Serious question. More than just wins and losses because I have heard people say that Parcells' best coaching job was the year Testaverde went down with an injury and they were only 8-8 that year. What do you look at in the first 2-3 seasons for a coach to determine their competence? I have been watching football for over 30 years and I thought I had a decent grasp of how to determine wether or not a coach is doing a good job. These are the things I've typically looked at:
1) Special teams- most teams have lower tier players on their coverage units and it's the preparation and attention to detail from the coaching staff that makes the difference.
2) Do players come to the team and seem to play better than on their previous teams?
3) Rushing defense- I'm starting to see that I may very well be quite wrong about this but I have always thought that a well coached defense, even with average talent, can stop the run. Defending the pass requires a bit of talent in the secondary but stopping the run can be coached...I thought.
4) Well coached teams seem to get better as the year goes on.
I hear so many people complaining about play calling and all but I put that lower on the list. If your players execute, play calling isn't nearly as big of a problem.
I ask this because Shurmur was the guy I wanted them to hire from the get-go. I thought his W-L record in Cleveland was a consequence of poor talent and not poor execution. I concede that I was wrong. What I can't figure out is exactly what is going wrong- this team is so bad in so many areas. Is it talent? Is it a coach that is simply not getting enough out of the players? Could a good coach at least get this team to an 8-8 level?