In football as in life change is inevitable and as dynasty player, we know this all too well. As change comes we must adjust in a game that is vastly different from year to year we try to find ways to stay ahead of the competition to have an edge on our league-mates. I put together a list of coaching changes and the impact on the dynasty community. Now although it’s so early and we don’t have all the pieces in place a quick breakdown of the eighteen new offensive coordinators around the league can only help dynasty owners be more aware of what to expect in 2018.
Mike McCoy – Bruce Arians walked away from the Cardinals on his own terms at the end of the year retiring and leaving behind a veteran team with no leadership at head coach or quarterback after Carson Palmer also retired. Arizona hired defensive-minded head coach Steve Wilks away from the Carolina Panthers who recently filled his staff hiring Mike McCoy who was fired in November as the Broncos O.C. McCoy took over in Denver after being fired by the Chargers as the head coach and with below average QB play and a six-game losing streak was let go in Denver. McCoy has experience with multiple NFL offensive philosophies most notably being the West Coast system but also has familiarity with the vertical passing attack and even spread offense in Denver where he worked with Tim Tebow. McCoy best quality around the league has been his ability to adjust to his personnel on offense and he has experience working with QBs ranging from Phillip Rivers to Tim Tebow. At this point who knows who ends up being the QB of the Cardinals, it seems at this point McCoy will adjust the offense to play to the style of the new head coach which is likely run the ball and play defense. The Cardinals are an offense I would be worried about in 2018 as it’s more than likely a rookie QB is starting but with David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald still around it’s very likely McCoy will create enough of an offense to produce some solid fantasy production for our dynasty teams.
Brian Daboll – Western NY native Daboll returns to Buffalo as the new O.C. Daboll has had quite a year winning both last years Super Bowl with the Patriots and the National Championship this season as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. Working under two of the most winning coaches at each level is a big bonus. While at Bama Daboll’ offense was 15th in scoring and 13th in rushing nothing to write home about given the talent in Tuscaloosa. Daboll has four years of experience as an NFL O.C with the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs none of which went particularly well. Taking over a Bills offense that was mediocre at best last season and all but guaranteed to have a new QB in 2018. Daboll has his work cut out for him but working with McDaniels in New England and learning college concepts in his time at Alabama should benefit him in Buffalo. I wouldn’t expect much change in 2018 unfortunately for the Bills the offense should run through LeSean McCoy again with the passing game being spotty at best.
Todd Haley – Almost nothing has gone right for the Browns under Hue Jackson and a 1-31 record just about sums that up. Multiple underachieving QBs, a fired GM and tons of draft capital leave Browns fans frustrated. Enter Todd Haley who takes over as the new O.C for divisional rival Browns after leaving Pittsburgh where he spent six seasons. Haley is most notably credited for changing Ben Roethlisberger’ style and quick release in the pocket to extend his career. Haley’ offenses have finished in the top ten in four of six seasons in the steel city while finishing in the top five once. Although Pittsburgh wasn’t able to win a Championship in his time there Haley most recently he claimed he “did his job and then some” while serving as the O.C. Haley also claimed he had something to do with the development of Antonio Brown into the all-pro he is today. As a person, Todd Haley isn’t the most likable guy but as an offensive football coach, he is very well respected. Some would say with the talent on Pittsburgh’s offense that Haley underperformed as a play caller but that’s all in the past now while he takes over a young Browns offense they have dynamic talent and whether they give DeShone Kizer another shot or draft a QB at first overall he will have a chance to turn around another offense.
Mark Helfrich – Matt Nagy takes over for John Fox in the Windy City after a few really disappointing years for the Bears. Helfrich comes from Oregon where he served as Chip Kelly’s O.C from 2009 – 2012 in that span during the 2012 campaign the Ducks averaged nearly 50 points per game and over 530 yards per game. Kelly left for the NFL and Helfrich took over as Head Coach going 37-16 and coaching the Ducks to a National Championship appearance while coaching Marcus Mariota during his Heisman season. Helfrich was with Oregon when they reached four straight bowl games and three straight Pac-12 titles. The Helfrich hire by new coach Matt Nagy is an interesting one as NFL offenses are making an effort to be so dynamic and add college concepts which Helrich has plenty of experience with spending his entire coaching career at the college level. We saw some of Chip Kelly’s offensive concepts be very successful in his first few seasons with the Eagles it turned out Kelly just wasn’t the greatest head coach I always thought he would make a great O.C if he ever accepted that role. This is one of my favorite and most underrated coaching change of the 2018 season there’s nowhere to go but up for the Bears offense under surprising rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky. Extremely likely the Bears add a top end WR either through the draft or free agency with the return of Cam Meredith and a two-headed monster at RB they can make a huge turnaround for dynasty owners in 2018.
Norv Turner – The 2017 season was a make or break one for the Panthers offense, two years removed from Cam Newton’ MVP season the offense took a massive step back. Now whether we wanna blame this regression on coaching, personnel or Cam’s injuries the fact remained dynasty owners felt it. Mike Shula was criticized for his failure to adjust in Super Bowl 50 which led to a loss for the Panthers in a very winnable game had many Panthers fans frustrated, to say the least. It has seemed like the last two seasons in Charlotte Shula was coaching on borrowed time there was hope for the Panthers offense when they added both Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel in last years draft. Two dynamic talents who could play both in the backfield and as pass catchers gave the Panthers a new wrinkle but again last year the Panthers were mediocre at best in 2017. Shula’ offense finished 19th in total offense last year and after a first-round exit and a third loss to the Saints in 2017 he was fired after the season. Carolina turned to veteran offensive mind Norv Turner who had stepped away from coaching over a year ago but returns to take over a talented core. Turner has worked with multiple NFL teams as both a head coach and O.C most recently with the Vikings during the rookie campaign of Teddy Bridgewater. Turner’ offenses excelled with the Chargers as head coach but since has hit a rough patch while his teams have finished outside of the top 15 in points from 2012-2016. The Panthers are built to play defense and run the ball but as the NFL is changing and their defense is getting older it’s evident with the pieces on offense they need to become an explosive offense again like they were in 2015. Ron Rivera was quoted as saying “ Truthfully, the offense we’ve run was basically born from what Norv has been doing for years”. Rivera believes this fit works and I have to hope Turner will make Cam a better QB and get the most out of him.
Green Bay Packers
Joe Philbin – Now I realize some of these breakdowns are long and I wanna be able to help as much as I can but unfortunately some of these “changes” aren’t really changes at all and there’s very little to say. Joe Philbin returns to GB to coach with Mike McCarthy who will call plays as he always has. Philbin has been with the Packers in some coaching role for 10 years and was there for the lone Super Bowl appearance and win for McCarthy and Rodgers. Philbin has tons of respect and experience in the league and likely helps with the game plan every week but this changes nothing in Green Bay business as usual for the Packers.
Nick Sirianni – I was truly hoping to write about Josh McDaniels and whoever he hired in this spot but unfortunately that isn’t the case. The Colts after being screwed over by McDaniels hired Frank Reich who spent his time under Doug Pederson with the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Reich’ experience in the NFL as a player and coach are endless working with Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and turning backup Nick Foles into a Super Bowl MVP. Sirianni worked with Reich while coaching the Chargers offense from 2013-2015. Reich has praised Sirianni as one of the great young offensive minds in the league and is expected to help Reich turn the Colts into a high powered attacking offense like the Eagles were this year. Sirianni worked with the Chargers WRs this past season and helped with leading Keenan Allen to 102 catches and nearly 1,400 yards as well as developing Tyrell Williams. The key to a successful Colts season will once again rely on the health of Andrew Luck. Given the recent success Reich has had in Philadelphia it should give dynasty owners real hope that all the shares of the Colts passing game pieces will boost their value in 2018.
Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Bieniemy – Matt Nagy earned himself a head coaching job this season with the Chiefs making that back to back offensive coordinators getting a head coaching job after working with Andy Reid. The Chiefs are undergoing big changes with Mahomes taking over and now another new O.C. Eric Bieniemy will be taking over the offense in Kansas City after coaching the RBs since 2013. Bieniemy has coached the likes of Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles to 1,000+ yard seasons. The Chiefs offense will run through Andy Reid again most likely at this point Bieniemy may just be given a title I would expect a different Chiefs offense in 2018 with Mahomes basically being a rookie QB I wouldn’t worry too much about the coordinator change if fantasy numbers are down next year.
Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Kromer/Shane Waldron – Sean McVay is pegged as an offensive genius when he took over the Rams and backed that claim up by turning the Rams offense from worst to first while winning NFL coach of the year. This didn’t go unnoticed around the league as both Matt LaFleur and Greg Olson left for new jobs after helping on McVay’ offensive staff this year. Kromer and Waldron will serve as run and pass game coordinators respectively but make no mistakes it’s McVay’ offense and he will continue to call the plays for the Rams. I expect a dip in production for the Rams next season most likely just because of how high they set the bar this season but there is nothing to worry about with the changes to the offensive staff in L.A.
Dowell Loggains – Loggains was let go along with John Fox when the Bears cleaned house after this season. The Miami Dolphins offense couldn’t have been worse last season with the expectations going into 2017. Adam Gase took most of the blame as he should have he’s been mediocre at best since arriving in South Beach. Dowell Loggains was with Gase in Chicago when he turned around Jay Cutler and for both Miami fans and dynasty owners WRs alike we can only hope the two can work their magic again in 2018. It’s likely a make or break year for Gase and his staff with Loggains offense being criticized last year in Chicago it’s likely many people aren’t excited about this move for Miami. I would almost guarantee Gase still calls plays with Loggains being responsible for much of the weekly game plan and coaching Ryan Tannehill or whoever is the starter next season. Loggains did a nice job with rookie Mitchell Trubisky last year given his lack of talent on the offense so there’s some hope that paired with Gase again he can get the most out of the Dolphins offense and put up some consistent fantasy numbers for our dynasty teams in 2018.
John DeFilippo – After a very successful 2017 season Vikings O.C Pat Shurmur lands another head coaching job taking over as the Giants coach heading into 2018. The Vikings hired away Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo to replace Shurmur as the play caller. DeFilippo helped bring along second-year breakout QB Carson Wentz and when Nick Foles was forced to step in as the backup he made sure he was also ready to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl run. With little experience as a play caller outside of 2015 where he coached a pitiful Browns offense led by Johnny Manziel and a suspended Josh Gordon, there’s reason for skepticism. Spending a season under Doug Peterson and Frank Reich should do him good as far as his growth as a coach. DeFilippo has experience mainly in the West Coast scheme and has familiarity with mobile QBs. It appears as of now Case Keenum is the favorite to return to Minnesota and start next year but it’s fair to say, Bridgewater, if he is resigned may fit DeFillipo’ scheme better. Regardless of who the QB is in 2018, the Vikings are in a good situation on offense with Thielen and playoff hero Stefon Diggs on the outside along with dynamic rookie Dalvin Cook returning from injury there could once again be a dynasty friendly offense in Minnesota next season.
New York Giants
Mike Shula – The Giants pulled the plug on the MacAdoo experiment as rumors of him losing the locker room around midseason surfaced. The injuries along with bad play and coaching called for a major change for the Giants heading into 2018. The Giants turned to Pat Shurmur who turned around a lackluster Vikings offense to one of the more explosive attacks a season ago. Shurmur turned to recently fired Mike Shula to head his offense while taking over a talented Giants offense. Shula spent the past few seasons with Cam Newton and the Panthers leading Newton to an MVP season in 2015 while heading up a top 10 rushing offense his last three seasons with Carolina. While Shula has the experience as a play caller it’s likely Shurmur handles that and Shula will be the QB coach and in charge of much of the week to week game plans. Shula wasn’t loved by Panthers fans but he has a wealth of experience in the NFL and can be a huge asset to Eli Manning and potentially a rookie QB to keep the Giants offense dynasty relevant especially with OBJ returning from injury in 2018. Shurmur revival of Case Keenum in 2017 should give owners hope that Eli can turn it around with the weapons the Giants have in the passing game. The Giants have a chance to be a dynamic offense in 2018 under Shurmur and Shula and offer a nice buy-low opportunity for dynasty owners this offseason.
New York Jets
Jeremy Bates – Another change in New York under defensive guru Todd Bowles. Starting with Chan Gailey moving to Johnny Morton and now in 2018 promoting QB coach Jeremy Bates to offensive coordinator. The Jets offense had their moments a year ago with veteran journeyman Josh McCown leading a surprising offensive attack at times. Bates is a Mike Shanahan disciple and is familiar with that offensive system. There are so many question marks for the Jets with very little question they either draft or sign a QB soon the offense should look completely different than it did this past season. My personal prediction is Kirk Cousins lands in NY which would be a solid fit for coach and player having familiarity with the same system. Many coaches and former players have boasted about Bates as a coach and leader. The Jets offense likely moves on from Matt Forte opening up room for a new starter at RB and could also add a WR through free agency or the draft to pair with Robby Anderson and bounce back TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. There isn’t much excitement for dynasty owners heading into the 2018 season for the Jets with uncertainty at QB and going with their third different play caller in three seasons.
Greg Olson – The big news the football world was waiting for finally happened Jon Gruden returned to coaching to take over the Raiders. Gruden coached the Buccaneers to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII and outside of that he isn’t the savior many Raiders fans believe he is but there’s one thing he knows and that is offense. Gruden brings with him Greg Olson who leaves the Rams where he coached Jared Goff to one of the most surprising bounce-back seasons in some time. Olson was with Gruden in Tampa Bay during the Super Bowl year and has spent time turning around bad offenses during his coaching career. Olson turned around the Jaguars, Rams and was also with the Raiders when Derek Carr was a rookie. Carr disappointing season in 2017 was aggravating to many dynasty owners but the news of Olson returning and Gruden coming in should get him and the Raiders explosive offense back on the right track. Gruden will call plays but the experience and familiarity of Olson with Carr and the Raiders should pay dividends into making the Raiders a fantasy friendly offense again in 2018. Rumors of Michael Crabtree not returning and the uncertainty of Marshawn Lynch loom over the Raiders but excitement is in the air nonetheless with Gruden coming back to Oakland in hopes he will if nothing else get this offense figured out. I expect a big bounce back for the Raiders from a dynasty perspective next season.
Vacant – The Eagles job is still up in the air after losing multiple offensive assistants to other teams after winning the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson will remain the play caller and it’s likely this job is filled in-house much like Andy Reid does who Pederson formerly worked for. Duce Staley is the in-house favorite with his familiarity with the Eagles and he did a great job coaching the RBs last season. after losing Darren Sproles Staley found a way to get a free agent RB (Blount), mid-season traded RB (Ajayi) and an undrafted free agent RB (Clement) to all buy into a team philosophy and help make a Super Bowl run. There shouldn’t be much change in Philadelphia this is Doug Pederson’ offense and many of the Eagles offensive starters will return in 2018.
Randy Fichtner – After another disappointing early playoff exit the Steelers are going through a change on offense. Todd Haley had his contract expire after this season and moved on to the Browns to be the play caller. The Steelers promoted QB coach Randy Fichtner to offensive coordinator for the 2018 season. The Steelers are absolutely loaded on offense and losing such a big ego and personality like Haley could be a good thing going forward for the Steelers. Here is what we know about the Steelers Big Ben will throw for 30+ touchdowns, Le’Veon Bell is going to be near the top of the league in all-purpose yards and Antonio Brown will likely lead the league in receiving. This offense is a machine and will continue to run itself this move changes nothing for me all the Steelers are still very highly valued in dynasty leagues.
Brian Schottenheimer – Seattle’ offense needed a youth movement after the past two seasons and took a step in that direction by firing Darrell Bevell after missing the playoffs this season. It’s been apparent the regression of Seattle’s offense in the past few seasons under Bevell and the increased pressure on Russell Wilson to perform. Seattle hasn’t been able to run the football effectively in either of the past two seasons which effectively cost Bevell his job. Seattle hired Brian Schottenheimer who was formerly with the Jets as the offensive coordinator when he took Mark Sanchez to back to back AFC championship games. Schottenheimer has experience as a play caller with the Rams in 2012-2014. This move doesn’t seem like the most attractive among Seahawks fans or dynasty owners but a youth movement and change can only help this sputtering offense. When Schottenheimer was with the Jets the running game was obviously a focus with Mark Sanchez at QB but he made it work. The Seattle offense could be a quick fix this offseason it can be as simple as scheme change along the offensive line or adding a rookie RB. It seems obvious with any threat of a running game Russell Wilson can return to fantasy dominance in 2018. It will be interesting to see the moves the Seahawks make through the draft and free agency to the offense before anyone can get too excited about a turn around next season. I expect a boost to the run game with Schottenheimer taking over which that in itself could help Wilson tremendously as a passer. I see no reason to downgrade Wilson or Baldwin going into next season at this point you are throwing a dart of who will be the most effective Seahawks running back next year or who even makes the roster at this point.
Matt LaFleur – Bizzare year in Tennessee after making it to the second round of the playoffs Mike Mularkey and his staff were let go. The move was applauded by all dynasty owners as Mariota took a big step back while the Titans finished 23rd in total offense. The Titans hired Mike Vrabel away from divisional rival Houston and Vrabel brought in Matt LaFleur who served as the Rams O.C under Sean McVay in 2017. LaFleur and McVay worked together to help a Rams offense go from worst to first in scoring. LaFleur worked closely with Goff and also has experience working with Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Mariota should see his fantasy production instantly improve in 2018 under new coaching. Vrabel has insisted when looking for an offensive coordinator he was looking for a dynamic play caller which is music to Titans fans ears after suffering through a very run-heavy approach under Mike Mularkey the past few seasons. The Titans likely move on from DeMarco Murray and feature Derrick Henry and second-year WR Corey Davis as key pieces to their offensive attack next season. Mariota paired with LaFleur and concepts he learned under McVay should leave dynasty owners really excited for a Titans offense in 2018.
This officially wraps up one of my longest articles ever for Dynasty Nerds. I hope this can help during the offseason and with your rookie draft preparation. Breaking down all the moving pieces after the NFL Draft and free agency will put this all together on what to expect heading into 2018. This piece was fun for me and as a dynasty owner, it’s important to know the coaches as much as it is the players sometimes. The rookie season is officially upon us as dynasty players the wealth of knowledge we can obtain is key to winning your leagues and having an upper hand on league mates. Good luck this offseason Nerds I’ll be putting out content all offseason to help in any and every way I can.