Ten NFL Coordinators Ready to Become Head Coaches
Ten NFL Coordinators Ready to Become Head Coaches
This year, there are a lot of coaches on the hot seat in the NFL, and as is often this case at this time of the season, we start to hear many names being thrown around as potential replacements to fill those soon-to-be-vacant head-coaching positions.
There are many coordinators in the NFL who appears to be ready to make the jump into a head-coaching positions right now, but obviously, there is always a lot of risk associated when going after coaches who have not yet proven themselves in that capacity.
Sometimes it works out very well, but too many times, that isn’t the case.
As we all know all too well, just because one is an outstanding offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator does not mean that he will be an outstanding head-coach.
In fact, it’s not often that an assistant coach jumps into a head-coaching job and finds success immediately. These things take time, but let’s face it, those who play key roles in the NFL aren’t exactly known for their patience.
Regardless, you never know unless you take a chance, and here is Rant Sports latest list of ten NFL assistant coaches who appear to be either ready to take over right now, or are at least headed in that direction.
I have a feeling that we will hear these names more as the season progresses, and even more so in the off-season when teams start the grueling process of finding the “perfect” man to take over the reigns.
Any list of coordinators ready to jump to the head-coaching ranks should begin with Bruce Arians, who is currently serving as the interim head coach and offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts while Chuck Pagano is dealing with his health concerns.
In that short amount of time, Arians has proven that he has what it takes to serve as a team's head coach. This is just his first season with the Colts, having spent the last four seasons working as the Pittsburgh Steelers OC, but under his watch, the Colts have won five of their last six games.
Don't be surprised if his name is at the top of everyone's list when looking to hire a new coach next season. He will stand out from many of the others because of the fact that he now has some successful, albeit brief, experience.
Two years ago, Perry Fewell, defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, was one of the hottest coordinator names in the NFL. However, he stayed on with the Giants and helped them win the Super Bowl last season.
Prior to that, he was the DC of the Buffalo Bills, and briefly served as an interim head-coach there before the entire coaching staff was let go.
Though the Giants have struggled a bit this season, if they find a way to turn things around yet again and make a playoff run, Fewell's name could once again jump to the top of the list for teams looking for a new head-coach.
Mike Zimmer has been around a long time, and it's a bit surprising that he has never held a head-coaching position in the NFL.
His teams have long been known for their solid defense, as is the case with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he has been the defensive coordinator since 2008. In that time, he was awarded the NFL Assistant Coach of the year. Additionally, his players love him.
Zimmer seems to have everything that one needs to make the jump, and if a team decides to pick him to take over their top coaching position, they could have a bright future with him at the helm.
The younger brother of Jon Gruden, Jay Gruden is one of the hottest names when talking about up-and-coming NFL coaches.
Jay currently works as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, where he is just now in his second season. Regardless, a couple of teams showed some interest in hiring him on last year as their head-coach, but Gruden elected instead to stay in Cincinnati.
Expect his name to continue to be mentioned for any potential head-coaching opportunities.
For years, Dallas Cowboys' DC Rob Ryan's name has been mentioned for possible head-coaching positions, and many have been torn as to whether the twin brother of Rex Ryan is ready to take over a team or not.
Regardless, his defenses have always been solid, and he has turned things around on that side of the ball in Dallas. On the other hand, he isn't exactly one to keep his opinions quiet, so who knows if that will scare off possible teams.
Though things aren't looking great for his brother in New York, Rob Ryan's name is one that we will continue to hear, and deservedly so. He may be a bit of a gamble, considering his larger-than-life personality, but those often have the potential to lead to greater rewards.
Mike McCoy isn't a name we hear a lot, but perhaps we should.
McCoy has been with the Denver Broncos since 2009. Currently, granted with some help from Peyton Manning, his offense is among the best in the league. Even last season, McCoy was able to work miracles with Tim Tebow, and even revamped the entire offense to play to his strengths. As a result, the Broncos offense over-achieved due in large part to McCoy's creativity.
McCoy is definitely a young guy (just 40 years old), but he could prove to be great for a team willing to take a chance on a young but brilliant football mind.
Yes, Dom Capers has served previous stints as an NFL head-coach, but to be fair, both were for expansion teams, which can't be the easiest position in which to lead.
Capers has been the DC for the Green Bay Packers since 2009. In his first two years, the Packer's defense was among the top in the NFL. Last year, though they hit a rough stretch, many teams began, once again, to express an interest in Capers.
If the Packers finish this season strong, particularly defensively, I expect that Capers could find another head-coaching position in the NFL once again. It's a bit risky, considering his past head-coaching tenures, but again, those were unique situations. With the right team, he could make it work.
Greg Roman, the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, has shown a tremendous amount of potential since coming back to the NFL after a brief stint in the college ranks.
Last year, in his first season in San Francisco, Roman's offense ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in points per game, rushing yards per game and time of possession. The minimal ten turnovers by his offense throughout last year is tied for first in NFL history for the fewest turnovers in a season.
Though hiring him as a head-coach might be a bit of a riskier move, he has the tools that are required when looking for a head-coach, so the potential for a high reward is certainly there. His name may be one that we hear a lot towards the end of the season, and if not this year, likely the next if the 49ers can continue to produce.
Pete Carmichael, Jr.
Pete Carmichael, Jr. is the OC for the New Orleans Saints. During his time in Louisiana, his teams have always been at the top of the rankings offensively. In fact, the Saints offense has finished No. 1 overall in four of Carmichael’s six years with the organization.
Perhaps it's time to see what this young, offensive minded coach can do as a head-coach.
Casey "Gus" Bradley
Casey "Gus" Bradley's name is another that doesn't get mentioned a lot, but he has been instrumental in turning around the Seattle Seahawks defense this season, which is honestly a bit of a surprise. They are currently the 4th best defense in the league.
He is young and energetic, and his players seem to love him, but is he ready to take over as a head-coach? He may be the biggest gamble on this list, but again, you never know what a man can do until you give him a chance. He may not quite be there just yet, but he is heading in the right direction if the Seahwaks can keep it up; we may begin to hear his name more if that's the case.