In the NFL, the need for one guy to look ahead and handle all game-management type scenarios including challenges, whether plays are even challengeable or not, in-game scenarios, and issues like clock management is becoming more and more common.
New Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter has been an offensive coordinator in the NFL since 2007, and was a college head coach at Boise State and Arizona State prior to that, and now, as a first-time head coach in the NFL, Koetter sees a tremendous amount of value in having a dedicated game-management coach.
"Because I'm going to stay as the play-caller, and there are plenty of guys in the NFL who stay as play-callers as head coaches," Koetter told Bleacher Report in a Q&A recently. "There are just so many situations that come up in an NFL game, whether it's clock management or just game-ending situations, to have someone that they're fully dedicated to that preparation in leading up to the game and on game day made sense."
"When I was the offensive coordinator, if I was up in the box, we always had a designated coach on the field that if I said, 'This situation is up' and the head coach was on the other side of the phones talking to the defensive staff, that coach on the field would go remind the head coach about this or that," Koetter added. "There is so much pressure when that clock is ticking, you have to have somebody who is on top of that and looking ahead."
For Koetter and the Bucs organization, that game-management coach is Andrew Weidinger, who has been in the NFL for nearly 10 years and currently holds the title of offensive quality control coach in Tampa Bay. He's a guy that Koetter is familiar with, and whom he trusts a great deal.
On game days, a head coach is bombarded with thousands and thousands of different decisions, so while a number of college coaches already have a someone they trust to serve a as sounding board for big decisions and during crunch time, this is something that I can see a lot of coaches adopting at the college level as well.
Imagine the value of getting a veteran like Frank Beamer, Gary Pinkel, Jim Grobe, Mack Brown, or Bobby Bowden on board as your game-management guy on game day to bounce an idea off during pivotal moments, and to help you think two steps ahead as the game progresses. With athletic directors leaning toward hiring young coaches, this would be especially valuable for those guys getting their first shot with a college program.