NFL Predictions: Who Will Be Coaching Every NFL Team in 2013
Predicting what will happen this year is one thing. Envisioning what will occur two years from now is a little more difficult…and a lot more fun.
The NFL coaching fraternity has its share of men who are young and set to be with their team for the foreseeable future, while there are others whose days are numbered.
We’re going to play Miss Cleo and try to forecast who will be the head coach for each team come the 2013 season.
Arizona Cardinals: Ken Wisenhunt
The Kevin Kolb experiment should work well enough to give Wisenhunt some years of life in the desert. When you add that with the fact that he took a once-moribund franchise to its first Super Bowl, he deserves time to get things turned around.
Atlanta Falcons: Mike Smith
With Matt Ryan as his quarterback, Roddy White as his lead wide receiver and an emerging defense, it would be crazy for Smith to either be let go or leave his post as head coach of the talented Falcons. Once an unknown when he took this position, Smith has an impressive record of 48-33.
Baltimore Ravens: John Harbaugh
Three seasons. Three playoff appearances. More postseason berths—and maybe a Super Bowl—are likely to come in Baltimore.
Buffalo Bills: Darren Perry
Chan Gailey will be out either this year or next, considering the paucity of talent he has at his disposal. It’s not an attractive spot for one of the many title-holding free agent coaches, so it’s a perfect spot for an eager and winning assistant. Current Green Bay Packers safeties coach Darren Perry can help give the Bills a defensive identity that they badly need.
Carolina Panthers: Ron Rivera
The 2011 season will be Rivera’s first as a head coach. That, plus having a rookie quarterback in Cam Newton gives good reason for the Panthers to give this plan at least three years to see if it will materialize.
Chicago Bears: Greg Olson
Despite having made the NFC Championship Game in 2010, Lovie Smith’s time will run out in a year or two due to poor offensive line play. Tampa Bay offensive coordinator may be able to better solve that and help out quarterback Jay Cutler—provided he’s the QB in the Windy City.
Cincinnati Bengals: Mike Zimmer
Here’s one guarantee: Marvin Lewis won’t be manning the sidelines for the Bengals come 2012, much less 2013. Zimmer is a defensive coordinator that is long overdue a head coaching gig.
Cleveland Browns: Pat Shurmur
President Mike Holmgren will give his new head coach plenty of time to build a Browns team that has potential. Shurmur won’t be going anywhere different in the near future.
Dallas Cowboys: Jason Garrett
There was once a point when owner Jerry Jones was plotting to land a big, flashy name as the coach to replace Wade Phillips. While Garrett, right now, doesn’t have the notoriety of a Cowher or a Gruden, he has a team that has the capabilities to reach the playoffs soon.
Denver Broncos: John Fox
Provided he gets his quarterback situation right, Fox has built a reputation and a solid winning percentage (.625) that will give him a much longer leash than previous head coach Josh McDaniels.
Detroit Lions: Jim Schwartz
Many are already giving praise to Schwartz for helping mold a talented nucleus in Detroit. The main players on the Lions (Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh) should provide the Motor City something they haven't witnessed in more than a decade—a winning football team.
Green Bay Packers: Mike McCarthy
He just won the Super Bowl. And with it, he won plenty of time to remain the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he won another title before the calendar hits 2013.
Houston Texans: Gary Kubiak
He could very well be gone by this season’s conclusion. That would be especially true if the Texans fail to reach the postseason again. But here’s saying that Houston will give the franchise a first postseason berth and its coach a few more years to man their sidelines.
Indianapolis Colts: Jim Caldwell
As long as Peyton Manning is the starting quarterback, the chances of the Colts winning at least 10 games in the regular season are very high. Caldwell is probably the most understated head coach in the NFL and will continue Indy’s consistency into at least the next two years.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Dirk Koetter
Jack Del Rio’s days are numbered, and his slot will be filled by his offensive coordinator. Koetter spent six years as the head coach at Arizona State and made a strong impression while interviewing with the Broncos last offseason.
Kansas City Chiefs: Todd Haley
It took two years for Haley to take a struggling Chiefs team and make them into a playoff club. It shouldn’t take long for another postseason appearance and an extension of his contract to keep Haley in Kansas City.
Miami Dolphins: Jon Gruden
Gruden has been a rising star in the Monday Night Football booth, but there’s no question he’d like to be a head coach again. There have been many teams that have vied for his services. Miami will be the landing spot for this Super Bowl-winning coach.
Minnesota Vikings: Leslie Frazier
The interim tag has been removed and his title as head coach of the Vikings will stay for at least two more seasons. Current QB Donovan McNabb, though, may not be his starter then—which may mean a growing-up phase for young Christian Ponder.
New England Patriots: Bill Belichick
Barring any sort of retirement, it’s hard to believe Belichick will still be wearing a Pats hoodie at least two years from now.
New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton
Quite clearly, Payton is the best of the young coaches in the NFL. His successes in New Orleans have bought him years of staying power.
New York Giants: Perry Fewell
The walking papers for Tom Coughlin have already been drafted, and the wait is for one more missed postseason for the Giants front office to give the heave ho. The ideal replacement is right under their nose. Defensive coordinator Fewell served as the Bills’ interim coach in 2009 and was interviewed by four teams last winter.
New York Jets: Rex Ryan
His off-the-field act may be getting stale, but his motivate and get along with his players is a refreshing quality that will continue to earn the praises of management and Jets fans.
Oakland Raiders: Rob Ryan
Al Davis changes coaches as quickly as he changes socks, so first-year head coach Hue Jackson shouldn’t get comfortable with his current job. It’s hard to think of anyone that better fits the Raiders image that the brother of Rex and the son of Buddy.
Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid
Philly fans have long wanted Reid gone. But they forget that Reid is the winningest coach in franchise history. With a little luck, he’ll have a ring on his finger soon.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Tomlin
This is a franchise that has had just three head coaches since 1970. Nothing is likely to change for a while.
San Diego Chargers: Kirk Ferentz
Another missed opportunity to bring a talented team into championship contention will mean the end of the line for Norv Turner. The opening will be filled by a college head coach that has long been on the market and has made Iowa a team that consistently overachieves.
San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh
The first goal for this new head coach of the 49ers is to settle his quarterback situation. If that is accomplished soon, he’ll last in the Bay Area.
Seattle Seahawks: Brian Schottenheimer
Pete Carroll could easily have a longer leash that I expect, but any more struggles with the offense may make Seahawks management want to bring in a head coach that can alleviate those issues. Schottenheimer has turned down many opportunities, but he’ll take this one.
St. Louis Rams: Steve Spagnuolo
Sam Bradford has grown significantly in his two seasons behind center and could bring the Rams to the top of the NFC West standings in 2011. Spagnuolo should get a lion’s share of the credit for helping bring respectability back to St. Louis.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Raheem Morris
Morris has another one of the best young QBs in the business in Josh Freeman. That alone gives Morris plenty of time to get the Bucs back to the playoffs—an achievement they nearly reached in 2010.
Tennessee Titans: Mike Munchak
It’s hard to believe they would give less than three years to a man who is getting his first head coaching gig. It’ll be less likely that Munchak will lose this job if running back Chris Johnson remains on the roster.
Washington Redskins: Russ Grimm
Mike Shanahan’s act will wear thin with fans and, more importantly, the owner. Who better to replace him and to try to revive the glory days than one of the best assistant coaches and one of the best Redskins from their era of three Super Bowl titles?