As the NFL playoffs commence, the teams on the outside are making coaching changes and hires.
The Panthers, Redskins, Giants and Cowboys have filled their openings, leaving only the Cleveland Browns with no head coach.
These hires include accomplished former NFL head coaches, rookie head coaches and one who arguably lacks an NFL-worthy resume. Here’s the rundown:
Matt Rhule: Carolina Panthers
After three years as head coach at Baylor, Matt Rhule is parting ways and moving on to the NFL. Rhule and the Carolina Panthers are working on a $60M plus contract.
Rhule took over a Baylor team coming off sanctions from the NCAA. In his first year, he went 1-1. A successful recruiting class lead to a 7-6 record with a win over Vanderbilt in the Texas Bowl.
As his scheme, culture and players developed, the team was one win away from the College Football Playoffs. The Bears still ended the season with an 11-2 record and punched a ticket to a Big 6 game in the 2020 Sugar Bowl.
Joe Judge: New York Giants
This might be the biggest hiring shock this year. The New York Giants have hired Special Teams coordinator and WR coach Joe Judge. He spent the past eight seasons with the Patriots.
At 38, he becomes one of the youngest coaches in the league. Judge started working on Bill Belichick and the Patriots in 2012. He was promoted with wide receivers coaching responsibilities this season. The Giants were thought to make a huge splash and were also interested in Matt Rhule. Pat Shurmur, who went 9-23 in two years with the organization, was let go as the Giants have gone to the playoffs once since 2012.
Mike McCarthy: Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones needed a sure-fire hire after a decade of Jason Garrett. Mike McCarthy, who was fired by the Packers in 2018, was the most accomplished coach on the market.
His firing was due to a crumbling relationship with QB Aaron Rodgers and with 4-7-1 record his last campaign. But, McCarthy is one of only eight current coaches with Super Bowl rings. He lead the Packers to eight, straight playoff appearances.
Ron Rivera: Washington Redskins
Rivera, 57, was fired in December. With Cam Newton injured, the team’s record was 5-7 at the time of his release. Before that season, he took them to the playoffs four times in his first seven seasons.
The Panthers reached the Super Bowl in the 2015 season, but lost to the Denver Broncos. The Panthers reached the Super Bowl in 2015, losing to the Denver Broncos. They returned to the playoffs in 2017, ultimately getting bounced in the first round.
With Newton being injured on and off since then, the Superbowl team has suffered. The former Carolina Panthers were the first hire of the coaching cycle. Rivera brings experience and playoff success few others can bring outside Mike McCarthy.