NFL Head Coaching Tracker

Mike McCarthy Photos - 11 of 659
Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America

Something new to the site.

Over the next few weeks, with head coaching openings across the NFL, you can use this page to link to recent stories on candidates connected to respective jobs, and who ultimately lands the gig. I will also add in my two cents on who I believe should get hired (and will admit if I was right or wrong once a final choice is made).  I will try to update this page as often as possible (probably daily), but I will not change who I think should initially get the job.

Sound good? Good

Current Openings

Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield Photos - 75 of 869
Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: The person Cleveland hires here has the potential to OWN the AFC North for the foreseeable future.  A franchise QB, pillars on both sides of the ball, loads of cap space, and a competent GM with a good track record? Honestly, this is the best job available, and I am not kidding.

My choice: Mike McCarthy

I understand the reason he was fired in Green Bay was due to no longer working well with Aaron Rodgers, but McCarthy was a very successful coach in Green Bay.  From 2006 to 2016, McCarthy was 114-61-1 (65.2%), missing the playoffs only twice (his first season, and his first year with Aaron Rodgers starting).  He was 10-8 in the playoffs, and won a Super Bowl in 2011.  GM John Dorsey was part of the Packers organization as a player (1984-1989), as well as various front office roles (1991-1998, 2000-2012).  His first hire as the GM in Kansas City was Andy Reid (a former Green Bay assistant), and I think Dorsey would be smart to hire someone he’s experienced with, and can build a team around.

Updates:

  • Gregg Williams scheduled to interview January 1; plan to interview Freddie Kitchens soon as well (link)
    • Williams interview is complete
  • Dan Campbell scheduled to interview January 4 (link)
    • interview complete
    • Chris Mortensen (ESPN) reported Campbell is “emerging as a strong candidate” (January 6)
  • Kevin Stefanski interview scheduled for January 7 (link)
    • UPDATE: interview moved to January 3 (link)
      • interview complete
  • Mike McCarthy interview scheduled for January 3 (link)
    • UPDATE: interview moved to week of January 7 (link)
    • UPDATE: communication between McCarthy & Browns, but interview being put “on hold” (link)
  • No plan to interview Josh McDaniels
    • according to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston
  • Jim Caldwell interviewed January 2 (link)
  • Freddie Kitchens will interview early the week of January 7 (link)
    • interview complete
  • UPDATE: McDaniels is still interested in Cleveland (contrary to Tom E. Curran’s report from January 2), and the feeling seems mutual; no formal interview has been scheduled (link)
    • Cleveland has not requested permission to interview McDaniels (as of January 6) (link)
  • Ian Rappaport of NFL Network implied that Brian Flores will interview January 5 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Matt Eberflus scheduled to interview January 6 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Josh McDaniels is out of the picture (link)
  • Freddie Kitchens (Browns OC) and Kevin Stefanski (Vikings OC) are seen as the finalists for the job (link)
  • Browns OC Fredde Kitchens hired as the next head coach (link)

NEXT HEAD COACH: Freddie Kitchens (promoted from Offensive Coordinator)

This one surprised me, because Cleveland could have had almost ANYONE for this job, but they decided to stay in-house and promote Freddie Kitchens, the man who became the offensive coordinator after Week 8.  Kitchens, 44, has been an assistant since 1999, and had a long stay with the Arizona Cardinals (2007-2017) under several roles.  He was hired by Cleveland to be their running backs coach this past season (presumably by former OC Todd Haley, who worked in Dallas and Arizona with Kitchens for a total of 3 seasons), but after a 2-5-1 start, he, along with head coach Hue Jackson, were fired.  This is where Kitchens resume took off.  Throughout the remainder of 2018, with Kitchens as the team’s OC, Cleveland went 5-3, and Baker Mayfield went 180 for 263 (68.44%) passing for 2254 yards (281.75 Y/G), 20 TDs and 8 INTs (97.47 passer rating).  With Baker looking so good under Kitchens tutelage, I understand why Cleveland wanted to promote him.  They clearly have faith in his ability to further develop Mayfield, and do not want to have Baker have to learn another playbook.  This is similar to when Tampa Bay made Dirk Koetter their head coach in 2016 (he’d been the OC in 2015), not wanting to ruin the development of Jameis Winston by having to hire a new OC.  I have some skepticism, because I think Cleveland could have hired an experienced coach to help lead them to a winning future, but if they belief in the relationship between Baker and Kitchens, and believe they can round out the roster with the loads of cap space they have this offseason, then they should be okay.  If they can hire some veteran coordinators (a Wade Phillips type of DC), they I think they’ll be fine.

-hired January 9

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: Aaron Rodgers is not getting any younger, but Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers.  Locked up for the next few years, Green Bay’s time to win is now, and any coach that is hired needs to know there will not be much time to mess around.  I would be looking for an experienced coach, one with head coaching experience, someone that knows what to with a QB as good as Rodgers.  Green Bay always drafts good, so I have faith they can rebound from their subpar season.

My choice: Bruce Arians

Arians has a track record as a head coach, working extremely well with Carson Palmer at the end of his career.  He has also coached Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Andrew Luck as a coordinator.  This gives Rodgers a great offensive mind, and a system to succeed in the twilight of his career.  He would probably need to be convinced to come out of the booth for this job, but I think the fit is perfect in the short-term.  If he’s not interested, I would like Jim Caldwell for this job for the same reasons.

Updates:

  • Josh McDaniels interview scheduled for January 4 (link)
    • From December 30: “The only way [McDaniels] doesn’t get the job is if he doesn’t want it.” (link)
    • interview complete
  • Dan Campbell interview scheduled for January 5 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Packers president (and former Northwestern AD) Mark Murphy plans to have an “informal” chat with Pat Fitzgerald (link)
    • UPDATE: Fitzgerald will not be taking any interviews (link)
  • Matt LaFleur interview scheduled for January 6 (link)
    • interview complete (he got the job, so I’d say it went well)
  • Brian Flores interview scheduled for January 4 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Joe Philbin scheduled to interview January 2 or January 3 (link)
  • Adam Gase expected to interview (link)
    • interview scheduled for January 6 (link)
  • Titans OC Matt LaFleur hired as the next head coach (link)

NEXT HEAD COACH: Matt LaFleur (formerly the Titans Offensive Coordinator)

Talk about moving quickly.  LaFleur interviewed for the job on January 6, and was offered the gig a day later. At 39, he’ll be the third youngest head coach in the league (which could change by the end of the week), behind Kyle Shanahan (39; born a month later), and Sean McVay (32). Speaking of McVay, LaFleur spent a year on the football genius’ staff in 2017 as his offensive coordinator, helping create a potent offense, and making Jared Goff look like a legit NFL QB.  And speaking of Kyle Shanahan, LaFleur was the QBs coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 and 2016, working under former offensive coordinator… Kyle Shanahan. You might remember Matt Ryan won an MVP in 2016, and LaFleur surely had a role in his stellar season.  LaFleur worked in Tennessee this past season as their offensive coordinator, not the most glorious year (the Titans were 27th in points scored per game).  Green Bay must have kept their notes around from Mike McCarthy’s interview in January 2006, because his last year as an offensive coordinator was equally as bad, as the 2005 San Francisco 49ers had the worst scoring offense in the entire NFL.  However, the 42-year-old McCarthy went on to help revitalize Brett Favre’s career for two seasons, before helping develop current franchise QB Aaron Rodgers into what he is today.  I was expecting a coach to be hired that had former head coaching experience, and who has worked well with a good QB, but I guess LaFleur proved that without having the head coach title. For the Packers sake’, lets hope history repeats itself, and LaFleur can generate the same success with a 35-year-old Rodgers that McCarthy did with Favre during his last 2 seasons with Green Bay.

– hired January 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston Photos - 74 of 1722
Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: I understand why the Bucs hired Koetter in the first place.  Jameis Winston was good his rookie year under the former OC, and the team did not want to risk losing Koetter to another team, and have Winston learn another playbook.  However, I thought it was extremely stupid they fired Lovie Smith, and I think they were just asking for a short-term band-aid that would need to be fixed down the line.  Not the way you want to build a team with a young QB, if you’re asking me.  Since Jon Gruden was fired, no coach in Tampa has lasted more than 3 seasons, and each coach has won less than 40% of their games.  The Bucs need their 49ers hire here: give a coach a window to develop a winning culture, and find someone the GM trusts, and can work alongside for the next 5 years. Continuity is crucial!

My choice: Brian Flores

This might be a bit too early for Flores to get a coaching gig, but he and GM Jason Licht have a connection, as Licht spent parts of 6 seasons working under Bill Belichick in New England.  Flores received consideration last offseason for the Arizona Cardinals opening, and with a year of (de facto) coordinating under his belt, he seems like an up and comer. It’s a matter of when for Flores, and if I were Licht, I would look to New England for what might be my last chance at saving my job.

Updates:

  • George Edwards interview scheduled for January 4 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Eric Bieniemy scheduled to interview January 2 (link)
    • interview complete (link)
  • Plan to interview Kris Richard January 6 (link)
    • interview complete
  • UPDATE: “There has been a sense in the building this week that [Bruce] Arians is the guy”
    • per Tom Pelissero, NFL Network
    • Arians has in-fact interviewed for the job
  • Bucs willing to pay $10 million per season to a prospective head coach (link)
  • “Momentum is building in Tampa Bay for Bruce Arians to be the next #Bucs coach”
    • Ian Rapoport, NFL Network (January 6) (link)
  • Expect Bruce Arians to be hired soon (and make sure to credit Pardon My Take) (link)
    • UPDATE: “Negotiations are likely to begin soon” (link)
  • former Cardinals HC Bruce Arians hired as the next head coach (link)

NEXT HEAD COACH: Bruce Arians (formerly the Arizona Cardinals Head Coach)

The connection between Arians and GM Jason Licht came up around the time the job opened, but there was nothing else on this front until last weekend.  At that point, suddenly Arians was on the verge of getting the job.  There was some reported momentum today for Jim Caldwell to get the job, but Arians came out on top.  I love Arians, I think he got his shot too late in Arizona, but he nevertheless made it count.  He was 49-30 in 5 seasons with the Cardinals (2013-2017), his worst season being a 7-8-1 record in 2016.  Arians went 9-3 filling in for Chuck Pagano in 2012 after it was announced Pagano had cancer, working extremely well with rookie QB Andrew Luck.  Arians has experience with Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, and at 66, is one of the most experienced coaches in the league.  My logic with connecting Brian Flores to this job was that Jason Licht needed someone he had a working relationship with, especially if it could be his last hire.  Well, Licht worked in Arizona in 2013, Arians first season as their head coach.  Yes I was wrong, but I think I had the right idea in mind here.  Now Arians will be tasked with helping make Jameis Winston take his game to a level worthy of a long extension (Winston is under contract for one more season), as well as helping a franchise that has not made the playoffs since 2007.  This is my favorite hire so far, and if Arians can bring in Todd Bowles as his DC, it becomes even better, but it will ultimately hinge on how Arians and Winston work together

– hired January 8

New York Jets

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: I detailed it a bit before here, but I do think this job has the potential to be a good one (like the Browns opening).  Sam Darnold is only 21 years old, and is the type of QB you want to build around; he will develop.  The last time the Jets hired an offensive-minded coach was 1995 (Rich Kotite), and since Bill Parcells resigned, the next coach has done the worse (or the same) as the coach before him (in terms of winning percentage).  Hopefully the next hire takes a step in the right direction.

My choice: Jim Harbaugh

I’ve written about this from Harbaugh’s perspective, but if I am the Jets, Harbaugh is EXACTLY who I want.  He is a winner in this league, and took a team in the San Francisco 49ers who had not made the playoffs since 2002, and made them a perennial Super Bowl contender.  The Jets are in desperate need of a winner at head coach, and with a franchise QB, if you can pair Darnold (21) with Harbaugh (55) for the next decade, following a formula like that in San Fran, the Jets might be able to truly turn things around.  Pay the man what he wants, this is the PERFECT choice on your end.

Update:

  • Interview confirmed for Mike McCarthy (link)
    • interview scheduled for January 5 (link)
      • interview complete
  • Set to interview Kliff Kingsbury (link)
    • USC denying interview request (link)
    • UPDATE: USC now letting Kingsbury talk to teams (link)
      • An interview took place January 7 (link)
  • Eric Bieniemy scheduled to interview January 2 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Plan to interview Kris Richard January 6 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Set to interview Adam Gase (link)
    • Interview scheduled for January 4 (link)
      • interview complete
  • Interviewed Jim Caldwell January 7 (link)
  • Interviewed Todd Monken January 8 (link)
  • Baylor HC Matt Rhule tells his staff he is not leaving Baylor (link)
  • Former Dolphins HC Adam Gase hired as the next head coach (link)

NEXT HEAD COACH: Adam Gase (formerly the Miami Dolphins Head Coach)

If you’ve been paying attention to my Twitter feed the past few days, you’ll see I was really pushing for the Jets to hire Mike McCarthy.  If it wasn’t gonna be Harbaugh, why not a Super Bowl winning coach who helped developed Aaron Rodgers?  Well, I guess Manish is happy.  Anyway, Gase was not bad in Miami, going 23-25 in three seasons.  He led Miami to the playoffs in Year 1, but QB Ryan Tannehill was hurt during Week 14; Miami lost to Pittsburgh in the Wild Card round.  Tannehill suffered another injury in 2017, during the beginning of training camp, and did not play one game all season.  In came Jay Cutler, and Miami went… 6-10.  The Dolphins went 7-9 this past season, and Tannehill was 5-6 in 11 games (13-11 overall under Gase), but once the season ended, Miami looked to move on from the 40-year-old coach.  Gase worked in Denver for 6 seasons (2009-2014), and was the OC during Peyton Manning’s record breaking season in 2013.  Now I could argue Gase is just a product of Peyton Manning, but he did help Tannehill look really good in 2016, and I think it’s obvious the Jets view him as someone who can develop Sam Darnold, which is the team’s biggest priority if it wants to compete with the Patriots.  Getting an experienced head coach was a good move, and if the Jets can spend wisely this offseason, and make use of their draft picks, they could build a solid team the same way the Rams and Eagles have, using a model Seattle made ideal with Russell Wilson.  I would have preferred McCarthy since you could have had him, but I don’t hate this move.  Fun fact: the last 6 Jets’ coaches have won between 9 and 10 games their first season in green.

-hired January 9

Arizona Cardinals

Josh Rosen Photos - 26 of 388
Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: Personally, I am not a fan of hiring a coach for one season, only to fire him at the end of that year.  I understand things can happen, but how could you have been so interested in them just a year ago, only for them to be the exact opposite of what you want?  Anyway, back to square one.  Arizona has a young QB in Josh Rosen, who was probably the worst of the rookie class this season, but have faith, Jared Goff had a worse rookie season, and now he looks like one of the best young signal callers in the league.  With the number 1 pick, and not many elite players in their primes, this is a full blown rebuild.  They need a team-builder to set things right.

My choice: Pete Carmichael Jr.

Carmichael has been the offensive coordinator of the Saints since 2009, and has been working with Drew Brees in some capacity since 2002.  He was a candidate for the Chicago Bears job last year, but as New Orleans put up an even better season than 2017, the 47-year-old deserves a shot at becoming a head coach.  With such a great track record with Drew Brees, and a young QB in Josh Rosen who’s development is crucial to any future success, Arizona should be looking for a Matt Nagy and Sean McVay type.  Rosen’s development is priority number 1 for any upcoming coach.  This would also be a great job for Adam Gase.

Updates:

  • Adam Gase interview scheduled for January 2 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Dan Campbell interview will take place between January 4 and January 5 (link)
    • UPDATE: interview set for January 5 (link)
      • interview complete
  • Zac Taylor interview scheduled for January 5 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Set to interview Kliff Kingsbury (link)
    • USC denying interview request (link)
    • UPDATE: USC allowing Kingsbury to talk to teams, he and the Cardinals have “mutual interest” (link)
      • interview scheduled for January 8 (link)
      • Albert Breer: “The feeling league-wide over the weekend was Kingsbury had the AZ job” (January 7, via Twitter)
  • Eric Bieniemy declines interview request (link)
  • Jim Caldwell interviewed January 3 (link)
  • Former Texas Tech HC Kliff Kingsbury finalizing deal to become the next head coach (link)

NEXT HEAD COACH: Kliff Kingsbury (former Texas Tech Head Coach)

Kliff Kingsbury becomes the second 39-year-old with an offensive coaching background to be hired as a head coach this offseason.  After going 35-40 at Texas Tech for 6 seasons, Kingsbury was fired following the 2018 season.  He signed up to become the next OC at USC, but still had interest in the NFL, and up until yesterday, was not being allowed to interview; push came to shove, and Kliff is now an NFL head coach (his first pro football coaching position).  Kingsbury coached Baker Mayfield in 2013 (Baker’s freshman year), and Patrick Mahomes (2014-2016), garnering the reputation as a QB guru on the rise.  With Josh Rosen on the roster, Arizona has a young QB that needs solid coaching on the offensive side of the ball to develop.  This was my logic with connecting Carmichael Jr. (and Gase) to this job, and including Kingsbury, 4 of the 5 coaches  (including Gase) Arizona interviewed have a reputation for working well with QBs.  I think this might be too soon for Kliff to be making this jump.  Maybe he should have become a coordinator in the NFL first, but with offensive-minded coaches (and young ones) in high demand, teams have to get creative.  Arizona was a bit below the pecking order of franchises such as Cleveland, Green Bay, and New York, so they had to make a bit of a reach here in order to get what they needed, and I understand that.  I’m not a fan of this hire, but I will say this: Kliff Kingsbury is now the prettiest head coach in the NFL.

-hired January 8

Denver Broncos

Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: For the first time in 46 years, the Broncos has back-to-back losing seasons.  Case Keenum, meant to be the bridge to a future QB, looked like he did prior to 2017: a journeyman. I saw someone say he looked quite similar to Denver’s last consistent starter: Trevor Siemian.  With Paxton Lynch being a bust, and Chad Kelly being cut due to off the field behaviors, Denver is in flux.  They have a great RB in Philip Lindsey, and Von Miller and Bradley Chubb anchoring a defense that remains strong.  Fredy and I think Joe Flacco would be a perfect QB for Denver.

My choice: Jim Schwartz

The last time the Broncos hired a first time coach (Josh McDaniels), it did not go well, and it led to a coach with experience being hired as the replacement (John Fox).  If a similar scenario unfolds here, I think Schwartz warrants a long look.  Although he was not successful in Detroit, he did take that team to the playoffs in 2011, and since 2014, he has been a great defensive coordinator in Buffalo (2014) and Philadelphia (2016-present), helping the Eagles win a Super Bowl a year ago.  With great pieces in Miller and Chubb, Denver still needs a QB, but Denver is a stable organization that is never bad for long.

Updates:

  • Vic Fangio interview scheduled for January 7 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Zac Taylor interview scheduled for January 5 (link)
  • Chuck Pagano scheduled to interview January 2 (link)
    • interview complete (link)
  • Attempts to schedule an interview with Mike McCarthy (link)
  • Scheduling updates (as of January 3) (link)
    • Zac Taylor will interview January 3
      • interview complete
    • Mike Munchak will interview January 4
      • interview complete
    • Brian Flores will interview January 5
      • interview complete
    • Vic Fangio still set for January 7
  • Mike Munchak seen as leading candidate
    • Ian Rapopport, NFL Network (January 6) (link)
  • Job seems to be between Mike Munchak (Steelers O-Line) and Vic Fangio (Bears DC) (link)
  • Bears DC Vic Fangio hired as the next head coach (link)

NEXT HEAD COACH: Vic Fangio (formerly the Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator)

The first coach with a defensive-minded background to be hired this offseason, and it’s long overdue.  Fangio, 60, has been an NFL assistant since 1986, and has a great track record.  Just this past season he was the defensicve coordinator in Chicago, helping coach a group that had the best defense in the league.  Prior to that, he was the DC in San Francisco for 4 seasons (2011-2014), coaching top-notch defenses (and the likes of Patrick Willis) during the most successful run for the team since Montana and Young have been gone.  This is similar to when Bruce Arians finally got his chance at being a head coach in 2013, and I think Fangio has the potential to do well in Denver.  The Broncos need a veteran coach to help stabilize the team, as they have been out of sorts since the retirement of Peyton Manning.  With pillars such as Bradley Chubb and Von Miller, Fangio will have a lot of fun working with Denver’s defense, but the question still remains: who’s the QB of the future.  Fangio can keep the boat from sinking, but until Denver finds a QB that can do enough (either Flacco in free agency, or someone through the draft), the team will be fighting behind Kansas City and Los Angeles for the next few years.  This is a good hire, but I just hope Vangio, unlike Vance Joseph, is given a long enough leash that a better roster can be built around him, and he’s not made out to be the scapegoat.

-hired January 9

Miami Dolphins

Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins
Credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: I was SHOCKED this job became opened.  Maybe I’m giving Miami the benefit of the doubt and remembering the Miami Miracle, but Adam Gase is not a bad coach, and he’ll find work VERY quickly.  Ryan Tannehill was never good enough, and is most likely out the door.  Miami has the 13th pick in a draft class that is terribly weak for QBs, so they will probably be looking towards the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and Nick Foles in free agency.  Since 2009, Miami has won between 6 and 10 games every season, so they’re never that bad, but they’re also never that good.  Until they have the next QB, things will probably stay that way.  Watch out for Jim Harbaugh rumors here.

My choice: Kris Richard

Miami went with the young offensive coordinator last time, but this time I think they should flip the script.  The last time the Dolphins hired a defensive minded coach was Nick Saben, and if it were not for Alabama, I think he could have figured it out there (signing Drew Brees would have helped too).  Dallas had a stout defense under  this season (aided by Richard), and prior to this season, he worked in Seattle (2010-2017), helping coach a legendary defense that won a Super Bowl in 2013.  At 39, he’d be one of the youngest coaches in the NFL, but he has a built a solid resume.

Updates:

  • Vic Fangio interview scheduled for January 7 (link)
    • interview not occurring (apparently was never scheduled) (link)
  • Eric Bieniemy scheduled to interview January 3 (link)
    • UPDATE: interview moved to afternoon of January 4 (link)
      • interview complete
  • Plan to interview Kris Richard January 6 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Brian Flores scheduled to interview January 4 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Dennis Allen will interview January 5 (link)
    • interview complete
  • Darren Rizzi should interview at some point the week of January 7 (link)
    • UPDATE: interview scheduled for January 11 (link)
  • Mike Munchak turned down an interview request with Miami (link)
  • Brian Flores seen as the leading candidate (link)
  • No rush to hire a coach, as everyone interviewed/going to be interviewed is still available (link)
  • Brian Flores expected to be hired by Miami (link)
    • announced February 4 (link)

NEXT HEAD COACH: Brian Flores (formerly the New England Patriots Linebackers Coach/de facto Defensive Coordinator)

Coming off of yet another Super Bowl as a member of the Patriots organization (making it four since 2004), Brain Flores moves onto Miami to take on the task of rebuilding the Miami Dolphins. he and Vic Fagio are the only defensive-minded coaches to be hired this offseason, and if given the proper resources and patience, Flores could be a stud.  He spent his first 4 seasons in the Patriots organization as a scout, before moving to the coaching staff in 2008.  From there, he wore many hats, most recently having the responsibility of calling plays, in addition to being the linebackers coach.  Flores is loves by his players, people view him as a great leader, and he has tons of valuable experience that will be vital in being a great head coach… all at the ripe age of 37.  Flores will become only the third head coach in the NFL born in the 1980s (Sean McVay, Zac Taylor), but once again, he has 15 seasons of NFL experience under his belt, more than McVay and Taylor had prior to their hiring.  I am a big fan of Flores, although I worry about the Dolphins front office (more on that in a future post).  I think Flores is a stud, and if he’s given ample time to find a future QB, build a culture, and be the leader we know he is, he can easily become the best Belichick disciple.

-hired February 4

Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Thoughts: About time, right!?!? Marvin Lewis coached the Bengals for 16 seasons, and never won 1 playoff game.  In my opinion, he should have been fired after the 2015 Wild Card game loss to the Steelers, but better late than never.  Andy Dalton is a good QB in my eyes, and when given the right pieces, he can get you to a good place.  His injuries have de-railed Bengals’ seasons before, but I think Cincy has some good offerings.  However, if late-season rumors mean anything, it seems like this job could go right to Hue Jackson…

My choice: Don Martindale

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinators ALWAYS become head coaches, and they tend to have some success too.  Marvin Lewis himself was the DC for the Ravens between 1996 and 2001.  Rex Ryan (2005-2008), Chuck Pagano (2011), Mike Nolan (2002-2004) all served as Ravens’ DCs.  This has been Martindale’s first season as DC (Ravens LBs coach 2012-2017), and Baltimore had one of the best defenses in the entire league (probably a toss up between them and the Bears).  At 55, he’s not a household name, but neither was Chuck Pagano, and he turned out to be perfect for Indy (at least his first few seasons).  Reports are Cincy will look in-house, but I think Cincy would be better served trying something new.  Why fire Lewis if you’re just going to hire a continuation of him?

Updates:

  • Zac Taylor interview likely to take place January 4 (link)
    • interview complete*
  • Vance Joseph interview scheduled for January 3 (link)
    • interview complete*
  • Eric Bieniemy interview scheduled for January 4 (link)
    • UPDATE: interview rescheduled for January 5 (link)
      • interview complete*
  • Hue Jackson will in-fact get an interview (link)
  • Josh McDaniels will interview with the Bengals before January 7
    • according to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston
    • UPDATE: interview not happening (link)
  • Shane Waldron will be interviewed January 4 (link)
    • interview complete*
  • Todd Monken will interview (date TBD) (link)
    • interview scheduled for January 7 (link)*
      • it happened
  • Bengals assistants being told they are being let go, meaning, as Michael Scott once said, “Mr. ‘Outside Hire'” (link)
  • Rams QBs coach Zac Taylor looks to be Cincinnati’s choice, but the Bengals intend to wait until the Rams’ season is over before making any sort of announcement (link)
    • announced February 4 (link)

*The Bengals have been the worst team in terms of reporting whom they have interviewed (besides in-house candidates Darrin Simmins and Bill Lazor).  I am going off of an article from Daytona Daily News, and other Bengals blogs have said interviews (particularly Joseph’s) have occurred, but I cannot find a reputable NFL reporter (or the team itself) confirming the same

NEXT HEAD COACH: Zac Taylor (formerly the Los Angeles Rams Quarterbacks Coach)

Zac Taylor (35) will become the second youngest head coach in the NFL, two years older than his former boss, Sean McVay.  Prior to working in LA, Taylor was a graduate assistant at Texas A&M, working under former Packers coach Mike Sherman.  When Sherman took the offensive coordinator job for the Dolphins, able to continue working with QB Ryan Tannehill, Taylor went with him, as we was named the assistant QBs coach.  Taylor outlasted Sherman, and stayed in Miami until 2015, where he ended that season as the interim offensive coordinator.  In 2016, he went back to college and became the OC of the Cincinnati Bearcats.  His stay lasted a season, as he was then hired by McVay in 2017 to be the assistant wide receivers coach, and this past season he was promoted to QBs coach.  Okay, I find it funny how many coaches hired this offseason have “developed Ryan Tannehill” under their resume, but Taylor is one (Adam Gase being the other).  Anyway, I think the branch of the McVay tree will be an utter failure.  I do not trust the Bengals front office, I think Taylor is too young, and does not have enough viable experience (i.e. coordinating) to merit getting this promotion.  Now people consider him an up-and-comer, and maybe he’ll be good, but I just think he was hired 2-3 years too soon, and put into a horrible organization to be starting your head coaching career at that age (see: Dave Shula).  Hopefully like Josh McDaniels, Taylor can come back to Los Angeles in a few seasons to become the OC, because he won’t be in Cincinnati long.


Hot Names

Those that are confirmed to be connected to more than two openings 

Eric Bieniemy (49) – Chiefs Offensive Coordinator

  • Number of jobs connected to: 4 (Buccaneers, Jets, Dolphins, Bengals)

Jim Caldwell (63)- former Lions Head Coach

  • Number of jobs connected to: 4 (Browns, Packers, Jets, Cardinals)

Brian Flores (37) – Patriots (de facto) Defensive Coordinator

  • Number of jobs connected to: 4 (Browns, Packers, Broncos, Dolphins)

Dan Campbell (42) – Saints Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Coach

  • Number of jobs connected to: 3 (Browns, Packers, Cardinals)

Kris Richard (39) – Cowboys passing game coordinator/Defensive Backs coach

  • Number of jobs connected to: 3 (Buccaneers, Jets, Dolphins)

Zac Taylor (35) – Rams Quarterbacks Coach

  • Number of jobs connected to: 3 (Cardinals, Broncos, Bengals)

Last updated February 4, 4:55 PM


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