NFL Coaching Carousel

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Ryan McDowell
·3 min read
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As we sit in the middle of two of the most exciting weekends of the NFL season, seven teams that didn’t make the playoffs this season are still searching for their next head coach. These teams, which include the Jaguars, Lions, Jets, Chargers, Texans, Falcons and most recently, the Eagles, hope to follow the path most recently set by Washington and Cleveland, teams who hired new head coaches last offseason and reached the playoffs this year.

Let’s go team-by-team with an updated status check regarding the head coaching position. Also, just for fun, I’ve included the current betting favorite for each team’s next head coach.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have reportedly conducted interviews with Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, 49ers DC Robert Saleh, Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett, Titans OC Arthur Smith but Joe Brady, the first-year offensive coordinator for division-rival Carolina is now said to be the lead candidate to take over the job once held by Dan Quinn. Brady would be a big boost for Falcons skill position players, including Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones. Backup RB Mike Davis was an RB1 in the Panthers Offense this season, filling in for an injured Christian McCaffrey.

Current Favorite: Bieniemy

Detroit Lions

The Lions cast a wide net early on, seeking interviews with Bieniemy, Saleh, Smith and Saints TE Coach Dan Campbell. More recently though, Detroit has shown interest in those with past head coaching experience, including Marvin Lewis and Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles. Either of those options would be a tough sell to a Lions fan base that was literally petitioning to hire Saleh, a Michigan native and former assistant at Michigan State.

Current Favorite: Saleh

Houston Texans

In the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, the Texans are reportedly starting from scratch with their coaching search after hiring new GM Nick Caserio last week. It will please QB Deshaun Watson to see that the second wave begins with Bieniemy, though current scheduling dictates that any interview will have to follow the Chiefs elimination from the playoffs, which could certainly mean waiting until after the Super Bowl early next month. Other potential candidates include Ravens WR Coach David Culley, Bills DC Leslie Frazier, and former Lions HC Jim Caldwell.

Current Favorite: Bieniemy

Jacksonville Jaguars

While the Jags, who are expected to select Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence with the top overall pick in April, have considered the popular options like Saleh, Smith and Bieniemy, they seemingly only have eyes for one option. Former Ohio State HC Urban Meyer has interviewed with the Jaguars and has even reportedly begun assembling a coaching staff. The team is in a holding pattern as they wait on Meyer to make a decision. This job is his if he wants it.

Current Favorite: Meyer

Los Angeles Chargers

Despite ending their season on a winning streak, the Chargers ultimately fired HC Anthony Lynn. Along with the obvious options in Smith, Brady, Bieniemy and Bills OC Brian Daboll, the Chargers have also reached out to Colts DC Matt Eberflus, Rams DC Brandon Staley and even Giants OC Jason Garrett.

Current Favorite: Daboll

New York Jets

Almost everything went wrong for the Jets this season, including a pair of late-season wins that ultimately cost them the rights to the top-overall pick in the NFL Draft. Firing HC Adam Gase was the easy decision but replacing him with someone who can turn this team around will be the challenge. The Jets have shown interest in the usual suspects - Bieniemy, Smith, Staley, Eberflus and Saleh. Like the Lions, New York has recently reached out to former Bengals head man Lewis.

Current Favorite: Pederson

Philadelphia Eagles

The last team in the pool, the Eagles already missed the early window to interview with candidates on current playoff teams after they parted ways with Doug Pederson earlier this week. Pederson himself could end up getting interviews with other teams listed, though none have been reported yet. The Eagles began their search with Titans OC Smith, Saleh and Bowles. Also, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie suggested current assistant coach Duce Staley would be a candidate for the job.

Current Favorite: Bieniemy