A day that coincides with the end of the regular season, ‘Black Monday’ has arrived. For some, it’s a day inviting new opportunities and a chance to realize a childhood dream as jobs once occupied quickly prove vacant. On the other hand, it represents unemployment for the individual and the start of a rebuild for teams that are once again looking to strike gold in finding the individual to captain their organization. While the ensuing slate of playoff matchups will garner headlines as we move throughout the next few weeks, the list of ideal candidates to fill open head coaching positions will quickly rise to the top of a handful of franchises’ offseason to-do lists. With several head coaches already fired, here’s a ‘who’s who’ for the head coach carousel as 18 teams kickoff their offseason.
Eric BieniemyThe long-sought-after offensive genius of the high-octane Kansas City Chiefs offense, it’s been long overdue for Bieniemy to get his shot at the head gig. While his rapport with Andy Reid has been well documented, the offensive-minded head coach should enjoy an overflow of interest from teams in search of an individual to help blossom a young quarterback. Fits: Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears
Brian DabollIf there’s a guy in football that has shown he can develop a young quarterback, it’s Daboll. The job he’s done with Josh Allen in Buffalo has been one of the more publicized stories in football the last few years, and it goes without saying the job he could do if given the opportunity to work with Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. Fits: Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears
Dan QuinnThe former head bench boss in Atlanta, Quinn has evolved the Dallas Cowboys defense into one of the most opportune units in football, leading the league in takeaways after what was an abysmal showing in 2020 under Mike Nolan. His usage of Micah Parsons, deployment of Keanu Neal as a hybrid safety turned linebacker while turning Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory into a highly impactful edge threat duo has seen his name increasingly garner interest as the months have worn on. With years of head coaching experience under his belt, his insertion into a roster with needed improvement on the defensive side of the ball with veterans aplenty could be a perfect fit. Fits: Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, New York Giants
Doug PedersonFollowing his captaining of the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl just a few seasons ago, his surprising departure from Philadelphia left many to ponder not if he would find another gig, but when. A true leader of men with the ability to immediately command a locker room, Pederson has already drawn interest, interviewing for the Jacksonville job last week. Fits: Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings
Byron LeftwichOne of the shiny new names in the coaching circuit, the former signal-caller in his own right has done an outstanding job scheming the Tom Brady-led offense. While it helps to have Brady running the show, the relationship between the two and the constant evolvement of his offense with injuries and shuffling of bodies aplenty has made Leftwich a hot name to follow this offseason. Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars
Jim HarbaughThe biggest of names expected to entertain a return to the NFL, Harbaugh’s former success as the San Francisco 49ers head coach and his leading of the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff this fall has seen him reopen the phone lines to a return to Sunday football. The AP CFB Coach of the Year, while his tenure in San Francisco came to a tumultuous end nearly a decade ago, he’s proven he can lead an NFL roster to playoff football. If he’s serious about an NFL move, he’ll have plenty of suitors. Fits: Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears
Kellen MooreThe sexy, offensive-minded head coach that will look to follow in Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan, and Matt LaFleur’s footsteps as the next youth-inspired head bench boss to take over the league, Moore’s name will be a popular one as teams look to secure the “next big thing” out of the ‘assistants’ ring of talent. His ability to masthead the Cowboys’ deep offensive arsenal has made him an awfully intriguing candidate for teams in search of immediate offensive pop. Fits: Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos
Other Names To Watch
- Todd Bowles
- Nathaniel Hackett
- Josh McDaniels
- Raheem Morris
- Jerod Mayo
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