Head Coaching Carousel, Other Tuesday Notes

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  • Brian Flores
    Brian Flores
    American football coach
  • Byron Leftwich
    Byron Leftwich
    American football player
  • Todd Bowles
    Todd Bowles
    American football player and coach



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The regular season is over, and the playoffs start next weekend. While there isn't much fantasy-relevant news on Tuesday for teams whose season is still alive, it was a much more eventful day for teams whose season is over. Coaching changes, rumors about 2022, and more swirled about mere days after the Sunday of Week 18. Let's get into the most notable news and tidbits from around the league.

Bears Request to Interview Todd Bowles, Byron Leftwich, Among Others

The Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace after a subpar 6-11 season. With Justin Fields locked down on a rookie contract for the foreseeable future and one of the wildest fanbases in the league, Chicago is a solid destination for aspiring head coaches.

Fresh off a Super Bowl 2020-21 season and entering the playoffs looking poised to make a deep run again, both Buccaneers coordinators understandably have a number of suitors. The Bears are one of them, as they have requested to interview both offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. In addition, Chicago requested to interview former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who was something of a surprise departure among many around the league. Flores guided the Dolphins to two winning seasons in three years, and his best work came in 2020 when he guided Miami to a 10-6 campaign with Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. While they didn't make the playoffs, Flores understandably figures to be in the mix for another head coaching job after a second straight winning season in 2021.

The Bears also are interested in Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett, although it's to be determined whether the inter-division aspect of that relationship could harm his likelihood of actually joining the Bears. Chicago also wants to interview Colts DC Matt Eberflus: Basically: The Bears are leaving no stone unturned in looking for a new head coach. Fantasy players will just have to keep an eye out for who they actually end up hiring, as it will have a big effect on Chicago's fantasy-relevant players for 2022.

Giants Fire Joe Judge

The Giants fired head coach Joe Judge on Tuesday after rumors flew around about whether New York would actually stick with him for another season. New York fired then-offensive coordinator Jason Garrett during the second half of the year in hopes of improving the offense, but it didn't work, and the Giants actually ended up turning into a complete train wreck with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm under center – which, to be fair, was expected given the quality of those two quarterbacks. Judge joins Garrett and former general manager Dave Gettleman – who technically retired – as Giants brass who failed to survive a disastrous 2021 campaign with their job. The Giants will now look for new leadership in hopes of righting the ship after five straight losing seasons.

Giants owner John Mara said the team will sort out their general manager vacancy before hiring a new head coach, as the new GM will have input into who they hire as coach. New York reportedly requested an interview with Arizona director of player development Quentin Harris to be their next general manager. He's someone to monitor, although an interview doesn't signify that they'll actually end up hiring him.

Texans Still Deciding Whether to Keep David Culley

The Texans are reportedly still deciding whether they will keep head coach David Culley for 2022. Houston won four games with one of the worst rosters in the league this season, and they have a long way to go before they become competitive, especially if Deshaun Watson has played his final game in a Texan uniform. NFL insider Jay Glazer said before Houston's Week 18 showdown against the Titans that team administrators were undecided as to whether they'd retain Culley for another campaign, so it seems like his future truly is still up in the air. Glazer went on to mention that the Texans like Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, so he'd be a name to keep an eye out for in the event that they do part ways with Culley.

Browns GM Expects Baker Mayfield to be 2022 Starter

Browns general manager Andrew Berry said on Tuesday that he expects Baker Mayfield to be the team's starting quarterback in 2022. Mayfield is coming off a tumultuous fourth professional season, and he hit rock bottom in a very public manner with a four-interception game in primetime against the Packers on Christmas day. That outing sparked rumors that Cleveland could look to replace Mayfield for next season, so Berry's comments are a vote of confidence in favor of the former Heisman winner. Still, Mayfield's leash is likely short after a disappointing 2021 season in which the Browns failed to make the playoffs, so it wouldn't be a surprise if next year is his final in a Browns uniform.

Panthers Plan to Talk to Vikings OC Klint Kubiak About OC Vacancy

The Panthers plan to talk to Vikings OC Klint Kubiak about their offensive coordinator vacancy. Kubiak was elevated to offensive coordinator for the 2021 season after spending the previous two years as Minnesota's quarterback coach. Former Panthers OC Joe Brady was fired midseason, reportedly because head coach Matt Rhule wanted to run more, so it would track that Carolina would want a new coordinator from a run-oriented offense like the ones the Vikings currently run.

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Injury Updates

We'll close by looking at the injury status for some of the most fantasy-relevant players in the playoffs:

  • The Chiefs "believe" that Tyreek Hill will play on Sunday against the Steelers. Hill hurt his heel in pregame of Week 18 and tried to play through it in the regular season finale. Kansas City needs him if they want to make a deep playoff run.

  • Emmanuel Sanders was a limited participant at Bills' practice on Tuesday. It's the first time he has practiced since injuring his knee ahead of Week 17, and it puts him on track to play in the Wild Card round against the Patriots.