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The NFL playoffs are fast approaching their anticipated finale, with Super Bowl LVIII just around the corner. In the meantime, the 2024 coaching cycle is all but complete, with more than a half-dozen teams naming new head coaches. In the end, more than 20% of the league will enter next season with fresh leaders on the sideline.

It's impossible to know which of this year's hires will actually pan out. Just as in free agency, big names don't always translate to big results. This is a team game, and that means coaches, like quarterbacks, are often affected by their staff and supporting cast.

But how do the hires register right now? Here's our best attempt to grade each of the head coaching additions:

Chargers: Jim Harbaugh

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We've seen big-name hires from the college ranks flounder before (see: Urban Meyer, Matt Rhule, Chip Kelly), but the difference is, Harbaugh's been an undisputed winner everywhere he's coached, and that includes the NFL. One win away from a Super Bowl title with the 49ers back in 2012, now he's back on the West Coast with a franchise quarterback and playoff-caliber roster already in place, guiding the team he once played for in the '90s. It's a perfect match, pairing a talented but sometimes-sheepish contender with a rugged program-builder who knows how to dial up splashy offense. The AFC West is interesting again.

Grade: A

Commanders: Dan Quinn

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Washington was right to part ways with Ron Rivera after four tough but ultimately middling seasons, but to go from one aging defensively minded retread to another is curious considering how forward-thinking the organization appeared to be, welcoming both new ownership and front-office leadership. Quinn oversaw an opportunistic "D" with the Cowboys, no doubt, and he's approached the mountaintop before, taking the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016. He also went just 18-23 with zero playoff bids after that. Perhaps his experience will help ground a rebuilding team, but this hardly registers as an inspiring, innovative move.

Grade: D+

Falcons: Raheem Morris

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Four years after he went 4-7 as the interim for a fired Dan Quinn, Morris is back in Atlanta for a full-time crack at the job. And he's got just about everything you want if you're going the "retread" route: previous head coaching experience (he was just 32 when he led the Buccaneers from 2009-2011), roles on both sides of the ball, and recent stardom (he oversaw the Rams' Super Bowl-winning defense in 2021). Widely respected, he should also benefit from poaching assistant Zac Robinson from Los Angeles.

Grade: B

Panthers: Dave Canales

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Impatience has been the name of the game in Carolina, with owner David Tepper burning through coaches and QBs in recent years. At 42, fresh off his first year as an offensive coordinator, Canales could represent a genuine pivot for the franchise. He's certainly more of an unknown than his fellow 2024 hires, but he doesn't lack for promising credentials, working 13 years as a Pete Carroll assistant in Seattle before helping revive Baker Mayfield's career as the Buccaneers' play-caller. An ascending QB whisperer, he's precisely the kind of coach who could accelerate Bryce Young's growth under center.

Grade: B+

Patriots: Jerod Mayo

New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns
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Is this more of the same in New England, or a changing of the guard? It's a tricky question to unpack considering Mayo has only ever played or coached for Bill Belichick, the man he's replacing. The track record of ex-Belichick disciples as head coaches is uninspiring, to say the least. Mayo's transparent approach suggests a more inviting personality at least, and he's had a direct hand in the Pats' perennially feisty defense. But the key here will be whether he differentiates from Belichick in terms of offensive staffing and roster-building, at least since Tom Brady's 2020 exit left a crater in the organization.

Grade: C+

Raiders: Antonio Pierce

Antonio Pierce USATSI

Team owner Mark Davis opted for a splashy outside hire over a known interim in 2022, and it quickly backfired, so he was destined to give Pierce a fuller look after the latter went 5-4 as Josh McDaniels' in-season replacement. Personality-wise, it's apparent Pierce's player-friendly bravado has the locker room's support. But he has just six combined years of college and NFL coaching experience, so it's hard to get any real sense of his big-picture vision. Like fellow former linebacker DeMeco Ryans with the Texans, his future probably depends just as much on the personnel and staffing decisions that accompany his promotion.

Grade: B-

Titans: Brian Callahan

Syndication: The Tennessean
Brian Callahan Denny Simmons / The Tennessean

If prolific connections were priority No. 1 for a head coach, Callahan would easily ace this. The son of longtime NFL coach Bill Callahan, who led the Raiders to the Super Bowl back in 2002, he's worked with Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow over the years, most recently as the Bengals' OC from 2019-23. The mere fact he intends to bring a modern offense to Tennessee makes him an enticing replacement for the tough-nosed but defensive minded Mike Vrabel. And yet, as with many, so much of his impact will come down to what he does or develops at QB.

Grade: B-

Seahawks: Mike Macdonald

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After 14 seasons with Pete Carroll atop the staff, Seattle is maintaining a defensive approach here, plucking Macdonald from a Ravens staff that oversaw back-to-back top-five finishes as a scoring defense. He'll be the youngest head man in the NFL at 36, though he's got nine years of NFL experience under John Harbaugh, while also logging a single season with John's brother, Jim, at Michigan. On paper, he's a solid fit for a team with lots of young defensive pieces. How he outfits the other side of the ball is, of course, a pivotal question. One thing's for sure: His hire is more intriguing than going back to the well of familiar old friends.

Grade: B