Every season coordinators become Head Coaches, including six in 2021. Here are a few who have the skill and talent to become HCs soon or in the future:
Darren Rizzi from New Orleans Special Teams Coordinator to Head Coach
Darren Rizzi has 14 years of NFL coaching experience, earning his first position with the Dolphins in 2009. In 2019, Rizzi moved to the Saints and has been a top Special Teams Coordinator throughout his 3 years there. The last 10 seasons his combined units rank 1st in punt blocks (12) and 2nd in kick blocks (24). In the past 8 years, five of the players he’s coached have made the Pro Bowl a combined 6 times; he has coached 6 players to the NFL’s all-rookie team.
Mike Tannenbaum believes that, “Rizz is a great leader and an even better person, who has a unique ability to cause players to adapt to his mentality; a true leader of men.”
DeMeco Ryans from San Francisco Defensive Coordinator to Head Coach
Ryans spent 10 years in the NFL as a LB with the Falcons and Eagles. Since finishing his playing career, he has spent his entire coaching career with the 49ers. He started as a defensive quality control coach in 2017 and was promoted to ILB coach in 2018. In 2021 he was promoted to Defensive Coordinator after the departure of Robert Saleh. He was a mentor to the development of star linebacker Fred Warner, who’s been one of the anchors for their defense since his rookie season in 2018. Under Ryans’ guidance Warner has eclipsed 100+ TOT in every season of his career. Prior to his coaching career he was a 10 year veteran who played in 140 career games for Houston (2006-2011) and Philadelphia (2012-2015).
Tannenbaum said, “Ryan’s has shown a borderline elite ability to connect with his players, and produce at a high level as a first time coordinator.”
Aaron Glenn from Detroit DC to HC
Glenn brings his 24 years of coaching and front office experience to the Lions defense. He spent 5 seasons with Dan Campbell on the Saints coaching up the defensive backs including Marcus Lattimore and Marcus Williams. In 2020, New Orleans tied for first in the NFL in interceptions recorded (18), while the defense tied for the third-most (26) total takeaways in the NFL.
“Glenn deserves to be an NFL Head Coach, and is rightfully getting interviews this cycle. If Glenn doesn’t get a job, he will be a top tier option next season,” said Mike Tannenbaum.
Kevin O’Connell from Rams OC to HC
O’Connell played 5 years in the NFL with Detroit, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. He was hired by the Washington Football Team in 2017 as the quarterbacks coach. In 2019, he was named the team’s offensive coordinator. Following the 2019 season he was hired by the Rams to be their offensive coordinator and has been serving in that role since. They finished 11th in total offense and 13th in passing offense.
Mike Tannenbaum thinks, “O’Connell is an integral part of the SB run for the Rams, and has elevated the game of Kupp and Stafford”
Marcus Brady from Colts Offensive Coordinator to Head Coach
Brady is a first year OC for the Indianapolis Colts after spending 3 years as a QB Coach with the team starting in 2018. In the CFL, Brady played 7 years as a QB after coming out of Cal State Northridge as a UDFA in 2002. During his time in the CFL, he worked with Coach Marc Trestman in Toronto. During his time in Indy, he has spent time working with Andrew Luck (1 year), Jacoby Brissett (1 year), Philip Rivers (1 year) and most recently Carson Wentz in the position of offensive coordinator. In 2020 with Rivers, they had a top 10 offense in PPG and helped Philip Rivers complete the 2nd highest% of his passes in his career. In 2021, in his first year as an OC, he led the 2nd ranked rush offense behind Jonathan Taylor and allowed the 10th least amount of sacks to the QB.
Mike Tannnenbaum believes that, “Brady is a talented QB-minded OC who has rightfully risen his way to leading a talented offense in Indy. He deserves every opportunity he gets due to his attention to detail and focus on getting the ball to his playmakers on offense.”