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Which teams could try to poach Scangarello?

Ranking the teams that may try for the Broncos OC.

If the Broncos offense is as good as hoped, Scangarello isn’t long for Denver.
Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

If the Broncos’ offense makes a jump, how long will Rich Scangarello last as offensive coordinator? It may seem crazy between the third and fourth preseason games of the year, but I started thinking about it after this article yesterday.

A couple disclaimers before I wildly speculate here. It is very, very early to say Rich Scangarello will draw interviews for head coaching jobs next spring. Obviously.

I’m still going to do it.

Again, this is a really big leap. I’ll be the first to admit that. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that: Fifteen NFL teams enter this fall with a different offensive play-caller than the one who held that role at the beginning of last season. Nearly half of the league has experienced turnover as franchises try to replicate the magic that Sean McVay has conjured with the Rams.

Before you argue that Scangarello doesn’t have the background for it, keep in mind that Freddie Kitchens was a new running backs coach this time a year ago. Zac Taylor’s play calling experience came in five weeks during the 2015 season. Matt LaFlauer got the Packers job after a year with the Titans where they did not make the playoffs.

It wouldn’t take a lot of things going right for Scangarello to draw interest. Offense is king in the modern NFL and the best way to insure a team’s offense maintains some degree of year to year stability is lock down a decent play caller for the long term. The surest way to do that is hire him for the top job.

It takes two to tango, obviously. So who could need a head coach this time next year, and how do things look as far as a prospective fit for Scangarello?

8. Jacksonville Jaguars

Unless Doug Marrone takes advantage of something like a Luck-less AFC South, I fully expect the Jags to look for a new head coach in 2020. At least from this far out, the team does seem like a weird fit for Scangarello: Foles is already in place and the offense is built for a gap running game.

Stranger things have happened, but I don’t think he’s a great fit for them.

7. Carolina Panthers

Another weird fit on a team that’s likely looking for a new coach next year. I like the Panthers chances in most divisions, but a lot has to break their way to contend in the NFC South. Let’s assume they’re on the market in 2020, here’s what makes some sense:

Young skill position players could be a decent fit.

Scangarello has said more than once how he’s looking to match running backs up on linebackers and he’d have Christian McCaffrey.

Cam Newton’s health makes the long term outlook at QB murky.

6. Detroit Lions

Motown feels like a strange fit right now because they’re in the middle of the Patricia-ate Way. But if they miss the playoffs in a tough NFC North, heads are going to roll.

After flubbing on a defensive coach there’s a pretty good chance the Fords will veer hard left to go after a young up and coming offensive guy. They’re a reactive ownership group chasing the trends.

5. Houston Texans

Bill O’Brien’s going to either win a small stake of ownership after he makes the playoffs or hit the road when Watson’s ground into dust.

I’m not even sure I’m kidding.

The team is a giant wildcard because there’s no GM in place. The roster is a decent fit though.

There’s a young superstar QB who Scangarello can push to improve.

An offensive line devoid of talent that won’t cost an arm and leg to reshape.

Defensive talent in place that could excel in the short term under a strong play caller.

4. Washington

It’d be a very Snyder thing to hire Kyle Shanahan’s disciple after running Shanny out of town and losing Sean McVay. It also makes some sense if Scangarello can prove how he’d be able to help Dwayne Haskins’ reach his ceiling.

If you read my QB Big Board back before the draft, I was a bit skeptical of the fit, which is why this isn’t higher. Then again, Snyder hardly follows logic, so consider the tire fire franchise a dark horse.

3. Minnesota Vikings

This one seems far fetched at first glance, but hear me out:

Tough division and Super Bowl hopes means the seat is moderately warm.

Mike Zimmer is a defensive guy, so you have the rubber band effect.

If the team fails while Cousins and the offense looks decent running the Kubiak system, perhaps ownership wants to keep some semblance of that in place. Scangarello’s offense is a branch off that tree, and Cousins worked under Kyle Shanahan previously in Washington.

2. Dallas Cowboys

There’s a number of reasons Dallas looks like a good fit to me. Jerry’s patience will probably run short if the Cowboys regress this year, and if you read my Preseason Power Rankings, there are signs they could.

If Jason Garret’s out after Zeke, Dak, Amari and the gang re-up for big money? Jerry’s going to want to sell his offense, which will help put butts in seats. The next exciting offensive coordinator does that far more than a defensive coach could.

1. Atlanta Falcons

This has got to be the most logical fit for Scangarello if the job opens up. Consider:

Atlanta still runs a similar system to the Kyle Shanahan one.

There’s been unrest over how that system has worked since Shanny left for San Francisco.

The core offensive pieces are in a “win now” mode.

Rubber band from defensive coach to offensive.

It makes too much sense. There’s also a pretty good chance Dan Quinn is out if the Falcon’s aren’t playoff bound this January. They just fired all of the coordinators, so there’s nowhere to point the finger anymore. Super Bowl LI is sliding farther and farther into the rearview. The window is now, and turning over the offense or moving from system to system isn’t going to help the dirty birds capitalize.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned to start this, it’s all speculation. Hopefully Scangarello’s in orange and blue for a good long while leading the offense back to a respectability not seen since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset.

But if Flacco rediscovers his 2014 form this year, Rich could get sniffs from around the league.


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