Alrighty then. As of Thursday, February 1st, all the new head coaches are set. Some coordinator positions around the league have yet to be filled but we got our main guys, so lets pre-judge all of them.

This was genuinely one of the most interesting coaching carousels in recent memory. We had eight openings. Two legendary long-term coaches were relieved of their duties. We had one of the hottest candidates simply go “nah” and stay where he is. We have 3 new coaches of color, a major upgrade over previous cycles. Two of those coaches are newbies. Most notably, after so many years of picking young 30-something white offensive nerdy twinks who personally knew Shanahan or McVay, we had a defense-heavy hiring cycle! Don’t worry though, we still had a few 30-something nerdy white twinks. One of them is defensive though! I know these guys aren’t really twinks but to me a football coach will always look like a 50 something grumpy overweight guy who yells a lot. Just how I grew up. This wave of skinny, fit dudes in their mid-thirties is very weird to me. I don’t like it. I like my coaches grumpy and fat, older and wrinkly. To me Doug Pederson is the platonic ideal of what a football coach looks like.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – Jim Harbaugh (Grade: A+)
Harbaugh was the golden goose of the hiring cycle. A winner everywhere he’s gone. The recent national champion. Whoever managed to woo him was going to be the big winner of the year, and goddamn if the fucking CHARGERS finally did something right. They sold out to get the man everyone wanted. Harbaugh goes to a franchise that still has a good number of pieces in place, most notably the most important piece of all, a franchise QB. Look, time will tell on every single move made this year, but as things currently stand, it is impossible to view this as anything other than a massive win for the Chargers. I look forward to having the very angry khakis man go up against Andy Reid and Mahomes twice a year.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Mike Macdonald (Grade: A)
Macdonald was the defensive guru who replaced Wink Martindale in Baltimore and took the Ravens to new heights. He spent years under John Harbaugh, then spent a few seasons under Jim Harbaugh in Michigan, and then came back to John Harbaugh. He did great work in Baltimore and decided that since Brandon Staley was terrible, the world really needed a new 30-something nerdy white twink who specialized in defense. The Hawks are in an interesting place. They have a stopgap QB who could still possibly be more. Macdonald seems like a good hire all around but this is his first HC gig, so we’ll have to see.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Jerod Mayo (Grade: B)
Mayo has been quietly rumored as an heir apparent to Belichick for a while now, especially after Josh McDaniels left the second time. Mayo was always a very smart player and has been a great coach so far. He inherits a mess though. Bill the GM left this team in a bad state, but they will likely grab one of the top 3 QB prospects and are in a good state for a real refresh. It is impossible to ignore, however, the giant shoes he is filling. Bill is a legend. No matter who came next this job was going to come with severe expectations. Another question is how ready is Mayo for the gig. Before this he was only the linebackers coach, not even a defensive coordinator. He’s been in the building for a long time though and I generally trust that they wouldn’t have promoted him specifically if they didn’t like what they’ve seen from him internally.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS – Antonio Pierce (Grade: B)
After blowing off Rich Bisaccia’s excellent interim run to ruin everything with Josh McDaniels 2.0, Mark Davis learned his lesson. Pierce brought a clear identity back to the Raiders and his work with the defense was already stellar. He feels cut from the Dan Campbell mode of just sheer cool dude swag. The real challenge for Pierce will be finding an answer at QB (AoC was serviceable at best and I have doubts he ever reaches true starter material) and nailing the OC hire. As of an hour ago, they hired Kliff Kingsbury. I do not think he nailed the OC hire.

TENNESSEE TITANS – Brian Callahan (Grade: B)
I think firing Vrabel was a mistake in the first place but it seems like the Titans have been embroiled in front-office drama for a few years now as the old GM sold off all the good players and got fired for it and then Vrabel lost the power struggle with the new guy. Maybe the Tits just really needed a reset. Callahan comes in as this year’s big “who the hell is that” hire, a guy very few people speculated about before the hiring happened and I’d wager most of you reading this didn’t even know who he was. He was the Bengals offensive coordinator. He did some good work there and Bengals fans seem bummed to lose him. Outside the initial surprise, this hire doesn’t seem so bad. He also brought his dad along (Yay Nepotism). However, his dad is Bill Callahan, and he is a very good offensive line coach. Brian’s also almost 40 and just pudgy enough to dodge the nerdy twink label.

ATLANTA FALCONS – Raheem Morris (Grade: C)
After looking like the landing spot for Billy B the Falcons would very suddenly pivot and hire Raheem Morris. Another defensive guy who spent his recent seasons under McVay. But you might remember Raheem Morris as a failed coach in the early 2010s for the Tampa Bay Buccanneers during the Josh Freeman era. Remember Josh Freeman? Vikings fans unfortunately do. Morris, funnily enough, was also already the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons once before. He was the interim coach after they finally let Dan Quinn go. He must have made something of an impression on Arthur Blank to suddenly show up again. Morris was a bad HC a decade ago, but he’s been around for a while and players like him. He takes over a team with some talent in a very bad division. This might work out well enough if they find a QB.

Speaking of Dan Quinn! The Commies had arguably the most attractive HC job opening. New ownership looking to rebuild from scratch and likely to be patient, a high draft pick to claim a franchise QB, this finally looked like a good spot for a new coach to set down roots and build a franchise up. That coach was probably supposed to be 30-something nerdy twink Ben Johnson of Detroit. Johnson backed out of the coaching process and decided that Detroit was the best place to be (2024 is wild, man). Since the Commies were patiently waiting for him this job ended up being the last one available and it feels like Quinn is the last guy picked for Dodgeball. Well, nobody else, may as well pick you. Quinn is just a better Ron Rivera. He was a good coach for a time in Atlanta but was also the coach of 28-3 and then several more collapses. His defense in Dallas was effective, but as some people noticed, would get completely eviscerated by anyone using the Shanahan system. This is not an inspiring hire. I predict three years of 3-7 wins. Maybe one wildcard appearance where they get knocked out.

CAROLINA PANTHERS – Dave Canales (Grade: D)
To be fair to Canales, whoever the Panthers hired was automatically probably getting a bad grade. The Panthers job looks so indescribably toxic. A tiny QB who looks like a total bust. A broken offense. A meddling dipshit of an owner. Even Jim Harbaugh would have been a bad fit here (Harbaugh would have immediately punched Tepper in the face). Canales is a Pete Carroll guy who helped Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield have resurrections to their careers in the past two seasons. I can see the logic here. Bryce Young looks broken. Canales’ pitch to Tepper was probably just him saying “I can fix him”. I don’t know if he will. He’s only served as a coordinator for a single season thus far. Baker had a decent year last year but he wasn’t some big comeback story. Until further notice, the Panthers job seems terrible. Get your bag, Dave.

Bill Belichick – Upon first look this seems absurd. Upon further reflection, it makes more sense but is still surprising. Bill is still a good coach, but the coach is probably not what got him passed over. Bill the GM is terrible and is the entire reason Bill the coach was fired. Bill is old and stuck in his ways. Atlanta tried to court him (Which seemed like a weird spot for him tbh) and it appears his desire for more control cost him the job. I don’t know what to expect now. What is Billy gonna do all year? Will a team hire him next season or did Bill the GM just sink the man’s entire coaching life for good?

Mike Vrabel – Vrabel was a good coach in Tennessee. His firing was questionable. Normally when something like that happens another team swoops in and grabs the guy. I think Vrabel may have fallen victim to the same thing Bill did: desire for too much control. Vrabel will coach again but I doubt he takes a coordinator position this offseason and instead takes a year off.

Pete Carroll – You can probably state that Carroll wasn’t even available. He took an upstairs job in Seattle, very unexpectedly. I don’t know what’s going on there. Hopefully something more comes out.

Brian Flores – Flores was the best part of the Vikings this year, doing weird shit on defense nobody else was doing and gaining some HC talk again. But Flores has that lawsuit connected to him and despite probably deserving a new HC gig, He might need to wait a while before anyone gives him another chance, if they even do. I don’t think anyone even interviewed him.

Eric Bienemy – To be fair, last year the Commies offense was bad. I don’t know if Bienemy is entirely to blame for that. Sam Howell sucks. The offensive line sucks. Ron Rivera was a dead man walking the entire year. Bienemy bet on himself and left KC to pull a lateral move to try and make his case that he’s not just Andy Reid’s lackey. It did not pay off. Unless he works some magic elseware next year I think his window has closed.

Robert Saleh – You could make a very good case that Saleh and staff should have been jettisoned this year but I’m not surprised he wasn’t. Fair or not, Saleh’s fate is now tied to the Rodgers experiment. He showed he’s incapable of dealing with things when plan A goes up in flames but that injury bought him a mulligan. I would say that next year, If Rodgers and Saleh don’t at minimum make the divisional round, his ass is grass. Not even grass, but that shitty Metlife turf.

Brian Daboll – Year one was a wonder and bought Daboll a lot of goodwill he would then use up entirely in year 2. The Giants floundered about like dead fish for most of the season and showed no real improvement. He got in a feud with Wink. Daboll needs to right the ship next year and at least seem functional again or I think he’s gone.

Dennis Allen – Should have been fired already, kind of a joke he’s even still employed.

Nick Sirianni – Lots of people called for his head after the Eagles collapse but he was never getting fired. Playoffs all 3 seasons? A SB appearance? No coach gets fired for that. But he used up all his charm and seemed exposed this season, and his leash is now very, very short.

Mike McCarthy – I think Mike has actually done a pretty decent job in Dallas, but the inability to make headway in the playoffs will haunt him. Jerruh will not tolerate another wildcard failure.

Matt Eberflus – I’m shocked he still has a job but the Bears started playing real football after the Montez Sweat acquisition. Probably saved his job. The Bears are in such a wild position right now and we will watch their future with great interest. I cannot wait to see them suck next year and waste either Justin Field or the first season of Caleb Williams and then see Eberflus fired.

Doug Pederson – I think Doug is mostly safe but the collapse this year probably at least stuck his seat in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm up.