Coachspeak        
by Mike Herman, exclusive to Footballguys.com
COACHSPEAK REPORT CARD
Head Coach (tenure) Team GPA Class Rank
PREMISE Dennis Green (2) Arizona 1.67 25
Text Box: Every week we rely on certain information regarding players and their projected roles in upcoming game(s), to help make roster change and starting lineup decisions. Sometimes the only information we have are statements made by the teams' coaches. Sometimes those statements are not necessarily very truthful.

Which head coaches make reliable statements and which do not? To the left is a report card for all the head coaches in the NFL. Their grade point average is based comments they made during the week prior to each game for the year to date.  Below is a listing of the individual statements made by each coach.
Jim Mora Jr. (2) Atlanta 3.67 9
Brian Billick (7) Baltimore 1.00 28
Mike Mularkey (2) Buffalo 1.50 26
John Fox (4) Carolina 1.00 28
Lovie Smith (2) Chicago 2.50 19
Marvin Lewis (3) Cincinnati 1.00 28
Romeo Crennel (1) Cleveland 3.00 14
Bill Parcells (3) Dallas 2.00 20
Mike Shanahan (11) Denver 3.67 9
Steve Mariucci (3) Detroit 1.50 26
Mike Sherman (6) Green Bay 3.67 9
Dom Capers (4) Houston 0.50 31
Tony Dungy (4) Indianapolis 3.50 12
Jack Del Rio (3) Jacksonville 4.00 1
Dick Vermeil (5) Kansas City 4.00 1
Nick Saban (1) Miami 4.00 1
Mike Tice (4) Minnesota 3.00 14
Bill Bellichick (6) New England 4.00 1
Jim Haslett (6) New Orleans -1.00 32
Tom Coughlin (2) NY Giants 4.00 1
Herman Edwards (5) NY Jets 2.00 20
Norv Turner (2) Oakland 2.00 20
GRADING SYSTEM Andy Reid (6) Philadelphia 2.00 20
A=4 Incredibly accurate Bill Cowher (14) Pittsburgh 2.67 18
B=3 Fairly reliable Marty Schottenheimer (4) San Diego 3.33 13
C=2 Hit or miss Mike Nolan (1) San Francisco 3.00 14
D=1 Not very reliable Mike Holmgren (7) Seattle 3.00 14
F=0 Always wrong Mike Martz (6) St. Louis 2.00 20
Jon Gruden (4) Tampa Bay 4.00 1
-1 No data collected and/or tight-lipped Jeff Fisher (12) Tennessee 4.00 1
Joe Gibbs (2) Washington 4.00 1
Arizona Cardinals Dennis Green (2)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 J.J. Arrington is the team's starting running back, but he added all his running backs will play. "We've got three backs. We only kept three running backs. So, all three of those backs will play. Marcel Shipp. James Jackson has been a solid starter in the NFL, who played for Cleveland. So, all three of the running backs will play. Those are the only three that we have on our roster" Arrington 8 carries, 4 receps
Shipp 7 carries, 2 receps
Ayanbadejo 2 carries, 5 receps
Jackson 1 carry, 0 receps
1
1 Arizona signed ex-Cowboy wide receiver Reggie Swinton to be the team's kick returner coach Dennis Green said. Swinton 6 KRs, 1 PR
Ayanbadejo 1 KR
4
2 Starting running back J.J. Arrington has a stomach flu and sat out Thursday's practice. Green said Arrington is expected to play. Arrington did not play 0
       
       
  Average 1.67  
Atlanta Falcons Jim Mora Jr. (2)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Roddy (White) practiced today and it looks like he'll be ready to go. 3 targets out of 10 to WRs 4
1 He's [Duckett] more decisive in his decision making and hitting the hole then he was last season at this time. He pounds people and he's fun to watch. He's the closer. 8 carries (2 redzone, 1 TD) 3
2 Who will return kicks if Rossum can't go? "Either Roddy (White), Romby (Bryant) or (DeAndra) Cobb, one of those guys." Romby Bryant returned four kickoffs, the others had none. 4
3 Punt Returner for the next game if Allen Rossum cannot play? "It will probably be the same thing. Brian (Finneran), DeAngelo (Hall), and Michael Jenkins working in there some too."    
3 possible starting receiver if Dez White does not play? "I think you would see them both. You could name a starter and that would be Finn (Brain Finneran), but you would see Roddy (White) as well."    
       
  Average 3.67  
Baltimore Ravens Brian Billick (7)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 starting RB Jamal Lewis and backup RB Chester Taylor will split time throughout the game, estimating their carries could be "fairly equitable." Lewis 16 carries, 1 target
Taylor 4 carries, 3 targets
1
2 Brian Billick emphatically and repeatedly said Thursday that Kyle Boller is the team's starting quarterback, and if he fully is healthy by the Jets game on Oct. 2, he will be back under center. pending  
       
       
       
  Average 1.00  
Buffalo Bills Mike Mularkey (2)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Will Losman typically  throw for 300 yards like in college? "I think the stats will show up. It might not be to that extent because we are a ball control offense ... you may see some numbers if we win the possession battle." Losman 17/28,170 yds,1TD,0 int
Bills 65 plays, Texans 49
Bills 38:15 time of possession
2
3 "It would open up the running game and I will say this, we've attempted to throw downfield. Long throws are in the plan." Losman: 9.4 ypc, long 30 yards
Holcomb: -0.5 ypc, long 0 yards
1
       
       
       
  Average 1.50  
Carolina Panthers John Fox (4)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 "Steve Smith is an explosive football player, whether it's as a return man or a wide receiver." WR 8 receps, 138yards, 1TD
PR no returns, 1 fair catch
2
2 "Everybody talks about them (Jordan Carstens and Kindal Moorehead) like they haven't played. They played a lot more than Kris [Jenkins] last year." Carstens: started, 0 tackles
Moorehead: subbed, 0 tackles
0
3 On if Idrees Bashir is an option at free safety: "Yes. He went in late in the game against New England when Mike (Minter) came off. Mike tried to go as long as he could, and then Bashir stepped in."    
       
       
  Average 1.00  
Chicago Bears Lovie Smith (2)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 We’re definitely comfortable putting him [Jerry Azumah] out there (for) some action.“We don’t know exactly how much. We won’t rush him back. We don’t know yet whether he will return kickoffs, but we feel like he’ll play, and kind of take it from there.” Defense: 3 tackles
Did not play on special teams
3
2 Cedric Benson will be more involved this week according to coach Lovie Smith. "We'd like to get him more involved. We got him into the second half last week and we would like to get him in earlier this week." First half: 3 carries, 0 targets
Second half: 13 carries, 0 targets
2
       
       
       
  Average 2.50  
Cincinnati Bengals Marvin Lewis (3)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
2 With HB Kenny Watson going on IR, might FB Jeremi Johnson see a little more action? "He’ll continue to, yes. No question. He knows what we’re doing, he’s been in that position to be the next guy in the rotation. So he’ll have that added to his slate now." 2 carries, 0 targets 1
3 What are your thoughts on the balance of your offensive play-calling? "We would like to stay balanced, obviously."    
       
       
       
  Average 1.00  
Cleveland Browns Romeo Crennel (1)
  NE DC last 4 years
 
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Crennel hasn’t announced a starting running back – he said both Reuben Droughns and William Green will play. “We have two proven runners who have produced in the NFL. We are going to put them out on the field and see if they can produce.”  Droughns 12 carries, 3 targets
Green 4 carries, 0 targets
1
2 Crennel said Friday Droughns will start in Green Bay. “If he gets hot,” Crennel said, “we’ll try to keep him hot and go that way.”  Droughns 20 carries, 0 targets
Green 0 carries, 1 target
4
2 Crennel said Antonio Perkins will get a chance to return kickoffs this week in place of fellow rookie Josh Cribbs, who's out for an indefinite amount of time. 3 returns, 27.3 avg. 4
       
       
  Average 3.00  
Dallas Cowboys Bill Parcells (3)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Said Friday he doesn't know if rookie running back Tyson Thompson will return kickoffs against the Chargers on Sunday because he has made several mental errors in practice this week. Thompson was inactive 4
1 Parcells has indicated that Anthony Thomas will be Julius Jones' backup to begin the season. He said he wants to limit Jones to 250 carries this season, which would be a little more than 15 carries per game. Jones 26 carries, 6 targets
Thomas 3 carries, 0 targets
1
2  "Julius got a little winded there in the fourth quarter. I got him out for a series in the first half. I should have gotten him out at some point in the second half." He said Monday that he would like to give Anthony Thomas 6 or 7 carries per game.  Jones 22 carries, 5 targets
Thomas 2 carries, 2 targets
Thompson 3 carries, 0 targets
1
       
       
  Average 2.00  
Denver Broncos Mike Shanahan (11)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
2 "He had a lot of reps in practice today and looked pretty good out there, so unless there's a setback, he should be ready to go." Shanahan said he did not think the injury would keep Mike Anderson from going full speed. Anderson 15 carries, 4 targets
Dayne 8 carries, 0 targets
3
2 Courtney Brown "will dress this week unless there is a setback." subbed, 1 tackle, 1 sack 4
2 Friday regarding Champ Bailey: "He had a good practice today. He's definitely full go." started, 3 tackles, 1 Int 4
       
       
  Average 3.67  
Detroit Lions Steve Mariucci (3)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Kevin Jones's going to share the load a little bit with Artose Pinner and Shawn Bryson. That's by design. It's not because he can't handle it, it's because we want to keep all of them fresh and healthy. He'll get the lion's share of it, though. Jones 25 carries, 2 targets
Bryson 3 carries, 1 target
Pinner 0 carries, 0 targets
2
2 Mike Williams can be a viable threat in the tight confines of the red zone: "He's going to fill that big role for us immediately." 1 redzone target 1
       
       
       
  Average 1.50  
Green Bay Packers Mike Sherman (6)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 It's possible that TE Doonald Lee won't be activated Sunday in Detroit. "Learning a new offense and terminology doesn't necessarily help him. That's been an ongoing task getting him ready." Lee was inactive 4
1 Although Na'il Diggs is listed as questionable, Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman said the veteran linebacker will not play in Sunday's regular season opener Diggs was inactive 4
2 Ahmad Carroll will play the nickel cornerback position and cover the slot receiver. Although he will not start against the Cleveland Browns, Carroll will continue to see a lot of action. Started, 5 tackles 3
       
       
  Average 3.67  
Houston Texans Dom Capers (4)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Capers said he expects to see a lot from wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who is finally healed from an off-season shoulder surgery. 1 target, 0 receptions 0
2 While discussing Shantee Orr: "Right now, we’ve got to set an example because things need to change. We’ve got a couple people out there that can make plays, and now they’re getting an opportunity." subbed, 1 PD 1
       
       
       
  Average 0.50  
Indianapolis Colts Tony Dungy (4)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 “Dwight [Freeney] should be good to go. Dallas Clark is about the same. We’ll know once he takes the (neurological) test. If he passes the test, he’ll be able to play… He [Marlin Jackson] hasn’t practiced all week, so I’d say it’d be doubtful.” Freeney started & had 3 tackles, Clark and Jackson were inactive 3
2 Regarding Mike Doss: "He'll probably start and should be in good shape." started, 9 tackles 4
       
       
       
  Average 3.50  
Jacksonville Jaguars Jack Del Rio (3)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Fred Taylor will be in the starting lineup on Sunday and Del Rio suggested Taylor will get a 20-25 carries workload, following a four-carries preseason that was dedicated to recovery from offseason knee surgery. Taylor 20 carries, 2 targets
Toefield 4 carries, 2 targets
Pearman 1 carry, 0 targets
Jones 0 carries, 1 target
4
3 “Byron [Leftwich] is about as tough as they come. We're very confident we'll have him this week.”    
3 “Looking back, we'd like to see more running, more balance... I think Fred (Taylor) is ready (for more carries).”    
       
       
  Average 4.00  
Kansas City Chiefs Dick Vermeil (5)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 RE: Brian Waters “We just held him out [of practice]  today as a precautionary measure. I think he’s still probable. I plan on him playing. We’re a little worn down right now.” started 4
1 Q: Will Dante Hall [despite recent injury] do all the returning: kickoffs and punts? "Yes." handled all the punt and kickoff returning 4
2 What will be Kevin Sampson’s function this week? "He will play. He will not start but he will play. We will work him in.” subbed 4
2 “I expect T-Rich [Tony Richardson] to play. I wouldn’t know how to line up without him. I’ve never lined up as a Chiefs coach without him." started, 1 target 4
       
  Average 4.00  
Miami Dolphins Nick Saban (1)
  LSU HC last 5 years
 
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 (On if he has to be conservative because of the inconsistency with the offense during the preseason) – “I am just the opposite... Getting conservative is not going to help us, at all. That won’t come from me, I can promise you that.”  Total: 33 rushes, 36 passes
1st down: 18 rushes, 11 passes
2nd down: 8 rushes, 14 passes
4
       
       
       
       
  Average 4.00  
Minnesota Vikings Mike Tice (4)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 said he doubted any of the team's running backs could handle 20-25 carries per game since they have missed time with injury problems. RB Michael Bennett is expected to start Week 1, but Tice said the team will do a running back by committee approach during the game. Bennett 6 carries, 3 targets
Williams 6 carries, 3 targets
4
1 about Troy Williamson and  this Sunday: "He's made great strides as his confidence has gone up. We'll use him in a number of different situations, some third down, some first down. But he's doing very, very well. I'm very, very pleased." 0 targets 1
2  If Sam (Cowart) can't go would you slide E.J. (Henderson) back in? "We'll talk about that, but the most probable thing is to put Rod (Davis) in there." Davis started, 3 tackles, 3 assists, 1 FR 4
3 Will Koren Robinson be an option as a returner on Sunday? "He'd be an option. I'd love to see Troy (Williamson) get it going with all that speed. "    
       
  Average 3.00  
New England Patriots Bill Bellichick (6)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
2 Troy Brown and Tim Dwight have been back there as punt returners. Are those roles still kind of developing? "We've done both. I think we will continue to do both." Dwight 1 return, 1 FC
Brown 1 FC
4
2 Is Deion Branch your go-to WR: "If he’s open, then we want to get him the ball and he's open quite a bit." led the team with 14 targets 4
       
       
       
  Average 4.00  
New Orleans Saints Jim Haslett (6)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
      -1
       
       
       
       
  Average -1.00  
NY Giants Tom Coughlin (2)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 "Basically, we are going to keep him [Chad Morton] back there for punt returns and that is what we featured him on today [in practice]." 6 punt returns, 0 kickoff returns, 0 rushes 4
       
       
       
       
  Average 4.00  
NY Jets Herman Edwards (5)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Edwards said he anticipated having John Abraham on the field for 15 to 25 plays against the Chiefs. "Hopefully, we can get in passing situations where John can help us, because he can do some things to rush the quarterback." came off the bench for 34 plays, 2 tackles, 1 sack 2
       
       
       
       
  Average 2.00  
Oakland Raiders Norv Turner (2)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 "I believe Jerry [Porter] will be able to play. To what extent, I don't know. I don't know that he's completely turned it loose yet." 3 rec, 48 yds, 0 TDs, did look slightly less than 100% and a little rusty 3
2 Raiders were forced out of their base scheme early on and into an alignment that featured two defensive backs in place of outside linebackers Grant Irons and Tyler Brayton. Yet, it's too early to abandon [that], coach Norv Turner said. both subbed
Brayton 1 assist
1
       
       
       
  Average 2.00  
Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid (6)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 said CB/PR Dexter Wynn should be available for Monday night's season opener against the Falcons in Atlanta. Wynn is listed as questionable on the injury report with an ankle injury. 1 fumble recovery,
3 punt returns plus 1 fair catch
4
2 Reid sounded confident McNabb would not be changing his normal style: "He has full movement to run. I don't necessarily want him to get hit there again, but if needed, he will run." 0 rushes 0
       
       
       
  Average 2.00  
Pittsburgh Steelers Bill Cowher (14)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 How is Quincy Morgan picking up the offense? "He’s picked it up well. There’s a high probability that he’ll play on Sunday. He’ll be out there initially with the four wide package, but he’s coming along well." Played in 4 receiver sets,
0 targets
3
1 Is Joey going to start? "Joey [Porter] will start, yes. Based on him having no setbacks he will start. He’s not ready to play a whole game and James will certainly spell him at times." Started, 2 tackles, 2 assists, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble 4
2 Are the tight ends becoming weapons in the passing game? "We’re going to keep working at it and those two guys have been an integral part of both the passing game and the running game." Tuman 1 target 1
       
       
  Average 2.67  
San Diego Chargers Marty Schottenheimer (4)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Injury report listed Shawne Merriman & Vincent Jackson as probable.  Both practiced Fri. Schottenheimer said that the ability for Merriman and Jackson to contribute on special teams may play a bigger factor than health in deciding to activate the rookies. Jackson inactive;
Merriman came off bench, no tackles etc.
2
2 Schottenheimer plans to use Luis Castillo on special teams and to a limited extent on defense, "It won't be a prominent role, at least not as we approach the game." subbed, 2 tackles 4
2 Toniu Fonoti, emerging anchor of the Chargers' offensive line, has a broken right hand. "The expectation (is) he will play." started 4
       
       
  Average 3.33  
San Francisco 49ers Mike Nolan (1)
  Baltimore DC last 3 years
 
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 “They’ll [Steve Bush & Billy Bajema] split time. Sometimes, they’ll be in there together based on the personnel. That’s why I say the opening series of plays will determine who that starter is, and it could be both of them in there at the same time.” Both played:
Bush 1 target
Bajema 0 targets
3
1 (on if he’s set at having Arnaz Battle return punts) “No. It’s still he and Fred. We’ll see, but I’m not set on it yet.” Amey: 1 PR, 75 yards, TD
Battle: no PRs
3
3 on if he'll stay with the same structure with RB's Frank Gore and Kevan Barlow “Yes. Both of those backs are doing a good job and they will continue to do that. It’s important that you spell the running back, which is what we’re basically doing."    
       
       
  Average 3.00  
Seattle Seahawks Mike Holmgren (7)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 Are you keeping D.D. Lewis in the starting lineup despite his past injuries? "He’s one of the guys on defense that we think can do just fine, but he hasn’t played very much. We think he’ll do fine in the games." Started, 4 tackles 4
2 Will Peter Warrick see more time this week? “Well, we’re going to fast-forward that thing this week. I told (wide receivers coach) Nolan (Cromwell) this week: ‘Let’s get that thing going.’ We’ll try and get him on the field a little bit Sunday” subbed WR, 0 targets
2 punt returns
2
       
       
       
  Average 3.00  
St. Louis Rams Mike Martz (6)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
2 On whether CB Chris Johnson will be ready after a rough opening game “Yeah.  He just got here.  We just have to work with him a little bit.  We’re going to stay with him.” subbed CB, 1 tackle, 1 PD
1 kickoff return
2
       
       
       
       
  Average 2.00  
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jon Gruden (4)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 "It’s up to us now to find a way to get him [Mark Jones] active, and as soon as we can there’s a good chance he’ll be back there returning punts. That’s why he’s here.” 3 punt returns 4
2 “He’s [Mark Jones] done primarily punt returns, but if pressed into service we’ll trust that he’ll do the job [KR] if he’s the guy we choose to go with.” 3 kickoff returns 4
       
       
       
  Average 4.00  
Tennessee Titans Jeff Fisher (12)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
1 (on tight end Ben Troupe getting back on the practice field) "Ben was fine. He did a nice job yesterday and today. He came back today without any problems. Things look good." 4 receps, 28 yards, 1 TD 4
2 on the injury update of  linebacker Keith Bulluck and defensive lineman Antwan Odom: "They are going to be ok. They are alright. We are just holding them back. Keith is improving and so is Antwan." Bullock started, 7 tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack, 1PD
Odom started 1 assist
4
       
       
       
  Average 4.00  
Washington Redskins Joe Gibbs (2)  
week Comment Actual result Grade
2 "John [Hall] hasn't done anything yet," said Gibbs Friday afernoon. "I just can't see that happening. I wouldn't totally rule it out, but he hasn't kicked yet for us this week." Hall inactive 4
       
       
       
       
  Average 4.00