Here we are. The day of reckoning for a handful of NFL teams. “Black Monday” is upon us. As of 6:30 PM CST no head coaches have been let go, but we can speculate and think about potential replacements. I have my list for potential Bears head coaches if they decide to let Marc Trestman go. Let’s do this.
Raiders- They fired their head coach a while back. Jim Harbaugh* would definitely be on the top of their list (and the Bears) if the 49ers let him go. If not, I would imagine Rex Ryan would be near the top. Perhaps someone like Kubiak would have a shot at grooming their 1st round QB Derek Carr, which would be deliciously ironic (Kubiak had his brother David in Houston). Jack Del Rio will probably get another shot at the title. He would bring a tougness and maybe a swagger to Oakland.
49ers- It could be as simple as changing coaches, but it’s my belief if they got this bad under Jim Harbaugh, they are going to be bad for a while. You will see Rex Ryan’s name attached to probably every available job. He’s a strong candidate. He would toy with the bay area media, having cut his teeth in the Big Apple. Problem is, QB Colin Kaepernik has been on the decline, even with QB guru Jim Harbaugh at the helm. Rex doesn’t exactly have a great track record with QBs but he might not have been given the best to work with. You can bet one thing. Rex would want to run the ball and play defense.
Jets- The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets are an M-E-S-S, mess, mess, mess. Regardless who they bring in. The team played hard under Rex, even when the offense was turning the ball over like it was a hot potato. Their situation is not unlike the Bears, with a far less experienced QB. The Geno Smith experiment is probably over. They will likely be in need of a GM as well. This will be the only job where Rex Ryan won’t be the frontrunner. Kubiak? Del Rio? The hot college prospect? Since they will be drafting 6th overall, they may want to go with a young coach and let him grow into the position. Darrell Bevell or Todd Bowles are unproven assistants who are likely ready for head coaching jobs.
Bears- Rex Ryan is next up for me if Harbaugh goes to Oakland or Michigan. I like the guy. I think what he did in his first few years can be achievable again. Especially if he has a legitimate QB. I even think he could squeeze a few drops out of Cutler. Especially if Jay knows this coach will be staying longer than he will. Another candidate if Cutler stays would be Mike Shanahan. Perhaps he brings in his son Kyle to run the offense. Mike won’t have a meddling owner like he did in Washington. He might even talk the McCaskey’s into some sort of GM role. Hey, I’m not saying it’s a great idea! Bevell and Bowles would be at the top of my list of unproven coaches. Dave Toub is an interesting name as well.
Falcons- I am not sold on the idea of getting rid of Mike Smith**. He’s been pretty solid so far. The Falcons haven’t done the best job of surrounding Matt Ryan with the stoutest of pass blockers. He seems like a pretty steady guy and helped change the culture in Atlanta. The NFL is a business of winning, production and “what have you done for me lately” though. Jack Del Rio could probably come in without missing a beat. Not sure he makes the offense any better. Maybe he brings the QB coach from Denver with him? Todd Bowles might bring a fresh perspective to the mix. I would think, you get rid of a solid guy like Mike Smith, you probably replace him with someone who has been around. Rex Ryan could be that guy. He wouldn’t need to groom a QB.
Titans- Not sure they are in the market for a new coach, but there is always 1 or 2 teams who come out of nowhere. They have gone through a couple coaches in the last few years. I’d have to say their arrow is pointing down right now. There was a rumor that Tennessee was interested in Jay Cutler. Perhaps Mike Shanahan comes down south and gets the band back together? All I have to say is, “Have fun with that!”. I’ve seen all I need to see from Jay. I am still a fan, and am probably one of the few people who think he’s a great guy. After 5 years in Chicago, the Bears are no better off than when he first got there. The talent around Jay certainly is. Would Rex Ryan sign on to “misfit island”? He could make all the broken toys happy. They have the #1 overall pick, so if they choose Marcus Mariota, a young coach who knows QBs might be in order. Darrell Bevell or maybe Frank Reich from San Diego could fit the bill.
*Edit: The 49ers announced they have mutually parted ways with head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh has officially agreed to terms with University of Michigan.
**Rex Ryan, Marc Trestman, and Mike Smith have all since been terminated