2013 NFL Fantasy Impact: Coaches in New Places
Mark Trestman to Chicago
The Lovie Smith era ends and the Mark Trestman saga begins. Trestman is best known for his fast pace, high scoring offenses of the Raiders (led by Rich Gannon) and the 49ers (led by Steve Young). He will call the plays and brings with him his shotgun-heavy, spread-heavy offense to a Bears team that struggled offensively under Mike Tice. Trestman will have a positive impact on this years offensive players with Jay Cutler being the biggest beneficiary.
With words like shotgun-heavy, spread offense expect Cutler’s production to jump similar to what Matt Ryan did last year. Forte struggled as well last year and needs to get back to his rookie numbers touching the ball a career high 379 times (316 rush, 63 rec) in 2008 rushing for a career high 1,238 yards and a career high 12 touchdowns (8 rush, 4 rec). Anticipate less rushing attempts, but a career high in receptions in 2013. Also keep an eye on Alshon Jeffrey, the Bears No.2 WR, who will exceed his average draft position in this spread offense. Also expect Brandon Marshall to match last years numbers– 118 catches (for 2nd most in the NFL), for 1,508 receiving yards (3rd in NFL), and 11 touchdowns (t-4th in NFL among receivers).
Bruce Arians to Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals said goodbye to Ken Whisenhunt and welcomed in new head coach Bruce Arians, the 2012 offensive coordinator of the year (there is no such award, but if there was he would deserve it). Arians runs a vertical offense that uses a power running scheme, play-action, and a lot of deep and deep-intermediate routes. In this offense last year, receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery looked like studs while Reggie Wayne still had a productive year catching more than 100 balls.
Under Bruce Arians in 2012, the Colts’ offense rushed on 37.2 percent of plays, 10th-fewest in the league. This offense is set up for Larry Fitzgerald to have a career year allowing him to move from the outside to the slot as we saw Reggie Wayne do it last year. Arians is also known for preferring the one-back approach when it comes to his running game great for free agent pickup Rashard Mendenhall. Arians’ attacking style is great news for the type of quarterback that Carson Palmer is and should mean good things for the entire Cardinals’ offense.
Andy Reid to Kansas City
Reid reached seven Divisional Championships in 14 years because of his passing attack. His offenses highlighted players such as Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Michael Vick. In Philadelphia, he threw the rock and used an effective screen game as an extended run option making him a pass-happy caller. He knows how to get the ball in his playmakers hands.
In Westbrook’s 2007 season, he caught a career best 90 passes and never grabbed less than 50. Jamaal Charles career high in receptions is 45, last year he had 35. In both of Westbrook’s and McCoy‘s first full season under Reid; they had more than 70 receptions. Charles’ success will open up the passing game for Dwayne Bowe who in three out of six seasons has over 1,000 yards receiving. Third-year player Jonathan Baldwin is looking to make a mark in the NFL. The goal would be to get Baldwin going early to create less double teams for Bowe. This will be up to new signee, QB Alex Smith who had his best year last year completing 70 percent of his passes (13 TD, 5 Int). Reid’s offense will better the production of every player involved producing better numbers than their average draft position suggests.
Chip Kelly to Philadelphia
Chip Kelly finds himself in a similar situation in Philadephia with the explosiveness he dealt with at Oregon. There is a lot of question with how certain players will be used in the offense which makes me believe that defenses will have a hard time figuring out how to defend the speed of Vick, McCoy, Jackson, and Brown in different formations. Defenses always have to catch up to offenses (i.e Cam Newton, RG III, Tim Tebow) and because of it usually have a successful first year. Last year, Kelly molded Redshirt freshmen Marcus Mariota into the nations best QB with a respectable completion percentage (68.5%) and legitimate TD-Int ratio (32-6).
VIck is best outside the pocket and Kelly’s scheme will allow him to get there. LeSean McCoy is best with a healthy Vick and will have a career high in touches and yards from scrimmage if the offense can remain healthy. Also look for speedster Bryce Brown to have a good year. DeSean Jackson‘s talent fits perfect with Kelly’s approach. The difference between Kelly and most NFL coaches is Kelly understands how to stretch the field East and West rather than North and South. He knows how to get his skill players into open field.
Head Coach/OC Mike McCoy and OC Ken Whisenhunt to San Diego
I was glad to see the Spanos’ not make the same mistake they made with Norv Turner– only bringing in one mind to manage the team and run the offense. It is simply too much to handle for most. Mike McCoy turned Tim Tebow from salad into the main course and called the Manning-led team to 4th best in the NFL. Wisenhunt took a Kurt Warner led team to the Super Bowl in 2004. It seems like a good match. I think veterans Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates benefit most from the new play callers. Rivers got pummeled last year by the time he got to his fifth step on his drop. McCoy will get the ball out of River’s hands quicker, more of a West Coast offense, making Antonio Gates a good target to look to.
Head Coach Rob Chudzinski and OC Norv Turner to Cleveland
When the Chargers were at their best under Turner, they were throwing the rock with Phillip Rivers. Gun slinger Brandon Weeden will benefit most with a QB/OC coach like Turner who will take him out the three-step-drop of the West Coast Offense to a seven-step drop for deeper posts and streak routes to display his cannon of an arm. A good year for Weeden will result in a good year for No.1 WR Josh Gordon.
The Browns No.1 WR has had off-field problems resulting in a two-game suspension, but the 6’4” 220 pound speedster could have the breakout season some are anticipating. Devon Bess averaged 64 catches in five years at Miami, and expect the possession-type receiver to have an integral part in the passing attack along with Greg Little. Turner has also gone on record to say he wants RB Trent Richardson to get 300 carries. That is a big fantasy stat when considering only five running backs (A. Foster, A. Peterson, D. Martin, A. Morris, M. Lynch) had more than 300 rush attempts last year.
Head Coach Doug Marrone and OC Nathaniel Hackett from Syracuse to Buffalo
Over a four-year span in Syracuse, Marrone and Hackett sped things up with single back formations and simplified routes. Last year as a result, the Orangemen finished with the best offense in the Big East. Marrone’s motto, “The aim is to get more possessions, knowing more possessions will get you more scores. We will use that as much as possible.” With a rookie quarterback, E.J Emmanuel, and a two-headed backfield, C.J Spiller and Fred Jackson, expect a heavy running attack. The goal is to keep Spiller on the field as much as possible, if necessary, as a slot receiver. It is possible to keep Jackson and Spiller on the field at the same time. The move will benefit both Jackson and Spiller the most with Marrone and Hackett rushing the ball 52 percent of the time in Syrace compared to 44 percent of the time the Bills ran the rock last year.
Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains in Tenessee
The Titans struggled behind the play caller Chris Palmer in 2012. Unfortunately, Chris Johnson, Jake Locker, Jared Cook, and Kendall Wright were all victims of poor play calling. Now last years Quarterback coach, Dowell Loggains, will get his shot to call plays after starting with the organization in 2006. He runs a zone-blocking scheme with stretches to get CJ to the edge and a lot of play action to get Locker outside the pocket where he is best. The Titans brought in the best guard on the market in free agency, Andy Levitre, and drafted Chance Warmack, arguably the best guard in the draft. CJ, if healthy, should be on track for 2,000 yards from scrimmage.