As sportsbooks are wont to do, one has already published a list of odds for who will be the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers. The ink is still drying on Mike McCarthy’s pink slip, but Mark Murphy has said that the coaching search will begin immediately.
Let’s take a look at the top candidates, at least according to the odds from one online sportsbook (BetDSI) to see if there are any notable surprises or oddities in their assessment of the Packers’ top candidates.
John DeFilippo +200 (2:1)
The current Vikings’ offensive coordinator, DeFilippo got serious consideration from the Chicago Bears’ coaching job in the 2018 offseason before the team hired former Chiefs OC Matt Nagy instead. He did a terrific job as quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl-winning Eagles in 2017, and he might be inclined to keep Mike Pettine around, as he was the OC for the Cleveland Browns in 2015, Pettine’s second and final year as head coach. It would be fascinating to see the Packers hire from within the division.
Josh McDaniels +225 (9:4)
Will the NFL and Packers brass be turned off by the way McDaniels spurned the Colts’ job offer last year? He did struggle in Denver in his first stint as a head coach, but how much of that was due to his poor personnel decisions (since he also had power over the roster)? Pairing him with an aggressive GM should allow him to simply focus on leading the roster he has and building a connection with Aaron Rodgers.
Adam Gase +500 (5:1)
Interestingly, Gase still has a job as an NFL head coach; he’s running the Miami Dolphins, who he has coached since 2016. Miami’s offense has been a bottom-tier unit, however, and Gase’s two great years as an offensive coordinator came with Peyton Manning at quarterback.
Then again, he’d have another exceptional QB to work with in Green Bay. It seems plausible that the Dolphins could fire him this offseason, so perhaps this isn’t crazy. Gase’s Dolphins also lost 31-12 to the Packers in week 10 this season.
Jim Harbaugh +800 (8:1)
The former Bears quarterback and 49ers head coach is the head man at the University of Michigan, who went 10-2 this season and are headed to the Peach Bowl to play Florida. However, Wolverine fans and boosters want one thing above all else: beating Ohio State. That’s something Harbaugh hasn’t been able to do in any of his four attempts. It seems unlikely that he’d get fired, but he could be in the market for a new job.
Lincoln Riley +1000 (10:1)
Riley should be in heavy demand as he prepares his Oklahoma Sooners for their second straight appearance in the College Football Playoff. Last year, they lost to Georgia in the semifinals; this year they face #1 Alabama in the semis.
The reason for the longer odds is likely money and that demand; the Packers won’t be the only team calling him, and Oklahoma could try to offer him a raise to keep him in Norman.
Dave Toub, Zac Taylor, Eric Bieniemy +1500 (15:1)
One of my favorite sleeper candidates is Toub, the long-time Chiefs special teams coordinator. It would be an unconventional hire, and his success would likely be heavily reliant on hiring an offensive coordinator who can connect with Aaron Rodgers, but one would expect the Packers’ traditionally awful special teams to improve overnight.
Taylor is the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams, who do not have a formal offensive coordinator. However, he does have two years of experience as an offensive coordinator, including holding that job with the Miami Dolphins in 2015. You may remember that Joe Philbin was the Fins’ head coach for the first four games that year, so he may put in a good word for his former assistant.
Bieniemy had a nine-year NFL career as a running back and return specialist in the 1990s, and he replaced Nagy as the OC in Kansas City after five years as the Chiefs’ running backs coach. Although Andy Reid calls the plays, Bieniemy is gaining traction as a legitimate head coaching candidate in recent weeks.
Bruce Arians, Pete Carmichael, Jr. +2000 (20:1)
Arians retired from coaching the Arizona Cardinals after last season and spent this year as a color commentator for CBS. He is the oldest person on this list (up to this point), but had a career record of 49-30-1 in his five years with the Cardinals. However, Arians just turned 66 in October and would seem a long shot. Still, he has an impressive resume, having spent five years as OC for the Steelers and one for the Colts prior to getting the job in Arizona.
Carmichael’s is a name that our Jason Hirschhorn mentioned today as a possibility, as he has coordinated the Saints’ offense since 2009. In that time, the Saints have finished no worse than sixth in total yards and no lower than 11th in points scored. His first year saw New Orleans lead the league in both categories en route to a Super Bowl victory.