Openings For The Current Head Coaching Cycle
Carolina Panthers- Hired Frank Reich (Former Indianapolis Colts HC)
Indianapolis Colts- Hired Shane Steichen (Philadelphia OC)
Denver Broncos- Hired Sean Payton (Former New Orleans Saints HC)
Houston Texans- Hired DeMeco Ryans (San Francisco DC)
Arizona Cardinals- Hired Johnathon Gannon (Philadelphia DC)
Fired: Matt Rhule
Interim: DC Steve Wilks
Hired: Frank Reich (Former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach)
As expected, Frank Reich was not unemployed for very long. He has been hired to replace the current interim coach Steve Wilks, who was impressive delivering a 6-6 record during his interim tenure. The final three candidates along with Reich and Wilks was also Dallas Cowboys OC Kellen Moore. Panthers owner David Tepper made it known that he wanted to coach with prior experience and the ability to groom a young quarterback. For all his faults in Indianapolis, Reich is a superb coach and will hopefully learn from his prior failures. He didn’t appear to mesh with Colts management and the QB shuffle they played never allowed the offensive plans to flourish properly. Reich has a unique opportunity to start with a clean slate and potentially a new young quarterback that he can groom and mold to his satisfaction.
Fired: Frank Reich
Interim: Staff Consultant Jeff Saturday
Hired: Shane Steichen (Philadelphia OC)
Colts let the personal feelings about Jeff Saturday and his relationship with Colts Owner Jim Irsay go to the way side and they finally hire Philadelphia Eagles OC Shane Steichen. Coming off a Super Bowl loss to Kansas City where Steichen called a masterful game and showed why he is worthy of this Indianapolis Colts head coaching position.
Even in the loss, you saw what the Colts offense will begin to look like. No matter the QB that Indianapolis will most likely choose in April’s draft, Steichen will have a masterful plan of execution. His QB resume includes Philip Rivers, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. All three QBs are very different and will allow the Colts to have a strong offensive minded coach to groom the next young quarterback.
Fired: Nathaniel Hackett
Interim: Advisor Jerry Rosburg
Hired: Former Saints HC Sean Payton
Denver gets the “Unicorn Candidate” of this coaching cycle and if you believe the reports, he wasn’t their number one choice. Denver courted University of Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh and even went as far to visit him personally in Ann Arbor, but no deal was reached, and he chose to stay at Michigan. They also wanted to talk to DeMeco Ryans but he withdrew from consideration after signing a deal with Houston.
With Payton still under contract with New Orleans, Denver agreed to send a 2023 first round pick and second round pick in 2024 in exchange for the rights to hire Payton and a 2024 third round pick. Payton boasts a 152-89 overall record with a 9-8 playoff record and a Super Bowl title in 2009. He has shown the ability to fix quarterbacks and there is no larger project than Russell Wilson. This is an all in move from Denver and wipes more draft capital off their board after giving up picks to acquire Wilson last offseason.
Fired: Lovie Smith
Hired: DeMeco Ryans (San Francisco DC)
Houston wastes no time after the San Francisco loss to Philadelphia in the NFC title game by naming Ryans as the team’s new head coach. Houston has been a dumpster ground for head coaches recently as they will be hiring their third new head coach in as many seasons. Ryans is young but proven as an assistant.
He brings a decorated college career and respectable professional resume with him. He played most of his 11-year career with the Houston Texans as a player. He quickly rose the ranks in San Francisco and had the ear of HC Kyle Shanahan on the defensive side of the ball. Ryans will bring accountability and a new perspective to this desperate Houston Texans franchise.
Fired: Kliff Kingsbury
Hired: Johnathon Gannon (Arizona DC)
Cardinals swoop in and sign Gannon to a 5-year contract after having the final candidates in for 2nd interviews. This hire was a bit of a surprise, not because of his credentials but because he only interviewed once and at the last minute after the Super Bowl loss to Kansas City. The defensive coordinator from Philadelphia and his defense did not have its best day on Super Bowl Sunday but make no mistake, Gannon is a heck of a football coach.
After suffering a career-ending injury at the University of Louisville he began to work his way into scouting then eventually coaching. He has spent most of his coaching career with Minnesota and Indianapolis coaching defensive backs. The Eagles had a terrific defense this season but, as mentioned above, did not finish strong against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. He must mesh with Kyler Murray if he wants any chance to be successful in Arizona and that has proven to be easier said than done.
Way Too Early 2023 Coaches Hot Seat Report
With the small amount of head coaching changes in this past season, the 2023 head coaching cycle has the potential to be larger than ever. Let’s take an early look at the coaches on the hot seat heading into the 2023 season.
Which legendary NFL defense would love to resurrect?
1985 Chicago Bears
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers
2000 Baltimore Ravens
2002 Tampa Bay Bucs
1986 New York Giants
2013 Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Staley/Los Angeles Chargers
A wimper of a finish in the Wild Card playoff led to rampant speculation that Staley would be fired following the collapse against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Staley fired his OC Joe Lombardi and made a “home run hire” by bringing in former Dallas OC Kellen Moore to bring some new life to promising franchise quarterback Justin Herbert.
Moore has a tall task of rising Herbert even higher and if Staley can’t win a playoff game next season it might be Kellen Moore who takes the reins next.
Mike McCarthy/Dallas Cowboys
Any other team would be happy to have the season that Dallas just had but this is the Dallas Cowboys. Owner Jerry Jones wants nothing less than championships and with McCarthy failing this season to deliver that with a complete team, he will be on the hot seat going into next season.
With the departure of Kellen Moore, the team has hired Brian Schottenheimer as the new OC but it will be Mike McCarthy calling plays. The team will return experienced DC Dan Quinn, as he turned down 2nd interviews with multiple teams. Another bad year for McCarthy could bring to the Dan Quinn era in 2024.
Arthur Smith/Atlanta Falcons
A make or break year for Arthur Smith in 2023 with uncertainty at QB yet again. The team did draft Desmond Ridder in the 2022 Draft and was able to get some playing time towards the second half of the season. He wasn’t great but he wasn’t terrible either.
There will be a bevy of QB talent available this offseason. How they handle Ridder and his development will be the deciding factor of the Falcons 2023 trajectory.
Ron Rivera/Washington Commanders
After struggling through the first half of 2022, the Commanders made a strong playoff push. Like Atlanta, they will need to find an answer at QB this offseason. In the final game of the season, rookie Sam Howell was given an opportunity and he made the most of it.
If the reports are true, when Rivera hired new OC Scott Turner last month, he was told that the team will be moving forward with Howell next season as the starting QB. If this team can figure out the offense, then Rivera has a great chance to be competitive in the NFC East.
Dennis Allen/New Orleans Saints
The trend continues with the New Orleans Saints in the QB department. The Saint recently hosted (with permission) Raiders QB Derek Carr and the interest in each other is mutual. This would be a shape shifting move in the NFC South with the retirement of Tom Brady.
This would instantly make them the favorite in the division. Allen’s forte is on the defensive side of the ball and with his failure in Las Vegas as their head coach, this might be his last opportunity.
Todd Bowles/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While Tampa Bay did clinch a playoff berth this season, it was the loss to Dallas that still stings for this franchise. It was a failure in what ended up being Tom Brady’s career finale after announcing his retirement just before Super Bowl this year.
Whether Bowles is given the chance to find a new franchise QB is yet to be seen. But like Dennis Allen, he is a re-tread coach that might be on his last chance as a head coach.
Kevin Stefanski/Cleveland Browns
After winning NFL Coach of the Year following the 2020 season and leading Cleveland to the first playoff appearance since 2002, Stefanski has not had the same success. The last two seasons Stefanski has led the Browns to a 15-19 record.
While the Browns have a franchise quarterback on the roster in DeShaun Watson, he will carry a salary cap hit of near 60 Million. Watson signed the first ever fully guaranteed contract in NFL history. This will leave the Browns strapped in that department and will need to navigate this issue if they want any chance of taking down the AFC North champions Cincinnati Bengals.
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