Jan. 14, 2015
NFL Coaching Carousel: Who's Left?
So NFL fan...the Coaching Carousel has been busy with the Broncos dumping John Fox, the Jets hiring Todd Bowles, the Raiders about to hire Jack Del Rio and the 49ers zeroing in on Adam Gase.
But that leaves some panicked fan bases wondering: Who's left for us?
And it's really an easy question to answer:
Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons, who have on the surface, what would appear to be the most promising job, have lost out on two guys they liked--Bowles and Rex Ryan.
The fan base is screaming because they've been very deliberate, but they have questions to answer too: Does anyone want owner Arthur Blank looking over his shoulder all the time? And two, can they deal with the two-headed GM system?
The answer isn't that simple. It would appear--at least on the surface, the best fit for the Falcons might be Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. But Quinn won't be available until the Seahawks either lose or the Super Bowl is over. The Falcons also have a second interview scheduled with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
Both we feel would be good choices, neither will be flashy enough for the Falcons fan base nor will they be much different, at least initially then former head coach Mike Smith, who was fired at the end of the season.
Chicago Bears: This too in theory should be a pretty good job. The offense, despite the mysterious Jay Cutler should be very good. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey and Matt Forte constitutes a pretty darn good lineup.
The defense suffered though. They were not good. They could not stop anyone.
The team also changed General Managers and have a very, very restless fan base.
So who do they like? It starts and probably ends with John Fox. The Bears have talked to others, but Fox is likely the guy unless something weird happens. If for some reason it does not, they'll end up with whomever the Falcons don't. They don't have many other options.
Denver Broncos: Hmmm...who wants to compete with the specter of John Elway looming over them? The John Fox move surprised many, but who ever comes here may inherit Peyton Manning, which is hard to pass up. But they are allowing the entire staff to walk away, which means a total rebuild.
There are plenty of toys to play with here. If Peyton stays, they are likely a playoff team without question. If not, the defense is still pretty good and the offense, no matter who is under center will be decent.
Likely names: It starts with former Bronco Gary Kubiak. Despite Kubiak saying he would stay in Baltimore as offensive coordinator. Kubiak and Elway are friends and while in the long run this may be a problem, the job will be too much for Kubiak to pass up. The fallback option would be Quinn...or??
There are not a lot of options out there for Elway. But we also suspect he would not have initiated this without a plan. Look for Kubiak to end up with the gig.
So buck up NFL fan, your non-playoff team will have a head coach if not this week, within the next three weeks. This will all be tied up after the Super Bowl. There are not a lot of "Holy Crap" sure things out there for teams, which is why they should think longer and harder before hastily dismissing the coach they think isn't "Their Guy".