NFL Head Coaching Special Props Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 1/3/2014
Of all the current open NFL jobs, is the Washington Redskins the best one? I think Houston was as it's a hands-off owner with deep pockets and a ton of talent already in place. The Texans just won back-to-back division titles, and this year's 2-14 flop was simply a runaway train that got away from them when Matt Schaub started throwing interceptions returned for scores. So I'm not surprised that Bill O'Brien jumped quickly from Penn State when the gig was offered.
What about the Redskins opening? On the positive side, it's a very passionate fan base and an owner in Dan Snyder who has shown he will spend big money. He doesn't mettle in the coaching decisions. In addition, already in place is a franchise quarterback in Robert Griffin III -- the only other opening that can say that is Detroit with Matthew Stafford -- and a very good running back in Alfred Morris. The team also is out of salary cap hell this offseason.
On the negative side is that Snyder apparently likes to hang out with his star QB, and Snyder will speak publicly about things often. He also has cycled through many coaches with almost no success. This will be the eighth head coach in D.C. since Snyder bought the team in 1999. None hired under Snyder have lasted more than four years, and none have finished better than .500. Washington is barren at other positions partly because of all that was given up for RGIII, including what became the No. 2 overall pick this season. Maybe Griffin is a coach-killer who wants only a yes-guy. The defense is really in bad shape.
I bring this up because among a few head coaching props that Bovada has released is who the next Redskins coach will be. Washington GM Bruce Allen has been about as vague as possible, only saying he will talk to essentially anyone, including those who have no head coaching experience, who are currently college coaches and some he’s never met. Allen doesn't care if he's an offensive or defensive guy. So perhaps I can get an interview.
The Bovada favorite for the gig is Chargers offensive coordinator and former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt at 3/1. He once played for the Redskins and is considered a brilliant offensive mind when he has the right quarterback. Arizona played in a Super Bowl when it had Kurt Warner under Whisenhunt, and Philip Rivers looked terrific this season under his tutelage. I happen to think the Lions go big after Whisenhunt and he goes there. Whisenhunt knows Lions GM Martin Mayhew, a former teammate, well.
The Skins already have requested permission to speak with Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell (4/1) and will interview Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott (4/1) on Saturday. McDermott's star is definitely on the rise with how good that Panthers unit has been. I think Fewell is a token interview. The Skins already have spoken with Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell (5/1). He has turned Russell Wilson, a somewhat similar QB to Griffin, into one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks, and he also worked with Brett Favre in Minnesota.
The rest of the list: Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden (5/1), Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (5/1) and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman (10/1). So really this isn't a super sexy list. In all honesty, I don't think it's any of these guys, but I'd lean toward Bevell. The Skins need a guy who can work closely with RGIII.
The site also lists the potential futures of recently-fired Lions coach Jim Schwartz and Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano. What will each guy's job be in Week 1 of the 2014 NFL regular season? Schwartz is favored to be an NFL coordinator or position coach at -200, and I think that's exactly what happens. The Browns reportedly already are after him for defensive coordinator, even before they hire a head coach. Schiano's favored job is an NCAA head coach at -200, and I think that's dead on as well. I don't think Schiano gets the Penn State job even though he has ties there. I also don't think he ever returns to the NFL, it just wasn’t a fit with his style. I'd probably go with not coaching at +300 and then some school will hire Schiano after next season.
Current Patriots offensive coordinator and former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels is a hot name, and he's +150 to be a head coach in the NFL next season and -200 to not be. The job you most hear McDaniels linked to is Cleveland, but Bill Belichick disciples haven't fared well as head coaches in the NFL (including Romeo Crennel in Cleveland). Maybe McDaniels has been told he's the eventual successor in New England; I'm guessing Belichick steps aside whenever Tom Brady retires. Perhaps McDaniels also thinks he can do better than Cleveland (where Belichick failed himself), which has no QB of the future. Still, unless the Browns can land a Gus Malzahn or some other big name from college, it probably will be McDaniels. So take yes.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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