Chip Kelly Should Probably Fire Himself

Mike TomlinPIT95-6+24 Ron RiveraCAR51+145+1543 Bruce AriansARI30+120+125<1 Marvin LewisCIN130+184+10140 Gus BradleyJAX30+8-1851 Herman Edwards2007KC47% Jack Del RioOAK10—+37<1 Andy ReidKC30+185+841 Mike McCoySD31+32-1055 Jeff FisherSTL40+124-5613 Dan QuinnATL10—+6<1 Neill Armstrong1980CHI22 COACHTEAMSEASONSPLAYOFF WINSBEFORE 2015DURING 2015CHANCE OF FIRING Dick Jauron2008BUF25 Jason GarrettDAL61+141-11735 Dave Campo2001DAL39 Things look bad for Chip Kelly and his Eagles. Fans are calling for his head; discord is rampant in the locker room; Kelly seems to be linked to every college job not nailed down or on fire; and the Eagles have found themselves on the receiving end of consecutive beatdowns so humiliating that mayor-turned-governor-turned-commentator Ed Rendell — a man last seen in public supplication outside a McDonald’s, begging for a McRib — was so ashamed that he hid his head in a bag. If Kelly is the NFL’s mad scientist, the lab is on fire.In the short term, Kelly is probably safe. He has two years left on his contract after 2015, and his newfound authority over Philadelphia’s roster — wrestled away from Howie Roseman in a power struggle in January — makes him a little more entrenched than your typical head coach. But the Eagles have also been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams, by both the eye test and fancier metrics. So while Kelly the personnel czar still has some rope, we can entertain ourselves with a thought exercise wondering just how often such a disastrous season traditionally leads to a coaching change.To measure just what it takes for a coach to get fired in the NFL, I trained a classification model on data for every NFL coach since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, looking for the factors that predict whether he’ll return the following season. The best model, in terms of having the lowest “out-of-bag error,” accounts for how long a coach has been with his team, the team’s outlook going into the season, and how many playoff wins the coach has recorded during his tenure with the team. Coaches are typically given more leeway early, with firings peaking three to six years into their tenures, and unsurprisingly, playoff wins buy more job security. We used our Elo ratings as a proxy for team outlook; whatever you think of its predictive capabilities, Elo is a fantastic gauge of team perception and expectations.According to that historical rubric, no current coach1So, excluding Joe Philbin and Ken Whisenhunt, both of whom were fired earlier this season. should be feeling the heat more than Kelly, whose indicators have traditionally led to termination a shade over half the time (through 11 games): Pete CarrollSEA67+276-37<1 Lovie SmithTB20-59+4517 John FoxCHI10—+50<1 Todd BowlesNYJ10—+34<1 Sean PaytonNO96+94-7619 COACHYEARTEAMCHANCE OF FIRING Mike McCarthyGB107+136+202 Sam Wyche1994TB30 Mike ZimmerMIN20+4+995 Bill O’BrienHOU20+120+10<1 John HarbaughBAL810+117-741 Mike PettineCLE20+32-8319 Chip KellyPHI30+144-8652% Jay GrudenWAS20-28+55<1 Rex RyanBUF10—-22<1 Chan Gailey2011BUF28 The idea here is to measure what sort of team performance, somewhat devoid of context, would get a typical coach fired. You’ll notice in the table that Marvin Lewis — a coach pretty unlikely to be fired — is third on this list; that’s mainly because he’s been with the Bengals for 13 years and has zero playoff wins. The real world context is that while that is a broadly undesirable outcome, the Bengals being the Bengals, the team has more than exceeded the existential target of being Not The Browns. (You can see the lasting improvement that Lewis has brought to Cincinnati in the “before 2015″ column, which shows how much the team’s Elo rating improved between the time he got the job and the beginning of this season.) So Marv, like Chip, is probably fine, for reasons that are very different but just as amusing.As for Kelly, he’s in his third year of his tenure with a club, after winning zero playoff games in Years 1 and 2 — a scenario that has traditionally been the death zone for NFL coaches. Coaches in that predicament must show progress to keep their jobs: Roughly two-thirds of surviving coaches improved their team’s Elo rating (relative to preseason expectations) in Year 3, while nearly three-quarters of those fired oversaw an Elo decline from the preseason. So the Eagles’ 86.4-point Elo drop this season doesn’t look good for Kelly — since 1970, only 15 of the 128 coaches in Kelly’s position (Year 3 with a team, no previous playoff victories) oversaw a bigger drop-off in Elo through 11 games of the schedule, and two-thirds of them were fired before the following season began. Jim CaldwellDET20+66-645 Chuck PaganoIND43+173-316 Bill BelichickNE1621+164+761 ELO CHANGE John Mackovic1985KC28 Sometimes coaches still survive odds like Kelly’s. This table shows the coaches whose jobs were in the most jeopardy 11 games into a season yet went on to keep the job. But if Kelly does manage to stick with Philly beyond this season, he would set a new mark for unlikely job retention.Kelly’s trajectory wasn’t always so negative. After Philly beat Dallas in early November to make their record 4-4, there was only about a 5 percent chance that Kelly would be fired according to the model. But the Eagles’ current three-game losing streak has caused his probability of being fired to skyrocket: Gary KubiakDEN10—+66<1 Jim TomsulaSF10—-103<1 Tom CoughlinNYG128+81+217 John Mazur1971NE29 Jim Hanifan1983CRD26 Dave McGinnis2002ARI21 There’s still time for Kelly to turn things around. For one, the average coach who was fired since 1970 was assigned a 76 percent probability by the model at this stage of the season, so Kelly, at 52 percent, has some room left to fall. Second, despite their abiding awfulness, the Eagles somehow have a 15 percent chance of winning the NFC East, which would put a little shine on the turd. Although one of the most similar coaching seasons to Kelly’s2In terms of the arc his probability of being fired has taken each week. resulted in Wade Phillips being fired by the Denver Broncos in 1994, other similar years belonged to coaches who held on for another year (Bruce Coslet with the 1993 Jets) or even unexpectedly went to a Super Bowl a year later (Jim Fassel with the 2000 Giants).However the season plays out, Kelly will probably hang onto his job — particularly given the personnel control matter we mentioned earlier. But based on what typically gets coaches fired, Kelly should be thankful that he’ll (probably) remain employed when the smoke clears on this garbage fire, because historical precedent says it should pretty much be a coin flip whether he gets swept out with the ashes. read more

The Cavs Thread The Needle With Kyrie Megadeal

No matter who you feel won Tuesday’s blockbuster Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade — the likes of which were unprecedented in NBA history — there is an irony worth considering in all this.After years of making win-now moves, the Cleveland Cavaliers began straddling the line between immediate contention and considering the future — a must, given Irving’s messy trade request last month and the threat of LeBron James’s pending free agency. In beginning to walk that tightrope, the Cavs effectively switched places with the Boston Celtics, who, until now, had been stingy with future assets, wanting to win the East while also playing the long game.At its core, this all-star point-guard swap was one of survival for the Cavs, even if it did net them a sizable haul. Irving made it known he wanted out, limiting any sort of leverage for the team. And Cleveland had to thread the needle here by not only getting a good, if not great, player to replace a chunk of Irving’s impact, but also landing something for the future in case James bolts next summer.Thomas, who averaged almost 29 points per game last season, and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick clearly checked off those two boxes. But for all the similarities Irving and Thomas share — they’re both undersized, top-flight scorers who struggle on defense — the way they go about generating offense is a bit different. Thomas should be able to shoulder just as much ball-handling responsibility as Irving did. But he played in a free-flowing offense with the Celtics, who boasted the league’s second-best assist percentage. Boston utilized handoffs more than any NBA team — about seven a game, according to Synergy Sports Technology — seeking to take advantage of Thomas’s quickness off the dribble.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ithandoffblur.mp400:0000:0000:10Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.By contrast, James and the Cavs — 20th in assist percentage — used the second-fewest handoffs in the NBA, with fewer than three per night. Only 22 percent of Irving’s 2-pointers were assisted last year, which suggests that he’s a bit more more self-sufficient from close range than Thomas (34 percent) is.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/irvingisojazz.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/kyrieiso.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Picking up Ante Zizic and Jae Crowder, a solid wing player who can both defend and shoot, should be viewed as icing on the cake for the Cavaliers.1Even more reason for celebration if you’re Cavs owner Dan Gilbert? According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the team saved more than $29 million in luxury taxes Tuesday by trading Irving. Probably not championship-level icing, though.Yes, Crowder gives Cleveland an additional perimeter defender, something the club badly needed in last year’s finals against the Warriors. That’s paramount, since Golden State might be more difficult to guard than any team in league history, given all the weapons they boast, and the highly unusual way they use off-ball screens to spring shooters open. But for all the ability Thomas possesses as a scorer — including the disappearing acts he performs around the basket — he stands 6 inches shorter than Irving, and, thus, is even less capable than Irving of stopping anyone on defense. A troubling omen: The Warriors feasted on Thomas’s lack of defense the past three seasons, scoring 108.6 points per 100 plays against the Celtics with Thomas on the court. For context, they only managed 87.2 points per 100 plays against Boston with Thomas on the bench, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.2In 170 minutes on court and 69 minutes off court over those three seasons with Boston.Besides being a liability on one end of the floor, Thomas, a 28-year-old who figures to want a max contract next summer, is still slowly working through the hip injury that sidelined him for the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals last postseason. If he isn’t right physically, and can’t get there next season, that figures to leave James overburdened offensively in a year when the Cavs are hoping to leave a positive lasting impression ahead of their superstar’s foray into unrestricted free agency.Should the Cavaliers get out to a hot start amid these changes, they could opt to go all-in to take greater aim at the Warriors by dangling the Nets’ pick in hopes of landing a player like DeMarcus Cousins. That would carry an absolute ton of inherent risk, though, given James’s status.The safer choice, of course, would be to hold onto the pick in case James decides to walk. If and when that happened, Cleveland — in hopes of bottoming out and rebuilding through the draft — might decide it makes sense to let Thomas do the same as opposed to signing him to a rich, long-term contract.For the Celtics, who got the best player in this deal, the calculus is more clear-cut: They got a better, younger and taller version of what Thomas was, and one who’s under contract at a reasonable dollar figure for a longer time. (The Celtics — who traded stud defender Avery Bradley to shed salary for Gordon Hayward’s max deal — were already facing cap challenges. Trading for Irving eliminates the max-or-no-max decision on Thomas and gives the Celtics an extra year to take stock of where they are before Irving hits the market.)3ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that the Celtics are confident that Irving will stay in Boston long term.It’s fair to wonder whether Boston may have handed over a future No. 1 overall pick in this deal for Irving, though that seems a bit more unlikely this season, given that the Nets have a halfway respectable roster, albeit a young one.4D’Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll and Trevor Booker are on the roster, among others.But beyond the players who were dealt, the teams seemingly swapped their long-term outlooks. The Celtics have reached a new stage — one where they finally felt they were within striking distance of LeBron. Only time will tell whether the gamble works out in their favor. The Cavaliers, showing Celtic-like prudence, found a way to replace their disgruntled No. 2 star — while also building an escape hatch should they lose their biggest star. read more

Blue Jackets refocus after stumbling through roadtrip

Columbus did not have much to be thankful for in its longest road trip of the season.Late-game letdowns were the cause. The Blue Jackets (12-9-4) have lost five games in a row, the longest winless stretch of the 2009-10 campaign. Four of the five losses were during the road trip, and the team continued its fall Saturday against Calgary with a 4-3 shootout loss at home.Before the road trip, the Jackets marked down back-to-back home shootout wins against Anaheim and Edmonton. The team looked re-energized after an embarrassing 9-1 loss against Detroit Nov. 11.But now, Columbus, like a younger brother getting bullied in the backyard playground, looks worn out against the rest of the NHL. It has been hard to watch.This team can win games. Last year, the club never went more than three consecutive games without a win.But this time around has been different. What happened to the Blue Jackets finishing out a hockey game? The club has been ahead in each of the last five games, but failed to hold onto the lead.The Montreal game was a hard one to digest. The Jackets led 3-2 headed into the final period but allowed three unanswered goals as the Canadiens came roaring from behind for the 5-3 win Nov. 24.Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the loss that not managing the game has been the story of the season for the club. He’s right about that.Columbus is third-last in the NHL in goals against, giving up an ugly 86 goals in 25 games with 32 suffered in the third period alone.Saturday night was the worst of the worst.Columbus seemed in control late in the third period with a 3-1 lead, but Calgary scored twice in a 1:19 span to tie it. The Jackets consistently struggle in the third period. They just seem to be outmatched.Sophomore goaltender Steve Mason looked good for most of the night against the Flames. But he gave up three goals on four attempts during the shootout, allowing Calgary constant open spaces between the pipes. He is now 0-4 in shootouts.Maybe he’s moving too fast or seeing the puck too quickly. Whatever it is, the 2009 Rookie of the Year should not panic. He will need to continue to work with the coaching staff to get back where he was last season.These next two games are crucial for one of the youngest clubs in the league. Columbus has back-to-back division games starting tonight against St. Louis at home. The Jackets travel to Chicago Tuesday night to face the Blackhawks, who are on top of the division with 35 points.Standing at 28 points, the club can climb right back to where it was to begin the year in the Central Division with two wins.Losing is contagious. It affects a player’s attitude on the ice, in the locker room and even at home.All it takes is 60 minutes of physical hockey to wipe away the frustration. The losses will be forgotten, the third period woes will vanish, and the Jackets can get back to a winning mindset. read more

Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman seeing defenses he never dreamt of

Ohio State’s football’s coaches might spend days working on a game plan for the Buckeyes’ games on Saturdays, but offensive coaches have found that planning for the first three games of this season seems ineffective at times. The opponents’ defensive schemes, some coaches say, have been entirely different from anything they’ve seen on film. Rather, the opposition’s strategy has been geared toward stopping the running ability of sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller. “I’ve seen defenses in the last three weeks that I never dreamt of in my mind to try and stop the QB from trying to run the football,” said offensive coordinator Tom Herman. “It’s an interesting quandary to be in when you have such a dynamic runner back there, that defensive coverages tend to be completely skewed opposed to what you grew up knowing.” This specialized preparation by OSU’s opponents has shown in games. So far this season, the Buckeyes have scored a total 122 points and only 20 have come in the first quarter. That is eight points or more below in comparison to any other quarter. Coach Urban Meyer shared Herman’s sentiment. “All three defenses we’ve faced have been (unique)- we didn’t practice what they played because we didn’t know. So that tells you what they’ve been doing all offseason working on this one game,” Meyer said. Sophomore tight end Jeff Heuerman is aware of the differences in schemes by opponents’ defenses, but said he realizes it is something to be expected. “Not every team is going to do exactly what they say they are going to do,” Heuerman said. “They ran a different defense and a few other teams ran some stuff that we haven’t seen yet. That’s all a part of being Ohio State, you gotta come up with some unique to beat you.” The Buckeyes’ next opponent, University of Alabama at Birmingham, might present a similar problem, but Meyer said he does not expect to see such bizarre styles of defense once they enter Big Ten play in two weeks on the road against Michigan State on Sept. 29. “It’s harder as the season progresses for a team to do that, because they can’t just say, ‘We’re working on Ohio State,’ because they have some previous games. So after this game, we’ll see usually what we see, and that is what teams play, because you can’t change defenses in the middle of the year normally,” Meyer said. OSU is scheduled to play UAB in Ohio Stadium at noon Saturday. read more

Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price named manager

The Cincinnati Reds decided to hire in-house to its open managerial position.The club’s front office announced the promotion of pitching coach Bryan Price to manager at a Tuesday press conference. News of the hire first surfaced Monday night on Twitter from Fox’s Ken Rosenthal.Reds General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty said Tuesday that despite a long list of candidates, he and the rest of the front office did not interview anyone else for the job.“Once we had the meeting with Bryan, we saw no reason to go forward (with other candidates),” Jocketty said at the press conference.The club’s CEO, Bob Castellini, described Price as “exceptional,” and said if the Reds did not hire Price, he likely would be heading elsewhere.The two sides agreed to a three-year contract running through 2016.Price, the 61st manager in team history, steps in for Dusty Baker who was relieved of his duties Oct. 3 after the Reds lost six consecutive games to close out 2013, including the National League Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.Baker went 509-463 (.524) during his six seasons in Cincinnati; he took his team to the postseason in three of the past four years.Price has served as the Reds’ pitching coach since 2010. During the 2013 regular season, the Reds’ pitching staff owned the MLB’s fourth-best ERA and led the NL in strikeouts. The year before, Price’s repertoire of bullpen arms led the Majors in saves (56) and was fourth in ERA (3.34). The 2012 Reds’ starting pitchers became just the eighth rotation in MLB history with five pitchers making at least 30 starts each.Price, who has never managed at the professional level, pitched as high as AAA in the minor leagues and served as the pitching coach for both the Mariners’ (2000-2005) and Diamondbacks (2006-2009) before coming to Cincinnati.The San Francisco, Calif., native interviewed for the Miami Marlins’ managerial vacancy last offseason, and was rumored to be a possible candidate for the Seattle Mariners current opening at the position.Starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who becomes a free agent as soon as the World Series ends, told the Cincinnati Enquirer how he felt his former pitching coach would do as a replacement when news broke of Baker’s firing.“I think he’d be unbelievable,” Arroyo said. “He’s as organized as anyone in the game; he holds people as accountable as well as anyone I’ve seen. He doesn’t buy into stereotypical things in the game … Price looks at evidence. He’s a freaking smart guy, he makes his decision on reasonable evidence. Sometimes in baseball we go by hunches, what someone else said or the way things have gone in the past. He doesn’t do that.”According to a September article at mlb.com, Reds’ starting pitcher Homer Bailey also had positive things to say about Price’s ability to hold people accountable, an area some feel Baker struggled with.“We are held accountable,” Bailey said. “We demand certain things out of everyone here, whether you’re the No. 1 starter on the team or the mop-up guy, it doesn’t matter. Our expectations are held so high. Some things are just unacceptable. Our starters are expected to go seven innings. We are expected to keep our team in the game. We are expected to put up quality starts.”Price thanked Baker during Tuesday’s press conference, saying “he became a friend and confidant.”Jocketty said other coaching staff decisions for vacant roles have not yet been made.Price will join John Farrell of the Red Sox and the Padres’ Bud Black as the only active managers who were previously a pitching coach. read more

Ademola Lookman is locked in Everton

first_imgWith only 20 years of age, the England under-21 forward will remain at Everton, coach Marco Silva said on MondayAfter spending the first semester of 2018 in the German Bundesliga, playing with RB Leipzig in eleven matches and scoring five times, Ademola Lookman seems to be “locked” in Everton.The Toffees’ boss told The Guardian today about the future of many players, and he said “he is our player and he stays,” about Lookman.The attacker has played with the English National Team in the U19, U20 and U21 divisions, scoring four goals.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…Meanwhile, he has defended the jerseys of Charlton Athletic and Everton in England, while he just played in Germany with Leipzig before the summer.But Marco Silva has said he will not sell or re-loan Lookman this season, even after the German side is asking for his return.“It is not easy for us as a club to sign some players because in normal situations they ask a lot of money and also we have to make the right decisions,” he said about the team looking for additions only.last_img read more

Pochettino keen on building Spurs momentum

first_imgMauricio Pochettino has expressed delight at the manner his team cruised to a 3-0 win over Cardiff City and now wants more of the results on a consistent basis.Spurs erased the memories of Saturday’s shock home defeat to Wolves thanks to goals Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, and Son Heung-min to move within six points of Premier League leaders, Liverpool.And Poch was quick to praise the performance of the players heading into the crucial part of the campaign.“I think it was so important (to win) and build another positive run,” Pochettino revealed to RTE.“It was so important for our confidence because in three days we are going to start another competition, the FA Cup.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“Then we are going to play the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea.“It was so important to start the new year with a victory, away from home in a very difficult place, against a team like Cardiff who came from beating Leicester.“They came with massive confidence in the way they played the last game and it was a massive victory for us.“It is three points that make us believe a little bit more in our possibility to be in a very good position in the table.”last_img read more