So You Think You Can Coach – Episode 4



In the fourth and final stop on our talent search, we’ll see another slew of cold-weather coaches that could control a club’s competitors in the near future. We’ll show you criticized coordinators with something to prove and some demonstrative defensive guru’s who solidify their squads from the trenches on up. We’ve got seasoned veterans and young upcoming minds. All that and more on this episode of So You Think You Can Coach!

(Cool Theme Music)

As the first round of our competition nears its end here in New England, but we have some of the best candidates saved for last. Our first man up is a guy who’s not well known outside of the state of New York. Yet, he has done some pretty solid work, and the head coaching opportunity should come soon enough. His name has not come up much this year, but as his young defense continues to develop, teams will start to recognize his quality coaching. Keep and eye out for this man in the future. Give it up for… Mike Pettine! (applause)

(Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Pettine

Category: Defensive Coordinator

Coaching Tree: Rex Ryan

Coaching Success: Coached three-year consecutive top five defense with Jets; First season as Bills DC – Team was second in league in sacks and interceptions with top five pass defense

Positives: Excellent defensive coach, even without Rex; motivated to prove himself;

Negatives: Only HC experience is at high school level

Best Fit: Washington Redskins – A team with young offensive pieces and a defense in need of a strong leader


From a lesser-known, underrated defensive coach, we go almost completely the opposite direction with our next candidate. Like Pettine, he has been apart of some dominant units, but that is the only similar thing between these two coaches’ career paths. Our next coach has received heavy criticism for his time as NFL head coach. The offensive mastery he was apart of early in his career is undeniable, but had really gotten rough over the last five years. However, these past few years have stabilized his career, and a successful second chance as a head coach could help him silence more critics. Without further ado… Josh McDaniels! (applause)

(Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Josh McDaniels

Category: Retread/Offensive Coordinator

Coaching Tree: Bill Belichick

Coaching Success: Coached record-setting offenses as Patriots OC; three Super Bowl wins as Patriots’ assistant;

Positives: Offensive expertise; NFL head coaching experience; successful with Patriots; young (37 years old)

Negatives: Never successful without Belichick; rough tenure as Broncos HC; often controversial;

Best Fit: Detroit Lions – A team with a quarterback and wide receiver in place for an offense that he can fine tune, while having a defense with tons of young talent


Following up our most polarizing candidate, out next coach is well traveled, which has helped him build a strong résumé as a model of consistency. He is a coach who’s name always seems to get thrown out there as a head coaching candidate, but very little has surfaced. However, this year may be his shot. He has a Super Bowl ring on his finger and a track record of high quality defenses that should help convince a team to give him a shot. He even has brief experience as an interim-head coach, so he has gotten a taste of what it is like to run the show. Ladies and gentlemen… Perry Fewell! (applause)

(AP Photo-Mike Groll)

Perry Fewell

Category: Defensive Coordinator

Coaching Tree: Various (Tom Coughlin, Lovie Smith)

Coaching Success: Super Bowl Champion as Giants’ DC; Coached borderline dominant Giants’ defense over last four seasons; developed multiple Pro Bowl defenders

Positives: Very good defensive coach; strong motivator; well respected around the league; successful

Negatives: Extremely limited HC experience; Hasn’t proved much without a defensive head coach

Best Fit: Detroit Lions – A team with a highly talented defensive line that he can mold like the Giants’, with offensive pieces in place to build around


Our final candidate of the first round of So You Think You Can Coach comes to us from a little bit further south, with a coach who draws many parallels to Josh McDaniels. Both are offensive coaches that have been apart of record-setting teams to go  with NFL head coaching experience that yielded some controversy. Both have spent time back as offensive coordinators and are looking to get back into the head coaching game. Last, but not least… Jim Caldwell (applause)

(Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP)

Jim Caldwell

Category: Retread/Offensive Coordinator

Coaching Tree: Various (Tom Moore)

Coaching Success: 24-8 in first two seasons as Colts’ HC; three Super Bowl appearances, one win as Colts’ QB coach, one loss as Colts’ HC and one win as Ravens’ OC; Holds NFL record for best start as a rookie head coach (14-0, eventually to Super Bowl)

Positives: Mostly successful; NFL HC experience; Built strong offenses

Defenses: Inherited extremely talented team with Colts – has not been tested with mediocre team; Ravens’ offense good but not great;

Best Fit: Minnesota Vikings – An offense that will allow him to pound the running game while developing his own quarterback, all with a defense that can hold its own.


Well there you have it. That concludes an exciting first round of So You Think You Can Coach. We have seen some exceptional coaches from coast to coast, from high-flying offensive innovators to hard-nosed defensive gurus, the talent available for teams to pick from is far from thin. With a handful of open head coaching spots, and a few more up in the air, a number of the guys we’ve seen will likely find themselves a job at one of these openings. We have had such a great time seeing so many talented coaches, and it is time to narrow down our candidates for the Finals round. We’ll tally the votes from each region, and the winners will go head to head to determine who is the best coaching candidate available! Join us next time for the exciting Finals of So You Think You Can Coach!

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Lorin Cox

Lorin Cox is a diehard Bears fan who writes for both Pro Football Central and He hopes you enjoy his work as much as he does, and he appreciates any feedback on of his writing. You can contact Lorin on twitter at @Wakacha1337 or via email at
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