Nothing is more informative (and fun) than looking at the new head coaches in the NFL! The 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 editions of the NFL Rookie Coaching Classes are also fun reads, if you are curious. My favorites from past editions are still Coach Mangina (Eric Mangini, class of 2006), The Whizzenator, aka nobody beats the Whizz (Ken Whisenhunt, class of 2007), and the Todd (Todd Haley, class of 2009).
After 2009's ridiculously large class of 7 freshman coaches, this year's class has ZERO coaches with no experience. Neither Chan Gailey (Buffalo), Pete Carroll (Seattle), or Mike Shanahan (Washington) are technically freshman coaches who are new to the NFL, so I feel it would be an injustice to Mangina to give them derogatory rookie nicknames. Nonetheless, I will still go through some interesting facts on these three new coaches.
1) Buffalo brought back a coach, Chan Gailey, who had coached 2 prior seasons with Dallas, losing in the first playoff game in each season. Chan Gailey always struck me as wildly underperforming, because these were the 1998 and 1999 Cowboy teams, so there still was a lot of talent remaining. The 1998 Cowboy team is pretty infamous for underperforming, as they are the ones that lost to the Cardinals at home. It's fun reading the article about the game, as Aeneas Williams had 2 INTs of Troy Aikman, Jamir Miller had 2 sacks and 12 tackles, and RB Adrian Murrell had a 74 yard run! While Gailey was out of the NFL, he ended up being the head coach at Georgia Tech from 2002-2007, but was never able to beat the big rival, the Georgia Bulldogs.
I found a fun video from March where Chan Gailey ends up basically saying that playing either Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick is "like biting a bullet." Nice!
2) Seattle brought back Pete Carroll. Pete Carroll was a classic NFL coach who didn't find much success, but then was fantastic at the college level (assuming we look past the "lack of institutional control", and all the silly things that went on at USC off the field.) It's funny, because I always thought of Pete Carroll as a loser in the NFL, but he actually went to the playoffs twice with New England and even won a playoff game once, as his 1997 Patriots and Drew Bledsoe beat a hapless Dolphins team (with Karim Abdul Jabar at RB and OJ McDuffie at WR, but they still had old-man Dan Marino).
Pete Caroll has gotten involved in some interesting things. I found this one video where Pete Carroll tries to recruit Will Ferrell for Twitter.
Even better than that video, is this bizarre celebrity endorsement... for Pete Carroll's virtual world for kids called Camp Pete. I'm not making this up. Check out the link.
3) Washington brought back Mike Shanahan. If you look at the link, you will see Shanahan's incredible statistics... and also see that he's hardly won any playoff games outside of the back-to-back championships (going 1-5 in the playoffs in the other years). Shanahan's endless PR campaign against overweight DE Albert Haynesworth has been entertaining. I'm really curious though how McNabb will perform under Shanahan.