Update: NFL Head Coach Carousel: The Latest Hires Around The League
Update: Two big things happened in less than 24 hours: one surprising and one expected. First as previously reported, Jack Del Rio is officially the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Including interims, he will the eighth head coach in the last decade. As for the somewhat shocking one, Jim Tomsula, the 49ers defensive line coach since 2007, has been promoted to head coach. Tomsula has had some experience in the big seat: he was the interim head coach following Mike Singletary’s firing in 2010.
Well a lot has happened since Black Monday: despite many assuming the firings were over, the Denver Broncos decided to part ways with John Fox, adding another team to the list of those vying for a new head coach. While Fox has failed to repeat his Super Bowl visit, he was 46-18 as the coach and made the playoffs as the AFC West division champion all four years. The John Fox departure is as head scratching as Doug Marrone leaving the Bills. I expected Marvin Lewis to be fired from the Bengals before Fox from the Broncos: Lewis is 100-90-2 as the Cincinnati coach, yet has failed to win a playoff game in his over decade long career.
Even with this monumental news, lets look at the recent hires as well as the now five teams with head coach vacancies: Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears.
Buffalo Bills welcome Rex Ryan with weird looking pizza. https://t.co/iHm6jm2AB9 pic.twitter.com/JpSYx3cBE5
— theScore (@theScore) January 13, 2015
First and foremost, the most surprising hiring has to come from the Buffalo Bills: where they have signed Rex Ryan to a five year deal reportedly worth $5.5 million per year. Now, this is shocking because there were some better places for Ryan out there: the former Jets coach made the AFC Championship game back-to-back seasons because he walked into a balance offense and crafted a fantastic defense.
He began to suffer when the multiple GMs and offensive coordinators left him with a stagnate offense; and he is walking into a place with the same problem, the lack of a quarterback. There is no mediocre Kyle Orton to fall back on: he has to go back to E.J. Manuel — which is a bad idea — or draft another QB — how is Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith doing? Yes, the Bills have an established defense, but why not go to the Falcons or any plethora of places with an established offense: Ryan is smart enough to fix most defenses. Simply, just not the decision I would have made if I were the former Jets coach.
ICYMI: The @NYJets found their next head coach https://t.co/4Q6HLla2po pic.twitter.com/vjn4VMmaax
— NFL (@nfl) January 14, 2015
And speaking of the Jets, yesterday they have finally moved forward and hired themselves a new head coach, Cards’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and a new general manager Mike Maccagnan. Now, Bowles sounds like the right choice for this defensive minded team, however, it is going to be on him and the GM to fix an ailing offense, who has plummeted the last few years — the main reason why Rex Ryan is no longer at MetLife Stadium.
Is it possible to pick up the pieces: well anything is possible when Mark Sanchez took the organization to two straight AFC Conference Championships. It is just the question of waiting for Woody Johnson, who has run a circus known as the Jets the last 15 years, to screw something up: how about bringing Tim Tebow out of retirement? It will probably sell more seats.
#Raiders decided late last night they won’t make Tony Sparano their coach, while they kept Jack Del Rio around. Signs point to Del Rio as HC
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2015
As for the rest of the vacancies, the closest team to allegedly hiring a new head coach is the Oakland Raiders: Ian Rapoport claims they will hire the Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. If that name sounds familiar, he achieved marginal success as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach: leading them to two playoff trips, but an overall 68-71 record. The main question is will the Oakland Raiders give Del Rio enough time to implement his changes: Jaguars gave him nine years before giving him the boot and the Raiders have had seven head coaches in the last decade — including Tony Sparano.
Be sure to tune in later to find out if Jack Del Rio was indeed hired along with the decisions of the remaining four teams. According to the NFL hiring tracker, three of the four teams are starting to narrow their candidate list: with the Bears looking at John Fox, the 49ers going towards offensive candidates in Patriots’ Josh McDaniels and Broncos’ Adam Gase, the Falcons leaning towards defense with the Seahawks’ Dan Quinn and Lions’ Teryl Austin and the Broncos just starting their process.
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