By: Josh Wingate
With pink slips right around the corner for many NFL head coaches, it is only a matter of time that speculation turns into reality in the NFL. It seems every year in the league a coach gets fired around week 13; the bottom dwelling fans’ run high with anticipation hoping that they can be the first to reach a change. The NFL has always been a league of “What have you done lately?” more so with fans but with front offices as well, so with teams dwelling this year don’t be surprised with many coaching changes. I am going to guess what team will be making a change at head coach and who the incumbent coach will be.
The list is going to be in alphabetical order, so by no means does it spell who will be the first to be fired. If you should know though, I have been calling for Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers to be the first to be fired all year long.
Buffalo Bills (Chan Gailey)
New Coach: Gus Bradley
Current team: Seattle Seahawks (Defensive Coordinator)
Currently, the Bills have an offensive minded coach at the reigns but the problem is not only defensively with this team. If you were to ask a fan of the Buffalo Bills what their biggest problem was, they would very easily tell you the coaching staff and then shortly after tell you the name of a Harvard graduate. As a man there are 2 things you must know about Buffalo, which are there is a liquor store on every corner and they have wings. Also, the city is blue collar which means the football teams needs to be as well, which leads to why this city needs a defensive coordinator as their head coach. Gus Bradley has done a wonderful job in Seattle instilling a blue collar attitude throughout his defensive scheme; the defensive backs will even lay a hit on you. Bradley also likes big Strong side ends, which I am going to go out on a limb and say Mario Williams fits that profile, but is an upgrade to what he has in Seattle. He is also a philosopher in the best man will play and doesn’t believe money plays a part in the depth chart which is great because he will field the best player for his defense. Buffalo fans might not enjoy this acquisition at first but they will grow to love it.
Carolina Panthers (Ron Rivera)
New Coach: Mike McCoy
Current team: Denver Broncos
When anyone thinks of the Carolina Panthers they instantly think of Cam Newton, which is a good thing because he is there to sell tickets. With the team also looking for a general manager at seasons end, the new one will know he will have to find a way to win with Newton, as soon as possible. Mike McCoy has been with the Denver Broncos since 2009, but he is very well versed with the Carolina organization as he has held multiple jobs with them from 2000 – 2008. McCoy made the biggest name for himself last season when Tim Tebow came in as the starting quarterback on his offensive team and led them to a playoff win. Anyone that knows something about football will know Tebow is not a capable quarterback in the NFL, but a money making ploy. Like I said previously, Cam Newton was brought in to make money, but he is a capable quarterback in the NFL as well someone who can win games. What the problem is with the Panthers is that they don’t have an offensive mind that can identify their strengths and use them to Newton’s advantages, like McCoy did with Tebow. I honestly do not see a better fit here, I have heard Jay Gruden but I don’t see it here.
Cleveland Browns (Pat Shurmur)
New Coach: Jay Gruden
Current team: Cincinnati Bengals (Offensive Coordinator)
Okay, calm down Cleveland fans! It’s not like I moved your team to Baltimore…too soon? At least you got a Gruden, just wasn’t the one you were looking for. Jay Gruden is a very up and coming coach in this league with head coaching experience in the arena league. While it might not be NFL coaching experience it is still showing what he can do as the lead man, and he did well. What he has done with the Cincinnati offense is very admirable, seeing how he built his offense around 2 rookies. Jon is a great coach but he builds is great around his skill set to where I believe Jay builds an overall great team. Gruden will also get the most out of the young squad that is the Cleveland Browns and will build around the core players on the team. While Cleveland is a blue collar city just like I stated with Buffalo and I am putting an offensive coordinator in the job, don’t second guess this guy as he is the brother of Chuckie. Seems like a very successful sequel, doesn’t it? Also imagine the Browns acquiring Jarvis Jones with Rex Ryan as their Defensive Coordinator.
Dallas Cowboys (Jason Garrett)
New Coach: Chip Kelly
Current team: Oregon Ducks (Head Coach)
This is happens or doesn’t happen situation for me, either Jerry has a confirmed signing by Kelly or Jason does not get fire. Let me paint the picture for you to why I believe it will happen. We all remember the press conference Jerry holds for every coach signing and he goes on and on about the guy he just signed as the new “Football Coach of the Dallas Cowboys”. Well imagine the excitement that he will have with signing Chip Kelly the most talked about and wanted coach in the college football ranks. Now think of the spin he can use since he has previously signed coaches from the college ranks and they are the only ones who has taken them to the Superbowl. This is essentially and ego signing for Jerry, not only would it be a very good signing but it would also be a media mayhem in Dallas for the entire off season, with possible Hard Knocks, knocking on the door. Jerry wouldn’t know what to do with himself at that point, but Kelly is the only guy I see Jerry saying he was wrong for because that is exactly what firing Garrett would mean; Jerry was wrong. Kelly is a very great mind on the offensive side of the ball and it has been said many times he could bring his scheme to the NFL and it would be successful with some minor tweaking, but not only is he a great mind he is a tremendous leader as well.
Jacksonville Jaguars (Mike Mularky)
New Coach: Mike Zimmer
Current team: Cincinnati Bengals (Defensive Coordinator)
What a disaster, not only are they the poorest team in the NFL but they are changing their coach for the second time in two years. This might be the best signing of the off season though, Mike Zimmer is due to become a Head Coach and after the passing of his late wife it might be what he needs. The man is one of the best and most underrated coordinators in the game today. He constantly fields top 10 defenses in the NFL which is a league of constant turnover. The feat is nothing to look at lightly. I see this happening because Jacksonville needs to build off of one thing they have going for them which is a halfway decent amount of talent on defense. They also need someone they can win for and Zimmer is a player’s coach but knows when to put his foot down. He is that parent you want to do the best for because they will be so proud of you but if you mess up you know they are going to strike the fear of god into you.
Kansas City Chiefs (Romeo Crennel)
New Coach: Greg Roman
Current team: San Francisco 49ers (Offensive Coordinator)
Is Roman ready for a head coaching job yet? I mean honestly, what has he done to deserve merit for what he has done? Coached under Harbaugh and was brought here to coach with him even after the Stanford days? I don’t know I guess I have a lot of questions when it comes to him but he seems to be a hot name around the NFL to be the next Head Coach in the league. Roman does know how to use his players though and put them in a position to win the game, but he is the coordinator on a team that isn’t known for the offense but rather their defense and they are actually looked at as a lackluster offense, which Harbaugh is given the success for the good of the offense.
New York Jets (Rex Ryan)
New Coach: Jason Garrett
Current team: Dallas Cowboys (Head Coach)
The Rex Ryan ‘era in New York just has to end, immediately! It is a complete circus show for the Jets, you have the Fireman who cannot throw the football let alone lead a hose to a fire. You have the pretty boy bible thumper who has the followers to hope he could start at Quarterback; but he doesn’t even know how to throw a football unless you were comparing him to a 6 year old, but I know a 6 year old who probably has more arm strength than he does. Oh yeah then there is the man with more kids than he can count, and believes he is the best WR on the team. But don’t forget Mr. Anonymous he is the best one of all he talks bad about his fellow teammates behind closed doors. I wonder if I could think of another team that was just like that. Maybe, the Dallas Cowboys when Wade Phillips was the coach. They had TO, PacMan Jones, Tank Johnson and many more personalities on the team that nearly caused an implosion. The Cowboys then named Garrett the interim head coach and the problem was shortly solved. I believe this is what we will come to expect of the New York Jets and what they will hope for in the next year coming. If they can get a play caller for Garrett so he can focus on head duties he will be fine but until then he will be less than mediocre.
Philadelphia Eagles (Andy Reid)
New Coach: Kyle Shanahan
Current team: Washington Redskins (Offensive Coordinator)
Kyle Shanahan is what the Eagle fans need; a complete change in philosophy from a heavy passing scheme to a heavy running/balanced attack from the Shanahan coaching tree. Shanahan might be one of the youngest coaches in the NFL, after seeing what he has done with a capable quarterback in Washington and knowing his track record in the NFL he is already due to be a head coach and I feel he will take advantage of the opportunity. The Eagles are basically built for a Zone Blocking Scheme (ZBS) on the offensive side of the ball which would play into the hands of LeSean “Shady” McCoy as he has very good vision which is what you would expect from your running back in such scheme. Shanahan would be able to then groom Foles as their future if he sees fit or be able to eventually draft his future QB. I also think the great part about this is it would bring another rivalry to the Eagles, while the Eagle’s fans hate every team that isn’t green and have any eagle on the side of their helmet; they show more hatred towards the Cowboys and Giants. Knowing that they will have the Shanahan bowl twice a year and possibly in the playoffs would bring the hatred for the Redskins that much greater which will bode well financially and this is the business of making money.
San Diego Chargers (Norv Turner)
New Coach: Ron Rivera
Current team: Carolina Panthers (Head Coach)
Norv Turner has needed to be fired for years and I am going to say at least 2 years. The man is completely lost as a NFL head coach, but the man knows how to run an offense. He should find a job rather quickly if he is willing to become an offensive coordinator, but other than that he will not. Ron Rivera on the other hand is a god in San Diego with what he was able to do with the Chargers for 3 years, but he was also the wanted head coach in place of Turner at the time. Rivera has not had a bad tenure with the Panthers, but rather was placed in a bad position in looks of being a head coach. What you should expect from Rivera in San Diego is that he will get the defense to play at its fullest because he has understanding of most of the players on the defense as he has coached them prior. He will also bring in an offensive coordinator that will be creative and create plays on that side of the ball. I imagine Charger fans would be very happy with this coaching change.
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