I think NFL clubs should give Scott Linehan another chance at a head coaching job.
The Cowboys' excellent offensive coordinator deserves a second shot based on his work.
Monday, Jason Garrett said he has not been contacted by any teams to interview Linehan. That’s unfortunate and shortsighted, especially since he’s available to meet with clubs while the Cowboys have a playoff bye this week.
“I want to do the best job at the job I have right now,” Linehan told ESPN.com. “All those things, if you have success, maybe come up, but it really hasn’t been a focus. That’s really kind of where I’m at for that.”
The lazy thought is to say, "Linehan’s had his chance." From 2006 to 2008, he led the St. Louis Rams to a 11-25 record. He was fired after an 0-4 start in 2008.
We can debate all day long about Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells line, “You are what your record says you are,” or I can bring up some other coaches records early in their careers before turning it around. Instead of doing that, I’ll tell you why Linehan deserves an interview and maybe another opportunity.
Look at what he has been able to do with quarterbacks. This is a quarterback league and being able to develop and get signal callers to play at a Pro Bowl level should never be overlooked.
His latest work with Dak Prescott is impressive. The fourth-round draft pick tied the NFL rookie record with 13 wins as a starter on his way to a Pro Bowl nomination. Consider Prescott was taking third-string reps when the Cowboys started training camp, it is amazing how he was in the MVP conversation during the 2016 campaign as Dallas finished as the top seed in the NFC.
Other Pro Bowl quarterbacks Linehan has worked with include Tony Romo (Cowboys), Matthew Stafford (Lions) and Dante Culpepper (Vikings).
Linehan coached then Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray to the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award and an NFL rushing title in 2014. This year, rookie running back Zeke Elliott won the 2016 NFL rushing title in 15 games.
Other offensive playmakers he’s coached to Pro Bowls: wide receiver Randy Moss (Vikings), quarterback Daunte Culpepper (Vikings), running back Michael Bennett (Vikings) and running back Steven Jackson (Rams).
NFL teams keep hiring offensive coaches and the list of offensive guys in demand right now for interviews include Kyle Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, Hunter Goodwin, Frank Reich, Anthony Lynn and Sean McVay. Only McDaniels (New England’s offensive coordinator) has been a former NFL head coach from that list and he was fired in his second year with the Broncos in 2010 after leading the team to a 11-17 record.
I have said for years McDaniels deserves another chance to be a head coach. I think the same for Scott Linehan.
Too many times we don’t want to open our eyes to how people can improve, correct mistakes and shortcomings from their first head coaching job. Bill Belichick, Buck Showalter, Terry Francona, Pete Carroll and Marv Levy became legends in their sport after being fired from their first jobs as head coaches/managers.
The Bills, Chargers, Rams, 49ers, Jaguars, Broncos need head coaches, but so far, they have yet to give Linehan a call and that is a mistake.