The great Hue Jackson was finally shown the door on Monday after a disastrous tenure in Cleveland. To be fair he wasn’t given much to work with when he came in. Also he’s created ways to lose and tie football games that we didn’t know were possible.
Hue was a white hot name following the 2015 season. He was being interview right and left and seemed destined to take over a prominent franchise. He decided to accept his dream job title, head coach of a nfl team. The only problem… the job was in Cleveland.
We can now look ahead at who is the right fit for Cleveland and what is realistic for them. They will finish the season with an underwhelming staff that certainly won’t help develop Baker or the rest of this young core. Instead it is a job with a lot of appeal. The next coach will take over and be able to clear out what remains for this gutted staff and make it his own.
Onto who the smart folks think will be the next head coach. According to offshore listings the favorites to end up in Cleveland:
Lincoln Riley (2/1 odds: This is the laziest thought to be floated. Yes he’s Baker’s old coach. Yes he’s had success at the college level. Let’s take a step back from all this kool aid being drank by folks. This is a guy who took over right before the season started with a Heisman trophy winner at quarterback, in one of the worst conferences, as of late. This season OU has another Heisman candidate at quarterback and has beat no one. Their best win? 6 point victory over Iowa State? Until Riley forms his own team with success at the college level I would not give him the keys to an NFL car.
Zac Taylor (2/1 odds): Some of you may not know this name. He is the quarterback coach for the best offense in the NFL. Learning from Sean McVay and the Rams staff gives Zac a great resource to learn and grow from. I’m sure he will be a head coach one day, but if I’m the Browns I may want a more tenured coach (he’s 35).
John Defilippo (6/1 odds): The former Eagles quarterback coach is calling plays in Minnesota as their offense coordinator. John will be a hot name this winter and I would expect him to land a job with his background. He coached in Cleveland back in 2015, which means players and ownership may have a better understanding of him then most teams. Depending how his tenure went in Cleveland there may or may not be mutual interest.
Few other key names: Brian Flores, currently linebackers coach in New England. Dan Campbell assistant head coach/tight end coach for the Saints. Sean McVay… this isn’t happening Cleveland, sorry.
Sleeper Candidate to consider: Urban Meyer, hold on, hold on, don’t throw your phone down…. hear me out. Urban is known for leaving situations when they get tough, just look at the way he ran away from Florida and the SEC when Nick Saban came in hot. Michigan is suddenly looking like contenders and if Ohio State has multiple loses this year Urban may pack his things for greener pastures. Urban recognizes talent and Cleveland has a lot of it, they just need some to figure out how to use it properly. He would have nowhere to go but up in Cleveland. Imagine if he made the playoffs in his first two years. They may ask Lebron for the key to the city back for Urban. It may take time to develop but keep your eye on this move.
The state of Ohio needs a great hire here. They lost Lebron and the state wants to jump on Baker mania so badly. Hopefully we sit here next year talking about the great hire that Cleveland made in this scenario, but we’ll see.