NFL Head Coaching Carousel

Red still has his gig.

Jim Rome
January 02, 2020 - 9:51 am

Normally, on a Monday during the football season, I open the show with a roundup of the NFL action, a quick whiparound to hit on who won and who lost. Today is kind of like that, but instead of talking about who won and who lost, it’s about who has a job and who doesn’t. 

Jay Gruden still doesn’t have a job, but Ron Rivera does. Riverboat Ron is taking over in Washington and reportedly bringing Jack Del Rio with him as defensive coordinator. I like that hire. A lot. And I like that Rivera is bringing Jack Del Rio with him.

Freddie Kitchens is out in Cleveland. So is John Dorsey. Which means that Cleveland is going with a hard reset yet again. If you want to make a move at head coach after this season, that’s fine. I’ll own everything I said about the Browns. Yes, I was all in on them coming into the season. And yes, I was all in on Freddie Kitchens getting that gig based on how the offense and Baker Mayfield responded in the second half of last season. And no, I have no problem with the Browns breaking him off after only one season: because while it’s not on him, that one season was a castastrophe and my man Freddie was in over his head. Firing the coach is one thing: firing the coach AND the gm is another. If you’re doing that, you’re effectively starting over. Again. So you better have a plan. And it better be a really good plan and not just flailing around. This is still a Browns house, despite the disastrous season they just had. Don’t jack this up. I know the Haslam’s want to win; they just don’t know how to: hopefully, they get it right this time. 

The Panthers are still looking for a head coach. The Jags are not. To the surprise of many, Doug Marrone is coming back again next year, which means they are putting all the blame for the last two years on Tom Coughlin. That is either a bold strategy or it’s no strategy at all.

So Jacksonville doesn’t have an opening. And you know who else doesn’t have an opening? Dallas. 

Hell. Yes. The Dallas Cowboys still have Jason Garrett as their head coach. New Year, new you, Not a new coach, though. 

That is the absolute best. The organization that could not stop talking about their head coaching position has a chance to make a move now that the season is over and they haven’t done anything. Jerry went from non-stop noise about his head coach, providing weekly updates on his job status, to doing absolutely nothing when the time came to do something.  

Actually, I take that back. He has done something. Jason Garrett reportedly met with Jerry and Stephen Jones on Monday. And on Tuesday. And now he’s coming back again today.

A third meeting? Are you kidding me? I love that they’re meeting again and really dragging this out, but what the hell is there to talk about now that they haven’t already talked about before? What is new since Tuesday?

Jason, what did you have for dinner last night? How are those New Year’s resolutions going so far, Red? Did you see the Rose Bowl? Hell of a game, right?

Honestly, this is the best. Just when you thought Jerry could not get any more Jerry than he was throughout the regular season, he finds a new gear in January. And I respect it. That is what the great ones always do. January is where legends are made in the NFL and Jerry Jones is becoming even more of a legend by the day.

My only hope is that they don’t make an announcement today. Stretch this out. His contract runs until January 14th, but don’t stop there. 

Keep it going past the Super Bowl. Past the combine. Past the draft. I want Jerry and Stephen and Jason to still be meeting three or four times a week in July to talk about Red’s job. 

That would be the best thing ever. 

And it’s even better when you hear the reports that Garrett has allegedly already said his good-byes. And they’re still dragging him into the office for meetings. To hear those reports, he’s said his good-byes, he’s packed up his desk, he’s walking out of the building with a cardboard box with an office plant on top of it and Jerry is saying, hey Jason, can you come back in tomorrow for another meeting?

That is amazing. I can’t wait to see how today’s meeting goes: and how it compares to the first two.  

But seriously, what is this all about? They can’t really be deciding whether or not they’re going to keep him, right? There’s no way he could actually be coming back, right? 

Then again, how many times has the world said Jason Garrett is going to be fired on Sunday and sure enough, the key card works on Monday and he’s right back at it. Doing whatever it is that he does. 

So is this yet another in a long line of burials for Garrett that never actually takes place? Or are they going to try to make him head coach emeritus or something, maybe Clapper in Chief, just to keep the guy around?

Or do the Cowboys not have a replacement in mind? It can’t be that, right? You can’t tell me that with all the gum flapping about head coaches that Jerry Jones has done over the years that he doesn’t actually have a list ready, right?

Or is this about keeping Garrett away from some other team. Like a team in the division that has an opening? 

I’ll get to that team in a moment, but is that what this is about? Are they trying to keep Garrett long enough for everyone else to make their moves so that Garrett can’t come back to coach against them?

Because if they’re doing that, it’s some pretty weird and pretty dirty pool. First off, if you think he’s so good that he could turn around another team, then keep him as your own head coach. But if you don’t want him as your head coach it’s because you think you can do better, so go do better and let him do his thing somewhere else. 

Do they not have a plan or do they have an incredible plan? Knowing this crew, anything is possible.

Just know this. I love it. I love the fact that Jerry Jones, a guy who can’t wait to talk to the media moments after a game and does weekly radio hits, is suddenly nowhere to be found. And the organization that has talked so much for so long has gone silent. 

The only bad thing about this would be if it ends today. Please don’t let it end today.  Keep meeting, and deciding nothing. Oh, and keep missing the playoffs when you’re an alleged Super Bowl contender. In other words, never ever change. And I know you won’t.