Top 15 Coordinators Ready to Become Head Coach
It's about that time of year in the NFL Season where coaches’ seats begin to heat up, or begin to boil over and some kind of change becomes imminent it could be a small cosmetic change or it could be full scale house cleaning.
I have found fifteen offensive and defensive coordinators that are worthy of becoming head coaches in the league. A decent number of them are former coaches that have been fired within the last few years that have taken over as coordinators to stay in the game.
These coordinators are on both good and bad teams alike, but these guys have the ability I think to lead a struggling team and make them a better team or to improve a talented team stuck in a rut to get over the hump and win it all sooner than later.
Granted I know some teams that hire new coaches, might be in for a scheme overhaul no matter what if it’s offense or defense or both. The coaches I will list are just my thoughts of who could be a head coach, not sending a coordinator to a specific team, but these are just my take, what do you all think? Who shouldn’t be included in my list? Did I leave anyone out? If I did let me know!
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Mike Pettine Jr.
Mike Pettine Jr. is currently the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets and is Rex Ryan’s right hand man and has been even when they were both with the Baltimore Ravens. Mike is also the son of Mike Pettine Sr., whom is a legendary high school coach within the state of Pennsylvania. Mike Jr. is fiery and can motivate players to play under him.
Mike Zimmer, the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator has been over looked for about eight years now as I thought he would be a head coach by now as he a defensive prodigy learning under head coach Marvin Lewis. He has coached defenses with the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons.
Wade Phillips is yet another defensive guru who has been around for a long time, and is the son of legendary coach Bum Phillips. Wade even has a lot of head coaching experience with the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys, and has been the interim head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.
Jack Del Rio
Jack Del Rio was an excellent middle linebacker for twelve years (1985-1996), then got into coaching and has had a fair share of success since 1997. After being fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jack has been hired as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. I think he will be head coaching sooner than later.
Fraternal twin brother of Rex, Rob Ryan is currently the Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator and he has been that position for the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and has been the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots. He is as fiery as his brother, not to mention his legendary father Buddy. And I think despite the long hair and goatee, he would be an excellent head coach.
Perry Fewell is the current defensive coordinator for the New York Football Giants. He was the former defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Buffalo Bills where he had a record of 3-4. He is also a fiery and intense coach who leads by example, and should be an excellent head coach if given the chance.
Jim Haslett is another former NFL linebacker who has made his transition to coaching, and also has head coaching experience as he was the New Orleans Saints from 2000-2005 and was interim head coach for the St. Louis Rams in 2008, even coached in the UFL for the Florida Tuskers in 2009 and now is back in the NFL being the defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins.
Dom Capers has started two franchises as their first head coach, the Houston Texans and the Carolina Panthers, and has been a defensive coordinator and genius for many years regardless if he was in the college ranks, the USFL, or the NFL or if he was coaching a team, defense or even just a position.
Mike Nolan has been another defensive guru who has brought a level of intensity to any team he has coached defenses at. While he struggled being a head coach in San Francisco, it wasn’t because of his defenses, and currently is the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator that is currently the last unbeaten team in the NFL this year at 7-0.
Jay Gruden, the younger brother of Jon has been an offensive mastermind, and developed some well-known quarterbacks. Plus he was a legendary player and coach in the Arena Football League. I think he has what it takes to be a great head coach in the NFL as well.
Bruce Arians is the current interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts while Coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia. Before he moved to Indianapolis, he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004 and was let go because he apparently passed to much for ownership’s liking, their loss, and possibly another team’s gain.
Like defensive guru Mike Zimmer, offensive guru Al Saunders has been overlooked for since 1988 when he was fired from the San Diego Chargers and has been offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland Raiders. This guy deserves a second shot somewhere, some team give it to him!
Bill Callahan, the current Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator has a great deal of coaching experience, at the college and pro levels, and even led the raiders to the Super Bowl in 2002, the year the Oakland Raiders essentially traded head coach Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ironically enough, they were the two teams that played in that Super Bowl, but coach Gruden had the upper hand. After getting fired from Oakland, the University of Nebraska hired him and ultimately got fired again after having a 27-22 record and has been assistant head coaches for the New York Jets since coming back to the NFL.
Pete Carmichael Jr.
Pete Carmichael Jr. has been solely an offensive coach between the offensive line, quarterbacks, wide receivers, and quality control for the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins. This man’s stock has been soaring in previous years and I thought he would have been a coach by now, and after this season I have a feeling a team wanting/needing an offensive minded head coach, this is the guy you would want.
Brian Schottenheimer is the son of legendary coach, Marty and has been working with offenses since 1997, as an assistant with the St. Louis Rams and now it’s came full circle since now he is back and now is the offensive coordinator for them after six years with the New York Jets, he’s been linked to numerous head coaching jobs since 2008 after not getting the New York Jets job after Eric Mangini was fired.