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The coaching carousel starts to spin

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With six (and possibly more) NFL head-coaching vacancies, the offseason coaching carousel already is spinning at full speed.

This year, like every year, the next wave of head coaches will come from three primary categories:  (1) former NFL head coaches; (2) current college coaches; and (3) current NFL coordinators.

Technically other categories exist, like former college coaches (e.g., Barry Switzer), current NFL non-coordinator assistant coaches (e.g., John Harbaugh), and current CFL coaches (Marc Trestmant).  But most jobs will be filled by one of the three primary categories.

Given the copycat nature of the NFL, recent successes and failures will influence current hires.  Andy Reid’s transformation of the Chiefs into a contender will attract owners to other men who coached past teams to Super Bowl appearances, like Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt, and Jim Caldwell.  The success of Chip Kelly in Philly will keep the college path in play, after guys like Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino pushed the pendulum the other way.

Coordinators without head-coaching experience entail a high degree of risk, along with the potential for a significant reward.  This year, former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy took the Chargers to the playoffs with no head-coaching experience.  But for every McCoy, there are several Brad Childresses.

Some teams fire coaches knowing precisely whom they want to hire.  Others will take anyone other than the guy they have.

Regardless of how the seats are filled, the music already is playing.

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21 Responses to “The coaching carousel starts to spin”
  1. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Dec 30, 2013 3:53 PM

    I hear the Browns have already hired and fired 6 coaches!!!

  2. cowboysfaninbuffalove says: Dec 30, 2013 3:56 PM

    John Harbaugh was a special teams coordinator so I would say he falls under the coordinator category

  3. iowan4motorcityroar says: Dec 30, 2013 3:57 PM

    Didn’t Brad Childress lead the Vikings to the NFC championship??

  4. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Dec 30, 2013 3:59 PM

    Jack Del Rio wants everyone to know that his prepaid cell is loaded with minutes and he has unlimited texting also.

  5. cajunaise says: Dec 30, 2013 4:01 PM

    Future pole dancer?

  6. jayniner says: Dec 30, 2013 4:02 PM

    I can’t wait to see where Chuckie Gruden lands. Getting him and his annoying voice off the ESPN airwaves during MNF should be enough reason to hire him…..

  7. fordmandalay says: Dec 30, 2013 4:03 PM

    I wonder which of these dolts is going to give Norv Turner another shot to fail as HC. You know someone’s going to.

  8. popdawg99 says: Dec 30, 2013 4:04 PM

    That Barry Switzer mention was a joke, right?

  9. f1restarter says: Dec 30, 2013 4:08 PM

    “Some teams fire coaches knowing precisely whom they want to hire.”


    But everyone knows that Emperor Goodell and Jesse Jackson will be pushing extremely hard to hire as many minority coaches as possible.

    In the event a team decides to go with a white coach, a league hearing (and possibly a congressional hearing) will be required to validate the team’s choice, to determine why the team hired him over a minority, and to study ways for how such a thing can be prevented in the future.

  10. itsunclepauley says: Dec 30, 2013 4:09 PM

    and this is why it’s stupid to fire a coach without an idea that his replacement will be significantly better. Rex Ryan and the Jets come to mind.

  11. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 30, 2013 4:11 PM

    It’s a circus alright.

  12. fatguystrangler says: Dec 30, 2013 4:16 PM

    Half of the NFC playoff teams are former college coaches (specifically the PAC12). The college pipeline is definetly open for business. Of course, there are guys who should stay there. Just as there are guys who should just be coordinators or assistants.

  13. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 30, 2013 4:22 PM

    Not naming names, but
    “You play to win the game!”
    “They are who we thought they were”

    Oh what the hell-
    Marty!! Somebody bring back Marty-Ball!!!

    “Playoffs?!! You wanna talk about PLAYOFFS?!”

    C’Mon, someone’s gotta give these guys a chance!!

    How about Mariucci? He’s been hanging around awhile, still able to give it a shot! Every year talk is about Chuckie and Cowher, why not Mooch?

  14. schmokes says: Dec 30, 2013 4:22 PM

    Most teams spend today figuring out who they want to conduct “fake” interviews with so they can comply with the extremely racist Rooney rule.

  15. Talk football or shut your pie hole... says: Dec 30, 2013 4:25 PM

    Cheap shot against Childress. His teams went 6-10, 8-8, 10-6, 12-4 and then farve fell apart because of injury, Sidney rice delayed hip surgery, randy moss was brought in, and his ream was 3-7 before he got let go.

    With two division championships. So although I didn’t like him he ha a winning record and a competitive team. Don’t get me wrong… I was glad to see him go but he wasn’t a bum.

  16. MichaelEdits says: Dec 30, 2013 4:51 PM

    I think it’s time for Jim Mora Sr. to return.

  17. weepingjebus says: Dec 30, 2013 5:22 PM

    ESPN 980 is reporting that the Patriots have fired Bill Belichick.

    Just kidding, 13 straight winning seasons and counting. I actually had to google “Black Monday”.

  18. thingamajig says: Dec 30, 2013 5:33 PM

    Is the Jim Caldwell name on your list a huge typo?

  19. nanner12wojo says: Dec 30, 2013 6:01 PM

    Get this:

    10 of the last 16 Superbowl Champion Coaches were coaching for their 2nd team in the NFL:

    3 – Belicick (CLE before NE)
    2 – Coughlin (JAX before NYG)
    2 – Shanahan (OAK before DEN)
    1 – Gruden (OAK before TB)
    1 – Dungy (TB before IND)
    1 – Vermiel (PHI before STL)

    Based on that I’d move guys like Jack Del Rio or Josh McDaniel up the list.

  20. dlightner13 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:32 PM

    @nanner…. del rio and mcdaniels have been coach/coord on more then one team each

  21. pkaiser59 says: Dec 31, 2013 7:47 PM

    I hate this time of year. Every great team will lose good coordinators and assistants to HC jobs on some lousy team.

    And the “coach poaching” begins…….sigh………

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