Start the NFL Coaching Carousel
Every year an NFL head coach gets fired. Sometimes an NFL head coach will leave even after winning a Super Bowl. It’s inevitable. There will be coaches looking for new zip codes after the 2012 season. This is simply part and parcel with the stressful lives these men accept. The following is a preview of what might happen.
- Andy Reid
At this point, it probably really is the best thing for both sides. The minute Andy Reid is officially fired (and he has been pretty much gone since the Nick Foles era began), every team with a vacancy will want him. Some teams may even create a vacancy for him. There is a lot of talk about a lot of different franchises. However, the most intriguing possibility would be if Carolina let Ron Rivera go.
The combination of Reid and Cam Newton in his prime could fulfill the promise never achieved with Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb. It all depends where Reid's heart is, or whether it might not be a little better off for him to take a year off. Reid managed to survive in the city that booed Santa a lot longer than most people. He also took Philadelphia to a Super Bowl, which is a not regular occurrence in Philadelphia.
- Norv Turner
The knocks against 'Smilin' Norv Turner have not changed over the last few decades. He is reported to be one of the nicest guys in all of sports. He is reported to be an offensive genius. The questions arise on whether Turner should go beyond offensive coordinator to Head Coach. These questions persist even though Turner has been the Head Coach of both the Washington Redskins as well as the San Diego Chargers.
The difference this year is that there was a coda when discussing the San Diego Chargers. The coda states that Turner has a top five quarterback in Philip Rivers. However, when the list of top five quarterbacks recited, Rivers is no longer on it.
With Peyton Manning leading the Broncos and much of San Diego's support either having left or retired, the Turner era appears to finally be over. His future is assured to any team who wants 'Smilin' Norv to pump up their point production. A team would be wise to take Alex Smith and Turner as a package. If they had the inclination to let Joe Flacco go, a Turner/Smith combo would seem ideal for the Baltimore Ravens.
- Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan coaching is like watching The Ramones trying out for a spot in your local club. When they start, you are not sure if they are there to audition or fence stolen musical equipment. After four songs, you are still not sure whether they are there to audition or fence stolen musical equipment.
Smart money says that Ryan should be out after this year. However, smart money and Ryan never seemed to go together. The Jets have been eliminated from the playoffs, but Rex still appears to need convincing. He tends to thrive on the Lloyd Christmas philosophy of "So, you're telling me there's a chance?"
If Ryan is out, then defensive coordinator positions will call before other head coaching positions. Turner and Ryan may make an interesting pair. The trouble is the potentially combustible combination could end up fighting like Rex's dad Buddy Ryan did with Kevin Gilbride back in the '90s.
- Nick Saban
Alabama fans are not going to want to hear this, but college coaches are starting to become popular in NFL coaching searches. This is especially true when the coach is successful and has prior NFL experience. Saban fits both of those criteria. Granted, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski wants Saban nowhere near the Philadelphia Eagles.
Pete Carroll and Greg Schiano jumped ship. If Alabama wins another BCS title, then Alabama fans will not have much of an argument against him leaving. The days of coaches like Paul 'Bear' Bryant or Joe Paterno staying decades are over.
The merits can be argued, but Alabama may be entering the post-BCS era with a new coach. Recently, the Cleveland Browns have been mentioned as a possible Saban landing spot. It's important to remember that Saban was a miserable failure with the Dolphins in 2005-06, so temper your expectations.