Boom or bust? Evaluating young NFL coaches’ success during Super Bowl era

The Cincinnati Bengals are set to make one of the youngest hires in the history of the NFL in Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor. They hope to catch the wave of potential in the 35-year-old and ride it to the next generation of teams.

The proposition is risky, to be sure, though the rest of the NFL is going along the same lines with young, offensive-minded coaches popping up around the league this hiring cycle. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona) and Matt LaFleur (Green Bay) are both 39. They follow along with Taylor in the lineage of the youngest coach in NFL history, Los Angeles’ Sean McVay.

When assessing the history of hiring young coaches, you'll find the boom-or-bust candidate is a definitive reality. The success stories have defined franchises. The failures set them back years. There’s almost no in-between.

Let's take a look at the youngest coaches hired in the Super Bowl era.

BOOM

Sean McVay, Rams

  • Age at hiring: 30 years, 11 months
  • Record: 24-8, back-to-back playoff appearances
  • What happened: Everyone wants a piece of McVay’s friends after two years of leading the change as a face of the next generation of the NFL.

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