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Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

A good conversation starter here, as Trevor Sikkema puts together a list of possible head coaching candidates for next year. Obviously, the hot young offensive mind everyone in the NFL wants is Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma, but there's also Vikings OC John DeFilippo and Titans OC Matt LaFleur. There are some defensive minds on here, and some older retreads who may get new consideration. Norv Turner again? I suppose it's possible. Who's your favorite head coach candidate?

Comments

12 comments, Last at 22 Nov 2018, 2:18pm

1 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by theslothook // Nov 12, 2018 - 4:32pm

Dave Toub should get some love as a potential head coach and I don't think I'm in the minority for saying that. Everyone else, I would have some serious reservations about.

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2 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by Will Allen // Nov 12, 2018 - 8:38pm

I'm not sure where the DeFilippo lobby is coming from. I mean, I'm not a critic of his work or anything, but it isn't like he is obviously doing great work for the Vikings. Yeah, the oline is depleted, and Dalvin Cook has been mostly out, but nothing really jumps out as far as how well the unit is being coached.

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3 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by Ambientdonkey // Nov 13, 2018 - 11:00am

He was Wentz's QB coach, Wentz looks like a star. I don't think Wentz's ability to throw an accurate pass with someone holding his arm is a coachable trait, but if NFL teams weren't predictable in their mis-assessment of coaches we would never get the Sean McDermotts and Adam Gases that entertain us so.

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11 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by andrew // Nov 20, 2018 - 10:42am

Frank Reich looks like he has done more since leaving Philly than DeFilipo.

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4 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by serutan // Nov 13, 2018 - 2:34pm

Comments on a few names:

1 John Harbaugh, HC, Ravens - If he is available at the end of the season, I think he'd be a good choice.

2. Josh McDaniels, OC, Patriots - He'll get bites, but will anyone trust him?

3. Bruce Arians, Former HC, Cardinals - Given his recent health issues, I wouldn't think a team would want to take the risk.

4. Jim Schwartz, DC, Eagles - Meh. But does have that retread cred.

5. Dave Toub, ST, Chiefs - Agree he deserves a shot. Wonder if he's one of those guys who aren't good enough at BSing and buzzwording in interviews.

6. Eric Bieniemy, OC, Chiefs - Intriguing, but a bit light on experience.

7. Norv Turner, OC, Panthers - Think he's long since acquired the "Coordinator is his ceiling" label.

8. Chip Kelly, HC, UCLA - May need a few more years before the NFL is interested again.

9. Jim Harbaugh, HC, Michigan - May get bites, but to me lesson from his stint in SF is that his NFL shelf life is ~4 years after which the players will start tuning him out.

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5 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 14, 2018 - 12:23am

I think Schwartz is a top-notch candidate, he seems like the kind of guy who can actually learn from his experience and adapt. I would be ecstatic if my team hired any of Schwartz, Toub, or either of the Haubaughs.

I did not have the same conclusion about Jim Harbaugh and the end of his term in SF. What I saw was him take a joke of a team under Singletary and make them a Super Bowl contender immediately, before going right back to being garbage the moment they fired him for Tomsula, all with mostly the same roster year-to-year. I give him a pass for his last season in SF, mostly due to the uptick in injuries that year and the overwhelming success of the previous three years. I thought it was a near given that with average injury luck they'd go immediately back to winning, and firing him was mind-bogglingly stupid. The guy is a quack (the "don't eat chicken, it's a nervous bird" thing is one of the funniest and most ridiculous things I've ever heard), but I think there's a strong chance he'd be in the same league as Reid and Belichick. I get the impression that he's not really interested in going back to the NFL though, sadly. Not that I blame him, living in college towns is awesome!

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6 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by rageon // Nov 14, 2018 - 10:42am

All the weird Harbaugh stuff makes more sense if you just assume he's on the spectrum, doesn't it? The degree of difficulty for someone like that to excel in leadership is higher, but all sorts of eccentricity can be forgiven if you're good enough at what you do.

Also, I still think John Fassell is a sleeper candidate as a future head coach.

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7 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by Richie // Nov 15, 2018 - 9:14pm

I didn't know the players turned on Jim Harbaugh. I thought it was more of a power struggle issue with Trent Baalke and/or Jed York?

Which is awesome when you consider the 49ers also ended up firing Baalke.

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8 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by Richie // Nov 15, 2018 - 9:18pm

I just found this fun chart on SBNation:
https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/12/27/7438415/49ers-jim-harbaugh-divor...

MOST SPITEFUL FIRINGS SINCE 1990:

Team Coach Year Final season record 4-year record Combined final season + 4-year
49ers George Seifert 1996 12-4 46-18 plus-36
Cowboys Jimmy Johnson 1994 12-4 43-21 plus-30
Chargers Marty Schottenheimer 2006 14-2 39-25 plus-26
49ers Jim Harbaugh 2014 7-8* 43-19-1 plus-23
Chiefs Marty Schottenheimer 1998 7-9 42-22 plus-18
Eagles Buddy Ryan 1990 10-6 38-25 plus-17
Vikings Dennis Green 2001 5-10* 41-22 plus-14
Bears Lovie Smith 2012 10-6 36-28 plus-12
Broncos Mike Shanahan 2008 8-8 37-27 plus-10
Bills Wade Phillips 2000 8-8 29-19# plus-10
Chargers Norv Turner 2012 7-9 37-27 plus-8
Raiders Art Shell 1994 9-7 35-29 plus-8
Broncos Dan Reeves 1992 8-8 36-28 plus-8

Marty Schottenheimer made the list twice. Probably could have made it a 3rd time with Washington (leading them to an 8-3 record to end the season), and probably would have been a 4th if not for the 1990 limitation.

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12 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by LionInAZ // Nov 22, 2018 - 2:18pm

I wouldn't have called Dennis Green's firing spiteful. I think it was more a result of the feeling that his players were undisciplined and engaging in disgraceful behavior, such as the "Love Boat" incident.
The 41-0 shellacking by the Giants in the playoffs didn't help.

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9 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 16, 2018 - 6:07pm

Yeah I don't agree about the players turning on him. Never heard anything about that, and it doesn't make sense considering what I have heard

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10 Re: Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates

by dank067 // Nov 18, 2018 - 1:09pm

I can't stand Harbaugh personally but I would definitely give him the benefit of the doubt about the end of his tenure in San Francisco - that organization was a mess. Right around the time or just after he left you had the ugly Aldon Smith and Ray McDonald situations come to a head, Justin Smith retired, Patrick Willis retired very unexpectedly, and though Chris Borland wasn't as big of a name, his leaving the game was a big story for 15 minutes. The rumors from the previous offseason that San Francisco was considering trading Harbaugh to Cleveland are also pretty telling in retrospect. Plus he is currently in year 4 at Michigan and probably doing the best job of his tenure there this season.

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