There was a lot of skepticism surrounding the hire of Herm Edwards considering he hasn’t been on a college coaching staff in nearly 30 years. He has assembled a solid staff at Arizona State, but this matchup will be his first real test.
It is uncommon for a major college football team to hire a coach who has never been a head coach at the collegiate level. Arizona State felt that Edwards was the man for the job, and though week one was encouraging, the real test starts at home against Michigan State.
Edwards’ record as an NFL coach was 54-74 but there was always something to be said for what he was able to implement defensively during his tenure as a head coach.
The former Jets and Chiefs head coach learned from Tony Dungy and Marty Schottenheimer – two incredibly talented coaches who coached some very respectable teams.
When looking at Edwards’ defensive-oriented type of coaching, there isn’t a ton of emphasis put on what the offensive side of the ball will do. Luckily, Herm’s Arizona State team has a three-headed monster of N’Keal Harry, Manny Wilkins, and Eno Benjamin that teams will not look forward to facing.
The hiring of Edwards was considered to be unconventional, and though it may be, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a reckless hire. Edwards has 30-plus years of coaching experience and was able to help transform the two teams he coached.
College is a whole different ballgame, however, and it’s incredibly hard to stick around with one team unless a national championship happens in the first few years.
For the Sun Devils, hiring Edwards was a risk worth taking. The Todd Graham hire at the time seemed like the right move. Graham was going to implement a high-powered offense, get recruits to come to Arizona State, and they were going to win a lot of football games. But it seemed like Graham was just a flash in the pan at Tulsa and wasn’t able to really make the transition from mid-major to major NCAA programs.
But that wasn’t an issue for Edwards because he hasn’t been a head coach in college ever, and he also hasn’t coached in the NFL in over a decade. His knowledge of football and the potential to be great in college is why they hired him.
The first real test for Edwards is against a No. 15-ranked Michigan State team, who, on paper match up well with the Sun Devils.
Every game in college football is a must-win game, but this is a must-win game for Edwards as a coach. Edwards has always been a coach with an unwavering support of his system and exudes an extraordinary amount of confidence in the programs of which he has been a coach.
Hiring Edwards was a calculated risk, but now it’s time to see if that risk will pay off.