Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ranking the NFL head coach openings

RECOMMENDED READING


As of this moment, there are five NFL teams, including the Bucs, looking for head coaches. And just to be clear: In the grand scheme of things, you would have to consider all five openings as "good" jobs. After all, there are only 32 NFL head coaches in the world. But some positions are better than others. Today, we rank the five openings from best to worst:

1. St. Louis Rams

The Rams have gone 15-65 over the past five seasons, including 2-14 this season. So at first glance, this seems like a dead-end job. But this might be the best available job for three reasons. They have a franchise (although possibly fragile) quarterback in Sam Bradford, left. They have the No. 2 pick in the draft. And they have a projected $45 million in cap space for 2013 (more than any other team), meaning they can overhaul the roster in a short period of time. In addition, they could parlay the No. 2 pick into a slew of draft picks. Or, if they're not sold on Bradford, the Rams could spend the second pick on a quarterback (Robert Griffin III, let's say) and deal Bradford to a team that is sold on him. Either way, the Rams are holding an enviable hand of cards. Bottom line: The pick of the litter.

2. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins went 6-3 in their last nine games, including a one-point loss at Dallas and a three-point loss at New England. They finished 15th in the NFL in total defense and 11th in rushing offense, so this is not a horrible team. The talent is there. Unfortunately, that talent does not include quarterback. It seems as if the Dolphins are still trying to replace Dan Marino, above, who retired after the 1999 season. True, franchise quarterbacks are hard to come by, but if the Dolphins can find an upgrade (maybe Matt Flynn or Kyle Orton), this team has a chance to be good right away.

Bottom line: Any unemployed coach (and even a few employed ones) would love this job.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

Injuries are a part of football, but the Chiefs lost two key players in the first two games of the season in Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry and All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles. They also had to do without quarterback Matt Cassel, above, for the second half of the season. By that point, the Chiefs were 4-5 and had to turn to a woefully ineffective Tyler Palko. If you're convinced that Cassel, who is 28-26 as an NFL starter, can play, then this is a decent opening. The Chiefs are committed financially to Cassel, so if you're not a fan, that's a problem. The owners (the Hunt family) and GM Scott Pioli are well-respected. Then again, we're still waiting for Pioli to have major success without Bill Belichick by his side.

Bottom line: Not bad, but not great either.

4. Tampa Bay Bucs

The attractiveness of this job depends on two things: Do you believe Josh Freeman is a franchise quarterback? And do you believe the Glazers when they say they're going to spend money? Freeman still has plenty of believers among NFL analyst types, which is good because the Bucs are not going to start from scratch with another QB. The new coach is going to be married to Freeman for the foreseeable future. There are some other parts in place (a potentially good defensive line, for instance), but the roster has more questions than answers. Hey, if the franchise was in good shape, there wouldn't be an opening. Ultimately, it comes down to whether you trust the Glazers and GM Mark Dominik to give you the support you need by doing their jobs well.

Bottom line: Hard to have faith in the Glazers and Dominik based on recent history.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

This is a job for a beggar, not a chooser. What makes this job so unappealing is that the Jaguars have nothing at quarterback. Seriously, have you seen Blaine Gabbert? The defense isn't too shabby (sixth in total defense in 2011), but there are holes all over the roster, especially on offense. There is one thing that makes this job intriguing: New owner Shahid Khan seems enthusiastic and might be willing to spend gobs of money just to make a splash. But fan support is not great and, overall, this seems like an opening that only someone desperate for an NFL head coaching job would truly desire.

Bottom line: Only for really young up-and-comers or really old down-and-outers.

tom jones' two cents

tom jones' two cents

Comments
Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs will play Sunday against the Dolphins without Vernon Hargreaves, who has been their nickel defensive back the past two games.Hargreaves, the 2016 first-round pick out of Florida and a former Wharton High standout, has been ruled out ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

TAMPA — The NFL is investigating an allegation that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.Winston called the allegations "false" and contested the unnamed female driver’s assertion that he was her only p...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Tampa Bay Times has listened to a voicemail Jameis Winston received from Uber relating to the March 2016 incident in Arizona.The NFL is investigating the allegations that Winston grabbed a female Uber driver's crotch in 2016.In the call, someone...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Jameis Winston says groping allegations are ‘false’

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston denied allegations by an Arizona Uber driver that he groped her in 2016. The NFL confirmed it is investigating the incident.Winston released a statement on his Twitter account saying the driver was 'confused,' by the n...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Asked if Miami's Ndamukong Suh is the toughest defensive tackle he's gone against, Bucs center Ali Marpet stops short of an answer."I'll let you know after the game," said Marpet, preparing for Sunday's game against the Dolphins as the Bucs seek thei...
Published: 11/17/17
Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game Sunday at Miami:LET’S GO STREAKINGRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: It’s been 11 months since the Bucs had a winning streak. That was when they posted five W’s in a row with a win ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones actually agree on their prediction for the Bucs-Dolphins game that will see Ryan Fitzpatrick make his second straight start in place of the injured Jameis Winston. They’ll give you the keys to the ga...
Published: 11/17/17
NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

Below are the Times staff picks for week 11 of the NFL season:GameTime/DayErnest Hooper, @hoop4youTom Jones, @tomwjonesMartin Fennelly, @mjfennellyThomas Bassinger, @tometricsGreg Auman, @gregaumanRick Stroud, @NFLStroudAgainst the spread (last week)...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

TAMPA — Lavonte David is a private, almost shy man whose goal each week until game day is apparently to remain invisible by NFL standards.Off the field, the Bucs linebacker doesn’t often raise his voice. But when he was called to do so by coach Dirk ...
Published: 11/16/17