Ranking the Head Coaching Jobs
December 31, 2013 in NFL Personnel
Here's how I see the coaching vacancy positions in order to most desirable to least desirable:
I like Tampa as the best job opening. First of all Greg Schiano did turn the team around after a horrible start and almost saved his job. But he didn't have the locker room it sounds like so the next guy should have an easier time being good cop to Schiano's bad cop to start out. The team is also looking for a GM so the new coach has a chance to work with someone they are familiar with especially if they go the Lovie Smith route. As for the team you have a potential solid starting quarterback in Mike Glennon who did show some promise as a rookie. You have a top running back and wide receiver already in place. The offensive line took a hit due to the Carl Nicks infection chaos, but they still have some parts.
On defense the key is you have Revis coming back now almost two years from the ACL. A good start for any defense. Add to that young pieces on the line like Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn and a potential perennial pro-bowler in Lavonte David. The pieces are there for this team with the right coach to make a huge stride quickly. Now will they get a Gruden or a Morris?
I like Detroit also because they have a lot of pieces in place already. The hope for any new coach is that Jim Schwartz was so bad and keeping their talent from being a true contender. Schwartz to me was an easy fire and will do fine if he goes back to being a coordinator. But there were just too many coaching blunders the past two seasons for this team to succeed. The new coach's most important role will be getting Matt Stafford up to an elite level that his physical talent says he should be. That could fall on the head coach or a good offensive coordinator or QB coach also. We know they have Megatron and that should attract every coaching candidate.
The roster also comes with a potential dominant defensive line that the past coaching staff was unable to turn into a top defense. The Lions kept their personnel department in place which could scare off the big guys but I still think all the main candidates should want to talk to the Fords.
At first I had this as the best job out there but then dropped it to third after Detroit and Tampa opened. And by the time you are reading this Bill O'Brien could already be the guy in Houston. And that says a lot since O'Brien will be wanted to many of these teams. The negative is you inherit a mess at quarterback with Houston. The good is the Texans own the number one pick and there are plenty of potential starting quarterbacks to be found at the top of the draft. Which is most likely where they go unless they want to pair up JJ Watt and Clowney.
I think a new coach would be happy also with Rick Smith and Bob McNair even though 2013 was a disaster. They have a solid GM/owner which has netted guys like Watt, Duane Brown, Arian Foster and Jonathan Joseph. Gary Kubiak was probably there a season too many and it showed. A new coach will most likely have a rookie starting at QB put a quick turnaround is very possible.
Most have the Browns last, but I give them more credit. The ownership and front office situation is ugly right now but it’s not as bad as the Redskins. Cleveland doesn't have a quarterback but they do have two first rounder’s to work with. Their pick should land them a QB but the Colts pick could ensure them a top 2 pick if needed. Cleveland also has younger talent at much needed spots. Josh Gordon led the league in receiving yards even though he missed the first two weeks. Joe Thomas is stud at left tackle and Joe Haden has proven to be a #1 corner. All there building blocks at key positions so the Browns shouldn't be far away in a division where the Steelers and Ravens continued success may finally be slipping.
The issue is of course what is going on at the top. There was a lot of excitement for Jimmy Haslem early on but his recent legal troubles have to be a concern. The Browns also fired a coach only one year after hiring him to Chud's surprise. A new coach can't like seeing that. Even with the concerns it will be interesting to see who they land.
You got Adrian Peterson which could be enough from keeping it from the worst spot. The Viking were in the playoffs this time last year but now are in search of a coach. The good news is that they have three top picks going into year two including a playmaker in Patterson. The bad is like Cleveland and Houston the QB spot is a mess. Problem is they will be drafting behind those two.
Another issue for a new coach is having to play outdoors the next two seasons in the twin cities until the new dome is ready. Although I don't expect this as a deal breaker to anyone looking for a head coaching job. Another problem could be the GM, Rick Spielman, who has had a so/so track record in Minnesota.
First the positives. Everyone says the owner will spend money and he wants to win. Well, not a positive to me. Pretty much every owner in the NFL spends money and wants to win, this isn't Major League Baseball. I hate that defense of Dan Snyder. He is a bad owner and has proven to be a bad guy to work for so I have no faith any good coach will work out. Add to that the resistance of Snyder to change his personnel department after four seasons of failure and this is not a job any legit coach should want.
Second positive is you have Robert Griffin on the roster. I still think this can be a positive but last season was a mess with him and the former coach. Will he be able to work with the new coach? Will he even accept the new coach if he isn't involved? I think he will but it is a huge question. Add to that no first round pick again but the team will be set up with plenty of cap room in 2014. Bad part is Dan Snyder could be playing a huge part in what to do with that room. Funny I didn't even discuss the talent other than RG3. It is decent at spots but the Snyder factor is still the biggest factor in a new coach hire in DC.