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Division Links: One head coach and one OC on the ‘hot seat’, and Ryan Kerrigan gives his first press conference as an Eagle

Blogging the Boys

Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy on the hot seat; favorite to be first head coach fired

What does McCarthy need to deliver in his second season in Dallas to keep his job?

If a team starts off the season on the wrong foot and wants to reverse its fortunes, there aren’t too many options available for that front office. Can’t cut all the players on the roster, can’t draft new players, can’t even fire the GM if he happens to be the owner of the team, and certainly can’t swap out the existing fan base for a kinder, gentler one.

But you can fire the head coach.

If recent history is anything to go by, there will a couple of mid-season coaching changes this season, just as there will be coaching changes after the season. And in just his second season coaching the Cowboys, Mike McCarthy already is the favorite to be the first head coach fired this season.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Coach Mike McCarthy Press Conference Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, SportsBetting.ag released odds on which head coach will be fired first during the 2021 regular season, and McCarthy has the lowest odds at 7/1, or +700, just ahead of Vic Fangio (8/1) and Matt Nagy (9/1).

I’m always wary of using tired old cliches like “Jerry Jones has an itchy trigger finger”, but Jones is not getting any younger, and he may not have the patience to sit through another disappointing year, especially if the Cowboys get off to yet another slow start.


Bleeding Green Nation

Ryan Kerrigan explains how Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox helped recruit him to Philly

The DE is also really excited about the energy of the new Eagles’ coaching staff.

On why he chose to sign with the Eagles

Despite having interest from several other teams, Kerrigan said that he had a really good visit with the Eagles, and the energy in the building was so positive and good it was really intriguing. The defender also said that after watching some film with the coaching staff, he felt like they were going to put the guys in a good position to succeed defensively.

The DE also admitted he’s excited to play with Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox and they both reached out — which meant a lot to him because he really respects their game — and were factors in why Kerrigan chose to sign with the Eagles.

Kerrigan said that he’s really excited for the opportunity to mentor some of the younger guys in the Eagles locker room, and he’s been fortunate to have been in the league for a long time, and is eager to pass on from the mental side of the game.

On his role in Philadelphia

“I just want to be someone that comes on the field and make plays, whether that’s in run game, pass game, or whether it’s dropping out, whatever it is, I just want to be able to make plays for the defense.”

Kerrigan noted that he doesn’t have a target number of reps or snaps, and that he just wants to be impactful whenever he’s on the field.


Big Blue View

With the heat on, how will Giants’ OC Jason Garrett respond?

After a dismal 2020 season on offense, the Giants are handing Garrett vastly upgraded personnel — will he be able to take advantage of it?

The Giants believe the personnel is there.

The Giants believe the protection will be there.

The play-caller? That’s still Jason Garrett, and there can’t be any doubt that the offensive coordinator’s seat is a hot one entering the 2021.

The Giants scored 17.5 points per game a season ago, 31st in the NFL.

The mandate this offseason was clear. Get more offensive weapons. For too long, the Giants have been armed with a .22 while many of their opponents have taken AR-15s into battle. The Giants did everything they could this offseason to level that battlefield, and if everyone enters the season healthy you could easily argue that the Giants’ skill position players will be among the best in the NFL.

“There’s an attention here, a clear focus on making sure that there are people than can get open and give Daniel solutions from a player standpoint, and not put all the onus on him,” Scouting Academy Director Dan Hatman said during a recent ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast appearance.

“They’re adding guys that can go make those plays.”

Figuring out how to use them will be up to Garrett.

That, we know, leaves a queasy feeling in the stomach’s of many Giants fans.

NFL: Washington Football Team at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Some believe Garrett, a. long-time favorite of the Mara family, has protection from ownership. Whether there is truth to that, I don’t know.

What is apparent is that there is pressure on Garrett in 2020. After all of the investments the Giants made to improve the offensive personnel, and adjustments in the coaching staff with Freddie Kitchens moving to senior offensive assistant and Rob Sale taking over the offensive, there must be significant improvement in 2020. Finishing 31st in the league and scoring fewer than 20 points per game is not going to cut it.