There’s little patience in the NFL these days. Coaches are expected to have immediate results on the field, regardless of the talent they have to work with, and we see that with massive movement on the sidelines this NFL offseason. Handicapping coaches can lead to the same value as handicapping sports. There have been a number of head coaches come and go, but here are three hires that could impact how you bet these teams this upcoming season:
John Fox, Chicago Bears
The Bears do a complete 180 in terms of focus, going from the expansive offensive playbook of Marc Trestman to a buckled-down defensive approach of John Fox. After a failed roll of the dice on Trestman, Chicago wanted stability as well as a proven winner and got just that in Fox, who also brings talented offensive coordinator Adam Gase into the mix. The inconsistency that has plagued Bears bettors for years could be on the way out in the Windy City.
Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos
The one thing bettors should be concerned with the most is Kubiak’s run blocking schemes. Defenses were already giving the Broncos’ ground game plenty of room, with Peyton Manning under center, but now the zone blocking and mix of playaction could give Denver one of the most potent rushing attacks in the league. Running backs C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball can chew up possession and the clock, keeping scoring down in Denver – quite the contrast to the pass-happy offense under Fox. The Broncos showed the capacity for this with a 1-4 Over/Under run between Weeks 11 and 15 last season.
Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
The architect of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl defense takes control of the clipboard in Atlanta. The Falcons have had a “shoot first, play defense never” mentality for some time, ranking dead last in defense in 2014 and 27th in 2013, but Quinn will squash that nonsense in a hurry. He’s already creating an intense and competitive atmosphere in training camp, a similar fire that drove Seattle to back-to-back NFC championships. That about-face on the defensive side of the ball could open up value for spreads and Unders in Atlanta.