Sean Payton, Josh McCown, and the Broken Carousel

Former New Orleans Saints HC Sean Payton
Former New Orleans Saints HC Sean Payton
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Conference Championship - The New Orleans Saints are $74 million over the projected 2022 salary cap. Their only quarterbacks under contract are Taysom Hill and Ian Book. Important starters such as Terron Armstead and Marcus Williams are headed for free agency. Other top performers such as Cameron Jordan, Malcolm Jenkins, and Demario Davis are well into their 30s. And Michael Thomas is brooding like Rambo in a mountain yurt somewhere.

If you were Sean Payton, you would run screaming from this situation too.

Payton stepped down as the Saints head coach on Tuesday, ostensibly to retire from the rigors of the NFL, plausibly to hang out in Mike McCarthy's barn o' wisdom until they switch places in a week year or two, but obviously to escape a miserable no-win scenario in Metairie.

The best Payton could hope for if he had stayed in the saddle would have been a 2021 Patriots-style mini-Renaissance: draft a Mac Jones, rally the veterans, win a bunch of games in a division with at least one doormat (and possibly without Tom Brady). That analogy falls apart quickly under close inspection. The Saints don't have money to grab a Hunter Henry or Matt Judon. They don't even have enough money to pay their own guys. Also, the Saints have never been as good as the Patriots: their roster is not as strong, well-constructed financially, or as relatively young as the Patriots roster was entering this season, even if guys like Armstead somehow stick around.

When you have coached for 15 seasons, reached the playoffs nine times, and won a Super Bowl, moving heaven and earth in the hopes of lucking into a quarterback and maybe producing a one-and-done wild-card team cannot sound all that appealing. Especially since Payton just tried that this year and failed.

With Payton's retirement, the Saints become the least appealing head coaching vacancy in the NFL with the exception of teams run by ersatz youth ministers. Payton's departure will send the free agents scurrying to market and could be the cue for some veterans to retire. Whoever takes over in New Orleans won't be rebuilding in 2022. He will be rebuilding in 2023. He'll be eating ramen noodles and dodging the collection agents in 2022.

And so it goes. At least the Saints have their memories.

And Taysom Hill.

The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down

Josh McCown is qualified for many football-related jobs.

Quarterbacks coach? Absolutely! Television talking head? He'd be fantastic! Small-college offensive coordinator? Gigs like that make tremendous learning opportunities for ex-NFL players entering the coaching ranks! Front-facing Director-of-Good-Vibes role in a front office? He would be swell, and the Texans could use someone like that. High school head coach? McCown's team versus Philip Rivers' team would make for a fun Friday night ESPNU showdown.

But if McCown is qualified to be a head coach, then I'm qualified to be Secretary of State.

The Houston Texans' insistence on floating McCown as a serious head coaching candidate has put many of us in the NFL media in a bind. McCown has been incredibly gracious to us over the years. He took the time to grant me an interview that became the centerpiece of a major feature a few years ago. I will pound the table for McCown as a head coach in about five years, after he helps some team with a Davis Mills-type prospect achieve a top-15 finish in DVOA and a wild-card berth. I love McCown. I love my wife too, but I would not claim that she's qualified to captain a mission to Mars.

Texans puppeteer-in-chief Jack Easterbasket wants to run the organization like a model train set, so naturally he is looking for another head coach like David Culley who is underqualified and therefore controllable; that McCown would get kid-gloves treatment from wiseacres like me is an added bonus. Pro Football Talk reported last week that Easterbabka even hoped another team would interview McCown to legitimize the Texans interest; if that report is true, it might be the ultimate textbook example of toxic CYA management. The Jaguars heard their entrance music and promptly reached out to McCown. Perhaps the Jaguars sensed an opportunity to help the Texans saddle themselves with an unqualified coach, though a team that keeps losing at tiddly-winks shouldn't play galactic chess. It's just as likely that the Jaguars heard about the McCown interest and didn't want to feel left out.

This year's coaching carousel has been moving with the speed of one of those revolving rooftop restaurants, in large part because organizations such as the Vikings, Bears, and Giants are filling their general manager vacancies first. The Jaguars face no such impediment and began their coaching search over a month ago. They may have been holding out for Todd Bowles, Brian Daboll, or a 49ers assistant. They may also be spinning their wheels. There's a fine line between being thorough and trying to appear thorough. Dysfunctional organizations walk that line like a drunk with vertigo on a fishing boat in a hurricane.

Back to McCown. He could succeed as a facilitator/motivator type of coach by luring someone like Wade Phillips out of retirement and larding his staff with a mix of legends and up-and-comers. Dan Campbell worked a similar angle this year: I may be the guy who sets off the lunk alarm by grunting too loudly at the gym, but check out my awesome assistants! If hired, McCown could conceivably pull off the same trick without having to overcome the cement-head persona.

The problem is that a Texans job won't lure anyone out of retirement or coax anyone into missing a chance to climb the Shanahan ladder. Until Easterbunny gets ousted, the Texans coaching staff will be a breeding ground for opportunists and a clearinghouse for coaches on their way out of the NFL. It will be a Wild West saloon. And McCown won't get to be anything more than the tin-star sheriff who maintains a semblance of law and order at the behest of Boss Cattlerustler.

Of course, there's a non-zero chance that Easterby (yep, running out of puns), who is just too much of a big-picture guy to keep names and faces straight, has Josh McCown and Josh McDaniels mixed up and thinks he is in hot pursuit of the Patriots offensive coordinator.

Sexy Dan Quinn

The optimist looks at Dan Quinn and sees one of the architects of the Legion of Boom, a head coach who came within a historic collapse of beating the Patriots in a Super Bowl, and a coordinator who turned one of the most comically inept defenses in the NFL into a playoff-caliber unit almost instantaneously.

The pessimist looks at Quinn and sees a retread with a stale scheme whose Falcons sunk helplessly into quicksand after Super Bowl LI and who got a little lucky this year that Micah Parsons was an instant All-Pro and Trevon Diggs kept rolling boxcars instead of snake eyes.

The realist looks at Quinn and says: yes, that's an objectively solid head coaching resume, and who else are we going to hire?

At press time, Quinn is on the short list for the Bears, Giants, Vikings, and Broncos jobs, though the Broncos and Bears may now be heading in other directions. All of the semi-functional non-AFC Southlandia franchises are at least strongly considering him, which may be another reason why the coaching carousel is so gummed up: Quinn is the domino that must fall before the others start to topple. Internet smart alecks like me may have a hard time seeing it, but Quinn is sexy.

Quinn has coordinated three defenses that have ranked first in DVOA: the 2013 and 2014 Seahawks and the 2021 Cowboys. He was head coach when Kyle Shanahan coordinated the 2016 Falcons offense, which finished first in DVOA. Quinn ran a relatively tight ship until everything came unglued for the Falcons in 2020. He is well regarded in the coaching fraternity and should attract top assistants, including a Shanny-like offensive wunderkind. (Let's assume Quinn is promising teams a Steve Sarkisian- and Dirk Koetter-free experience).

But … but … 28-3! Yes, we all remember. Todd Bowles' defense couldn't stop Cooper Kupp when it mattered three days ago. Brian Daboll's offense scored six points against the Jaguars with a playoff superhero at quarterback two months ago. Nobody's resume is perfect. Some resumes are just emptier, allowing us to pour all of our hopes and dreams into the blank spaces.

Sure, we'd all love to see new faces and splashier hires. But if it was your money and reputation on the line, you would move the coach who has been to three Super Bowls to the top of the list too.

Carouselambra

A quick look at some of the comings and goings around the league:

Chicago Bears Hire GM Ryan Poles
None of the McCaskeys can be bothered learning any new first names or changing the "R.P." monograms on the towels in the executive washroom, so this is a fine move.

But seriously folks: Poles is a 36-year-old rising star from the Chiefs organization, and Adam Schefter reports that Poles and former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell may be a matched set. The Bears went to the Chiefs well before with Matt Nagy, but whatever coaching strengths Nagy may have possessed (he looked pretty clever at first) were blunted by Ryan Pace.

Walkthrough knows nothing about Poles that cannot be found in a Google search, but we love the idea of Caldwell working with Justin Fields.

New York Giants Hire GM Joe Schoen
Welcome to the Giants executive honeymoon! It's a brief, joyous interlude when everyone is infatuated with the new guy's dewy, Bills-scented charm, a grace period before he and the franchise conspire to do something frustratingly shortsighted and insular…

Honeymoon's over.

The "native of Staten Island" bit in that Anarumo tweet is a tell that the Captain Lou interview, while surely endorsed by Schoen, is a product of the MaraMind: John Mara thinks of the Giants as a conservatory of the Platonic ideal of "New York football," nestled as they are off Exit 16W of the New Jersey Turnpike, and honestly believes that Giants fans give a darn that their head coach grew up just across the Verrazano Narrows bridge.

Don't let Saturday's turnover-heavy victory over the Titans lull you into thinking that Anarumo has done some great job in Cincinnati. The Bengals have risen from 30th to 27th to 19th in defensive DVOA in his three seasons on the job, thanks largely to the free-agent arrivals of Trey Hendrickson, D.J. Reader, and Chidobe Awuzie. It's a static, inconsistent defense that looked great against stale Steelers and Broncos offenses. If Captain Lou was atop Schoen's short list, Walkthrough would hate to see his long list.

We will try to keep an open mind about Schoen, who comes with a thick portfolio full of recommendations. The Giants are still in the Quinn sweepstakes, such as it is, and of course Brian Daboll would be the most obvious Schoen hire. It's looking clearer and clearer, however, that the Giants' biggest problems start above the general managerial level.

Baltimore Ravens Fire DC Don 'Wink' Martindale
This move lies somewhere along the spectrum between blaming someone for circumstances far beyond their control and making a change one year early instead of one year late. Martindale has coached in Baltimore for a decade, and while catastrophic injuries in the secondary weren't his fault, it's easy to imagine John Harbaugh wanting a fresh voice and Martindale a change of scenery after a frustrating season.

The Ravens have reportedly asked to interview hot Cowboys assistant Joe Whitt Jr., and there's wide speculation that they have their eye on Mike Zimmer as well. Harbaugh can land his pick of coordinators, and a down year is a good excuse for some light housekeeping.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman appears safe at press time. Roman, the Ravens' option-heavy offense, and Lamar Jackson appear to be a bundle at this point: there aren't many experienced coordinators in the NFL ranks who could replace Roman without blowing everything the heck up. But if I were Harbaugh, I would start steering the Ravens offense a smidge closer to NFL norms, or assembling a contact list of collegiate hotshots with clever ideas for Jackson, or both.

Carolina Panthers Hire OC Ben McAdoo
So begins—or continues—the death spiral of the Matt Rhule regime.

Rhule sabotaged his reputation by firing Joe Brady and promoting loyalist Jeff Nixon as his replacement. Veteran coaches know a toxic situation when they see one, which is why top candidate Pep Hamilton nope'd out of a potential interview. McAdoo and Rhule don't appear to share any philosophical similarities, but David Tepper likely insisted that Rhule hire an experienced guardrail, while McAdoo—who is only 44 years old—needs to work his way back up the ladder after getting his foot caught in the Eli Manning beartrap in East Rutherford four long years ago.

This story ends with McAdoo serving as an interim coach next December.

Tennessee Titans Fire Jim Haslett, Other Assistants
Offensive coordinator Todd Downing was not among those assistants; he received a vote of confidence instead. Matt Vrabel is apparently going the Dan Quinn-Steve Sarkisian "eh, it wasn't really all that bad" route with Downing. We alluded to how that works out in an earlier segment.

Broncos May be Zeroing in on Nathaniel Hackett
Quinn and Rams assistant Kevin O'Connell were still in the running at press time, but connected Broncos reporters feel that the Packers offensive coordinator now has the inside track. Unlike Quinn, he's a young offensive guru, not a third-straight defensive tough guy. Unlike O'Connell, he can start work right away. Because, you know, the major college all-star game practices start next week. (Waltkthrough's bag is already half-packed).

Broncos fans are already dreaming of Hackett luring Aaron Rodgers to Denver. Because, you know, Rodgers is well known for respecting and listening to his coaches.

Packers Special Teams Coach Maurice Drayton Still Employed at Press Time

Matt LaFleur may be slow-rolling his coaching decisions in anticipation of Hackett leaving: Drayton can be quietly let go amidst the shuffle.

There's no truth whatsoever to the rumor that LaFleur tried to kick Drayton out of team headquarters, but the kick was blocked.

Comments

43 comments, Last at 27 Jan 2022, 9:20pm

1 Poles and Adofo-Mensah…

Poles and Adofo-Mensah really would make me nervous if I were a Bears or Vikings fan. It's not really anything about them specifically: but they both raced up the NFL ladder with well-run teams (OK, think the Browns have surprisingly been a well-run team for like, the past 5 years, but totally fair if you disagree). It's one thing to keep a good thing going, but it'll be really curious to see how Poles specifically deals with running into the wall that is the Bears organization. And if Adofo-Mensah can get the Vikings to actually take risks.

It's also interesting because Poles's background is mostly scouting and Adofo-Mensah's background is mostly economic. My instinct says they'll be very different GMs, so it'll be interesting to see.

8 Adofo-Mensah was only with…

Adofo-Mensah was only with the Browns a short while, most of his career was with the 49ers.  

I like the hire on principle, feel he's the kind of guy that can make an analytics approach work....  but he obviously doesn't have background as a scout and will need to rely on scouts to feed him data to analyze.....

I'd be fine if he brings Demeco Ryan with him.

I have no idea why the Vikings were interviewing so many head coaching candidates before they even picked a GM (they aren't the only ones).  So now he'll have to either interview people all over again, go along with stuff he wasn't on board for, or start his tenure off by telling ownership "no".

11 What I meant with Adofo…

What I meant with Adofo-Mensah is that going to the Browns doesn't give him any experience in changing a flawed organization, since things were mostly changed before he got there.

That being said, the Vikings don't entirely strike me as that flawed an organization anyway. Risk-averse, sure, but that could've been the previous GM anyway.

The lack of scouting experience I agree with, that's why the two are interesting to me. One's basically a pure scout, the other one is far from one.

34 Poles is more than just a scout,

and Adofo-Mensah is much more than just an analytics guy. In addition, any smart interviewer would press candidates on how they plan to backstop or otherwise flesh out holes in their resumes. Are the brain trusts in Bears and Vikings HQs smart? Time will tell.

Of the two, the Minnesota hire is more interesting to me, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Poles' team reach the playoffs sooner. I'm just that sold on QB Justin Fields, even in spite of some shaky play this season.

35 Heck, the Bears were already…

Heck, the Bears were already a playoff team in 2020, more recently than the Vikings.  

Poles and Nagy probably knew each other in KC.   Obviously he wouldn't be going back to Nagy.  Rumors have been tying him to Caldwell, who has some history of success in the NFC North.

Rumors have also suggested that Adofo-Mensah is high on Demeco Ryan, which is kind of interesting, before this season a lot of people would have considered Saleh the architect of that defense, and Ryan only had it a year...  and I would have thought the Vikings were gonna lean towards an offensive guy as their next head coach. 

I'm very intrigued on how both of these play out.

39 and Adofo-Mensah is much…

and Adofo-Mensah is much more than just an analytics guy.

I get not wanting to be black & white on stuff, but holy cow the resume of those two guys couldn't be any different. Poles went from UDFA to director of college scouting in like, two years, and then was director of pro personnel, which is usually mostly NFL scouting. His last year he probably had more input on contract-y stuff. Adofo-Mensah was in football R&D for all but his last two years in Cleveland (and obviously before in finance).

Are the brain trusts in Bears and Vikings HQs smart?

snicker

2 Downing

I'm really hoping that Vrabel is just doing careful consideration and not leaving a colleague out to dry publicly before firing him. When Jon Robinson/Mike Vrabel have had to make a change and have had an opportunity to make a change for the better, they usually do so. I will be angry if Downing is allowed to continue into next season. An upgrade from Tannehill would be nice, but unrealistic. Downing is the one cause of the loss that can be changed and should be changed.

3 Hey, the greatest coach in…

Hey, the greatest coach in Giants history grew up in Hasbrouck Heights and Oradell. It makes perfect sense that the organization would want to hire another local boy.

5 running out of puns

  • Easterwatch-by-the-Sea      (one of the forts on the wall in Game of Thrones, signifies that people are sentenced there for crimes)
  • Easterby Island, or Rapa Nuiby Island in local parlance
  • Keisterby
  • Least-erby
  • Jackie Daytona Sterby  (he really should be coaching a local woman's volleyball team from a pub in Pennsylvania)
  •  

7 Hmm

One of Flores knocks was he fired his assistants annually, but in the modern NFL it appears everyone fires their assistants! Isn't the annual purge of assistants getting insane? The thing is, a huge percentage are going to end up on someone's staff. Most of these guys don't suck at their jobs. Is the purge of GMs, coaches, and now assistants actually productive for the NFL product or is it essentially benign for the product since it does appear to be a game of musical chairs, but great for the handful of stable coaches who seem to pick on everyone's dropping year in and out? 

12 The NFL is a PR business,…

In reply to by johonny

The NFL is a PR business, and bringing in a "new" face at the coordinator level is one of the easiest ways to give the impression of significant change. It can plausibly reverse a unit in a single season, and it has no effect on your salary cap. I'm not sure, but I also think coordinator contracts aren't guaranteed so it doesn't really affect the balance sheet either.

10 Joe Whitt

I always thought Joe Whitt deserved a shot at a DC role when he was coaching DBs for the Packers. He was really quite good at developing players, notably guys like Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde, and Davon House. Those Packers teams weren't really good enough that others would be looking to poach their assistants, but Whitt in particular did some fine work. I'm glad he's getting some looks now.

13 Martindale didn't have the…

Martindale didn't have the guys, but he wasn't able to adapt at all either. He called a DB blitz on something like 24% of plays this season but those blitzes only created pressure on 6%. That's bad. That and the front 7 underperformed throughout his tenure.

His scheme is good if you have big bodies up front to stop the run and lots of DBs who can win in man coverage and blitz. Maybe the Cowboys would be a good fit.

14 Keith Butler, DC in…

Keith Butler, DC in Pittsburgh retires. 

Was wkth the organization a LONG time. 2 Super Bowls.

16 Standing O

Bravo on your continued excellent writing Mr. Tanier:

There's no truth whatsoever to the rumor that LaFleur tried to kick Drayton out of team headquarters, but the kick was blocked.

Literal LOL.

17 This Broncos fan...

...devoutly hopes it's Haskell over Quinn.  It would allow the team to make a legit attempt to keep Donatell (and Fangio's scheme) in place on the defensive side without starting over since Quinn's approach is very different and would require a near complete makeover of the front 7.

I don't even care if he brings Rodgers along or not.  In some ways I prefer not.

19 Sometimes the boring choice is better than the shiny new toy...

I know Bears fans wouldn't exactly being doing backflips if Jim Caldwell ultimately gets the job, but as I said in another thread, I think he's worthy of another head coaching job.

He bottomed out at 2-14 when Peyton Manning became unavailable just before the season, and he was forced to trot out the corpse of Kerry Collins, and then later a Kurt Cobain impersonator at quarterback.  In his other non disaster-marred seasons, he's 60-36 with 4 playoff appearances, and a Super Bowl appearance.

His most impressive feat was that he made the Detroit Lions appear to be a competently run organization for 4 years.

22 Schefter's "report" was pure…

Schefter's "report" was pure speculation on his part. ("Former Lions and Colts’ HC Jim Caldwell is in the Bears’ building today. Matching the experienced Caldwell with the upstart Ryan Poles is a gameplan that some around the league now believe the Bears easily could deploy." That "some around the league" is classic "I just made this up.") The source that has been most reliable on the Bears process this year says that George McCaskey was pushing very hard for Caldwell but that Poles's first choice is Quinn.

25 Please explain....

I really need someone to explain to me why the Bears aren't more interested in Brian Daboll. I don't mind the idea of them hiring someone with previous head coaching experience, but knowing how critical developing Justin Fields is, you'd think someone who helped develop one of the two QB's who set the world on fire less than a week ago would be higher on their list. Maybe Jim Caldwell used to be the kind of guy who could develop him, but the NFL has become a much different place over the last few years. Is he still that guy? We know Brian Daboll is.

24 This Bears fan would be…

This Bears fan would be quite happy with Caldwell.  The most important thing for the Bears is for Justin Fields to develop into a top QB, and Caldwell has a track record of QBs improving under his watch.

More generally, he would bring an immediate level of on-field competence to the team that they sorely need.  I've seen plenty of "lol so did john fox" on social media, but Caldwell showed he could take the Lions (sorry, Joey) to the playoffs with some measure of consistency.

Regarding Caldwell's age, it's not ideal, but the next 1-3 years are critical for Fields.  Being in a situation where Fields has developed into a lesser Josh Allen (hoping for the same amount of development as Allen is ludicrous), but Caldwell is ready to step away, would be a good problem to have.

That all said, I'd still prefer Daboll, because he did wonders for Allen and is younger.  Of course, unlike Caldwell, we don't know if he has the skillset to be an effective head coach.

30 I have a bigger problem with…

I have a bigger problem with Caldwell feeling like a high-floor, low-ceiling choice than I do with his age. Most of all I am suspicious that McCaskey/Polian are pushing their preferred coaches on Poles. Obviously it would suck for Caldwell to lead the Bears to some success and then retire after 3 or 4 seasons, but I feel like a lot of people harping on his age are missing the obvious.

If Justin Fields is not a good enough QB in 3-4 years to weather another coaching change (particularly if his success has been such that a coordinator or coach from the Bears would be an obvious successor), they need to move on from him if they haven't already. I mean, Andy Reid is unquestionably a great coach, but imagine he suddenly retired. Would Patrick Mahomes be able to adapt to a new head coach, and would the Chiefs value continuity and make the head coach mesh with what they've got as opposed to bringing in someone who wants to change everything? I think those answers are obvious. I'm not saying I expect Fields to be Mahomes in 3 years but if he's not clearly a very good to great QB by then, the whole premise of needing continuity in the first place collapses.

36 Yep, your second paragraph…

Yep, your second paragraph is essentially my point.  Years 4+ don't matter if Fields isn't a good QB in year 3, so I would prefer hiring someone who maximizes the chances of Fields developing into a top QB.

40 I would have thought a…

I would have thought a leading candidate with Poles would be Bienemy.  While another Reid OC might not go down well with the fan base, it would seem to be a logical fit if they could work together.  Poles not pursuing Bienemy would be a bad signal about Bienemy's future chances to get a HC job.  Owners would ask their GM's "if Poles didn't hire him, what's wrong with him?"

Also, wouldn't be surprised to see Poles pick a defensive-side HC and push for Chiefs QB coach Kafka as OC (or even Kafka w/Caldwell).  Kafka apparently is highly thought of and IIRC Chiefs have already in a previous season blocked a team from interviewing him - they apparently have him as OC-in-waiting if Bienemy goes to a HC job.

42 I suspect Nagy is the bigger…

I suspect Nagy is the bigger indictment - fairly or not - of Bienemy.  The last instance of an Andy Reid offensive coordinator to get a head coaching job turned into a laughingstock, so I'm guessing the impression of many is that Reid is the real reason behind the Chiefs' success, while the OC takes a back seat.

43 Why just the last one?

Why not go back just ONE more to Pederson(who's years as OC (3) match EBs much closer yet he still also didn't have to wait as long (4))

And contrary to popular belief Nagy wasnt ALWAYS bad. Many speculate the double doink broke him. 

And it should've never gotten to this point. He should've been hired after the year he and the offense lit everything on fire, Nagy won COTY (1.5 OSRS) and Pederson won the SB the year prior (7 OSRS). That should've parlayed into a HC, yet despite coordinating a better offense in his first year (12.6 OSRS!!!!!) than Nagy did in his 1 year (3.8 OSRS)...nothing has STILL come of it. 

And it's not that type of impression stopped Sirianni, Hackett, Zac Taylor (and not even OC!!!), etc. 

26 No Hall of Fame QB, I am out of here

We knew all along that Sean Payton was a bright guy.  I also like the double meaning of “no-win” situation as used by Mike Tanier.  The way Ian Book played, the Saints may be just an injury away from a 0-17 season.

33 Slow carousel

Is the reason the head coach announcements are so slow this year (as opposed to other years), is because everyone is waiting for the coordinators of teams still in the playoffs.  I was expecting a Jaguars announcement this past Monday (once Bucs out) and am surprised it did not come. 

41 To me, the biggest problem…

To me, the biggest problem with Quinn was his decision-making in hiring Sarkisian.  I wrote this elsewhere on the interwebs:

Here's your choices:  1) a young, ambitious assistant with 8 years of NFL coaching experience, all in the same offensive system you ran last year, who just worked for you and with your QB in his career year but has never called plays in the NFL; 2) a slightly older guy with head coaching experience in major college programs who has ONE year of NFL experience (13 years ago), gotten fired for having a drinking problem, has no experience with your offensive system, but worked for two of your former bosses and has never called plays in the NFL, although he has in college.  I don't know about you, but I'd take the coach behind Door #1.  Not Dan Quinn – he opted for #2, Sarkisian.  Of course Matt LaFleur was so poorly thought of in NFL circles that he went A WHOLE DAY before another team hired him as its OC.

Of course, LaFleur never panned out did he?