NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks solicited questions from fans on the NFL's Facebook page this week. After reviewing the submissions, he tackles the posts that grabbed his attention.
What new (and possible rookie) coaches are you looking forward to seeing in action this year, and what type of new plays/tactics will they bring with them this year? Donal M.
Harbaugh will become the latest college coach to take a stab at the NFL, but I believe he is well positioned to have success where others have failed. He enters the league with 14 years of experience as a player, which will help him immensely with the transition. He also has the advantage of leaning on his brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, to help him with some of the organization and planning that go into the job. From a schematic standpoint, I'm curious to see what Jim Harbaugh brings to the table as a pro coach. At Stanford, he utilized a pro-style system that featured multiple formations and personnel packages. His offense dictated the game to defenses, and his clever usage of pre-snap motions and shifts routinely led to big plays due to blown defensive assignments. I'm not sure he can confuse pro defensive coordinators with slight-of-hand tactics, but I can't wait to see the chess matches unfold.
Jackson is intriguing because he was instrumental in the Raiders' success a season ago as offensive coordinator. He took over an offense that struggled moving the ball consistently as well as scoring points, and transformed them into a unit that bludgeoned opponents with a hard-hitting running game and explosive vertical passing attack. He found a way to tap into Darren McFadden's talent, and the surprising emergence of wide receiver Jacoby Ford should be attributed to Jackson's ability to maximize a player's talent. Although Al Davis' presence has caused some head coaches to wilt under pressure, Jackson has embraced his input and found a way to earn the respect of the team as its new leader. Granted, we are still in the honeymoon phase of this marriage, but I like the direction the team has taken in building their coaching staff and acquiring players. If it plays out like I think that it will, the Raiders will immediately be major players in the AFC West.