“Countdown to Coaching Hires”
The NFL coaching vacancies are being filled at a quick pace.
3-hires in a 48-hour span at the end of last week.
4-more jobs open though the playoffs may slow the pace of the final decisions.
The Chargers said they would be patient to replace fired coach Anthony Lynn. That should have been the signal that this was going to be a slam dunk hire. Tom Telesco would hire someone he was familiar with. The someone is Brian Daboll of Buffalo. Then late Sunday came word of a 2nd meeting with Rams Def Coord-Brandon Staley.
Here’s a look see at who is still available, and who has been hired:
BRIAN DABOLL…a lock to take over the Chargers. He has learned well, with coaching stops in New England, Kansas City, Miami, Alabama. When you have crossed paths with Bill Belichick, Andy Reid and Nick Saban, that’s quite a learning curve. What he has accomplished in two plus years with Bills QB-Josh Allen has been spectacular.
ERIC BIENEMY…Might he miss the coaching cycle again? That’s what people think, but this may have more to do than the fact his Kansas City Chiefs are always in the playoff hunt, preventing him from accepting a job.
There is an undercurrent theme he has had poor interviews and the rumbling he does not call the plays, Andy Reid does. Maybe he is not a complete candidate. If not Houston, then anywhere?
DAN CAMPBELL…Appears headed to Detroit after a late series of interviews, he comes from New Orleans without alot of public following, but anyone who has been with Sean Payton has credentials. He also served as interim head coach in Miami.
BRANDON STALEY….A late entrant into the interview process, all of a sudden getting alot of play. The Chargers interviewed him a second time on Sunday now that the Rams are out of the playoffs. Might he become the next coming of Sean McVay or possibly a John Harbaugh? Stay tuned for a possible surprise this week.
JOE BRADY….A brilliant year at LSU”s national championship team with Joe Burrow a year ago, he went to Carolina as the offensive coordinator on a new coaching staff. But the Panthers didn’t accomplish much so does anyone know how really good Brady is in the NFL?
JOSH MC DANIELS….A tremendous success story with Tom Brady in New England. A hot coordinator years ago, he got his chance with the Denver Broncos, but it all fell apart with the enormous QB problems the John Elway-led franchise has had. McDaniels went back to Foxboro and picked up where he left off. But he walked out a day after accepting the Colts job, and then did not wind up in Cleveland. Something seems amiss in his relationships? Maybe this late interview with the just-opened Eagles job gets him back as a head coach.
MATT EBERFLUS…The least known of the gang being interviewed. He is credited with creating a very good Indianapolis Colts defense that wound up in the playoffs, though GM-Chris Ballard has done a superb job tracking that Colts roster. Might be a bit of a reach to hire him after one good season.
JIM CALDWELL…There seems to be alot of sentiment after the successes he had with the Colts and Lions, and a (62-50) record deserves respect, but he was axed by two teams, when his QBs got hurt, or was that because he worked for bad owners, Jim Irsay and the Ford Family? Seems to be the outside looking in.
MARVIN LEWIS…A long run with the Bengals and their poorly led owner Mike Brown, most feel he did a rock solid job as a head coach, after all those years as an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens. But you cannot set aside this piece of history, (0-7) in the playoffs.
LESLIE FRAZIER…A highly regarded defensive coordinator, who failed with the Bears, but has rebuilt his reputation again in Buffalo. Great coordinator but poor head coach?
RAHEEM MORRIS…The same storyline as Frazier, and did a decent job rallying the Falcons as interim head coach, but they did not retain him, so what does that say?
TODD BOWLES…Cut from the same cloth as Frazier and Morris and continues to be strong as a respected coordinator and leader. His bad stretch as head coach of the Jets was while back.
DOUG PEDERSON…This ended so badly in Philadelphia, but he didnt’ get stupid ih just one season. Injuries destroyed the Eagles offensive front, 5-of-6 starters gone for the year, and no wide receivers either with injuries. But Carson Wentz declined badly and Pederson could not stop the erosion. Maybe he winds up as a coordinator for a year.
“WHO’S BEEN HIRED”
URBAN MEYER…This was a surprise hire, in that Meyer had never shown any inkling of wanting back in coaching, and then presto, he goes back home, to Jacksonville, a just an hour from all those great years in Gainesville with the Florida Gators. He won 3-playoff titles, and went (83-9) at Ohio State, but left those two jobs with burnout and heart issues. The NFL is a different world. Meyer was used to have 5-star bluechips all over his roster. In the NFL he inherits a threadbare roster, no quarterback, gets two first round picks this year and 77M in salary cap space. But he’s not used to losing, and they are going to lose for the next group of years, even with Trevor Lawrence as their quarterback. Does he have the patience, fortitude and health to do this. History is there to look at. Outside of Jimmy Johnson (Dallas) and Pete Carroll (Seattle)…the road is littered with college coaches who failed in the NFL, from Barry Switzer to Lou Holtz to Steve Spurrier and even Nick Saban.
ARTHUR SMITH…An unsung smart guy, winds up in Atlanta after doing marvelous things with Tennessee. He groomed Marcus Mariota with the Titans, till injuries impacted Mariota’s career. Then he designed a tremendou playbook as he reconstructed the career of QB- Ryan Tanneill, built an offensive line, and fed the ball to power back Derrick Henry. He walks into Atlanta with a star QB-Matt Ryan, WR-Julio Jones, but needs lots more players.
ROBERT SALEH…He had his choice of three jobs, and took the Jets job, despite a bad roster, an unsteady GM office and questionable ownership. He does have a battered QB-Sam Darnold and some young athletes, plus a 5 year contract. He is smart, passionate, and well groomed for this job.
A tough call for the owner of a troubled team.
Do you hope you can catch “Lightning in a Bottle” and hire the right coordinator like Sean McVay, Sean McDermott, Kevin Stefansk?
Do you think you can hire a “retread” who has struggled somewhere else but could succeed a second time as a head coach.
Is there a college coach you think can do this, like they’ve invested in Matt Rhule.
Stay tuned, the next two weeks will be something to follow.