A month from now, fans of six or so NFL teams will be refreshing their browsers and checking their phones for news about a coaching search. Who’s interviewing where? Which teams have asked permission to interview whom? Who are the leading candidates? When can coaches whose teams are in the playoffs interview, exactly?
It is the NFL’s early-January rite, and we all got a reminder of its proximity this week when the Panthers dismissed coach Ron Rivera. There are now two head-coach openings in the league — in Carolina and Washington, where Jay Gruden was let go earlier this season — and more to come, either before or right after the season.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
NFL industry sources who track these things are following the situations with the Falcons, Jaguars, Cowboys, Browns, Lions and Giants as potential teams that could make a coaching change. There’s nothing decided yet, of course, and with one-quarter of the season to go — for all but the two teams that played Thursday night — there’s still time for situations to improve or worsen in a couple of places.
History tells us to expect six-to-eight openings (even though history also tells us teams don’t help themselves by turning over coaches so frequently), and so the attention of fans in places where the coach is on thin ice turns to, “Who can we get?”
Last year was all about fresh faces. NFL people couldn’t believe the level of inexperience teams were willing to accept in their new coaches. Kliff Kingsbury got the Arizona job mere weeks after Texas Tech fired him. The Packers hired Matt LaFleur after he’d spent one year as a playcaller. Zac Taylor rose from a relatively obscure place in the Rams’ coaching hierarchy to coach of the Bengals. Brian Flores got the Dolphins job after one year as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator (and without the title!). The Browns promoted Freddie Kitchens after a half-season as their offensive coordinator.cheap nfl nike jerseys china
There were a couple of exceptions. Vic Fangio paid decades worth of dues and got rewarded with the Broncos job. Tampa Bay brought back former Arizona coach Bruce Arians. And the Jets hired Adam Gase weeks after the Dolphins had fired him. For the most part, though, teams overlooked experience for potential, and we wondered if that might start a trend.
It could, of course. Multiple sources interviewed for this story said teams are still likely to lean toward offensive-minded coaches in their January searches. Team owners and general managers want fresh ideas on how to score more and more points, and those who have guided this year’s successful offenses likely will get looks. Offensive coordinators such as Greg Roman (Ravens), Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs), Kevin Stefanski (Vikings), Nick Sirianni (Colts) and mercurial favorite Josh McDaniels (Patriots) are expected to get phone calls and interest and likely interviews.