Seven NFL teams will turn the page this season as they have brought in new head coaches. The majority of these new hires will serve as NFL head coaches for the first time in their careers. The new batch of hires is also an indicator that the league is clearly an offensive-driven league, as all seven coaches have offensive backgrounds. Here’s how we rank the best coaching hires.
New York Giants: Ben McAdoo
Under McAdoo’s two years as Giants’ offensive coordinator, Eli Manning put together the best two-year span of his career, throwing over 4,400 yards and 30 touchdowns in the past two seasons. Tom Coughlin will always have a home with Big Blue, but it was simply time for the Giants to move on. McAdoo now has full reign of a team with an impressive receiver trio and revamped defense.
Miami Dolphins: Adam Gase
Gase isn’t going to get much credit for Peyton Manning’s success as a Bronco, but he will get credit for constructing an offense around Peyton. As Peyton rapidly changed into a totally different player, Gase adapted his offense. The Dolphins saw enough out of Gase’s offensive play calling with the Broncos and Bears to bring him in to bring the best out of Ryan Tannehill and this talented Dolphins offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dirk Koetter
Koetter was the brain behind an offense that went under the radar last season. Under Koetter, the Bucs had the fifth best offense last season and was a big reason why Jameis Winston transitioned so well to the NFL in his rookie season. The Bucs’ front office hopes Koetter and the young Bucs’ offense can grow together.
Cleveland Browns: Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson is loved by his players everywhere he goes and is known as a quarterback whisperer. The problem for the Browns is that they don’t have any quarterback for Jackson to mold. If the Browns’ new front office gives Jackson time, he will build a consistent culture in Cleveland for the first time since the Bill Belichick era. Jackson laid the foundation by making one of his first actions completely cutting ties with Johnny Manziel.
San Francisco 49ers: Chip Kelly
After going 10-6 in his first two seasons in Philadelphia, Kelly demanded and was given more power, but quickly learned what Uncle Ben meant when he said “With great power comes great responsibility.” After the team fell on their face and went 6-10, the front office put all the blame on Kelly. Kelly is an interesting coach and definitely deserved a second chance in the NFL, but he was best suited in Tennessee to coach his college quarterback Marcus Mariota. Jim Harbaugh split from the 49ers due to a power struggle, so this hiring is a puzzling one, since we know how Kelly craves power. Ownership also hopes that if Kelly can bring an explosive offense to the team, 49ers tickets will be a hot commodity in the Bay Area.
Philadelphia Eagles: Doug Pederson
Pederson has been an understudy of both Brett Favre and Andy Reid, and will now be the man who the Eagles look to to develop Carson Wentz into a franchise quarterback. Pederson is a quiet pick with not many people knowing who he is. With all the commotion that has come with the Eagles over the past few years from the Michael Vick “Dream Team” and the scrutiny of the Chip Kelly era, the lowkey hire of the Eagles is completely understood.
Tennessee Titans: Mike Mularkey
This hire was the most head-scratching hire of the offseason. Mularkey has no track record of winning, has never made the playoffs, and went 2-7 with the Titans as their interim coach in 2015. With the excitement that Marcus Mariota brings to the field, you would think the Titans would look into bringing in a coach who can construct a dynamic offense around Mariota’s skills. Instead, they go with their tight ends coach who has never impressed anyone as a play caller.