Breaking Down Each of the Open NFL Head Coaching Jobs
The NFL currently has seven vacancies that need to be filled. There are only 32 of these positions in existence and, thanks to the ways in which things like free agency have evolved in recent years, any one coach has the ability to put a good squad together and enjoy success. That’s all part of what makes the NFL so unpredictable and thrilling for fans around the world. Still, it’s relatively easy to rank these jobs in terms of their appeal, so today we’ll be doing just that.
New York Giants
Often, free jobs can be easily classed by the quality of the quarterbacks involved. The Giants can boast of Eli Manning, one of the best signal callers in the game and a two-time Super Bowl champion. To make this role even more appealing, the Giants are a very stable team, even if the last few seasons have been a little rough. The team has a rich history and a passionate fanbase, ensuring that this will be an incredible job for the coach who gets it.
That said, this job isn’t without its drawbacks. We’ve talked about Eli Manning, but the truth is that he’s 35 years old now and must be coming towards the closing stages of his career. Replacing a guy of his caliber will be difficult. In addition, the team’s recent struggles have been caused by weaknesses in certain roles. The squad needs some changes in order to enjoy success again. Speaking of success, that’s something that the fans will be expecting, so the coach of the Giants needs to be prepared to deal with plenty of pressure.
The Eagles have got some really great players. Sam Bradford is just 28-years old and, with the right players around him, can be a very reliable and effective player for Philadelphia. Unfortunately, he’s set to become a free agent soon, but there’s still time for Bradford to become a star with the Eagles. The team also features strong defensive players like Fletcher Cox and exciting offensive stars like DeMarco Murray.
On the other hand, there are a few issues with this job. One of the big ones has been mentioned above; Bradford may very well decide to live and a new coach may be judged on whether or not the quarterback decides to stay. The identity of the team is also a little hazy and the Eagles need a bit of consistency. Nevertheless, a good coach should be able to thrive in this role.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Not many people would have expected Lovie Smith to lose his job as quickly as he did, but the Bucs haven’t had much success since he arrived. A particularly interesting rumor going around at the moment would suggest that Smith was fired so that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter would stay at Tampa Bay. Time will tell if that rumor turns out to be true.
Either way, any new coach would be inheriting a squad that contains a promising signal caller in Jameis Winston and a few other interesting players. Thanks to the team’s recent failures, there won’t be too much pressure on a new coach. However, the owners of the Buccaneers have been known to fire coaches quite suddenly, and the task of getting this team winning in a tough division will not be easy.
The Titans job is clearly an exciting one, but there are some uncertainties regarding the ownership of the team. That’s why this role is a little further down our list. Still, Tennessee has a great young QB in Marcus Mariota and some strong defensive players. They’ve also got top pick in the 2016 draft and play in one of the more well-balanced divisions. However, the fact that the franchise might be sold in the near future could interfere with any new coach’s plans, while the current owners don’t seem too interested in spending heavily.
San Francisco 49ers
A team with a rich history, San Francisco are forced to play in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. The 49ers also have passionate fans who want to see their team succeed. Unfortunately, this means that the job comes with a lot of pressure. The first big problem will be to decide whether or not the 49ers should continue with QB Colin Kaepernick. The GM of San Francisco, Trent Baalke, also reportedly enjoys getting directly involved with the team’s training, which could upset a new coach.
The Browns haven’t won anything for many years and last featured in the playoffs back in 2002. On the positive side, this helps to lower fans’ expectations. On the negative side, it’s clear that Cleveland needs some big changes to start enjoying happier times.
In the QB role, for better or worse, the team has Johnny Manziel. Manziel is still young and has time to improve. He’s got the technical ability, but critics have questioned his commitment to the game. If a new coach could help to inspire and motivate the 23-year old, Cleveland could have a future star. Still, the Browns have a very tough division and are in desperate need of some good offensive players.