Three more coaching vacancies were filled yesterday in what was a busy day in the NFL. That leaves the Tennessee Titans as the only team left that has an opening left. Here are my grades for all the coaching hires thus far.
Miami Dolphins: Adam Gase: I really like this hire. Gase is a terrific offensive coach who has a history of getting the most out of his quarterbacks. He coached both Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler to two of the best seasons in their careers. I think if given time, the 37 year old Gase could turn Ryan Tannehill’s career around. Tannehill was never comfortable with Joe Philbin, they never meshed. I think he’ll be a lot more comfortable with Gase. He’s young and he’ll be able to relate to Tannehill. I think this is a terrific hire for Miami. Dolphins fans need hope. The potential is there for a bright future under Gase. Grade: A
Cleveland Browns: Hue Jackson: Jackson was one of the hottest coaching candidates in the league so it is a surprise that the Browns landed him. Coaches want a say in personnel and acquiring players. Jackson saw that he would have more of a voice in Cleveland than he would in San Francisco or New York. I think he is a tremendous hire for the Browns. Jackson is well respected and well liked by the players he’s coached in the past. I think his no nonsense, blue collar approach will work well in Cleveland. The Browns may have finally gotten their man. Grade: B+
San Francisco 49ers: Chip Kelly: Call me crazy, but I like this hire. Kelly has eaten a big, heaping piece of humble pie and now realizes that he should just coach the team and not make personnel decisions. Apparently he doesn’t have an issue with control freak GM Trent Baalke making all personnel decisions. The 49ers are hoping to save Colin Kaepernick’s career and maybe, just maybe, Kelly is the guy who can save him. Kelly’s spread, no-huddle offenses fit perfectly with Kaepernick’s skill set. If Kelly can get him playing to level he did in 2012, then the 49ers hired the right guy. Its a long shot but you never know. Grade: B
New York Giants: Ben McAdoo: I like McAdoo but I’m not sure the 38 year old is ready to be a head coach. He’s done a great job with the Giants offense the past two seasons but you just don’t get the sense he’s ready to be the man. McAdoo will have to surround himself with veteran coaches to navigate through his first year as the boss. Many people around the league see him as the next Andy Reid. I think that’s putting a lot of pressure on him. Lets see how he does this season before we label him the next great West Coast offense coach. I like the hire but I have reservations. Grade: C+
Tampa Bay Bucs: Dirk Koetter: So let me get this straight. The Bucs fired Lovie Smith to hire his offensive coordinator? Huh? If GM Jason Licht was so worried about the performance of the defense, why didn’t he just make Smith fire Leslie Frazier and hire another coordinator? Wouldn’t that be the sensible thing to do? Of course, that wasn’t the only reason Smith was fired. He was also fired because he won eight games in two years. Did I miss the memo? I didn’t know the rebuilding Bucs had championship aspirations? Koetter would have probably been a top candidate for many of the openings that were available. The Bucs wanted an offensive coach to help further the development of Jameis Winston so they went with the guy who tutored the rookie to a productive first season in the league. Koetter does head coaching experience so he’s been the boss before. I don’t dislike this hire. I just think it was weird. Grade: C
Philadelphia Eagles: Doug Pederson: Total reach in my opinion. Pederson has a good resume but he’s not really the offensive coordinator in K.C. Andy Reid calls the plays. I think this was a comfort zone hire for Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie. He wanted to tap back into the Reid tree and he did. Pederson has the potential to be a good coach but it might not happen in Philadelphia. Eagles fans have already voiced their displeasure over this hire. I don’t want to be too critical of Pederson but I see a little Jim Zorn in this hire.The Eagles panicked. They should have interviewed other candidates. Grade: D