Number of NFL Owners, GM’s Going Back to the Drawing Boards

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342
Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell (left) stands beside Jaguar Owner, Shahid Khan. Jacksonville will be one of many teams seeking to fill a head coaching vacancy.

Rebuilding:

With the 2016-2017 NFL Regular Season coming to a close, there are a few owners and general managers with rebuilding on their minds. From improving personnel to finding the right fit(s) on the coaching staff. There is much work to do this off-season for these owners and their general managers.

Coaching Vacancies:

The list of teams seeking a new head coach in the NFL continues to grow. Current teams with vacancies include:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars (fired Coach Gus Bradley)
  • Los Angeles Rams (fired Coach Jeff Fisher)
  • Buffalo Bills (fired Coach Rex Ryan)

The list, though short, is speculated to grow this coming off-season. However, it comes to no surprise that Jacksonville, Los Angeles, and Buffalo all find themselves with a ‘Help Wanted’ sign on the doors of their respective front offices.

Jacksonville informed Coach Gus Bradley that he was to be released as the organization’s head coach following a 2-12 record in the 2016 season. Bradley, hired in 2013, completed his tenure as the Jags’ head coach with a 14-48 record. Bradley’s four-season term will go down as one of the all-time worst NFL tenures.

Los Angeles’ firing of Coach Jeff Fisher had been expected by many. Like Jacksonville, the Rams saw little to no success during Fisher’s five seasons. The Rams went 4-9 with Fisher during the 2016 season and have been guaranteed their 10th consecutive losing season. Fisher’s leaves Los Angeles with an overall coaching record of 31-45-1. Fisher tied former NFL Coach, Dan Reeves’, record for career losses with 165. Many argue that the change is one that should have come earlier by the Rams’ front office.

Buffalo’s decision to relieve Coach Rex Ryan of his duties probably came as the biggest surprise to fans. The Bills fired Ryan after less than two seasons at the helm. Questions are raised as to why the firing came about and why it was handled so poorly.  The Bills have been playoff contenders in Ryan’s time as coach. Though fallen short, many fans were optimistic as a result of the team’s progress toward ending the franchise’s 16 year (now 17) playoff drought. Ryan finished with a 15-16 record overall.

Does the List Grow?:

Currently the Jaguars, Rams, and Bills are the only vacancies that have opened so far. However, many other positions are anticipated to open up at the conclusion of the 2016 NFL regular season. Coaches such as Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals), Sean Peyton (New Orleans Saints), and Mike McCoy (San Diego Chargers) could all be seeking employment at the 2016 season’s end.

Each coach’s team has been eliminated from playoff contention this season with losing records. Lewis and the Bengals have had a tough go of it the past few seasons. Making the playoffs has not been the problem, but winning has. The Bengals go into their season finale with Baltimore with a 5-9-1 record.

Sean Peyton and the Saints have not been quite able to build on the success they saw in their 2009 Superbowl season. Making it the playoffs three times since then, the past three seasons New Orleans has missed the play-offs with losing records. Most of the Saints’ challenges stem from defensive struggles. Some question Peyton’s consistency and whether or not it is time for him to hang it up in New Orleans. But, of all the possible coaching openings to come, Peyton may be the least likely to be let go.

An announcement signaling the end of the Mike McCoy era in San Diego would not come as a surprise to fans. McCoy has lacked results. McCoy started with two 9-7 seasons, with the Chargers making the playoffs once. Since then, under McCoy the team has gone 9-22. McCoy’s struggles range from poor play-calling all the way to poor decision making on personnel and timeouts.

Certainly, there are a lot of changes to look forward this coming off-season.