-zone targets in Julias Thomas, Allen Robinson and Dennard Robison, and a young running back with huge upside in T.J Yeldon.
Even though their offense took a huge leap forward last year, the absolutely dreadful play of the defense is what ultimately lost them games. However, since then the Jaguars have acquired defensive tackle Malik Jackson from Denver as well as former New York Giants corner Prince Amukamara. 2015 first round pick Dante Fowler Jr. is also set for a return.
Bradley has proven he can get this offense going. Now, he has to prove that the defense can flourish under his leadership. I believe it will, and that this team is going to be dangerous next year. But, only time will tell.
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Penguin Tundra Sports Blog was created in 2016 by a very bored college student who was obsessed with Rugby and Football. That same college student knew how to write pseudo-intelligently, so what better way to show off than to create a blog. Along your journey though the Tundra's domain, you may come across outlandish opinions, horrible spelling errors, and some shit that is just outright wrong. Well then, you should comment, give my blog more attention, and we will have our day in internet court. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy talking about sports as much as I do.
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