The Perfect Green Bay Packers Head Coach Replacement
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was widely known to be on the hot seat, but his firing in the middle of the season was still a major surprise. Normally a coach like McCarthy who has accomplished so much with a team would at least be given until the end of the season out of respect, but Green Bay’s front office decided they could no longer wait after the team’s embarrassing loss to the Arizona Cardinals where they were 14 point favorites.
Unexpected Good Bye
By doing so, they got a head start on the search for a new coach, which may prove to be advantageous. They can now openly begin reaching out to potential candidates and make their interest clear with no qualms. Given that the Packers likely only have a handful of elite years left from Aaron Rodgers, they are definitely in win-now mode and not looking for a rebuild. They’ll be looking to maximize the years they have left for Rodgers, and as such will probably be looking for an offensive-minded coach to pair with their franchise quarterback.
While there are plenty of hot candidates, with even more likely to emerge after this year’s round of Black Monday firings, one candidate clearly stands above the rest. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is that candidate, and the Packers should do whatever it takes to land him. Riley successfully developed two great quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, and has guided the Sooners to the College Football Playoff in back-to-back seasons.
Riley has made it quite clear that he’s very comfortable at Oklahoma, and it would take a lot to get him to leave. Fortunately for the Packers, Green Bay isn’t your normal NFL head coaching vacancy. Very rarely do you see a coaching job open up that has a quarterback anywhere near Rodgers’ level. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for Riley, and I think he’d jump at the chance to coach Rodgers and one of the league’s most prestigious teams.
There have been other interesting candidates mentioned, most frequently Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, but all of them have major flaws. McDaniels was a huge bust during his time as head coach of the Broncos, and clashed frequently with the media and people inside the organization. Then this past cycle, he reneged on an agreement to become the Colts’ new head coach. McDaniels is obviously a talented play-caller and great offensive mind, but isn’t right to lead one of the league’s most storied franchises.
The Man Who Should Replace Him
The only candidate who checks all the boxes, who can be a great leader as well as an innovative and creative play-designer, is Riley. Riley has all the makings of the next Sean McVay, and is the only sure thing in this class of potential coaches. The rest are all question marks with serious red flags, and the Packers front office, led by CEO Mark Murphy and GM Brian Gutekunst, should make a Godfather-type offer. A lot of people have speculated that Riley is staying put, but him and Rodgers