NFL's Complicated Offseason Is Putting New Head Coaches at an Impossible Disadvantage

Stephen Douglas
Matt Rhule at the NFL Draft Combine.
Matt Rhule at the NFL Draft Combine. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images
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The NFL season was kind of supposed to start today. April 6th was the date that teams with new head coaches were supposed to start workout programs. It would have been a chance for new coaches to meet the players they inherited. Instead, they're stuck doing important evaluations through phone and video calls. This is a big disadvantage for the new coaches heading into the NFL Draft.

For coaches who have been with a team for a few seasons, this isn't that big of a deal. Bill Belichick and Andy Reid know exactly what they have in every guy on their roster. But for first-year coaches, this is an incredible disadvantage. You look at a guy like Matt Rhule who was coaching at Baylor a few months ago and it's unlikely he's even met most of this roster face-to-face, let alone seen what they can do on a football field. Even some coaches entering their second season might not have had a good chance to evaluate a guy who dealt with injuries last season. In a multi-billion dollar industry with little job security, there is no way these guys are pleased with the level of evaluation they've been able to preform in getting ready for their first draft.

And this is an issue that is just going to continue as the NFL pushes back all non-televised events. The draft is still scheduled to take place remotely in a little over two weeks. Teams are unable to see prospective players in person. Players like Tua Tagovailoa aren't meeting with team doctors.

OTAs are supposed to start on May 21st. It's unlikely the world has returned to anything close to "normal" by then. Things are just going to keep getting pushed back. Even if Donald Trump is optimistic that the NFL and its fans can return to stadiums by September. The logistics of NFL teams together for mini-camp don't even seem realistic.

If the NFL keeps that September kickoff - whether in stadiums or a biosphere - they're putting new coaches at a disadvantage. What they need to do is re-evaluate now and often.

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