Predicting The Future For Every Newly-Hired NFL Head Coach
The Future Of Every Newly-Hired NFL Head Coach
Yesterday, Mike Pettine was hired by the Cleveland Browns, thus completing our annual NFL Head Coach carousel. Other new hires for 2014 include Lovie Smith -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Zimmer -- Minnesota Vikings, Ken Whisenhunt -- Tennessee Titans, Jay Gruden -- Washington Redskins, Bill O'Brien -- Houston Texans, and Jim Caldwell -- Detroit Lions.
As I did a few weeks ago with my Predicting The Future Of Baltimore Ravens Free Agents In 2014, I'll be summoning Madame Dan once again to predict the futures for these seven new head coaches. What I’m going to do is real simple. With each coach, I’m going to predict how long they’ll hold the job, playoff appearances, and all kinds of other fun stuff. As you could imagine, some hires I love, and some aren’t so great. If things go well this year, perhaps I’ll make this an annual column.
I hope all of you enjoy reading this slideshow as much as I did writing it. Without further ado, here are my predictions for the seven new NFL coaches going into 2014.
You have to love the chances of a guy that looks like an angry John Travolta. Seriously, tell me he doesn't look like an angry old man version of Travolta in that picture. From my understanding, Bill O'Brien is kind of a tough coach. I like the hire, because this dude seems like he could get the best out a playoff caliber team that just had one really bad year. The Texans could definitely be the 2014 version of the Kansas City Chiefs.
O'Brien with Texans: nine years, five playoff appearances.
Can Mike Pettine be the guy that finally takes the Cleveland Browns to the promised land? I believe so. I keep waiting for the Browns to have that one break out 10-6 season, but things never work out for Cleveland sports teams. I like the Browns to be a competitive 7-9 team in 2014 and then finally have that 10-6 season in 2015. The Browns need to take advantage of a downtrodden AFC North.
Pettine with the Browns: five years, two playoff appearances.
I love this hire for the Minnesota Vikings. I've been saying for years that the Cincinnati Bengals needed to fire Marvin Lewis and promote Zimmer. Now their loss will be Minnesota's gain. As of now, the Vikings will be my early NFC sleeper team going into 2014.
Zimmer with Vikings: 10 years, six playoff appearances.
So, the Detroit Lions are going from an over-animated jerk of a coach to a nicer coach who you have to poke just to make sure he's still alive. Why do so many NFL teams do this? Go from one extreme to the opposite extreme. The Lions' first choice, Ken Whisenhunt, would have been that happy middle that this team sorely needs. I like Caldwell and hope he does well, but I don't have a good feeling about it.
Caldwell with the Lions: twp years, no playoff appearances.
Speaking of Ken Whisenhunt, the Tennessee Titans just ripped him away from Detroit. You have to give credit where it's due. If you want something, just take it. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Titans QB situation. Whisenhunt thrived with the Arizona Cardinals with Kurt Warner as his QB. After Warner retired, it was three straight non-playoff seasons and a pink slip. This is definitely the hardest one for me to predict.
Whisenhunt with the Titans: six years, three playoff appearances.
For the past two years, I've predicted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as one of those 9-7 teams that's always kind of hovering, but not really a real threat. Seeing as they disappointed me the past two years with my predictions, they finally went out and got Lovie Smith, who will make sure the Bucs are always hovering around. It's finally safe to the pick the Bucs again as a semi-sleeper.
Smith with the Buccaneers: seven years, three playoff appearances.
Why do I have the feeling that nobody will ever succeed in Washington with that boneheaded wannabe Jerry Jones? Okay, I guess Daniel Snyder isn't nearly half the ego maniac that Gruden is, but still. As far as Gruden goes? You don't have a chance kid, but you'll be a better person for having to go through that circus.
Gruden with the Redskins: two years, no playoff appearances.