NFL Head Coaching Hires: Updates

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A few weeks ago, I wrote this article giving my predictions on the NFL Head Coaching carousel. A couple of things have changed since then, so I wanted to provide an update on how things were going.

I’ll start with a recap of my picks and then provide updates for any new developments, hires, rumors, etc.

Bears

  1. Jim Harbaugh
  2. Josh McDaniels
  3. Brian Flores

HIRED: Matt Eberflus

Well, it turns out that I struck out swinging here. It was just announced that Colts DC Matt Eberflus is being hired as the Bears next head coach. The Bears have always been an organization that is known for strong defense, so hopefully, Eberflus is able to get them back to where they used to be. He certainly did wonders for the Colts defense last year, and probably overachieved with the group this year. The interesting thing to watch is who will be touted as the OC and how they will be able to help Justin Fields develop moving forward.


Broncos

  1. Dan Quinn
  2. Nathanial Hackett
  3. Brian Flores

HIRED: Nathanial Hackett

I proposed Nathanial Hackett as a potential conspiracy theory, and the first step has come true. The Broncos have announced that they will be moving forward with Hackett. Now, to complete my theory, who better than to lure Aaron Rodgers away from Green Bay than his OC? Colorado is a very “Aaron Rodgers” type place. The only questions are: does he still want to play? And does he want to join an AFC conference jam packed with young QB talent and an AFC West that features Mahomes, Carr, and Herbert? We’ll see, I guess.


Dolphins

  1. Jim Caldwell
  2. Brian Daboll
  3. Eric Bieniemy

I still stand by my original three picks here. There are rumors that Daboll is the favorite to get the job, as it stands. We’ll see if that’s the case or not in the coming days now that the Bills have been eliminated from the playoffs. 


Giants

The Giants job opened up after I wrote my original article, so I’ll add a little depth on my opinion here and then give three fresh picks. Just the other day, we got what might have been the most honest assessment ever from an NFL Owner. To paraphrase, John Mara basically said that he has not given up on Daniel Jones and that it was his fault for constantly changing his head coach and OC year to year and that they need stability in order to assess and ultimately move forward with Jones as the franchise QB. Unlike the other New York franchise, I actually do believe in the ownership with the Giants, and they have proven that they can hire guys to make the right personnel decisions and coach up the players. Remember that stretch from 2005 – 2012? They were pretty good back then. They just hired former Assistant GM for the Bills, Joe Schoen, but they need a coach that can work with a young QB and provide some stability for this team.

Who gets the job?

  1. Leslie Frazier – New GM Schoen just came from Buffalo, so he is very familiar with Frazier and might like him to be at the helm of his new franchise. Frazier has experience as a head coach of the Vikings and in his only year above .500, he took a Christian Ponder let team to the playoffs after a 10-6 season.
  2. Brian Flores – I’m a little hesitant with this pick because I’m not sure if the Giants would want to go from one Belichick guy to another. However, Flores doesn’t have the stench of failed Belichick disciples after being fired off of back-to-back winning seasons and a 24-25 record during his time in Miami. Flores brings discipline but also a hard-lined vision, which unfortunately for him, got him canned from Miami after disagreeing with GM Chris Grier too much over the future of the team.
  3. Dan Quinn – Will the Giants pluck another former Cowboys coach for their ranks? It didn’t work out so great for Jason Garrett. 

Jaguars

  1. Byron Leftwich
  2. Jim Caldwell
  3. Darrell Bevell

We could’ve seen this coming from a mile away. It hasn’t been announced yet, but there are rumors that Jacksonville is “very close” to hiring Byron Leftwich for their head coaching job. This is after intense rumors that they wanted Bill O’Brien. Shad Khan loves a good story. See: Urban Meyer 2021. Hopefully, this time it pans out differently for them.


Raiders

  1. Jim Harbaugh
  2. Josh McDaniels
  3. Brian Flores

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the Raiders franchise. On paper, this should be the most desirable job opening in the NFL. But I haven’t heard any serious noise around their next coach. The latest rumors were that Patriots Director of Player Personnel Dave Ziegler was the favorite to get the new GM job, however, he mysteriously is not the top candidate anymore. This leads some to believe that Ziegler wanted to bring McDaniels with him as his HC, and the Raiders didn’t like that. McDaniels has seemingly turned himself into plutonium at this point. There has been nothing about Harbaugh either after a strong rumor push at the end of the regular season. Here’s my attempt at recasting this mystery show:

  1. Rich Bisaccia – The lack of noise almost leads me to believe that Mark Davis might want to keep Bisaccia, a player favorite, and is looking for a GM that is on the same page as him.
  2. Todd Bowles – He is scheduled for an interview this week, and is only the third person that has been interviewed for the job, so I don’t have much to go off on this one. 
  3. Jerod Mayo – The third of three names that have been publicly confirmed to interview for this head coaching job. At this point, I’m guaranteed to hit on one of these three names!

Saints

In a somewhat surprising move, Sean Payton announced his retirement recently, so the Saints now need to find his replacement. The Saints have a pretty solid defense, but after losing Drew Brees to retirement, Jameis Winston to injury, and Michael Thomas to, well, himself, the offense needs a TON of work. Will they hire an offensive guru to turn things around? Or will they hire a defensive specialist and hope he can bring in a good offensive coordinator to support? I truthfully don’t know.

Who gets the job?

  1. Dennis Allen – the current DC has previous head coaching experience with the Raiders that didn’t go so well. He ended his time there with an 8-28 record, but maybe he has learned from his previous errors and can find a good OC to build up the offense. 
  2. Brian Flores – I’m going to just throw Flores into every job possibility because I think he really is that good and should be considered by everyone. His defensive mind would be great for this already strong defense, and he has shown that he can build a roster back from the brink taking the Dolphins from 5-11 in his first year to 10-6 and 9-8 before getting fired.
  3. Doug Pederson – A great offensive minded coach, similar to Sean Payton in some ways. He also played at Louisiana-Monroe in college. If you could replace one Superbowl winning coach with another, wouldn’t you say yes?

Texans

This job also opened up after my previous article, and was a bit of a surprise given that it was a tacit admission that David Culley was just a decoy placeholder for a year that they knew was going to be a mess anyway. I’m not sure if Culley knew that going in and didn’t care, but either way, that’s a sketchy move and not one that is going to attract a high level of talent to be the next coach. There’s also the strange dynamic between Jack Easterby and owner Cal McNair that many people have reported on that could deter coaches also. This is going to be a tough job for GM Nick Caserio to fill.

Who gets the job?

  1. Josh McDaniels – I said earlier that McDaniels has turned himself into plutonium. Well, it seems like that only people that would hire him are people that have relationships with him at this point. McDaniels and Caserio go all the way back to college. His first go-around with the Broncos was forgettable, but if the Texans are really trying to build “Foxborough-South” why not take the OC from Foxborough?
  2. Jerod Mayo – Are you starting to see a theme here? Let me put this out there- I really liked Mayo as a player. But as a coach, I don’t know why so many teams want him in for interviews. He normally doesn’t call the defense, as that job belongs to Steven Belichick, though there have been times apparently where he gets input. A former player that has no real experience as a coordinator? He must be one hell of an interviewer. Also, this sounds like someone the Texans would hire. Google “Josh McCown Texans” if you don’t believe me.
  3. Joe Lombardi – He has had success as the Saints’ QB coach and had an awesome year as the Chargers OC this season. He’s also the grandson of Vince Lombardi. Why not, right? I bet you thought I was going to put Brian Flores here, didn’t you? I think he’s better than the Texans.

Vikings

I’m going to keep one name on this list but change a couple things. The Vikings just hired their new GM in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who made a statement recently saying that “know what they want” in a head coach. He talked about leadership, rallying the collective over the individual, someone with vision, good communication, and a solid football foundation. There have been a handful of coaches already interviewed before Adofo-Mensah was hired, so pay attention to guys that get second interviews this time around.

  1. Brian Flores – I read Adofo-Mensah’s statement and immediately thought of Flores. He hasn’t been linked to this job yet, by the GM just got hired this week. I also previously wrote about how the Vikings typically like to try and replicate that Bud Grant-style of a hard-nosed guy at the helm.
  2. Doug Peterson – Former Superbowl winning coach that knows what he wants in a team and has plenty of experience. His offensive mind could do wonders for Kirk Cousins who is entering the final year of his deal.
  3. DeMeco Ryans – He has a previous relationship with Adofo-Mensah from being together in San Francisco. I don’t discount a first-time GM wanting his first head coach to be someone he is comfortable with.

About Post Author

Jared Mello

Avid Boston sports fan. Lover of all things sports betting. I try to bring a realistic approach to the sports that I cover.
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  • Avid Boston sports fan. Lover of all things sports betting. I try to bring a realistic approach to the sports that I cover.

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