Jan 8, 2020 - Sports

NFL coaching carousel: Only the Browns remain without a hire

Photo illustration of Mike McCarthy, Matt Rhule, Joe Judge.

Joe Judge, Matt Rhule and Mike McCarthy. Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Cleveland Browns are the lone remaining NFL team with a head coaching vacancy following the recent hires of Joe Judge in New York, Matt Rhule in Carolina and Mike McCarthy in Dallas.

The state of play: The Browns have already interviewed Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, Ravens OC Greg Roman and 49ers DC Robert Saleh. Eagles DC Jim Schwartz, Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels will be interviewed later this week. There's an announcement expected by Saturday.

Joe Judge (Giants)

"The Giants hired the Pats' receivers coach the year Pats receivers went to hell," writes The Ringer's Danny Heifetz. "But there are reasons to think Joe Judge — who also led one of the league's best special teams units — could succeed in New York."

  • Age: 38
  • Contract: N/A
  • By the numbers: Judge will be the third-youngest NFL head coach after the Rams' Sean McVay (33) and the Bengals' Zac Taylor (36).
  • Meet Joe: A Philadelphia native, Judge played college football at Mississippi State, was a part of all three Patriots Super Bowl teams in the 2010s and was a special teams assistant on Nick Saban's staff during two of Alabama’s recent national championship seasons (2009, 2011).

Matt Rhule (Panthers)

Rhule had become one of the hottest names in NFL head coaching circles after turning around programs at Temple and Baylor. He's finally been lured away from college football and will take over a franchise facing an uncertain future.

  • Age: 44
  • Contract: Seven years, $60 million
  • By the numbers: This past season, Baylor became the only Power 5 team to ever make a conference championship game two seasons or fewer after going 1-11 or worse (the Bears were 1-11 in 2017).
  • What they're saying: "Matt is a very good people manager. And I think a good people manager is a good people manager, college or pro," said Panthers owner David Tepper. "He's not afraid of constructive confrontation, not afraid to challenge coaches or players. He's a head coach."

Mike McCarthy (Cowboys)

Instead of making a sexy hire (Lincoln Riley, Urban Meyer), the Cowboys made the sensible one, choosing the most experienced coach on the market. One thing's for certain: McCarthy won't get a decade-long leash like Jason Garrett did.

  • Age: 56
  • Contract: Five years, money N/A
  • By the numbers: McCarthy was 125-77-1 in 13 seasons with the Packers, where he won a Super Bowl and became the fourth NFL coach to lead a franchise to at least eight straight playoffs (Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Belichick).
  • Déjà vu: This move is reminiscent of the Chiefs' decision to hire Andy Reid in 2013 after he'd grown stale in Philadelphia despite winning a bunch of games. Reid, who was 55 when he took over in Kansas City, has yet to have a losing season there.

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