At the time this post was written, seven NFL teams have fired their head coach, with several more jobs on the chopping block. With 7 head coaching jobs available already, is the 7th best coach available better than the coach who was just fired? Without going to far in depth about quarter backs, markets to draw free agents, and aging stars, the order of most desirable jobs is as follows: Bears, Chargers, Bills, Browns, Eagles, Cardinals, and then Chiefs. So I pose the question, if the Chiefs face the hardest task of luring a new head coach, is Romeo Crennel a better option than the 7th best new head coach?
Of the coaches who got fired, Lovie Smith, Andy Reid, and Norv Turner are the only ones assured to get head coaching interviews. After those three, NFL.com has provided the short list of names most likely to get called in for interviews.
Jon Gruden. He has a super bowl ring, but has also been out of the game for a while, and remember that his name was not that hot the day he last got fired.
Josh McDaniels. Offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. The Patriots offense is impressive, but McDaniels’ first head coaching gig was not.
Kyle Shanahan Offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins. Good option but no head coaching experience.
Mike McCoy- Offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. He oversaw the transition at QB from Kyle Orton to Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning.
Perry Fewell- Defensive Coordinator for the New York Giants. The Giants have a punishing defense. Fewell is on the very short list of options for a defensive head coach.
Brad Seely- Special teams coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. 22 years in the NFL, with 10 under Belichick
Ray Horton- Defensive Coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. He is a hot name, but look at the Cardinals’ season.
Derrell Bevell- Offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahwaks. He possibly made Russell Wilson.
Mike Zimmer- Defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. Many believe his turn should have come by now.
Jay Gruden- Offensive Coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. He looks great with the Bengals but most of his experience come from the Arena Football League.
Dirk Koetter- Offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. He has been a head coach in college and the Falcons offense is fantastic, but there is still some stink from Jack Del Rio on him.
College Head Coaches in Consideration.
Chip Kelly- Oregon. Not one person really knows how he will do in the NFL.
Bill O’Brien- Penn St. With the season they had after the most distracting off-season of all time, this guy might just be a good enough leader to succeed in the pros.
Steve Sarkisian- University of Washington. He used to coach in the NFL which helps.
Doug Marrone- Syracuse. When you think Syracuse you think basketball not football. If you have to hire from college at least pick from a real football conference.
Pat Fitzgerald- Northwestern, he is not going to leave this job. It costs too much to pull a man from his dream job.
Every team parts ways with their coach for their own reasons. The reasons range from discipline, to lack of wins, or in Lovie Smith’s case the situation has just run its course. For whatever reason, you cannot fault a team for cutting ties with their head coach, but this year a few teams will undoubtedly regret their new hire. Yes, there are some big names available to bring in as your head coach, but even big names do not always turn out the way a franchise hopes.
The coaching carousel this season reminds me of the rookie QB grab last off-season. A lot of teams were in the market for a rookie QB, three of which were lucky enough to have success with Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson. However the rest of those teams shopping for a young QB ended up with Brandon Weeded or Ryan Tannehill, both of whom struggled most of this season. Coaches for 2013 will go the same way. Some teams will be happy with Smith, Reid, or Gruden, and maybe even one will get lucky and a first time head coach will have some success. There are sure to be a few franchises unhappy with how their coach’s first or second chance at a head coaching job turns out. When that moment comes, the franchise may wish they had waited one more year to make a coaching change.