By Pat Gainor, Staff Writer
The Super Bowl has come and gone, and the NFL offseason is upon us. Even though we’re only a couple of weeks in, the coaching carousel has been spinning as vacancies around the NFL are filled. Here’s some of the notable names around the league that have been filled that you should know about.
Brian Flores to VIkings
Despite a fantastic 13-4 season, it was clear to all that the Vikings defense proved their undoing as Minnesota finished with a dismal point differential of -3, an NFL record among teams that made the playoffs. After their first-round exit to the Giants, the Vikings made a run for former Dolphins head coach and then-Steelers linebacker coach Brian Flores, who accepted the job after turning down positions with the Panthers, Cardinals and Broncos.
Sean Payton to Broncos
After Nathaniel Hackett was axed following a 51-14 loss on Christmas Day, the Broncos chose to move on from the mistake of choosing a hotshot glamor higher by investing on a different hotshot glamor hire in former Saints coach Sean Payton. After gifting a couple royalties to New Orleans, Payton will look to right the ship in Denver and have Russell Wilson and Broncos Country riding just like they wanted to.
DeMeco Ryans to Texans
DeMeco Ryans had one of the most impressive bullet points on his resume out of any head coaching candidates: taking an offense led by Brock Purdy on a 12-game winning streak and to the NFC Championship Game. After making a name for himself as one of the most respected offensive minds in football, Ryans returns to his hometown Houston, looking to bring the rebuilding Texans out of the darkness created by Bill O’Brien and into a playoff contender again.
Eric Bienemy to Commanders
When you are the subject of a national sports controversy regarding why you haven’t been hired as a head coach, you know that you must be pretty good at your job. That’s the case for Eric Bienemy, the former offensive coordinator for the Chiefs who now has two rings and the nation wondering how he still hasn’t gotten a head coaching job after he has been hired to take his talents to Washington for a Commanders team in desperate need of offensive guidance. At least Washington fans can have a brief moment of relief that they have one of the best names in the business before remembering that their team is still owned by Dan Snyder.
Shane Steichen to Colts
No, I don’t know why Jeff Saturday, who went 1-7 as a head coach and was on the wrong side of the greatest comeback in NFL history, almost full-time job. No, I don’t know why Jim Irsay hired him in the first place. But Colts fans, you can relax as Saturday, who was at one point the frontrunner for the job, has been replaced by former Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. I do pity those who applaud their owners and management for not making the worst decisions, but Steichen, who helped craft Jalen Hurts into a franchise QB, should be a breath of hope for Indianapolis.
Jonathan Gannon to Cardinals
This is the more eyebrow-raising hire of the bunch. Not only did Gannon lead an Eagles defense that allowed 38 points, not record a sack and cost them the Super Bowl, but the Cardinals apparently interviewed him once, knew he was the guy, offered him less money than the Eagles and hoped he would take the job.
Considering the recent track record of hires by head coaches by this franchise, it’s easy to not trust Gannon as a head coaching hire. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be the one eating my words as the Cardinals win 13 games and make it to the NFC Championship Game next year. It could go either way.