The Texans and Cowboys are fighting a battle against recent history with a long-tenured coach
Bill O'Brien or Jason Garrett making a Super Bowl? History says doubtful
With Championship Sunday this weekend and Andy Reid just one game away from making it to the Super Bowl with the Chiefs AND Sean McVay one game away in his second year, I wanted to go back and look up what the average number of years a coach has been with a team before he makes the Super Bowl during the Brady Era (2002 - Present). The numbers are posted above and if you're a Texans fan, history isn't on your side. On average, if a coach doesn't make a Super Bowl by his third season, he is probably not going to make it since the average is 3.3 years of the 22 coaches that made an appearance for the first time with their respective teams.
Is There a Right Time To Move on from a Coach?
Two coaches made it to the Super Bowl past their fifth years. Andy Reid with the Eagles in year six after making it to the NFC title game four straight times and finally winning it the fourth. Mike Holmgren, playing with house money since he won a Super Bowl in Green Bay, made it to the Super Bowl in his seventh season with the Seahawks and had the longest leash of all the coaches on this list in terms of success in the playoffs with his current team and getting more years.
Here's the list of longest tenured coaches not to make a Super Bowl with their current team (Minimum five years):
- Jason Garrett (nine seasons),
- Andy Reid (sixth with the Chiefs)
- Bill O'Brien (five seasons)
- Mike Zimmer (five seasons)
Garrett and O'Brien have only reached the divisional round while Reid and Zimmer have reached their respective title games. Specifically speaking for the Texans, the contract extension last year for O'Brien is even more frustrating because by the end of it, it is more likely O'Brien will be closer to Marvin Lewis and Jason Garrett than Mike Holmgren since there's only a 10% chance a coach makes it to the Super Bowl after his fifth year with the same team.
The Defense For O'Brien
This is where the Franchise QB Argument comes in. O'Brien has never had a dynamic QB like Deshaun and that's the hope every Texan fan has for the next four years. Looking at just the numbers, it took Sean Payton and Drew Brees four years together before they cracked a Super Bowl. It took Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll two years before they made it to a Super Bowl. This is the one caveat with my post, O'Brien has a franchise QB to mold and get to Super Bowl levels.