Every year I seem to be the Mel Kiper of the coaching search. This is due to the 49ers distinct and innate ability to fire whoever is coaching their team each and every year. It has made for a good round of discussion in these parts and lots of content which keeps the powers that be happy.
This year, the 49ers are (thankfully) not in this circus of a coaching search. Be happy because this year’s crop is worse than last years. Last year the 49ers had a choice of Sean McVay, Anthony Lynn, Kyle Shanahan and Josh McDaniels. All of which I wouldn’t have minded and thank the football gods we got Shanahan.
This year...well we have some of the same players, but not the same situations. Let’s go team by team and see where they are at.
If you don’t think the Jon Gruden hire isn’t happening, then you probably think Jim Harbaugh is going to get hired back to the 49ers. Reports are coming that Gruden has started assembling his staff and is targeting Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown to be a part of it.
Gruden said in an ESPN interview that he “thinks there’s a good chance” he’d be hired. On Friday, it was reported by several that he would be the next Raiders head coach with a press conference on Monday.
Gruden’s Contract is a reported 10-year, 100 million dollar contract. That’s either laughably ridiculous or going to be the standard to get Jim Harbaugh out of Michigan in a year or two.
The Shanahan/Lynch hire of six years definitely has a hand in all of this. It seems longer contracts may become more commonplace to get in-demand coaches. This definitely is a slippery slope that the Raiders have invoked. Then again, it’s the Raiders, so if Gruden flames out this whole thing may make a good 30 for 30 one day.
Welcome back to the NFL, Chucky. Now let’s see if the game has passed him by.
The Giants were first to get into the coach search and have been mighty busy. They’ve hired Dave Gettleman as their general manager rather early. Gettleman is no scrub as far as a front office associate, but his management style aggravated players (gee, where have we heard this story before?).
As far as coaches, the Giants are going after New England, having interviews with both defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Current defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has had his interview, but given he led the Rams to some atrocious seasons, it’s safe to assume he probably won’t get the gig.
Jim Schwartz, better known to 49ers fans as “The Other Guy in Handshake-Gate” also will be getting an interview with the Giants.
Meanwhile, fired Giants head coach Ben McAdoo has been linked to the Denver Broncos as a quarterback coach.
You’re going to be hearing this name a lot: Josh McDaniels has concluded an interview with the Colts. Outside of McDaniels, the Colts interviewd Kris Richard (DC—Seattle Seahawks) which given their current QB situation and being burned by their last defensive coach—I can’t see happening.
Chris Ballard, Colts general manager, is scrutinizing every detail of the coaches. Look no further than this:
One thing to know as this process starts: Chris Ballard has been preparing for this search for years. He showed Irsay an inches-thick binder during the interview last year, w/ a chapter included on what he’s looking for in a head coach and how the process should unfold.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 1, 2018
Other Interviews: Mike Vrabel (DC — Houston Texans) is scheduled to meet with the Colts on Saturday.
Good thing Ballard has that binder. The Colts seem to be channeling their inner 49er in this process. By that I mean waiting until the last minute.
The Cardinals have a slew of interview requests. The hot name, according to our sister site Revenge of the Birds is John DeFilippo (QB Coach—Philadelphia Eagles). It might be a hot name but he won’t be a head coach. DeFilippo is a QB coach with his only experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL comes from the 2015 season with the Cleveland Browns. He was fired with Mike Pettine after that season. If anything, the Cardinals have a coach in mind, and they have an offensive coordinator in mind. That OC is DeFilippo. He can coach a quarterback as evidenced by Carson Wentz, and the Cardinals stable front office is probably the best spot for him.
Jim Schwartz concluded his interview on Friday with the team. He’d definitely be good for the defense, but his offensive struggles while he was with the Detroit Lions would worry some fans.
Other Interviews: Matt Patricia (DC — New England Patriots) Steve Wilks (DC—Carolina Panthers). Along with a slew of position coaches.
The Bears have been busy. 49ers fan-favorite Vic Fangio interviewed for the head coaching role—and would be a good hire, but he probably won’t get it. They also interviewed Josh McDaniels, another obvious interview and the offensive mind they would want to develop quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. That is, if McDaniels would want the job.
The Minnesota Vikings were prominent with both defensive coordinator George Edwards and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer getting a few hours to talk about the future of ‘da Bears.
Other Interviews: Matt Nagy (OC — Kansas City Chiefs), John DeFilippo (QB — Philadelphia Eagles) Frank Reich (OC — Philadelphia Eagles)
Detroit will be going defensive with Matt Patricia (DC — New England Patriots) Steve Wilks (DC — Carolina Panthers), and Mike Vrabel (DC — Houston Texans) reportedly the top candidates to get the job. Permission to interview Wilks has been requested, while interviews have happened with the other two.
Detroit also completed an interview with its current defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin. Also a part of the in-house interviews is offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter who the players have been banging down the door for the Lions to hire.
Other Interviews: Winston Moss (Green Bay Packers Assistant Head Coach), Pat Shurmer (Offensive Coordinator—Minnesota Vikings)
Oakland Raiders — Tentative Hire: Jon Gruden
New York Giants