Aaron Glenn

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. With the Texans firing David Culley, there are now eight full-time vacancies available this year.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-23-21 (10:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Vikings Request Interview With Rams’ DC Raheem Morris

Another name has been added to the list of potential head coaching candidates in Minnesota. The team has requested an interview with Raheem Morris, the current Rams defensive coordinator (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Peter Schrager). 

Morris, 45, has an NFL coaching background dating back to 2002. He has spent time primarily as a defensive backs coach, serving in that role in Tampa Bay (on two different occasions, including the Super Bowl XXXVII-winning squad) and Washington. However, he also took over as the Bucs’ head coach after the firing of Jon Gruden in January of 2009. He had an encouraging year in 2010, posting a 10-6 record, but the one preceding and following that campaign saw the team put up a combined record of 7-25.

After a three year stint in Washington, Morris got his next prominent coaching positions in Atlanta. He served as an assistant head coach and pass game coordinator from his arrival in 2015 to 2019. Then, in 2020, he became the team’s DC until taking over as interim HC following Dan Quinn’s firing. He interviewed to remain in Atlanta on a full-time basis, but the team ultimately went with former Titans OC Arthur Smith.

This past offseason, Morris was hired by the Rams to take over for now-Chargers HC Brandon Staley as the team’s defensive coordinator. His work in L.A. has prompted many to expect more head coaching opportunities, so it was surprising this is the first request he has received in the 2022 coaching cycle.

The news brings the total number of candidates linked to the Vikings’ HC vacancy to ten. Here is the updated list:

 

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Broncos Request Permission To Interview Eric Bieniemy, Dan Quinn, Others

Let’s add five more names to the Broncos HC search. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver requested permission to interview Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (Twitter link) and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (Twitter link) for their head coaching vacancy. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Broncos also requested permission to interview Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo (Twitter link) and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett (Twitter link). Finally, Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos requested permission to interview Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Hackett will interview Saturday, according to Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, one of the 10 candidates linked to this job already, will begin the interview run by meeting with the team Thursday.

[RELATED: Broncos Request Three Interviews For HC Vacancy]

After being out of the game for much of last season, with the Falcons firing him after a bad start, Quinn has moved himself back onto the head-coaching radar. The Cowboys’ defense has improved significantly in his first season overseeing the unit. He figures to generate interest from other teams once more vacancies emerge. Quinn previously refused an interview with the Jaguars until after the season.

Bieniemy has been with the Chiefs since Andy Reid’s 2013 Kansas City arrival. Thought to be a slam-dunk hire in both the 2020 and ’21 offseasons, the 52-year-old assistant has failed to land a head coaching job. Taking over as Kansas City’s OC from Matt Nagy, who followed Doug Pederson in being hired for an HC post, Bieniemy has been in this role throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ dominant run as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback.

Mayo had a standout career with the Patriots, with the former 10th-overall pick earning two Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl ring during his eight seasons in New England. Mayo rejoined the organization as their linebackers coach in 2019. While New England is currently operating without a true defensive coordinator, Mayo (along with Steve Belichick) is assumed to be atop the defensive coaching depth chart.

Hackett served as the Jaguars offensive coordinator between 2016 and 2018, including a 2017 campaign where the Jaguars offense ranked toward the top of the NFL in a number of categories. The veteran coach was canned midway through the 2018 season, and he’s spent the past three years serving as Green Bay’s OC. The Packers offense had a standout season in 2020, and while the team finished 2021 with the best record in the league, both the passing game and the running game have taken a step back this year.

Moore inked a three-year extension with the Cowboys towards the close of the 2020 season, but he’s remained a hot name in coaching circles. The rival Eagles requested an interview with him in January of 2021 before ultimately going with Nick Sirianni.

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Broncos Request Three Interviews For HC Vacancy

The Broncos moved on from head coach Vic Fangio earlier today, and they’ve naturally started eyeing potential replacements. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter links), the Broncos requested interviews with Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos have also requested an interview with Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

[RELATED: Broncos Fire HC Vic Fangio]

Gannon, 39, has spent 15 years as a coach and scout. Following a three-year stint as the Colts defensive backs coach, he was hired as the Eagles defensive coordinator last offseason. During his first season in the role, the Eagles defense ranked top-10 in yards allowed, with Philly’s rush defense showing particular promise.

Glenn had a 15-year career as a cornerback, and he’s transitioned to coaching in recent years. He had a long stint as the Saints defensive backs coach before getting hired as the Lions DC in 2021. While the Lions defense left plenty to be desired this past season, the 49-year-old is still highly regarded in coaching circles.

O’Connell has been a popular name since taking over as Rams offensive coordinator in 2020. Following an impressive first season in Los Angeles, the Rams offense took a small step back in 2021, although this was mostly due to an inconsistent rushing attack.

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Lions Hire Aaron Glenn As DC

After a false start, Detroit has sealed the deal. The Lions have agreed to hire Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn as their defensive coordinator (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). 

[RELATED: Lions Hire Dan Campbell]

Glenn’s stock has skyrocketed in recent years. The longtime NFL cornerback was even considered for the Jets’ head coaching vacancy, before Robert Saleh came away with the job. The Bengals also tried to interview him for their DC role back in 2019, before they were blocked by the Saints.

Glenn entered the league as a first-round pick of the Jets and went on to enjoy 15 years in the league. He stayed in the game after his retirement in 2008 with scouting role before launching his coaching career with the Browns in 2014.

Saints head coach Sean Payton has spoken highly of Glenn, so it’s no surprise to see him move up the ladder. With offensively-minded head coach Dan Campbell at the helm, Glenn figures to have ample control over the other side of the ball.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions To Hire Saints’ Aaron Glenn As DC?

8:01pm: This may not be a done deal just yet. While the Lions may well be set to bring Campbell and Glenn to Michigan, the latter assistant has other options. Two other teams have expressed interest in hiring Glenn as defensive coordinator, and veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson tweets the veteran secondary coach is still determining which job he will take.

2:55pm: The Lions are expected to hire Saints assistant Dan Campbell as their new head coach, and he’s bringing another Sean Payton protégé with him. Detroit is hiring Aaron Glenn to be their defensive coordinator, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Glenn is currently the secondary coach in New Orleans. His profile has been growing rapidly recently, and he even got a head coaching interview with the Jets a couple weeks back. His star has been rising for a while now, as the Bengals tried to interview him for their DC role back in 2019 but were blocked by the Saints

Glenn had a prolific playing career, as he spent 15 years in the league as a corner after getting drafted 12th overall by the Jets back in 1994. His last pro season was in 2008 with the Saints, and after a brief stint as a scout he broke into the coaching ranks with the Browns as an assistant DBs coach in 2014.

He joined Payton’s staff in 2016, and has been on it ever since. He’s clearly highly regarded around the league, and if Detroit has any success on defense he’ll be a name to keep an eye on in future head coaching searches.

2021 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Exiting the regular season, six teams are searching for new head coaches. That number is up from last season but not quite as high as 2019, though there may well be more vacancies that emerge during the playoffs.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-27-21 (7:05pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Jets To Interview Aaron Glenn, Robert Saleh

The Jets have requested permission to interview Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn for their head coaching job, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Glenn, who played for the Jets in his first eight NFL seasons, has impressed as a lieutenant to defensive coordinator Dennis Allen

The Bengals were interested in hiring Glenn as their DC in 2019, before the Saints blocked their interview request. In this case, Glenn is in the clear, since teams cannot block assistants from discussing head coaching opportunities. The move to HC would slingshot Glenn up the ladder, but it wouldn’t be an unprecedented leap.

The Jets are also set to interview 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for the position, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Saleh — who is also in the mix for the Falcons, Lions, Jaguars, and Chargers — appears to be one of the hottest candidates in this cycle.

Even though much of the talk in New York is centered around the quarterback position, the Jets could use the defensive expertise of someone like Glenn or Saleh.

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Coaching Notes: McCown, Kitchens, Woods

Whenever Josh McCown decides to hang up his cleats, it sounds like he’ll have an opportunity to pursue a new career path. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Eagles discussed “the idea of [McCown] returning to the team in a coaching role” next season.

Notably, the exit meeting was attended by the 40-year-old quarterback, head coach Doug Pederson, general manager Howie Roseman… and owner Jeffrey Lurie, who rarely makes an appearance at those meetings. It’s uncertain if McCown was offered a definitive coaching gig, and the 40-year-old ultimately couldn’t commit to retirement. At the very least, it sounds like the organization is optimistic about the veteran’s coaching ability.

McCown had retired following the 2018 season and caught on with ESPN as an analyst. However, he later signed with the Eagles following injuries to backups Nate Sudfeld and Cody Kessler. The 18-year veteran ended up appearing in three games for Philly, and he filled in for Carson Wentz during the team’s playoff loss to the Seahawks.

Let’s check out some more coaching notes from around the league…

  • Earlier this month, we heard whispers that former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens could land with the Giants. However, Dan Duggan of The Athletic writes that the coach “isn’t a lock” to land in New York. We learned yesterday that the two sides still hadn’t finalized an agreement. Kitchens worked alongside new Giants head coach Joe Judge during their time at Mississippi State, and there was speculation that the 45-year-old could join the staff as a tight ends coach. The Browns went 6-10 during Kitchens’ lone season as their head coach, and he was canned following the regular season.
  • Before hiring Patrick Graham as their defensive coordinator, the Giants had interest in Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn, reports Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post (via Twitter). While he missed out on the gig, the 47-year-old still interviewed for another role on the Giants coaching staff today. Prior to this stint with New Orleans, the 1994 first-round pick served as the Browns assistant defensive backs coach.
  • Joe Woods is the favorite to become the Browns defensive coordinator, but the 49ers won’t let that happen without a fight. Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune tweets that San Francisco is making a “late push” to retain their defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator. Woods has coached in the NFL since 2004, and he served as the Broncos defensive coordinator between 2017 and 2018.
  • Speaking of the Browns, head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed that three assistants will be sticking around next season (via the team’s website): special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, assistant special teams coach Doug Colman and run game coordinator/running backs coach Stump Mitchell.
  • Vikings receivers coach Drew Petzing won’t be back with the team next season, reports Goessling (via Twitter). Petzing had spent the past six seasons with the organization, spending time with wideouts, running backs, and quarterbacks.

Saints To Block Bengals From Interviewing Aaron Glenn

It appears another Bengals path toward a potential defensive coordinator hire will close. The Saints are planning to block them from interviewing Aaron Glenn, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The Bengals requested a meeting with the Saints’ secondary coach earlier on Thursday. This represents the latest in what’s been a series of barriers impeding a Bengals DC hire.

This is the second Saints coach the Bengals have tried to meet with regarding their DC position. The team sought a meeting with Saints DC Dennis Allen, whose previous contract had expired after the 2018 season, but Allen and the Saints agreed on a new contract.

Cincinnati has been connected to other veterans like Dom Capers, Jack Del Rio, Mike Nolan and John Fox. The team moved forward with Capers and Del Rio. Capers turned the Bengals down, and nothing came to fruition with Del Rio. Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham then looked like the pick, but the Gators are keeping him. The Bengals requested meetings with former Falcons DC Marquand Manuel and Texas A&M defensive boss Mike Elko.

The Rams have granted the Bengals permission to meet with cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, however. Mere permission on this front, which would make Pleasant a first-time coordinator, could be critical given the way this process has unfolded.

A 15-year NFL veteran as a corner, Glenn has been a coach for five seasons — the past three as Saints DC. As long as he is under contract, the Saints can block him from an interview to become a coordinator.

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