Herman Edwards: Wikis


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Herman Edwards
Herman Edwards.JPG
Date of birth April 27, 1954 (1954-04-27) (age 55)
Place of birth Eatontown, New Jersey
Position(s) Head Coach
College San Diego State
Regular season 54-73-0
Postseason 2-4
Career record 56-77-0
Playing stats Pro Football Reference
Playing stats NFL.com
Playing stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
Philadelphia Eagles
Atlanta Falcons
Los Angeles Rams
Team(s) as a coach/administrator





San Jose State University
(offensive assistant)
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
(defensive backs coach)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(assistant head coach and
defensive backs coach)
New York Jets
(head coach)
Kansas City Chiefs
(head coach)

Herman "Herm" Edwards, Jr. (born April 27, 1954) is an American football analyst who most recently coached in the National Football League. He held the head coaching position of the Kansas City Chiefs until 2008. He was fired from this position on January 23, 2009. Since then, he has been hired as a football analyst for ESPN.[1] He played the position of cornerback for ten seasons (1977–1986) with the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons. Prior to his coaching career, Edwards was known best as the player who recovered a fumble by Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik on a play that has been dubbed by some as "The Miracle at the Meadowlands."

Before being hired as the tenth head coach in Kansas City Chiefs history, Edwards was the head coach of the New York Jets from 2001–2005. He is infamous for his gameday terminology, known by fans as "Hermisms," including the quote and sound bite, "You play to win the game!", a message that Edwards gave during a New York Jets press conference. It also became the title of his book, a collection of "leadership lessons" for the reader to use as personal motivation.


Playing career

The son of an African American World War II veteran and his German war bride, Edwards played college football at the University of California in 1972 and 1974, at Monterey Peninsula Junior College in 1973, and at San Diego State in his senior year, 1975. He graduated from the latter with a degree in chemistry.

In the NFL, Edwards played nine seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1977 to 1986, making a championship appearance with the team in Super Bowl XV. His 33 career interceptions is just one short of the franchise record. Remarkably he never missed a game in 9 seasons with the Eagles, remaining active with the team for 135 consecutive regular-season games until being cut by then-incoming Head Coach Buddy Ryan in 1986. Edwards went on to play briefly for the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons in 1986 before announcing his retirement.

The highlight of Edwards' playing career occurred on November 19, 1978, in the final seconds of a game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. The Giants led 17-12 and the Eagles had no time-outs remaining; but instead of simply taking the snap from center and taking a knee, Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik attempted to hand the ball off to running back Larry Csonka. However, the ball came loose, and Edwards picked it up and returned it for a touchdown, enabling the Eagles to win 19–17. This play became known in Philadelphia as The Miracle at the Meadowlands and in New York as simply "The Fumble."

Philadelphia's implementation of the victory formation, which was designed as a result of The Miracle at the Meadowlands, was known as the "Herman Edwards play".

Coaching career


Early years

After his playing career ended, Edwards became a defensive assistant at San Jose State University (1987-1989), then was an NFL scout and defensive backs coach with the Kansas City Chiefs (1990-1995), for former Browns, Chiefs, Redskins, and Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996–2000), he was a defensive backs/assistant head coach under Tony Dungy. On January 28, 2001, despite never having previously held a head coaching or coordinator position, Edwards was hired as head coach of the New York Jets .

New York Jets

In his five years as the Jets head coach, Edwards compiled a 39–41 record, including a 2–3 record in the playoffs and a 5-15 stretch during his final 20 regular season games with the club. With a strong veteran team in place following Bill Parcells tenure in the organization, the Jets had mild success in Edwards' first two seasons, reaching the playoffs in both. The Jets were the 6th seed in 2001, losing on the road in the first round to the Oakland Raiders by the score of 38–24. In 2002, the Jets squeaked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, due to winning the tie-breakers in a three-way tie for the AFC East Division lead with the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. The Jets advanced through the Wildcard round this time, which led to a return trip to Oakland. Once again, Edwards and the Jets came up short, losing 30-10 to the Raiders. Following a disappointing 6-10 season in 2003, the Jets reached the divisional round of the AFC playoffs once more in 2004, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 20-17. In 2005, a year marred by injuries, inconsistent play, lack of player development, and rumors swirling about Edwards possibly leaving the organization, Edwards led the Jets to a woeful 4-12 record. Following the end of the season, the Jets made the highly unusual move of trading a coach—Edwards—to another team (the Kansas City Chiefs), in exchange for a player to be chosen in round four of the 2006 NFL Draft. The Jets replaced Edwards by hiring Eric Mangini, a senior assistant-coach with the New England Patriots.

Controversial Departure from New York

Following the 2005 season, Carl Peterson (president of the Kansas City Chiefs) hinted to the press about interest in hiring Edwards that could have been considered tampering. The Jets granted permission to the Chiefs to speak with Edwards.[2] At the time, Edwards had two years remaining on his contract with the Jets. However, Peterson wanted Edwards (a longtime personal acquaintance) to succeed head coach Dick Vermeil, who had just retired. As the rumors started swirling, a war of words between the two teams began to start up in the media. In the midst of all the speculation, Edwards tried to use what leverage he thought he had with the Jets to get a contract extension and hefty pay raise from the Jets, which only served to further anger the club's owner. Eventually, the two teams worked out a deal, and the Chiefs sent the Jets a 4th round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft as compensation (the Jets later used this selection to take Leon Washington).[3]

Kansas City Chiefs

On September 10, 2006, Edwards made his regular season coaching debut with the Chiefs. In a lackluster performance, the Chiefs lost at home, to the Cincinnati Bengals, by the score of 23-10. Edwards first win with the Chiefs came on October 1, 2006 with a defeat of the San Francisco 49ers 41-0 in the third game of the season.

The 2006 Kansas City Chiefs season would see many highs and lows. Starting quarterback Trent Green suffered a serious concussion in the first game of the season. Despite Green's injury, the Chiefs continued to stay in contention, largely thanks to backup quarterback Damon Huard and Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson. In a move some considered controversial, Edwards chose to sit Huard and start Green, when he returned from injury[4] [5]. At the time, Huard's performance at quarterback was one of the best in the league, having thrown 11 touchdowns against only 1 interception, averaging 7.7 yards per pass attempt, and posting a quarterback rating of 98.0[3] (2nd best rating in the NFL, second to only Peyton Manning). Additionally, the Chiefs were 5-3 in games started by Huard in 2006. Upon his return, Green struggled and failed to perform at the level of play that he had achieved in previous seasons, throwing 7 touchdowns (against 9 interceptions) and going 4-4 as a starter.[4] Green's poor play led to Edwards placing more of the offensive burden on the shoulders of Larry Johnson, who ultimately ended up setting a record for rushing attempts in a season.

The Chiefs finished the 2006 season with a 9–7 record, edging out the Denver Broncos (who lost in OT to the San Francisco 49ers in the final game of the season) by divisional tiebreaker for second place in the AFC West, and making the playoffs as the 6th seed in the AFC. This was their first playoff appearance in the last 3 seasons, despite the 2005 Chiefs having had a better record at 10–6 the previous year.

On January 6, 2007, the Edwards-led Chiefs were soundly defeated by the Indianapolis Colts, by a score of 23–8. In the first half, the Chiefs offense failed to produce a single first down. This was the first time in the modern NFL era (post AFL-NFL Merger), and the first time since 1960, that any team had been held without a first down in the first half of a playoff game[5].

Edwards second regular season with the Chiefs began on September 9, 2007. Edwards streak of losses on opening day continued as the Chiefs lost to Houston Texans, by the score of 20-3. This loss marked the first time since the opening day of the 1970 season that the Chiefs has lost by a margin of 17 points on opening day, and was the first time in a decade that the Chiefs had been held to 3 points or less on opening day. The Chiefs under Edwards ended the 2007 season 4–12 with a 9 game losing streak, which tied the then-longest losing streak in the history of the Chiefs franchise.

In the 2007 season the Chiefs were plagued with quarterback, running back, kicker and offensive coaching controversies. Damon Huard started the season and compiled a 4 win and 5 loss record. He was benched in favor or Edwards 2006 draft choice Brodie Croyle who split time with Huard mid-season, then became injured, then finished most of the season. Croyle played in a total of 9 games and did not win any. Running back Larry Johnson injured his foot mid season and was replaced by Priest Holmes who came out of retirement late in the year and was ineffective. Kicker Justin Medlock was Edwards draft choice but was cut after the first game and replaced by Dave Rayner. He was cut late in the year and replace with John Carney. Finally, after promoting Mike Solari from Offensive Line Coach to Offensive Coordinator in 2007, Edwards fired Solari and replaced him with Chan Gailey in early 2008. He also fired his offensive line coach, receivers coach, and running backs coach.

43 year old Chiefs owner Clark Hunt set the tone for the 2008 season by expressing his support for Herm Edwards and GM Carl Peterson and their plan to rebuild the team. However Clark did warn that he expected the Chiefs to be competitive for a playoff spot in 2008.

In an attempt to rebuild the team, the Chiefs cut numerous aging veterans in the offseason, and the team traded Pro Bowl Defensive End Jared Allen to the Minnesota Vikings. As a result, Edwards fielded one of the youngest teams in the NFL in 2008. Edwards streak of opening day defeats continued as the Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots by the score of 17-10. This continued the Chiefs losing record from 2007 into 2008. The team eventually skidded to a franchise record of 12 consecutive regular season defeats. The Chiefs finally ended the streak after defeating the Denver Broncos at home on September 28, 2008 by a score of 33-19. Unfortunately they were blown out the following week at the Carolina Panthers. During that game, the Chiefs only managed to gain 127 total yards, their worst performance in 22 years.

Edwards was relieved as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs on January 23, 2009.

Coaching Rumors

On January 11, 2010, the University of Southern California confirmed[6] that they had contacted Edwards about their head coaching position vacated by Pete Carroll's departure to the Seattle Seahawks.[7]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYJ 2001 10 6 0 .625 3rd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Wild-Card Game.
NYJ 2002 9 7 0 .562 1st in AFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Divisional Game.
NYJ 2003 6 10 0 .375 4th in AFC East - - - -
NYJ 2004 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game.
NYJ 2005 4 12 0 .250 4th in AFC East - - - -
NYJ Total 39 41 0 .487 2 3 .400
KC 2006 9 7 0 .562 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Wild-Card Game.
KC 2007 4 12 0 .250 3rd in AFC West - - - -
KC 2008 2 14 0 .125 4th in AFC West - - - -
KC Total 15 33 0 .313 0 1 .000
Total[8] 54 74 0 .422 2 4 .333


Herman Edwards' performance as a coach has drawn a variety of criticisms.

  • Teams coached by Edwards have typically started most seasons with poor performances, leading to speculation that Edwards does a poor job of preparation in the preseason. [6] Additionally, Edwards' record on opening day of the NFL season is 2-6, and his teams have been outscored 203-135 (including 87-30 in the last 4 season openers, all losses) in these games. Ironically, the last season opening game that Edwards' current team, the Chiefs, managed to win was against him—when he was still coach of the New York Jets.
  • It has also been speculated that Edwards' lack of conditioning in practice has had a poor effect on his teams, In 2008, the Chiefs lost an array of games in the fourth quarter after blowing a lead or falling behind in a tie.
  • Edwards has been criticized for a number of perceived clock management gaffes.[9][10][11][12]
  • Edwards' game plans have often been criticized as too conservative with little or no imagination.[13] A prime example of Edwards' game plans, the lone Chiefs 2006 playoff game was one of the worst offensive performances in recent history.[14][15][16]


Edwards is known for his motivational speeches and soundbites given at press conferences. Edwards' popularity among motivational speaking has even led to the publication of his own book of quotes.

With New York

  • "This is what's great about sports. This is what the greatest thing about sports is. You play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game. You don't play it to just play it. That's the great thing about sports: you play to win, and I don't care if you don't have any wins. You go play to win. When you start tellin' me it doesn't matter, then retire. Get out! 'Cause it matters." - Following a reporter's question on the team's ability to win, on October 30, 2002 after a Week 8 loss to the Cleveland Browns left them at 2–5. After this speech however the Jets, sparked by the debut of Quarterback Chad Pennington, would go 7–2 and win the AFC Eastern Division Championship. For more see 2002 New York Jets season.

This monologue was later incorporated into a TV commercial for Coors Light beer.

With Kansas City

  • "I did a lot of preaching this week. I had my sermons ready. The good part is the congregation was listening. I wish I had passed the collection plate. I would’ve made a lot of money. But I did it for free." — Edwards, following a win against the Chargers in 2006.[17]
  • "When you're a head coach, you don't know where to stand," Edwards said. "You're screwed up. You go on the field, no one's talking to you. `Somebody's gonna talk to me.' You don't know what to do. So you go over and talk to the other head coach, and kind of shake his hand, then you go, `Where do I stand?'"[7] -- In an interview with South Florida Sun-Sentinel Reporter Ethan J. Skolnick.
  • "Let's not get this thing twisted and think we backed into this deal. We didn't lose, we won. Every team that played this weekend played at home and had an opportunity to get into the playoffs just like us. We just happened to win. What's wrong with that? So, let's not get it twisted and say, 'Well, they're lucky.' We didn't get lucky. We won." — Edwards defending the Chiefs' 9–7 record and entry to the playoffs in 2006-07.[18][19]
  • "When we score seven points, I’ll say we’re slow starting. If we score 21 points, I’ll say, ‘Whoa, we scored a lot of points.’ Twenty-one points – that’s a lot of points. Thirty points? That isn’t even a football game. That’s Arena Football. We’re talking about real football.” [20]
  • “People aren’t used to this in Kansas City. Get over it! It happens. It’s called life. You can’t think you’re too big that it’s not going to happen to you. It happens to everybody." [8] -- Edwards in a press conference after losing 6 consecutive games.


  • Edwards is a descendant of "Tony Dungy's coaching tree," and is also connected to "Chuck Noll's" as well.
  • Edwards is sometimes confused with close friend and fellow coach Tony Dungy. In public, fans occasionally have referred to both respective coaches as their near-similar counterparts.
  • Edwards has only 2 playoff victories while a coach, and both have been against coaches he formerly worked for.
  • Edwards was signed by former Chiefs General Manager Carl Peterson as a rookie free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1977. Peterson served as the Eagles Director of Player Personnel at the time; twenty-nine years later, Peterson signed Edwards as the Chiefs' tenth head coach in 2006. [21] Edwards replaced Dick Vermeil as the Chiefs' head coach. Vermeil was Edwards' coach with the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Edwards went to Monterey High School in Monterey, CA
  • At a press conference on October 31, 2006, Herm Edwards’ weekly news conference was running late when Larry Johnson emerged wearing Edwards’ trademark garb of NFL sweatshirt, shorts and red cap pulled over his eyes. He flailed his arms, pounded the table and went into a “play to win the game” rant. Johnson amused the reporters with his impersonation. In response, Edwards said “I’m glad Halloween is only one time a year." Edwards finished the press conference himself and referenced to the bond he had made with Johnson in the offseason. [22]
  • Edwards claims to eat only one and a half meals a day, despite working grueling 16-hour days.[9]


Edwards was born in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and raised in Seaside, California. Edwards is the son of Herman, Sr., the late Master Sergeant, and Martha.[23] Herman Sr. met Martha while he was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army.

Edwards graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Edwards and his wife Lia have two daughters Gabrielle and Vivian. Edwards has a son Marcus from a previous relationship.[24]

Edwards has a 'tradition' of not watching the Super Bowl until he himself participates in one.[25] Edwards did not even watch his friends Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith participate in Super Bowl XLI.[25] Dungy had a tradition much like what Edwards does, that is, with the exceptions of Dungy's victories in both Super Bowls XIII and XLI.[25]

Edwards has a strict workout regimen that has him in the gym at 5 in the morning six days a week.[26]

Instead of wearing athletic sneakers with his coaching attire, Edwards wears dress shoes. Before every game, Edwards polishes the shoes himself.[27]

Known widely for enthusiasm and faith-based personality, Edwards was born and raised Southern Baptist, but converted with his family and is now a practicing Roman Catholic. His favorite movie is The Ten Commandments. [27]

Edwards is known to be very fond of Fig Newtons, and usually has a package of them close by. [27]

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ Firing as Chiefs coach
  2. ^ "Chiefs given permission to talk to Herm Edwards". Kansas City Chiefs official website. http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/01/06/chiefs_given_permission_to_talk_to_herm_edwards2/. Retrieved 2008-07-09.  
  3. ^ "Herm Edwards named the 10th head coach in Kansas City Chiefs history". Kansas City Chiefs official website. http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/01/09/herm_edwards_named_the_10th_head_coach_in_kansas_city_chiefs_history2/. Retrieved 2008-07-09.  
  4. ^ Huard shines again Kansas City Star, 1 January 2007.
  5. ^ Don’t swap while team clicking Kansas City Star, 8 November 2006.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Herman Edwards Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com
  9. ^ The New York Jets working to improve their offense's clock management NFL.com May 3, 2004
  10. ^ Clock gives Edwards fits again in loss www.topix.net
  11. ^ Diamond In The Rough DiamondVues.com, 15 January 2005
  12. ^ What I'm Thinkin' About (Besides Swimming Pools)Slack LaLane, 16 November 2004
  13. ^ Chiefs More Predictable Than "Gigli," Says LJ Chiefs NFL Fanhouse, 22 December 2006
  14. ^ Blame debacle on Herm Kansas City Star, 7 January 2007.
  15. ^ Offense needed a Plan B Kansas City Star, 7 January 2007.
  16. ^ Chiefs end Herm Edwards' first year with embarrassing loss Sporting News, 7 January 2007.
  17. ^ Schraeger, Peter. Get ready to meet Herm FOXSports.com, 13 June 2007.
  18. ^ Whitlock, Jason "Herm covering Carl's goof," Kansas City Star, 2 January 2007
  19. ^ Wilbur, Eric. Natural Selection Boston.com, 3 January 2007.
  20. ^ Herm's Game of Chess www.kcchiefs.com, 6 September 2007
  21. ^ Herman Edwards biography KCChiefs.com, accessed 6 February 2007.
  22. ^ The lighter side of LJ Kansas City Star, 1 November 2006.
  23. ^ Ryan Masters. "Mother-In-Chief". Carmel Magazine. http://www.carmelmagazine.com/archive/06hol/edwards.html. Retrieved 2007-01-22.  
  24. ^ Karen Crouse (2005-08-11), Pro Football; Edwards keeps cool with baby on way, The New York Times
  25. ^ a b c Edwards enjoys quiet Super sunday Kansas City Star, 6 February 2007.
  26. ^ Jen Murphy. "Jets Coach Sticks to an Intense Routine". Wall Street Journal Online. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112439112018116857.html.  
  27. ^ a b c What you don't know about Herm KCChiefs.com, 25 September 2006.

External links

Preceded by
Al Groh
New York Jets Head Coach
Succeeded by
Eric Mangini
Preceded by
Dick Vermeil
Kansas City Chiefs Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Todd Haley


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