Midterm Review: the 2019 NFL’s eight “Rookie” head coaches

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

It’s hard to believe we are at the mid-point of the NFL season. As such, there were eight teams starting the year with brand new head coaches. Six of them are in their first head coaching position, while two have held the job before.

In the competition to see who made the best hiring decision, the clear – and only – winner at this point is the Green Bay Packers. Matt LeFleur has this team leading their division at 7-1. Now, perhaps it’s the Aaron Duo – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones – who deserve some credit, but there are other teams in this group with talented players who are not even close to being .500. That means I’m giving the Packers an A on the hire. Trust me – other coaches might have found a way to screw up this team so I’ll give credit to LeFleur because he hasn’t.

Let’s take a look at the other seven teams to see how they are faring…

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Patriots send message to AFC East

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

The Patriot’s reign over the AFC East appears to be in good standing.

The Patriots took their perfect 6-0 record into New York Monday night and completely dominated their AFC East rival New York Jets.

The Jets, coming off their huge win against the Dallas Cowboys last week at Met Life, failed to gain any ground in the standings.  They are now sitting with a 1-5 record with little to no chance of seeing postseason play, let alone give the Patriots any sort of competition for an AFC East title.

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Doomed first year head coaches?

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As we prepare for the new 2019 NFL season, 8 teams have new head coaches, with 6 of them being first-time head coaches.: Cardinals, Bengals, Browns, Packers, Dolphins, Broncos.

The Jets and Bucs have hired coaches with previous head coaching experience.

As we prepare for mini camps, voluntary and mandatory, the media is in full force with its cycle of praise and criticism, almost seemly setting some up for instant success or in other cases instance failure.

This leaves many fans questioning how their favorite teams could make such a questionable hire.

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Turmoil for the New York Jets

Lisa Johnson
Senior Sports Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

As I was strolling through NFL news last week, one thing that really caught my attention, was news of the Jets firing general manager Mike Maccagnan. They then turned around and named head coach Adam Gase as interim General Manager. All this coming off a March owner meetings where team CEO Christopher Johnson, praised Maccagnan and his working relationship with Gase.

ESPN staff writer Rich Cimini reported internal discord within the Jets organization. ESPN first reported that during the draft, friction had developed between Maccagnan and Gase because of disagreements over personnel during free agency.

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Miami Dolphins part ways with head coach Adam Gase

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
Miami Dolphins Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has seen enough.

After flying to Buffalo to watch the Dolphins wrap up their 2018 regular season, which they dropped to the Buffalo Bills 42-17, the owner flew into Miami and met with Coach Gase Monday morning to deliver the news.

On a day known around the league as Black Monday, where several head coaches lose their jobs, Gase was the 12th head coach in Dolphins history. He leaves with a record of 23-25, with one playoff appearance back in 2016.

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Perfect timing for a Dolphins bye week

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
Miami Dolphins Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

Packers 31 – Dolphins 12

The Dolphins bye week couldn’t come at a better time.

Facing the Green Bay Packers in week 10 would prove to be a tall task, regardless of injuries. After seeing the Dolphins inactive list before the game, most gave the Dolphins an almost no chance of winning.

However, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase found some holes and was able to run the ball.  Dolphins drove the length of the field only to abandon the run on a short field inside the 20. Gase chose to go shotgun with an empty backfield.

A bad snap hit QB Brock Osweiler’s hands and sailed right behind him, only to be recovered by the Packers, who then marched right down the field and scored. Pretty much the way the whole game went.

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A mystery surrounds Dolphins win against the Jets

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
Miami Dolphins Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

Dolphins 13 – Jets 6

There is no way I could start this article in any way other than this: I have no idea why All-Pro safety Reshad Jones removed himself from the game.

I watched him closely during the game and he looked like he had a slight limp. I never got confirmation he was injured in any way, leaving a cloud of mystery to why he wasn’t out on the field.

We even saw defensive end Cameron Wake talk to him for about 10 minutes. When Cam was questioned about that conversation, his response was “That is between him and I”.

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Lions roar past Dolphins

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
Miami Dolphins Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

Detroit Lions 32 – Miami Dolphins 21

I know just how to start this game recap. And if you didn’t hear the score or even watch one down, you’d know the outcome from the following statement.

The Detroit Lions punted one time in this game. One Time.

They rushed for 248 yards with a 7.1 yards-per-carry average. This is the most yards the Dolphins defense has given up all year.  It looks like a problem Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke hasn’t figured out how to correct.

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The Dolphins second straight loss has fans worried

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
Miami Dolphins Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

Bengals 27 – Dolphins 17

As the Miami Dolphins rolled into Cincinnati, hopes were high that they would bounce back after that horrible showing in New England.

The first couple series showed the Dolphins offense poised and ready to take control. Building a 17 point lead by half-time had Dolphins fans rejoicing. Then, as most fans will tell you, came the most frustrating thing about football…a momentum swing.

Going into the third quarter the Dolphins offense seemed to completely fall apart. Protection disappeared. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill made some very questionable decisions while under heavy pressure. Turnovers, penalties, and mostly momentum had clearly swung the Bengals way.

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Miami Dolphins still miffed by Gillette Stadium

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
Miami Dolphins Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

New England Patriots 38 –  Miami Dolphins 7

Last week I thought about how I would start this article if the Dolphins went up to Gillette and totally stunk up the joint.  Well, the Dolphins didn’t disappoint us there!

I even wonder if the team had even bothered to get off the plane. I could write an article a mile long with stats and what went wrong.  I could make excuses on just how badly this team got outcoached and outplayed.  But seriously, what would be the point?   Simply put, the Dolphins got the brakes beat off of them. In every aspect of the game.  This loss can’t be blamed on a single player or a coach.  It was everyone’s fault.  If you want to see a team that put forth a complete losing effort, just look at the Dolphins in this game.

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