Last offseason, the NFL had 10 head coaching jobs available: the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some coaches turned their respective franchises around, while others, not so much.
Fired After Year 1:
10. Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos
Hackett came in as the previous offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. After the Broncos traded the future for quarterback Russell Wilson, and signed defensive end Randy Gregory, this team appeared in line for success. However, Hackett failed to get the job done, accumulating a record of 4-11 before being fired late December. The Broncos did, however, deal with multiple major injuries. Wilson had been dealing with a lingering finger injury, and the team also lost wide receiver Tim Patrick and running back Javonte Williams to ACL tears. Denver’s clock management specialist Jerry Rosum took over in wake of Hackett’s firing. As of now though, Denver is currently searching for a long-term option.
9. Lovie Smith, Houston Texans
After taking over for one-and-done head coach David Culley, Smith finds himself in the same category. Smith was secured the lead gig after impressing as the interim head coach when he relieved Culley. Previously the defensive coordinator, Smith now finds himself jobless as many question if any head coach could succeed with the current Texans roster.
8. Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears
Matt Eberflus was hired as the Bears’ head coach after having many successful seasons as the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator. Eberflus disappointed though, as the Bears find themselves with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bears, however, do have the opportunity to quickly change make an impact this offseason. The Bears currently have a league-leading $92,033,199 in cap space for the 2023 season. That, and two first-round draft picks, including the first overall, must have Bears fans happy.
7. Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders
McDaniels was a questionable hire from the start, and after leading the Raiders to a 6-11 season, he finds himself in the didn’t impress category. Not to mention the Raiders in search for a new franchise quarterback, as Derek Carr was benched late in the season for backup Jarrett Stidham, a quarterback whom McDaniels has had ties with in New England. The decision to let Carr find another team has fans questioning if star wide receiver Davante Adams, who they just traded for last offseason, will want to leave as well. Adams made it known the reason he chose to leave Green Bay and join the Raiders was because of Carr and their friendship.
6. Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints
After longtime head coach Sean Payton stepped down, the Saints promoted defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. Allen led the Saints to a 7-10 record, despite the team dealing with multiple injuries throughout the season. Starting quarterback Jameis Winston suffered a back injury early in the season, leading them to roll with Andy Dalton. Dalton later remained the starter once Winston was healthy. Along with Winston’s injury, star wide receiver Michael Thomas had been once again sidelined most of the season with injuries.
Good, But Not Great:
5. Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins
After starting out hot with a 7-3 record the bye, Dolphins would go on to win just two more games and lose 5 straight in that span. Granted, starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had been dealing with concussions this season, the Dolphins were still in line to win most of the games they ended up losing. With hope that Tagovailoa can return to his success pre-concussions, the Dolphins could be successful next year.
4. Todd Bowles, Tampa Bucanners
The Bucs found themselves in the divisional round of the playoffs despite going 8-10 on the season. Bowles took over for Bruce Arians, who had much success with the team Bowles was given. This being his second stint as an NFL head coach, the first time around was not so great either. Bowles previously served as the head coach for the New York Jets from 2015-2018. With Tampa Bay firing their offensive coordinator, and Tom Brady possibly on his way out, the Bucs look ahead at a bleak future.
3. Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings
O’Connell was hired as the Vikings head coach briefly after winning the Super Bowl with the Rams. He served as the Rams’ offensive coordinator and was coveted for his ability to scheme his receivers open. O’Connell did just that this year, as wide receiver Justin Jefferson ended the regular season with 1,809 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. He also led the Vikings to a 13-4 record in his first season. However, the Vikings’ season ended early after a playoff loss to the New York Giants in the NFC Wild Card round.
The Daboll and Pederson Tier:
2. Brian Daboll, New York Giants
Daboll was one of the most coveted head coaches in offseason and ultimately landed in New York. With recognition of coaching quarterback Josh Allen into a top five quarterback, Daboll did so with Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones as well. Prior to Daboll, Jones was a turnover machine. This past season, Jones had a league low 5 turnovers among all other starting quarterbacks with at least 16 games played. Not to mention, the Giants also reached the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
1. Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars
After the worst head coaching experience the NFL had ever seen with Urban Meyer in Jacksonville, Pederson was hired to hopefully turn the franchise around. Pederson, a Super Bowl winning head coach with the Eagles, led the Jaguars to a 10-9 record just one year after having the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence had also made a significant jump in play, courtesy of Pederson.
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