The NFL is stepping into the future, but some teams are stuck in the past

The NFL is stepping into the future, but some teams are stuck in the past

Nick Azevedo is a Contributing Writer for The Bugle. The opinions expressed here are solely his own and are not meant to reflect views of The Bugle staff or The Bolles School.

It’s 2024 in the NFL. General managers, owners, and fans want their teams to deliver a much more aggressive game. 

In the past, teams prided themselves on their defense being able to win games for them. But that has changed. Teams are changing to a more offensive style, with several head coaches having prior experience on the offensive side of the ball as a coordinator, position coach, or player. Owners and general managers have favored the younger, more modern-minded style coach over the older defensive-based coaches. 

Many teams are already ahead of the curve, but to the owners who are stuck in the past, and are trying to resurrect their team to play like the 2014 Seattle Seahawks or the 2015 Denver Broncos, it is time to wake up and move into the future of the NFL. Sure, there are teams that have great defenses. But the defenses now are nothing without a good offense. A perfect example of this is the San Francisco 49ers who succeed off both sides of the ball instead of just one.  

Nowadays, many coaches and GMs across the league have had to switch the way they draft, sign, and coach their teams. Coaches have to learn newer and more offensive-heavy approaches on how their team plays in order to adapt to the modern NFL. There have been several examples—such as former Chargers head coach Brandon Staley who was replaced by former Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh—that if a coach is unable or unwilling to change, they can be replaced with someone who can. 

In 2024 alone, several head coaches lost their positions, with one of the more notable departures being Bill Belichick, who parted ways with the New England Patriots after 24 years; Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, who was removed as head coach after 14 seasons; Mike Vrabel, who was fired after five seasons with the Tennessee Titans; and Ron Rivera, who was fired after three seasons by the Washington Commanders.

For the past two seasons, all four coaches had a combined record of 55-81 with the only coach maintaining a winning record being Pete Caroll, going 9-8 in both seasons. Which is one of the reasons that he is staying within the organization, just not in a head coaching role. 

With the 2023 season coming to an end and the 2024 offseason coming into view, GM’s and owners who have chosen a new path for their franchise have a lot of work to do if they ever want to compete for the Lombardi Trophy. 

Being able to form a winning team starts with being able to find a suitable head coach. With the more modern ways of winning, an owner can only hope that his team is able to find a more offensively aggressive type of coach. Some very notable and popular head coaching candidates are Ben Johnson, Bobby Slowik.

These candidates more than deserve their stripes for being a head coach. Ben Johnson has been with the Lions since 2019 and started his tenure as the team’s Offensive Coordinator in 2022. In the two years that Johnson has been the head play caller, Detroit ranked top five in points scored and top four in total yards. Johnson’s imaginative, aggressive, and more modern play-calling styles are just some of the reasons that he is a top candidate come the 2024 offseason. 

Bobby Slowik served with the San Francisco 49ers from 2017 to 2022. From 2020 to 2022, Slowik worked on the offensive side of the ball as an offensive assistant and passing game coordinator. In February of 2023, Slowik was hired by the Houston Texans as the team’s offensive coordinator in hope’s that he could turn around the team’s offense from the year before, when they ranked 30th in total points and 31st in total yards. In Slowik’s first year as the team’s offensive coordinator, he and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud took the Texans’ offense to 13th in total points and 12th in total yards. 

So to all the NFL owners and GMs who want to take their team to the next level—it starts with taking a step into the future. 

About the Contributor
Nick Azevedo
Nick Azevedo, Contributing Writer
Nikolas is a junior and first-year staffer for the second semester, originally from California, Nikolas joined the Bugle to contribute his knowledge on the world of sports. Nikolas joined the Bugle to prep for college where he wants to study sports journalism. When Nikolas isn't writing he is hanging out with friends and cheering on his favorite sports teams.