Updated: Jan 26
Sam: Dan Quinn
I think the Broncos need a veteran head coach in this cycle. Regardless of whether or not Russell Wilson gets back on track, they have a veteran locker room and will need to compete in a division with high scoring offenses like the Chiefs and Chargers. Quinn’s time as the head coach of the Falcons and defensive coordinator with the surging Cowboys would address both of those topics and he’d likely bring in an experienced staff to get the most out of Russ.
Cat (Gato): Dan Quinn
I'm going to agree with Sam here. Quinn seems like the best equipped to take over in Denver. What he's done with the Cowboys defense has been impressive and he's no stranger to assembling a staff that can guide a powerful offense like the one he had in Atlanta. One thing to keep in mind is would he stay in Dallas to wait out Mike McCarthy? Jerry Jones always seems to have his guys, and multiple options, like offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Is Moore a head coach in waiting? Is Quinn?
Cat: Mike Kafka
The job he's done with the Giants offense, specifically with Daniel Jones, has been admirable. Jones, nicknamed Danny Dimes, has had his second moniker used sarcastically recently but has had a great bounce-back year. If Kafka can cure what had ailed Jones following his rookie season, he should be able to guide whomever the Colts take in the draft.
Sam: DeMeco Ryans
The Colts will pour a number of resources into finding their next franchise quarterback, whether they stay at No. 4 overall in the draft or trade up. What’s not getting talked about enough is the substantial drop-off in performance by their front seven and overall defense in 2022. Enter DeMeco Ryans, who would bring one of the more innovative defensive schemes in the NFL and a renewed sense of toughness to the Colts as they try to take control of the AFC South.
Cat: Sean Payton
Does it make too much sense? The biggest problem with joining the Texans is not having a quarterback, but Payton will have all he needs to acquire a really good one. He'd have an easy division to contend with and if he's really as good as we think, the rebuild wouldn't take long. I don't think he'd want to be tied with Russell Wilson in Denver or have an overreaching front office in Indy. Arizona might be a decent fit, but there are questions around Kyler Murray. The Panthers don't have as many draft picks so I think if Payton does return, he'd do well to join the team that gives him the most leeway and the most assets.
Sam: Shane Steichen
Sean Payton is the fun pick. Jonathan Gannon will likely be the pick. But Shane Steichen is who I would like to see Houston end up with as they build around a rookie QB. He’s called plays for the likes of Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts so there’s a bit of diversity in his play calling and the way he develops QBs. He’s thrived with the Eagles as an offensive coordinator and given them one of the most balanced and explosive offenses in the NFL.
Cat: Shane Steichen
He's done a great job with Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense. Steichen would have to wait for Kyler Murray to fully heal before he gets to mold the talented, young QB. If he does become the Cardinals' next coach he'll have good pieces to play with. Steichen could unleash the full potential of Murray, who could probably benefit from some called runs rather than waiting for a play to break down before using his wheels. Murray's smaller than Hurts, but he's similarly skilled and it would be interesting to see how far Steichen could take him.
Sam: Mike Kafka
A little off the radar here for the Cardinals, but Andy Reid and Brian Daboll have each credited Mike Kafka’s offensive mind. The former quarterback spent time learning from the
Mahomes/Reid combo before going to be the offensive coordinator for a Giants team led by a resurgent Daniel Jones. Kyler Murray may have to sit out for part of 2023, but Kafka should be able to build an offense that makes things easier for him moving forward.
Sam: Shane Steichen
Going to reuse Steichen here for many of the same reasons why he was my Texans pick, but I really want the Panthers to go for either of the two extremes. Sign a high-priced veteran to this solid roster so they can take the reins of the NFC South for a couple years. Or start from scratch in the draft with the ninth overall pick for a tools-y quarterback like Will Levis or Anthony Richardson. Steichen’s history matches well for either outcome.
Cat: Frank Reich
Reich, known as the man who led the biggest comeback in postseason history, is looking to get back on top of a coaching staff after being dismissed by the Colts in the middle of the 2022 season. While he had that historic playoff comeback win as a Bill, over the Houston Oilers, he did actually play for the Panthers in their first season. A return to the franchise could help stabilize a squad that never had a real option at quarterback and had a fledgling college coach, who got fired after five games in 2022. Reich will have a defense with some nice pieces and an offense that finished as a top-10 rushing team thanks to D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard.