By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The NFL regular season is over, and the Atlanta Falcons finished 4 – 12.
Atlanta has the No. 4 pick in the upcoming 2021 draft. They fired Dan Quinn earlier in the season and they need to hire a new coach (and GM).
Let’s take a look at some of the candidates and see who the best fit is.
I’m going to say one thing before I start. I’m not a big fan of hiring coordinators for their first head coaching position. The reason is players make them look much better than what they actually are.
For instance, Brian Billick was labeled an offensive genius as the Vikings offensive coordinator. When he coached the Baltimore Ravens, they were never good on offense.
We can also say the same thing about Quinn coaching the top defense in Seattle and coming to Atlanta.
Josh McDaniels was the offensive coordinator in New England also before becoming a head coach.
Eric Bienemy is the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and he’s the hottest candidate. He has the benefit of coaching Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
This is another case of the talent he coaches that makes him seem like a great play caller. If the roster stays the same there will be talent at the skill positions for the Falcons, except at running back. This might be a decent fit for both.
Josh McDaniels is back in New England in his second stint as OC from 2012 to now. He was also there from 2005-08 as the play caller. He was the head coach for Denver from 2009-10 and his record was 11 – 17.
In 2018 he was announced as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and the same day he withdrew from the position to stay with the Patriots.
I think this would be a very bad fit. McDaniels coached Tom Brady, who is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. That has helped to bolster his status, but it hides the fact he’s not an elite coach. The Patriots were 27th in total offense this season after Brady left town.
Lincoln Riley is the Oklahoma head coach. He’s had that position since 2017 and he’s led the Sooners to a 45 – 8 record.
His offense is explosive and continues to have success with whoever plays quarterback.
He has coached NFL starters like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts.
This season with Spencer Rattler as the signal caller they were still one of the best offenses in the country.
I think this would be the best fit because offense wins championships now.
He’s also an experienced head coach. A few years ago, college coaches had a tough time transitioning to the NFL. Now the NFL has adopted so much from college football that it is not as difficult.
We have also seen former college coaches have success in the NFL with Pete Carroll being the most successful.
Brian Daboll is the Buffalo Bills OC. Before getting hired for that position in 2018 he spent one season as the co-offensive coordinator and QB coach at Alabama.
He also served as OC for Cleveland (2009-10), Miami (2011) and Kansas City (2012).
I think this would be an average fit with the Falcons. He helped develop a young quarterback, Josh Allen. Allen has improved in each of his three seasons and he is drastically better this year.
Tampa Bay Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich is also a possible candidate.
Hopefully Atlanta can hire a good general manager and head coach. The franchise needs a turnaround badly.