Sports

NFL Coach Tracker: Which Franchises Have Hired New Head Coaches?

With just eight teams left in the playoffs, the NFL coaching carousel is kicking into overdrive, as a number of franchises look to make changes at the top.

Eight teams headed into the offseason looking for a new head coach, with six of them having been fired on “Black Monday”.

As ever when it comes to the NFL, things never stand still for too long and the chips of the coaching dominos have started to fall into place with a number of appointments made over the last few days.

Read more: NFL playoff pictureUpdated divisional NFC and AFC matchups

Here’s a round-up of which coaches have gone where.

Freddie Kitchens—Cleveland Browns

Kitchens began the season as Cleveland’s running backs coach, before being promoted to offensive coordinator to replace Todd Haley, who was fired alongside head coach Hue Jackson halfway through the season.

The change paid immediate dividends, with the Browns going 5-3 down the stretch, with rookie Baker Mayfield throwing 19 of his 27 touchdown passes in the period.

The relationship between Kitchens and the number one overall pick of the 2018 draft is crucial for Cleveland’s future and on Wednesday ESPN confirmed the Browns had made Kitchens their new head coach.

Adam Gase—New York Jets

Gase didn’t have to wait long to land a new job in the NFL. Two weeks after being fired by the Miami Dolphins after a 7-9 season, the 40-year-old moved to another AFC East team.

His appointment marks a significant shift in dynamic from the Jets as Gase is the first man with previous head coaching experience hired by the franchise since Bill Parcells got the job in 1997.

Even more significantly, the Jets had not appointed a coach with an offensive background since Rich Kotite was hired in 1995. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Sam Darnold approved the decision to hire Gase, who worked with Peyton Manning during his spell as Denver’s quarterback coach.

The Jets will hope he can work his magic with Darnold, the number three pick of the 2018 draft.

Vic Fangio—Denver Broncos

After 19 seasons as defensive coordinator, Fangio is finally landing is first job as head coach, as NFL Network Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday.

The 60-year-old spent the last four seasons in Chicago, where he moulded the Bears into the best defense in the NFL this year.

In Von Miller, Fangio should have one of the best defensive player in the league at his disposal in the Mile High City but it remains to be seen whether the All-Pro linebacker will remain in Denver, after Broncos GM John Elway recently admitted he was open to trade him.

Matt LaFleur—Green Bay Packers

The Packers held interviews with a number of candidates before opting to hire the Titans offensive coordinator. LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach in Atlanta for two seasons, including the 2016 campaign when the Falcons came within a miraculous Patriots comeback of winning the Super Bowl.

In the same year, Matt Ryan was named MVP, therefore it will be fascinating to see what impact LaFleur will have on Aaron Rodgers.

Kliff Kingsbury—Arizona Cardinals

Arguably the most surprising decision since the end of the regular season was the Cardinals opting to hire Kingsbury. The 39-year-old’s only job as head coach ended with him being fired by Texas Tech, following a 35-40 record over six seasons.

On the other hand, during his time in Lubbock, Kingsbury developed Patrick Mahomes into a top-10 first round pick and the Cardinals will hope he can have a similar impact on Josh Rosen. The 10th overall pick of the 2018 draft finished his rookie season with 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and 11 fumbles, completing only 55.2 percent of his passes.

Bruce Arians—Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The former Cardinals head coach arrives in Tampa Bay with the task of turning around the fortunes of a floundering franchise.

The 66-year-old retired from coaching at the end of the 2017 season but changed his mind late last year, even though he made clear he was only interested in taking a job in Cleveland or Tampa Bay.

His wish has been granted after he signed a four-year deal with the Bucs, where he will be reunited with GM Jason Licht, who was on Arizona’s front office during Arians’ first season with the team.

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