The dominoes are starting to fall in the NFL recruitment search. Five teams are now searching for their next head coach. At the same time, others are diligently working away to hire their GM of choice. A week is a long time in the NFL, even more so this week. It’s time to assess where things stand in the coach and GM race.
New York Jets
The Jets announced yesterday that they’d reached a deal in principle with Robert Saleh. Jets GM Joe Douglas snared the hottest candidate of this hiring round. Saleh’s leadership, determination, and integrity marked him out as the top guy. Add that to two years of stellar performances as defensive coordinator of the 49ers, hiring Saleh was the home run the Jets needed.
Joe Douglas and Saleh clicked immediately; they quickly invited Saleh back for a second interview. Even though other teams wanted Saleh, the New York Jets got their man.
Jacksonville announced Urban Meyer as their next head coach. The legendary college coach is finally making the step up into the NFL. It is the Hollywood hire, Jacksonville owns the number one pick in the draft, they should select Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence and Meyer will ensure plenty of primetime games for Jacksonville.
There are question marks over Meyer’s health; nevertheless, he is a great program builder. Can Meyer do it in Duval County? We’ll need to give him time though he is in the right place. Jacksonville owns 11 picks in the upcoming draft, that is an arsenal in which they can load up with young talent. There is no GM currently in Jacksonville; Meyer will give his opinion on who gets hired for that role.
The Falcons are swooping in on Arthur Smith to be their next head coach. Smith had an interview scheduled with the Lions today that got canceled after news broke that Atlanta offered him the job. Alongside Smith, it seems as if Terry Fontenot will be the next GM.
He is still working for the Saints; therefore Atlanta can’t hire him until the Saints season is over. Atlanta has identified who they want; now, it seems that they will soon announce these two men as head coach and GM.
The Lions are another team closing in on their guys. Yesterday, Detroit announced Brad Holmes as the new GM. Holmes brings vast experience of being in the front office at the Rams. For the last seven years, Holmes headed the college scouting department in St Louis then Los Angeles.
Today saw Ian Rapoport tweet that Dan Campbell is now the runaway favorite for the head coach’s job. Campbell looks as if he’s coming back to Detroit where he played. The Lions cannot confirm it until the Saints are out of the playoffs. Nonetheless, the current assistant head coach in New Orleans is likely coming to Detroit to take the top job.
The Eagles dismissed head coach Doug Pederson on Monday. The timing of it is baffling; the Eagles are now a long way behind everyone else. Jeffery Lurie personally met Robert Saleh; he is now off the board. Dan Campbell and Arthur Smith could be unavailable soon. Philadelphia is in a challenging situation; they’ve arrived too late, now they must look for alternatives. Cowboys coordinator Kellen Moore is coming for an interview on Monday, while Jerod Mayo from New England interviewed earlier this week. It seems as if Howie Roseman is staying as GM, for now.
The Chargers are whittling away at their candidates. They’ve held interviews with Jason Garrett, Matt Eberflus, Eric Bienemy, and Joey Brady among others. The Chargers job is the best one available, a lot of candidates will want it. Jason Garrett has experience developing young quarterbacks, while Eric Bienemy is one of the hottest candidates due to his outstanding work in Kansas City.
GM Tom Telesco is in a strong position, though he must wait until some teams get knocked out in the playoffs. Teams cant meet with those coaches until their season is over, Brian Daboll and Bienemy are two of those candidates in playoff contention. Daboll is undoubtedly the favorite for this job; he and Telesco went to the same school together. With Justin Herbert on the roster, it makes sense.
The Texans are a shambles. It is one of the worst coaching searches I can remember. New GM Nick Caserio is only there due to the higher-ups pulling the rug on Omar Khan. Then Deshaun Watson became unhappy; rumors began to circulate that he wanted out.
In a panic, the Texans announced they’d interview Eric Bienemy, sadly Houston missed the window, and now they must wait to interview him once the Chiefs’ season ends. No wonder Deshaun Watson is at level ten anger. What a mess.
In one other tidbit, Carolina announced Scott Fitterer as their new GM. Fitterer arrives from Seattle with a good reputation. He will work closely with David Tepper to build the Panthers into a contender.