Tom Curran: What's in store for the NFL's 11 new coaches?
Rex Ryan, New York Jets
The 46-year-old son of iconic ex-Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, Rex has the same, "You've got a winner in town," swagger. The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator has already traded barbs with Miami's Channing Crowder and proclaimed there will be no ring-kissing to Bill Belichick. With a glamour-boy rookie quarterback, Mark Sanchez, and a lot of talented Jets veterans, you might be hearing even more from Ryan.
Working hand-in-hand with Tom Brady in 2007, McDaniels - the former Patriots offensive coordinator - has his fingerprints on one of the NFL's greatest offensive seasons. So when the 33-year-old McDaniels got hired in Denver to replace Mike Shanahan, it was intriguing to wonder what he and young Jay Cutler might do together. Not so intriguing anymore. Cutler's in Chicago thanks to a dustup with McDaniels and now, talented but irritating receiver Brandon Marshall's also been trying leave town.
San Francisco 49ers
Hired as the 49ers interim coach last season, the 50-year-old Hall of Fame ex-Bears linebacker started slowly in San Francisco then kicked it in at the end of the season as the 49ers finished 5-4. He's a tremendous motivator - the best of the new hires - and will possibly get some overachievement out of a 49ers team that is not loaded with talent.
Tom Cable, Oakland Raiders
Hired as the Raiders interim coach after the Lane Kiffin disaster, Cable, 44, was hired full-time in February. The Raiders are a ship mired in a quagmire of in-fighting (police are investigating whether Cable whacked assistant coach Randy Hanson), indifferent play and bad roster management. Cable has his work cut out to merely raise the team from laughingstock to poorly run.
Jettisoned by the Jets after the Favre-Gone-Bad season of 2008, Mangini - the former Patriots underling - is the new head man in Cleveland. At 38, he's quickly developed a reputation for being unnecessarily difficult with his players, the media, assistant coaches, right on down the line. Shame. He's actually a good guy. But good guy, bad guy won't matter if he can't get the 4-12 Browns out of the mess they're in.
The longtime Colts quarterbacks coach was elevated to the top spot after the retirement of iconic coach Tony Dungy. Caldwell, 54, has been with Indianapolis since 2002 so he knows all the nuances of dealing with the team's offense. But Dungy was tremendous at dealing with adversity and tough times - expert at it, actually. That type of management will need to be emulated by Caldwell in the very competitive AFC South.
The 43-year-old Lions head coach has been a head-coach-in-the-making for years. Working first under Bill Belichick then under Jeff Fisher, Schwartz has learned from two of the most organized, stable, forward-thinking coaches of this generation. Hired by the first team to ever go 0-16, Schwartz has no place to go but up. And with No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford starting right away, that might take a little while. But the Lions are on the uptick.
St. Louis Rams
The ex-Giants defensive coordinator was hotly pursued in the wake of New York's stunning Super Bowl win after the 2007 season. He stayed put then but leaped to the St. Louis Rams this offseason. There, the 49-year-old finds himself in charge of a team that's 5-27 over the past two seasons and has lost direction. He's got a lot of work to do just to make St. Louis relevant.
Kansas City Chiefs
Haley, 42, parlayed the great success of the Arizona Cardinals last season into the head job with Kansas City. Innovative and in possession of a slow-burn temper, Haley will be interesting to watch in Kansas City where the Chiefs need a dose of discipline and butt-kicking to start to improve.