NFL Coaching Carousel Update
Final Four Spots Filled
Since the last coaching carousel update, a lot has happened. With the Saints finalizing their deal with Dennis Allen, the head coaching window is over. Since I have already covered the first five coaching hires, let's go over the remaining teams (Jaguars, Texans, Saints, and Dolphins) and see how they fared with their hires.
Previous Head Coach: Urban Meyer
Replacement: Doug Pederson (Former Eagles HC)
The Jags initially tried to go after Bucs OC Byron Leftwich, but when that fell through, they turned their attention to former Eagles HC Doug Pederson. While his time in Philly came to a bitter end in 2020, he is a proven winner in the NFL, leading Philly to their first Super Bowl win in 2018.
While Jacksonville probably won't win the Super Bowl this year, having Pederson as their head coach is a huge positive for the development of Trevor Lawrence. 2020 was not a promising rookie campaign for the former Clemson QB, as he led the league in interceptions and had the worst passer rating among rookie QBs. Bringing Pederson into the fold will help Lawrence get back on development. Also, with Pederson being an offensive-minded coach, expect the Jags to focus on o-line with the first pick in the draft.
Pederson replaces Urban Meyer, who was fired in the middle of the season. Jacksonville finished 3-14 and had wins over Miami, Buffalo, and Indianapolis.
Previous Head Coach: Brian Flores
Replacement: Mike McDaniel (Former49ers OC)
Out of the four hirings, I think Miami's hiring of Mike McDaniel is the worst. Not to take anything away from McDaniel, but hiring someone with zero head coaching experience is always a gamble. McDaniel does have upside because he spent years under Kyle Shanahan's system, and his offensive schemes could work out in Miami with young QB Tua Tagovailoa. If the Dolphins are committed to Tua, this hire could turn from a question mark to an exclamation point.
McDaniel comes into a Dolphins organization that hasn't won the Super Bowl since 1973, and although Brian Flores brought them back-to-back winning the seasons, the Dolphins haven't made the playoffs since 2016.
Previous Head Coach: David Culley
Replacement: Lovie Smith (Former Houston Asst. HC/DC)
The Texans interviewed multiple candidates, including Former QB Josh McCown, Flores, and Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon. They initially brought in Lovie Smith to evaluate each candidate, but the Texans quickly turned to Smith as a possible head coaching candidate. Long story short, Houston decided to hire Smith.
Initially, it looked as if the Texans would hire McCown, but with the recent lawsuit, I think they knew they would receive backlash for hiring a white man with no coaching experience. Smith has ten years of NFL head coaching experience, including eight seasons with the Bears and two seasons with the Bucs. Smith made history in 2006, becoming the first black coach, along with Tony Dungy, to coach a Super Bowl; Smith's Bears would lose to Dungy's Colts in Super Bowl XLI. Smith also spent four seasons as the head coach for the University of Illinois.
Smith joins a toxic Houston organization still trying to figure out what to do with Desean Watson.
New Orleans Saints
Previous Head Coach: Sean Payton
Replacement: Dennis Allen (Former Saints DC)
After Sean Payton announced his retirement, the Saints began looking for a replacement. Right off the bat, people said the job should go to Dennis Allen, who spent three seasons as the Saints DC, and has turned it into a top 10 defense. Among the other candidates in consideration was Chiefs OC Eric Bienemy, a candidate for several other destinations.
While Bienemy may be more than qualified for a head coaching job, Allen deserves to be the Saints' HC, considering his track record with the team. Previously, Allen had spent two seasons as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders.
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Jake Klausner covers all things sports for ThePyrrhic.com. Keep your eyes peeled for NFL Analysis, World Series Recaps, and more from Jake.
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