NFL Offseason 2011: Power Ranking the 10 Biggest Coaching Hires So Far
The 2010 NFL season has officially been done for just over a week now, but already many teams have made major renovations to their coaching staffs, in hopes of improving for 2011.
The NFL is a league where every team expects success every year, and for many now ex-coaches, when it was put-up or shut-up time, they failed.
Eight of the 32 teams in the NFL have made head-coaching changes, which is obviously the biggest coaching change a team can make to start off fresh. This power ranking will include those eight head-coach changes, along with two major coordinator changes.
Feel free to comment below with what hires you like, and what hires you hate.
10. Rob Ryan, Cowboys
Rob Ryan will be taking over the role as defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, replacing Paul Pasqualoni, who is the new head coach at the University of Connecticut.
The Ryan name has become incredibly famous in the NFL over the past two years, with Rob's twin brother Rex leading the New York Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games.
Rob is just as defensive minded as his brother and father are and is extremely creative on who blitzes and where from.
The Cowboys may have had their worst defensive showing ever in 2010, a year in which they allowed the most yards and points in franchise history.
This is a great hire for the Cowboys, who need a lift from last year's egg of a season, and Ryan will drastically improve the defense while also giving the Cowboys fans an exciting personality to fall in love with.
9. Wade Phillips, Texans
Wade Phillips is the new defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans and will be replacing Frank Bush.
Phillips comes over from Dallas, where he was fired midway through a season when his team, that many people predicted to be Super Bowl contenders, was 1-7.
Phillips has had defensive success in the past, especially in Buffalo. He has already talked about turning Mario Williams into the next Bruce Smith when he changes the Texans defense to a 3-4 for 2011.
Phillips actually started his coaching career off in Houston and is now back to the place where it all began.
8. John Fox, Broncos
I would bet that this is the first time that the head coach of the worst team in the league (Carolina) is replaced, and then lands a job as the head coach of the second worst team in the league (Denver).
John Fox will replace Josh McDaniels, who coached the Broncos to an 11-17 mark in two seasons with them.
McDaniels was supposed to be another successful Belichick understudy, but instead drove the Broncos into the ground.
Fox actually had some success with the Panthers up until recent history and took them to the Super Bowl in the 2003-04 season. He finished his career as the Panthers head coach with a 78-74 record, including five playoff wins.
The benefit of this hire for Denver is that they are bringing in a coach who has head-coach experience, and will not have to worry about any adjustment time because of new responsibilities.
7. Mike Munchak, Titans
Mike Munchak is the new head coach for the Tennessee Titans, replacing Jeff Fisher, who coached the Titans for 17 years.
Fisher is one of the most respected and well-liked men in football, but a disappointing season for the Titans called for a change.
The Titans were forced to pick between Fisher or Vince Young and opted to cut ties with both and start off fresh with Munchak.
Munchak was the offensive line coach for the Titans, and he coached a group that allowed the least quarterback hits in 2010.
Many fans were upset to see Fisher go; promoting the offensive line coach is a risky maneuver and it will be interesting to see if it pays off for the Titans moving forward.
6. Hue Jackson, Raiders
Hue Jackson will be replacing Tom Cable as the Raiders head coach for the 2011 season, even though Cable seemed to have turned around the Raiders franchise.
Oakland finished 2010 off with an 8-8 record under Cable, their first time in seven years to finish without a losing record. Unfortunately for Cable, this did not impress Al Davis enough, and he was given the pink slip.
Jackson may actually be a great hire, as he lead the Raiders second best rushing attack in the league as the offensive coordinator.
Jackson also has experience being a quarterbacks coach and will be able to sort out the Raiders quarterback problems moving forward. The Raiders have had not had a consistent quarterback since the days of Rich Gannon.
5 Leslie Frazier, Vikings
Frazier is the official new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, after being named interim coach halfway through the 2010 season, replacing Brad Childress.
Frazier finished off the season as the Vikings head coach with a 3-3 record, after the team started off 3-7 under Childress.
Frazier was the defensive coordinator prior to being named head coach and led a defense that ranked near the top of the league in many statistical categories for a few years now.
Frazier obviously brings a defensive mind to a franchise that at one point was one of the best offensive teams in the league.
Frazier has already gotten over the head-coach jitters and will be expected to succeed right away moving forward.
4 Pat Shurmur, Browns
Pat Shurmur is replacing Eric Mangini as the Cleveland Browns head coach after Mangini coached the Browns to back-to-back 5-11 seasons.
Shurmur comes over from the St. Louis Rams, where he was the offensive coordinator.
Shurmur was a big part in the turnaround for the Rams last year and of the development of Sam Bradford.
The Browns have a young future quarterback of their own in Colt McCoy, and Shurmur will look to have the same success with McCoy as he did with Bradford.
The Browns showed some bright spots last season, and if Shurmur can build on this, then he should be able to last as the head coach longer than Eric Mangini did.
3. Ron Rivera, Panthers
Ron Rivera is replacing John Fox as the Carolina Panthers new head coach, after Fox coached the Panthers to a 2-14 record last season.
Rivera is one of the best defensive coaches in the league and has coached very successful units in Chicago and San Diego.
Rivera's Chargers defense lead the league in yards allowed last year, but were not able to make the playoffs.
The Panthers have the first pick in this spring's upcoming draft, and Rivera has many options of who to use it on.
Rivera may have a year to turn things around before Carolina fans will start expecting results, but his proven track record makes this hire seem very logical.
2. Jason Garrett, Cowboys
Jason Garrett replaced Wade Phillips midway through the 2010 season, after the Cowboys were off to a 1-7 start. Garrett was relatively successful, posting a 5-3 record over the last eight games and earned the official designation as the Cowboys head coach in 2011.
Garrett had been the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys since 2007 and turned down multiple other head-coaching jobs to stay with the Cowboys.
Garrett has a no-nonsense style of coaching and had the Cowboys players practicing in full pads when he took over midway through the season.
With the addition of both Rob Ryan and Jason Garrett, the Cowboys staff is looking much improved for the 2011 season.
1. Jim Harbaugh, 49ers
Jim Harbaugh replaces Mike Singletary in San Francisco, after Singletary coached the 49ers to a 18-22 record.
Harbaugh has been very successful in the college rankings the past few years and led Stanford University from a program that had five losing seasons in a row to a crushing Orange Bowl victory this year.
An ex-quarterback himself, Harbaugh is considered to be great at developing quarterbacks and is believed to be a lot of the reason behind Andrew Luck's success. The 49ers may look for a quarterback in the draft this year, and Harbaugh will use this as an opportunity to shape the young man into a superstar.
Jim's brother John Harbaugh has had success as the Baltimore Ravens head coach, and Jim will look to duplicate that on the West Coast.
Harbaugh is a great hire for the 49ers program and will give them the stability that they have been missing since the Steve Young days.