A while back, I put together a list of some of the more intriguing GM candidates I thought were out there. Such a good researcher I am, I completely whiffed mentioning Tom Gamble, who right now I think very well might be my favorite potential replacement for Gene Smith. What I figured I would do now is throw out some names of some (let me emphasize the fact that this is only a partial list) potential replacements for the head coach spot, since I doubt Mularkey survives the regime change. Although I would very much be interested in seeing him as the new HC, following his "long-term" contract extension, David Shaw is not on my list of replacement options.
In no particular order:
- Chip Kelly - I brought his name up in my first mock offseason and I detailed why I like him; he is an offensive genius, and he has shown success as a head coach. Obviously the NFL is not NCAAF, and so Kelly would have to probably make some changes to his offense and his coaching methods, but I believe he can do it. He very well can be the hottest name out there, and he may choose a more "prestigious" NFL job, but if Shad can live up to his billing of "savvy businessman," I think he can get the right GM who in turn makes a dynamic duo capable of getting Kelly to pick the Jaguars if he makes the move to the NFL.
- Vic Fangio - As a rule, I want a proven head coach at some level taking over as head coach of this team. Fangio (and perhaps Mike Zimmer who does not make this list) is the exception to that rule; he works under my favorite current HC in the NFL, and coordinates quite a fearsome defensive unit. Everything considered, I think that Fangio has all of the tools to make the transition to head coach. I can only suspect that if Khan does manage to hire Tom Gamble as GM, Fangio will be high on his list of head coaching options.
- Jay Gruden - I was not planning to reveal my rankings, but I will say he is probably the lowest ranked guy on the list. He has had success as a head coach in the UFL, and has done a nice job with the Bengals offense. He also can always consult with his brother Jon about what it takes to be an NFL head coach.(just kidding)
- Nick Saban - I have a feeling there might be some uproar over this name being mentioned. First of all, his tenure with the Dolphins was pretty abysmal. Second of all, to all you Gator fans, he coaches the enemy right now. Finally, what would it take to pry him away from such an awesome job at Alabama? In the end, I think that Saban might have that itch to return to the NFL and redeem himself; he has already proven himself at the collegiate level, and he might be ready to retake the challenge of an NFL coaching job.
- Chris Petersen - I like what he has done in the college ranks, and I would be very interested to see what he can do at the NFL level. He puts out a competitive squad every year, and while the MAC and the NFL are very different, with the right GM getting Petersen the right players, I would be very intrigued to see what can come of Petersen as an NFL coach.
- Kevin Kelley - You may ask who this guy is, and this should answer your questions. I am not really serious about him, and I know the hire would never happen, but I for one would not be opposed to his innovative, statistic-supported methods; I think they would be an interesting change of pace in the NFL.