Martz: McVay Was An Exception; NFL Coaches Need Experience

The NFL might be going overboard in hiring so many 30-somethings as head coaches, Mike Martz says

JRSportBrief
April 22, 2020 - 8:33 am
Zac Taylor Bengals

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When Mike Martz was coaching The Greatest Show on Turf, he was in his late-40s and considered one of the top young coaches in the NFL. Since then, NFL coaches have gotten younger and younger, with Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan, Zac Taylor, and Joe Judge all becoming head coaches in their 30s.

What should we make of this shift? Does it help having uber-young coaches who can more easily relate to players, or is their lack of experience a detriment?

“I think Sean was very unique,” Martz told JR SportBrief. “I don’t know how many Sean McVay’s there are out there, but he’s very intelligent and his background was strong, solid, and he had a great mind for what he wanted to do and could coach the details. I don’t know if that’s true for all guys who come in in their 30s like that. Certainly if they’re not, they don’t last very long.”

McVay coached the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance. Shanahan did the same as a coordinator in Atlanta and as a head coach in San Francisco.

Taylor’s first year in Cincinnati, meanwhile, didn’t go so well, as the Bengals (2-14) finished with the worst record in football. Time will tell how Judge fares with the Giants, as he went from special teams coordinator with the Patriots to head coach of one of the most high-profile gigs in the sport.

“I think it’s unfortunate that each year so many coaches get fired and replaced, and there’s just not a real good pool so they get younger and younger,” Martz said. “I think they pass over some really good, older coaches here that deserve the opportunity and would do a good job. Nonetheless, I think the experience issue is a bit of a factor. Sean is an exception to the rule, but I do think the experience needs to be blended in with a couple of coordinators that have been around for a while. I think that would help them.”