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Comparing first-year offensive coordinators in 2008

A few other teams hired new offensive coordinators this offseason, some with great success, others not so much. Here's a partial list, and their +/- in two key offensive rankings that are kind of the thumb and forefinger of measurements -- yards per game and points per game.


Team/Coach+/- YPG+/- PPG
Falcons: Mike Mularkey* +61.8 YPG (23rd to 6th) +8.6 PPG (29th to 9th)
Ravens: Cam Cameron* +21.5 YPG (22nd to 19th) +7.1 PPG (24th to 10th)
Dolphins: Dan Henning* +67 YPG (28th to 10th) +4.4 PPG (T-26th to 23rd)
Bills: Turk Schoenert +44.7 YPG (30th to 20th) +7.2 PPG (30th to 19th)
49ers: Mike Martz +67.1 YPG (32nd to 26th) +8.1 PPG (32nd to 21st)
Redskins: Jim Zorn/Sherman Smith** +6.7 YPG (15th to 13th) -3.6 PPG (T-18th to 28th)
Rams: Al Saunders -31.3 YPG (24th to 28th) -3.2 PPG (28th to 31st)

* New head coach also in place
** Zorn was hired as offensive coordinator, then promoted two weeks later to head coach. Presumably still handles a lot of play-calling and game-planning responsibilities.

This isn't a complete list ... I believe there are new offensive coordinators in Seattle and Detroit, and maybe more that I can't think of off the top of my head. Interesting numbers, though. (All stats from NFL.com)

Just by looking at this list, it seems that the new coordinators that are having the most immediate success are the ones that have been most creative and most successful in the running game. (Even Martz has utilized the run more often than his usual pattern, with Frank Gore.) If you look at the #1 offense overall in the league -- the New York Giants -- the importance of a strong and multi-faceted running game appears to be resurgent.

Saunders had huge success with Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson in KC, and with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts in Washington. You could, if you wanted to be charitable, argue that the big thing holding him back this season has been the health of Steven Jackson, plus the lack of a strong counterpoint runner.

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