Adam Gase’s record as an NFL head coach sits at 30-42 in the moment of time this article is written.
As much fun as it would be to do dive into scheme and analytics as to why his record is so unfavorable, that’s actually not the most standout thing about his career to the top of the American football coaching food chain.

Photo: Ron Cheney

Adam Gase played wide receiver as a high school student at Marshall High School in Marshall, Michigan and that’s where his time on the field came to an end as a player. Although He and fellow teammates from his high school have spoken about his above the bar football IQ, He wasn’t gifted as an athlete. Gase has climbed a ladder that most coaches never see.

Adam Gase’s situation inspired me to do a little research on current and past head coaches that have had zero college or professional football on-field experience as a player. Since Superbowl’s are the ultimate goal, I narrowed down my search to coaches who have made it to the big game.

Listed is every coach to have made the super bowl since 1990.

Thirty years of the Super Bowl era is more than enough of a sample size to get a true assessment of what works.

Here is the list:

Andy Reid, Kyle Shanahan, Bill Belichick, Sean McVay, Doug Pederson, Dan Quinn, Gary Kubiak, Ron Rivera, Pete Carroll, John Fox, John Harbaugh, Jim Harbaugh, Tom Coughlin, Mick McCarty, Mike Tomlin, Jim Caldwell, Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, Ken Whisenhunt, Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan, Mike Martz, Brian Billick, Jim Fassel, Jeff Fisher, Dick Vermeil, Mike Shanahan, Dan Reeves, Bill Parcells, Barry Switzer, Bobby Ross, George Seifert, Jimmy Johnson, Mark Levy, and Joe Gibbs.

That may have been a lot of names to read, but that’s the point. What is one common denominator from each of these coaches? These are the coaches that have reached the pinnacle of the National Football League. They all have playing experience at a collegiate or professional level. To be in the mind of your opponent you need to have been there. Fought in the trenches. Smacked by your opponent. See the twitch in his eye before he hits a go route or the fidgeting of his fingers when you know he’s going to hit a post route.

This may have felt like a bash on Adam Gase and it may have begun that way, but this is also a history lesson. A lesson that will hopefully give you insight on whether or not your current head coach or future head coach will have success in this league.

The NFL is filled with elite athletes on every team. The only attribute that could give a team an edge is a head coach who’s been there on every level of the game.

Does your favorite team have the edge?

Featured Image: Ron Cheney
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