This year’s head coaching cycle came and went in a flash. The Redskins, Cowboys, Panthers, and Giants moved quickly to find their new sideline leaders and the Browns weren’t far behind as they filled their vacancy on January 11th.
Now that the dust has settled, we want your take on the best hire of the bunch:
Ron Rivera, Redskins: The Panthers axed Rivera in early December, just before he could finish his ninth season at the helm. Quickly, the Redskins identified him as their top target to take over for interim head coach Bill Callahan, who had been holding down the fort since Jay Gruden‘s midseason dismissal. The Panthers struggled in 2019 without one-time MVP Cam Newton under center, but Rivera comes to D.C. with an impressive resume that includes four playoff appearances, three NFC South titles, and a Super Bowl appearance. The Redskins, meanwhile, haven’t been to the big game since their Super Bowl XXVI victory over the Bills following the 1991 season. Or, to put it another way – more than five years before quarterback Dwayne Haskins was born.
Mike McCarthy, Cowboys: During the season, many speculated that the Cowboys would make a splash by luring former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer out of retirement. Instead, once the Cowboys finally fired Jason Garrett, they restricted their search to experienced NFL head coaches. Only two candidates formally interviewed for the job and McCarthy got the nod over longtime Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. McCarthy clashed with Aaron Rodgers down the stretch in Green Bay, but he’s also credited with grooming him into one of the league’s top quarterbacks. The Cowboys are hopeful that McCarthy can have a similar impact on Dak Prescott’s development.
Matt Rhule, Panthers: The Panthers backed up a Brinks truck to hire former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule. Rhule is credited with turning around the Baylor program and, before that, the Temple program. Despite his lack of pro experience, teams have been eyeing him for the last couple of years. He was also hot during the last cycle, but a would-be deal with the Jets was nixed when Gang Green insisted on picking his assistants for him. This time around, Rhule had all the leverage he needed to get full control over his staff, and a lucrative contract that could pay him anywhere between $60 and $70MM.
Joe Judge, Giants: The Giants were infatuated with Rhule, but they were only willing to go so far. They were also blown away by Judge, who previously served as the Patriots’ special teams coach. Judge didn’t have the household name value of other candidates, but the Giants see him as someone who can handle the New York press and get the most out of young QB Daniel Jones.
Kevin Stefanski, Browns: Stefanski joined the Vikings in 2006 and climbed the ladder to become the team’s offensive coordinator midway through the 2018 season. In 2019, Stefanski’s first full season at the helm, the Vikings ranked as a top-10 offense in points while the the trio of Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, and Mike Boone cracked the top six in rushing yards and touchdowns. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins turned in one of his best seasons yet. The Browns have one of the game’s most promising young QBs in Baker Mayfield and a talented backfield group, so they saw Stefanski as a perfect fit, even though the Vikings came up short in the round.
Cast your vote below (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comments.
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