Playing in the National Football League certainly isn’t easy.
Being a head coach in the NFL is no picnic either.
Week 1 of the 2018 season is in the books and there were certainly some great performances, as well as a few surprises. We saw an overtime tie in Cleveland between the Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. We saw weather delays in both South Florida and Carolina. But the host teams in the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers won their games in each instances.
For what it’s worth, there was also a disappointing trend when it came to the seven who made their debuts as their franchise’s newest sideline leader. For two of those gentlemen, Pat Shurmur of the New York Giants and Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders, they have been down this path before. But that didn’t make things any easier or successful on Sunday and Monday night, respectively.
When it came to the new head coaches around the league in Week 1, each went down to defeat. Shurmur and his club fell at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20-15. Meanwhile, in the final game of the week, Gruden and the Silver and Black were humbled by the visiting Los Angeles Rams.
But wait, there’s more. Steve Wilks and the Arizona Cardinals fell to the visiting Washington Redskins, 24-6. Matt Nagy’s Chicago Bears owned a 20-0 third-quarter lead at Green Bay and fell to an Aaron Rodgers’ comeback, 24-23. At Miami, Tennessee Titans’ leader Mike Vrabel saw his club fall by a 27-20 count. And the Indianapolis Colts and new head coach Frank Reich owned a 13-3 second-quarter lead over the Cincinnati Bengals and fell, 34-23.
And then were was former New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator, now the man in charge in the Motor City. The Detroit Lions were dominated in all three phases of the game and fell to the visiting New York Jets on Monday night, 48-17.
Seven debuts and seven losses by a combined 210-117 score. Things should get easier for all of these head coaches as time wears on…hopefully.
Russell S. Baxter is the founder of and a member of the NFL media for 35 years and counting.

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