Doug Pederson isn’t just the longest-tenured head coach in the NFC East. When the 2020 season begins, he’ll be the only guy who has coached a single game for their respective teams.
All three other NFC East teams have moved on from their previous head coaches and as of Tuesday afternoon, all three have found their new guy.
Here are some thoughts on all the hires.
Giants: Joe Judge
The Giants were reportedly finalizing a deal with Judge on Tuesday morning, ruining the fantasy of the Giants’ hiring Jason Garrett and keeping him in the NFC East.
New York Giants are finalizing a deal to make Patriots’ wide receivers coach Joe Judge their next head coach, league sources tell ESPN. Deal was in the works as of last night, which is another reason Matt Rhule took the Panthers’ HC job.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2020
So who is Judge?
Let’s face it, I’m saving you a Google search right now. Judge, 38, is a local guy. He’s from Philly and went to Lansdale Catholic.
While Schefter called Judge the Patriots’ receivers coach, that’s not exactly true. Because Judge had been New England’s special teams coordinator since 2015 and simply added the wide receivers coach hat this season. That means he basically held two full-time jobs this season, which is impressive.
The best example of a head coach with a special teams background is John Harbaugh, who coached special teams and defensive backs with the Eagles before the Ravens hired him as a head coach in 2008. It’s rare for special teams coaches to get head coaching opportunities but there are some reasons to think it can work. One main one is that aside from the head coach, the only other coach who addresses the entire team (offensive and defensive players) is the special teams coordinator.
It appeared that the Giants didn’t get their first choice, though. Former Baylor and Temple head coach Matt Rhule never made it to his interview in New York, taking the head coaching job in Carolina. But it’s not always a bad thing to miss your first choice. Heck, not many people think Pederson was the Eagles’ top choice back in 2016 and that has worked out pretty well.
The problem for the Giants might be that they allowed general manager Dave Gettleman to make this hire. We’ll see how long this marriage lasts.
Cowboys: Mike McCarthy
The Cowboys officially announced McCarthy as their head coach on Tuesday afternoon after a wild couple weeks where it seemed like they were keeping Garrett around just in case.
It made sense for the Cowboys to hire a coach with some experience because they have a decently talented roster. If the new coach can get a lot out of his guys, the Cowboys could theoretically compete next season.
McCarthy, 56, was the Packers head coach from 2006-18 and compiled a 125-77-2 record during his time in Green Bay. He led the Packers to the playoffs in nine of 13 years and won Super Bowl XLV in 2010. It is worth noting no head coach has ever won Super Bowls in two cities.
It sounds like McCarthy is bringing in veteran defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to his staff.
This isn’t exactly the sexiest pick for a head coach but the Cowboys hired a guy who they hope can turn things around this upcoming season and maximize their window.
Redskins: Ron Rivera
This is the one we’ve known about for a while now. The Redskins fired Jay Gruden during the season so they had a little bit of a head start hiring Rivera, who was fired by the Panthers before the end of their season.
Rivera, 58, had a 76-63-1 record during his nine years in Carolina and led them to the playoffs four times, losing the Super Bowl in 2015.
During his short time on the job, Rivera has already begun making some changes in Washington. This was a culture-change hire from the Redskins and Rivera has already started changing the culture, banishing those pesky ping pong tables from the locker room.
As a defensive-minded head coach, it appears Rivera is going to hire 37-year-old Scott Turner as his offensive coordinator. Turner was with Rivera in Carolina as a quarterbacks coach and was promoted during the 2019 season to offensive coordinator, replacing his father Norv. With Dwayne Haskins entering his second year, the Turner hire is a pretty big one too.
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