New year, new coaches.
With Urban Meyer and Vic Fangio already out, the NFL’s annual head coaching cleanup is underway. This year,
Offense is the name of the game in 2022, so it should come as no surprise that some of the NFL’s top head coach candidates come from the offensive side of the ball.
If you’re an NFL franchise, picking the right head coach is really about what you want in a boss: Do you want the great offensive player or the defensive player who can blend into the CEO role?
While there is no slam-dunk candidate this cycle, there almost never is, there are several intriguing candidates whose names you will hear a lot in the coming weeks.
NFL Head Coach Candidates
Defensive coordinator, Colts
The Colts’ defensive coordinator has already interviewed for jobs: He interviewed the Jets and Texans before the 2021 season, and reports indicate that he could soon take an interview for the vacant Jaguars position.
Taking over as defensive coordinator in 2018, Eberflus has helped shape the Colts’ defense into a top-10 unit, even though it fell in 2021, and is one of DC’s best options on the line this year.
Offensive Coordinator, Chiefs
What else is there to know about Eric Bieniemy? While Andy Reid might be the mastermind behind the Chiefs’ offensive attack, Bieniemy should get some credit for being the man in Patrick Mahomes’s ear.
There are some questions as to why exactly Bieniemy hasn’t gotten a job despite interviewing a fair amount. Some point to his personal record, while others discredit him for being Reid’s second-in-command. Whatever the reason, Bieniemy will get her interviews again, and a head coach gig is likely to follow.
Offensive Coordinator, Chargers
Yes, there is a relationship: The Chargers OC is the grandson of NFL legend Vince Lombardi.
Lombardi has been in the game since 2006 at varying levels of training, eventually landing with the Lions as an offensive coordinator before rebuilding as a QBs coach with the Saints between 2016 and 2020.
Lombardi had the opportunity to work with Justin Herbert and the results speak for themselves this year. The Chargers won’t be doing the dance this year, but Herbert only drew on his rookie year on the new offense.
Coaches are rarely selected from Sean Payton’s coaching tree, but Lombardi could be next.
Offensive Coordinator, Buccaneers
Leftwich is already a great coaching candidate: The Jaguars have already asked to interview the Bucs’ OC and will reportedly take the opportunity to interview him.
Clearly, Leftwich has Tom Brady’s attention and he helped foster a very, very good offense for the Buccaneeers. Talent obviously helps, but putting that talent in position to be successful, and consistently, is what’s especially impressive.
Offensive coordinator, Bills
Daboll has worked with the best of the best, including Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, but his candidacy is interesting: He was interviewed for only one job after helping Josh Allen achieve an MVP-caliber season in 2020.
While there are questions about how the Bills’ OC will transition from the coach’s booth to the field, he has done enough to help build a potent offensive attack to get a few calls this offseason.
Defensive coordinator, Giants
There hasn’t been much good in the Giants’ 2021 season, but Patrick Graham continues to prove good on the defensive side of the ball.
The Giants defense has been in terrible positions throughout the season thanks to the worst offense in the league, no matter who is directing the plays, but they have done what they could with the talent they have.
Offensive Coordinator, Rams
Sean McVay’s entourage is red hot: Former coordinators Brandon Staley and Zac Taylor have their teams on the rise for the Chargers and Bengals, respectively. The NFL is still looking for the next “McVay,” and O’Connell could be that guy.
With O’Connell leading the way, the Rams have continued their streak as one of the NFL’s most dominant offensive attacks – the Rams rank in the top 10 in yards and points scored this year, fulfilling the trade that led to Matthew. Stafford to Hollywood.
Offensive Coordinator, Ravens
The NFL’s longtime offensive coordinator has helped Lamar Jackson become one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL, even with a lopsided 2021 season. It is also based on the case of Roman who helped Tyler Huntley look like a useful NFL quarterback.
Roman was the architect of the 49ers’ race-laden attack that reached the Super Bowl in 2013, coincidentally facing the Ravens, with a stop at Buffalo in the middle. Looks like he may be live for head coach interviews sooner rather than later.
Offensive Coordinator, Cowboys
Moore survived the firing of Jason Garrett and was retained by Mike McCarthy, a guy who knows a thing or two about offenses.
Under Moore, Dallas has built one of the best offenses in the league and helped make Dak Prescott one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league and a perennial MVP candidate. He also fits the “young and innovative” mold that is the in fashion option for NFL franchises.
Don ‘Wink’ Martindale
Defensive coordinator, Ravens
While the stocky, older and experienced defensive coordinator is not the NFL type in 2022, Martindale’s defensive units have consistently been at the top of the league during his tenure, even with a less-than-excellent 2021 season.
Martindale oversaw the top three scoring defenses from 2018 to 2020, while injuries and COVID played at an average unit in 2021.
There are a number of retreads and other intriguing candidates heading into the 2022 offseason:
- Patriots offensive coordinator Josh mcdaniels you can get calls again this off season. The work he’s done with Mac Jones, and the teams’ obsession with recreating anything Belichick, will give him another chance.
- Could Doug pederson be back in the mix? The former Eagles head coach was out of the 2021 NFL season. It could resurface this year.
- joe brady It seems like he became the scapegoat for the Panthers’ offensive woes. He interviewed a few jobs prior to the start of the 2021 season and was the featured coordinator.
- Could the former Jets head coach Todd bowles get a second chance at it? With top-notch defense, the respected Bowles could earn a second chance as head coach soon.
- Michigan had a great season, and that may be enough to jim harbaugh leave on