Debating NFL head-coach hires: Will Sean Payton, DeMeco Ryans find success?

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Previously a college football reporter for
  • University of Florida graduate

  • Joined ESPN in 2011
  • New Jersey native and author of two published novels

The slow trickle of NFL head coaching news gave way to a geyser on Tuesday, as news of Sean Payton’s hire by the Denver Broncos and DeMeco Ryans’ selection to the top job of the Houston Texans emerged in the space of a few minutes. Payton’s name was the biggest of the 2023 NFL coaching carousel, and his upcoming work with struggling former All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson figures to be heavily scrutinized. Ryans, meanwhile, will attempt to revive a Houston Texans franchise for which he once starred at linebacker (2006-11) before building a coaching career that included defensive coordinator duties with a top-flight San Francisco 49ers group.

With the Broncos, Texans and Panthers having made hires, only the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts must fill head coaching vacancies.

NFL Insiders Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler debated each of the hires made to date, and will make similar assessments for the remaining two job openings as the carousel nears its conclusion.

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