Usually it doesn’t begin for a few more weeks, but given the Ravens’ own civic issues regarding hiring or firing the head coach, it’s never too early to start the "who will be where next season" NFL coaching carousel.
The first NFL job to open came unexpectedly yesterday when Atlanta head coach Bobby Petrino packed his bags for Arkansas.
Not since Nick Saban’s five minutes in Miami have I seen a coach blistered more thoroughly on the internet for being as creepy as Petrino. Seems as though everyone from the janitors to DeAngelo Hall hated him in Atlanta. I couldn’t find one quote from anyone saying anything kind about Petrino.
I DID however start to see the next list of "NFL head coaching candidates" appear and the names have significant Baltimore and WNST ties.
From Peter King’s SI.com dispatch on Petrino:
After the season, it’s likely Atlanta will talk against to one of the finalists for the job last year — San Francisco assistant head coach Mike Singletary. The top pro candidates this year are expected to include offensive coordinator Jason Garrett of the Cowboys and defensive coordinators Rex Ryan of Baltimore and Jim Schwartz of the Titans.
So, as much as Brian Billick’s name keeps circulating in The Sun and various internet boards as "dead man walking" — and again, I’d be utterly shocked if Billick is not wearing his customary straw hat in Westminster come late July 2008 — it’s the swirl of names throughout the league and onto the depths of current assistant coaching charts that will make January the usual whirlwind of activity.
So where will the NFL job vacancies be available?
Could the Miami job be open again with Cam Cameron having authored a potentially biblical losing season with the Fish?
If Billick WERE fired here (and again, I believe that’s a 1% percent possibility), he’d become the top candidate virtually everywhere in the league, especially if Bill Cowher has no intention of coming back in 2008.
Will the Kansas City Chiefs move on without Herm Edwards?
I think Marvin Lewis is safe in Cincinnati, but who knows?
I gotta think Mike Nolan is going to take on some heat in San Francisco after three losing seasons.
St. Louis has stunk all year but it seems like there will not be a change there.
Folks in Philadelphia try to fire Andy Reid every time there’s a bump in the road there as well.
In Seattle, Mike Holmgren feels like one of those guys who is always year to year with his feelings for coaching.
And longer shots?
San Diego is still freaked out about the Marty Schottenheimer situation.
I gotta think Joe Gibbs is getting near the end in Washington.
The New York Jets are 3-10. You at least have to bring up Eric Mangini’s name, don’t you?