Offensive Head Coaching Prospects for 2011

A look around the NFL's play callers, offensive coordinators, ordered by scoring per game as of week 7.
I'm estimating much of the experience years, they should be within 1 or 2 years, but probably not all exact.

    Play Caller [age], Where From
    Offensive Coordinator[age] ( years as at NFL ), Where From if Not the PC
    Rank in Yards per Game
    QB ( years as for team )

    My Thoughts

    # - Will not be a candidate
    ## - Would be surprising
    ### - Could be interviewed, perhaps in the mix
    #### - Will be interviewed, in the mix
    ##### - In the serious running

    * - Terrible Candidate
    ** - Bad Hire
    *** - Not a bad hire, but could do better
    **** - Good Hire
    ***** - Great Hire

    Bill O'Brien [40] - GTech, Maryland, Duke, [12 in college] Patriots [4th with Pats]
    Tom Brady ( 10 )

    O'Brien was the OC with GTech and with Duke before jumping to the Patriots as an assistant and then WR and QB coach. He's an intriguing option and part of me believes that Belichick purposely did not give him the title of offensive coordinator so that he could keep him a couple more years than the brutal carousel the Patriots have experienced lately.

    I don't think he'll be jumping this year or next.


    Tom Moore [72]

    I'm not going to do much here, Tom Moore is 72.


3. Tenn
    Mike Heimerdinger [58], Tons of College, Denver, Tennessee, Jets, Tennessee
    [Same] (11), 2000-2004,2006-Present with Titans, Duke & Rice
    Vince Young ( 3 )

    I am not a huge fan of Heimerdinger, he runs a ball control offense that goes hand in hand with a field position defense. I generally call these "opportunistic" offenses, ones that take advantage of certain situations but are otherwise conservative. I do not want the next 49ers mind to be like this.


4. Jets
    Brian Schottenheimer [37], 4 years of College ( assistant ), QB coach for 5 with Wash/San under Marty, 4 with Jets
    [Same] (5), 2006-Present with Jets
    Mark Sanchez ( 2 )

    I go back and forth on Brian ( son of Marty ), I've always hated Marty. I think he personifies the conservative "we'll pull it out in the 4th quarter" old-school attitude that does not consistently win divisions, playoff games, or super bowls. That being said, Brian is not Marty, he is extremely knowledgeable about offense and it's fun to watch him slide pieces around the board to get mismatches and try for big plays.  I also think he has gotten the absolute most out of Sanchez thus far.


5. Chargers
    Norv Turner [58], Bunch of College and Pros
    Clarence Shelmon [58] (4), Bunch of College, Bunch of NFL as RB Coach
    Philip Rivers ( 7 )

    I think we all know of Norv. Has anyone heard of Clarence Shelmon? Not much to see here, an extremely talented team offensively, they have produced through different coaches.

    * ( Shelmon, not Turner )

6. Eagles
    Andy Reid [52], 10 years of College, 20 in Pros
    Marty Mornhinweg [48], 10 in college, 15 in Pros
    Kolb/Vick (1)

    I really like Morninweg as an OC, and the 49ers could do worse than him as a HC. However, I really really don't see that happening, there's just too great a risk of embarrassment. I realize that any logical fan would want that to be the last thing on the owner's mind, but in reality, it is likely in every decision they make now. No one in the building has the rings or years to be trusted through any more failures.


7. Texans
    Rick Dennison [52], 95-2008 with Broncos, 2009+ with Texans
    [same] (4), 3 years with Denver, 2010 with Texans
    Matt Schaub (4)

    Definitely have my eye on Dennison, but I was never all that impressed with him in Denver. I think he's a middle of the road coach. The 49ers could do worse. I do think the Texans ( like the Chargers ) are a turn-key set of players, they produced before him, and they'll produce after he's gone.


8. Lions
    Scott Linehan [47], 12 in College, 9 in Pros
    [same] ( 9 ), Vikings, Dolphins, Rams, Lions
    Stafford (2)

    A pretty good offensive mind, absolutely failed as a HC.


9. Packers
    Mike McCarthy [46], 3 in college, 17 in pros
    Joe Philbin [49] (4), 2007- with Packers as OC, history is 16 years in college, 8 in pros
    Rodgers (3)

    I don't know much about Philbin


10. Steelers
    Bruce Arians [58], 10 in college, 22 in pros
    [same] (7), A few years in college, Cleveland 2001-2003, Steelers 2007-
    Roethlisberger (7)

    From everything I glean from interviews, most of the Steelers production in the passing play comes from a playground style extension of the called plays. That's not something you can rely on with just any QB or just any WRs.


11. Giants
    Kevin Gilbride [59], 12 in college, 20 in pros
    [same] (14), With a bunch of teams, 2004- with Giants
    Eli Manning (7)

    I come from a family of Giants fans, so I follow them pretty closely. I do not think Gilbride would make a good HC. I'm also not a huge fan of the way he calls a game.


12. Falcons
    Mike Mularkey [49], 16 in pros
    [same] (9), Steelers, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons 2008-
    Matt Ryan (3)

    I'm not personally the biggest fan of Mularkey, I think he falls into that "play to the level of your opponent" offensive style. Also don't think he's a legitimate candidate for the Yorks like Morninweg after his over-his-head performance as Bills HC.


13. Saints
    Sean Peyton [47], 8 in college, 14 in pros
    Pete Carmichael Jr. [39] (2), as OC 2009- with Saints, History: 6 in college, 10 in pros
    Drew Brees (5)

    Peyton sometimes seems like a genius and sometimes looks like a fool. I'm not sure which of his traits his understudy would have. Carmichael took over for Doug Marrone who left to take over Syracuse, I doubt he's all that experienced or ready to be an OC let alone a HC.


14. Chiefs
    Todd Haley [43], 10 in pros
    Charlie Weis [54] (9), Jets, Pats, Chiefs, History: 25 years in pros and that ND stint
    Matt Cassel(2)

    Haley and Weis actually split play-calling ( at least that's what they say ). They're both superb play callers. Weis has no chance of being an nfl head coach again for at least a few years ( and I really doubt he'd ever want to be at this point, he didn't handle the stress well )


15. Broncos
    Josh McDaniels [34], 10 in pros
    Mike McCoy [38] (2), Brocos 2009-, History: 11 in pros
    Kyle Orton(2)

    I know nothing about McCoy and what his actual job entails with Denver. They have no running game, but are consistently hitting on deep passes.


16. Cowboys
    Jason Garett [44], 6 in Pros
    [same](4), Cowboys 2007-
    Tony Romo (5)

    Garett always reminds me of Sean Peyton in how he calls a game. I think there is potential in him in that aspect, but I do not think he has the same personality as Peyton that allows him to be a HC.


17. Bengals
    Bob Bratkowski [55], 10 in college, 18 in pros
    [same] (14), Cinci 2001- Seahawks, 95-98
    Carson Palmer (7)

    Another coordinator that I'm just not a huge fan of how he calls games, they're very inconsistent and have a really hard time sustaining drives.


18. Raiders

    moving along.

19. Seahawks
    Jeremy Bates[34], 8 pros, 1 college
    [same] (1) Seahawks 2010-
    Hasselbeck (10)

    Carroll brought Bates with him from USC, this is his first year calling plays at the NFL and they haven't been great. Definitely someone to keep an eye on though in 2 or 3 years.


20. Redskins
    Mike Shanahan[58], 8 college, 26 pros
    Kyle Shanahan[31] (3), Houston 2008-2009, Washington 2010-, History: 7 in Pros

    Kyle is perhaps the most intruiging coaching prospect for me, he came into Houston the year after Schaub had come in and really turned that offense around. Son of a great offensive mind, there is a 100% chance he will be a HC somewhere someday ( my guess is that he will eventually take over for Mike in Washington while he slowly gets more and more responsibility from him in the meantime. ). I don't think the 49ers have the trust from the fans enough or just the sheer ownership power to hire a 31 year old HC. Wouldn't be shocked for him to start seeing more HC interviews this off season though.


21. Bears
    Mike Martz [59], 15 college, 18 pros
    [same] (11), Rams 99-05, Lions 06-07, 49ers, Bears

    We all now Martz, runs a system that can only really be functional with certain QBs and WRs. Gets QBs injured, doesn't deal with other opinions well.


23. Ravens
    Cam Cameron [49], 16 college, 9 pros
    [same] (9), Chargers 2002-2006, Dolphins, Ravens 2008-

    Another guy who looked great with the turnkey Chargers, but has looked ok ( at best ) since. I thought he'd mesh well with the defensive head coach style the 49ers ( and Ravens ) run, so far he absolutely has. I wouldn't want him as the HC though, and I can't imagine the fans or ownership would either. I think even the Baltimore players ( despite winning ) are getting frustrated by the conservative atmosphere.

    they also have Hue Jackson, but I think he needs to be an OC before being a HC candidate.


24. Dolphins
    Dan Henning [68]

    I'll stop right here, 68 is too old.

25. Cardinals
    Ken Whisenhunt [48], 2 in college, 13 in pros

    Stopping early again, Whisenhunt calls the plays and is the offensive coordinator. There are no candidates to look at here.


26. Bills
    Curtis Modkins [?], 6 in collge, 3 in pros
    [same] (1), Bills 2010-
    Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Yea, I'm not sure who he is or what even qualified him for this position. Definitely not an option at this point.


27. Vikings
    Brad Childress[54], 17 college, 11 pros
    Darrell Bevell[40], History: 3 college, 11 pros
    Brett Favre(2)

    Bevell is a former QB, was an assistant with the Pack under Sherman, and now with Childress. I don't really consider either of them great teachers, so I don't consider him a candidate right now.


28. Rams
    Pat Shurmur[45], 11 pros
    [same] (2), Rams 2009-

    Shurmur is a very interesting candidate, 9 years under Andy Reid as QB coach. There is a 100% chance he is eventually a head-coach somewhere, just a question of where and when. He's done a great job with Bradford already. I don't know much about his personality and whether it would apply well as a HC.


29. Bucs
    Greg Olson[47], ???
    [same] (3) Bucs 2008-

    Another candidate with very little info. Can't imagine he'd be a candidate.


30. 49ers
    Mike Johnson[43]

    Even if the 49ers offense turned around, I still don't see how they'd keep Singletary. At that point perhaps they interview Johnson as one of the candidates.


31. Browns
    Brian Daboll[35], 11 pros
    [same] (2), Browns 2009-

    A promising candidate that Mangini has pulled with him from the Patriots staff in the earl 2000s. Hasn't shown enough in Cleveland yet, but could be because of a serious lack of offensive talent.


32. Panthers
    Jeff Davidson[43], pros 15 years
    [same] (4), Panthers 2007-

    Davidson has run a 1 dimensional offense even when he had receiving threats and relied heavily on Delhomme and Smith to manufacture a passing game on the fly. An absolutely horrific offense at this point.


Out of Work Head Coaches

The 49ers are not the Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Patriots, or Jets. They don't have pockets flush with cash, they don't own ( or even share ) a massive east coast media market. They have a long history of hiring first time head-coaches. So, don't get your hopes up for any of these guys ( not that I think there are many even worth getting your hopes up for ).

    He will never be a coach again, move on.

    He will never be a head coach again, move on.

    He's not going to move to the west coast, he's going to command a huge salary with high paid coordinators. IF he comes back at all it will be with the Giants or Cowboys. I'd say he isn't going to come back ( because of his wife's death ), but if he does it'd be with the Giants where he can have power and money.

Tony Dungy:
    Really? Seriously? Do any fans really want Tony Dungy to be the head coach? Too old, too soft, relied much much too heavily on Peyton Manning in the 2nd half of his career. He was a really great coach for about 4 years with Tampa.

Marty Schottenheimer:
    Yes, he won a lot in San Diego, so has Norv, big deal. If you give Schottenheimer a team with talent they will produce wins, but they will always play to the level of their competition, looks great when they pull out a few close games in a row, then terrible when they don't. His 5-13 playoff record is a shining example of how this philosophy works in the playoffs.

Jon Gruden:
    There are many good things about Gruden, he's a great strategist, makes good adjustments in-game, he's 100% all-in with what he is doing, he's still young enough to live and breathe football. He has lived on the west coast before and I don't think he'd command the kind of salary some of the other big names would. His one fatal flaw of course is that he has not developed or found a QB.

Brian Billick
    In my opinion Billick is a very good analyst, and a pretty poor head coach. It would be one thing if he wasn't really given a chance to prove his value as a head coach, but he had eight years. It's hard for me to believe that failing at producing a decent offense in 8 years with a good GM would turn around with the 49ers in a year or two. The second thing, is that he's 56. Coaches really start to go down once they pass their mid 50's simply on not being able to put in the time and effort.

College Head Coaches

Jim Harbaugh:
    He seems to be THE college candidate this year. Stanford outperforms its talent on both sides of the ball, he has a loud/energetic personality that the successful young coaches in the NFL have all had. He had a long career as an NFL QB, comes from a football family, and his brother is winning with the Ravens. Runs a pro-style offense. He will get interviewed by many NFL teams this off-season and the 49ers will be one of them. He is my #1 candidate, but if Jerry Jones comes in and offers 10mil/yr...


Likihood to get Interviewed
##### - Gruden, Harbaugh
#### - Dennison, B. Schottenheimer, Shurmur
### - O'Brien, K. Shanahan, Mornhinweg, Garett, Gilbride, Arians, Mularkey

( These are all white coaches, I'm not sure who the minority candidate(s) would be at the moment, but will add them in as I find them ).

My Personal Ranking of them as potential HCs
***** - Harbaugh
**** - Gruden
*** - B. Schottenheimer, Shurmur, Dennison, Mornhinweg, Shanahan

I'll be adding more in depth details and performance history of these candidates moving forward, who else would you like to see?

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

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