Detroit Lions: Is an offensive or defensive head coach a bigger advantage?

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Robert Saleh, Fan Francisco 49ers (Photo by Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports)
Robert Saleh, Fan Francisco 49ers (Photo by Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dynamic communicators win in the NFL

The NFL today is a game that is completely skewed towards offenses. For the most part, the rules absolutely handcuff defenses. Yet the truth is that defense still wins championships.

Even though the rules don’t allow for there to be any modern-day Steel Curtain or Doomsday Defense, it is still an essential part of the game and shouldn’t be overlooked. However, there is certainly something to be said about explosive offenses.

With all the advantages given them, an innovative offense with a play-maker at quarterback is an incredible asset to have.

Yet was it Caldwell’s offensive background that made him a superior coach to the likes of Patricia, Schwartz, and Marinelli in Detroit?

In the end, I don’t think an offensive coach has an advantage over a defensive head coach in today’s NFL. What makes head coaches successful is the complete package of what they bring to the table.

Any great head coach has to have a certain amount of acumen on both sides of the ball, have a clear vision they are able to communicate to their players and get those players to execute at a high level.

No matter what system any coach runs, whether it’s on offense or defense, they still have to rely on their players to make it happen. If their player’s buy-in and execute, then success follows. If they don’t, then it becomes the Matt Patricia era.

So, for example, would the Lions be better off with Eric Bieniemy or Robert Saleh? Both are extremely highly regarded and both are running some of the best units on their side of the ball in the NFL.

I think Lions fans would be happy with either one, but if we break it down, they are both dynamic communicators who get the most out of their players. That makes either one a quality candidate with the possibility to succeed.

The real key will not just be who Sheila hires as her new coach, but also who will be his general manager. One of the concerns about Sheila hiring both positions is the fact that they will have to have one vision and be able to work together.

All the successful drafts in the world will go for naught if they don’t have a coach who can get them to execute. Likewise, even the best coaches still need talent to win.

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Today’s NFL would certainly seem to favor offensive minds to have success as head coaches, but a dynamic coach who is given talent to work with and is able to get that talent to execute has the ability to win in today’s game.

All that’s left is for Sheila to hire the right people, allow them to do what they do, and perhaps the Lions long-suffering fan base may finally be rewarded.