Anywhere but there: The worst coaching opening

Which current NFL head coach opening is the least attractive?


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E5 Yaz

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The flip side of paradise. Same criteria as for the other thread. Which job do you consider the least attractive. Consider chance of winning in the short term, ownership, QB situation, division, and any other factors you want to add.

* Raiders still get the asterisk, since the interim coach (whatever his name is) could be winning himself the job.
 

Ale Xander

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Giants
Biggest market, biggest expectations, biggest magnifying glass/most obnoxious media, no QB, always going to be compared to Parcells and Coughlin, high taxes, crappy shared stadium, cold weather for attracting FA's.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I voted Texans because (a) they just seem to be a complete dumpster fire of an organization right now, and (b) the only upside there is if you can convince Watson to stay and he gets over his legal issues. But personally I'd want no part of hitching my coaching wagon to a serial sexual predator even if he ends up avoiding jail time and playing again, so fuck the Texans situation.

As @luckiestman has pointed out more than once the Giants coach seems to get treated with kid gloves by the NY media, and the Giants have been so bad for so long that the bar is incredibly low for anyone who might come in and luck into a playoff spot or something. I don't think the typical NY factors apply to that job, and someone who can come in and get them going in the right direction would be given a ton of latitude by the fans and media.
 

E5 Yaz

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I decided to go against my initial instincts (Texans) and pick the Vikings.

Even should Rodgers leave the division, the Vikings are still stuck with Cousins on a cap-painful deal next season ... and then probably faced with finding a quarterback the year after that. They might be in 9-8 to 7-10 hell for the length of the next coach's tenure -- which, likely, will be better than the Texans or Giants, but could be its own sort of torture
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Giants
Biggest market, biggest expectations, biggest magnifying glass/most obnoxious media, no QB, always going to be compared to Parcells and Coughlin, high taxes, crappy shared stadium, cold weather for attracting FA's.
Also agree with your subsequent post about Mills having more promise than Daniel Jones.

Besides the comprehensive list of Giants suck you laid out, I think it's now clear that ownership, for so long a perceived strength of the franchise, is a negative. Mara/Tisch may be financially solvent and stable and even apparently sane... but their recent legacy of bad decision-making and putting trust in the wrong people seems like it may not be fixable.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think Texans.

My thinking is this...
Bad owner
Absolutely toxic front office
No patience with coaches, and performance isn't the only factor in your survival
QB situation is .... weird. I don't believe in Mills as a real NFL starter, and you have a ton of cap tied up in a guy who may well be in prison next season.

I went for them over the Giants because:
1. Giants you have a chance to get (or be) the GM who fits with you
2. Even if you don't believe in Danny Dimes (I think he's better than Mills, but also probably not a franchise QB), you give him a year. Also you have 2 top 7 picks this year, and after 2022 your cap looks good. You're in a pretty good rebuild situations.

Also, your owner was worried about optics of coach turnover and almost didn't fire his absolutely terrible coach until that coach had like 15 embarrassing incidents in 3 weeks, so you're getting 3 years minimum to set up your program.
 

BigSoxFan

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I decided to go against my initial instincts (Texans) and pick the Vikings.

Even should Rodgers leave the division, the Vikings are still stuck with Cousins on a cap-painful deal next season ... and then probably faced with finding a quarterback the year after that. They might be in 9-8 to 7-10 hell for the length of the next coach's tenure -- which, likely, will be better than the Texans or Giants, but could be its own sort of torture
On the flip side, you’d be inheriting a pretty solid offensive skill position situation in Cook and Jefferson so there’s opportunity for immediate results if QB solution is found. Although Cook is probably going to age out of elite status soon.
 

EvilEmpire

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Mara/Tisch may be financially solvent and stable and even apparently sane... but their recent legacy of bad decision-making and putting trust in the wrong people seems like it may not be fixable.
This may be true, but I wouldn't expect a coaching candidate to be too concerned about Mara/Tisch having a bad record of picking the wrong people, since the guy interviewing wants to be one of those people and probably thinks he will be the one that will get the Giants back to winning championships. Competing against Dallas, Philly and Washington doesn't sound too bad either.

They do need a QB though and have plenty of other holes.

They are definitely near the bottom, but I think the dumpster fire in Houston is hard to beat.
 
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kelpapa

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Houston and New York had the same record this year. As toxic as Watson is, I still think they can find a trade partner and get several first round picks for him. That puts them in a better position than New York. The Giants are my pick.
 

IdiotKicker

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That's a good question. Assuming he doesn't go to prison and is reinstated, I might change my mind.

Although wouldn't that mean that Houston is in a better spot right now?
I actually think even if Watson somehow avoids prison and gets to play again, there’s something rotten in Houston with Easterby and McNair that doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what it is, but the whole situation in the front office reeks. I know the Maras don’t have a great record of decision-making recently, but there’s history there that gives me more confidence than what I see in Houston.
 

Sandwich Pick

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Giants
Biggest market, biggest expectations, biggest magnifying glass/most obnoxious media, no QB, always going to be compared to Parcells and Coughlin, high taxes, crappy shared stadium, cold weather for attracting FA's.
But the Jets own foibles will detract from that a ton.

The new coach also has a throwaway year in 2022 and a chance at a fresh start in 2023.

Houston is just a trash fire for all the reasons mentioned.
 
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BigSoxFan

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Houston’s non-Watson roster is just gross. There is hardly any talent there worth speaking of. Not only is Watson situation a complete unknown but you’re also dealing with basically the NFL’s castoffs. Add that to the ownership situation and it would be a hard pass for me if I had any options.

Giants is a tough job but even modest success gets you overrated by a fan base and media that is starving for its first taste of relevance in a decade.
 

Euclis20

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As the teams stand now, Jags. If Jags lose Baalke, that changes everything.
The Jags have two gigantic advantages over everyone else on the list:

-Lawrence. This was a tremendously disappointing rookie season for him, but I'd rather have him than anyone else on this list (pending a complete reversal of Watson's situation in Houston).
-Expectations. Meyer left behind an impossibly low bar. Just don't go winless and completely embarrass yourself and you're guaranteed three years.

They are far from the most attractive option, but I think they're equally far from the worst.
 

kelpapa

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I actually think even if Watson somehow avoids prison and gets to play again, there’s something rotten in Houston with Easterby and McNair that doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what it is, but the whole situation in the front office reeks. I know the Maras don’t have a great record of decision-making recently, but there’s history there that gives me more confidence than what I see in Houston.
Does Caserio report to Easterby or vice versa?
 

luckiestman

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Yep. As others have said, no talent and Houston, TX...and despite that, Swami Easterby is the worst factor in the poll.
Here is what confuses me about the swami. Pats had him in house, Caserio was happy to bunk with the swami as soon as possible and now Flores or Mayo are rumored to go there. Mike Lombardi defended the swami after the hit piece came out. So if the swami is a huge negative and none of these experts can see it, is swami more or less powerful than Rasputin?
 

BigSoxFan

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Define “culture”. I think Houston is one of the most diverse cities in America.
It is, yet, it has somehow managed to be one of the most bland major cities you can ever go to. It’s a major city without any real identity beyond NASA, which is located way outside of the city.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Houston weather and lifestyle and Texas conservatism may sound oppressive to a bunch of Northeast elites on a Red Sox message board, but it’s likely preferable to a vast majority of NFL players and coaches compared with New York. The lack of income tax is not only a (massive) financial advantage, but also probably a cultural one.

(Obviously including myself among the “Northeast elites”. I hate Houston. Mosquitos like you’ve never seen before, for one. And I’ll take a blizzard over a Houston summer any day.)
 

mauf

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I voted Houston. The Giants seem hell-bent on not giving the new coach much say on personnel, but I don’t see McNair letting the new coach dismantle the shitshow that has taken root in Houston in recent years; at least the G-men offer somewhat of a clean slate. The Jaguars would be rock bottom if you’d be actually reporting to Baalke, but as I’ve said in the other thread, I don’t think that will be the case.
 

cornwalls@6

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Horrible traffic and a shit ton of wannabe cowboys
This is about 20 years out of date. As noted by @luckiestman , it's one of the most diverse cities in the country. Large asian and latino population, usually a progressive mayor, revitalized downtown area, and one of the up and coming restaurant cities in America. Traffic, heat, and sprawl are undeniable. But it is far removed from the Urban Cowboy stereotype now. That said, I voted Texans because of the dysfunctional front office, and QB situation. My dark horse would be the Bears. Despite being an iconic, flagship franchise. I think the McCaskey's are terrible owners. Stodgy, cheap, and hide-bound when it comes to change. Fields may be an intriguing QB prospect, but Think there is enough systemic dysfunction to make that job less attractive than it may seem on the surface.
 
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Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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This is about 20 years out of date. As noted by @luckiestman , it's one of the most diverse cities in the country. Large asian and latino population, usually a progressive mayor, revitalized downtown area, and one of the up and coming restaurant cities in America. Traffic, heat, and sprawl are undeniable. But it is far removed from the Urban Cowboy stereotype now.
So the traffic isn't out of date, just fewer wannabe cowboys.
I'll take your word for it, stick to my memories, and let you enjoy the city's renaissance. I'll happily stay away.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Nope not a snarky answer either. I just think that something is off in the front office there and I can’t put my finger on specifics, but it’s not right.
Agree on Houston. I don't follow them much but from everything I hear, McNair isn't qualified to be an owner and the fact that he lets the former chaplain have his say - or maybe even run - football operations would be a no-go to me. And most coaches, from what I understand, which is why they ended up with Culley in the first place.

Here's the SI article from 2020 on Easterby if anyone is interested: https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/12/10/ex-chaplain-jack-easterby-houston-texans-chaos-after-power-struggle-daily-cover
 

cornwalls@6

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So the traffic isn't out of date, just fewer wannabe cowboys.
I'll take your word for it, stick to my memories, and let you enjoy the city's renaissance. I'll happily stay away.
Cool. Way to be open to new information. I don't live there, though have been there for work countless times in the last several years. I have no dog in the fight when it comes to promoting the city. But you portrayed it's culture in a way that is no longer accurate. Just pointing that out.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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Cool. Way to be open to new information. I don't live there, though have been there for work countless times in the last several years. I have no dog in the fight when it comes to promoting the city. But you portrayed it's culture in a way that is no longer accurate. Just pointing that out.
Cool. I literally said two things, traffic and wannabe cowboys. Nothing else. The traffic is still there. I will guarantee that the cowboy culture is still there even though apparently not dominant anymore. I have no dog in the fight and I apologize to the board for starting this stupid tangent, which I will now step away from.

Memphis sucks too, by the way.
 

joe dokes

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Here is what confuses me about the swami. Pats had him in house, Caserio was happy to bunk with the swami as soon as possible and now Flores or Mayo are rumored to go there. Mike Lombardi defended the swami after the hit piece came out. So if the swami is a huge negative and none of these experts can see it, is swami more or less powerful than Rasputin?
Those are good points, but the only thing we can be sure of is that if Easterby and BB each gave Kraft entirely different opinions of a situation, Kraft wouldn't tell BB to "do what Jack said." It's hard to quantify why there's still interest, but there's only 32 teams. Each only has 1 person in the jobs that Caserio, Mayo and Flores are looking at. Other then the Mets, there havent been too many parades of declination ion pro sports, even with seemingly toxic franchises.
 

Average Reds

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As the teams stand now, Jags. If Jags lose Baalke, that changes everything.
Quoted for truth.

Baalke is the guy who allowed Jim Harbaugh to leave after four years despite reaching the NFC championship three times, the Super Bowl once and an overall record of 44-19-1. He's a moron.

Edit: It's interesting to see the discussion about the relative appeal of various cities. I don't generally factor that in, because anyone making what coaches get paid today is insulated from those concerns and really doesn't experience cities the way we do. (At least that's how I see it.) Which is why I look at ownership/front office dysfunction and the roster construction as the two biggest factors. And my big 3 are Jacksonville, Houston and the Giants in that order. (Miami strikes me as being in actually in pretty good shape roster-wise, but I'll freely admit that I'm no expert.)

If @mauf is correct and Baalke isn't that big of a factor for the Jags, then I agree that Houston is probably the pick.
 
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Bozo Texino

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Think 100+ degrees AND sweltering humidity. City has no charm or culture. Urban sprawl like you wouldn’t believe.
It is, yet, it has somehow managed to be one of the most bland major cities you can ever go to. It’s a major city without any real identity beyond NASA, which is located way outside of the city.
...so you didn't get off the highway, then?

Houston is capital U U-G-L-Y. There's no doubt about it. The total lack of zoning laws - which will also lead to the city's complete destruction by climate change - are to blame.

But yeah - you're flat-out incorrect on this one. The city is incredibly diverse and overflowing with culture. I live in Austin. Here in 2022, Houston is a FAR more interesting place than the state's capital. It's not the 1970s anymore.

As far as its conservatism goes, yeah - it's TEXAS. That said, the city itself is deep blue.

Also, unless you live in New Orleans, Los Angeles or New York, the food is better down here than where you are.

As far as the answer to the poll? It's the Texans, 100%.

EDIT: LOL at "traffic" being a complaint. 'cause that's only an issue in Houston and not in every other major city in the U.S. Clearly.
 
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deanx0

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While I ultimately don't think Miami is a candidate for worst opening, is the bad owner and the continued backing of the GM make it a dark horse here? Remember, they haven't won a playoff game since 2000.
 

rymflaherty

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I voted Houston.
They just fired a coach after one year, who at least to me, seemed to exceed (or at least match) expectations. The Front office/ownership situation seems to be less than desirable . The Watson situation still hasn’t been resolved….And while you certainly could make a compelling argument for the Giants, maybe above all else personally, I’d rather be on the east coast than Texas.

And as a Dolphins fan, I really wouldn’t begrudge anyone that selected them. They’ve put themselves toward the top of the list, in all of sports, when it comes to sustained mediocrity and dysfunction.
 

Cellar-Door

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As long as they leave Caserio alone, there are a lot of former Pats coaches who would want that job.

It's the Giants. That organization is very broken.
I guess my feeling is... is it?
The Giants have a garbage owner for sure, but the front office is clear for new leadership.
The Texans have an even worse owner, it's unclear how the balance of power is divided between Caserio and the owner's church buddy, who may have final say on personnel.

I would also say... Caserio doesn't really have a track record outside of his coordination with Belichick. So yeah maybe former Pats coaches who flamed out elsewhere have some insight, but I don't think most of the league looks at him and sees a definite plus there, his first offseason wasn't much of anything, the power structure is muddy etc.
I'd argue the Texans are a far more broken organizational structure right now than the Giants who are kind of wide open right now to be rebuilt.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I guess my feeling is... is it?
The Giants have a garbage owner for sure, but the front office is clear for new leadership.
The Texans have an even worse owner, it's unclear how the balance of power is divided between Caserio and the owner's church buddy, who may have final say on personnel.

I would also say... Caserio doesn't really have a track record outside of his coordination with Belichick. So yeah maybe former Pats coaches who flamed out elsewhere have some insight, but I don't think most of the league looks at him and sees a definite plus there, his first offseason wasn't much of anything, the power structure is muddy etc.
I'd argue the Texans are a far more broken organizational structure right now than the Giants who are kind of wide open right now to be rebuilt.
I tend to agree on this. I don't get why so many people think John Mara is such a terrible owner. He seems like a guy who is not necessarily good at hiring (Gettleman, Shurmur, Judge, etc) but will largely stay out of the way and give competent people a lot of rope (Ernie Accorsi, Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin).

The situation in Houston seems much more troublesome from an ownership perspective and from a talent/resources perspective as well.
 

Super Nomario

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I guess my feeling is... is it?
The Giants have a garbage owner for sure, but the front office is clear for new leadership.
The Texans have an even worse owner, it's unclear how the balance of power is divided between Caserio and the owner's church buddy, who may have final say on personnel.
I disagree on the bolded. The Giants have Senior VP of Player Personnel Chris Mara hanging over their decisions. Does the GM get to fire him / cut him out of decisions? I don't know if that's better or worse than Jack Easterby.

I would also say... Caserio doesn't really have a track record outside of his coordination with Belichick. So yeah maybe former Pats coaches who flamed out elsewhere have some insight, but I don't think most of the league looks at him and sees a definite plus there, his first offseason wasn't much of anything, the power structure is muddy etc.
I'd argue the Texans are a far more broken organizational structure right now than the Giants who are kind of wide open right now to be rebuilt.
I don't think we know really with the Texans right now. It's fair to say that a head coach hire there (or in Denver) probably is much less likely to have personnel control than he would in some other places (like Jacksonville and Las Vegas, which have nominal GMs that were subordinate to the previous head coaches).

I tend to agree on this. I don't get why so many people think John Mara is such a terrible owner. He seems like a guy who is not necessarily good at hiring (Gettleman, Shurmur, Judge, etc) but will largely stay out of the way and give competent people a lot of rope (Ernie Accorsi, Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin).
Wellington Mara died in 2005 with Accorsi and Coughlin in place. Accorsi stepped down a couple years later and his hand-picked successor Reese got the GM gig. I think as long as the younger Maras were sticking with Wellington's plan, things were fine. But since they fired Coughlin after 2015 and Reese a couple years later, things have gone off the rails. I don't have any confidence they can put the genie back in the bottle here.
 

Shelterdog

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Wellington Mara died in 2005 with Accorsi and Coughlin in place. Accorsi stepped down a couple years later and his hand-picked successor Reese got the GM gig. I think as long as the younger Maras were sticking with Wellington's plan, things were fine. But since they fired Coughlin after 2015 and Reese a couple years later, things have gone off the rails. I don't have any confidence they can put the genie back in the bottle here.
For a very long time the Giants and Steelers (and when you think about it the Packers and to an extent the Begnals) followed a pretty similar game plan, one that makes a lot of sense if you're trying to make good money year after year--don't get flashy in free agency, have solid established borings guys in at GM and coach and keep them forever, mostly draft solid prospects (particularly along both lines), don't trade a lot of picks, don't get too high or too low and mostly hope to be 9-7 to 11-5 and maybe make the playoffs and get lucky every now and then. The choices were smart but also lead to not spending so much in free agency, not spending so much on fired coach contracts, not losing out on solid cost controlled draft picks by making risky picks or moving up in drafts too often etc.

Not sure this is the Giants any more