People speculate even where no speculation is even called for. Other times, like most days working for the District of Columbia's NFL team, rumors and speculation run as rampant as Chris Johnson has this season.
Next season a plethora of great coaches—Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Brian Billick, Jon Gruden, and perhaps even for the right price, Tony Dungy—will be available to teams who are looking to hit the panic button or to throw an old system out with the garbage.
The number of potentially great "young gun" coaches is at an all-time high as well. Clarence Shelmon, the Chargers offensive coordinator, who has some major time in working with running backs; Todd Bowles, Bill Parcells' man-crush defensive backs coach in Miami; Hue Jackson, the guy responsible for teaching Joe Flacco the ropes as Baltimore's quarterbacks coach, has also worked in Cincinnati with Carson Palmer and even has a seal of approval from one Chad Ochocinco.
Kyle Shanahan, Mike's kid and a terrific offensive coordinator—except as it comes to getting Steve Slaton to not fumble and Brian Schottenheimer (long distance high-five to Marty for getting his son involved in football)—who is charged with keeping Braylon Edwards from punching people and Mark Sanchez from fumbling every time a 300 pound lineman rushes him, both could be first time NFL coaches next season.
I'll break down where I think the coaches end up, why they end up there, and what I think the outcome will be in 2010.
Chicago Bears 2009 coach-Lovie Smith 2010 coach-Bill Cowher
Dear Chicago Bears management, my friend Andre thinks you'll be the laughing stock of the league if you don't bring Cowher to the Windy City, and I tend to agree with him.
Cowher has the gusto to go in and tell Jay Cutler how it is. The way it is is he should still be in Denver and Mike Vick should be the quarterback in Chicago.
Cowher will make play to Chicago's strong points. Its killer defense, the speed of the wide-outs, and the strength of the O-Line with Roberto Garza and Olin Kreutz.
I think he brings in Hue Jackson from Baltimore to coach Jay Cutler and get his "Madonna" complex solved. Note to Jay Cutler: You aren't, and never will be, the savior of Chicago football.
Jackson would become the head coach in waiting in Chicago and would expand the offense while Cowher runs his brick tough defense.
Bears 2010 record, assuming Brett Favre hangs around in Minnesota next season:11-5 and a wildcard birth.
Washington Redskins 2009 coach-Jim Zorn 2010 coach-Brian Billick
The Redskins need someone who can get the job done right and who will demand full control of personnel and won't drop the ball like Clinton Portis tends to do so well.
Billick will use the draft pick to grab Dez Bryant if he's available and turn to getting Chris Cooley more catches and try to get him into a vanilla version of Antonio Gates in San Diego.
Billick will also turn to the Wildcat and sign Michael Vick. If Billick does join Washington, expect the days of Clinton Portis to end and the Sundays of Quinton Ganther to suddenly more busy.
If Sam Bradford is available, they may try to ship Jason Campbell for draft picks and still sign Vick. If Bradford is gone, I more than expect Dez Bryant to be the answer.
Remember when Terrell Owens rejected a trade to a team that ended up winning the Super Bowl? Yeah, Billick does too. Remember, he coached that team. Owens might relish a chance to get back at the Cowboys and finally join coach Billick.
Moss and Bryant with Owens playing the slot and Cooley catching passes with Campbell and Vick playing Wildcat and Ganther hitting 1,200 yards might be the recipe for success in D.C., outside of Daniel Snyder having a heart attack.
Redskins 2010 record: 9-7, or 10-6, no wildcard birth, but it might be good enough to steal the NFC East
Buffalo Bills 2009 coach-Dick Jauron/Perry Fewell 2010 coach-Mike Shanahan
One of the worst kept secrets in the NFL. Shanahan is gonna make Fred Jackson great, but remember, he almost made Tatum Bell great.
I think 2010 is a year of rebuilding for Buffalo. Rebuilding and getting beaten twice by all three teams in their division.
Mike might go with his son as the offensive coordinator, let's hope he lets his son kind his own gig. Buffalo might kill Kyle's chances of being a head coach.
Bills 2010 record: 3-13, but hey, you get to draft Jake Locker in 2011. Buffalo Bills, you are on the clock for 2011.
Cleveland Browns 2009 coach-Eric Mangini 2010 coach-Mike Holmgren
Please, Mike, hit the red button that drops Mangini into Randy Lerner's shark tank. Quit trading with the Jets and start building the kind of program that would be worthy of being called a Mike Holmgren team.
If not for the fans of Cleveland, do it for Sam Bradford, so he doesn't end up like Brady Quinn.
Browns record in 2010 -(W/Holmgren) 6-10 or 7-9, maybe even 8-8, (W/Mangini) 3-13
Carolina Panthers 2009 coach John Fox 2010 coach-John Fox
I don't believe they give up on Fox yet. not this season at least. I say wait this season, and if he does horrible, then go after Tony Dungy.
I don't think they do horrible, but I don't think fox survives next season, not with Julius Peppers leaving.
Panthers record in 2010-9-7
Oakland Raiders 2009 coach-Tom Cable 2010 coach-Kyle Shanahan
I think Al Davis starts on the right track to recovery in Oakland by bringing in Shanahan.
Rolando McClain is looking tempting even now, and Shanahan is someone who would be willing to coach in Oakland and get them to some sort of glory. It won't be easy, but he does have a semi-talented core and will add to that in the draft.
Raiders record in 2010:8-8
So that concludes my list of coaching changes in 2010. I think that Jon Gruden, Brian Schottenheimer, and Todd Bowles deserve jobs in 2010, but with the exception of Gruden, they already do and they look to improve their current teams.
It's only speculation, and I hope a few turn out to be correst, but that's the fun of speculation.
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