Robert Saleh avoided the worst record for a first-year head coach in Jets history by … not coaching last week.
Saleh is now officially 4-11 as a NYJ HC, but it was Ron Middleton who was on the sidelines in last week’s win over the Jaguars due to Saleh being on COVID-19 protocols . Because the worst freshman coaching record in Jets history is 3-13, the fourth win of the season helped the Jets avoid a 3-14 record that would produce the worst winning percentage in year 1 for a head coach.
I checked with the league office this week to confirm that head coaches who miss games due to COVID (or some other illness) still get the credit for their team’s wins and losses. And unlike teams that fired their head coach mid-season and ride on an interim for the rest of the year, those wins and losses are credited to the permanent head coach.
“Wins and losses are attributed to whoever is the recognized head coach of the team,” a league spokesperson wrote in an email. “So in the case of a coach missing a game or games due to illness, it always comes down to the individual who has the title of head coach because he ultimately comes back. If a coach is fired, the wins and losses are credited to the interim head coach. “
So what Rich Bisaccia does with the Raiders doesn’t impact Jon Gruden’s .511 career winning percentage. But Middleton – and other coaches who replaced the boss during COVID – are not officially getting credit for his victory.
This year there have been six games under what I will call temporary interim, where the head coach was sidelined due to COVID protocols and an assistant stepped in for just one game. The interim coaches are 4-2 in these games: Middleton, Dan Quinn (Dallas), Dennis Allen (New Orleans) and Jeff Rodgers / Vance Joseph (Arizona) all won their respective games while Mike Priefer (Cleveland ) and Chris Tabor (Chicago) lost theirs.
Although Kevin Stefanski officially gets the “L” that Priefer trained, he also gets the playoff victory that Priefer guided the Browns to last season.
The weirdest? The Lions fired Matt Patricia after 11 games last year and Darrell Bevell took over as interim coach. But Bevell himself missed Week 16’s game against Tampa Bay, with wide receivers coach Robert Prince taking the reins in the 47-7 loss. Bevell is officially credited with the loss despite being an interim because he was what I will call the permanent temp worker.
I don’t know what is the right thing to do here. I know that a single rule should be applied, and I have been able to see the pros and cons on both sides of it. This is the permanent coach’s team, after all, and he was involved in all the planning throughout the week leading up to the game.
Nonetheless, I’m willing to admit that as a Tar Heel, the idea of coaches dropping their bad temp records has been of interest to me for a long time. Happy retirement tour, Coach K!
Jaguars in search of n ° 2
Shortly after the NFL Network announced earlier this week that the Jaguars would keep Trent Baalke as general manager, I began to hear that the Jags were looking for a No.2 football executive to partner with. Baalke for the last era of Jaguars football.
Jacksonville currently does not have a director of player personnel or assistant general manager, so the assumption is that it would be for a role with one of those titles. Tony Khan is co-owner and chief owner of football strategy. Senior staff executive Tom Gamble is probably the closest thing to a Number 2 there.
Baalke joined in February 2020 as director of player personnel. He was named Dave Caldwell’s No.2 after Caldwell took over as more traditional GM after Tom Coughlin was sacked. Hence the emptiness in the service of personnel.
It will not be easy to complete. The Jaguars aren’t brimming with talent and Baalke doesn’t have many friends in the league. The media in San Francisco (where he was once the general manager of the Niners) and Jacksonville had no problem attacking him in a way you rarely see for active staff members.
“They will have to pay dearly for this role to account for the… lack of stability,” one personnel manager told me. “They won’t be able to tear off someone who is in a good position with their current squad.”
Reconstruction to rebuilding in Jacksonville continues.
Pick of week 17
I could have had a better record last week at 10-6, but that brings my overall rating to 160-79-1. Overall I’m happy with that and continue into the penultimate week of the regular season.
Raiders at Colts
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: Fox | Flux: fuboTV (click here)
I know for a fact that the people in the Raiders building were smoking when the protocols changed earlier this week. Carson Wentz will most likely play on Sunday, which will put the Colts on top.
The choice : Foals
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: CBS | Flux: Paramount + (click here)
I think the Dolphins’ defense is pretty good – not elite – and the offense is pretty good if Tua doesn’t return it. But that winning streak hasn’t involved any decent team outside of Baltimore.
The choice : Titans
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN | Flux: fuboTV (click here)
Everything about me says take the Steelers. But my misplaced faith in the Browns will lead me to pick Cleveland here and possibly turn my first week 16-0 to 15-1.
The choice : brown