The Packers are now looking for a new head coach for the first time since 2006. Here is my top 10 list of candidates in no particular order:
Josh McDaniels – New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator
McDaniels is probably on the top of many lists. Yahoo! Sports is already reporting that some NFL assistants are already gearing up to possibly join his potential staff in Green Bay. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst and McDaniels already got to know each other during the 49ers coaching and GM search a couple of years ago. The Packers need to hire a coach that will command the respect from Aaron Rodgers. If McDaniels can command the respect of Rodgers good friend Tom Brady, shouldn’t Rodgers buy into McDaniels system?
Jim Harbaugh – Michigan Head Coach
Rob Demovsky is reporting that his source said Brian Gutekunst wants a “no non-sense guy” and that he has long admired Jim Harbaugh. Rodgers has long said he prefers his position coaches to be someone who has played the quarterback position. How about if his head coach played the quarterback position?
Lincoln Riley – Oklahoma Head Coach
He’s the hottest name in the college ranks that NFL teams with openings would love to talk to. The biggest question is, will he make the jump? And will teams be willing to wait until Oklahoma’s season is over with? His offense is drawing the attention of a lot of people, so of course people are intrigued with pairing Riley and Rodgers together.
Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern Head Coach
It’s been rumored that the Northwestern coach would only make the jump to the NFL for one team: the Chicago Bears. But would he make the jump a little further north and join up with Mark Murphy, who hired him at Northwestern when Murphy was the Athletic Director? Murphy and Fitzgerald have an obvious connection, which makes him a candidate.
James Franklin – Penn State Head Coach
Franklin hasn’t been rumored with the Packers, but he has been attached to previous NFL openings. He’s had one coaching stint in the NFL during his career and that was as wide receivers coach with the Packers in 2005. His offenses at Penn State have been pretty solid, but would he want to leave his home state to jump to the pros? It’s worth a call.
Pete Carmichael – New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator
A lot of fans seem to like this pick. He’s the offensive coordinator of the dynamic New Orleans Saints offense. He’s been with Sean Payton for a long time now, but he doesn’t call plays for the Saints. Will that hurt his chances? A lot of Packers fans would like to emulate the Saints offense and hiring Carmichael would be the way to do it.
Vic Fangio – Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator
If the Packers decide to go defense, they should make a call to the Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. A lot of Packers fans, and even McCarthy, wanted Fangio as their defensive coordinator this season. And why not? He was impressive as defensive coordinator with the 49ers under Harbaugh and continues that with the Bears. It would also hurt their division rival prying him away.
Matt LaFleur – Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator
A lot of teams may be trying to find the next Sean McVay and this might be the guy. He was the Rams offensive coordinator last year and is currently the offensive coordinator for the Titans. He just turned 39 this year, so if the Packers elect to go with the young head coach approach and a guy that has worked with McVay in the past, this would be their best bet.
Eric Bieniemy – Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
If you have been an offensive coordinator under Andy Reid, chances are you’re going to be getting interviews for a head coaching job. Bieniemy has been attached to possible head coaching jobs even before he was Reid’s offensive coordinator. If the Packers want to pick from the Reid coaching tree, it’s worth taking a look at his latest offensive coordinator, especially with the way the Chiefs offense has been playing this year.
Bruce Arians – Retired
Would Arians consider coming out of retirement for the Packers? How much does he have left in the tank? That’s probably the biggest question that needs to be answered. Arians has proven to be a good head coach and play caller and if the Packers want an instant turnaround on offense, Arians might be their best bet. But he won’t be around for the long haul. And do they want a coach that was out of the league this year? It’s still worth an interview.
Just missed the cut: John Defilippo – Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator
His stock was extremely high at the start of the season, but it has come down a lot as of late. Mike Zimmer kind of calling him out in the media hasn’t helped much and Vikings fans would like to see them run the ball more. Run the ball more, does that sound familiar Packers fans? Defilippo will still get some head coaching interviews, but with the complaints from Vikings fans about Defilippo sounding an awful lot like the complaints against McCarthy, do Packers fans want Defilippo?