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Three Best 2023 NFL Head Coaching Candidates

The NFL head coaching search is on for a few teams. Teams like the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, are all in need of a new leader. Luckily, there are quite a few names being thrown around in the media for which current coaches might land a new job. We are starting to see more in-season firings and the leash for success with head coaches is growing shorter and shorter. So which of these candidates will land that new head coaching gig? Let’s discuss.

Dan Quinn, Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator

First up, we have Dan Quinn who is a former head coach for the Atlanta Falcons and current DC for the Dallas Cowboys. Quinn has turned the Cowboys defense into an elite unit in the NFL in just two years. He embraced the change to DC and has now become a prime head coaching candidate yet again. He interviewed with plenty of teams last offseason but chose to stay in Dallas.

The Broncos requested to interview Quinn but no interviews have happened yet. The Broncos want someone who will change the culture and turn them into a contender again. I think Dan Quinn fits that role perfectly. He gets a veteran QB day one and a defense that is just as good as Dallas.

Quinn has also interviewed with the Arizona Cardinals twice since the offseason began. The Cardinals are another team in need of a culture changing coach and Quinn would have the opportunity to work with Kyler Murray and a veteran defense. Arizona is clearly pushing hard for Quinn but the price has to be right.

So who knows what direction he will go considering his job in Dallas and the NFL in general is clearly secure. The only other direction that makes sense besides Denver or Arizona is Quinn being promoted in the event that Mike McCarthy is fired by Jerry Jones but do not bank on that happening this offseason.

DeMeco Ryans, San Francisco 49ers Defensive Coordinator

Next, we have another defensive coordinator making a name for himself, DeMeco Ryans. Ryans has created the NFL’s number one defense and looked great doing so. The 49ers held opponents to just 16 points per game in the regular season. This effort is why they are in the NFC championship for the second time in three seasons.

Ryans is in the same boat as Dan Quinn as he has shown he’s ready to make the jump to head coach. He created an elite defensive unit and has the experience behind Kyle Shanahan. Ryans has shown his ability to help in player development and the teams searching for a new head coach are excited by that. Ryans might not have previous head coaching experience but he is ready to finally make the jump and become a leader for a franchise.

Ryans has been requested by essentially every team in search of a head coach. He makes the most sense for the Houston job because they need someone to develop their young defense into a better performing group. A franchise with the second overall pick and plenty of room to grow is perfect for a coach looking to make a name for himself in the head coaching ranks.

Mike Kafka, New York Giants Offensive Coordinator

Lastly, we have Mike Kafka, the current New York Giants offensive coordinator. Kafka is the genius mind that worked with Patrick Mahomes as the passing game coordinator for two seasons in Kansas City. Kafka spent a total of six seasons in KC under Andy Reid so there is no doubt he has learned it all from Reid.

Kafka just finished his first season as the Giants offensive coordinator. Kafka is one of the reasons the Giants were so successful in 2022. The Giants made it to the divisional round for the first time since 2011, which was the year they won the Super Bowl. Sure a 9-7-1 record does not scream success, but the Kafka led offense had the Giants scoring 21 points per game versus the mediocre 15 points per game from the 2021 season.

Kafka has been requested for interviews with the Panthers, Colts, and Texans. All three make sense for Kafka as they all need a fresh start. The most appealing job for Kafka has to be the Houston job considering they have the number two pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. With Bryce Young likely being that pick, Kafka would have a chance to develop a rookie quarterback the way he wants. Kafka should want the most ideal offensive situation in the NFL and right now that is still up in the air.

Final Thoughts On NFL Head Coaching Frenzy

The NFL head coaching search will likely continue well up until the draft. With so many franchises in limbo, the quest for a new leader is tough. Each of these candidates know their leashes are short and losing games is not an option. There is plenty of potential with the open franchises but the NFL is tough especially for a head coach. Keep an eye on which of these candidates are the next one off the list.

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