The once hot-shot offensive mind teams desired to mimic thinks franchises are foolhardy for the obsession with trying to unearth the latest hot-shot offensive mind teams are trying to mimic.
Sean Payton, still the gold standard of successful offensive gurus, thinks clubs who focused in on only finding the "Next Sean McVay" missed the boat on some potentially better head coaches during this year's annual cycle.
In an interview with NFL Network's Steve Wyche this week, Payton said the search for the next McVay left out worthy candidates, but he's happy to face those teams that ended up erring with their choice.
"I think we've got a diversity problem, like this season, what took place, that's hitting us square in the face. I think that not a lot was written or discussed about it," Payton said. "There are a handful of coaches that I know that if I was a GM who I would be interested in hiring.
"So, I think more and more it's season-by-season and 'I want Alvin Kamara.' Well, you can't have him. You can go draft 10 more running backs and be 0 for 10 trying to find him or (Sean) McVay (as a coach). And so I see a lot of mistakes made in that process I feel like this long in and so we're excited to play those teams."
Eight teams hired new coaches for the 2019 season. Six of those men coach offense, Bruce Arians (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Adam Gase (New York Jets), Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals), Freddie Kitchens (Cleveland Browns), Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers) and Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals). Only two of those six (Arians, Gase) have previous head coaching experience. The other four have a combined 29 games experience as NFL play callers.
Two coaches were hired from the defensive side of the ball, Vic Fangio (Denver Broncos) and Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins). Flores is the only non-white male.
Sean Payton's Saints will face two of those newly hired coaches this year: division rival Tampa Bay and Arizona.
The New Orleans coach believes that teams who narrowed their hiring approach looking for a certain standard could be missing out on potentially great coaches, some from his own staff.
"I feel like I've got four or five coaches on my staff that are going to become head coaches at some point," Payton said. "The thing that can be disappointing though is when you talk to someone and they give you the profile (of their desired new coach) and then I'll say 'well you're not interested in a young Bill Belichick or a young Tony Dungy?'
"They get so pigeonholed into -- cause this is cyclical, right, this goes -- and ultimately you would say if we did a little history, successful head coaches probably come from the east and the west and north and south. They probably come of both color and they probably come on defense and on offense. And they're good leaders. They're great leaders. And, so, if you say 'well I just want the one that coaches quarterbacks and they're on offense,' well, then, you're going to end up with a smaller pool and you'll probably have less of a chance to be right, because already of eight hired there's going to be three that survive three years."
Payton is certainly right that some of the new hires will fail, perhaps several of those on offense. There are also other examples of hot offensive play-callers like Matt Nagy in Chicago turning their team's fortunes around quickly.
Payton's point underscores the truth that when the NFL -- or any business -- diminishes the pool of applicants right off the bat, they're not searching for the best candidate for the job but rather a predetermined notion of the hottest trend.
There is only one Sean McVay.
Perhaps many of the new hires will be smashing hits. Sean Payton would like to test them out for himself.