Betting on Who’ll Be the Next Coach for the Washington Redskins – Odds and 5 Top Candidates

| October 15, 2019 5:30 am PDT
5 NFL Head Coaches the Redskins Should Hire

Jay Gruden finally got fired. I actually took a look at the first NFL head coach that would get canned, and guess who topped my list a few weeks ago? That’s right. Jon’s brother.

Gruden is out of the NFL, and while he was probably a bit better at the helm in DC than anyone gave him credit for, his time was up.

In comes offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, who has quickly been very public about Gruden’s lack of commitment to the running game. That figures to turn back the clock for the Redskins, who are 0-5 as I write this and apparently gearing up to establish the run.

Logic would suggest just throwing prized first-round rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins into the fire and tanking their way to the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Instead, Washington is going to attempt to run it down everyone’s throats.

Considering that they are rolling with the aged Adrian Peterson, I tend to think that won’t work out so well.

Suffice it to say, Bill Callahan isn’t likely to be long for DC, either. By the time the offseason arrives, the Washington Redskins will again be on the prowl for a new head coach. Sports bettors should probably start thinking about who that could be.

Odds for Next Redskins Head Coach

You’re not alone if you’ve already wondered who would be a good fit as the next head coach of the Washington Redskins. The most reputable NFL sportsbooks are right there with you, as and others have pushed out odds for this prop bet.

The list is long, but I’ll include everyone just because it’s going to be fun to bet on who will coach the Redskins next. Here’s the full list and odds from

Current Redskins coordinator Kevin O’Connell is an option here, yet interestingly enough, interim coach Bill Callahan is not. Unless the Redskins randomly win out the rest of the way, though, Callahan won’t be the guy next year, and a complete house cleaning can be expected.

I’m not seriously considering those guys, while you can probably cross most of these college football coaches off of your list. Norv Turner once coached the Redskins and won’t be coming back, either, while Tony Romo isn’t leaving a comfy broadcast booth to go coach for a longtime rival.

Some of the college coaches are options here, but Chip Kelly flamed out of the league, and guys like Riley, Swinney, and Saban are way too established to even consider the risk.

I’m not biting on massive names like Sean Payton or Mike Tomlin to replace Jay Gruden, either. Payton has one of the best jobs in football, and the only way he’s leaving is if he gets fired or the Cowboys job opens up.

Tomlin has been tied to this job, but I don’t see the logic in it.

Fortunately, several of these names do look like viable options for one reason or another.

Top Coaching Options Redskins Need to Consider

This is a huge list of Redskins head coaching options. Anytime a list is this big with a bunch of crazy price tags, it’s safe to assume nobody has a clue who will be the next head coach of the Washington Redskins.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do some guesswork and break down the top candidates, though, and it darn sure doesn’t mean we can’t bet on who the next Redskins coach will be.

Based on logic and my personal opinion, here are the names I’d target the most.

Eric Bieniemy – Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City has had arguably the best offense in the league over the past two years, and Bieniemy has had a huge hand in it as the team’s offensive coordinator.

When Bieniemy isn’t getting shoved by Travis Kelce, he’s dialing up plays for one of the most dynamic offenses in football. He also happened to make the short list of recent rumors discussing potential Redskins coaching candidates, while Bieniemy was among the top head coach candidates last offseason.

The question is if Bieniemy would jump at a high-profile gig that lacks stability or if he’ll hold out for something better. My knee-jerk reaction is he should wait. The Chiefs are so good that they could propel him to a special landing spot.

Mike Pettine – Green Bay Packers

Pettine is an interesting case. He isn’t a sexy hire, but he’s turned a very bad Green Bay Packers defense into one of the league’s best. His track record as defensive coordinator is largely good, too, while he has head coaching experience as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

The experience and coaching ability are there, while Pettine also has dealt with some pretty crazy stuff, having coached a team Johnny Manziel was on.

Pettine didn’t exactly handle that as well as he could have, but he did field fairly competitive Cleveland teams while in Ohio. This isn’t a splash move, but Pettine would keep everyone in line and get the defense headed back in the right direction.

Mike McCarthy – Unemployed

Everyone thought that McCarthy would find a job immediately after being let go by the Green Bay Packers, but that wasn’t the case. While not the sexiest hire, McCarthy has proven over time that he can be very successful in the NFL.

McCarthy would be starting from scratch in DC, but he’s a sound football mind that knows how to get the job done. That could be just what the doctor ordered, and if all goes well, perhaps he would again get to work with former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

Either way, McCarthy has experience managing veteran divas and young prospects alike. He may not get the Redskins to the Super Bowl, but logic suggests they’d at least be competitive under his watch.

Jim Harbaugh – Michigan Wolverines

Harbaugh butted heads with management in San Francisco but was extremely successful in the Bay Area, with multiple NFC title game appearances and one Super Bowl loss.

Things didn’t end well during his 49ers tenure, but Harbaugh proved to be a quarterback whisperer and also built quality teams that played hard-nosed football.

Harbaugh doesn’t get enough credit for doing the exact same thing after landing his dream job at Michigan. No, the Wolverines haven’t won national titles or beaten the best teams with regularity, but they’ve routinely played elite defense and been in the mix for the College Football Playoff each year.

The writing may be on the wall that this could be Harbaugh’s swan song in Michigan, though. If he’s cut loose, it wouldn’t be that shocking to see him jump at the opportunity to rejoin the ranks of the NFL.

Rex Ryan – ESPN Analyst

I get the chatter around other guys like Mike Tomlin or Todd Bowles, but I’d rather point to Ryan here. He’s brash and annoying, but Ryan has a history of fielding strong defenses and coaching his teams up in big spots.

A coaching diva if there ever was one, Ryan has at the very worst almost always pieced together quality defensive teams that competed. Ryan struggled to figure things out under center throughout his career, but he’d be walking into his best situation yet when it comes to quarterback.

Not only do the Redskins presently have three viable options on their roster, but they’re also likely picking early in the 2020 NFL Draft. Ryan fits as a sound defensive mind that can hold his own with owner Dan Snyder, and he’s already gone public about his interest in the job.

Who Will Coach the Redskins in 2020?

There are plenty of other options the Redskins could hire. The list is long, and the odds are mouth-watering in some spots. And yeah, the Redskins should try to get Mike Tomlin, Nick Saban, Bill Cowher — you name it.

Those would be ridiculously high-profile additions, and any of those guys could change the course of this franchise.

But let’s consider a few things.

One, the Redskins weren’t even that bad under Jay Gruden. They actually have several nice pieces on defense, and before Alex Smith got hurt in 2018, they were looking like a playoff team.

Derrius Guice hypothetically gives the offense a franchise running back to build around, while young rookies Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin could round out a deadly offensive trio.

Washington doesn’t need a complete roster upheaval. They need someone who can nudge them in the right direction, change the culture, and keep everyone in check. They also probably need to trade Trent Williams, cut ties with Adrian Peterson, and figure out if Haskins is indeed their quarterback of the future.

But all of that is for the new head coach to figure out.

So, who will the Redskins hire as their head coach? The options are endless, and I can see the volatile Snyder going in a variety of directions. But after playing it relatively safe with Jay Gruden, I see the Redskins going big here.

Mike Tomlin would qualify as big. Eric Bieniemy and Todd Bowles would not.

If Tomlin is somehow available and wants to leave Pittsburgh for DC, then yeah, that’s a bet worth taking. I just don’t see it as a realistic possibility right now.

Instead, I’ll read the writing on the wall that Jim Harbaugh’s days in Michigan are numbered. And if his coveted college football job is no more, it’s retirement or back to the NFL for Harbaugh.

At a cool +2500, I don’t mind throwing caution to the wind at your favorite NFL sportsbooks and aiming high. It’s certainly the approach Washington should have going into 2020.

  • Jim Harbaugh
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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