The first-ever Week 18 brought fans some of the most exciting action this season. Playoff scenarios put an extra amount of emphasis on some not so thrilling matchups. If not for Staley’s ego, the week would have concluded with the most nonsensical ending to a season. A coaching decision such as that could lead to termination.
Staley is safe, but a few of his peers fell victim to the league’s most feared days of the year.
Which Coaches Fell Victim To “Black Monday?”
Black Monday is the day after the regular season where teams decide if it’s worth keeping or firing their staff. For many, it is as easy as microwaving popcorn on which choice makes sense for the organization’s future. For others, it leaves their fans scratching their heads, wondering why they continue to support a bunch of clowns.
This year, the releases seemed obvious, except for one that I still have yet to get over fully. When one door closes, more open. Here’s which free agent head coaches should land in 2022.
Brian Flores: Denver Broncos
After three seasons, the Miami Dolphins firing Brian Flores almost sent me into a temper tantrum. He led the team to a seven-game win streak after starting the season on a seven-game losing streak. He is the only coach of the Belichick coaching tree to have a record above .500 against him and beat him TWICE this season.
He transformed the Dolphins defense into a powerhouse, ranking second in QB pressures & blitzes, fifth in sacks, and led the league in QB knockdowns. A head coach with those stats deserves a raise, not a release.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure; the Broncos need Flores. The Broncos’ defense almost brought them to the playoffs despite the injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Jerry Jeudy. They gained significant wins against the Bills and Cowboys, two top-tier playoff teams.
The Broncos’ defense ranked inside the top ten in yards, thanks to players like Bradley Chubb disrupting the run game and Justin Simmons controlling the airwaves. Flores can turn this team into a division winner, even a few conference championship appearances. This pairing is a match made in heaven.
Darrell Bevell: NY Giants
This seems out of left field but makes sense. Trust me.
Bevell went from the Lions to the Jags, making significant changes to both offenses. First, he transformed the Lions into a more up-tempo offense, finishing the 2020 season with the highest pass plays on first down. Then, he joined the Jags coaching staff to enhance their offense and did as much as possible before Urban Meyer ruined everything.
Also, Bevell can be a considerable influence in incorporating Saquon back into the offense while improving the play of Daniel Jones at the same time. The Giants need an offensive-minded head coach to resurrect guys like Barkley and Jones from the dead. Golladay knew Bevell and had his best seasons while his offensive coordinator; maybe that is what he needs.
Jim Harbaugh: Chicago Bears
It’s time the other Harbaugh brother returns to the NFL. The 49ers fired Jim after two seasons of 10+ wins, two NFCCG appearances, and their first Super Bowl appearance since the 90s. The Bears fit like a glove with his coaching style.
Harbaugh prides himself on defense, which is the only positive aspect of the Bears. They ranked sixth in yards allowed and second in total air yards on completions. However, when it comes to offense, Fields fits the scheme. He plays similarly to Kaepernick, who Harbaugh rode to a Super Bowl. Harbaugh has the chance to be the 21st century’s Mike Ditka if he accepts the job; the Bears need to put the offer on the table.
Brian Daboll: Jacksonville Jaguars
Josh Allen evolved into a top-five QB in the league with Dabol calling the shots. After his first playoff appearance against the Texans, it looked as if Josh Allen needed A LOT of improvement. But, with the help of his offensive coordinator, he finished second in MVP voting the following season.
Trevor Lawrence needs this type of guidance. Lawrence proved he has a lot of potential even with the chaotic environment of the Jags locker room and internal woes. Lawrence has the necessary weapons around him, Such as James Robinson, Travis Ettienne, DJ Chark, and Marvin Jones. A few adjustments made by the same coach who launched Josh Allen to the top is exactly what the man dubbed “touchdown Jesus” needs to bring back the same fire he had dominating the NCAA.
Doug Pederson: Minnesota Vikings
This may cause Eagles fans to throw up in their mouths, but who cares? Pederson brought one cursed franchise a Lombardi trophy. Why not help another?
Pederson rode Nick Foles to championship glory, giving the impression he could do it with another Foles-type passer. Kirk Cousins can be that guy.
The offense mimics the one Pederson had during his 2018 Super Bowl run, with the run game being far superior and the team having star pass-catchers such as Justin Jefferson and Adam Theilen. As for the defense, Pederson does not have to do much. The Vikings defense remains one of the best in the NFL. Danielle Hunter returns from injury in 2022, alongside Everson Griffin on their scary defensive line. Harrison Smith and Anthony Barr bring the pass coverage to another level.
Finally, how awesome would Dougie P look in purple and gold?
Kellen Moore: Miami Dolphins
The Cowboys’ offense ranked as the best in the league in 2021. Kellen Moore deserves the credit. Since taking over, Dallas ranks inside the top five of nearly every offensive stat. In addition, his play calling allows Dak to confidently air it out, as he ranked inside the top five of QBs in 2021.
Zeke may have struggled, but it did not slow down the entire rushing offense. Instead, his offense launched Tony Pollard into a more prominent role, causing fans to question who the true RB1 was. In addition, his style brings a much-needed change to the Dolphins offense, which seemed slow most of the season.
Also, Moore played QB during his tenure in the NFL; he was a lefty. Weirdly, it could be a blessing for Tua, whose inconsistent play led to the front office looking for his replacement. Moore can shut down any thoughts of that happening in a year. Give him a chance to turn Tua into a franchise player; he can do it.