Eight NFL teams were in search of a head coach to start the New Year, but five clubs have already found their man. Let’s quickly run down the jobs that are off the table and check in on where things stand for the three remaining vacancies:
- Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator (USC): Hired
- Freddie Kitchens, offensive coordinator (Browns): Hired
- Vic Fangio, defensive coordinator (Bears): Hired
Green Bay Packers
- Matt LaFleur, offensive coordinator (Titans): Hired
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Bruce Arians, former head coach (Cardinals): Hired
Jobs Still Open:
- Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator (Chiefs): Interviewed on 1/5
- Hue Jackson, special assistant to the head coach (Bengals): Interviewed on 1/2
- Vance Joseph, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed on 1/3-1/4
- Bill Lazor, offensive coordinator (Bengals): Interviewed on 1/1
- Todd Monken, offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Interviewed on 1/5
- Darren Simmons, special teams coordinator (Bengals): Interviewed on 1/1
- Zac Taylor, quarterbacks coach (Rams): Interviewed on 1/4
- Shane Waldron, passing game coordinator/tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed on 1/4
- Dennis Allen, defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed on 1/5
- Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator (Chiefs): Interviewed on 1/3
- Brian Flores, defensive coordinator (Patriots): Interviewed on 1/4
- John Harbaugh, head coach (Ravens): Dolphins considering trade
- Kris Richard, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Interviewed on 1/6
- Darren Rizzi, assistant head coach/special teams (Dolphins): To be interviewed
New York Jets
- Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator (Chiefs): Interviewed on 1/2
- Jim Caldwell, former head coach (Lions): Interviewed on 1/7
- Adam Gase, former head coach (Dolphins): Interviewed on 1/4
- Mike McCarthy, former head coach (Packers): Interviewed on 1/5
- Todd Monken, offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Interviewed on 1/8
- Matt Rhule, head coach (Baylor): Interviewed
- Kris Richard, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Interviewed on 1/6; No longer in running?
The Bengals, so far, have cast a wide net, but the recommendation of Marvin Lewis and the club’s history with Jackson could lead to the ex-Browns coach landing on his feet. They’re also considering another recently fired head coach in Joseph and the group lacks general star power, so Jackson’s chances cannot be dismissed.
The buzz is slowly building around Richard in Miami, even though he is not believed to be a serious candidate in New York. From a pure knowledge standpoint, Allen may be the best bet of the free agent bunch. Overall, the Dolphins’ top choice could be Harbaugh, but he won’t be an option for them if he signs an extension with the Ravens. Even if he doesn’t, the Dolphins might not want to part with significant draft capital and shell out big bucks to land him.
The Jets never really had a chance at Kliff Kingsbury, but Jets fans probably won’t lose sleep over seeing the inexperienced young coach go to Arizona. What’s left is a mishmash of head coaching retreads (Caldwell, Gase, McCarthy), coordinators and assistants (Monken, Richard, Bieniemy), and one more college-to-pros candidate (Rhule). Some believe that Rhule, the head coach at Baylor, is the Jets’ No. 1 target.
The list above, derived from the 2019 Head Coaching Search Tracker, was edited to omit candidates that are no longer in consideration or have taken jobs elsewhere.