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inthemud

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« : December 27, 2011, 08:48:27 PM »

“Football Freakonomics”: Does Firing Your Head Coach Fix Anything?
STEPHEN J. DUBNER
12/24/2011 | 9:03 am

‘Tis the season – for the firing of head coaches, that is. In the space of two weeks, three teams – the Jaguars, Chiefs, and Dolphins – canned their top man.
Allow me to make two seemingly contradictory points:
  • An NFL head coach is probably the most influential, hands-on coach in the four major sports; but:
  • Firing the head coach of a bad team probably does a lot less to improve that team than most of us think.
Our latest “Football Freakonomics” segment (video below) asks whether firing a head coach really does much to improve a team’s chances – or if it’s simply the standard move for losing organizations, meant to appease critics in the media, the stands, and even the locker room.
First, let’s look at some numbers: between 2000 and 2010, there were 17 coaches fired during the season. Teams that went 47-105 (.309) before the firing went 43-77 (.358) with a new guy. That’s a pretty significant improvement, no? Indeed, the 4-9 Dolphins last week won their first game under interim coach Todd Bowles while the 5-8 Chiefs, under interim coach Romeo Crenell, beat previously undefeated Green Bay!
But: whoa. There are at least three reasons to think that coaching changes have significantly less impact than teams would like to think.
 
  • Regression to the mean: teams that have done very badly for a long time are more likely to win a bit more in the future, whether they get a new coach or not. Sadly, the opposite is also true for winning teams.
  • As Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times points out in our video, most former NFL Coaches of the Year are eventually fired. Did they suddenly forget how to coach? Did their brilliant strategies evaporate? Or, more likely, was their former winning a consequence of a lot of factors that went well beyond coaching?
  • It is hard in general to satisfactorily measure leadership – whether we’re talking about a football coach, a CEO, or the President of the United States – but a variety of empirical research shows that an institution’s top man or woman is seldom as influential as we think. It’s a natural inclination to pin a lot of blame (or, occasionally, glory) on the figurehead. But just as the President don’t actually have much control over the economy, a football coach has limited control over his team’s outcome.
That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of vital duties performed by a coach; of course there are. And some coaches are plainly much better than others. But a losing team that blindly fires its head coach without looking for the real reasons behind its stinky record is a bit like someone with a high fever tossing the thermometer in the trash.

http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/12/24/%E2%80%9Cfootball-freakonomics%E2%80%9D-does-firing-your-head-coach-fix-anything/

lolTampa

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« #1 : December 27, 2011, 08:49:35 PM »

If your the Bucs it does


TheChronicHotAir

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« #2 : December 27, 2011, 08:52:09 PM »

Welcome to the board, Raheem.


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« #3 : December 27, 2011, 08:52:25 PM »

I absolutely love the work that Dubner and Levitt do with their Freakonomics series, but this article was basically a whole lot of nothing.


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« #4 : December 27, 2011, 08:52:47 PM »

Even good coaches get fired. Sometime it's just time to go. Like Dungy.

Raheem just isn't ready yet and shouldn't have been hired in the first place. 

inthemud

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« #5 : December 27, 2011, 08:53:37 PM »

If your the Bucs it does

It did not fix it by firing Gruden. Firing Morris is not a guaranteed cure all.

inthemud

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« #6 : December 27, 2011, 08:55:05 PM »

I absolutely love the work that Dubner and Levitt do with their Freakonomics series, but this article was basically a whole lot of nothing.

Same here. Usually they have many more numbers to back up their assertions. This article was lacking but I thought it was fitting.

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« #7 : December 27, 2011, 08:55:24 PM »

If your the Bucs it does

It did not fix it by firing Gruden. Firing Morris is not a guaranteed cure all.

Firing Gruden was the wrong choice in the first place


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« #8 : December 27, 2011, 08:55:50 PM »

Anyone else hear Rock Riley tell the Raheem hiring and Gruden firing story today?

Even Raheem couldn't believe what they were saying. Me, the head coach?

Glazers need to steer clear of football decisions.

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« #9 : December 27, 2011, 08:56:48 PM »

If your the 49ers it does...

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« #10 : December 27, 2011, 08:57:37 PM »

well. a .05% isnt what Id call significant by any means. Thats 1 more game a year at best.

Once you consider theres usually a fair amount of roster change or scheme changes, it may then be significant, but without that information Id say its minimal at best. That doesnt mean the teams should stick with what they got either though.



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inthemud

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« #11 : December 27, 2011, 08:58:29 PM »

Welcome to the board, Raheem.

I am of the opinion that Raheem should be let go. However, I am not of the opinion that it will cure our program. We have just as much of a chance of losing if we brought in a big named coach with experience. A once successful coach is not a guarantee to be successful again.

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« #12 : December 27, 2011, 09:00:35 PM »

In the Bucs case... only if the owners actually spend money.


inthemud

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« #13 : December 27, 2011, 09:07:11 PM »

In the Bucs case... only if the owners actually spend money.

The Washington Redskins have consistently spent a great deal of money on FAs as well as coaches since Snyder took over. It would appear that is not a guarantee for success either.

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« #14 : December 27, 2011, 09:17:04 PM »

In the Bucs case... only if the owners actually spend money.

These really are the silliest post. It's the knee jerk reaction, Monday Morning QB, Fantasy Football world we live in where everyone's answer is to throw money at the problem instead of hire the right staff, draft well, develop those draft picks into great players, and add in a veteran free agent here and there.

I for one don't want a team full of Free Agents, but I don't want a team full of kids right out of college either the consistently good teams have a good mix. Hire competent coaches who have a knack for developing players (Bruce Arians, Pitt Offensive Coordinator) who has had a influence on Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, and kept the Steelers offense going even without a strong running game. Don't hire a poisition coach who's never been a coordinator, this team is filled with 1st and 2nd rounder from the last 3-4 drafts. Not only the Bucs had these players rated as 1st and 2nd round talents a lot of experts and other teams did too. They don't need to throw money at the problem they need to develop the talent they have and sign a few free agents who can be productive. They don't need an Aso, or a big name free agent just impact players to show the youngsters how to be Pro's. Besides why would a big time free agent come to a team that is far from a Championship?

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