The Coaching Carousel is spinning where will it stop for Coachless teams. Colts, Cardinals, Texans, Broncos, Panthers.

The Coaching Carousel is spinning where will it stop for Coachless teams. Colts, Cardinals, Texans, Broncos, Panthers.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panther became the first team this season to pull the plug on their head coach. Owner David Tepper made a bold move to pry former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule of Waco, despite him only having had one year of NFL experience prior to 2020. Even though he never had a franchise quarterback under center, Rhule was let go because of Carolina’s persistent offensive ineptitude. While Rhule has since returned to the college game by taking over for Scott Frost at Nebraska, his run in Charlotte was a forgettable one. Rhule went 11-27 in parts of three years at Carolina, including a 1-4 mark before getting replaced a third of the way through the 2022 NFL season. Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks took over in the interim, going a commendable 6-6 in his first 12 games. Although Wilks is a candidate to have the interim tag removed, Tepper is going big game hunting.

Indianapolis Colts

While there was no surprise over the Indianapolis Colts moving on from Frank Reich midseason, their impulsive owner Jim Irsay going with Ring of Honor member Jeff Saturday over anybody on Reich’s staff in the interim was not only unprecedented, it was unheard of! Reich needed to go because he was not going to win the AFC South crown after a 3-5-1 start during his fifth season. Sure, you can say Reich did not have a franchise quarterback during his Indianapolis run, but he did have plenty of talent at the position. From Andrew Luck, to Jacoby Brissett, to Philip Rivers, to Carson Wentz, to Matt Ryan, Reich was unable to win enough games in five seasons to claim a division title. He went 40-33-1 during his Colts tenure. While Jeff Saturday kept the seat warm, Irsay is about to totally hit the reset button in Indianapolis.

Denver Broncos

There is no other way around it, Nathaniel Hackett was a complete disaster leading the Denver Broncos. Hired by the Broncos to help bring Aaron Rodgers to Denver, they ended up with a totally washed Russell Wilson instead. Hackett went a disastrous 4-11 in 15 games as the Broncos head coach. He was the fifth NFL head coach to not make it through his first season. In an incredibly weird twist, the Broncos named senior assistant Jerry Rosburg the interim head coach. Rosburg was the guy Hackett brought onto his staff to help manage the game clock better. Denver now has new ownership with The Waltons taking over. They did not hire Hackett in the first place. Their preference is to hire a guy with previous head-coaching experience.

Houston Texans

It never really felt like Lovie Smith had a chance. The Houston Texans decided to make it back-to-back one-and-dones at head coach by moving on from Smith after only one season. The former Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Illinois Fighting Illini head coach went a miserable 3-13-1 in his lone season at the helm in Houston. All three of his wins came on the road in-division. Armed with the No. 2 overall pick and the No. 12 pick coming over from the Cleveland Browns as part of the Deshaun Watson trade, Houston has the ammunition to get better in a hurry should Cal McNair hire the right head coach. The Texans may be an underrated job in this hiring cycle, rightfully so having four head coaches in three years, including 2020 interim Romeo Crennel, is a terrible look. For Houston to stop having problems, they need to hire the right head coach to stop the nonsense.

Arizona Cardinals

This needed to happen. To be frank, it was odd for Kliff Kingsbury to be hired as the Arizona Cardinals head coach in the first place. After not achieving bowl eligibility at his alma mater of Texas Tech with Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback, Kingsbury took over in The Valley for Kyler Murray reasons. His 2021 team was a strong one, but Kingsbury went 28-37-1 in four seasons. With long-time general manager Steve Keim taking an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons and not excepted to return in 2023, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill will have to make two huge hires this offseason. Although Murray is coming off a season-ending injury, the talented, quarterback is certainly worth building a winning team around. Who will coach him? Blessed with the No. 3 overall pick, Arizona should be one of the more attractive jobs out there.