Doug Pederson

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. With the Texans firing David Culley on Thursday afternoon, 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 1-16-21 (10:30pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Vikings Expected To Interview Doug Pederson For HC Vacancy

Doug Pederson is turning into a popular name on the coaching circuit. Per Jason La Canfora (on Twitter), the former Eagles head coach is expected to interview with the Vikings for their head coaching vacancy. We previously learned that Pederson was set to interview with the Bears and Broncos, and he’s already completed an interview with the Jaguars.

[RELATED: Vikings Fire HC Mike Zimmer]

Pederson was actually fired by the Eagles exactly one year ago. Pederson had Carson Wentz playing at an MVP level through the first 14 weeks of the 2017 season, up until his fateful ACL tear. Then, with backup QB Nick Foles under center, he guided the Birds to their first ever Super Bowl ring. Pederson’s final Philadelphia season ended with a 4-11-1 mark, but he remains an attractive candidate nonetheless.

The Vikings decided to shake up their staff yesterday when they fired coach Mike Zimmer (along with GM Rick Spielman). The organization is clearly looking to take it to another level with their new HC. Zimmer ranks third in franchise history with 71 wins and had plenty of regular-season success. However, the Vikings managed only one postseason victory over the past four seasons. The new HC will be tasked with changing the team’s playoff woes.

Pederson is the first reported candidate for the Vikings HC vacancy, but we’ll surely learn of more options over the next few days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest Broncos’ Head Coach Interview Requests

Tuesday has brought about some more names added to the list of potential replacements for now ex-Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio. The team has requested interviews with two new candidates for the position, in addition to the eight already announced. 

[Related: Broncos Request Permission To Interview Eric Bieniemy, Dan Quinn, Others]

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the team has requested an interview with Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Luke Getsy (Twitter link). It is the first request he has received, but it may very well not be the last, as Pelissero adds Getsy is someone “who many regard as a future head coach”. The 37-year-old has spent seven of the last eight seasons with the Packers, including the last two as passing game coordinator.

The fact that Getsy is an unexpected addition to the pool of candidates has some wondering if he could be on the move to the Mile High City. Getsy will interview for the position Saturday, joining Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett in that regard.

According to Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley, Denver could be lining up to hire Hackett along with Getsy as a package deal. Beasley writes of a belief that “the Broncos have a real interest in Hackett potentially becoming their next head coach” and that the move could see Getsy coming along as offensive coordinator — a position he has experience in at three different colleges.

Meanwhile, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports (via Twitter) that Doug Pederson “will end up interviewing with the Vikings and Broncos” in addition to the interview he has already gone through with the Jaguars, and another he is scheduling with the Bears. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that Pederson “is a name to watch with the Broncos”. The 53-year old has been out of the league for exactly one year after being fired by the Eagles following the 2020 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Request Interviews With Bills DC Leslie Frazier, OC Brian Daboll

While the Bears seem to prefer to hire a GM before they add a new head coach, that won’t stop the organization from interviewing coaching candidates. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano (via Twitter), the Bears requested an interview with Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and are planning on interviewing former Eagles HC Doug Pederson (link). ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that Chicago has also requested an interview with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

[RELATED: Bears Fire HC Matt Nagy, GM Ryan Pace]

Frazier has been with Buffalo throughout Sean McDermott‘s five-year tenure, overseeing a Bills defensive resurgence, and would be a second-chance candidate after a four-season run as Vikings HC in the early 2010s. Frazier also has clear ties to the Bears, having played for the team in the 1980s. A starting cornerback on the famed 1985 squad that finished 18-1 and routed the Patriots in Super Bowl XX, Frazier intercepted 20 passes in five seasons with Chicago.

Pederson had Carson Wentz playing at an MVP level through the first 14 weeks of the 2017 season, up until his fateful ACL tear. Then, with backup QB Nick Foles under center, he guided the Birds to their first ever Super Bowl ring. Pederson’s final Philadelphia season ended with a 4-11-1 mark, but he remains an attractive candidate nonetheless. This offseason, he’s already interviewed for the Jaguars HC vacancy.

Daboll started his NFL coaching career back in 2000 with the Patriots. He got his first coordinator gig with the Browns in 2009, and he’s since held the same role with the Dolphins, Chiefs, and the Bills (along with Alabama). He was a popular candidate last offseason, with the Jets and Chargers eyeing the offensive coordinator.

Latest On Jaguars’ Coaching Search

The Jaguars are breaking in the NFL’s new early interview process, and they are seeing some coaches greenlight the meetings and others opt to wait. Doug Pederson already interviewed, while Cowboys DC Dan Quinn passed on an early virtual meeting. More coaches landed in each camp this week.

Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles interviewed virtually this week, according to Mark Long of the Associated Press. Cowboys OC Kellen Moore also will interview this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Colts DC Matt Eberflus joined Quinn in skipping an early virtual interview, Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star adds.

Byron Leftwich, a 2003 Jaguars first-round pick who is in his third season as Bucs OC, may end up being part of the virtual interview process. Leftwich could interview with the Jags as soon as Friday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Leftwich brushed aside questions about his pursuit of the Jacksonville HC gig last week, but whether a meeting occurs during the early interview window or after the regular season’s conclusion, the former quarterback is expected to be in the mix.

Leftwich, 41, played the first four seasons of his career in Jacksonville, starting 44 games in that span. Shad Khan was not yet in place as owner at that point, but the young coordinator certainly is familiar with the franchise.

Nathaniel Hackett, the Jags’ OC during part of Gus Bradley and Doug Marrone‘s HC tenures, will not be part of the early interview circuit, either. The third-year Packers OC will wait until after the regular season ends, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport adds. However, Hackett does have plans to be part of this process. He will meet with his former team next week, via the AP.

The Jaguars fired Hackett in November 2018. The second-generation NFL assistant has rebuilt his stock in Green Bay, with he and Matt LaFleur being the top offensive decision-makers during Aaron Rodgers‘ push for back-to-back MVPs.

Bowles would be a second-chance HC candidate. Following his Jets exit, he has overseen one of the league’s top defenses for the past three years. Bowles’ game plan helped the Bucs ground the high-flying Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Despite numerous injuries, the Bucs still rank 10th in scoring defense entering Week 18. The Cowboys, who chose to retain Moore as their play-caller despite hiring Mike McCarthy, lead the NFL in scoring. Moore, 33, is in just his fourth season as a coach. Hired during the brief window Josh McDaniels held the Colts’ HC reins, Eberflus is finishing up his fourth season in Indianapolis. Entering Week 18, the Colts rank 12th defensively. They have been a top-10 unit in two of Eberflus’ previous three seasons.

Pederson’s interview took place at Khan’s home, Rapoport adds. Also a coaching free agent, Jim Caldwell met with the Jags earlier this week. Here is how the Jags’ HC search looks as the early interview window winds down:

  • Todd Bowles, defensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Interviewed on 1/3
  • Jim Caldwell, former head coach (Lions): Interviewed on 1/4
  • Matt Eberflus, defensive coordinator (Colts): Declined early interview
  • Nathaniel Hackett, offensive coordinator (Packers): To interview after regular season
  • Byron Leftwich, offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Expected to interview
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Cowboys): To interview
  • Doug Pedersonformer head coach (Eagles): Interviewed on 12/30
  • Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator (Cowboys): Declined early interview

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys’ Dan Quinn Will Not Take Early Interview With Jaguars

The Jaguars are getting the jump on the rest of league, capitalizing on their HC vacancy to be the only team able to interview candidates early. However, one of the team’s hopeful interviewees will not take part in the process.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will not interview with the Jaguars during this newly created early two-week window, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This does not necessarily mean Quinn is removing himself from consideration for the Jacksonville job, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com noting the Dallas DC indeed has not ruled himself out of contention (Twitter link). The veteran defensive coach wants to wait on HC interviews until after the regular season ends. But Quinn waiting would stand to be leave him behind in a pursuit of this position.

Jags interview requests went out to Quinn, Cowboys OC Kellen Moore, Buccaneers coordinators Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles, Colts DC Matt Eberflus, Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett and former Eagles HC Doug Pederson. After taking a season off, Pederson will be the first candidate to interview with the Jaguars. The former Super Bowl-winning coach will do his Jags session Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

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.

The NFL recently greenlit what amounts to a one-year trial run with this early interview process, which runs through the end of the regular season. Consisting entirely of virtual meetings, this process is only approved for this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Request Interviews With Todd Bowles, Byron Leftwich

The Jaguars have asked the Buccaneers for permission to interview offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for their head coaching vacancy (Twitter links via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). In addition to the Tampa duo, they’ve also requested an interview with Cowboys OC Kellen Moore and DC Dan Quinn (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com) and scheduled a meeting with ex-Eagles HC Doug Pederson for later this week (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero).

[RELATED: Jaguars GM Trent Baalke To Keep Job]

All five coaches have been connected to the Jaguars in recent weeks, with Pederson said to be especially interested in the job. Pederson, of course, had Carson Wentz playing at an MVP level through the first 14 weeks of the 2017 season, up until his fateful ACL tear. Then, with backup QB Nick Foles under center, he guided the Birds to their first ever Super Bowl ring. Pederson’s final Philadelphia season ended with a 4-11-1 mark, but he remains an attractive candidate nonetheless.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, meanwhile, would happily advocate for either one of his coordinators to get the job. He’s been especially supportive of Leftwich, who did not receive an HC interview in the last cycle.

The job he’s done…he coaches quarterbacks, he calls plays, he’s everything everybody says they are looking for,” Arians said in January (via Jon Ledyard of Pewter Report). “I was really hoping he’d get his first few interviews and maybe get a job out of it. I can’t speak for what the owners think and who they listen to sometimes, but it’s just a matter of time before he gets his.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Interview Candidates For Jaguars

Jacksonville’s head coach position is open for grabs and the prospect of molding a young quarterback with star potential should be alluring for a number of candidates looking to lead the Jaguars. According to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, two of the candidates they wish to interview for the position are former NFL head coaches Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell.

Pederson has been an offensive mind in the NFL since 2009 spending 6 years as an assistant coach under Andy Reid. He started as an offensive quality control coach for the Eagles until taking over the quarterbacks room when James Urban was promoted to Philadelphia’s assistant offensive coordinator. Pederson followed Reid to Kansas City as the offensive coordinator in 2013 with Reid retaining the role of play-caller for the offense. After a 1-5 start to the 2015 season, Reid gave Pederson play-calling responsibility and the Chiefs finished the season on a 10-game win streak.

This made Pederson a top candidate for NFL head coaching jobs that offseason and he was hired to replace Chip Kelly back where his NFL career first started in Philadelphia. The first-year head coach was matched up with the second-overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, quarterback Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State. The team’s record didn’t improve in 2016 despite a three-game win streak to start the Pederson-Wentz marriage. The second year of Pederson’s tenure, though, went slightly better with the Eagles winning Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots. Pederson had Wentz playing at an MVP level through 14 weeks when Wentz suffered a torn ACL, ending the best season of his then-young NFL career early. Backup quarterback Nick Foles helped the team to clinch home-field advantage in the playoffs and led the team to wins over the Falcons and Vikings en route to their Super Bowl appearance and victory. The next year saw Wentz struggle to stay healthy and Foles continue to fill in as the Eagles went 9-7 and won a playoff game as a wild card team. A healthy Wentz helped Pederson lead the team to a division-winning 9-7 the next year, but they lost their first and only playoff game with Wentz at the helm. Pederson’s last season in Philadelphia saw the Eagles go 4-11-1 after some injuries and poor play from Wentz. Pederson was laid off immediately after the regular season with a 42-37-1 regular season record and a 4-2 playoff record despite delivering the franchise’s first Super Bowl win and first NFL Championship since before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Jim Caldwell entered the NFL in 2001 as the quarterbacks coach for the Buccaneers under then-head coach Tony Dungy. Caldwell followed Dungy to Indianapolis and was announced as Dungy’s successor-in-waiting following the 2007 season. Exactly a year later, Caldwell was introduced as the Colts’ head coach following Dungy’s retirement. Caldwell took over a Peyton Manning-led Colts team and rolled to a 14-0 record, tying former 49ers’ coach George Seifert for most consecutive wins to start a coaching career. He controversially sat his starting players in two losses to end the season, with home-field advantage in the playoffs already secured. Caldwell’s Colts won his first two playoff games over the Ravens and Jets before losing to the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. The two playoff wins would end up being the only playoff wins of Caldwell’s head coaching career to date, but he was only the fifth head coach to reach the Super Bowl in their rookie season and is the latest rookie head coach to have done so. Caldwell’s next season saw the Colts finish 10-6, winning the AFC South, but losing their Wild Card game to the Jets. The Wild Card loss would be Manning’s last game in a Colts uniform as neck surgeries would hold him out of the entire 2011-12 NFL season. Caldwell’s Manning-less Colts would go 2-14 with quarterbacks Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky, and Kerry Collins all starting games. Caldwell was fired immediately following the season.

Caldwell was picked up by the Ravens as a quarterbacks coach but, when the Ravens fired Cam Cameron midseason, Caldwell was named the offensive coordinator for the playoff-bound Ravens and helped lead Joe Flacco to a flawless postseason in which Flacco tied Joe Montana for most touchdowns without an interception in a single postseason. Caldwell saw his quarterback win Super Bowl XLVII MVP after beating the 49ers with a “lights out” performance.

Following a successful tenure in Baltimore, Caldwell was hired to his second head coaching gig in 2014, this time for the Lions. Caldwell led Detroit to an 11-5 record in his first season and a wild card playoff berth, losing to the Cowboys. The Lions would finish with a 9-7 record twice in the next three seasons losing one more playoff game in 2016. Despite finishing 2017 with a winning record, and having a career record with the Lions of 36-28, Caldwell was let go and succeeded by Matt Patricia. Caldwell was hired by the Dolphins to join Brian Flores’s staff as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach, but he took a leave of absence for health reasons and wasn’t retained by Miami following the 2019 season.

Either head coach would be an intriguing addition due to their success in building offensive systems. Caldwell has shown an aptitude for winning football games, but has often been criticized for being unable to take that next step in the postseason, highlighted by his 2-4 career record in the playoffs. Pederson showed his ability to help young quarterbacks get up to speed in the NFL with Wentz and then-rookie Jalen Hurts, but he drew criticism for controversially pulling Hurts out in the final game of the season in what some accused was an attempt to better the Eagles’ draft position. The Jaguars are sure to do their due diligence in their coaching search, but they clearly have some ideas in mind for what they want out of their new head coach.

Coaching Notes: Jags, Culley, Nagy

Things have not gone well for the Jaguars this year. Urban Meyer failed to make it through his first year as an NFL head coach, No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence has the second-worst QB rating among qualified passers, and the club has mustered just two wins against 11 losses. The good news, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, is that the Jacksonville head coaching job is considered a desirable one, and many candidates who are expected to be hot commodities in the upcoming coaching cycle are anxious to secure an interview with owner Shad Khan.

That is largely because of Lawrence, who is still considered a generational talent despite his rookie struggles. Former Eagles HC Doug Pederson is reportedly interested in the post, and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels and Bills OC Brian Daboll might also be attractive options for Khan given their recent work with young signal-callers. One way or another, Khan should not have any difficulty luring a top candidate to Duval, though he obviously needs to get this hire right.

Here are several other coaching-related items:

  • Jaguars interim HC Darrell Bevell will have a chance to have the interim tag removed and interview for the permanent head coaching gig. He does have Lawrence’s support, but his candidacy will depend on how the team’s offense performs down the stretch. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com expects Ravens DC Don Martindale — the architect of the Jags’ Joe Cullen-led defense — to be in the mix as well (Twitter link).
  • We recently heard that the Texans are expected to retain head coach David Culley for 2022, but GM Nick Caserio is at least considering his options, per La Canfora. Culley, a 66-year-old coach who had spent his entire career as an assistant, was the most surprising hire of the 2021 cycle, but as Houston was (and is) in the midst of a complete rebuild, the club was perhaps looking for more of a caretaker than anything else. Caserio is rumored to have his eye on one unnamed candidate for the next phase of the rebuild, and it’s not difficult to connect the dots to McDaniels. The Houston HC job may not attract many in-demand candidates for 2022, which means that Culley could get one more year at the helm. However, if McDaniels does not land his own head coaching post in the coming months, he and Caserio could reunite in Texas in 2023.
  • No surprises here, but La Canfora, in the same Culley piece linked above, says many assistants on Bears HC Matt Nagy‘s staff are operating under the assumption that they will need to find new employment at season’s end. It has been assumed that Nagy will be terminated after the season is over, though La Canfora leaves open the possibility that Nagy could get his walking papers before then so that Chicago can get a head start on the interview process.