Predicting the NFL Head Coaching Hires

NFL Head Coaching Hires
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With the 2021 NFL season officially under wraps, six teams have decided to move on from their previous regimes. Of course, when one coach gets fired, another rises to take their place. There are plenty of good candidates this year, but who will get hired during the latest round of the NFL head coaching hires?

Note that this list does not include the Las Vegas Raiders, as their season has not yet ended and they haven’t had the chance to interview any potential candidates. 

NFL Head Coaching Hires: Who Will Fill the Openings?

Chicago Bears: Brian Daboll

Through the first two years of his career, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was a freakishly athletic playmaker that could make anything happen at a moments’ notice, but struggled with consistency and making the right reads. Does that sound familiar? Justin Fields had an up-and-down rookie season during his lone season in Matt Nagy’s unfavorable scheme. While the consistency wasn’t there, the highlights were, and a better coach might be able to bring the best out of the young passer. 

Chicago’s top priority should be finding someone that can turn Justin Fields into an unquestioned franchise quarterback. Daboll did this with Josh Allen, and he’s got a good shot to do it again with Fields. The coach should be able to tailor his scheme towards Fields’ freak athleticism and create easier reads while the quarterback improves his mental understanding of the game. 

Denver Broncos: Dan Quinn

Third time’s the charm, right? After two failed defensive hires, the Denver Broncos go back to that well with Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Quinn has positive experience during his time with the Atlanta Falcons, guiding his team to the Super Bowl and coming minutes away from taking home the Lombardi.

While Broncos fans would likely prefer an offensive hire, most of the pieces for a great offense are already in place. Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and Tim Patrick form one of the deepest receiving groups in the league, and Javonte Williams looks like one of the best young runners in football. If they can secure a quarterback like Russell Wilson, then they won’t need an offensive-minded coach to be one of the best units in football. 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Kellen Moore

Trevor Lawrence deserves a mulligan for his rookie season. The former first-overall pick was at or near the bottom of just about every quarterback metric, but you can’t really blame him for the underwhelming season. Urban Meyer was an absolute trainwreck, and Laquon Treadwell was his best receiver. Frankly, there are maybe three or four quarterbacks in the league that could have performed well in that situation. 

There was a reason Lawrence was considered the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, and that talent is still there. Building around Lawrence starts with finding a young, promising coach like Kellen Moore. Moore, a former NFL quarterback himself, has worked wonders in Dallas and should bring that magic over to Jacksonville. 

Miami Dolphins: Nathaniel Hackett

While we can’t definitively say why the Miami Dolphins decided to part ways with Brian Flores, it’s safe to assume that it had something to do with Tua Tagovailoa. Flores reportedly preferred Justin Herbert to the Alabama product in 2019, and the former head coach didn’t exactly throw his support behind the young passer. In fairness to Flores, this was justified, as Tagovailoa has looked like one of the worst quarterbacks in the league since earning the starting job. 

The Dolphins clearly want to see their investment in Tagovailoa pay off, which means they’re likely to hire a coach that runs a favorable scheme. In 2021, Hackett schemed up an offense that created open receivers at a nearly-unparalleled rate. Tagovailoa excels at getting the ball out quickly to his first read, and Hackett’s system excels at creating open reads. If Tagovailoa is going to make it in the NFL, it will be in a system like this one. 

Minnesota Vikings: Brian Flores

From the outside looking in, Brian Flores did a remarkable job with the Miami Dolphins. After a 5-11 campaign with arguably the worst roster of the past decade, Flores guided Miami to a combined 19-14 record despite subpar play at the quarterback position. Flores deserves to be a head coach, and the Minnesota Vikings will give him that opportunity. 

The offensive side of the ball is already figured out. Kirk Cousins is a perfectly fine starter, while Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are both among the best in the league at their respective position. The defense desperately needs help, and Flores has the track record to fix that side of the ball and get the Vikings back in the playoffs.

New York Giants: Byron Leftwich

The New York Giants are all about old school football, but seeing as they haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, it might be time for a change in philosophy. It goes without saying that it’s easy to look good when Tom Brady is your quarterback, but Leftwich does appear to be one of the better young minds in the game.

The Giants need to figure out if Daniel Jones is their quarterback of the future, and they need to put him in an actual position to succeed. Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney are a good starting point, but the Giants actually need a scheme that plays to the individual talents on the roster. Leftwich’s deep passing offense is New York’s best opportunity to bring out the best in their playmakers.

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