2023 Coaching Carousel

By Stephen Juza

Last Updated: January 9th, 2023

Each offseason, about 25% of the league will change head coaches for a variety of reasons. Some head coaches may retire, some may return to the college ranks, but most will be fired. As the NFL approaches the end of the regular season, here is a list of all the current vacancies and changes to the head coaching ranks.

Carolina Panthers:

Prior Head Coach: Matt Rhule (11-27 in 2+ seasons)

What Went Wrong: Rhule was a college head coach who made the jump to the NFL, despite only one season ever at the pro level. We have previously written about the boom-or-bust nature of NFL coaches, and Rhule certainly fits in the ‘bust’ category. The Panthers never had traction under his leadership. Team struggles at the quarterback position didn’t help, as the team had five different quarterbacks start during Rhule’s tenure.

Indianapolis Colts:

Prior Head Coach: Frank Reich (40-33-1 in 4+ seasons)

What Went Wrong: Reich had success early in his Colts tenure, making the playoffs in two of his first three seasons. However, a series of short term quarterback moves made it hard to have consistency in the offense. The Colts had a different starting quarterback entering the season every single season under Reich (Andrew Luck, 2018; Jacoby Brissett, 2019; Phillip Rivers, 2020; Carson Wentz, 2021; Matt Ryan, 2022).

Denver Broncos:

Prior Head Coach: Nathaniel Hackett (4-11 in his first season)

What went wrong: It's hard to find something that went right for the Broncos this season. After trading away numerous draft picks to acquire Russell Wilson, he has been one of the worst ranked quarterbacks in 2022. What's even worse for the Broncos future, is he signed a five-year mega contract with the Broncos before even playing a down. The Broncos struggled with signs of poor coaching from the very beginning of the season, and Hackett never quite found his footing.

Houston Texans:

Prior Head Coach: Lovie Smith (3-13-1 in his first season)

What went wrong: An offense and defense that ranked in the bottom five for the season will always end poorly for the head coach. While Smith may have had success with the Bears back fifteen years ago, the game may have passed him by. It's been almost a decade since he has coached on a team with a winning record. In fact, he has only one more win over his last three seasons as an NFL head coach (11) as he did in his final season with the Bears in 2012.

Arizona Cardinals:

Prior Head Coach: Kliff Kingsbury (28-37-1 in four seasons)

What went wrong: In his four seasons, the Cardinals had a habit of starting the season on a hot streak before cooling off during the back half of the season. However, this season, they never quite found their footing. This season, quarterback Kyler Murray tore his ACL mid-season, but should be ready for the next season.

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