With the success of rookie coaches around the league in 2008, you know that it’s not going to take much for owners to look out there and make quicker moves this offseason and try to grab the next hot assistant to come aboard and change around their teams problems. The teams that very well could be looking for a new head coach in just over a month are as follows:
San Francisco 49’ers
Seattle Seahawks (even though they say Jim Mora Jr. will take over)
And of course there is always a surprise firing or coach that simply decides he’s had enough and walks away. With that, here is a list of coaches that are currently assistants that very well could get hard looks this offseason and could be head coaches by opening day 2009.
Steve Spagnuolo: Defensive Coordinator New York Giants – This one could be the slam dunk of the offseason. Don’t forget he turned down the Redskins down last offseason. This soon to be 49-year old will be the apple of a lot of owners eyes to come aboard. He’s already the highest paid coordinator in the league, and soon enough he’ll be a head coach somewhere.
Jim Schwartz: Defensive Coordinator Tennessee Titans – He’s been the man behind the Titans D for the past six seasons, and has done an excellent job with a team that has taken some free agent losses yet still usually has their defense at or near the top of the rankings. He was runner-up to Mike Nolan for the 9’ers job in 05, and last season did talk to the Skins, Dolphins and Falcons. He’ll be back on a lot of teams’ lists this offseason.
Mike Mularkey: Offensive Coordinator Atlanta Falcons – This former tight end would be a retread, but at the same time, he’s proven his worth with the young Falcons this season that he deserves another shot. He did have some success in Buffalo before he and Marv Levy clashed and he quit. Given the right situation, Mularkey would do well and again should get some looks this offseason.
Rex Ryan: Defensive Coordinator Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens D is at or near the top of the rankings year in and year out, and Ryan is a big reason why. Ryan is great with players, and should be given a lot more consideration than he’s been given over the years. At 46 at the start of next season, he can be the top man of any franchise, and may very well get a look.
Leslie Frazier: Defensive Coordinator Minnesota Vikings – Frazier is a very talented coach, and the former CB/safety of the Chicago Bears is another coordinator that deserves a shot as a head coach. He’s already learned under some of the best – Andy Reid and Tony Dungy, and could take that knowledge with him to another team. Remember that he is in the same role of current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.