Challenges for New AFC Coaches – NFL FootballMonday, July 29, 2013 19:47
The AFC features five teams with new coaches; what challenges will they fact in 2013?
Challenges for New AFC Coaches
Five of the 16 AFC teams will have a new face leading the team on the side-lines this year, and all of them face challenges as they bid to turn around teams that had a combined 2012 record of 22-58.
The best known of the “new” faces will be former Philadelphia Eagles head honcho Andy Reid, who swaps the NFC for the AFC. He will hope to leave behind some of the problems that beset him last year in Philly.
One of the major deficiencies that Reid faced last year was the form and performance of his quarterbacks. He will be expecting much better from his new acquisition for the Chiefs, former 49ers starter Alex Smith, although it remains to be seen if he has any decent targets to throw at, with Jonathan Baldwin and Donnie Avery not exactly filling us with confidence.
Alongside that, the Chiefs’ defense allowed 893 rush yards after contact last year, the most of any team in the league. Only the Colts allowed more 20-yard rushes (21) than the Chiefs’ defense (19).
At least Reid has some experience to call on in the lead role; all the other four new AFC head coaches are in the main spotlight for the first time, a point that has influenced the NFL betting odds for next term.
Doug Marrone bids to turn around the Bills 6-10 2012 record and, although Buffalo have upgraded at quarterback, they are still lacking in the wide receiver department. Are two rookie receivers (Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin) enough to augment a receiving corps that, despite using more three-plus wide receiver sets than any other team last season, only recoded 2,152 receiving yards?
5-11 was the Browns record in 2012 but there were signs that they were better than that last season and Rob Chudzinski takes over with some talented players under his tutelage, no more so than free-agency signing Paul Kruger from the Ravens.
From Week 10 to the Super Bowl, no player had more sacks than Paul Kruger (12). He and first round pick Barkevious Mingo will help the Browns transition to a 3-4 defense.
Defensively, the Browns look strong; it is the offensive side of the ball that they need to improve, with questions marks about quarterback Brandon Weedon. Weeden overthrew or underthrew receivers on 45 percent of his throws at least 15 yards downfield last year, third highest in the league.
The other two newcomers in the AFC are Gus Bradley at the Jaguars and Mike McCoy at the Chargers. The main problem for Bradley is finding a quarterback, as the two the Jaguars used mainly last year, Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, combined for a quarterback rating of 34.8. It was tough for that duo operating behind an offensive line that allowed 50 sacks last year.
For McCoy at the Chargers, the key to improving on their 7-9 season – the best amongst the teams that changed their coaches in the AFC – must be ball control and, specifically, from their quarterback, Philip Rivers, who fumbled 15 times last year.
NFL betting fans know that this quintet has to turn around losing seasons whilst solving last year’s problems. It will not be easy for any of them, as they take up the reins in their new jobs.
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