There will be 64 head coaches and offensive coordinators in 2013; I went back and looked at every season those coaches were either head coaches or offensive coordinators in the NFL.1 Two head coaches — Gus Bradley in Jacksonville and Chip Kelly in Philadelphia — have never been a head coach or offensive coordinator at the NFL level. In addition, the following seven offensive coordinators will be entering those roles for the first time, too: Harold Goodwin (Arizona), Nathaniel Hackett (Buffalo), Adam Gase (Denver), Pep Hamilton (Indianapolis), Jedd Fisch (Jacksonville), Doug Pederson (Kansas City), and Dowell Loggains (Tennessee). The table below shows the career Game Scripts averages, Pass/Run Ratios, and Pass Identities for the other 55 head coaches/offensive coordinators entering 2013.
Here’s how to read the table: Joe Philbin has been the most pass-happy OC/HC of the current coaches. He will be the Dolphins head coach in 2013, and has spent six seasons as either a head coach or offensive coordinator. The average Game Script score in each of his six seasons has been 3.8, and his teams have averaged a 58.8% pass rate.2 Philbin’s Game Script rating is 122.5, which means his team’s Game Script has been about 1.5 standard deviations above average (100 is average, 115 is one standard deviation above average, 130 is two standard deviations, etc.); Philbin’s Pass rating is 107.6, which indicates that his pass/run ratio is above one-half standard deviations above average. Take those two together, and he has a passing identity of 30.1, the highest in the league.
Philbin’s high score comes from his years as the offensive coordinator in Green Bay, but I’m not sure how much credit he really deserves for that (he was not the playcaller and coached under an offensive head coach). Last year, the Dolphins had the 27th highest Pass Identity. In my opinion, you could make a pretty good case that Andy Reid is the most pass-happy coach in the NFL and one of the most passer-friendly coaches in history. Here are his yearly ratings:
In 2004, with Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens, the Eagles passed on 62.1% of their pass plays despite having an average lead of 4.8 points in every second of their games. Reid’s Eagles were generally pass happy, and his first and last years in Philadelphia were his two most run-heavy seasons. It’s hard to know how that will play out in 2013, because the 2012 Chiefs had by far the strongest rushing identity (i.e., run/pass ratio after adjusting for Game Script) of any team last year. Kansas City has been a run-heavy team for years, and it’s hard to imagine Kansas City trusting Alex Smith more than Jamaal Charles.
The Jets will be another interesting team to watch. Rex Ryan has been the most run-heavy coach in the league, but he seems ready to move on from his “ground and pound” philosophy. It’s difficult to see a pass-heavy attack based around Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith succeeding, but Marty Mornhinweg was brought in as a breath of fresh air after the failed Tony Sparano experiment. The Jets old offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, is coaching under another run-heavy coach in St. Louis. But the Rams seem ready to air it out this year under Sam Bradford, after signing Jake Long and Jared Cook, and drafting Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.