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John Hammonds

Ranking the Head Coaching Openings

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Best HC Opening - Cleveland Browns.  This team has a lot of young talent, and is not just trending but racing in the right direction.  IMO the only way the Browns keep from making the playoffs in 2019 is for them to screw it up.  You know, like hiring a HC from outside the organization instead of from the current architects of their success.  Their interim coach should be their head coach.  Period.

 

#2 Opening - Green Bay Packers.  Reason?  Aaron Rogers.  You have a top notch QB, and you have some high impact veterans.  All you really need to improve things is better talent at the skill positions and more speed on defense.  Your downside?  There's a limited window to work with.  Rogers and the veterans are not young.  This is a short-term, win now type of opportunity, with little success down the road.

 

#3 Opening - New York Jets.  This is a good opportunity because you have a young, quality QB, high draft choices, and lots of cap space.  This is the 2017/2018 Colts all over again.  You can build the team you want without having to do much demolishing of the team that is there.  Just do it right.  There's a long history here of doing it badly.

 

#4 Opening - Arizona Cardinals.  Seriously?  The Cards?  Yeah, them.  The cupboard is very nearly bare.  You can build the team you want, from the ground up.  The only serious problem is that you have a high draft choice QB that may or may not pan out.  You're stuck with him because of where he was drafted.  Your fortunes as a HC will most likely rest on whether or not he works out.  Cross your fingers.

 

#5 Opening - Denver Broncos.  This situation is a lot like the Packers.  You have established quality veterans playing in a healthy environment.  You have the same limited window of opportunity issue.  The main problem here is that you have no QB, and your skill players aren't top notch.  You have less chance of immediate success than with the Packers, but you're still walking into a decent situation.  Choose wisely.

 

#6 Opening - Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  This team is a conundrum.  They have many quality players, but they are less than the sum of their parts.  The biggest issue is on the offense, particularly at the QB position.  Jameis is not the answer.  And Fitzmagic is not the future.  Your best weapon is a TE masquerading as a WR.  And yet, they're the #2 offense.  Go figure.  This team can be converted by bringing in the right QB, and some better coaching.  But there's a high chance of getting caught in mediocrity if you're not careful.

 

#7 Opening - Miami Dolphins.  This team is already mired in mediocrity.  They don't have bad players.  But they don't have great players.  They're just good enough to keep them from getting prime players in the draft, but not good enough to take the next step.  How do you solve a problem like the Dolphins?  Good question.  I don't have the answer.

 

#8 Opening - Cincinnati Bengals.  The problem with this team is not about talent or personnel, it's that they need a culture change.  And the way to affect a culture change is to get rid of the cultural leaders.  That means getting rid of your best players, and starting from scratch.  The most likely prediction is that you will only be HC during the dismantling years, but fired before the building successes.  A la, Hue Jackson.  Interesting that Cincinnati just happens to be where he landed.  Can this team ever escape bad mojo?

 

That's my rankings.  What are yours?

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#1 The Bengals: new coach is probably guaranteed 10 years at 3-4 million per Cha-Ching!

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I might actually take NYJ over GB, just because I don't know how many hits Rodgers has left in him... the injuries seem like they may be starting to take their toll. 

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I would put the Bronco's over the Cardinals.  Cardinal's roster is really empty AND they don't know if the QB they have is going to pan out or not.  If he does you are at best looking at a 2 or 3 year rebuild. 

 

Will the fan base, GM, and owner have the patience to go through the rebuild or will they fire you just at the moment you are about to turn everything around, hand the keys to another coach and consider him a hero when he starts winning with your players?

 

If the Rosen doesn't pan out then you have absolutely nothing and you will probably get fired after one year.

 

Broncos if you can get a QB in there then you can make them winners almost immediately.  

 

I think I might put GB above Cleveland because of better short term prospects which I generally think because coaches rarely keep their jobs for more than 5 years they should look at short term prospects first.  However I would note that because of their years of futility that if you can just produce winning records and some playoff appearances you might get more time. 

 

MAYBE

 

You would think that but for some reason in the NFL even teams that have been losing for 20 years straight start getting antsy and fire coaches once they have a little bit of hope.  Look what happened to Jim Caldwell.

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4 minutes ago, Valpo2004 said:

Broncos if you can get a QB in there then you can make them winners almost immediately.  

 

I'd think it is more about getting a creative play caller and solid game planning in there than the QB. Case Keenum, yes, his ceiling is limited but the ceiling he showed was lower than what it could have been due to bad play calling.

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5 minutes ago, chad72 said:

 

I'd think it is more about getting a creative play caller and solid game planning in there than the QB. Case Keenum, yes, his ceiling is limited but the ceiling he showed was lower than what it could have been due to bad play calling.

 

That may be true as well, but Keenum isn't going to take you to the promised land.  10 or 11 win season and maybe a trip to the playoffs.  But you arn't starting a playoff game with Keenum feeling confident of victory.  I'd rather go all in on Foles.  

 

When you are a QB away you have to roll the dice.  

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My rankings:

 

Best HC Opening - Cleveland Browns.  

#2 Opening - New York Jets

#3 Opening - Green Bay Packers

#4 Opening - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

#5 Opening - Denver Broncos

#6 Opening - Arizona Cardinals

#7 Opening - Miami Dolphins  

#8 Opening - Cincinnati Bengals

 

Jets have a better long term future and probably more flexibility with you imposing offensive systems on a new QB than with an established vet like Rodgers. I heard the Browns denying a lateral move for Freddie Kitchens as OC thus insisting he be OC for the new HC. It may not fly well with guys like Mike McCarthy and Josh McDaniels, if they are considered. It probably makes the Browns job less attractive than the Jets HC job, if you look at it that way in terms of control and say as to who is OC.

 

Bucs - I disagree regarding Jameis Winston. Offensively, their talent is as good as any upcoming team and Jameis started playing well as the season went along. With better coaching, I think they start winning some of those close games and possibly make the playoffs. 

 

Cardinals - there is a serious management issue there with Bidwill and Keim, and firing a first year head coach in Wilks does not make them look that good but hey, if you are a first timer, you roll the dice, I guess. At least Broncos stuck it out for two years with VJ. Dolphins and Bengals - yeah, terrible mismanagement at the top.

 

Gase should go to the Falcons and pair up with Matty Ice as OC - would be the perfect fit, IMO, if he does not get a HC gig.

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1. Browns-Baker Mayfield is for real

2.Bengals-Long time to figure stuff out

3.Packers-Aaron Rodgers talent, but his cockiness+age put them at 3

 

I wouldn't take any of the other jobs.

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1-Broncos: Championship defense just missing a QB, 

2-Browns: Great young QB, lots of solid pieces, lots of cap room.

3-Jets: Great young QB, tons of cap room, a few pieces.

4-Bengals: Dalton is not that bad and not that old.

5-Packers: Rodgers is the only reason this job is not dead last, who knows how much longer he plays.

6-Bucs: Messy at QB and defense

7-Dolphins: Needs an overhaul IMO

8-Cardinals: Void of talent and big ? with a high pick at QB.

 

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As much as everyone loves the Browns job, will the Browns keep anyone around?

 

The most apparent reason for the Browns string of failure is of course the lack of a quarterback.  Now it looks like they have one, but another reason for the Browns string of failure is their lack of maturity when it comes to head coaches.  

 

Granded they gave Hue some time but they also have a long history of 1 year and done coaches.  

 

I'm not entirely convinced they won't can you if you don't win a SB in 2 years.  

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