On Football: The search for a new coach in several cities
Three NFL coaching jobs are already open, and another three or four could soon be open. As it happens every year, the coaching searches differ depending on the team looking for a new man to take on responsibility.
Some clubs are looking for a seasoned pro coach like Washington and Dallas after last season with Mike McCarthy and Ron Rivera. Others are looking for aspiring assistants and coordinators - the Giants Joe Judge and the Browns Kevin Stefanski fit in there.
Or NFL teams turn to the college ranks, which Carolina did for Matt Rhule, who was also coveted by several other franchises.
The league is hoping more minority coaches get a chance at the openings in Houston and Atlanta, where African-American riders Romeo Crennel and Raheem Morris happen to be the current interim coaches. It even expanded the Rooney Rule to give minority candidates more opportunities for coaching, general managers, and other leadership roles.
Of course, the most important thing is to find the right fit.
"The biggest thing is that you can get everyone on board, how you want to do things or if you have to adjust to how they do things," said Tony Dungy, Hall of Fame coach. `` For example, the biggest problem in Dallas is that there is a culture there that you may not be able to change much because it is already set. Think back to Oakland when Al Davis was still alive. He mostly didn't hire outside people, and when he did, Mike Shanahan didn't go well. When he hired Jon Gruden, things didn't go well at first.
"So these are conversations you have to have as head coach."
Talks for the Texans, Hawks and Lions have already started. Soon we can expect the Jets to finish Adam Gase and the Jaguars to release Doug Marrone. Two AFC West openings are possible if the Chargers split from Anthony Lynn and the Broncos sack Vic Fangio.
Then there can be surprises when a coach unexpectedly steps aside. Could Andy Reid retire should the Chiefs, currently the best team in the NFL, repeat themselves as Super Bowl champions? Isn't Bill Belichick enjoying the upcoming New England rebuilding after the Patriots also date Tom Brady in Tampa?
At the end of a 2020 season affected by the pandemic, you can see the three teams on the coaching carousel and the two teams that are most likely to jump on board in early January.
As one of the most disappointing teams this season, Texans fired Bill O'Brien, by far the most successful coach, after a 4-0 start. O'Brien was packaged as much as a general manager for his failure - who wouldn't have thought that DeAndre Hopkins' to Arizona trade would backfire for Houston? - how his coaching fights.
The Texans have an excellent Deshaun Watson at the quarterback. He doesn't have nearly enough help, however, and the roster changes carousel didn't help. Despite J.J. Watts healthy and playing pretty well, the defense is a mess.
Houston's best route could be a defensive head coach hiring a resourceful offensive coordinator.
There's plenty of talent on the offensive, although Todd Gurley's signing didn't go well. Matt Ryan remains a solid quarterback and Calvin Ridley has emerged as a top receiver. But the O-line was spotty (to be friendly).
Another team with defensive issues, the Falcons, need a major upgrade in secondary and pass rush. Morris did a good job of getting things straight, even though Atlanta is very fragile in tight games.
As in Houston, a defense-focused head coach like Robert Saleh from San Francisco makes sense. But Dan Quinn and the Hawks fell apart after their Super Bowl collapse.
You have to feel for Matthew Stafford, a real trouper undone by mismanagement as well as bad coaching. Whether he's still in Detroit or elsewhere in 2021, Lions should find someone with experience as an NFL head coach.
They had that in Jim Caldwell, of course, who played between 36 and 30 in four seasons. Matt Patricia was 13-29-1 before he was canned last month.
Don't laugh, but that's an attractive job. Yes, the Jaguars hit rock bottom under the guidance of Tom Coughlin (fired last December), Dave Caldwell and Marrone. You will likely have # 1 overall design - hello Trevor Lawrence - and loads of salary. There is a nice base of young players.
The Jags could go in different directions for a coach, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they turned to a top college guy like Rhule. But such top offensive assistants as Eric Bieniemy from Kansas City, Brian Schottenheimer from Seattle and Brian Daboll from Buffalo would make sense.
NEW YORK JETS
Gase's two-year stint started with a 7-9 season in which the Jets and QB Sam Darnold made late strides. Then 2020 turned into a debacle with the team looking rudderless, Darnold stagnating or falling - it's hard to tell given all his injuries - and the talent base has shrunk significantly. Even the Jags seem to have a stronger roster.
The Jets should turn to a former NFL head coach with a pedigree. No, we didn't say Jim Harbaugh, who probably won't leave Michigan. You also need a QB guru and someone who can handle the complications associated with working for that organization.
And thanks to actually winning a game, Lawrence is almost certainly not on the go.
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