With the regular season in the books, the NFL’s coaching carousel is back in full force.
Currently, five teams have vacancies at head coach: Arizona, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and the Giants (the Raiders have one too, but Jon Gruden appears to be a lock for that job). While many of the trendiest coordinators and assistants were snapped up over the past couple of offseasons, there are still a variety of intriguing names on the market.
Below, read all about 13 coaches who could be hired to lead a team by the end of this month. All have been linked to at least one of the five organisations, but only one of them has served as an NFL head coach for more than two seasons.
Current role: Defensive coordinator, Houston Texans
One thing to know: Vrabel spent 14 seasons in the NFL, winning three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots. While he was in charge of one of the most porous defences in the league this season, the Texans were hampered by numerous injuries. Besides, organisations value him most for his imposing presence and ability to unify players.
Current role: Defensive coordinator, New England Patriots
One thing to know: The Patriots defence got off to a rough start this year, but they were actually one of the league’s better units in the second half. They were especially strong in the red zone, giving up the fifth-least points in the entire league. Patricia may not look the part of an NFL head coach, but after nearly 15 years of working under Bill Belichick, he’s worth hiring.
Current role: Defensive coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles
One thing to know: Schwartz has experience with resurrecting moribund franchises, taking the Lions to the playoffs just two years after a 2-14 season, his first as a head coach. The Eagles have had a top-15 defence in each of the past two seasons, ranking fourth in yards surrendered in 2017.
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) January 1, 2018
Current role: Quarterbacks coach, Philadelphia Eagles
Possible destinations: The Cardinals and Bears have both requested interviews, according to Adam Schefter.
One thing to know: DeFilippo has never been a head coach and has just two seasons as a coordinator on his resume, but that won’t stop teams from giving him serious consideration. His work with Carson Wentz was a major reason for the Eagles’ transformation from a mid-tier squad to a would-be Super Bowl contender.
Current role: Defensive coordinator, Arizona Cardinals
Possible destinations: Bettcher is believed to be the Cardinals’ top in-house candidate – they interviewed him on Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport.
One thing to know: In a market with relatively few big names, the passionate and analytically-minded Bettcher could emerge as a dark horse. He has drawn favourable comparisons to both Sean McVay and his predecessor in the desert, Todd Bowles.
Current role: Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, New England Patriots
Possible destinations: Adam Schefter reported that the Giants have requested to interview McDaniels. He’s now the Vegas favourite to fill their opening, but the Colts and Bears are also possibilities.
One thing to know: McDaniels’ first go-round as a head coach lasted less than two seasons, but cut him some slack – he had to start Kyle Orton at quarterback. After six years and two more rings as a coordinator in New England, his stock is higher than ever.
Current role: Offensive coordinator, Minnesota Vikings
One thing to know: Shurmur went 9-23 as head coach of the Browns in 2011 and 2012, a record that looks downright impressive considering where that organisation is now. But his biggest accomplishments have been more recent – he spent 2017 designing an offence that turned Case Keenum into a first-rate quarterback.
Current role: Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, Carolina Panthers
Possible destinations: NFL Network’s Tiffany Blackmon tweeted that the Colts, Giants, and Lions have asked to talk with Wilks. Ian Rapoport added the Bears to that list, and said that the Cardinals may also be interested.
One thing to know: Wilks has spent just one season as a defensive coordinator on the professional level, but it was a good one, as the Panthers had one of the toughest run defences in the NFL. He’s viewed as a strict and motivational disciplinarian in the mould of Tom Coughlin.
Current role: Offensive coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
Possible destinations: Nagy himself recently confirmed that he has interviews lined up with the Colts and Bears.
One thing to know: A longtime Andy Reid protege, Nagy got a lot of credit for the Chiefs’ prolific ground game in 2017. They ranked second in the league in rushing yards per attempt, trailing only the New Orleans Saints.
Current role: Defensive coordinator, Minnesota Vikings
Possible destinations: The Bears have requested to interview Edwards, Ian Rapoport reported. Their interest makes sense – they lost both of their games against the Vikings in 2017, failing to score more than 17 points in either contest.
One thing to know: Edwards has coordinated a top-six defence in terms of points allowed in each of the past three years, helping the Vikings lead the league in that category in 2017. After over 20 years in the NFL, the Bears are giving him his first head coach interview.
Current role: Special teams coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
One thing to know: From Devin Hester to Tyreek Hill, Toub has worked with some of the speediest kick returners to ever play the game. A special teams specialist for the past 15-plus years, he would be a controversial hire, but he’s also regarded as one of the league’s most creative coaches in any role.
Current role: Assistant head coach and offensive line coach, Seattle Seahawks
Possible destinations: Cable’s name hasn’t gotten much play in the last couple of days, but he’s still a relatively big name with head coaching experience. NFL Network’s Michael Silver tweeted that he expects the Colts to give him “serious consideration.”
One thing to know: With a pair of Super Bowl appearances with the Seahawks and an ability to build an effective offensive line, Cable’s resume isn’t without its pluses. But he also has a history of violence – he reportedly punched an assistant coach when he was in charge of the Raiders in 2009, and two women accused him of abusive behaviour later that same year.
Jim Bob Cooter
Current role: Offensive coordinator, Detroit Lions
Possible destinations: Along with Teryl Austin, Cooter is one of the Lions’ top in-house candidates. He interviewed with the team on Tuesday, according to Adam Schefter.
One thing to know: They may not have made the playoffs, but after another rock-solid year on offence, at least one Lions player is happy with Cooter’s performance. Matthew Stafford recently stated that he “would love” to see the coach retained in some way.
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