Nate once helped fund an airplane to fly a banner to get the Miami Hurricanes head coach fired. He’s a football feen and loves all things Boston sports.
Arizona Cardinals OUT: Steve Wilks IN: Kliff Kingsbury
On the surface, and in traditional coaching circles, this hire is getting poor grades. But do we really want to see the Jeff Fisher’s of the world get another shot? How about Hue Jackson? That’s what I thought. Kingsbury is a young, exciting, offensive minded head coach. He was OK at Texas Tech (a place it is very hard to win at), but what he is a little more than ok in is developing QBs. The Cardinals need a full reboot, taking a chance on a young, bright offensive mind is really a refreshing break from the norm of retreads. Just give him some time to load up on some players first–ideally with trading that first pick…for more picks.
Cincinnati Bengals OUT: Marvin Lewis IN: Zac Taylor
Really not a fan of this hire. This is my lowest grade. It’s like, if you ran into Sean McVay in a convenience store, NFL teams want to pick your brain and interview you. Cincinnati is a stale organization right now and going with the former Rams QB coach was probably intended to be the fresh energy to boost it–but is anyone excited?
Cleveland Browns OUT: Hue Jackson/Gregg Williams IN: Freddie Kitchens
I’m lukewarm on this. I think that if the players just coached themselves they probably would have been better than what Hue gave them, so that’s a plus. Kitchens did great work as the OC after Jackson’s ousting and him and Baker click–which is certainly the main motivation behind this hire. I just feel like they could have done better. Cleveland was a very attractive opening and I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say they could have even kept Kitchens on as OC, but hired a more experienced CEO as the head coach.
Denver Broncos OUT: Vance Joseph IN: Vic Fangio
As a Broncos fan, the relief of parting with Vance Joseph is real. However, the real problem lies upstairs in an organization, but that’s a whole different discussion. As a coach, Fangio has commanded very strong defenses wherever he’s been. He’s been in the league 32 years and this is his first shot at leading a team. If you’re going to hire a long-time guy and coordinator–at least make sure he coaches really good units. Vic checks that box. How he does as a CEO? TBD.
Green Bay Packers OUT: Mike McCarthy IN: Matt LaFleur
Speaking of hiring coordinators who are actually good…I don’t think the Pack did that here. In his one year as Titans OC did he really make them look any different? Did Mariota improve? I do think just some new ideas and concepts will be good for the O and he can end up being a good Band-Aid hire. I just don’t know if he is the longtime answer there. Another case of, if you’ve breathed the same air as McVay we’ll hire you!
Miami Dolphins OUT: Adam Gase IN: Brian Flores
Flores breathed the same air as McVay not too long ago at the Super Bowl. Him and Belichick huffed and puffed and blew the Rams away. Will he do the same on his own? The list of coaches who have succeeded away from Patriot Place is pretty barren. Exactly how much of the defensive game planning/play calling he did in NE is up for debate. I do like his profile as a coach though and it’s hard not to find a noticeable difference in NE’s defense this year vs. last. Miami will need to be patient as they need to reboot.
New York Jets OUT: Todd Bowles IN: Adam Gase
I’m not huge on retreads and Gase is certainly that. He did some good work getting the Dolphins to the playoffs in his first season there, but it was downhill ever since. He is known to be very good with QBs, which should benefit Sam Darnold. But anyone who saw his face and expressions during his introductory news conference certainly came away thinking this dude is on some kind of special sauce. That ought to go over well in the NY market.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers OUT: Dirk Koetter IN: Bruce Arians
This, I believe is the best hire of the bunch. Arians is on the older side but the man has years of experience and while his ways may have gotten old in the desert; there’s no denying the impact he made there. He was the most successful Arizona Cardinals coach ever. He has shaped the careers of Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck and is probably Jameis Winston’s best hope at survival as a starting QB. With a 4th place schedule, this could be one of those quick turnarounds where you see a big jump in wins year over year.