By HCR Staff | Jan. 8, 2020
Now that the firing season has ended, the hiring season has begun. Here’s HCR’s take on the new head coaching hires thus far.
Ron Rivera, Washington Redskins – Grade: A. Ron Rivera is going to bring much-needed credibility to Washington, and the fact that he’s a former NFL player, will only add to that shine. One thing Washington fans can count on for sure: the team will play a very physical brand of football. We like the hire of Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator–he’s got a good track record in that regard, and he is going to be refreshed. As we are going to press, it appears that Rivera will hire Norv Turner’s son, Scott, as his offensive coordinator. We aren’t as excited about this development. This aspect of Rivera’s early tenure bears watching.
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys – Grade: A. What’s not to like about this hire? McCarthy has the track record and he knows very well what a smooth functioning organization should look like. McCarthy is well-liked among his peers in the coaching profession, so he’ll be able to put together a first-rate staff. However, there are rumors that McCarthy will keep current offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. We feel Moore still needs much more seasoning, but even if he is kept on as offensive coordinator, all signs point to McCarthy as the play caller. Quarterback Dak Prescott is going to be in a highly favorable position as McCarthy’s system is specifically designed to be user-friendly.
Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers – Grade: A. We like how new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper operates. He identified his man, and money was no object in obtaining the services of Rhule. Tapper has a vision, and he isn’t hesitant about executing on it. That’s a jolt of energy that this franchise needs. As for Rhule, he is a proven commodity. In his last two stops as head coach, he took over difficult assignments, and delivered spectacular results. That’s all we need to know. He’s been in the decision-making seat, and he isn’t afraid of a challenge. Tepper has strong vision and so does Rhule. The NFC South always is fun to watch, and it just got more interesting for next season.
Joe Judge, New York Giants – Grade: B. We’re not sure anyone will really know what happened, but it sure did look like Matt Rhule was the Giants’ number one target. For whatever reason (and we speculate the Giants were turned off by the salary demand), Judge was the Giants’ consolation choice. Fear not Giants fans, for consolation choices have also worked out well in history. Remember Pete Carroll at USC? Mike Holmgren at the Packers? There is a lot of data out there that says sometimes being lucky is better than being good. As for judge, he definitely has been around big time winners. He apprenticed under Nick Saban, and recently coached under Bill Belichick. Both of those coaches are highly demanding, and insistent on attention to detail. Detail is exactly what the Giants need. Many industry observers are panning this decision, but we believe it has the potential to be a home run. We like Judge’s pedigree, his high energy level, and he’s recently spent some time in an organization that was full of veteran leaders who like to work very, very hard. We feel he is going to impart to the Giants a little bit of Belichick magic. And remember, Belichick spent a good chunk of his young career with the Giants, and had much success.