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There’S Not Much Evidence A New Coach Will Help The Jets, 49Ers Or Falcons


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FiveThirtyEight (ESPN)

By Neil Paine

It’s Black Monday — the day after the NFL’s regular season concludes — when 20 to 25 percent of teams (usually of the non-playoff-bound variety) have historically begun their offseason by firing (or otherwise parting ways with) their head coaches. This year, the New York Jets have fired Rex Ryan, Mike Smith is out in Atlanta and Jim Harbaugh left the San Francisco 49ers in a mutual split. Further changes may be coming.

Teams don’t take these coaching changes lightly, but for all the focus on the coaching carousel, it’s been difficult for researchers to figure out how much who’s wearing the headset matters.

Teams that change coaches have a strong tendency to improve the following season, which could be taken as prima facie evidence that swapping in a new coach makes a profound difference. But it also could simply be the residue of regression to the mean. A poor record is generally required for a team to consider dismissing its coach, but much of the differences in NFL team records is due to luck and not the comparative skill levels of the teams themselves. When that luck evens out, the team appears to improve, even if its underlying skill didn’t change all that much.

And this phenomena is essentially what the research on NFL coaching changes has found. Although the average team to change coaches since 1994 has seen its winning percentage improve from .383 to .428 the next season, that’s mostly regression to the mean at work. In fact, once we account for the teams’ previous Elo ratings and the inexorable pull that a .500 record exerts on NFL teams from year to year, there’s little evidence that changing coaches helps teams at all.

The aforementioned sample of teams had an average Elo rating of 1437 at the end of the regular season with their old coach, which tends to translate to a .463 winning percentage the following year whether a team changes coaches or not. But the season after making the change, those teams averaged a .428 winning percentage — about 35 points lower than we’d have expected based on their previous Elo ratings. This may speak to broader institutional issues that are correlated with coaching changes but beyond the influence of the coach himself, such as dysfunctional ownership, a poor general manager or players who consistently win less than point-differential-based metrics would predict.

These types of findings lend credence to the theory that NFL coaching changes offer franchises little more than the illusion of control over their future. While it may feel satisfying to fans and owners to fire a coach after a disappointing season, it’s tough to quantify the real benefits of such a move — if any even exist.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/theres-not-much-evidence-a-new-coach-will-help-the-jets-49ers-or-falcons/

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Whatever, We got better the following season after we dumped Reeves, and Petrino left. We made the playoffs both seasons and it was hard to find a worse situation than ours in 2008.

New coaches help teams all the time. Heck, the Dolphins went 1-15 didn't they and made the playoffs the next yr. Just recently you got Caldwell, Pagano, Harbaugh (both), Kelly, McCoy, Reid, Ariens turning around teams. Sure some continue to be messes especially in Oakland, Jacksonville, Tennessee, but many have been sucessful. Even Marrone and O'brien have done good jobs too just haven't made the playoffs.

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It worked for the Bills, Cardinals, eagles, Chiefs & Colts

Part of what makes me roll my eyes about articles like this is they don't account for things like what happened with the Colts...going from Peyton Manning to....whoever the **** was there in 2011..to Andrew Luck.

Coaching had little to do with it considering they are built to win with average talent everywhere except QB.

Edited by FalconAge
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Clock management could've meant the difference in being in the playoffs this year. Not too many decent coaches would have mismanagged the clock like Smitty did this year. We can't just attribute one loss yesterday as a reason we are not in the playoffs. So, yeah, a different coach this year could've been the difference between being 6-10 and being 9-7 or 10-6. Coaches have to have BALLS to make one or two big time game decisions and Smitty's decisions were just not cutting it for us.

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If the NFL could be perfectly predicted by fancy stats, there would be no reason to play the games.

There were at least 3 additional wins this team could have had this year if not for coaching mistakes. This is the human factor that no stat can ever predict. In addition, there are other intangibles such as the coin toss, weather, injury factors that no stat can ever calculate beforehand.

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Clock management could've meant the difference in being in the playoffs this year. Not too many decent coaches would have mismanagged the clock like Smitty did this year. We can't just attribute one loss yesterday as a reason we are not in the playoffs. So, yeah, a different coach this year could've been the difference between being 6-10 and being 9-7 or 10-6. Coaches have to have BALLS to make one or two big time game decisions and Smitty's decisions were just not cutting it for us.

This is all true.

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Well I guarantee you one thing, we aren't going to a superbowl next year. *smh*

someone did a study already and unless you go to the playoffs the year before, you have a much lower chance of going to superbowl... I always said this, Blank is looking for 2017 to be a big year, and that means we better win a superbowl before 2016 is over. So he's expecting playoffs next year and superbowl the next.

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Consider this: The last time the Falcons hired an established "NFL Head Coach" with experience was back when we hired Dan Reeves. The result - a Super Bowl appearance.

Since then here's the list of hired coaches:

Jim Mora - No NFL Head Coaching experience

Bobby Petrino - No NFL Head Coaching experience

Mike Smith - No NFL Head Coaching experience (However, after the Petrino debacle, did manage to become ATL's winningest coach and longest tenure)

I think we go with experience and that points to Rex Ryan.

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