All Aboard the NFL Coaching Carousel

As it currently stands, there are six teams with head coaching vacancies. The Fantasy Intervention team looks at each team’s situation and provides their best guesses on who could fill those roles.

Atlanta Falcons

Current Status: Somewhere between win now and rebuild

Assets: Matt Ryan (through 2023), Julio Jones (through 2023), Calvin Ridley (through 2021), Hayden Hurst (through 2021)

Draft Picks: 1.04, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6

2021 Available Cap: -$32.4 mil

Fantasy Football Intervention Predictions

Bo McBrayer (@Bo_McBigTime)

I would love to see a deserving Raheem Morris get another crack at head coaching with the Falcons. The defense played much better under Morris with poor personnel and Morris has put his stamp on the team as the interim head coach  Matt Ryan might not be a part of this team’s long-term either, as a team like the San Francisco 49ers could be interested in him via trade. Atlanta has some good pieces, but is not a well-structured roster. Needing to get  younger, Morris could be the answer to lead the team.

Taylor Cornell (@_TaylorCornell) 

I wonder if the Falcons will aim for a more offensive-minded coach after their last two came from defensive coordinator backgrounds and had varying degrees of success. If that is the case, Nathaniel Hackett could be an intriguing option. Hackett has helped revitalize Aaron Rodgers late in his career and could do the same for Matt Ryan. Currently drafting too low to snag a top QB prospect in 2021 and lacking much cap space, they may be tied to Matt Ryan for the time being, and who better to work with than a vet QB than Hackett.

Brad Bolt (@BradBolt1)

With no cap space and a decent number of picks, the Falcons will have to be creative in how they rework their squad. The defense has been the biggest issue for the Falcons, so one would assume that a defensive-minded head coach may make the most sense. However, I think Pete Carmichael, the New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator, would be a great choice, especially if the Falcons go young on offense by trading away Matt Ryan & Julio Jones. Spending time with Sean Payton and building one of the NFL’s best offenses makes him an appealing option.

Detroit Lions

Current Status: All of the right pieces are in place on offense, while the defense is rebuilding. This team would be a candidate to potentially go full rebuild.

Assets: Matthew Stafford (through 2023), D’Andre Swift (through 2023), TJ Hockenson (through 2023)

Draft Picks: 1.07, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

2021 Available Cap: $6.5 mil

Fantasy Football Intervention Predictions

Taylor Cornell (@_TaylorCornell)

I think Detroit is more likely to attract a defensive-minded head coach than an offensive wizard. It remains to be seen whether Matthew Stafford can be a quarterback to win big games and produce playoff wins. The Lions currently lack any substantial options at wide receiver after this season, with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones entering free agency. Might Leslie Frazier return to the NFC North, where he worked with the Vikings from 2007-2013? MAYBE then D’Andre Swift would get workhorse usage, similar to how Adrian Peterson did while Frazier was at the helm in Minnesota. Then again, maybe Adrian Peterson would again get the workhorse usage (/s).

Corey Spala (@cdotFF)

Detroit likely cannot attract a coach like Eric Beinemy, the Offensive Coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. The next coach will have to be ready to move on from Stafford and grab his guy in the next few years. Do the Lions go with the model Sean McVey laid out with the Rams? That would require that they hire a young and exciting offensive talent and give the Defensive Coordinator hire (Wade Phillips) free reign over the defense. 

Signing Kenny Golladay to a long term deal should be their top priority. Other key pieces like T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift are intriguing assets for their offense. This all comes together with having a not-too-shabby offensive line, including recent draft picks Frank Ragnow and Jonah Jackson.

With an offense that finished the 2020 season 20th in scoring, and a defense that finished dead last, it would make more sense to go in the direction of a defensive mastermind, but my preference would be for them to take advantage of a young offensive core and bring in a coordinator on the defensive side with some experience and wisdom.  

Brad Bolt (@BradBolt1)

The Lions  offense has some nice pieces, and if you can keep the current Offensive Coordinator, Darrell Bevell, it could really open up some options. The direction I’m leaning is Robert Saleh. He has built one of  the NFL’s scariest defenses (when healthy), and can turn the Lions into a fearsome defense as well. Saleh running the defense with Bevell letting Stafford, Swift, Hockenson & Golladay go off could have the Lions sniffing the playoffs as early as 2021.

Houston Texans

Current Status: A mess outside of quarterback Deshaun Watson

Assets: Deshaun Watson (2025), Both D. Johnson’s (2021), Brandin Cooks (2023)

Draft Picks: 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7

2021 Available Cap: – $20.3 mil

Fantasy Football Intervention Predictions

Bo McBrayer (@Bo_McBigTime) 

This looks like the toughest team to rebuild. The Texans pissed away their high picks and also jettisoned their best player. I would think a five year deal for a rising college coach would work best here. The good news is that their cap situation looks better if they cut some dead weight and address skill positions through later picks or free agency. There are many needs here, so PJ Fleck or Luke Fickell could spur a multi-year overhaul.

Taylor Cornell (@_TaylorCornell)

Lacking draft picks and cap space is a killer combination when trying to land a head coach. I think this is the type of job that will attract a brand new head coach as this looks like it could be a mid-long rebuild project. My vote is for current Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll. He has experience (and success) working with a mobile quarterback and could be attracted to the idea of coaching Watson. I know that Josh Allen is a little ‘thicker’ than Watson, but imagine if Daboll used Watson on more designed runs. Allen has averaged a couple of designed runs per game over the past two seasons, whereas Watson has relied on scrambling for his rushing production.

Brad Bolt (@BradBolt1) 

Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll would be a good choice for a running quarterback like Deshaun Watson. However, I think the Offensive Coordinator who should get the job is the one who turned his 2nd year quarterback into the Most Valuable Player: Greg Roman of the Baltimore Ravens. This seems like the perfect fit as Roman can utilize Watson’s running skills, which aren’t as good as Lamar Jackson’s but still very effective. Watson’s arm talent is far superior to Lamar, and Roman could easily turn him into an MVP candidate.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Current Status: A decent core in place offensively, with exciting potential ahead

Assets: James Robinson (2022), Laviska Shenault (2023), DJ Chark (2021)

Draft Picks: 1.01, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7, 7

2021 Available Cap: $77.3 mil

Fantasy Football Intervention Predictions

Brad Bolt (@BradBolt1)

If Eric Bieniemy is not signed by the Jets, Jacksonville is my next choice for him. With Lawrence/Fields, DJ Chark & James Robinson, the offense will be as exciting as it ever has been in Duval. If Bieniemy is gone and Joe Brady does not leave Carolina, I like the idea of a homecoming for Byron Leftwich head up the team. He has shown to be a more than capable OC in Tampa and will work well with their new quarterback.

Taylor Cornell (@_TaylorCornell)

Carolina Panthers Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady makes sense for Jacksonville, and Jacksonville makes sense for Brady. We have seen Brady rise up the ranks quickly, churning out offensive goodness at every stop. In 2019, Brady did so at the college level (Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire) and 2020 at the NFL level (DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel and even Mike Davis). I believe the Jaguars would be willing to take a chance on a young coach and the appeal of a young offensive core ready to explode could lure Brady to Florida.

Los Angeles Chargers

Current Status: An up and coming team, with loads of potential for a quick turnaround

Assets: Justin Herbert (2023), Austin Ekeler (2023), Keenan Allen (2024), Mike Williams (2021)

Draft Picks: 1.13, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

2021 Available Cap: $22 mil

Fantasy Football Intervention Predictions

Chase Vernon @FF_Intervention 

After observing the dynamism sparked between Bills’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and quarterback Josh Allen, the thought of Daboll taking hold as the Chargers head coach is tantalizing. His ability to maximize the efficiency in all facets of Allen’s game inspires the imagination of what could be with current Chargers rookie Justin Herbert. 

Bo McBrayer @Bo_McBigTime

This is a dream job for a deserving coach. Los Angeles boasts a franchise quarterback on a rookie deal, no glaring roster deficiencies, and ample cap space.  Anthony Lynn was a “rah-rah” coach but absolutely terrible at in-game decision making. 

A big name college coach could be a fit here. Names likes like Mario Cristobal at Oregon or Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma could be great candidates for the position. Cristobal has a successful past with Herbert and, as a defensive coach, could easily delegate play-calling to someone fresh and exciting. 

Taylor Cornell (@_TaylorCornell)

With the weapons offensively and presumably the franchise quarterback secured, the Chargers job is rather enticing. I would love Eric Bieniemy to land here, but it is hard to imagine Kansas City allowing him to interview with a divisional rival. Instead, Pete Carmichael (current Saints Offensive Coordinator) would be a nice fit. He has Alvin Kamara-lite in Ekeler, and Michael Thomas-clone Keenan Allen. While the offensive weapons in LA have already been pretty productive for fantasy, maybe the addition of Carmichael would actually turn that production into real-life wins.

Brad Bolt @BradBolt1

Lincoln Riley would be the ideal hire with a young quarterback, a top running back in Austin Ekeler, and one of the better wide receivers in the game in Keenan Allen. With Riley at the helm, the Chargers would instantly become one of the most enjoyable teams to watch on Sundays and quickly vault up to playoff contender.

New York Jets

Current Status: Closer to ground level rebuild then anything, but draft capital and cap space to burn

Assets: Sam Darnold (2021), Jamison Crowder (2021), Denzel Mims (2023)

Draft Picks: 1.02, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7

2021 Available Cap: $62.9 mil

Fantasy Football Intervention Predictions

Bo McBrayer (@Bo_McBigTime)

The New York Jets are not as terrible structurally as the product we currently see on the field. The current General Manager has done well in the draft and with managing the cap. There are glaring needs at running back and along the offensive line, however, drafting Mekhi Becton in 2020 made this line at least a little better than ‘historically bad.’

Assuming the Jets draft to address these glaring needs this rebuild looks promising, as long as they don’t blow their load on overpriced free agents. 

Ironically, I could see Jason Garrett coaching this team next year.

Taylor Cornell (@_TaylorCornell)

The bar is low in New York, as their last two coaches are a combined 33-63. Since 2000, New York has had six head coaches, five of which had not previously been head coaches at the NFL level. Ironically, Adam Gase was the one that had the NFL head coaching experience and he was a disaster. My dark horse candidate is Colts Offensive Coordinator Nick Sirianni. Assuming the Jets are able to land Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields, he would have a high-potential quarterback and promising receiver in Denzel Mims with which to work. If they are able to snag a running back to address that position of need with one of their five picks in rounds 1-3, that offense could get interesting. 

Brad Bolt (@BradBolt1)

The Jets need help in literally every position. Fortunately, they have the #2 pick and Lawrence/Fields all but destined to land in New York. I would like to see the Jets to throw as much money as possible to the best candidate in the NFL coaching ranks right now. Eric Bieniemy is my pick, especially if the Jets and their fans give Bieniemy time to turn the franchise around. If they can add Travis Etienne or Najee Harris to the team you now have a good core. A franchise quarterback, Mekhi Becton and Denzel Mims can be the building blocks on offense. The rest of the draft & free agency can be focused on giving that defense a boost. Give Bieniemy a Jon Gruden contract and let him work. It’s time to make the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets relevant again.

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