While this season lacked the “Black Monday” feel everyone expects after so many years, there was no shortage of openings this season. In fact there were seven head coach openings for the fourth straight season. Keeping track of all the different coordinators moving around, coaching vacancies and hires can be difficult. Here’s a look at the major coaching movies this off season.
Indianapolis Colts – Chuck Pagano
While this position was never actually open, the majority believed that both Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson would not be back for the 2016-17 season. Instead, owner Jim Irsay tied their contracts together as he signed Grigson and Pagano to a four year deal and GM Ruy. The key is that if one goes they both go, forcing the two to work on their relationship which has been described as toxic.
San Francisco 49ers – Chip Kelly
After being fired with two weeks remaining in the season, rumors swirled about the eventual destination of Chip Kelly. Would he remain a head coach in the NFL? A coordinator? Would he go back to college? Would he find any job? The answer came on Thursday, January 14th that Chip Kelly would become the 20th coach in 49ers history. With personnel duties stripped, Kelly will act solely as the head coach and he has some work to do. The Colin Kaepernick situation is a mystery and Blaine Gabbert has proven he is not a franchise quarterback. Things will be interesting, but many 49er fans are ready for “Chip Kelly’s Wild Ride.”
New York Giants – Ben McAdoo
With the resignation/firing of Tom Coughlin, many fans turned their attention to offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo who has been with the team for two years, and is now the head coach. The 38-year old is only two years removed from being a position coach and is stepping into a brutal situation. The Giants simply lack talent and that was not Tom Coughlin’s fault. McAdoo has shown flashes with the offense, but will have to improve the team as a whole as the Redskins and Cowboys should both be playoff threats next season.
Cleveland Browns – Hue Jackson
Yet another coordinator swept out from underneath Marvin Lewis, Hue Jackson may have been the most appealing head coaching candidate this off-season. In one season with the Raiders, Jackson went 8-8 with a team that would go 4-12 without him the next year. In two years Jackson turned Andy Dalton into a top tier quarterback and will look to continue his success into Cleveland. Already wanting to out Johnny Manziel, many expect the Browns to take QB Jared Goff with the #2 overall pick and build the offense around him. The Browns have a lot of pieces that are missing, but the addition of Hue Jackson and return of Josh Gordon provide a big of hope for the franchise.
Miami Dolphins – Adam Gase
Behind Hue Jackson, Adam Gase seemed to be the name everyone at least wanted to interview. After two years in Denver with Peyton Manning, and one season in Chicago with Jay Cutler, Gase is moving to South Beach to work with Ryan Tannehill. There are a number of issues in Miami that started with GM Dennis Hickey who has since been replaced. The team has talent, but the right schemes need to be instilled and that is where Gase comes into affect.
Philadelphia Eagles – Doug Pederson
While rumors swirled about who the Philadelphia Eagles would end up hiring, the expectation is that Pederson will be the next head coach for the Eagles.After playing in the league for over a decade, Pederson has seen a successful climb up the coaching ladder. Having worked with the Eagles from 2009-2012 before moving to Kansas City, it is not much of a surprise Pederson is returning to the city of brotherly love. With Chip Kelly unloading a lot of the talent this team had, Pederson will need all the help he can get to build a decent roster and from there will built this team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dirk Koetter
When Tampa Bay fired coach Lovie Smith out of nowhere, all attention was focused on offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. With a number of teams asking for interviews, the Bucs felt they needed to act fast in order to maintain the coach that had already begun to mold franchise quarterback Jameis Winston. Working in the NFL since 2007, Koetter has been in line for coaching positions before, but turned them down feeling he was not quite ready. Now ready for the next step, Koetter will be heading the Buccaneers who have a lot of young power on offense, but drastically need to improve the secondary on defense.
Tennessee Titans – Vacant
A number of fans have already spoken out about backlash if interim head coach Mike Mularkey is brought back, and the team that was 24th in attendance last season cannot afford to lose more fans. The Titans have spoken to former Bills coach Doug Marrone and are interested in the Patriots’ Josh McDaniels. There is no real indication of who will take over yet, but whoever it is will step into an offense with few weapons and an aging defense.
*Images from USA Today, NJ.com, TampaBay.com, and Scout