NFL Rumors: Analyzing Latest Head Coaching Candidates from Around the League

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2013

Oct 16, 2011; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Colts 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

On the coaching carousel in the NFL, a lot of names are thrown around as potential head coaching candidates. However, not all of them will be great coaches.

While a few teams have already finished the process and made a hire for next season, there are still plenty of jobs available.

In addition, some names like Chip Kelly have reportedly decided to stay at their current position, according to Mike Garafolo of USA Today.

Still, there will always been plenty of candidates ready to pounce on an open position. Here are the latest choices available with a breakdown of how effective they should be expected to be.


Mike McCoy, Offensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos

After Chip Kelly, Mike McCoy might be the hottest name.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the offensive coordinator has interviewed with the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles. The San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers also have interest.

Obviously, it is easy to look good when one of the best quarterbacks of all time is on your roster, but it is not just Peyton Manning that makes McCoy a great option. It is his ability to make adjustments.

With Tim Tebow as his starting quarterback last season, McCoy helped the Broncos lead the NFL in rushing yards. When Manning was brought in, he adjusted his system again to be the No. 2 scoring offense in the league with a great passing attack.

Making adjustments based on personnel is one of the most important jobs a coach has at this level. McCoy's experience in this area should help him be very good at his next job.

Grade: A


Jay Gruden, Offensive Coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals

One of the latest people to be named as a coaching candidate is Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

Darren Urban of reported on Twitter that he will be interviewed by the Arizona Cardinals this week:


The @azcardinals confirm they plan to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden this week for their vacant head coaching job.

— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) January 7, 2013


While he has the pedigree of being the brother of former coach Jon Gruden, that does not automatically give him extra experience.

The younger Gruden has only been with the Bengals for two seasons. Before that, he worked in various positions in the United Football League and the Arena Football League. Success at those levels is nothing compared to winning in the NFL.

To make matters worse, he has not had enough success in his current spot to warrant a promotion. The Bengals only ranked No. 22 in total offense this season after finishing No. 20 a year ago.

Even with help from his brother, Jay Gruden would not be a good head coach next season.

Grade: C


Darrell Bevell, Offensive Coordinator, Seattle Seahawks

Turning Russell Wilson from a third-round pick into one of the top players in football has gotten Darrell Bevell into the discussion for head coaching jobs.

The Chicago Bears recently requested permission to interview the experienced coordinator and are expected to meet with him soon, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

This season, the Seahawks finished No. 9 in the NFL in total points. However, it is important to look at his full body of work.

In seven years as a coordinator for the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, Bevell's teams only finished No. 18 in total offense on average. Only once was his team in the top 10 for total yards, and that was when Brett Favre had one of his best career seasons.

It seems that Bevell is capable, but he has to be around the right set of circumstances for this to happen. That is not something you can trust for a new coach.

Grade: B-