NFL insider notes: Darkish-horse teaching candidates embrace present NFL QB, CFL mainstays and extra


Black Monday is sort of upon us. After all, when an eighth of the league fires its coach and/or normal supervisor in season, the ultimate day of the common season carries rather less intrigue as to the place modifications shall be made.

A number of extra homeowners will be part of the fray, undoubtedly, with the Jets and Jaguars certain to be out there for brand spanking new coaches, alongside the Lions, Texans and Falcons. They might not be the one ones, with the Bears and Chargers among the many most-talked-about conditions within the league. Whatever the variety of openings, most of those searches will journey the identical roads, characteristic the identical candidates after which find yourself with pretty predictable outcomes.

There would be the regular connections — who was your daddy or uncle or who’s your agent and who else does she or he symbolize — that lead the identical ol’ outcomes. And this traditionally inefficient course of will seemingly stay because it normally is — extra misses than hits, the identical groups looking for new leaders each two to 5 years, listening to the identical voices and search corporations and outdoors consultants as earlier than.

Normally, progressive thought of these hires is saved to a minimal. No means strays too removed from the acquainted path — the new coordinator or the previous head coach now within the broadcast sales space or the rising faculty man with a high-octane offense that may simply work within the execs … but in addition may be a tragic gimmick. There’s all the time the prospect, in fact, that a couple of homeowners pivot and stay open to one thing daring and distinctive and possibly a bit on the market.

Therefore this checklist.

That is nothing towards guys like Payments coordinator Brian Daboll, Rams coordinator Brandon Staley, Colts coordinator Matt Eberflus, former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, 49ers coordinator Robert Saleh, former Lions coach Jim Caldwell, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, Titans coordinator Arthur Smith and former Ohio State coach City Meyer, all of whom have acquired loads of protection and can comprise a bulk of the expertise pool as these interviews are lined up.

However I’m trying extra for names that are not being talked about — not less than publicly — or aren’t even being thought-about, by and huge, due to groupthink and all the standard suspects and all the standard processes. However let’s be actual — soccer is being performed throughout this nation, profitable coaches abound in any respect ranges and this isn’t rocket science. It is about management, mind, communication expertise, organizational expertise, dedication, work ethic and the flexibility to delegate.

So, for anybody on the market who’s prepared to go exterior the field, after speaking to soccer individuals I belief and giving it some thought — and making an attempt to take a look at this hiring cycle from a distinct perspective — listed here are some candidates I would wish to not less than possibly attain out to if I used to be on the lookout for an NFL head coach.

Orlondo Steinauer, head coach, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Some I do know very nicely with deep CFL ties, whose acumen I belief past reproach, inform me that is an affect NFL coach within the making. Steinauer, 47, is a grasp tactician as a defensive coordinator who has a novel potential to bond and join with gamers. Has been teaching in CFL since 2010, grew to become a head coach in 2019 and lately signed a contract extension … however NFL groups ought to examine. “Everybody who has ever labored with him completely raves about him,” stated one longtime CFL exec. “He ought to be within the NFL already.” Steinauer spent one 12 months with Fresno State, working the protection, in 2016, and had a right away affect however his household longed to return to Canada. Additionally an entrepreneur and accomplice in a logistics agency. Sensible cookie.

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Scott Milanovich, head coach, Edmonton Soccer Group

A soccer lifer who performed and coached in each league you may think about. A former QB who’s a grasp developer of QBs, all through his travels. “He is most likely developed 80% of the higher quarterbacks within the CFL, and he retains spinning off offensive coordinators for different groups, too,” the CFL supply stated. Hmm. Growing workers and a very powerful place within the sport. The NFL retains going extra towards the CFL unfold recreation and schemes, with second down now a throwing down (and first down, too). Spent 2017-2019 as Jacksonville’s QB coach (with not a lot to work with). Simply 47, he has been teaching since 2003.

Chris Jones, senior defensive assistant, Browns

Jones, 53, had an impressive tenure as a CFL head coach in a number of spots, together with successful coach of the 12 months honors. A number of groups have been coveting him to affix their defensive workers a couple of years in the past, and the Browns employed him as a defensive assistant in 2019. Had success because the coach and GM in Saskatchewan for 3 years and gained 4 Gray Cups. Jones has an unlimited background in analytics and, with new coach Kevin Stefanski dropped at Cleveland in 2020, Jones shifted to a entrance workplace function, scouting and incomes much more invaluable expertise on all facets of the soccer enterprise.  

Josh McCown, quarterback, Texans

Hear me out. Baseball and basketball and hockey have had participant/coaches. Different sports activities rent males proper off the playoff area. And I do know McCown nonetheless has a 12 months left on his enjoying contract. However he has seen the sport from each angle and he has been beloved in all places he has gone as a soccer junkie who has a chic potential to attach with individuals. He’s a pure trainer who is aware of the QB place inside out. He has solely coached highschool thus far, however nobody is extra in contact with how guys play and take into consideration this recreation. He is aware of easy methods to consider coaches. He is aware of expertise. It is solely a matter of time earlier than this occurs. On the very least I would wish to search permission to select his mind.

Dave Toub, particular groups coordinator, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

The one coordinator on Andy Reid’s workers who will get no run in any respect, regardless of having a stellar pedigree. With the Giants hiring Pats particular groups coach Joe Choose a 12 months in the past, possibly somebody will give a severe take a look at Toub, who has extra expertise and a deeper data of the sport. Dudes are all about enjoying for him. Bought a couple of sniffs a couple of years in the past, however deserving of extra.

Jay Norvell, head coach, Nevada

Norvell, 57, has quite a lot of the identical traits as Matt Rhule, who’s being lauded for his work leaping from Baylor to Carolina. Can construct a program in a non-traditional spot. A former defensive participant who has coached all positions on offense and understands the fashionable offensive recreation, who has influenced by guys like Hayden Fry, Bob Stoops and Jim Mora. Understands the professional recreation from time teaching with Colts and Raiders. Huge play calling expertise and an analytical thinker who is aware of easy methods to handle the sport.

Lance Leipold, head coach, College of Buffalo 

A former Division III QB who is aware of the sport inside out. Dominated the Division III degree as head coach at College of Wisconsin-Whitewater, successful nationwide titles in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, alongside ending runner up in 2008. Is aware of a bit one thing about constructing a successful tradition (109-6 at Wisconsin-Whitewater earlier than going to Buffalo in 2015). Has gone 37-33 within the MAC at not precisely a soccer energy. Leipold, 56, has been teaching since his faculty enjoying profession led to 1987. He’s 24-10 within the final three years and completed in first place once more in 2020 (17-4 in convention the final three years).

Ken Niumatalolo, head coach, Navy

May the triple choice work within the NFL? Have you ever seen what the Ravens have been doing on the bottom the final 4 weeks? He does nothing however win beneath difficult circumstances with a expertise imbalance most weeks. Super chief and program builder. NFL groups have been learning his stuff for a number of years now. The previous QB, 55, is the winningest coach in Navy historical past with a report of 101-67. 

Matt Canada, QB coach, Steelers

Has served as a coordinator or QB coach since 1987, with 20 years of teaching expertise within the faculty recreation earlier than making the leap to the NFL. He took over a Maryland program mired in turmoil and controversy after the loss of life of a participant in follow, being named interim head coach after head coach DJ Durkin was fired amid intense scrutiny. Canada, 48, dealt with the scenario with aplomb and rapidly earned a robust fame with the Steelers for his immediate reference to Ben Roethlisberger and the concepts and ideas he introduced. Sure, Pittsburgh’s offense constricted within the second half, with Roethlisberger struggling, however Canada is not the play caller and he is not calling the photographs. Surprise how a lot various things may look if he have been. Too many sensible individuals on this enterprise I belief have been impressed by his work and imagine he may run his personal staff now.



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