As of right now there will be seven new head coaches in the NFL prowling the sidelines come opening day in early September and history has shown us that for some it will be the start of a very successful run with their new team, while for others it will be the beginning of the end for their NFL head coaching career.
We have yet to find a sportsbook that has placed odds on which of these seven coaches will have best season in 2012, so we decided to rate them in which order we think their team will finish from first to last.
First- Jeff Fisher, St.Louis Rams
Given Fisher’s past experience and success as a head coach, he would easily be the odds-on-favorite to lead this group. He also has a franchise quarterback in place with Sam Bradford and a solid rushing attack in Stephen Jackson. If he can grab a few impact players in the draft and patch a few holes through free agency, the Rams are a team that can contend for a playoff spot in 2012.
Second- Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chiefs
Much like Fisher, Crennel has the experience as a head coach; he just does not have the success. That could all change quickly as he inherits a team that is just one season removed from winning its division. He will also benefit from already having a relationship with the players, having served as defensive coordinator and interim head coach with the Chiefs.
Third- Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins
Philbin is no stranger to winning, having served as Green Bay’s offensive coordinator since 2007. While there are still a number of question marks heading into next season, especially at quarterback, Miami has a solid nucleus of talent that showed no signs of quit down the stretch last season. There could be some upheaval within the AFC East next season, putting the Dolphins in a perfect position to capitalize as a result.
Fourth- Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders
Allen is another defensive-minded coach that did a good job turning things around in Denver. If Carson Palmer can return to form with a full offseason under his belt and Darren McFadden can stay healthy, the Raiders’ offense should take care of itself. The AFC West remains up for grabs with no real dominant team, so it will not take much to get Oakland right back in the mix.
Fifth- Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is another team that made great strides in 2010 only to have things become completely unglued last season. Schiano’s most important task will be to get quarterback Josh Freeman back-on-track after a disappointing 2011 campaign. His next major task will be to refocus the energy of a young team that is high on talent, but lacking in discipline, which actually plays right into his biggest strength.
Sixth- Mike Mularkey, Jacksonville Jaguars
The key to Mularkey’s success will be his ability to do for Blaine Gabbert what he was able to do for Matt Ryan as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. He does not inherit much more on offense other than running back Maurice Jones-Drew, but he does have a solid group of players on the defensive side of the ball that should be able to keep Jacksonville competitive next season.
Seventh- Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts
With so much uncertainty in Indianapolis right now, it is hard to speculate on what this team will look like come opening day. Everything points to Peyton Manning’s departure, which means that Pagano will be left with a rookie quarterback and a team that has suddenly forgotten how to win after years and years of success.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.