Several NFL teams in search of a new head coach are beginning to get a clearer picture of how their staff will look heading into the offseason. With several big names in the mix after being let go from their respective teams, it’s only a matter of time before the game of musical chairs ends.
Jets, 49ers and Raiders Find New Coaches
The Buffalo found their new head coach in Rex Ryan this week and after officially announcing the signing on Wednesday, a handful of teams have also pulled the trigger on signing new head coaches.
The New York Jets fired Ryan and GM John Idzik after a 4-12 season, which has paved the way for newly signed GM Mike Maccagnan to make his first personnel move. Maccagnan chose to hire former Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to a four year contract.
The San Francisco 49ers have announced that they will promote Jim Tomsula from defensive line coach to head coach after the toxic situation between the 49ers front office and former coach Jim Harbaugh led to Harbaugh’s departure to the University of Michigan.
After the midseason firing of Dennis Allen in Oakland, the Raiders have opted not to sign interim coach Tony Sparano to full-time duties. Instead, the Raiders turned to Broncos defensive coordinator and former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio to turn right the Raiders ship that showed flashes of potential late in their 3-13 season.
Bears and Falcons Still Undecided
The Bears posted a disappointing 5-11 season that saw second year coach Marc Trestman fired along with GM Phil Emery. Since then, Chicago has signed former New Orleans Saints director of personnel Ryan Pace to his first GM gig. Pace has yet to make his first hire, but is strongly linked to former Denver Broncos head coach John Fox who left the Broncos amicably after their one-and-done showing in this years playoffs. The Bears also interviewed former Bills coach Doug Marrone, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and the Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
Mike Smith was let go from the Falcons despite being the winningest coach in Atlanta’s history. After posting a 1-4 playoff record as a coach and seeing the team go from 13-3 in 2012 to posting back-to-back losing seasons in 2013 and 2014 sealed Smith’s fate. Atlanta has their eyes on Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, but are unable to interview him until the Seahawks season has ended. Austin, who interviewed with the Bears is also rumored to be in the mix.