Jim Mora Jr., Jim Caldwell, and likely Jason Garrett all should be sleeping easy tonight. These three men all know one thing – they are on the verge of becoming an NFL head coach. Welcome to the newest NFL trend – promise an assistant head coach on your staff the job of being your next head coach – next season. It’s an odd trend, and one that I don’t ever remember. For Mora and Caldwell, they both know that come 2009 they are the head man for the Seahawks and Colts, and for Garrett, it’s a no brainer that he will be the next Cowboys head coach, also likely as early as 09.
All three of these men are well qualified, and all three could have probably had head coaching jobs this season. Mora very well may have had the job in Washington, Caldwell probably would have gotten the Falcons job, and Garrett had the Ravens job if he wanted it. So it’s an interesting strategy on both sides – for the team, you keep your top assistant and promise them the role of the next big cheese, and for the coach, you get to see your mentor coach for one more season and then run the show yourself making the changes you want.
The wild part will be what if one of these owners suddenly decide that they want to go in a different direction. After all, Josh McDaniels of the Pats, Mike Singletary of the Niners, Ron Meeks of the Colts, and others will still be on the open market. And who knows what other hot assistants and college coaches may be ready to take the step to the head coaching spot? So while for the three franchises we’ve talked about, the future appears already decided. They had better hope that they are making the right decisions, since they now will have a whole year to live with them.