six seven head coaching vacancies in the NFL this year. Any others at this point would be surprising and not in the sense that it is “breaking news” when the Jaguars fired Doug Marrone. The surprise would be if they hadn’t.
Speaking of which, the Jaguars fired Doug Marrone.
That makes Jacksonville one of the seven, along with the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Falcons have hired Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith as their next head coach. Smith, 38, helped revive the career of Ryan Tannehill while with the Titans, and after two years of calling the plays, he’ll get his shot to manage an entire roster in Atlanta.
Jaguars hire Urban Meyer
Jacksonville is hiring former Florida, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer as the next man-in-charge of the team. Likely the person to guide Trevor Lawrence at the beginning of his NFL career.
The Rams are set to play the Jaguars next season.
Jets hire Robert Saleh
The Jets went with a defensive coordinator, taking away Kyle Shanahan’s from San Francisco to be their next head coach. The 49ers are reportedly promoting DeMeco Ryans to be the next defensive coordinator.
Falcons make offer to Arthur Smith
Atlanta has reportedly made an offer to the Titans offensive coordinator to be the next head coach.
Seahawks speaking to Anthony Lynn to become offensive coordinator
The recently-fired head coach of the Chargers, Lynn is reportedly being considered to take over Seattle’s offense after they fired Brian Schottenheimer.
Monday, 5:46 PM
The LA Chargers have requested an interview with Rams DC Brandon Staley. This comes hours after it was reported that the NY Jets asked to interview Staley. These interviews can’t happen this week while Staley prepares for the Seahawks.
Chargers GM Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley have a connection through @JCUFootball Telesco played WR there and Staley later served as DC after Telesco's playing days were over:pic.twitter.com/eltZZQSZjm https://t.co/IEacADkELl— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) January 5, 2021
Fired: Matt Patricia, midseason
Last playoffs trip: 2016
Last playoff win: 1991
Head coaches since last playoff win: 10 (3 interim)
Since 1996, the Lions have posted two seasons with double-digit victories: they went 10-6 in 2011 and 11-5 in 2014. The first resulted in a wild card loss under Jim Schwartz and the second, a wild card loss under Jim Caldwell. Detroit hired Patricia after consecutive 9-7 season under Caldwell, but the defense got progressively worse during his three-year tenure.
People will make overtures for Matthew Stafford only being 32 and potential building blocks like Jeffrey Okudah, D’Andre Swift, TJ Hockenson but the Lions consistently fail to impress and they’re starting over again.
Fired: Bill O’Brien, midseason
Last playoffs trip: 2019
Last playoff win: 2019
Appearances in AFC Championship or Super Bowl: 0
I was actually surprised to see that the Texans not only won a playoff game last year, they beat the now-hot Buffalo Bills. O’Brien posted a winning season in five of his six full seasons with the Texans, but got fired because Houston pushed in for 2020 and fell flat — and none of his playoff teams were ever close to good enough, it turned out.
The next Texans head coach won’t have to figure out if he has the right quarterback and that’s a major advantage over New York and Jacksonville — Trevor Lawrence doesn’t get to earn the right to bypass “proving it” — while Atlanta and Detroit have to make decisions about the long-term future of the position.
The bad news is that the Texans just went 4-12 and won’t be picking third. Yet, I’d expect them to rebound quicker than most of the teams picking in the top-10.
Fired: Dan Quinn, midseason
Last playoffs trip: 2017
Last playoffs win: 2017
Last time they were happy to be in the playoffs: 28-3
Following the Bobby Petrino disaster, the Falcons gave Mike Smith seven years to figure it out. Then they nearly gave Quinn six. Owner Arthur Blank has trusted his hires to a fault. Matt Ryan turns 36 next year, which would make it reasonable for the Falcons to draft a non-quarterback who could contribute immediately to the team next season. What if Drew Brees retires? What if Tom Brady follows him out shortly later? The NFC South is a minefield of opportunities.
New York Jets
Fired: Adam Gase
Last playoffs trip: 2010
Last Super Bowl appearance: 1968
Excluding 2015, the Jets have been terrible every year since 2012. They don’t improve. They make players worse. They put star players in a position where they consistently want to leave shortly after they arrive. Did you know that New York’s point differential got worse in five successive seasons under Rex Ryan? What if Rex Ryan was destined to be a great coach ... except that he got hired by the Jets?
Number one pick or number two pick, it doesn’t matter, this would not be the ideal job opportunity.
Los Angeles Chargers
Fired: Anthony Lynn
Last playoffs trip: 2018
Last AFC Championship appearance: 2007
- Don’t have to find their franchise QB
- Have a high draft pick
- Have cap space
- Have Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Chris Harris, Trai Turner, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and more talented players
- The LA market and a new stadium
- A good general manager
But the Chargers have also proven that you can somehow have the quarterback, talented players around him, a winnable division and wild card opportunities, and somehow still only come away with two postseason trips over the last 11 years.
This has been a blunder of a franchise and they will surely need to get the head coaching hire right this time. Can they?
Fired: Doug Marrone
Last playoffs trip: 2017
Playoff appearances in the 2000s: 3
Most of what I said about the Jets, but on a shorter timeline. Jacksonville can have the number one pick and the quarterback and the money and all that ... can they be not awful for a change?
Any updates to the coaching searches can be posted here and in the comments.