NFL teams searching for a new coach or general manager have no shortage of qualified candidates.
Finding the right guy is the hard part.
Rex Ryan, Mike Smith and Marc Trestman were fired Monday, leaving the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears in the market for a coach. The San Francisco 49ers parted ways with Jim Harbaugh on Sunday and the Oakland Raiders let Dennis Allen go in October.
On the management side, the Bears fired Phil Emery and the Jets axed John Idzik.
So five coaching jobs are open and two teams are looking for general managers.
Here are some things to watch for as those positions get filled:
RECYCLED COACHES: Ryan had immediate success in New York, leading the Jets to consecutive AFC championship games his first two years before things went downhill. He may be too defense-minded for some teams, but he could be a fit in Oakland if interim coach Tony Sparano isn’t retained. Mike Shanahan has two Super Bowl rings on his resume. Josh McDaniels, Mike Singletary, Hue Jackson, Norv Turner, Leslie Frazier, Jim Schwartz, Todd Haley and Gary Kubiak are among the guys who could get another chance.
THE COORDINATORS: Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and McDaniels, the offensive coordinator in New England, are the hot names among coordinators. Seahawks coordinators Darrell Bevell (offensive) and Dan Quinn (defensive) certainly will get calls. So will Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Haley (Steelers OC), Kubiak (Ravens OC), Schwartz (Bills DC), Frazier (Buccaneers DC) and Jackson (Bengals OC) each might be ready for another shot after taking a step back following head coaching stints.
LEAP FROM COLLEGE: Finding the next Chip Kelly always is an intriguing possibility for owners. Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly was a candidate in Philadelphia in 2012 and Detroit in 2014, so he’s on the list. Stanford’s David Shaw, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, Baylor’s Art Briles and TCU’s Gary Patterson could expect calls.
NEED FOR SPEED: Teams interested in Bowles and anyone else on the staffs of the Cardinals, Panthers, Cowboys, Lions, Steelers, Bengals, Colts or Ravens have to wait for those teams to finish the playoffs. So, McDaniels, Gase, Bevell, Quinn and other assistants with the Patriots, Broncos, Packers and Seahawks might have the early edge because they can be interviewed this week with their teams on byes.
LONG SHOTS: Jon Gruden signed a contract extension to stay at ESPN, Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy also are enjoying their time in the broadcast booth, and Mike Holmgren is getting ready to coach in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Still, their names are always mentioned this time of year.
RECYCLED GMS: Scott Pioli, Tom Heckert, Mark Dominik, Jeff Ireland and Brian Xanders each have a track record of success in previous stops. Pioli left Kansas City in solid shape and could be the answer for the Jets. Heckert helped build strong foundations in Philadelphia and Cleveland. All of these guys have to buck recent trends: Only Bruce Allen in Washington held the GM job elsewhere before getting another chance to do so with the Redskins.
FIRST-TIME GMS: Chris Ballard (Kansas City), Ryan Pace (New Orleans), Matt Russell (Denver) and Duke Tobin (Cincinnati) are on the list of candidates in line to jump from director of player personnel to GM. Tom Gamble (Philadelphia), Erik DeCosta (Baltimore) and Terry McDonough (Arizona) are other personnel guys working toward promotions.
CAP GURUS VS. PERSONNEL EXPERTS: The Jets are known to be looking for a personnel-oriented GM, while the Bears may need a salary cap expert to fix their situation after Emery gave Jay Cutler a huge contract. The direction a team goes might depend on who they hire to coach. Some coaches make the call on draft picks and want a GM to concentrate on contracts and the cap.
MINORITY CANDIDATES: Singletary, Jackson, Frazier, Bowles, Shaw and Colts OC Pep Hamilton are among the minority coaching candidates. Vikings executive Kevin Warren is a leading minority choice for GM.