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Monday, January 24, 2022

NFL Insider Note: Why Coach Hiring May Shift Back to Defense, Giants Come to Mind and More on Carousel

Could it be the head coaching cycle where the defensive coordinators prevail? Maybe the pendulum swings to the back of the ball, at least a smudge?

It is worth considering at least the possibility.

Yes, the game is about scoring points and protecting the quarterback and the rules favor the offense. And NFL owners have displayed an increasing tendency to hire from that side of the ball, looking for quarterback whispers and callers and favoring that profile above all else. But color me at least somewhat optimistic that perhaps some of these decision-makers will be more open-minded when it comes to what attributes and characteristics matter most when hiring a head coach.

We are still quite early in this process, obviously. And I’ve felt like a sucker at times in the past when a few initial candidates lists represent a broad panorama of potential hires. I absolutely won’t believe that priorities are changing and discoveries are more merit-based until I see it with my own eyes, but there is reason to believe that perhaps this cycle will be different from many in recent history.

It appears that there are actually more defensive trainers out there, and more men on that side of the ball are getting the chance to interview for multiple jobs. As it should be. The coupling of an experienced, defensively-minded head coach and an innovative offensive coordinator has always been the talk of managing a football team, and will probably take days in some of these instances.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was always shaping up to be one of the most in-demand coaches in this market, reaching the Super Bowl as head coach in Atlanta and doing a ton of work to turn the fortunes of America’s team. attracted attention. Dallas is always in the limelight and Quinn’s work was noted quickly and abundantly, and if you told me he was the next head coach of the Broncos or the Vikings or the Dolphins, well, I wouldn’t at least blink an eye. .

Winning eight of his final nine games was not enough for Brian Flores to retain his job in Miami, but it was enough to attract the attention of other front office, and would also find him an audience with multiple bosses. Chicago has always been a defensive type of city, and former Bear Leslie Frazier would be a great fit there. Todd Bowles could be the next coach in Tampa if Bruce Arian splits, and I could even see him in Minnesota, where he was runner-up to Mike Zimmer eight years earlier. Or Las Vegas, if that opens. Vance Joseph, who had a brief stint as head coach of the Broncos, has done a great job with the defense at Arizona and will probably be better off as head man for a second time.

Times are changing, at least a smidge. Because the way these bosses have been doing over the past few cycles has not been close to working in many instances, and groupthink is not working.

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Common sense prevails in Giants judge firing

Sometimes, common sense still prevails in this league. After all, it did with the New York Football Giants.

Joe Judge had no business being the head coach of the NFL for two years. It was a gross miscalculation on the part of Ownership, a nervous, knee-jerk reaction, and they should have known better than to let Bill Belichick run them. shame on them. And, better late than ever for Giants fans, until after he spent a few more hours with the judges this week exploring his vision for the team after his in-game misconduct and ridiculous press conference pabble, he was the only reasonable one. came to the decision, which was to terminate his contract.

It would have always been foolish to get a reasonably skilled general manager candidate to take the job while he was with the judge. And with season ticket renewals he’ll have to try to sell his fanbase and leave behind the half-year off-season that begins. History will indicate that John Mara won’t get this latest reboot right, but at this point anything would be better than continuing this damned experiment.

If you read this space regularly, you know that I always doubted Mara would even stick with it, despite all the smoke for all these weeks about how much support Judge had with ownership. Even those who had just a cursory glance at this two-year debacle would know that the judge’s lack of self-awareness and relentless lip smacking could see him hang himself in early January. And he did just that.

more insider notes

  • The one name I heard the most about being associated with the Giants GM job is Bills Assistant GM Joe Scion. Very impressive man with a very impressive resume…
  • The Giants requested to interview Ravens scouting director Joe Hortiz, which makes sense. But I’d also be very curious to see what kind of reaction they got if they reached out to Hortiz’s boss, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta for permission to interview him about his interest in the position. There has been mutual admiration in the past as well. The Worst Ravens Can Deny Permission…
  • Former Texan longtime GM Rick Smith is the one who should think long and hard about talking to the Chicago Bears about restructuring their organization…
  • The Jets’ assistant GM is highly thought of as Rex Hogan. The fate of the team has been very difficult, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their name spread around while their search continued…
  • If I were putting together a GM search myself, Rams exec Brian Zanders, a former GM in Denver, would definitely be on it…
  • Still wouldn’t be surprised if the Houston Texans were doing a head coaching search by the weekend, if not sooner…
  • Surprisingly, only the Bears have requested permission to interview Colts executive Ed Dodds. Maybe that will change in the next few days.

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