*Disclaimer: This article is completely for entertainment. I know that the NFL can't trade coaches anymore, but I think it is interesting to think about what the Titans could do if they had the option.
There are rumors of an offer between the Boston Celtics and LA Clippers that would involve trading a star player AND a head coach. This made me curious, what if the NFL went back to a time when they could trade NFL head coaches for players or picks? And if they did that, who could (or should) the Titans trade for?
The most efficient way to figure out who the Titans could/should trade goes like this:
A) Only use the coaches that have either gotten to the playoffs in the last two years, or who are very productive with what little they are given. Also exclude any coaches that were recently hired because the team likely wouldn't part with them.
The list right now:
Mike Smith- ATL, John Harbaugh- BLT, Marvin Lewis- CIN, Mike McCarthy- GB, Gary Kubiak- HOU, Bill Belichick- NE, Sean Peyton- NO, Tom Coughlin- NYG, Mike Shanahan- WAS
B) Remove any head coaches who have gone to a Super Bowl in the past two years, because that price tag will be too high.
The list right now:
Mike Smith- ATL, Marvin Lewis- CIN, Mike McCarthy- GB, Gary Kubiak- HOU, Sean Peyton- NO, Mike Shanahan- WAS
C) Remove any head coaches whose coaching style doesn't fit what the Titans have now offensively.
The list right now:
Mike Smith- ATL, Marvin Lewis- CIN, Gary Kubiak- HOU, Mike Shanahan- WAS
That narrowed it down enough, so which coach would make the most sense at a reasonable price?
Well I think we can eliminate Mike Smith. Atlanta looks like it is set up to be a young powerhouse for at least the next three years and it would likely take two first round picks or more to make a trade possible. While Mike Smith's resume is very strong, he is 1-4 in the playoffs with a very talented quarterback and the most dynamic WR tandem in the league, so it would be a bad trade for the Titans at that price tag.
Marvin Lewis has always underwhelmed me as a coach. Lewis (like Jeff Fisher) is batting around .500 and never seems to make his team better than the sum of their parts. If Lewis were a player I would compare him to 2-down linebacker, a fullback, or a game managing quarterback he can help your team, but he won't be a game changer. The price tag for Lewis would probably be cheap, but the Bengals front office managed to squeeze a first and second round pick out of the Raiders for an aged Carson Palmer, so it scares me to think what they could convince the Titans that Marvin Lewis is worth.
Gary Kubiak is a unique coach on the Titans short list. On one hand it makes no sense for the Titans to trade for Kubiak, he was on the hot seat until Wade Phillips came and took over the defense. Without that infusion of attitude (and JJ Watt) Kubiak could be on the street right now.
On the other hand, his PA/ZBS offense has gashed the Titans for years and this move would not only add that ability to the Titans roster, but it would take it away from a division rival. Kubiak now has confidence and a rudimentary knowledge of what to look for in a DC to help with his deficiencies there. All in all the Texans would probably refuse to do (reasonable) business with the Titans, and they would price themselves out of the market.
Those eliminations make Mike Shanahan the most logical trade target for the Titans, and I think it makes a lot of sense for both teams. The Titans get the master of the running game Mike Shanahan and use his knowledge of the zone read offense to rebrand themselves as THE team to beat when it comes to running the ball thanks to a retooled offensive line and one of the best running backs in the league.
The Redskins would receive a first or second round pick contingent on how well he coached in the 2013 season, and they also get to promote Mike Shanahan's son Kyle to the position of head coach. They would get a youthful, uptempo coach that is familiar with RG3's strengths and weaknesses, and they get a guy that can be the new face of a youthful franchise.