Brian Flores

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. With Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints, there are now nine 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 1-25-21 (10:50pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Giants’ HC Search Beginning With Brian Daboll, Leslie Frazier

Newly-hired Giants general manager Joe Schoen is wasting no time in beginning the team’s search for a new head coach. He has already completed an interview with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and is expected to hold another one tomorrow with Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier. 

According to a team announcement, the Daboll interview has already been completed, just hours after the hiring of Schoen was officially announced. The 46-year-old met via teleconference with Schoen and co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch. It should come as a surprise to no one that Daboll, the Bills’ OC for the past four seasons, is the candidate with whom the search process is beginning. It was immediately reported that he would be one of the key targets for the Giants once Schoen landed the GM job.

Meanwhile, Frazier’s name is being linked to the HC vacancy for the first time. As Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports (via Twitter), Frazier is expected to interview with the Giants on Saturday. Again, this is far from a surprise, given the Buffalo connection to Schoen. The 62-year-old has served in his current role for five years, overseeing the Bills’ defensive turnaround. He has already been interviewed by the Dolphins, and is also scheduled to meet with the Bears.

The other factor influencing the immediacy of these interviews, of course, is the fact that the Bills play on Sunday night. As Schwartz points out, any potential second interviews conducted prior to the Super Bowl could only take place if the first round was completed this weekend, something made easier by the fact that Schoen is still in Buffalo. The other two candidates linked to the Giants so far are ex-Dolphins HC Brian Flores and Cowboys DC Dan Quinn.

Giants Expected To Meet With Brian Daboll, Brian Flores

Now that the Giants have a general manager, their search to replace Joe Judge will accelerate. Some familiar candidates are on track to interview for the post.

Linked to this job for several days, Brian Daboll and Brian Flores are two of the candidates expected to interview, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Big Blue previously requested an interview with Cowboys DC Dan Quinn and other candidates. Quinn wants to meet with the Giants, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, but the rebound candidate is in demand. An offer or two might come in before a Giants meeting commences.

A Brooklyn native, Flores has emerged as perhaps the most intriguing HC candidate of this cycle. The Dolphins fired him unexpectedly after back-to-back winning seasons, citing clashes with management in their decision. Flores has also interviewed with the Bears and Texans during this year’s cycle.

While the three-year Miami HC has been linked to teaming up with Deshaun Watson in New York, it is fairly premature to make those connections given the numerous hurdles that would need to be cleared in order for that to commence. But an early connection to the Giants is notable for Flores, whom the Texans zeroed in on quickly.

Daboll looms as the most obvious candidate here. He has worked with new GM Joe Schoen in Buffalo for four years now. Brought over from Alabama in 2018, Daboll has overseen Josh Allen‘s ascent into one of the NFL’s best players. Reporting linked the Buffalo OC to the New York HC job if Schoen became GM. Now that Schoen has been tapped to lead the Giants’ front office, Daboll has a key avenue to land his first NFL HC job.

Brian Flores, Deshaun Watson Looking To Team Up; NYG A Potential Destination?

More news is coming out regarding one of the worst-kept secrets in the NFL. Quarterback Deshaun Watson and top head coaching candidate Brian Flores are looking to team up with each other in 2022, as first reported by insider Jordan Schultz (via Twitter). 

That has since been confirmed by Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, who further details how the Giants may be a key suitor for the pair. He notes that “Flores wants his next shot at being a head coach to be with a stud quarterback”, something that would be a stark contrast to the inconsistent play of Tua Tagovailoa in Miami. While the Giants already have Daniel Jones at the top of their depth chart, he will be entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract in 2022, and will carry a manageable – and partially tradeable – cap hit of $8.3MM.

Dunleavy adds that “most of the first seven candidates interviewed to be Giants general manager have Flores on their short list” and that the Brooklyn native “has his eye on the Giants, too”. It is worth remembering, on the other hand, that Flores is a member of the same Bill Belichick coaching tree as the recently-dismissed Joe Judge, something that may discourage the hiring of another ‘disciplinarian’ mold of head coach. Furthermore, it is “unclear” that New York would be willing to bring in Watson, given the unresolved legal challenges he is still facing. Dunleavy notes the “misguided” handling of a domestic violence arrest of kicker Josh Brown in 2016 as reason for pause.

Ultimately, then, “the easiest destination for a Watson-Flores pairing seems to be Houston”, one of the teams that has already interviewed Flores for their HC vacancy. Of course, Watson staying with the Texans would require him to repeal the trade request he made prior to the sexual misconduct allegations that kept him out of the lineup all season. As of now, the team still intends to trade the 26-year-old before the new league year begins in March. That may add some urgency to the Giants’ GM search, as they will not begin interviewing coaching candidates until that process is complete, meaning the Flores and Watson situations may already be resolved one way or another before the Giants have filled their vacancies.

In any event, it appears the ultimate destination for one of the league’s best quarterbacks and a top head coaching candidate will be determined in the near future.

 

Giants Eyeing Brian Flores, Brian Daboll

The Giants’ short list of head coaching candidates includes former Dolphins HC Brian Flores and Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, according to sources who spoke with Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Of course, the eventual successor to Dave Gettleman is expected to lead the search, as John Mara recently said that the GM will have “the flexibility to bring in the head coach that he wants.”

[RELATED: Latest On Giants’ Firing Of Joe Judge] 

Both Daboll and Flores have been discussed internally for a while, according to Vacchiano. It also helps that “several” of the Giants’ nine GM candidates also hold them in high regard.

As of this writing, the Giants are considering current assistant GM Kevin Abrams, 49ers director of player personnel Ran Carthon, Titans exec Ryan Cowden, Cardinals exec Quentin Harris, Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz, Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, 49ers AGM Adam Peters, Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, Cardinals exec Adrian Wilson, and Bills AGM Joe Schoen.

It’s safe to assume that Schoen has Daboll on the list while Abrams — a longtime member of the Giants’ front office — surely helped to shape the team’s view of both Daboll and Flores. Still, according to one report, Abrams is no longer viewed as a frontrunner. Apparently, the momentum lies with out-of-house candidates like Hortiz, who has serious momentum following his interview, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post.

Flores, 40, is already in the mix for the Texans and Bears jobs. Vacchiano hears that the Brooklyn native is looking for a team that will commit to his vision. That’s worth keeping in mind here, given the Giants’ quick hook for their last few coaches.

Daboll, 46, was in consideration last time around, before the Giants ultimately hired Joe Judge. Judge even expressed interest in making Daboll his OC, but the Bills blocked his request. The Giants ultimately went with Jason Garrett, who was fired in November.

Coaching Searches Starting To Come Into Focus

As the playoffs begin, some teams are narrowing in on their preferred targets. Some teams don’t need to worry about the playoffs because their candidate isn’t participating, while others may just be waiting until their candidate’s season is over.

Jason La Canfora, of CBS Sports, reported that former Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores is considered the favorite to get the Texans’ open head coaching position. He suggests that firing David Culley may have been a reaction to Flores’s surprising availability. Both firings came as a shock to NFL media, so it’s not outrageous to assume that the Texans saw Flores get cut loose and decided to make a bold move of their own.

Flores and Texans’ general manager Nick Caserio worked together as scouts in the Patriots’ system. Flores won eight of his final nine games in Miami this year, showing a promising potential. Not to mention that Flores was a factor in Deshaun Watson waiving his no-trade clause for the Dolphins earlier this year, before that deal fell through. The Texans have other candidates, but Flores has interviewed with the Bears and will continue to be a target for other teams, so Houston will likely want to secure their target sooner, rather than later.

Tom Pelissero, of NFL Network, reported that Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is looking like the favorite to replace Vic Fangio in Denver. This situation is a little more fraught. The connections aren’t quite clear. Obviously Quinn’s resume speaks for itself as he made it to the Super Bowl with Atlanta and has helped develop an impressive, young Cowboys’ defense, but the Broncos just fired a defensive-minded coach in Fangio and it’s a bit surprising to see them double-down on that philosophy.

There’s also the issue that, unlike Flores, Quinn isn’t currently available. He hasn’t even interviewed with any teams. Even when he does, it seems those teams may be in competition with his current employer. La Canfora put out a report that Dallas holds Quinn in such high regard that they might be willing to move on from current head coach Mike McCarthy in order to secure Quinn as his successor.

There’s plenty of moves to be had and plenty of time for it all to play out. Be sure to follow all our updates on the 2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Texans Interview Brian Flores For HC Job

Barely a day after the Texans fired David Culley, they interviewed one of the frontrunners to succeed him. Brian Flores completed a Houston HC interview Friday, the team announced.

Flores and Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo have been mentioned as the favorites for this post, but the recently fired Dolphins HC was the first name to come up here. Flores and Texans GM Nick Caserio worked together in New England for over a decade. Flores, 40, also completed an interview with the Bears on Friday.

The Texans do need to interview at least one more minority candidate to satisfy the NFL’s current Rooney Rule requirements. This process could move fast, given Flores’ connection to Caserio. With the second-year GM pulling the plug on Culley so quickly, it is fairly clear he has a candidate in mind.

Josh McDaniels was most frequently linked to Caserio during previous hiring periods, but Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 reports the Patriots OC will not interview during his team’s playoff run. McDaniels also might not be interested in Houston’s job, Wilson notes. That would narrow the field of notable Patriot assistants or ex-Patriot staffers, opening a wider path for Flores. The Patriots had Flores on staff from 2004-18, and he ran their defense during their most recent Super Bowl-winning season. Caserio was in Foxborough throughout Flores’ stay.

Despite taking over what was almost certainly the NFL’s worst roster in 2019, Flores won five games in Miami that season. He then reeled off back-to-back winning seasons over the past two years. Flores’ tenure included a 4-2 record against the Patriots, with the Dolphins becoming the first team to sweep the Pats since Bill Belichick‘s first season with the franchise (2000). However, clashes with management and Tua Tagovailoa are believed to have soured the Dolphins on Flores.

A Houston landing would certainly be interesting because of the team’s quarterback situation. Flores spent months deflecting Deshaun Watson questions leading up to the trade deadline. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was believed to be behind the team’s Watson push, but the quarterback was interested in playing for Flores. Watson is expected to keep his trade request in place, regardless of the Texans’ HC choice.

Texans Interested In Brian Flores, Jerod Mayo For HC Role

3:47pm: Another Patriots connection is set to be a factor here. Jerod Mayo is expected to be a frontrunner here as well, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Bill Belichick‘s latest right-hand man on defense, Mayo spent time with both Flores and Caserio in Foxborough — as a player and assistant coach. Mayo received an interview request from the Broncos this week but has not been linked to the other jobs just yet. A Texans interview summons seems likely.

2:53pm: The David Culley and Brian Flores firings appear connected. Not long after the Dolphins surprisingly canned him, Flores has surfaced on the radar as a prime candidate to replace Culley in Houston.

The Texans have Flores positioned as the top candidate to take over as head coach, Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 reports (on Twitter). Flores and Texans GM Nick Caserio worked together with the Patriots for over a decade, with Wilson adding the duo’s relationship remains close.

[RELATED: Texans Fire Culley After One Season]

This would be an interesting step for Flores, given the state of the Texans. The team has gone 8-25 over the past two seasons and does not have much to bank on long-term on its roster. Deshaun Watson, however, was believed to be interested in playing for Flores in Miami. That certainly does not mean the Pro Bowl quarterback would rescind his longstanding trade request, but it would be an interesting element injected into this equation.

Flores took over a Dolphins roster that was soon gutted in his first season, so the Texans would present somewhat familiar territory. The Dolphins are coming off back-to-back winning seasons, giving Flores some momentum — despite his clashes with team management — as this year’s hiring period gets going.

Latest On Brian Flores, Dolphins Divorce

It’s been a bit more than 24 hours since Brian Flores was canned in Miami, and we keep learning more about the divorce between the Dolphins and their former head coach. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has a number of nuggets about Flores’ firing. While the whole article is worth reading, we compiled some of the notable notes below.

[RELATED: Dolphins Fire HC Brian Flores]

For starters, Flores wanted full control over the organization, including roster decisions (over general manager Chris Grier). The head coach “wanted more power in everything” and “wanted more people to report to him,” and he wanted this decision-making distinction officially “formalized.” According to Jackson, Flores already had a great deal of control, and there wasn’t a single player on the roster who Flores didn’t sign off on. Still, tension remained between Flores and Grier.

Flores’ power grab went beyond the normal duties of a HC. According to Jackson, Flores requested the firing of the team’s top football media relations person. While he received push back from top executives (including president Tom Garfinkel), the employee was ultimately dismissed. Flores also chewed out an agent who posted a positive offseason update about an injured player.

Further, Flores planned on making more changes to his staff, especially with his offensive coaches. The Dolphins were operating with two offensive coordinators by the time the season came to an end, and Flores was planning on firing at least one of the two.

To top it all off, Flores apparently had issues communicating with some of his players, with some of the younger members of the team claiming that their HC “doesn’t understand dealing with men.” Meanwhile, veterans like Jason McCourty wouldn’t be treated with the “same heavy hand” as his younger teammates. There was also tension with QB Tua Tagovailoa, with the two having a heated exchange during their game against the Titans this season.

Latest Bears’ Head Coach Interview Requests

The second wave of interview requests has begun for the teams who let go of coaches and executives yesterday. The busiest of those teams, so far, is the Chicago Bears. In addition to the requests they made on Monday after firing Matt Nagy, another seven interviews have been scheduled for the Head Coaching vacancy. 

[Related: Bears Request Interviews With Bills DC Leslie Frazier, OC Brian Daboll]

Just as the Bears are interested in both Bills’ coordinators, they have requested to interview both Buccaneers’ coordinators, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). OC Byron Leftwich has held his title since 2019, where he reunited with HC Bruce Arians. Leftwich was in charge of the Super-Bowl winning Bucs offense last season, and has helped the unit put up the second most points per game (30.1) in the league in 2021. DC Todd Bowles also reunited with Arians in 2019 in Tampa Bay, and played a crucial role in the Bucs’ smothering defensive performance in that Super Bowl victory.

Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter), another request was made to Colts DC Matt Eberflus, who has also been named as an interviewee with the Jaguars. After an impressive stint as the Cowboys’ linebackers coach from 2011-2017, Eberflus took the defensive coordinator position in Indy in 2018, and immediately helped turn that unit around.

Next on the list is Cowboys DC Dan Quinn (Twitter link via Pelissero). Quinn has since been linked with all four current Head Coaching vacancies, making him the most sought-after candidate so far. His work with Dallas’ defense in just one season – seventh in the league in points allowed per game, first in interceptions, to name a few statistics – has put him in line to get another HC gig one year after being fired by the Falcons.

Per Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport, Doug Pederson will also be interviewed (Twitter link). Pederson was fired by the Eagles exactly one year ago, and has also been linked with multiple teams. The 2017 Super Bowl winner, like Quinn, seems to have a good chance at rejoining the Head Coaching ranks during this hiring cycle.

Another popular name is Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett, whom the Bears will interview on Friday or Saturday, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer (Twitter link). Breer notes that Hackett has also received requests from the Broncos and Jaguars, as the 42-year-old has overseen one of the league’s best offenses in Green Bay for the past two seasons.

Last, but certainly not least, recently fired Brian Flores has been added to the list of interviewees, according to Pelissero (Twitter link). After three seasons – including the last two with winning records – in Miami, Flores was let go in what has been the most surprising move of the coaching cycle so far. The Bears are not expected to be the only team interviewing the 40-year-old, though nothing has officially been lined up with any other clubs yet.