9. Mike Shanahan: The old master reportedly interviewed for a number of teams prior to the latest round of hirings, but was passed over in favor of younger, more marketable candidates. But “younger” doesn’t always equal “better.”
Shanahan has a tried-and-true offensive system that relies of a zone-blocking scheme designed to make defenders run laterally and wear them out rather than engaging them head-on.
The two-time Super-Bowl winner specializes in exploiting his opponents’ greatest weakness whether that means lining up with three tight ends or going five wides in an empty-backfield set.
His style of coaching works best with an athletic quarterback that can get out of the pocket and use his legs. Shanahan will certainly have that in Rodgers.
The 64-year-old’s failings in his most recent post as Redskins’ HC were due in large part to not having the right type of quarterback to work with. Robert Griffin III, for instance, was forced on him and things predictably went south. Probability: 15 percent
8. Rob Chudzinski: “Chud” is well-respected in league circles as someone that plays to the strengths of his personnel. He also realizes that there’s more than one way to skin a cat and will diversify his weekly game plan according to the competition he’s facing in any given week.
In addition to revitalizing the Colts’ offense with a now healthy Andrew Luck at the helm, Chudzinski also did a remarkable job as the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator in 2011 by transforming one of the worst offenses into a potent unit with rookie quarterback Cam Newton leading the way.
His unexpected—and premature— firing from his head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns could be viewed as a black mark against the Ohio-born former tight end, but he was fully supported by all of his players and just got caught up in a bad situation governed by a poor management group. Probability: 25 percent