17. Rex Ryan (New York Jets) – He did a nice job this season, finishing 8-8 with a rookie quarterback and virtually no weapons on offense. But at some point, there has to be concern about his ability to develop signal callers in a QB-driven league.
18. Mike McCoy (San Diego) – He fixed Philip Rivers, something many didn’t think was possible, which helped the Chargers turn into a surprise playoff team during his first season. If 2014 has another uptick, McCoy’s stature will rise even more.
19. John Fox (Denver) – It’s trendy to bash Fox right now, but the guy has won three consecutive AFC West titles, with polar opposite quarterbacks (Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning) and led two different teams to the Super Bowl.
20. Bill O’Brien (Houston) – Yes, he has no head coaching experience. But he worked wonders at Penn State, keeping a terrible situation from turning into a complete dumpster fire. That shows that he knows how keep his team’s focus on the game.
21. Mike Smith (Atlanta) – Up until this season, a coach who most NFL fans wouldn’t recognize if he was walking through the airport was doing just fine. But when a rash of injuries struck the Falcons in 2013, he couldn’t keep the train on track.
22. Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati) – To some extent, Lewis deserves credit for doing something with the Bengals that no other coach has been able to do, making the postseason three years in a row. But his inability to win once there is now a trend.
23. Gus Bradley (Jacksonville) – Despite starting off the season dismally (0-8), Bradley was able to keep spirits high. As a result, his Jaguars responded in the second half, finishing the season with a better-than-expected 4-12 record.
24. Marc Trestman (Chicago) – Staying in contention despite having to play Josh McCown at quarterback for multiple games was impressive. Benching the hot hand when Jay Cutler returned from injury wasn’t. Still to early to tell with the Bears HC.
25. Jason Garrett (Dallas) – At some point, a coach is what his record says he is; and if that’s the case, Garrett is the epitome of mediocre. He hasn’t shown that he can lead the Cowboys to anything beyond an 8-8 season.
26. Doug Marrone (Buffalo) – He had to deal with a lot of drama (Jairus Byrd) and injuries (namely at quarterback) in his first season, so Marrone gets somewhat of a pass for the Bills 6-10 finish. Plus, his team played hard right until the very end.
27. Joe Philbin (Miami) – Talk about a mixed bag in 2013. Yes, he kept things on track during the Richie Incognito / Jonathan Martin sage. But he also captained a ship that blew two golden opportunities late in the season to earn a playoff berth.
28. Mike Zimmer (Minnesota) – The well-respected d-coordinator finally gets his chance with the Vikings. But there has to be some concern that despite his résumé, it took Zimmer this long to land a head job. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
29. Dennis Allen (Oakland) – The way the Raiders fell apart in 2013, looking like a team that had no idea how to play the game by season’s end, raises serious questions about Allen’s ability to lead a football team.
30. Jay Gruden (Washington) – People in D.C. hope that he can follow in the footsteps of his coaching brother, but Gruden has a lot to prove. He’s never been a head coach before, plus his offense in Cincinnati went dormant in the postseason.
31. Jim Caldwell (Detroit) – When his Colts team was forced to play the 2011 season without Peyton Manning, they didn’t just struggle; they collapsed. Couple that with the Ravens terrible 2013 season with Caldwell as their OC and this is a weird hire.
32. Mike Pettine (Cleveland) – Okay, perhaps the fact that he worked with Rex Ryan in New York is a reason for optimism. But the fact remains that the guy who led Buffalo’s defense to a mediocre 2013 season is a totally unproven commodity.
Want more great NFL content? CLICK HERE.
Make sure you follow @cover32_NFL on Twitter for all the latest breaking news, columns, blogs and features from all 32 teams and the entire NFL.