Earlier in the month I did a review of the new NFL coaches for 2007 and tried to project what they would mean for their respective teams. I consider the coaching staff to be a significant factor in a player's fantasy value so I try to spend of time going over the annual changes. What I want to do now is review last year's new head coaches and see what they meant to their respective teams. Sure, it's easy to do this with hindsight, but there's a famous saying: "Those who fail to learn from the past, something something."
First up - Brad Childress and Herm Edwards
Brad Childress - Minnesota Vikings
2005 Fantasy Impact: QB Brad Johnson, DB Antoine Winfield.
2006 Fantasy Impact: RB Chester Taylor, Winfield, LB E.J. Henderson
What Happened? - QB Brad Johnson turned back into a purple-helmeted pumpkin, the passing game continued to be horrible and the fantasy defense (other than Henderson) was terrible. The Vikes slid from 9-7 to 6-10. Chester Taylor was a bright spot for fantasy players though.
Who could be this year's Brad Childress? - Cam Cameron in Miami. Maybe Trent Green doesn't have one more good year in him. In that case it could be all Ronnie Brown (good for Brown owners) but disappointment for Chambers, Booker, Hagan and Ginn owners. A difficult AFC East schedule doesn't help. I don't think the Dolphins would drop three games, but it may take a full season of Cameron before things start to click.
Herm Edwards - Kansas City Chiefs
2005 Fantasy Impact: QB Trent Green, RB Larry Johnson, WR Eddie Kennison, TE Tony Gonzalez, LB Kawika Mitchell, DE Jared Allen, DB Greg Wesley
2006 Fantasy Impact: QB Damon Huard, Johnson, Gonzalez, Mitchell, Allen
What Happened? - The Chiefs lost QB Green to injury and while Huard was a great fill-in, it didn't improve the team overall as they fell from 10-6 to 9-7. The loss of Green diminished the value of the receivers - including Gonzalez - and the offense became even more unbalanced towards the run. Other than the emergence of Huard, none of this was much of a surprise for fantasy players.
Who could be this year's Herm Edwards? - Norv Turner in San Diego. There's no way to predict a QB injury, but even without that it's not unreasonable to think that Phillip Rivers could take a step back this season. With a dominating TE and an underwhelming group of WRs, we could see even more Tomlinson in 2007. Despite having an "experienced" coach like Turner, a drop from 14-2 to 12-4 or 11-5 for the Chargers wouldn't be surprising.