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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Grading the 9 new head coaching hires in the NFL

Grading the 9 new head coaching hires in the NFL

Grading the new coaches hired!
Publish Date: 02/09/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 23: Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll of the Buffalo Bills looks on prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

As per usual, almost a third of all NFL head coaches have been fired. These hirings have been more scrutinized than any in the NFL’s history, and today we will take a hard look and grade all of them. We usually see anywhere from 5 to 9 new coaches every year, and this year we will be on the high end of that.

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Brian Daboll, New York Giants

Daboll arriving with ex-Bills executive Joe Schoen makes his hire all the more encouraging. This combination gives the Giants the chance to completely change a toxic organization’s culture. The big question going in will be if quarterback Daniel Jones career is salvageable? If it is, this could be a quick turnaround in New York; if he can’t, then this is a rebuild that will be difficult, but if the Giants front office gives Daboll the necessary time to get it turned around, this could be a great hire.

Grade A

ย 

Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders

McDaniels can design a flashy offense, but is he a head coach? Every other coach to fall out of the Belichick coaching tree has failed, and that includes McDaniels, who failed before in Denver a little over a decade ago. Then more recently, you had the weird situation with the Colts where he backed out at the last minute. In truth, the Raiders had their coach in Rich Bisaccia, who earned the job guiding the Raiders through a landmine of distractions and ending up in the playoffs. This will end badly for the Raiders and probably within two years.

Grade D-

ย 

Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears

Eberflus is a head-scratcher to me, he is a defensive coordinator, and his defenses have been good at times but, for the most part, average. They signed Packers assistant coach Luke Getsy which is encouraging but to me, that Packers offense was pretty much controlled by Matt Lafleur, which means he learned under a good coach, but it doesn’t mean he is ready for this job with a young quarterback. To me, this is kind of like hiring Matt Nagy all over again if he was a defensive coordinator.

Grade D+

ย 

Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos

Hackett nearly led a Kyle Orton-led Bills team to the playoffs and a Blake Bortles-led Jaguars team to the Super Bowl, so he’s built from scratch before. The only thing needed to be a playoff team in Denver is a quarterback; the question is can they get the right guy? If they do, this will go down as a great hire; he will be gone in two/three years. All in all, I like this hire, and Hackett will improve this team. For more NFL news, click here!

Grade B

ย 

Lovie Smith, Houston Texans

What the hell is going on in Houston? The Bears should have never fired Smith, but since that firing, he has a head coaching record of 44-73 in College, and he is 64 years old! Do the Texans think Lovie is the best man for the job? They were not allowed to hire who they wanted, so they hired a man like Smith, who would be a place-holder for the next coach the Texans wanted to hire. This hire makes no sense at all!

Grade F

ย 

Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Who wouldn’t want to follow the inept Urban Meyer! Pederson is a highly creative offensive coach, and with Trevor Lawrence at his disposal, Pederson’s creative juices should be flowing. As long as he doesn’t start getting lap dances at bars or kicking players, he should get the necessary three or four years to get it turned around in Jacksonville.

Grade B

ย 

Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins

McDaniel hails from the famed Mike Shanahan Washington staff produced Matt LaFleur, Sean McVay and recent boss Kyle Shanahan. Will he follow in their success? It will be difficult in Miami as an organization seems inept. This hire is a swing for the fences after the Brian Flores mess. McDaniel is a young creative coach who will bring excitement to the Dolphins. When I first heard about this hiring, I was not a big fan, but I am starting to like it the more I see McDaniel. Hopefully, the owner stays out of the way.

Grade B-

ย 

Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings

O’Connell is a bright, energetic coach who has done well with the Rams, but the question has to be asked? How much influence did Sean McVay have in Los Angeles, and can O’Connell be a good head coach? I think the answer is yes, and with Aaron Rodgers getting up there in age, this hiring might vault the Vikings to the top of the NFC North within the next two years.

Grade B-

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints

With another dire salary-cap situation and a QB spot in flux, this felt like the right time to lean into the reset button. Smith is a stop-gap and nothing more. He failed as the raiders coach a little less than a decade ago, and he is being set up for failure again here.

Grade D-

ย 

ย 

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