Per league rules, NFL teams that make the playoffs and have a first-round bye utilize this off week to allow assistant coaches and coordinators interview for coaching jobs elsewhere.
It didn’t take long for teams around the league to start inquiring about the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff that put together a league-best 13-3 record.
Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has been contacted by multiple teams with head coaching vacancies and will interview this week with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports.
Any time a coordinator has a shot at becoming a head coach, it’s prudent that the opportunity be investigated. Once Koetter does his due diligence and speaks with the Eagles, Chiefs and Browns, though, his best bet may be to turn them down and continue with the Falcons.
Koetter is in his first season with the Falcons as their offensive coordinator. Prior to the 2012 season with Atlanta, Koetter was in the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. That was a big change for him.
This season Koetter was surrounded by Matt Ryan and a trio of receivers in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez that were the envy of the league. That wasn’t the case in Jacksonville last season where Koetter coached Blaine Gabbert and didn’t have a receiver that eclipsed the 500-yard receiving mark.
That Jaguars offense was ranked 29th in the league in 2011. Atlanta’s 2012 offense finished the season ranked seventh. With many more weapons and an upgraded cast of characters, Koetter has now become a treasured, and sought-after, commodity.
But what will happen to Koetter in 2013 if he doesn’t have top-notch talent around him?
The Eagles finished 29th in offense and their quarterback situation with Michael Vick and Nick Foles was in a state of flux. Philadelphia finished 4-12 and you have to think this wouldn’t be as great a situation as Atlanta, but better than Jacksonville. How well could Koetter do?
Kansas City scored just 13.2 points per game, a dead-last position for a struggling franchise. What would Koetter be getting himself into with the Chiefs?
Of the three teams reported to be interviewing Koetter, Cleveland’s offense was the best at 18.9 points per game. The Browns’ 24th-ranked offense still doesn’t provide nearly the pop that Koetter enjoys in Atlanta.
An assistant coach rarely takes over as head coach in a perfect situation. Usually teams are in the market for a head coach because something bad happened the year prior. But if Koetter really wanted to land somewhere he could last awhile, is Philadelphia, Kansas City or Cleveland the answer?
No. Atlanta is. Until a better match presents itself.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand.