Plenty of former NFL coaches aren’t drawing interest, yet

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As the eight NFL teams — 25 percent of the league — begin searching aggressively for a new coach, there are plenty of former NFL coaches who are available to be interviewed and/or considered. Not many are drawing much interest, yet.

Former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell will get multiple interviews, as will former Colts coach Chuck Pagano. Former Bills head coach (and Browns interim coach) Gregg Williams, former Broncos coach Vance Joseph, former Dolphins coach Adam Gase, and former Packers coach Mike McCarthy will have interviews, too. Former Raiders and Browns coach Hue Jackson could end up getting hired as the new head coach in Cincinnati. Former Raiders, Broncos, and Washington coach Mike Shanahan could return to Denver, and former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians could become a candidate for the Buccaneers’ job.

For now, though, a long list of former NFL coaches are waiting for the phone to ring. If they’d answer. And plenty would. Here’s a list of guys who are out there. In no particular order.

Jeff Fisher (60): The former Oilers/Titans and Rams coach has a career record of 178-171-1, including a Super Bowl appearance and six postseason berths.

Jim Mora (57): The former Falcons and Seahawks coach has a 32-34 record in the NFL, and a 46-30 record at UCLA. He took the Falcons to the NFC title game in 2004.

Mike Mularkey (57): The former Bills, Jaguars, and Titans coach has a career record of 37-54. He took the Titans to the final eight last year.

Jim Schwartz (52): The former Lions head coach generated a 29-52 record in Detroit, taking over after the 0-16 disaster of 2008. He lead the Lions to a playoff berth, and he has coordinated the Philadelphia defense for the last three seasons.

Rex Ryan (56): The former Jets and Bills coach has a 65-68 career record; he’s 4-2 in the postseason with a pair of AFC title game appearances.

Mike Pettine (52): The Packers defensive coordinator was 10-22 in two seasons as Browns coach.

Rob Chudzinski (50): The one-and-done Browns coach won four of 16 games in his only season.

Joe Philbin (57): The Packers interim head coach was 26-30 in three-plus seasons with the Dolphins.

Gus Bradley (52): The former Jaguars coach, now the Chargers defensive coordinator, went 14-48 in nearly four seasons in Jacksonville.

Ken Whisenhunt (56): The former Cardinals and Titans coach has a career record of 52-73, including two playoff berths and a Super Bowl appearance. He’s now the Chargers offensive coordinator.

Ben McAdoo (41): The former Giants coach took the team to the playoffs in his first year, but he was fired late in his second season. He went 13-16.

Jack Del Rio (55): The former Jaguars and Raiders coach went 94-97 with three playoff appearances.

Brad Childress (62): The former Vikings coach, 40-37 during his time in Minnesota, was fired during the 2010 season and never seriously considered for another head-coaching job in the NFL. He had two playoff appearances and a berth in the 2009 NFC title game. He’s currently the coach of the AAF’s Atlanta Legends.

Lovie Smith (60): The former Bears and Buccaneers coach went 89-87 in the NFL, taking the Bears to Super Bowl XLI. He has had three disastrous seasons at Illinois, winning nine and losing 27.

Leslie Frazier (59): The former Vikings coach went 21-33-1, with one playoff berth. He currently serves as the Bills defensive coordinator.

Dirk Koetter (59): The former Bucs coach was fired after completing his third season, winning 19 of 48 games.

Todd Haley (51): The former Chiefs coach went 19-27 in nearly three seasons, with one playoff berth. He served as the Steelers offensive coordinator for six seasons before joining the Browns in that same capacity, getting fired early in his first season.

Rod Marinelli (69): The former Lions coach had a record of 10-38, including 0-16 in 2008. He currently serves as the Cowboys defensive coordinator, and he never has been linked to another head-coaching job.

Marc Trestman (62): He went 13-19 in two years with the Bears; he was fired by the Toronto Argonauts a year after winning the Grey Cup.

Greg Schiano (52): The former Buccaneers coach went 11-21 in two seasons. He currently serves as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State.

Eric Mangini (47): The former Jets and Browns coach went 33-48 in the NFL. He has been out of coaching since 2015, after a three-year stint with the 49ers as an assistant.

Jim Tomsula (50): The former 49ers coach had one full year on the job, going 5-11. He’s the defensive line coach in Washington.

Chip Kelly (55): The former Eagles and 49ers coach won 28 and lost 35, with one playoff appearance.

John Fox (63): Fox, now an ESPN analyst, racked up a record of 141-130 with the Panthers, Broncos, and Bears, making it to seven postseasons, with two Super Bowls.

Mike McCoy (46): The former Chargers coach went 28-38 with a playoff berth.

Norv Turner (66): The former Washington, Raiders, and Chargers coach went 118-126-1, with four playoff berths.

Steve Spagnuolo (59): The former Rams coach lasted 52 games, winning 11. He’s currently out of football.

Tom Cable (54): The former Raiders coach went 17-27. After seven years as the offensive line coach in Seattle, he was fired. In 2018, Cable returned to Oakland in that same role.

Mike Smith (59): The former Falcons coach went 67-50 with four playoff appearances and an NFC title game loss. He was fired during the 2018 season as defensive coordinator in Tampa.

Wade Phillips (71): The former Broncos, Bills, and Cowboys coach went 83-69 with five playoff appearances. He coordinated the Broncos’ championship defense in 2015, and he has spent the last two years running the Rams’ defense.

Dennis Allen (46): The former Raiders coach went 8-28. He has served as the Saints defensive coordinator since 2015.

Herm Edwards (64): The former Jets and Chiefs coach went 56-78 with four playoff appearances. He left broadcasting to become the head coach at Arizona State in 2018.

Raheem Morris (42): The former Buccaneers coach went 17-41 in three seasons. He’s currently the Falcons receivers coach.

Romeo Crennel (71): The former Browns and Chiefs coach generated a record of 28-55. He’s the Texans defensive coordinator.

Scott Linehan (55): The former Rams coach went 11-25 in two-plus seasons. He’s the Cowboys offensive coordinator.

81 responses to “Plenty of former NFL coaches aren’t drawing interest, yet

  1. When looking down that list the biggest thing that jumps out is how not-awful Jeff Fisher looks compared to the others.

    Regardless, don’t do it.

  2. Mangini was on the verge of taking the Jets to the Super Bowl when Woody Johnson interfered. Rex Ryan got the credit, but it was always Mangini’s team. He was smart enough to draft Brick and Mangold and solidified that O-line for a decade. The Cleveland situation seemed ludicrous for any coach. This guy knows football and what it takes to win. I have no idea why he wouldn’t be considered. All the “Spygate” stuff is silliness; this guy can build and coach a winner.

  3. The Hue Jackson as next Bengals coach stuff is outright trolling of Bengals fans. Cruel and unusual.

  4. Maybe these guys aren’t drawing interest because most of them have losing records as head coaches.

  5. Of this list, Schwartz may draw some interest. Phillips, maybe, as well.

    Wouldnt mind Mora, Sr., back, just to get another rant.

    Kind of surprised Fisher hasnt been contacted.

  6. I remember watching Toy Story 2 or 3 with my son. There were a bunch of misfit older toys nobody wanted. That’s this list minus maybe Dennis Allen. And if Jeff Fisher ever gets another NFL job, as a Saints fan, hope it’s in the NFC south.

  7. With the exception of Mike Smith(67-50) & Wade Philips(83-69) records the rest are at
    or below .500?
    Why would the others seem a viable HC choice?
    Not saying Smith or Philips are the answer either but they DO have winning records while Fisher, Ryan & Del Rio will get you 8-8 & 9-7 a season which for “cellar dwellers” could be seen as an upgrade.
    I’d certainly take Philips over Smith here in Miami if it came down to just those two.
    And I’ve never been sold on Fisher, but Ryan & Del Rio can win big games & in the right situation could challenge in some divisions.

  8. Surprising to see the amount of coaches who got 3rd chances, most get a 2nd chance at most. The game is evolving and some of guys have either had the game pass them by or are just too old to be a HC again. Of this list I would say the most deserving are the guys that got a raw deal their first time with a poor roster. The dinosaurs arent going to get hired in this new age NFL. The college coaches should stay in college. I think a 2nd chance is deserved for most unless they were horrifyingly awful. The only guy up there I would give a pass to with 2 gigs already is Del Rio, he was shafted last season by Oakland.

  9. There’s a pretty interesting stat out there that states … if a coach fails to win a Super Bowl by year five, according to history – he won’t!

    Move along organizations, the game is constantly evolving, changing, and adapting. Most long-term coaches took a long time developing their philosophies and methodology. As a result, run systems that are outdated [Jeff Fischer] and/or favored a system that dominated at one time [46 defense, run and shoot offense] but whose code has been cracked and no longer sustainably effective.

    Owners should do better jobs (IMO) of ignoring the trends/fads, and instead really listen to the potential coaches ‘action plan’ for short/long term success!

  10. Some of those coaches are better than current active head coaches yet they are still unemployed….longer the Colin Kaepernick.

    Where’s the outrage for those coaches!?!?

  11. Fisher really isn’t as bad a coach as everyone likes to make him out to be, he just shouldn’t have personnel decisions.

  12. Great, thorough article.

    John Fox and Wade Philippe would be the only two worth checking out I reckon*

    *poster does not own an NFL Team at present, but is saving up

  13. You know what most of these guys are. They aren’t getting calls for the same reason nobody is trying to bring Mark Sanchez in to be the franchise QB.

  14. After the turn around in LA and the success of Keemun, Foles, and Goff under different coaches, I can’t see why anyone would give Jeff Fisher a job

  15. Uh, yea, I for one want nothing to do with anyone on that list. There’s good reason they’re drawing crickets instead of phone calls. They’re all known quantities…. low quantities. Need new blood.

  16. 1999afcchampions says:
    January 2, 2019 at 2:06 am
    Fisher really isn’t as bad a coach as everyone likes to make him out to be, he just shouldn’t have personnel decisions.
    The QB whisperer, Goff is a bust, Keenum is unusable, Foles oh hell no
    and the truth is what could Vince Young really have been.
    Just NO

  17. jasons81 says:
    January 1, 2019 at 11:15 pm
    When looking down that list the biggest thing that jumps out is how not-awful Jeff Fisher looks compared to the others.

    Regardless, don’t do it.


    Jeff Fisher was the most over-rated head coach I’ve seen in decades. How he lasted as long as he did is still amazing to me.

  18. “Mike Pettine (52): The Packers defensive coordinator was 10-22 in two seasons as Browns coach.

    Joe Philbin (57): The Packers interim head coach was 26-30 in three-plus seasons with the Dolphins.”

    These two will soon be unemployed.

    Pettine was supposed to be the Packers solution to Dom Capers – his defense allowed more yards per game than Capers and more points.

    Philbin was shut out by the Lions at home in week 17 in what was his final “interview” for the HC position. Nuf said…

  19. JDR or Dennis Allen both are viable head coach options in my opinion. If the Bungles hire Hue Jackson over anyone else on this list, the fans will revolt.

  20. Jack Del Rio at 94-97 with two joke franchises (Jax/Oak) is really pretty impressive. I would have expected a much worse record.

  21. “Gus Bradley (52): The former Jaguars coach, now the Chargers defensive coordinator, went 14-48 in nearly four seasons in Jacksonville.”

    Bradley is one of the worst head coaches in NFL history. Doug Marrone has already won more games with the Jaguars than Bradley did.

    Is a team going to be foolish enough to hire him as head coach?

  22. What about Rob Ryan? He’s still only 56, currently an analyst for Sky Sports covering NFL for Britain and Ireland (my cousin in London says he’s quite fun, btw). Not saying I think he’s necessarily a hidden gem but if you’re looking at any of the above retreads I’d at least add him to the list – and he was with some good teams, as well as the Bills.

  23. The only surprising thing about the guys on that list is how long some of them were able to keep a job long enough to compile such horrific records. Someone actually paid Fisher to be a head coach for over 20 years?!

  24. Aside from Mike Smith, Wade Phillips or Norv Turner, there are a lot of truly talented coordinators, truly awful head coaches there. Even the biggest 2 names on the list, Rex Ryan and Jeff Fishers claim to fame is that they are just barely over .500 in their careers

  25. Literally the only one on that list I would want to talk to is Fox. The rest are replacement level retreads.

    Lets be fair, Mike Smith wasnt awful in Atlanta. He never got it done, but until the end, his teams wernt bad either. A horrible team in a bad position could use a steady hand like that to right the ship. The same could be said for Wade Phillips or Norv Turner

  26. Wade Phillips is the only one I’d hire and should be hired. In fact, Elway should have hired Phillips instead of Vance.

  27. If I were a team like Miami who have dysfunctional I’d hire a guy who knows how to turn a loser into a winner like Marvin Lewis. Before Marvin became the head coach of the Bengals they were really bad but he built them into a winner in a really tough division.

  28. Lovie Smith won’t be getting another HC gig even in the college ranks, much less the bigs again. He’s a good man but whatever coaching mojo he had during his early years with the Bears went away long ago.

  29. These young coaches are now given opportunities that would never have happen 25yrs ago. It’s a copycat league so you see more teams trying this out . Honestly if I was a older HC I really don’t have the patience to deal with young undisciplined players. I’d rather be a coordinator and let these young guys deal with the headaches.

  30. No Bill Cowher? Seems his name is floated every year, even this far removed from coaching.

    He’s done.

    What more could you want? Great organization, total job security, personnel control, and went to 2 Super Bowls.

    Anything would be a step down for him.

  31. GOOD
    Jack del Rio
    Mike Smith
    John Fox
    Brad Childress

    Wade Phillips
    Norv Turner
    Rex Ryan
    Lovie Smith
    Herm Edwards

    Jeff Fisher was a good coach many years ago, but I agree that it’s a bad sign when his former players and teams flourish right after he leaves.

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