The final review of 2006's rookie coaches, featuring arguably the year's top rookie coach and year's worst.
Sean Payton - New Orleans Saints
2005 Fantasy Impact: WR Donte Stallworth, DL Will Smith
2006 Fantasy Impact: QB Drew Brees, RB Deuce McAllister, RB Reggie Bush, WR Marques Colston, Smith, LB Scott Shanle
What Happened? - What happened?! How about a complete revamp of the offense, that's all. Brees came in, McAllister came back and rookies Bush and Colston took the league by storm. The defense didn't improve as much, but when you can score like the Saints it doesn't matter. Payton brought the team from 3-13 to 10-6 and the NFC Championship
Who is this year's Sean Payton? -Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona. A solid two-game improvement is likely, but a total breakout is certainly possible. Leinart explodes, we know what Fitzgerald and Boldin can do and that Edgerrin James guy is pretty good. A five or six game improvement and a wild card spot isn't completely crazy.
Art Shell - Oakland Raiders
2005 Fantasy Impact: QB Kerry Collins, RB Lamont Jordan, WR Randy Moss, WR Jerry Porter, LB Kirk Morrison, LB Danny Clark, DL Derrick Burgess
2006 Fantasy Impact: Morrison, LB Thomas Howard, Burgess, LB Warren Sapp
What Happened? - Collins left, Jordan was hurt, Moss and Porter were either hurt or suspended or both. The team never bought into Shell's old-school tough guy mentality and a 4-12 season was followed by a 2-14 season. The defense racked up some impressive IDP stats with three defenders breaking the 100 tackle mark, but that was because they were on the field most of the game.
Who is this year's Art Shell? - Wade Phillips in Dallas. The Raiders had an unsure QB, moody WRs that quit, a fanatical owner and a retread coach that couldn't gain the respect of his players. Sound familiar? A two game drop for the `Boys to 7-9 is certainly possible. And if Dallas misses the playoffs, does anybody think Phillips' job is 100% secure?