Steelers Rumors

2023 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, 10 NFL teams hired new head coaches. Following the Panthers’ hire, this year’s vacancy count sits at four. Last year’s Saints and Buccaneers moves, however, showed these job openings can emerge at unexpected points.

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

Updated 1-26-23 (4:36pm CT)

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spins, many of the league’s offensive and defensive coordinator positions are open as well. Teams seeking new head coaches will soon begin OC and DC searches — some have already started those processes — but a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

The Browns and Patriots have begun 2023’s coordinator hires. Here are the rest of the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 1-26-23 (10:06pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Carolina Panthers 

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

Vikings To Interview Brian Flores, Mike Pettine For DC

6:25pm: The Vikings announced on Twitter that they completed their interview with Pettine.

3:00pm: Like Frank Reich and Eric Bieniemy, Brian Flores is navigating an offseason that includes both head coach and coordinator interest. The Steelers assistant remains a frontrunner for the Cardinals’ HC job and has met with the Falcons about their DC post. More coordinator meetings are on the former HC’s docket.

The Vikings are set to interview Flores on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Minnesota is meeting with both Flores and Mike Pettine. The latter spent the season as an assistant on Kevin O’Connell‘s staff. Pettine, Flores, Seahawks assistant Sean Desai and Saints co-DC Ryan Nielsen comprise the Vikes’ search thus far.

The former Browns HC who provided an additional voice for the new Vikings staff this season, Pettine has been a coordinator for three teams — the Jets, Bills and Packers — and has 10 years of combined experience on the HC and DC levels. Pettine, 56, has been in the NFC North for the past five seasons, with a 2021 Bears stop bridging his path from Green Bay to Minnesota.

Green Bay’s defense ranked ninth and 13th in Pettine’s final two seasons but fell apart in a blowout NFC championship game loss in San Francisco and allowed Tampa Bay to mount a big lead in the first half of the ensuing NFC title tilt. Pettine has been a coordinator for four teams that ventured to the conference championship round, beginning that run under Rex Ryan with the 2009 and ’10 Jets. Pettine went 10-22 in Cleveland, though the first of his two seasons (2014) doubled as the best Browns campaign between 2007 and 2018.

Receiving Falcons and Vikings interview requests recently, Flores almost certainly will be on hold for DC gigs until the Cardinals make their HC decision. Arizona hiring ex-New England exec Monti Ossenfort as GM bodes well for Flores, who spent this season as Pittsburgh’s linebackers coach. Flores went 24-25 with the Dolphins, despite beginning that tenure with one of this century’s worst NFL rosters. Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and a few of its teams is ongoing, but the ex-Bill Belichick lieutenant looks set to make a jump to either the coordinator level or receive a second HC chance soon.

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/24/23

Today’s reserve/futures deals:

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

  • FB Tyler Coyne

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

  • OT Jarrid Williams

Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/23/23

Today’s reserve/futures deals, mostly featuring teams recently eliminated from the postseason:

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Vikings Request DC Interview With Brian Flores

We’ve got our first candidate for the Vikings defensive coordinator job. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter), the Vikings have requested permission to interview Steelers senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores for their defensive coordinator vacancy.

[RELATED: Vikings Fire DC Ed Donatell]

Flores has once again been a popular name this offseason. The 41-year-old interviewed for the Cardinals head coaching job (and was considered by some to be the favorite), and he’s also been connected to defensive coordinator openings with the Browns and Falcons. These interviews followed a 2022 campaign where Flores served as the Steelers linebackers coach.

Flores does have a minor connection to Minnesota, having overlapped with head coach Kevin O’Connell for a year in New England. The Vikings announced earlier this week that they would “be going in a different direction at defensive coordinator in 2023,” ending the tenure of defensive play-caller Ed Donatell. Several potential candidates have been mentioned for the opening, including Vikings assistant head coach Mike Pettine.

As our own Sam Robinson recently noted, Flores has never officially held the title of defensive coordinator; he was a position coach in New England while serving as the team’s unofficial DC following Matt Patricia’s exit to Detroit. Flores ended up winning four rings before getting a head coaching gig with the Dolphins in 2019. His tenure in Miami was shaky, culminating in a discrimination lawsuit following his surprise 2022 firing. Still, Flores was connected to a handful of head coaching openings last offseason, and following one year in Pittsburgh, he’s looking at a top coaching role for the 2023 campaign.

Steelers To Retain OC Matt Canada

Although Matt Canada‘s Steelers OC stay has not produced a turnaround on offense, the Steelers continue to support him. It does not look like the team plans to move on.

The Steelers are expected to retain Canada, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Should this course of action commence, the increasingly unpopular play-caller will be going into his third season in this role. ESPN’s Brooke Pryor noted earlier this week momentum did not appear to exist for a Steelers change here (Twitter link). The Steelers have since confirmed Canada will stay.

Canada has now worked with three starting quarterbacks during his time in Pittsburgh. Following Ben Roethlisberger‘s retirement, the Steelers signed Mitch Trubisky. The Trubisky bridge did not last especially long, with the team making the shift to Kenny Pickett early in the season. Canada sticking around will give the young passer some early-career continuity, though Canada’s offense will likely need to improve in 2023 to open the door to a long-term partnership. One year remains on Canada’s contract, Dulac adds.

Hired as the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2020, after serving as OC for seven college programs from 2007-18, Canada took the OC reins from Randy Fichtner the following season. While the Steelers have regressed in scoring in each of the past three years, going from 12th to 21st to 26th, the team did improve in offensive DVOA this season. After ranking 25th in this metric during Roethlisberger’s final slate, the team slotted 18th during Pickett’s rookie season.

The Steelers finished .500 or better for a 19th straight season, extending Mike Tomlin‘s streak to 16 such years. Canada’s offense was far from potent; the team’s 28 offensive touchdowns were the third-fewest in the league. But Pickett showed progress down the stretch and will enter 2023 as the team’s unquestioned starter. QBR placed Pickett 20th, and the Pitt product piloted the team to six wins in his final seven starts. During that span, Pickett engineered back-to-back game-winning drives — over the Raiders and Ravens — to end the season on a higher note. While Pickett’s 7-to-9 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio (in 13 games) leaves much to be desired, the Steelers are not planning to shake things up early in the first-rounder’s career.

Diontae Johnson, whom the Steelers handed an $18MM-per-year extension late this past offseason, set an NFL record for most receptions (86) without a touchdown. But second-round rookie George Pickens emerged as a potential standout, hauling in 52 passes for 801 yards and four TDs. Pat Freiermuth also took a second-year leap. The Steelers could use another viable pass catcher, after trading Chase Claypool, and their offensive line — a unit chock full of midlevel investments or players on mid-round rookie deals — is certainly not a top-shelf quintet. It appears the team will aim at personnel upgrades rather than overhauling its scheme.

Cardinals Request HC Interview With Ejiro Evero

Ejiro Evero is turning into a very popular name for head coaching gigs. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter), the Cardinals have requested permission to interview the Broncos defensive coordinator for their head coaching vacancy.

[RELATED: Cardinals Hire Monti Ossenfort As GM]

Evero has bounced around the NFL coaching ranks in pursuit of promotions, culminating in him being hired as the Broncos defensive coordinator prior to the 2022 campaign. That unit certainly wasn’t a world beater this past year, but Evero earned praised for guiding what was ultimately the league’s seventh-best total defense. In fact, the coach impressed so much, he was offered an in-season promotion to interim head coach following the firing of Nathaniel Hackett. Evero decided to retain his DC title for the rest of the season, although he did garner an interview for the full-time position after the season.

The 42-year-old has now been connected to every head coaching vacancy in the NFL. Besides Denver’s vacancy, he previously interviewed with the Colts and Texans. The Panthers also recently requested permission to speak with him.

Evero joins a growing list of candidates that includes Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores, Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, former Saints head coach Sean Payton, former Colts head coach Frank Reich, and 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Following yesterday’s news that the Cardinals were hiring Monti Ossenfort as their new general manager, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that owner Michael Bidwell is in favor of pairing the former Patriots executive with Flores, the Patriots’ former defensive coordinator. Flores indeed has momentum here, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.

Regardless, we should be getting some clarity on the vacancy soon. Bidwill said today that he expects to make a hire “in a matter of days,” per NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano (on Twitter). It’s uncertain if today’s developments have changed Bidwell’s timeline.

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/17/23

Today’s reserve/futures deals:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Falcons Request DC Interviews With Brian Flores, Al Holcomb

The list of potential candidates to fill the Falcons’ defensive coordinator vacancy continues to grow. Atlanta has requested interviews with Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores and Panthers DC Al Holcomb (Twitter links via Josina Anderson of CBS Sports and ESPN’s Adam Schefter).

Flores has received interest in multiple coaching opportunities this offseason, including a recent interview with the Browns for their DC position. A move to Cleveland would represent a step up in title relative to his current arrangement in Pittsburgh, though the 41-year-old played a more sizeable role on Mike Tomlin‘s staff than an average position coach, of course.

The Cardinals have also reached out to Flores seeking an interview for their head coaching vacancy. If he were to land that job, it would mark a quick turnaround from his firing by the Dolphins last offseason. That move ended his three-year tenure in Miami, one which has been followed by his ongoing racial discrimination suit against the NFL in general and several teams in particular. The controversy surrounding his exit – and its subsequent effect on the 2022 coaching cycle, among other things – was a key storyline around the league.

Holcomb, 50, has been an NFL staffer since 2009. His lone season as a full-time defensive coordinator came with the Cardinals in 2018, under head coach Steve Wilks. The pair were reunited in Carolina, and Holcomb spent the 2020 and ’21 campaigns serving as the Panthers’ defensive run game coordinator. Following the firing of Matt Rhule – and the subsequent departures of multiple members of his staff, coupled with Wilks taking over – Holcomb was promoted to the role of interim DC to finish the season.

This news comes after it was reported earlier today that the Panthers put in an interview request for Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel. That meeting is likely to concern Carolina’s DC position, so Holcomb’s future will be worth monitoring as the coaching (and coordinator) cycles take shape in the coming days. He and Flores join the Packers’ Jerry Gray and the Saints’ Ryan Nielsen as targets for Atlanta to replace Dean Pees following his retirement.