We grade and rank the new coaching hires


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been running through the coaching hires and evaluating them as best as I can. When offering grades like that, you want to judge the entire staff as a whole to see how the unit may complement each other.

Some caveats on this exercise:

— Obviously, I’m not a coaching expert or an NFL insider, so it’s difficult for me to really judge the merits of some obscure LB coach may be. I tried my best, but I realize it’s amateur work.

— Assigning the “grades” may be crude science as well, but I would encourage you to read the long form write-ups (in the links) to understand the logic behind each, more so than the letter grade itself.

— You won’t find too many “hot takes” here. Having rankings may suggest more polarized results than these turned out to be. Largely, these coaching hires were all lumped together in my mind with narrow spreads between them. It’s rare that teams hire an absolute dolt for a head coach, so you’ll tend to see mostly quality picks. Ranking them can sometimes be splitting hairs.

So with all that in mind, here would be my final grades for these hires.

(1) Chicago Bears

Head coach grade: A. total staff gradeA –

Rising star Matt Nagy had been my # 1 coaching candidate, and the pair with veteran Vic Fangio is exactly what you want in a coaching combo.

(2) Oakland Raiders

Head coach grade: A – total staff gradeB+

We can quibble about whether Jon Gruden was a great coach or not, but he was definitely the biggest fish to get lured in.

(3) Tennessee Titans

Head coach grade: B – total staff gradeB+

Untested Mike Vrabel actually earned my lowest head coaching mark, but he’s buoyed by some of the best coordinator hires.

(4) New York Giants

Head coach grade: B/B+ total staff gradeB/B+

Pat Shurmur and DC James Bettcher represent a solid, experienced staff, albeit one without a lot of excitement.

(4) Arizona Cardinals

Head coach grade: B total staff gradeB

Although it didn’t work out for Denver last year, I still like the logic of pairing a rookie defensive coach with a veteran OC like Mike McCoy.

(5) Detroit Lions

Head coach grade: B total staff gradeB

The Lions will definitely be Matt Patricia’s show next season; determining whether that’s good or not will always be difficult until we see him out of Bill Belichick’s shadow.

(6) Indianapolis Colts

Head coach grade: B total staff gradeB –

The Colts scrambled to pull off a decent staff, but it’s the least experienced in the league.


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