Best Coaching Candidate for Every Open Job in the NFL
Houston Texans: Brian Flores (former Dolphins HC)
There is no human being more deserving of an NFL head coaching job than Brian Flores. While Flores' firing was extremely unexpected from the league and has been criticized by the media, I don't necessarily blame Chris Grier and Stephen Ross for making the call. The reason he was fired was that there was a disconnect between him and Grier and Ross. The four heads of a football team are the owner, general manager, head coach, and quarterback. There was a sense that Flores did not fully believe in Tua Tagovailoa from the start. That means the disconnect went further than just with Grier and Ross, but also involved Tagovailoa. I believe the Dolphins' management cut ties with Flores before the relationship became too toxic. One reason that Flores brought a sense of disbelief for Tagovailoa involved Deshaun Watson reportedly wanting to play for Flores. If all of Watson's off-field issues get cleared up, I believe Flores would love to coach him in Houston. There is also a relationship between him and Texans general manager, Nick Caserio, who was an executive with the Patriots while Flores was a coach there. The Texans need a coach who is willing to go through a rebuild, which is exactly what Flores had to do in Miami. In Flores' first year with the Dolphins, he traded Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil. Flores ended up building one of the most promising young rosters in Miami before being fired. Similar to the Texans' former head coach, David Culley, Flores is a players coach. A lot of the players on the Texans feel like opposing teams have kicked them to the curb. Flores brings a sense of belief that players will want to rally around; something that has been missing in the Texans' locker room for a while. I believe Flores is the perfect hire for the Texans because of his ability to bring back Deshaun Watson, his already existing relationship with Houston's front office, and the renewed energy he'll bring to the locker room.
Bears: Byron Leftwich (Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator)
This hire revolves around the Bears' franchise quarterback Justin Fields. It is obvious that Fields was not a fit for Matt Nagy's offense, but Fields showed throughout the year that he was capable of being "the guy". The Bears owner, George McCaskey, understands the importance of building around their starting quarterback. After the disaster that was the Bears' 2021 season, McCaskey needs to choose both a head coach and general manager that will bring the Bears back to a winning culture. There is no better place to look than the team that won the Super Bowl last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Justin Fields is meant for an offense that allows him to push the ball downfield and attacks defenses vertically. The Buccaneers have one of the most explosive passing offenses in the NFL; something that Brady wasn't known for in his final years as a Patriot. Since Brady was implemented in the Buccaneers' offense, his arm looks 10 times stronger and he has aired the ball out just like he did in 2007. I'm not saying that Justin Fields is like Tom Brady; I am saying that Leftwich will bring an explosive element to the Bears' offense, something that this team has been missing for a long time. While Leftwich was never as athletically gifted as Fields is, I do believe his playing experience gives him the perspective of how dangerous an athletic quarterback can be to opposing defenses. Leftwich will be able to bring out the best in Fields both as a passer and a runner. He has a disciplined demeanor and doesn't put up with mediocrity. While the Bears made the playoffs twice under Nagy's tutelage, they never won games in January. Leftwich will bring a winning spirit and explosive offense to Chicago.
Raiders: Rich Bisaccia (Raiders Interim Head Coach)
Mark Davis doesn't have to look any further than Rich Bisaccia when looking for his team's next full-time head coach. I am not sure if I have ever seen a team make the playoffs after going through so much. After losing Henry Ruggs, one of the most promising talents on the team, to a tragic incident and Jon Gruden, their head coach, to an email scandal, the Raiders are still here. They are here, in the playoffs, despite having to play four must-win games to finish the regular season. They are here despite losing their all-pro tight end for six weeks and their pro bowl fullback for the entire season. The Raiders are here; regardless of whether they win a playoff game or not, that is a major accomplishment. They are here because Rich Bisaccia stepped up when his team needed him the most. Despite not having any prior head coaching experience, Bisaccia has been able to rally his team past controversy and tragedy. There is no better candidate for the Raiders head coaching job than Rich Bisaccia.
Broncos: Nathaniel Hackett (Packers Offensive Coordinator)
The most urgent issue the Broncos need to figure out is what they are doing at the quarterback position. With Teddy Bridgewater entering free agency and Drew Lock not showing much promise, it is by far the biggest need in Denver. By hiring Hackett, the Broncos get a coach who has had the pleasure of coaching the best quarterback in football for the past two seasons. He brings with him the most quarterback-friendly offense while he inherits the best roster out of any team with a vacancy at head coach. Picking at number nine in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Broncos are in the position to select the best quarterback in the draft, Kenny Pickett. Pickett is a perfect fit in Hackett's offense and I believe these two moves could put the Broncos in legitimate playoff contention. Denver is also a team that Aaron Rodgers has been rumored to be interested in joining if he requests a trade. The Broncos are a quarterback away and Hackett brings with him the best chance to get a star quarterback in Denver. He will also bring back the Shanahan system to Denver; something that they have been missing since Gary Kubiak retired. Hackett is the perfect fit to be the next head coach for the Denver Broncos.
Jaguars: Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs Offensive Coordinator)
I think we can all agree that it is about damn time that Eric Bieniemy gets hired as a head coach. Trevor Lawrence is built for a pass-first, spread offense. Eric Bieniemy has done a phenomenal job at coaching up Patrick Mahomes to become whom we all know to be Patrick Mahomes. I believe Trevor Lawrence has similar potential to Mahomes and that Bieniemy can bring the best out of Lawrence. Out of every rookie quarterback in this year's draft, no player had a more disappointing season than Lawrence. I believe Lawrence has MVP-level potential; he just needs the right guy to bring it out of him. Hiring Bieniemy gives the Jaguars the best chance to win and Trevor Lawrence the best chance to develop into a superstar. The Jaguars need a true "players coach" especially after dealing with Urban Meyer, a coach that nearly every player despised. Eric Bieniemy isn't just a coach that players respect, he is a coach that players want to play for. Bieniemy will be able to attract players to Jacksonville in free agency and will be a major culture-changer for the Jaguars.
Dolphins: Doug Pederson (Former Eagles Head Coach)
The Dolphins' job was the most difficult job for me to find the right head coach for. I figured that Miami is leaning towards an offensive-minded coach after Brian Flores (a defensive coach) to help bring Tua Tagovailoa along. While I don't feel as if I found the "perfect fit" for the Dolphins, I do believe I found a very good fit. As a former Super Bowl winner, Pederson has a winning pedigree and understands what it takes to get to the promised land. As an efficient quarterback who is smart and accurate, Tagovailoa thrives with run-pass options. Pederson runs an offense that incorporates a lot of RPO's and a vertical passing game; it is an adaptation to the Andy Reid spread offense. Where Tagovailoa needs to develop is with his downfield passing; something that Pederson should be able to help him with. In order for Pederson to be a "perfect fit" with the Dolphins, he'll need to bring a few "player-coaches" with him. What went wrong in Philadelphia was that Pederson lost the locker room; something that can't happen again in Miami. I believe Anthony Lynn or Deuce Staley would be great candidates at offensive coordinator and Patrick Graham at defensive coordinator. In order for this whole thing to work, Pederson will need to bring in assistant coaches that players will gravitate towards.
Giants: Dan Quinn (Cowboys Defensive Coordinator)
The Giants are a mess right now, there is no doubt about it. What this team needs is a coach that will be able to pull everyone together and rally. Dan Quinn is a coach whose players would be willing to go to war for. The one strong suit on this Giants team is their defense. With Leonard Williams up front and James Bradberry, Jabrill Peppers, and Logan Ryan in the secondary; this is a defense that Dan Quinn can work with. Quinn has been able to flip the Cowboys defense around this year and has helped make Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs two of the top players at their positions. Quinn is a good coach that will be able to bring out the best in his players. While I don't anticipate the Giants being able to turn things around in the span of just one season, I do see Quinn building this team for the future. If Dan Quinn brings a bright young offensive mind with him to be his coordinator, I could see the Giants having foundational coaches in their building.
Vikings: Mike McDaniel (49ers Offensive Coordinator)
This might be my favorite fit on this entire list. When it comes to Kirk Cousins, there seems to be no bigger believer in him than Kyle Shanahan. Unfortunately for the Vikings, there is no shot that Shanahan leaves the 49ers anytime soon. With that being said, Shanahan's right-hand man could be in play for Minnesota. Cousins' best chance for success is under the Shanahan style offense, which no assistant coach knows better than Mike McDaniel. McDaniel coached on the same team as Cousins in 2012 and 2013 and is one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL. There is so much offensive talent in Minnesota, they would be foolish not to pursue a coach that brings out the best in Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and Justin Jefferson. McDaniel is a savant when it comes to scheming up innovative run plays. He runs an outside zone system that fits Cook's running style, and he would take Cook's game to a whole new level. He would also be able to dial up plays that get Jefferson the ball in space. The 49ers' offense does a great job at getting their receivers in space, which is why Deebo Samuel and George Kittle have so many opportunities for yards after the catch. McDaniel is the best fit for this Vikings job; Minnesota would be foolish not to pursue him as their head guy.