Albert Breer breaks down who showed their age in the playoff matchup between Tom Brady and Drew Brees, how the league is failing with its minority hiring practices, the situation unfolding with the Jacksonville Jaguars general manager position and why the Houston Texans should not trade Deshaun Watson.
We also talk to former NFL executive Joe Banner about what teams are currently looking for during their head coaching hires and his experiences in hiring with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles. We wrap things up by talking to SI's fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano about who to start and sit for the conference championships, and of course, the mailbag.
Albert Breer: Takeaway number three. We are where we are from the minority hiring standpoint. And look, it sucks that Eric Bieniemy hasn't gotten a job. He's done a good job for three years. He's interviewed for a bunch of jobs. I think he's a good guy, he's got the respect of his players. He's got a good reputation for being a guy who's willing to set standards and adhere to standards and do things that really are part and parcel to the way you build a program.
But you know what? It hasn't worked out for him to this point. And he's not alone. if you want to go down the list, look at the list. Wink Martindale, Greg Roman and Pete Carmichael—there are a ton of qualified coordinators out there who haven't gotten their shot. And it sucks, there are lots of good coaches who haven't gotten a shot. It absolutely sucks that these guys haven't gotten their shot. These jobs are very difficult to get.
And so I think part of the problem right now is laser focusing on individual cases. And I think that's costing everybody the chance to look at the amount of qualified candidates who are out there who really deserve a shot that I think might not have been cycling through the interview process. Because we're so focused on single cases and guys that, quote unquote, might have gotten screwed. And you don't see that happen with white candidates and that part of it sucks too. But you don't see it happening with white candidates where maybe one guy who's been lingering out there for a while winds up obscuring the visibility of some other guys.
I'm going to put some names [of minority coaches] out there for you that I think are good names that I think will be head coaches. Larry Foote, the linebackers coach with the Buccaneers; Jerod Mayo, the Patriots linebackers coach, he interviewed in Philly; Aaron Glenn, the secondary coach down in New Orleans, he interviewed with the Jets, he's probably going to the Lions as defensive coordinator; DeMeco Ryans is another good one, the Niners new defensive coordinator.
There are lots of good names out there, of qualified assistant coaches who are maybe right now at the position coach level or just ascending to the defensive coordinator level. And these are all really good names. And I just I think if one of these guys got a shot to get in the room, it's possible. What happened with Joe Judge in New York, what happened with Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh, potentially happens with them—where they get in the room and they crush the interview and an owner says, "I want to hire that guy." So, I think as much as anything else, I wish the focus would be taken off of singular cases because there's clearly a lot that needs to be fixed here.