Every single year, we see a handful of teams make a change at the head coaching position. For some franchises, it is a move toward a rebuild, and bringing in a new face is the best way to kick off a fresh start. For others, they have the right players, but it just has not been working with the previous coaching staff and so now it is time to try out someone else. These firings come in the middle of the season or right after the season. There are some who were not given enough time, and then there are some who are not fired, causing fan bases to rush to Reddit and their social media accounts to vent about the latest NFL head coaching hires.
Five NFL teams this year are in the category of "Now Hiring": the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. The Colts and Panthers fired their head coach midseason, while the other three waited until the season ended, with both the Broncos and Texans firing someone after just one season.
It is a dog-eat-dog world -- and for coaches, success is measured in wins and Super Bowl trophies. So which one of these new head coaches will have the biggest impact in getting their team over the hump? Here are all five head coach hirings ranked from worst to first.
5. Jonathan Gannon - Arizona Cardinals (4-13)
Previous position: Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator
The Arizona Cardinals let go of an offensive-minded coach in Kliff Kingsbury and brought in the direct opposite of that with the hiring of Jonathan Gannon. Gannon had an impressive season as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles -- although he must have had the new job prior to the Super Bowl, as the second half of that game was not impressive. But the Cardinals' offense, when healthy, has never really been the issue, so maybe he can fix their defense and provide QB Kyler Murray with some support.
4. Frank Reich - Carolina Panthers (7-10)
Previous position: Indianapolis Colts Head Coach
Frank Reich was a scapegoat for the disappointment that has been taking place in Indianapolis over the last two to three seasons. Reich is a quarterback's coach, meaning that if he is given the right guy -- his guy -- then he can make that player perform to the best of his abilities. The Carolina Panthers fell just short of a division title despite everything that occurred in 2022, from firing their head coach to trading their star running back. If the Panthers can get Reich his quarterback of choice, the NFC South is theirs for the taking in 2023.
3. Shane Steichen - Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1)
Previous position: Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator
The Indianapolis Colts were an embarrassment last season after hiring Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach. The Colts have one of the best all-around rosters on both sides of the ball but have been struggling at the most important position: quarterback. They have been trying every veteran quarterback they could get their hands on, but it seems as if they will use the 2023 NFL Draft to find their QB1. And what better coach to pair him up with than Shane Steichen? He is a brilliant coach who knows how to balance both the passing game and run game.
2. Sean Payton - Denver Broncos (5-12)
Previous position: New Orleans Saints Head Coach (2021)
Russell Wilson looked absolutely broken in 2022, on and off the field, and what better way to fix him than bringing in a Super Bowl-winning head coach in Sean Payton? Payton last coached the New Orleans Saints in 2021 and was "retired" for a year, which is just a nice way of saying he wanted to coach a new team. The Denver Broncos gave up their late first-round pick to acquire Payton, and that trade is justified. This team has all the talent it needs to win now but just hasn't clicked yet. Well, expect Payton to change all of that in 2023.
1. DeMeco Ryans - Houston Texans (3-13-1)
Previous position: San Francisco 49ers Defensive Coordinator
The NFL Coordinator of the Year Award winner is returning to where his playing career began, with DeMeco Ryans headed to H-Town to coach the Houston Texans. This hiring is significant for multiple reasons. One, having a former player coach your team plays well with the fan base in giving your franchise a little more time to rebuild. Two, Ryans is a defensive mastermind; and with the young talent on that defense, he is going to have them ready to go. Three, he went to Alabama, and all signs point to him drafting QB Bryce Young -- a perfect pairing in the making. The Texans are not that far from making the jump from worst to first in their division, and Ryans is the right guy to get things going.
MORE: The Denver Broncos Go All In on Sean Payton, And It Might Be Their Worst Move Yet
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