You know that joke we sports fans love to make whenever a team performs absolutely awful? Take [scapegoat of the game] and leave him on the tarmac! Don’t even let him on the plane! Leave him stranded in [location of his greatest failure]. The Eagles…actually did it?

Pretty much the day immediately after the Super Bowl in Arizona the coordinator of the Eagles defense, Jonathan Gannon, was announced to be interviewing for the Cardinals HC vacancy and after just one more day, got the job. He flew to Arizona as a super bowl hopeful, his defense shit the bed and was basically the reason the Chiefs managed their comeback, and then he gets abandoned in Arizona and gets the job there. I think that’s really funny. Now Gannon has to spend every day coaching the team that plays in the stadium his defense lost a super bowl in. You could say he’s gotten a head start on how to feel bad in Glendale.

Out of all the coaching moves this year, this one felt like the biggest mistake to many people. Usually, every year features a few laughers or questionable hires but this year seemed to actually be pretty solid overall, outside one notable exception. We’ll get to them. Let’s do our first impressions so we can look back on this post later and laugh about how right and wrong we were.

This, for obvious reasons, felt like the year’s biggest HC mistake. Gannon was a guy I saw Eagles fans whining about this year despite the Eagles success. The Cardinals pulled a Lions: watch the losing SB team lose horribly due to the direct failure of one specific unit, and then go “That’s our guy”. The Lions hired Patricia after watching his defense turn into a pile of mush against the Eagles in 2017. To be fair, this method has worked out: the 49ers hired Shanahan directly after watching him not run the ball in the greatest choke job in football history. Of course, the 49ers don’t have a ring to show for it yet, but Shanny is a good coach. I don’t know if Gannon is actually that bad of a hire. I would have expected an offensive HC considering the Kyler problem, but the Cardinals cleaned house and seemed genuinely interested in hiring young talent. Gannon hired Browns QB coach Drew Petzing as OC, so that’s to be determined. He poached the Eagles LB coach to be DC. Lots of young, unproven talent on this coaching roster, and that might make the Cardinals a very interesting team. It might also be a disaster. Lastly, Johnathan Gannon looks like PeeWee Herman, so from now on, that’s how I’m drawing him. GRADE: C

The big-name retread of the bunch. As far as retreads go, the Broncos could have done far worse. Payton wasn’t even fired from the Saints, he stepped down because lol at sticking around that mess without Drew Brees. I get it. Now he gets to work his magic with another notable short QB and try to unfuck whatever is wrong with Russell Wilson. That, or the Broncos sign Taysom Hill, and he gets to continue his love affair with the swiss army knife. Payton is a genuinely good offensive mind and even if Russ is well and truly cooked he should probably do better under Payton than Hackett. At the minimum, Payton has enough strong will to kick Russ in the ass. They also hired Vance Joseph back to be DC, which I think is a good move, and in a hilarious bit of trivia, hired former Giants QB Davis Webb as QB coach. You know, the 28th-year-old who didn’t throw a pass until week 18’s give-up game against the Eagles. Russ is not going to listen to a word he says. GRADE: B

From Reich to Steich, an Indianapolis story. Disappointing everyone who is not a Colts fan, Irsay made a decent hire instead of promoting Jeff Saturday. It’s amazing the circle of coaches in the NFL sometimes. The Colts hired Frank Reich from the Eagles. The Eagles took Nick Sirianni from that staff and made him coach. Now Sirianni has his own OC poached for the Colts HC job. Wild amounts of coaching incest, the Eagles and Colts are stepsiblings who keep getting caught in the dryer. Like Gannon, I’m not entirely sure what to expect here. I don’t know how much of the Eagles offensive success comes from Steichen. I didn’t even know his name prior to the playoffs, no broadcast ever seemed to talk about him. Both he and Gannon make me more curious to see what becomes of the Eagles next year rather than seeing what happens to the Cardinals or Colts. GRADE: B

The other retread, but I’m happy Reich got a new job because I think he did pretty well with a shit gig in Indianapolis. He got handed a different old, broken, or washed-up QB every year and somehow had to make it work, and kinda did. I think Reich is a good coach and if he gets the right staff around him and they draft a good prospect, things bode well for the Panthers. He poached a McVay staffer (Thomas Brown) to be OC. His biggest get, and maybe the sneaky best move of the offseason, was stealing Ejiro Evero from the Broncos. The Broncos defense last year was the one great thing about them, and now the architect is in Carolina. He even convinced Dom Capers to stop by and offer some help. The Carolina defense should be pretty good! The Panthers remind me of the Giants last year: a good hire who surrounded himself with a lot of other good hires. GRADE: A

Yeah, this is a good fit. While I wonder about the abilities of an SF coach considering the stacked roster in the bay has no produced two head coaches (and the first one hasn’t done anything special in New York), I can’t argue with this hire. He’s a local hero, he coordinated in SF very well, he’s young, and he’s getting the blank slate of New Texans after several years of crapping themselves. Doesn’t mean it’ll work out, but sometimes a fit just feels right. GRADE: A


Already did a comic on this, but Jets, what the fuck are you doing?

Over the past few years there’s been no greater example of the problem with minority coaching struggles than Bieniemy. Bieniemy has been the OC of the best offense in the league over the past 5 years, has won 2 rings, has spent years working with arguably the best offensive mind in football, and nobody wanted to hire him. Bieniemy has a few legit red flags (He had a few personal conduct issues in his past and many people still wonder how much of the offense is him vs Reid), but every new hire has red flags. Why does Bieniemy get the kind of scrutiny and second-guessing he does from teams for working under Andy Reid while guys like Gannon, or Steichen, or Kevin O’Connell, or any of the McVay acolytes, or Mike Kafka, Hackett, or all these other guys who get hired almost immediately? What has Gannon done to get a job as HC over Bieniemy? Mike Kafka of the Giants was in the running for the Cardinals HC job before losing out to Gannon. A guy who used to work under Bieniemy, with Patrick Mahomes, under Andy Reid, almost made it farther than Bieniemy did in one season as OC. A Chiefs team with Bieniemy has reached 3 Super Bowls in the past 4 years. The Eagles reached one super bowl, lost it, to those very Chiefs, and both young white coordinators get hired out. If it wasn’t for DeMeco Ryans, this year would have been another young white guy fest. I’m glad the league is finally trending out of old white guys and into younger talent, but it’s still pathetic that Bieniemy has to banish himself on a lateral move to the Commies just to try and prove he’s capable without Andy.

I’m sad he’s not the Texans HC, but hey, if the guy is suited for a gig, this is a fine one. If the Panthers QB sucks, we can point and laugh!

Both coaches were in the running for gigs and I would have been deeply saddened to see the best coaching staff I’ve seen in a decade get broken up immediately before the real work starts. I do hope Wink can one day get the HC job he desires, and Kafka will probably be another rising star if the offense continues to work next season. But I’m so glad we get to see them for one more year.

This was a mistake lmao, Schotty sucks

Moore got a lot of praise early on in his Cowboys tenure and I thought he was a solid OC overall. He parted ways (read: I don’t want to work here anymore) with the Boys after the terrible playoff loss and now gets to coach Justin Herbert, with a fraction of the national scrutiny. Good for him.

Yeah, that’s a damn good hire. Good job, Vikings. They might actually be legitimately good next year instead of a fluke.