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Who Wants a Job? Seven Head Coaching Positions Up For Grabs

Black Monday has come and gone. For those who don’t know what Black Monday is, it is the name given to the first Monday after the conclusion of the NFL regular season. Now it isn’t called Black Monday because the season is over and 20 teams’ fan bases have to wait until September to see meaningful football again. Black Monday gets its name because the first Monday after the conclusion of the season is usually when unsuccessful coaches meet their demise.  This past Monday saw Mike Pettine of the Cleveland Browns, and Jim Tomsula of the San Francisco 49ers receive their pink slips. Monday also marked the end for a long time coach as Tom Coughlin, who stepped down from coaching the New York Giants after an underwhelming season. Wednesday night inexpediently saw Bucs coach Lovie Smith without a job. They joined Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles, Ken Whisenhunt of the Tennessee Titans, and Joe Philbin of the Miami Dolphins on the unemployment list. Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions is also on the hot seat, as the team is searching for a new GM who may want to employ his own staff.

So there are 7 coaching jobs up for grabs at this time. Some jobs being more attractive than others, here is a look of the 7 vacancies in reverse order of attractiveness, and who could possibly fill them.

 

  1. San Francisco 49ers – The least attractive of all the head coaching jobs, the 49ers has a mess of an off-season last year loosing multiple players to free agency and (mostly early) retirement. Add to that the poor play of franchise quarterback (at least contract wise) Colin Kaepernick, aging wide receivers, and poor production in the running game (21st in the league). The defense as a unit didn’t help matters ranking 29th in the league in terms of yardage. Chip Kelly has been linked to this job, as well as a possible trade to acquire Sean Payton. I believe they go a different route here. They have an interview set up with Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who had Andy Dalton on path to a career year and even received good play from back up A.J. McCarron. He also has head coaching experience with Oakland for one season with an 8-8 record. A new fresh face could get better play out of Kaepernick who has shown promise in the past. Using the 7th overall pick and having an estimated 43.2 million in cap space going into the off-season should help. Pick: Hue Jackson     Actual: Chip Kelly

 

  1. Cleveland Browns – This job doesn’t have stellar written all over it either. Hopeful franchise QB Johnny Manziel is officially a bust. There is promise though. Austin Davis can be a quarterback in this league if developed properly. If Josh Gordon can stay out of trouble and on the field, pairing him with Travis Benjamin on the outsides with emerging start tight end Gary Barnidge on the inside could be a lethal combo. Ranked 27th in the league, the defense needs help. Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, Jags assistant head coach Doug Marrone, and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott have been tied to the job. I believe McDermott takes a more attractive job, and could see Doug Marrone helping to develop Austin Davis while having the offensive weapons mentioned earlier, similar to the Jags situation. The number 2 overall pick in the draft should help although the team ranks in the bottom half of cap room looking at an estimated 20 million to spend this offseason. Pick: Doug Marrone Actual: Hue Jackson

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – This team was essentially dismantled by Chip Kelly. They still have talent on the roster. The trio of running backs is a force even if they didn’t show it this year, and the wide receiving corps is young. The defense was garbage this year ranking dead last in rushing yards allowed and 28th in passing yards allowed. Owner Jeff Lurie, who is on record saying they want to go in a totally different direction from Chip Kelly, has three options here. They could go defensive minded and grab Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who get great play out of mediocre defensive players. Another option is Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, who although offensive minded, led an offensive attack in Kansas City that was about clock management and ball control, a completely different offensive take than that of Chip Kelly. The third option is Adam Gase. The Bears offensive coordinator, could make a push for this job as well. He actually made Jay Cutler look good this year, and has a second interview scheduled with the Eagles. They have the 13th pick and an estimated 21.7 million to play with this offseason. Pick: Adam Gase Actual: Doug Peterson

 

  1. Tennessee Titans – Tons of potential on this team, just need to find a way to unlock it. They filled their QB need last off-season by picking up Marcus Mariota who played fair for a rookie. The wide receivers and running backs position could use some help, but they are young and have potential. The Titans have only talked to interim coach Mike Mularkey so far, as the higher up positions are in disarray right now. No current GM and ownership questions need to be answered before a coaching decision is made. With the 1st overall pick, and a healthy 24 million in cap space, this job does look attractive. The Titans best option could be Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He has helped make a successful New England offense through numerous injuries this year. He seems to have a knack for pulling potential out of younger guys in his ‘next man up’ mentality. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have Tom Brady. Pick: Josh McDaniels

 

  1. Miami Dolphins – This Dolphins team was supposed to compete with the Patriots for an AFC East title. Problem is they handed out huge defensive contracts to players who underperformed (Ndamukong Suh) and completely changed the wide receiving core. The offense seemed to be jelling towards the end of the season, and Jarvis Landry is a stud in the making. The Dolphins have been in talks with two former coaches Mike Smith and Mike Shanahan for the job. Shanahan was the only coach able to get production from RG3 when he coached the Redskins. Adam Gase and Dan Cambell also have outside shots at the job. Problem is the Dolphins are in huge salary cap trouble with their current roster, and are going to need to restructure contracts and release ‘dead weight’ to make room. Sean McDermott would be a great fit for the Dolphins, but I feel they go with experience here. Pick: Mike Shanahan   Actual: Adam Gase

 

  1. New York Giants – They had their ups and downs this season that’s for sure. This job is the most attractive because they have an established quarterback in Eli Manning and one of the best receivers in football in Odell Beckham Jr. They also have the 10th overall pick and a whopping estimated 40.4 million dollars in cap room. Their defense was worst in the league in terms of yardage, and that is an issue that needs to be addressed. The prestige associated with his job is going to attract a lot of names, and even whispers of Bill Cower making his return to the coaching scene have been heard. That would be the ultimate fit, but being more realistic, the top coordinator shooting for a head coaching job this off-season is Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, and as long he doesn’t bomb his interviews and Bill Cower stays in retirement, the job is his for the taking. Pick: Sean McDermott Actual: Ben McAdoo
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – A young promising quarterback, a developing number one receiver, the second leading rusher in the NFL, an improved offensive line, and a young defensive core. This is a coach’s delight. Lovie Smith lost his job in a surprising move Wednesday night, among whispers that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was fielding head coaching job offers elsewhere. Jameis Winston had tremendous growth under Koetter, not to mention the rest of the offense, and the Bucs would be foolish not to hand the reigns over to him at this point. Pick: Dirk Koetter Actual: Dirk Koetter

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