Not even two weeks removed from the final week of the regular season, all five organizations looking for a new head coach has now filled those positions.
Let’s take a look at the five new hires and which organization seems to be facing the brightest days ahead.
1. Cowboys: Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthy, who last coached in Green Bay during the 2018 season, brings a ton of NFL experience and even a Super Bowl ring to Dallas.
McCarthy seems like he’s going to be building his new staff from scratch, aside from keeping the prized, young offensive coordinator from the prior season in Kellen Moore, which is another huge win.
It appears Jones wants McCarthy to attempt to mirror the same type of organization as what he governed over in Green Bay.
McCarthy has brought on Mike Nolan as his new defensive coordinator.
Nolan was the Linebackers coach for the Saints this year and was previously a head coach for the 49ers.
In addition to the coordinators, McCarthy brings with him John Fassel, one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL, and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach.
Tomsula is also a former 49ers head coach, and he inherits a defensive line with a lot of weapons on the outside but some holes on the interior.
Throw in the fact the Cowboys are keen on keeping secondary coach Kris Richard, this staff in Dallas is shaping out to be one of the best in the NFL.
2. Redskins: Ron Rivera
Dan Snyder grabbed Ron Rivera not even two days after the NFL season ended.
Washington and Rivera are both in need of some changes, and it’s a great spot to do it.
Rivera is known to be a players coach.
Rivera inherits a roster with some holes to fill, but has a lot of great looking young pieces to build off of, including the 2nd pick in the NFL Draft this spring.
Here’s a short list of all those players Rivera gets to utilize: QB Dwayne Haskins, RB Derrius Guice, WR Terry McLaurin, WR Kelvin Harmon, DE Montez Sweat, and their 99% likely 2nd-overall draft pick Chase Young.
They’ll also have 2017 49ers 1st-round pick Reuben Foster coming back to man a LB spot after missing all season due to injury.
Rivera hired former Raiders coach Jack Del Rio as his DC, Scott Turner as his OC, (was Panthers assistant under Rivera), and Ken Zampese as his QB’s coach.
3. Panthers: Matt Rhule
The guy who turned around the Temple and Baylor football programs within a 3-year period has made the jump to the NFL, and Panthers fans should be excited about Matt Rhule taking over.
He doesn’t have a lot of glitz and glamour, but he knows how to run a football program.
Could Rhule have asked for a better situation to walk into?
He has the most dynamic RB in the league in Christian McCaffrey, along with Cam Newton, who will finally be 100% healthy come fall camp for the first time in a couple years.
His defense could use some offseason additions, along with the offensive line, but he’s got some great pieces to work with coming in.
Rhule is rumored to be bringing his DC at Baylor in Phil Snow for the same position in Carolina.
It’s also rumored that Rhule is targeting LSU guru Joe Brady as his offensive coordinator.
Brady has turned Joe Burrow into a #1 overall pick and made the LSU offense look like one of the best in college football history.
If Rhule can convince Brady to leave, then I’m bumping this hire up to #1.
A Matt Rhule & Joe Brady offense with all the weapons he has will be as strong as there is.
If he can’t get Brady, he’s also wanting to go after Lions QB Coach Sean Ryan for the OC job.
Despite being ranked 3rd on the list, the Panthers are also in a good spot heading into the offseason with these new hires.
4. Browns: Kevin Stefanski
After finishing runner up a year ago, former Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski has landed the Browns job this season as Paul DePodesta finally has his guy.
I wouldn’t be surprised if John DeFilippo comes and joins Stefanski’s staff as OC after being fired in Jacksonville.
The two worked together in Minnesota.
DeFilippo was the offensive coordinator for the Vikings before Stefanski took over for him.
Stefanski impressed in his work with Case Keenum and took him to the NFC Championship game, and he nearly did the same with Kirk Cousins this year.
5. Giants: Joe Judge
The Joe Judge hire was the only real head-scratcher.
The 38-year-old is coming from the Patriots organization, having served under Belichick as their Special Teams Coordinator and WR’s coach.
I definitely don’t want to rule Judge as a terrible hire without ever seeing what his teams are like come next fall, but I do think the likes of Greg Roman, Josh McDaniels, and Robert Saleh were better options to take over.
Judge has hired Dolphins DC Patrick Graham to run his defense, which is odd considering the Dolphins had the worst defense in the league.
Of course, that’s probably more personnel-related than coaching-related. T
The Giants are also rumored to be after some former head coaches for the OC position such as Freddie Kitchens, Jay Gruden, or Jason Garrett.
Something just doesn’t seem right with this hire — if I’m betting on any of these five coaches to be the first one fired, Judge has to be the runaway favorite.