By HCR Staff | Jan. 23, 2020
Now that all of the head coach openings have been filled, we got our staff together to conference about each.
Our rankings here reflect who we feel will most positively impact their organization in 2020.
1. Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys. He’s got the experience, pedigree, and after sitting out a year, the hunger. Throw on top of that criticism over what some feel is insufficient results from having coached Aaron Rodgers, and McCarthy has something to prove. He inherits an A minus to B plus roster, led by an ascending young quarterback in Dak Prescott. We like the veteran nature of his staff; getting John Fassel from the Los Angeles Rams to coach special teams was a particularly good catch. Our only concern is holdover offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Moore appears a favorite of owner Jerry Jones. If Moore struggles, and McCarthy re-claims play calling duties, does that lead to dissension?
2. Ron Rivera, Washington Redskins. Rivera still has a lot of vigor and passion for coaching, and he’s had his measure of success as well. Plus, it looks as if owner Dan Snyder is really ready to run a functional organization. His termination of General Manager Bruce Allen was a step in the right direction. The Redskins will play sound defense–Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will surely field a physical squad. Our biggest concern is offensive coordinator Scott Turner. From where we sit, we just see a middling to below average talent, but hey, we could be wrong…but we doubt it in this circumstance.
3. Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers. We were very close to putting him into our number two spot; we like this hire a lot. He’s a guy who has a very clear vision, and most importantly, he knows how to execute on it. He’s proven it. Plus, we like that he has a long runway–he was given a very rich compensation package, so it appears that owner Dave Tepper really believes in Rhule. When the potential for any head coach to owner dissension is removed, that injects clarity throughout the organization. Rhule has one year of NFL coaching experience, and that was sometime ago, but hey, it’s something. So we do anticipate a bit of a learning curve.
4. Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns. Yes, he is articulate, and yes, he has been in the NFL for some time. However, we just didn’t think he’s ready. We don’t doubt that he is intelligent, hard working, and good with the X’s and O’s. We just wonder about his ability to lead. We simply don’t sense any gravitas, but maybe that accounts for less and less; it’s certainly possible. The one major positive we see here is that Stefanski clearly is aligned with Paul DePodesta, who is the de facto GM. So much of the energy in this organization has been sucked dry due to in-house drama in recent years, but that’s about to disappear. That circumstance alone will help Stefanski.
5. Joe Judge, New York Giants. Something about this hire just didn’t smell right. Giants ownership claimed they offered Judge because they were worried he would take an offer from Mississippi State. So Giants ownership essentially is telling us that Judge had leverage on the New York Giants? We don’t think Judge had any leverage, but somehow Giants ownership felt he did–that’s pretty damning about their ownership. In any event, this could be another two and done for the Giants. We simply don’t think Judge is ready. And he’s going to get thrown into the New York media market too? One positive is the hiring of Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator; he’ll lessen Judge’s learning curve into the NFC East.