The NFL is really about the coaching matchup between coordinators and the matchups and mismatches they attempt to create and exploit. The players on offense and defense are like pieces on a chess board. The coordinators in the NFL engage in a battle using these “pieces” in an endless game of wits.
It’s important to keep in mind that any coordinator poised to receive a raise is also probably poised to become a head coach. Rising coordinators don’t stay coordinators for very long.
As the NFL world prepares for the divisional playoffs, here is a list of five coordinators poised to earn raises for the 2012 season (if they don’t become head coaches first).
Despite the Bengals’ loss to the Houston Texans in the playoffs, Gruden is still a hot name right now. He’s reported to be on the Rams’ short list of potential head coaching prospects.
No one can deny his work with rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green for the Bengals. Both played like NFL veterans this year in leading the Bengals back to the playoffs.
Gruden is due some big money next year, head coaching job or not.
The 49ers' massive transformation into a NFC West division champion this season is primarily the result of an improved defensive. Vic Fangio has led the charge, creating a hard-hitting unit led by linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis.
The 49ers outstanding run defense alone should give Fangio a hefty raise for 2012.
While head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees get most of the attention and credit in New Orleans, coordinator Pete Carmichael has been a huge part of the Saints’ record-breaking season. Look past his boyish appearance. This guy can flat out coach.
Carmichael is a rising name in the coaching biz. Don’t forget the name. You’ll continue to hear it connected with offensive productivity and passing prowess.
Linehan’s tenure as the St. Louis Rams head coach was a disaster. It’s been the complete opposite in Detroit. Linehan has helped lead the franchise back to prosperity though his tutelage of young quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Linehan’s offense is amongst the most lethal in football, and he should be paid accordingly.
The Panthers’ offensive explosion was one of the real surprises of the 2011 season. Rookie Cam Newton lit up opposing defenses every week it seemed, and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was one of the main reasons why. His ability to create unique formations and plays made the most of Newton’s talents, and people have taken notice.
Chudzinski has been linked to the Rams’ head coaching search. He’ll be up for a raise next year no matter his coaching job.