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Front office ‘blowups’ haven’t been very successful since 2007

Over at, they have some interesting numbers regarding the success (and failure) of bringing in a new coach and general manager at the same time.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers-Press Conference Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Over at, Tom Pelissero took a look at the upcoming potential head coach and general manager pairings going into the offseason. This isn’t particularly relevant to the San Francisco 49ers, who are still in their first season with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, replacing Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly, who replaced Trent Baalke and Jim Tomsula, who replaced Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh.

But there are some interesting things to note from the piece. Pelissero suggests that there have been 31 “blowups” in the NFL since the offseason following the 2007 season. That is to say, 31 times a team has cleaned house on the general manager and head coach, bringing in a new pair. That’s three per year, turning over “nearly the equivalent of the entire league in a decade,” Pelissero notes.

Seventeen of those “blowups” had a general manager hire the head coach, or something close to it. Of all the blowups, though, Pelissero notes that just eight of the 31 coach-general manager duos over that time frame combined to produce a winning record.

And not all of those duos kept their jobs. Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke produced a Super Bowl-bound team, and we’re still broken up for various terrible reasons. Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson had a winning record when Grigson was fired.

Of course, these numbers could have a lot to do with the fact that these are poorly-run organizations altogether. The nature of a “blowup” is that the franchise is failing (again, outside of Harbaugh, who was fired out of what appears to be sheer petulance than anything else) and the odds are against whoever is picking up the pieces.

Still, it’s an interesting read that also goes into some of the top candidate pairings to watch for this offseason. Give it a look.