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Did the Browns actually make the best coaching hire this year?

Here are the grades for each of the seven teams that made a coaching change this year.

Choosing a head coach can be a franchise-altering decision. The right man can lead a team to glory, but going in the wrong direction can bring years of disarray. This year, seven NFL teams head into the offseason with a new head coach at the helm.

This batch of new head coaches includes men who are likely to lead their respective new teams out of the darkness, as well as others baffling choices who could be looking for a new job sooner or later.

Now that Black Monday has come and gone, it's a great time to hand out some way-too-early grades. It's only January, so all of these grades are subject to change over the next few years after these seven coaches get a chance to assemble their teams and actually coach some games.

Here's where the Browns, Bucs, Dolphins, Eagles, Giants, Titans and 49ers stand right now.

Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. The Cleveland Browns -- yes, these Cleveland Browns -- are indeed at the top of this list. Of course, winning the offseason and actually winning during the regular season are two entirely different things. But the hiring of Hue Jackson -- by the Browns' now analytics-driven front office -- does appear to be a positive step for a franchise that hasn't taken many over the last, oh, two decades.

The first good sign: Everyone with a vacancy seemingly wanted Jackson. That doesn't guarantee success (once upon a time everyone wanted Josh McDaniels, too) but at least it means the Browns got someone who is respected by the rest of the league. Jackson, the former Bengals offensive coordinator, has a good track record, too. Andy Dalton improved every year under Jackson and even AJ McCarron looked competent when thrusted into action.

The one blemish on Jackson's record is his short stint as the Raiders' head coach in 2011. But even that didn't go too badly: Oakland went 8-8 in his lone year in charge. Jackson has already made it clear that he wants to move on from Johnny Manziel, which is another good omen for a team that needs stability at quarterback. Right now it seems as if the Browns are destined to end up with Cal QB Jared Goff in this year's draft. If that's the case, they'll want a man with a track record of developing quarterbacks at the helm. In Jackson, it appears as if they've gotten just that.

Grade: A-

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins

Gase, 37, has never been a head coach before. But two seasons of being the guy standing next to Peyton Manning, and followed by one of helping Jay Cutler curtail his interception problem, earned him the coveted "hot candidate" title this year. Whether it's deserved is an entirely different matter. But there's no arguing with his results as an offensive coordinator and "quarterback whisperer."

The Bears this season were No. 10 in offense according to Football Outsiders, after rankings 14th last season. A major reason for this jump: Cutler trimmed his interception total from 18 to 11.

For the Dolphins, it's all about developing Ryan Tannehill. The team has now invested millions of dollars -- essentially, its future -- in the 2012 first-round pick. In four seasons in the NFL, Tannehill has been unable to rise above mediocrity. It will now be on Gase to help him do so. If he succeeds, the grade for this hire become an A+. If he fails, both he and Tannehill will be looking for new jobs in about two years.

Grade: B+

Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers

This is, without a doubt, the most interesting hire of the group. By now the reasons for his downfall in Philly have been well documented. He has no people skills. He failed to find a quarterback. He was a bad GM. So why might things go differently in San Francisco?

For one, Kelly won't have control of all football decisions. This will help both him and the organization. The most interesting dynamic, though, will be how he and Colin Kaepernick mesh. Like Kelly, Kaepernick is coming off the worst season of his career. The talent is obviously there. The question is whether he can figure out how to put all those raw skills to use on the football field. Kelly's quick-hitting, fast-moving offense could be the perfect fit for Kaepernick. And, perhaps more importantly, Kaepernick's combination of foot speed and arm strength might be the perfect fit for Kelly's offense.

It's easy to pick on Chip, but this is still a man who's gone 26-21 in three seasons as a head coach despite never having a quarterback with the tools needed to run his offense as preferred. In Kaepernick, though, he could have one. They have a few months to figure out if they're a match -- Kaepernick is guaranteed $11.9 million if he's still on the roster by April 1. But, at least for now, both of them seem optimistic.

Grade: B+

Ben McAdoo, New York Giants

After missing the playoffs each of the last four years, the Giants thought it was time to move on from Tom Coughlin, even if he technically "stepped down." Promoting offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was the logical and prudent move. The Giants' offense struggled at times in 2015 -- it was No. 19 in the league, according to Football Outsiders -- but more important is the work he's done with Eli Manning, who's made it clear that he's a fan of McAdoo.

Before McAdoo's arrival in 2014, Manning was an interception machine -- he threw a league-high 27 picks in 2013. In the two years since McAdoo joined the Giants, Manning has thrown just 28 picks in total. He also significantly upped his completion percentage while remaining as aggressive as ever (he threw for 4,436 yards and 35 touchdowns this season).

The Giants love continuity, and in handing their head coaching job over to McAdoo, they'll get it. The only reason this grade isn't higher is because McAdoo has never been a head coach before and it's still uncertain how he handles all those extra duties that head coaches assume.

Grade: B+

Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This was one of the stranger, and more surprising, coaching moves to take place. Lovie Smith was far from a perfect coach, but he did get a team that won just two games last year to triple its win total this season. That he did so with a rookie quarterback under center just makes the job he did even more impressive.

However, it's also easy to pick holes in his performance. The Bucs lost five of their last six games and the defense surrendered 26.1 points per game. Smith's a defensive guy, but his unit finished with a mediocre No. 18 ranking from Football Outsiders.

That said, Smith was clearly well-liked by his players, who had no problem lashing out at the organization following the announcement that Smith wouldn't be returning next season. All of that will be forgiven if Dirk Koetter turns out to be as brilliant as everyone seemingly thinks he is. After all, the reason Tampa Bay fired Smith was because they were scared they might lose Koetter, who served as the team's offensive coordinator before he was promoted. Clearly, the Bucs wanted to keep Koetter and Jameis Winston together.

Winston had a fantastic rookie campaign. He threw for 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns and took plenty of shots downfield (7.6 yards per attempt, the 13th best number in the league). And, most importantly, he got better as the season went on.

If Koetter was indeed responsible for much of that, then deposing of Smith makes sense. But if it turns out that Koetter just happened to be the offensive coordinator on Winston's team, well, things could get ugly in Tampa real fast.

Grade: B

Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles

This grade was going to be in the B range -- then, the former Chiefs offensive coordinator attempted to explain why his offense killed an entire quarter's worth of clock in the Divisional round against the Patriots. Suddenly, the decision to hand over a team to Pederson seemed troubling.

Pederson is an offensive guy, and there's no arguing with the results of the offenses he's helmed. He was the quarterbacks coach for the 2011 Eagles, which set a franchise record with 6,386 yards. And his Chiefs were No. 6 in offense this year, according to Football Outsiders, despite losing Jamaal Charles early on.

Pederson's old boss, Andy Reid, is also an offensive guru, so it's fair to wonder just how much credit Pederson actually deserves. As of now, it looks like the Eagles hired a coach who's inherited Reid's incompetent clock management. Reid has been able to overcome this blemish over the years because he seems to be really good at every other aspect of coaching. But few coaches are that strong across the board. Chances are Pederson isn't.

Grade: D

Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans

Um, what? This decision was just unspeakably bad. It's not just that Mularkey is 18-39 in his career as a head coach (in stints with Bills, Jaguars and now Titans). What makes this even more egregious is that the Titans had one of the best jobs out there. They could have had almost anyone they wanted. They have a wealth of young talent, most notably at quarterback with Marcus Mariota. They have the No. 1 pick this year.

As an incoming head coach, you can't ask for more.

And yet for some reason Tennessee elected to retain the 54-year-old tight ends coach who, despite being given multiple opportunities throughout his career, has never shown that he's anything more than an OK coordinator. When Mularkey took over after Ken Whisenhunt was fired, the Titans were 1-6. Under Mularkey, they went 2-7, which is maybe an iota of improvement?

But no, there's no excusing this one. The Titans' future looked bright, but now, not so much.

Grade: F