Alright folks, it's that time of week again. Aside from Bill Cowher, my coaching candidates for next year have focused on current offensive coordinators in the NFL. I've done this because many, including myself, prefer an experiences coach or an offensive minded coach that can help groom a young QB. After all, Miami will be in line for one of the top QB prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft. This week I'll focus on Pete Carmichael Jr, current Offensive Coordinator for the New Orleans Saints.
Carmichael started his coaching career at New Hampshire in 1994 as an offensive line assistant at University of New Hampshire after graduating from Boston College where he chose baseball over football. In his single season at New Hampshire, the Wildcats won the Yankee Conference Championship.
Carmichael was hired by Louisiana Tech in 1995 as QB Coach. In his 5 years at the school, Bulldogs QBs broke nearly every school passing record.
When it was discovered Y2K wasn't the end of the world, Carmichael started the new generation in the NFL as Offensive Assistant/Tight Ends Coach with the Cleveland Browns. He served only a single year for the dysfunctional franchise and left after Chris Palmer was fired as Cleveland's Head Coach.
After being acclimated to dysfunction in the NFL, Carmichael joined the Washington Redskins staff as quality control under new Marty Schottenheimer, who was just hired as the Redskins new Head Coach. Once again, Carmichael served a single year before he moved on.
Carmichael was hired by the San Diego Chargers in 2002, striking a perfect 3 for 3 in dysfunctional franchises. He served as Offensive Assistant/Quality Control for two years until being promoted to WR Assistant in 2005 by Schottenheimer, who had joined the Chargers as Head Coach. He served with James Lofton and was part of an offense that ranked 10th in the NFL in 2004 and 2005 when Drew Brees emerged as a top NFL QB.
Carmichael left the Chargers in 2006 and joined the New Orleans Saints where he was reunited with Brees. Carmichael served as QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator. In this role, Carmichael was not only tutoring Brees, but assisted in pass routes and protection schemes. In 2008, the Saints finished 1st in the NFL in passing and Brees threw for 5,069 yards, the second highest total in NFL history. Brees also threw a franchise record 34 TDs. The Saints finished with the top scoring offense.
Carmichael was promoted to Offensive Coordinator in 2009 and still serves in the same role. The Saints didn't skip a beat as they once again had the top scoring offense, setting a franchise record for 510 points scored in the process. New Orleans scored 45 points or more in 4 games during the regular season and once in the postseason. They had 6,461 total offensive yards and their run game improved to 6th best in the NFL, up from 28th the previous year. The 2010 Saints still remained one of the NFL's best and under Brees, they converted an astonishing 48.8% of their third downs.
Like some other coordinators out there, some may be quick to dismiss Carmichael's accomplishments because he's had a QB like Drew Brees or because Sean Payton normally calls the plays for the offense. In his only game calling plays for New Orleans, the Saints dropped 62 points on the Indianapolis Colts.
Carmichael is not only well liked by the Saints players and well respected by team executives, but he's held in high regards in NFL circles. Carmichael has experience coaching nearly every offensive unit and though he doesn't call the plays for New Orleans, he's a key component to their planning and preparation for their offensive game plan. He is familiar with Brees and understands what to look for in a QB and knows well how to utilize his players like an athletic TE such as Jimmy Graham. He's done an excellent job at utilizing a backfield full of specialist RBs, including Reggie Bush, and has put them in the best situations to maximize their skills.
Like Rob Chudzinski, a candidate I spoke of previously, Carmichael would be an excellent choice for a team looking to bring in a young QB to groom. He could perhaps bring along Joe Lombardi, currently the Saints QB Coach who gaining respect, to help tutor a rookie QB. He's familiar with Reggie Bush and is familiar with quality TEs such as Graham and Jeremy Shockey. Carmichael can bring the offense Dolphins fans have been clamoring for and could use Bush like he did with the Saints while installing an offense that uses the TE as a threat in the middle of the field instead of an extra pass blocker.