By HCR Staff | December 23, 2020
The 2020 NFL offseason is going to have an entertaining head coaching carousel to watch. Right now, we’ve got the Texans, Lions, and Falcons already in need of new head coaches. The Chargers, Jaguars, Jets, Bears, and perhaps Broncos may follow.
Plus, there’s usually one surprise as well. How about the Eagles?
Our best guess is that a minimum of six organizations will have a new head coach in 2021.
Already, the corporate headhunters are lining up, as well as ‘special advisors.’ Every process will be slightly different, and much of it won’t make any common sense. Add on top of this, every media member looking to curry favor with coaches will be coming up with their own lists of potential hires.
Here at HCR, we’ve got our own internal list of viable head coach candidates that we’d consider if we had the authority to make a choice – but we don’t, so we’re not going to add to the drabble that’s out there.
We will, however, try to help every organization with our list of red flags – if any candidate shows anything on this list, we’d recommend crossing them off the list.
Let’s get to it.
Red Flag #1 – The Navy SEALs. If any candidate talks about leadership and brings up the Navy SEALs, they’re posing, in our view. It’s been in vogue in the last 10+ years to bring in all kinds of ex-military people to talk to players, work out with players, eat with players, etc., all in some kind of effort to help them play better. And the most in vogue military personnel have been the SEALs. Nothing against the SEALs, of course, but we see them being used as cover by head coaches to cover up some other deficiency, or as a distraction. Not very honorable in our book.
Red Flag #2 – Favored Candidate of Media Heavyweights. If any candidate seems to have the consensus support of Adam Schefter, Jason La Canfora, Chris Mortensen, and Ian Rapoport, we are wary. The only way they get this kind of support is because this is an indicator they speak to media members all the time. Which means they are on the phone all the time. Which means they are not on the field coaching or with their coaches all the time. And which also means that anything that happens in your building will not stay in your building. And so we’re clear; this isn’t a criticism of these heavyweight media members; they are just doing their job, and doing it well. But we don’t want a head coach who wants to be in the media when we’re interviewing for a head coach.
Red Flag #3 – A Flavor Of The Month Playing Scheme. The “Pistol.” The “Wildcat.” “46 defense.” Yada yada yada. If any candidate is selling something like this, we’re out. In the modern day NFL, at least in our view, you’ve got to be ‘multiple’ to win; the athletes are just too good. If someone is pushing a media-created scheme that is a ‘brand,’ we’re moving on.
Red Flag #4 – The Personal Tragedy. Many coaches have overcome personal tragedy or struggle. Many have made huge sacrifices in their personal lives. We empathize with all of it, of course. However, if the candidacy is all about this, and less about football acumen, we have to move on. We want to know about teaching ability, creativity, organization, discipline, etc. We simply can’t be about the sympathy hire. We’re looking to win games.