Who are the leading candidates for NFL head coaching jobs? | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports Charles Robinson and Charles McDonald discuss the names they’ve been told are at the top of everyone’s list to become head coaches next season. Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

CHARLES ROBINSON: I've seen a list of candidates that you had. There are three names I can tell you right now, just calling around. And it's interesting, because kind of the dynamics of what is open is interesting to me. Because generally, I think ownership groups nowadays, if they're in a position where they're going to draft a quarterback and there's going to be an opening, they're sort of like, well, let's try to get an offensive coach.

Let's say you look at a team like Denver. I think DeMeco Ryans, you talked about DeMeco Ryans with San Francisco, the defensive coordinator has been amazing. They love Dan Quinn the last time they went through the interviews. And then I think Jonathan Gannon with the Eagles. I really think those three guys-- it would be rare to see this happen.

But I really think there's a chance that we could see three defensive coordinators end up with head jobs, depending on what the openings are this offseason. Those three guys are at the top of everybody's interview list, if they haven't already interviewed. Denver already interviewed Quinn before. Three really good coordinators. I mean, Ryans to me--

CHARLES MCDONALD: Oh, he's amazing.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I mean, how do Houston-- that's what blows my mind, is I'm like, you're freaking out about what your candidate list. You had Jonathan Gannon on the list, right, last year. And this is just removing Lovie completely from the conversation.

Because he was a left turn at the last second. Because I think they knew they couldn't-- the lawsuit dropped and they knew they couldn't name Josh McCown their coach. But they had Jonathan Gannon on the list. I never understood why DeMeco Ryans, who's beloved in Houston, played in Houston.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Franchise legend.


CHARLES MCDONALD: I think DeMeco to Houston would be great. Because he also-- DeMeco represents what the best of the Houston Texans franchise has been. Like when it was him and Watt out there, that's the best that the Texans have been felt.

And I think that you obviously can't base the whole decision off of this. But I think when you get a candidate that aligns where he's qualified based on the work that he's done and it would just make people in Houston feel good, I think that matters a lot. And beyond just what it would mean to Houston, I really can't think of a defensive play caller that's been better than DeMeco over the past two seasons.

It's like him and Dan Quinn at the top of the list. And it's just-- I don't know. I find the work that DeMeco has done, that it just kind of blows my mind that he's been this good his first time when it comes to really having command of the entire defense. And look, I know that the 49ers have their defensive stars. But if I needed someone to come in and rebuild my defense, rebuild my culture, he will probably be at the top of my list.

CHARLES ROBINSON: That's why I think Dan Quinn-- it depends what George Paton, the general manager in Denver, it depends on if ownership says to him, hey, this isn't working. We know it was your hire. We're going to give you a mulligan on it. Most general managers usually get two coaches.

Not this quickly, granted. But was in the middle of an ownership sale, kind of a weird situation. And so what we're going to do is, we're going to listen to you. And I think he would say that, hey, Dan. I love Dan Quinn. He was great. He was absolutely my backup to this hire that I ended up making. And to me, you bring Quinn in. He immediately vibes with the defense, right? He's going to get everything he's going to get out of there.

So the defense, I don't think, is like a locker room problem, this rivalry between the defense and the offense. But I think the question is then how do you get Russell Wilson on track? Who are you bringing in to get Russ where he needs to be? Because if it's not going to be the head coach, it's going to have to be someone else. And I think it's OK in this situation because-- say OC comes in and ends up being a really good OC.

They get Russ on track for a couple of seasons. Let's say Denver's offense plays well, and he gets hired away. Well, Russ is a veteran. At that point, he knows how to manage this offense. He knows whoever comes in is going to learn as much from Russell as Russell is going to learn from the OC. So I do think this is the rare situation where it can work. I don't like it when it's like, you've got a defensive coach, great OC, super young quarterback who blossoms. And then the OC, Brian Daboll, gets hired away. And then you're like, well, [BLEEP]. We just lost-- you know, that guy should've been our head coach so he could stay with the quarterback through his career. I think DQ could work in Denver, I really do.

CHARLES MCDONALD: I think he could, too. And I think to a degree when you're Russell Wilson and you've played this much football and you're getting paid what you are, you've kind of got to start figuring it out on your own. Like as bad as the Broncos offense has been, and I think it's going to end up costing Hackett his job. Like, you can't really be ignored that you paid Russell Wilson all that money and paid-- and traded the draft picks for him to get this as your result.

Like, that's undoubtedly horribly frustrating, and Russell deserves a big chunk of blame for how bad this offense has been. But they're going to have to figure it out. I don't really think an offensive-minded head coach or a defensive-minded head coach matters too much for Denver. They just need to get the best guy in there--


CHARLES MCDONALD: --to start turning this thing around.

CHARLES ROBINSON: That is 100%. I'm with you.