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NFL coaches on rise, decline entering Week 4: Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel keeps rolling, Jets’ Robert Saleh flops

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Judging coaches or teams on a weekly basis is a tough business. But in the NFL, every week really matters. And some coaches – both rookies and longtime veterans – definitely did more to help their teams than others in Week 3.

As we head into Week 4 of the 2022 season, take a look at some of the top coaches in their rise and fall:

In trend

Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel

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Season: 1st place with dolphins | Last game: 21-19 victory against the Bills | Team record: 3-0

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The former 49ers assistant has basically been on trend since the day he was hired, but what’s a roundup of hot head coaches without McDaniel? This guy really brought out Tua Tagovailoa’s confidence as a thrower and his teams were either well-prepared or well-adjusted or both for three weeks, including a heavy loss to the mighty Bills on Sunday.

Eagles OC Shane Steichen

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Season: 2nd place with eagles | Last game: 24-8 victory over commanders | Team record: 3-0

Last week it was Jonathan Gannon in Philadelphia scoring a nightmare matchup for Kirk Cousins. Steichen deserves his own credit this week, even as Gannon’s unit completely shut Carson Wentz in Washington. The Eagles’ offense in the second half was still just bullshit, but Steichen’s willingness to let Jalen Hurts uncork him repeatedly helped the Birds get a hold of the Commanders.

Jaguars DC Mike Caldwell

Season: 1st place with Jaguars | Last game: 38-10 win over Chargers | Team record: 2-1

Doug Pederson is a real winner in Jacksonville, bringing back Trevor Lawrence’s composure, but let’s give credit to his hand-picked defense guru. Edwards is a rookie coordinator, a former linebacker coach, but he has seen the big strides of their young pass rushers. His D is in the top 10 in both points allowed and yards allowed, and his guys stunned Justin Herbert in week three.

down trend

Cardinals HC Cliff Kingsbury

Season: 4th with the Cardinals | Last game: 20-12 loss to the Rams | Team record: 1-2

A week after an unrealistic struggle by Kyler Murray saved the Cardinals in overtime, the Kingsbury club fell back to Earth against their NFC West rivals. Yes, he is dealing with an exhausted host corps. But he has top 10 talent under center at Murray. Why, oh why, are his offensive strategies rarely, if ever, credible in games against legitimate opponents?

Jets HC Robert Saleh

Season: 2nd with the Jets | Last game: Lost 27-12 vs. Bengals | Team record: 1-2

Blame the Jets’ continued woes on Joe Flacco, who started in place of the injured Zach Wilson, but it might be time to start wondering why Saleh’s team is still struggling with fundamental and discipline issues in his second year with the team. Saleh’s units, because he was hailed as a defensive mind, are rarely intimidated, and against Qingxi, his own staff bickered with the best players.

Steelers OC Matt Canada

Season: 2nd with Steelers | Last game: Lost 29-17 vs. Browns | Team record: 1-2

Chicken or egg – in this case, Canada or Mitchell Trubisky? Neither the OC nor the quarterback shied away from conservative tendencies in the Steelers’ ugly start, but at the end of the day, it’s Canada’s job to do what’s best for the team. If that means protecting Kenny Pickett or even more using Trubisky’s legs, so be it. Until then, Pittsburgh won’t have much of a chance if it can’t even match Jacoby Brissett’s production.


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