Before the NFL starts its new league year on March 9, each team will have tough decisions to make on a number of players. For some teams, it is deciding on if a particular free agent fits their roster. For others, it is deciding whether or not to re-sign their own players.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to determine if Sunday evening’s AFC Divisional playoff matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-6) and Denver Broncos (12-4) is a football game or hospital drama.
On Saturday, the Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to fill their head coaching vacancy this offseason. The team officially named Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase as the 12th head coach in franchise history.
The Saturday prime time AFC Wild Card playoff game features the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, presumably for television to take advantage of the Steelers’ national following. But you’ll excuse these teams if they’d prefer to play on Sunday.
How in the world did two teams that started their seasons 2-5 and 1-5 make it to the AFC Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs? I’ll tell you how in two words: coaching and defense. The coaching jobs that the Texans’ Bill O’Brien and Chiefs’ Andy Reid have done this season are nothing short of minor football miracles.
In late April, the Tennessee Titans drafted quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second pick in the NFL Draft. Ken Whisenhunt got to coach Mariota for less than half of a season, as he was shown the door after the team started 1-6.
Now that the 2015 NFL regular season is officially over for the Miami Dolphins, the real fun begins. While interim head coach Dan Campbell will interview to be the permanent head coach according to owner Stephen Ross, he isn’t expected to return after finishing with a 5-8 record after Joe Philbin was fired.