The NFL opens its historic 100th regular season tonight (Thursday, September 5, 8.20 PM ET on NBC) when the Bears play host to the Packers in a rematch of one of the NFL’s oldest rivalries.
The game is the 197th time that these two teams will play each other in the regular season in a series that extends back to 1921. The Pack leads the regular season series 96-94-6. The teams also are 1-1 in postseason play.
The 2019 season features nine teams that have NFL alumni as head coaches. Overall, more than 190 retired NFL players are on the sidelines as head coaches or assistant coaches on the 32 teams.
The one Opening Weekend match-up that showcases opposing player alumni-head coaches occurs Sunday, September 8 when former NFL quarterback Frank Reich leads the Colts into Los Angeles to face ex-running back Anthony Lynn and his Chargers (4.05 PM ET on CBS).
Former NFL QB Kliff Kingsbury (now coach of the Cardinals) is the only new head coach in 2019 who also played in the League. He was on the roster with the Patriots in 2003 and the Jets in 2005.
In addition to Reich and Lynn, the other returning player alumni-head coaches are: Jason Garrett (Cowboys), Doug Marrone (Jaguars), Sean Payton (Saints), Doug Pederson (Eagles), Ron Rivera (Panthers), and Mike Vrabel (Titans).
We at NFL Alumni wish all 32 head coaches, especially the 9 former NFL players, a healthy and successful season.