The annual spring meeting for the NFL’s owners and coaches gives us rule changes, a few draft hints, and some other NFL minutiae. But most importantly, it gives us an awkward photo of the league’s coaches that is always missing Bill Belichick.
But wait ... THEY GOT BELICHICK THIS YEAR!
Say cheese: @NFL head coaches pose for group photo at the league’s Annual Meeting at the Biltmore in AZ pic.twitter.com/n2PO6Ml4U5— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) March 25, 2019
Top row (left to right): Jason Garrett, Zac Taylor, Mike Vrabel, Freddie Kitchens, Frank Reich, Ron Rivera, Matt Patricia, Anthony Lynn, Kyle Shanahan, Matt Nagy, Doug Pederson, Pat Shurmur
Bottom row (left to right): Doug Marrone, John Harbaugh, BELICHICK!, Mike Zimmer, Dan Quinn, Kliff Kingsbury, Sean McDermott, Andy Reid, Brian Flores, Bill O’Brien, Jon Gruden, Vic Fangio, Matt LaFleur, Jay Gruden
Holy crap, they got Bill Belichick!
Mike Tomlin, Adam Gase, Sean Payton, Bruce Arians, Pete Carroll, and Sean McVay are the six coaches who appear to have found their way around the class photo. (McVay said he missed the photo due to a “miscommunication,” while Gase probably didn’t want to get memed, and Payton is likely still beefing with the NFL.)
That’s not too unusual — Carroll, John Harbaugh, and Belichick were absent last year.
Belichick was missing in 2018, and also in 2017, and 2016 too.
They actually got him to show up in 2015, but he could only be bothered to put on flip flops for the shot.
This time he looks — dare I say — relatively spiffy:
He still showed up with sneakers, but so did plenty of other coaches. It is the offseason after all.
And in case you were wondering, no he’s not smiling. The sun was just in his eyes.
Andy Reid is still the coaches photo MVP
The undefeated king of the annual photo retained his title by again being the easiest person to spot by a mile. It’s not a coincidence that he’s front and center. The photographer knew who the money maker was:
Long live the king, who has apparently stepped up his casual wear with a Chiefs-branded Hawaiian shirt. Game changer.
Are the Grudens doing alright?
Both Jon Gruden and Jay Gruden look sick in the photo.
At least Jon is fighting through the pain. Jay looks like he’s about 0.3 seconds from hurling. Maybe that’s why Matt LaFleur is pulling his shoes back — he wants to keep them out of the splash zone.
Jay’s explanation the next day seems ... convenient:
#Redskins coach Jay Gruden addresses his controversial coaches pic to @KimJonesSports: “I was preparing to smile and no one said 1, 2, 3 go.” Likely story— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 26, 2019
Speaking of LaFleur, all the first-time NFL coaches were present. Browns HC Freddie Kitchens still looks like the coach that most represents his own fanbase:
Kliff Kingsbury, perhaps dreaming of Kyler Murray, is still handsome.
And Bengals coach Zac Taylor, who is almost a whole 36 years old, looks like a kid playing dressup.
If Taylor makes you feel old, don’t worry — you’re not alone:
Ron Rivera on becoming one of the older coaches: "You talk about baby-faced? There were a lot of baby faces (in the coaches' team picture here)."— Joe Person (@josephperson) March 26, 2019
We’ve got some outfit repeaters
Jason Garrett, Kyle Shanahan, Dan Quinn, and Pat Shurmur appear to have their designated picture day clothes, because they were all wearing the same exact thing in Orlando last year.
NFL head coaches at league meetings in Orlando #9sports pic.twitter.com/sjaMWldggj— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 26, 2018
Did you think we wouldn’t notice, gentlemen?
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Beep boop beep.