It’s that time of year again. As the NFL regular season starts to wind down, all eyes will turn to the remaining coaching and front office decisions, and the ensuing searches to fill those vacancies. We’ll start things off with Urban Meyer, the extremely accomplished college coach who apparently could be headed to the NFL for the first time. “At least two” NFL teams have reached out to Meyer to gauge his interest, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. He writes that Meyer did not rebuff the overtures and appears to be seriously considering it, noting that the former Ohio State coach plans to make his decision about jumping to the pro ranks within the next week.
To that end, Meyer could “receive serious consideration” from the Jaguars and Lions, sources told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, so it’s possible those are the two unspecified teams Schefter referred to. The Jags of course still have Doug Marrone leading the team, but his firing following Week 17 is all but guaranteed. La Canfora notes that Jacksonville’s search has been “noticeably quiet, writing that “with several NFL execs and agents” have noted “they have had limited contact with the Khan family” that owns the team. The Jaguars have clinched the top overall pick in April’s draft, most likely landing them Trevor Lawrence, and making them an infinitely more attractive option to coaches and executives. Meyer walked away from Ohio State after the 2018 season, and led them to a national title in 2014. He also won two national championships during his time at Florida.
Here’s more from the coaching ranks:
- Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has guided Josh Allen to a near MVP-level season, and has rightfully been earning a lot of praise. As such, La Canfora writes that he’s the “hottest coordinator candidate” for head coaching jobs this cycle. It’s not a major surprise, but sources told La Canfora that Daboll “will have no shortage of opportunities to interview for jobs.” La Canfora notes that the Jets, Falcons, and Jaguars could all be suitors for the former Alabama assistant. Daboll of course also spent many years on Bill Belichick’s staff with the Patriots. Still only 45, Daboll has also had a couple of stints as an NFL OC prior to Buffalo with the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs. Interestingly La Canfora also connects the dots between the Chargers and Daboll should they fire Anthony Lynn, noting that Los Angeles GM Tom Telesco went to high school with Daboll.
- It’s been generally assumed that Adam Gase will be fired as Jets coach at the end of the year, but he apparently was almost let go sooner than that. La Canfora tweeted on Saturday that it was “very likely” Gase would’ve been fired today had New York lost to the Browns yesterday. Of course, the Jets pulled off their second upset in a row, buying Gase one more week as the Jets’ coach. The reason they would’ve made the move now instead of just waiting for the end of the season probably has something to do with them wanting to get started on their virtual interviews with candidates, which can’t be done until Gase is out of the building.
- Most of the attention this cycle has understandably focused on exciting offensive minds, so the DCs out there are flying a bit more under the radar. That doesn’t mean you won’t see one land a job. Ravens defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale is “considered to be one of the top candidates this time around,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Martindale is in his third season as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator, and he previously won Super Bowl XLVII with the team as their linebackers coach. The Ravens once again have one of the league’s best defenses, so the buzz isn’t too shocking. Interestingly, Rapoport notes that his potential staff targets include Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliot, and former NFL head coaches Marvin Lewis and Lovie Smith. Lewis is generating head coaching interest himself, so he might not be available.