PFT 2019 storyline No. 19: Which young offensive coach will live up to the hype?
The 2019 hiring cycle saw the pendulum swing sharply in the direction of Sean McVay. More specifically, anyone who has worked with him, worked for him, and/or shared an elevator with him.
Three of eight head-coaching jobs went to coaches with McVay connections, sort of. Two were direct -- new Packers coach Matt LaFleur and new Bengals coach Zac Taylor worked for McVay in L.A. One was tenuous, but nevertheless mentioned by the Cardinals when hiring Kliff Kingsbury: He and McVay are friends.
So which of them will live up to the hype? LaFleur arguably has the best team, but also the toughest task of getting through to a locker room dominated by the presence of Aaron Rodgers. Taylor has low expectations as he takes over a team that has a feel of irrelevance and mediocrity; the low bar actually gives him a great chance to overachieve, since no one expects much from the Bengals.
Then there’s Kingsbury, who is essentially a crapshoot with the Cardinals. He wanted quarterback Kyler Murray, and Kingsbury got him. Now, the guy who was fired for not being good enoug in a so-so college conference has to navigate the toughest division in football.
With defensive-minded Vic Fangio getting his first head-coaching job at age 60 in Denver, the Broncos’ performance relative to Green Bay, Cincinnati, and Arizona will become a great litmus test for the new infatuation with young offensive minds. Depending on how things go this season, the pendulum could swing sharply in the other direction by January.