Rating NFL Hirings Thus Far – Part 2

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NFL hirings
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 13: Head coach Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles calls a play against the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field on December 13, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Over the past few weeks, NFL franchises have been hiring their new coaches, general managers, and offensive/defensive coordinators to lead their franchise into the future. Last time, I reviewed the first seven hirings but since then there have been ten more:

Rating NFL Hirings Thus Far – Part 2

Head Coaches

Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach – Doug Pederson

After being fired by the Eagles last season, Doug Pederson has been hired in Jacksonville to replace Urban Meyer. The Jaguars’ many options for this space have been depleted due to Trent Baalke. Baalke, the general manager, has turned many candidates away from the team due to the reports of dysfunction in the teams he has been in charge of. Anyway, Pederson comes to Jacksonville as a Super Bowl winner, but he also comes in after having had a disastrous 2020 in Philadelphia. Can he help Jacksonville return to the playoffs?

Grade: B- (Do you trust him without the assistant coaches he had in Philadelphia?)

Las Vegas Raiders Head Coach – Josh McDaniels

Despite interim head coach Rich Bisaccia leading the Raiders to the playoffs, he has been replaced by former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. McDaniels comes into Las Vegas having been the Patriots’ offensive mastermind for a very long time. He has held a head coaching role before, in Denver, but it ended in failure as he posted an 11-17 record. Will he be able to right his wrongs in Vegas?

Grade: C (I think it’s a bit of a “meh” hiring)

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach – Kevin O’Connell

Perhaps the most surprising name on this list. Kevin O’Connell comes into Minnesota having been the offensive coordinator for the LA Rams for only two years. Under his guidance, Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp both had career years. Despite being hired at a young age, this isn’t new for Sean McVay, who has seen three other assistant coaches being hired as head coaches around the league. O’Connell has an important decision to make over the future of Kirk Cousins, and regardless of what he decides, this team should make the playoffs next year under his guidance.

Grade: B (A real “boom-or-bust” hiring with good potential to work out)

New York Giants Head Coach – Brian Daboll

My favorite hiring thus far. It was a bit of a no-brainer after Joe Schoen was hired in but  Brian Daboll brings immense amounts of experience and success to New York. He was in charge of the high-powering Buffalo offense since 2018, during which time Josh Allen has seen vast improvements and has been an MVP candidate. Giants fans will be hoping he can recreate that with Daniel Jones.

Grade: A+ (A perfect hire for this stuttering offense to find their feet again)

General Managers

Las Vegas Raiders General Manager – Dave Ziegler

Dave Ziegler comes into Las Vegas having been in charge of the Patriots’ rebound this season, having orchestrated the draft and free agency on his own, despite being the assistant general manager. His first act was to make Josh McDaniels head coach, a former Patriots colleague. Raiders fans will be hoping for improvements in the quality of drafting following some disappointing drafts in recent years.

Grade: B (Was McDaniels the right choice? Either way, I hope he can draft better)

Offensive/Defensive Coordinators

Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator – Ken Dorsey

The Bills had a huge hole to fill following Daboll’s departure, and I could not think of a better replacement for him. Ken Dorsey has been the quarterback coach in Buffalo since 2019, and previously coached Cam Newton during his MVP season in 2015. He brings a plethora of experience and should keep this offense firing on all cylinders. 

Grade: A+ (Perfect replacement for Buffalo here)

Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator – Luke Getsy

Again, a fantastic hire here. The Bears have stolen Getsy away from their rival Green Bay Packers, and what a decision from new general manager Ryan Poles. Getsy was passing game coordinator and quarterback coach in Green Bay. He should help Justin Fields get settled in the league very soon and contrast new head coach Matt Eberflus very well.

Grade: A (What a steal)

Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator – Alan Williams

On the defensive side of the ball, Matt Eberflus has brought in former colleague Alan Williams as his defensive coordinator. Williams was the secondary coach in Indianapolis and has helped Kenny Moore II to an elite-level slot cornerback and has coached this secondary into one of the best in the league. With the Bears secondary having had its fair share of struggles, Williams should be equipped to help them improve.

Grade: B+ (Can Williams help fix a leaky secondary here in Chicago?)

Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator – Justin Outten

Nathaniel Hackett brings in former Packers tight ends coach Justin Outten to be his new offensive coordinator in Denver. Outten has been important to the Packers offensive being one of the most dominant in the league and has helped Robert Tonyan revitalize his career into one of the best tight ends in the league.

Grade: B (Was Outten the best choice here? Time will tell…)

Green Bay Packers Offensive Coordinator – Adam Stenavich

Following David Bakhtiari‘s early-season injury, Adam Stenavich was able to keep this offensive line consistent even in the absence of their All-Pro left tackle. While Green Bay may have preferred Getsy for this position, Stenavich is a more than worthy replacement and should help this offense next year, regardless of who starts under center.

Grade: B+ (Stenavich should continue this offense’s dominance behind this solid offensive line)

New York Giants Offensive Coordinator – Mike Kafka

Joe Schoen has arrived in New York and has not held back whatsoever with his hirings. Brian Daboll was a slam-dunk and now Mike Kafka? Unbelievable. Kafka has been the quarterback coach in Kansas City for four years, coincidentally the same amount of years a certain Patrick Mahomes has been the starter. Will he be able to assist Brian Daboll in finding the future at quarterback here, whether it will be Daniel Jones or someone else? For the first time in a long time, the Giants coaching staff looks good.

Grade: A (What a hiring to cap off an unbelievable offseason so far in New York)

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