By JERRY TAPP
We’re all familiar with the paradox, “Which came first … the chicken or the egg?” Well, let me offer another less familiar paradox from the world of sports:
“Which came first … the successful coach or the successful team?
Take a look at the four NFL teams that have the most wins since 2000, New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Green Bay. The Patriots have had only one coach, Bill Belichick; the Steelers have had two coaches this century; the Colts have had four; and the Packers have had only two coaches since 2000. In addition, of the 11 teams with 150 or more wins since 2000, nine of the 11 have had four or fewer head coaches since that time.
Contrast that with the two teams with the fewest wins since 2000, Cleveland and Detroit. The Browns have had nine coaches since 2000; the Lions have had seven.
So which did come first? A good coach that develops a good team? Or, a good team that keeps a head coach employed because of their success? I’ll let you noodle on that for a time.
In the meantime, here’s a look at the number of head coaches each of the 32 NFL teams have had since 2000. Their victories since 2000 are noted in parenthesis.
1 coach: New England (214 wins)
2: Baltimore (166); Green Bay (178); Pittsburgh (188)
3: Carolina (145); Cincinnati (137); Seattle (161)
4: Chicago (137); Dallas (150); Houston (110); Indianapolis (180); New Orleans (157); New York Giants (149); Philadelphia (172); Tennessee (142)
5: Arizona (129); Los Angeles Chargers (145); Minnesota (147); New York Jets (137)
6: Denver (169); Jacksonville (116); Kansas City (142); Tampa Bay (126)
7: Atlanta (150); Detroit (105)
8: Los Angeles Rams (122); Washington (122)
9: Cleveland (86); Miami (137); San Francisco (131)
10: Buffalo (121); Oakland (114)
Six teams have already made decisions to get rid of their head coach from 2017 and will have new men patrolling the sidelines next season: Arizona, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York Giants and Oakland.