The 2022 NFL regular season is over, and everyone’s eyes are now focused on the Wildcard round matchups in the playoffs or the 2023 NFL Draft.
However, if you’re a fan of one of the five teams which currently don’t have a head coach, you know your team has a lot of work to do before you can enjoy either of those things.
Since the beginning of the season, the Panthers (Matt Rhule), Colts (Frank Reich), Broncos (Nathaniel Hackett), Texans (Lovie Smith) and Cardinals (Kliff Kingsbury) have fired their coaches. And while Carolina, Indianapolis and Denver have had interim head coaches, there’s no indication yet if any those coaches will remain with the team as of yet. So let’s take a look at the top three currents openings in the NFL.
The hardest thing to do in the NFL is finding a young franchise quarterback and then locking him up long-term. The Cardinals have exactly that in Kyler Murray, which gives them the edge over the other four openings in the league.
NFL Coach News
Get all of the latest info, photos, and social media news surrounding NFL Coaches.
While Murray is coming off a serious season-ending injury, the good news is they actually have a young single-caller, allowing a new coach to come in and focus on the other weakness on the team.
The Cardinals are stuck on a very difficult division. The 49ers, the Seahawks and possibly the Rams if Sean McVay returns and they get healthy, are all tough teams to compete against. On the plus side, if their next coach can get Murray back on track to his 2021-MVP like level, he’ll have a mega-talent at the most important position on the team.
Arizona has enough studs on the team to build on, in Hollywood Brown, DeAndre Hopkins (if he remains with the team), Budda Baker, James Conner, Zach Ertz and Marco Wilson.
If they could land a strong minded defensive coach to keep the scoring down in games, it should allow Kyler Murray and the offense time to grow together. Someone like 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans or Cowboys DC Dan Quinn fit the billing.
The Panthers advantage is simply that they play on possibly the weakest division in football in the NFC South. A division that should get even weaker if Tom Brady leaves the Buccaneers next season, as he’s expected to do by either retiring or joining a new team.
The Panthers are actually loaded with talent, if you can believe it, in most positions other than quarterback at least. They have a couple of stud running backs in D’Oanta Foreman and Chubba Hubbard, while they’re not elite players, they formed a powerful rushing attack in the second half of the 2022 season. The team also have a top Cornerback in Jaycee Horn, top Safety in Jeremy Chinn, top Pass-Rusher in Brian Burns, top Wide Receiver in DJ Moore, top Defensive Tackle in Derrick Brown, and more.
The problem with the team the past several years has been no solid quarterback play, despite trading for former top three picks such as Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield, both have continued the struggles that ended their careers on the Jets and Browns.
The team needs a good “CEO” type of head coach that can manage all the talent on the roster and have a plan for the offense. Former Saints coach Sean Payton makes the most sense, he has a proven track record of success, a Super Bowl ring, and should have plenty of energy after sitting out this past season.
The Broncos were the most disappointing team in the NFL this season, and it wasn’t particularly close.
Denver thought they loaded up in the offseason after adding to an already talented roster by trading for Seahawks franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. They traded multiple draft picks, starting players and gave Wilson a new contact worth around $250 million. The results however couldn’t have been worse, as the Broncos finished 32nd in the league in points per game.
While the team finished last in their division, they still had a top defensive unit that kept them in games by holding the scoring down each week, that is something that can entice a top coaching candidate.
Denver needs a strong offensive mind to take control of the offense and bring Russell Wilson back to life, if possible. Lions OC Ben Johnson or Seahawks OC Shane Waldron could be perfect for the spot.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.