Seriously being clever is hard. Guenther the Hunter? Guenther wont have a Punter? When he uses the bathroom he’s known as Guenther the dum…
Guenther has been an under the radar name that has intrigued me while looking at candidates for the next Philadelphia Eagles head coach. Guenther is a Richboro native and Council Rocks graduate. He played Division 3 football locally at Ursinus College. He became a head coach at a very young age and has experience winning hearts and minds of the region on the recruiting trail. He has spent the last 15 years grinding his way up through the NFL coaching ranks. He has head coaching experience as well as experience working in all three phases in the NFL. He’s worked for two of the best defensive minds in football with Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer. If the Eagles hire a defensive guy I’d rather have Guenther than McDermott.
1994-1995: Western Maryland (McDaniel); Graduate Assistant
1996: Ursinus College; Defensive Coordinator
1997-2000: Ursinus College; Head Coach
2002-2003: Washington Redskins; Offense Quality Control
2005: Cincinnati Bengals; Defensive Staff Assistant
2006: Cincinnati Bengals; Assistant ST/Assistant DB
2007-2011: Cincinnati Bengals; Assistant ST/ Assistant LB
2012-2013: Cincinnati Bengals; LB coach
2014-2015: Cincinnati Bengals; Defensive Coordinator
How he got here:
After a successful college career at Ursinus College where he set the program mark for career tackles, Paul Guenther spent a few years at Western Maryland (now McDaniel) before returning to his Alma Mater to become the DC. When the head coach left to start an FCS program at Jacksonville State, Guenther became the new head coach. He was only 25 and was the youngest HC in college football. Despite his youth Guenther compiled a 25-18 record as head coach including 10-2 and 8-3 records in his final two seasons. He left after the 2000 season due to disagreements with the college president about the level of commitment from the school, as well as to pursue coaching at a higher level. He was hired by the old ball coach to be the offensive quality control coach in Washington. In 2005 his time with Marv Lewis and Hue Jackson in Washington led to the Bengals hiring him. Since that point he has slowly worked his way up the ranks in Cincinnati.
In 2012 Guenther was given full control of the LB room. Along with Mike Zimmer he helped bring out the best in talented head case Vontaze Burfict. He helped turn Vincent Rey from fringe roster player into a highly productive if unsung starting linebacker. He taught an old dog new tricks when he got James Harrison who had been a 34 OLB his entire career to become an off the ball linebacker in the 43.
When Mike Zimmer was hired away, both Zimmer and the Vikings as well as Jay Gruden who he had worked with during their time in Cincinnati both tried to hire him as their DC. Cincinnati wasn’t going to lose both OC, DC and promising young defensive coach so they promoted Guenther to DC. Here’s how he’s performed:
- 22nd in Yards Allowed
- 20th in Passing Yards Allowed
- 20th in Rush Yards Allowed
- 12th in Points Allowed
- 32nd in Sacks
- T-10th Takeaways
- 14th in DVOA
- 11th in Yards Allowed
- 20th in Passing Yards Allowed
- 7th in Rush Yards Allowed
- 2nd in Points Allowed
- 9th in Sacks
- 6th in Takeaways
- 10th in DVOA
The 2014 number are not great. That unit was pretty mediocre. However the 2015 group has been pretty good. That shows an ability to improve a unit and learn from shortcomings. When you consider the 2015 Bengals offense has scored a lot (7th), and the defense has had to play with the lead, the numbers are even more impressive.
Paul Guenther isn’t a homerun candidate. You’re not going to win “shiniest new toy” for hiring him. But he’ a local guy (which Lurie seems to value), with head coaching experience, a diverse background, has paid his dues, can work with “big personality” players, and comes from a team with a strong defensive identity. The Eagles don’t need to win the press conference. They don’t need a big ego. They need a well-rounded coach. Paul Guenther fits that criteria.