The Eagles lost the Super Bowl, but their coaching staff won. Philadelphia’s former offensive and defensive coordinators — Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon — have been hired as head coaches for the Indianapolis Colts and the Arizona Cardinals, respectively. Their hirings were just the latest example of the continued lack of diversity amongst NFL head coaches, as Brian Flores’ class-action suit against the league for its alleged racist hiring practices is still ongoing. But, it feels like we’re on the verge of Black coaches not being the only ones getting screwed.
NFL owners don’t seem to care about experience anymore. They want TV analysts to run their teams.
According to reports, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky had talks with the Panthers and the Colts about “prominent offensive coaching roles.” Yes, you read that right. The dude from TV who used to play quarterback and once ran out the back of the endzone almost got a high-profile coaching job in the NFL without a lick of coaching experience and poor decision-making skills under pressure.
Mind you, just a few months ago, Colts owner Jim Irsay insanely plucked Jeff Saturday from ESPN to be the interim coach in Indianapolis, as the combination of his 20-16 record as a high school coach and his ability to talk about the game on TV was enough for Irsay to bypass every assistant who was already on the payroll.
These were some of the excerpts from that press conference:
“Why am I a candidate for this?” — Saturday.
“We were fortunate that he was available.” — Irsay.
“I came in, nobody expects anything. I’m here. Nobody expects anything. Hopefully it’ll go extremely well. But I have no preconceived notion that I’m gonna be some spectacular anything.” — Saturday.
“Yes he is fully experienced enough. Yes he is fully capable.” — Irsay.
Lots and lots of bad decisions
As you know, Irasy didn’t hire Saturday full-time. He went 1-7 during his tenure — which made a mockery of the entire NFL coaching profession. However, it was at that moment that Orlovsky shot his shot.
“I made myself pretty clear to Jeff [Saturday]. I want to coach one day, I’m very much interested in it,” Orlovsky said in November. “Candidly, as the days go on and on I get more interested in it … I have a lot of friends who are coaches in the league and we talk all the time, they know where I stand.”
In December, the NFL sent a memo out to owners letting them know how much money their bad decision-making skills had cost them, as they’ve wasted $800 million on coaches and front-office executives that don’t work for them anymore over the last five years. According to the report, a minimum of $69 million and 12 years of remaining contracts were being paid out by the Panthers, Colts, and Tennessee Titans. The New York Giants were paying three different coaching staffs in 2022.
And now it seems like even more cash will be squandered, with Dan Orlovsky apparently destined to be the new Jeff Saturday. Who would have ever thought that working for Disney would be the cheat code to jumping to the front of the line? Welcome to 2023.