The day of reckoning has hit in the NFL for those coaching staffs that are not in the playoffs. The stark reality that the season is over and phase 2 of the NFL season is underway for many. Changes are made. Lives are disruptive. Which makes for great talk for us fans.
Miami Dolphins– The first team to make a move. Miami launched their head coach after a 1-3 start. Former tight end Dan Campbell was tabbed to lead the team the rest of the way. He had some early success but then the team seemed to revert back to old ways. QB Ryan Tannehill was rumored to be taunting practice squad players. RB Lamar Miller had a nice middle to end of season. They stopped using him the last couple games. Perhaps trying to tank for a better draft pick? Miami needs a lot of work. They have talent on offense. Their defense is kind of a mess. I’d look for a defensive minded coach. Perhaps Teryl Austin from Detroit.
Philadelphia Eagles– Who didn’t see this happening when mad scientist, head coach, and GM Chip Kelly shipped off LeSean McCoy for Demarco Murray? Kelly was anointed general manager and proceeded to ship talent out. He then overpaid a running back like DeMarco Murray, who clearly didn’t fit his system. He traded a serviceable quarterback for one with serious durability issues. I would say he set the team back a few years in the process. Good luck to whoever inherits this mess. I would expect owner Jeffrey Lurie to not spend a lot on a coach while they revamp–which could take 2-3 years.
San Francisco 49ers– They wet the bed earlier in the year when they chased Jim Harbaugh out of town, then compounded it by letting Adam Gase and Vic Fangio walk. It’s rumored that Gase would have kept Fangio on, which would have given you a nice combo. Instead, they went with the D-line coach (and rumored mole) Jim Tomsula. Hiring the wrong coach can set your franchise back years. At least they didn’t wait long. I don’t have much faith in GM Trent Baalke, which is good, because I absolutely hate the 49ers. Sorry fans.
New York Giants– This move wasn’t too surprising, but I can hardly put all the blame on Tom Coughlin. He got the absolute most out of his talent and has 2 Super Bowl rings to show for it. The Giants are in a decent place, probably the top available job. It will be interesting to see if they go with a seasoned coach or a hot coordinator.
Cleveland Browns– I have no dislike for this franchise. If anything, my sports heart bleeds for them. What have they done to deserve the mess they have? Art Model packed up the team long ago and drove them to Baltimore, where after a few years, they won a Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the NFL gave Cleveland a second chance, and it’s been a bitter struggle ever since. The latest folley might have been drafting Johnny Manziel. It probably started a little before that. Their owner seems to be the kind to meddle in everything, and that is never good. I thought they had the answer when they hired QB guru Rob Chudzinski, but they chased him away after one season. They may be destined for a retread coach or a 2nd tier coordinator. Sorry Cleveland. I don’t see much hope in the near future.
Tennessee Titans: Tennessee Titanic. They did a great job with drafting QB Marcus Mariota. Seems like they starting sinking after that. Ken Wisenhunt was fired after a 1-6 start, and Mike Mularky stepped in. Mularky has had a couple chances at the NFL coaching stick and came up short both times. He is figured to have the lead in the coaching search. I’m not sure why. He quit on Buffalo and floundered in Jacksonville. His record is a pitiful 18-39 as a head coach. I’m a firm believer in 2nd chances, not thirds. The Titans job should be one of the top coaching gigs, given they have their QB in place. All they need to do now is build around it. I would hire one of the top “QB guys”. Rob Chudzinski or Adam Gase who did a great job with Jay Cutler this year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers– On Wednesday night, it was announced that head coach Lovie Smith has been dismissed. This is one of those “surprise” deals that most did not see coming. The breaking point could have been that Lovie is a defensive guy and his defense got worse in year 2, not better. An offensive minded coach might be more tempted with this position as they have a decent young QB to work with.
In the wind: There are a few rumors swirling around and some jobs that may become available. The Colts* and Saints** are both said to be pondering other options. While Jerry Jones has publicly endorsed current head coach Jason Garrett, don’t put it past him to grab up another candidate, should they become available. There is always 1-2 moves made that no one sees coming. Last year it was John Fox in Denver.
*The Colts have re-signed Chuck Pagano for 4 years.