Coaching Carousel: Ranking Remaining Offensive Coordinator Openings
Bill O’Brien kicked off the offensive coordinator hirings as he’s heading back to New England to be the offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick. He’ll work directly with Mac Jones after the Patriots decided not to appoint an offensive coordinator for Jones’s critical second year. Jones will greatly benefit and needs to no longer have defensively-minded Matt Patricia calling plays.
The New York Jets scooped up Nathaniel Hackett to lead their offense on Thursday after an underwhelming second year from Zach Wilson. Out of respect for the Jets, we’ll ignore the ineptitude Hackett displayed when at the helm of the Broncos last season. It speaks for itself. Hackett comes in with years of experience working with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, experience the Jets need to salvage something from Wilson.
Six openings remain, with interviews ramping up and hirings soon. Here’s how we rank the remaining jobs on the market.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
Did we expect any other team to be number one? The opportunity to work with Justin Herbert plus Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams is something coaches dream about. The talent speaks for itself, and the opportunity to be the play caller of this offense is there, with Brandon Staley delegating that role. This has been a sought-after position in the interview mill, with this opening atop everyone’s list.2. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ 2022 campaign to defend their Super Bowl title was more than disappointing. They went all in, so they’ll be looking to run it back with their championship core assuming injuries don’t derail it. A fully healthy Matthew Stafford still has gas in the tank, and Cooper Kupp, when healthy, can be considered the most productive receiver in football. Getting to coach under Sean McVay is an added bonus, as he’s shown to turn his coordinators into future head coaches.3. Baltimore Ravens
We’ll have to assume Lamar Jackson is back next year for this ranking, if not, the Ravens are dead last on this list. All the potential is there, and the possibilities are vast given Lamar’s legs, but adding some talent is necessary going forward. Nonetheless, having Mark Andrews and a strong rushing attack helps, but Lamar makes this job appealing. Without him, there’s little to get excited about.4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The fallout of Byron Leftwich as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator is remarkable. A year ago, he appeared to be the front-runner for the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching gig but tried to get the GM fired before he was hired and has now managed to coach his way out of his coordinator position. Looking forward to the 2023 season, it’s hard to make something out of this offense without quarterback clarity. Tom Brady’s status is up and the air, and there is no one waiting in the wings to step in. A Jimmy Garoppolo type of acquisition would feel necessary if Brady departs. This offense had the worst rushing attack in the league but still possesses the potential for a strong passing game led by Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. There is value in this position, but it would take a lot of trust in the front office to retool this offense only two years removed from a championship.5. Washington Commanders
Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to work with Sam Howell or Taylor Heinicke? Ain’t that the dream! Jokes aside, minus Terry McLaurin, there isn’t much to get excited about here. Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson are solid backs but replaceable. Same with Curtis Samuel and company. It doesn’t appear many talent overhauls are forthcoming, so whoever lands this gig will be looking to run it back without much help.6. Tennessee Titans
Heading into the 2022 season, the hope was for Ryan Tannehill to buy the Titans a year before Malik Willis could take the reigns. That hope was far-fetched, as Willis’s appearances this year validated all speculation about why he dropped to the third round. He looked dreadful. Tannehill has never been something special, and there isn’t really anything to write home about in this offense with anyone not named Derrick Henry. It isn’t that hard to call Henry inside zones 30 times per game, so give me a call, Mike Vrabel!