Anthony Weaver

Dolphins Hire Anthony Weaver As DC

It sounds like the Dolphins have found their replacement for Vic Fangio. According to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, the Dolphins are hiring Ravens defensive line coach Anthony Weaver as their new defensive coordinator.

[RELATED: Anthony Weaver Emerging As Dolphins DC Favorite]

Weaver is well regarded in coaching circles, leading to him garnering a pair of head coaching interviews (Atlanta, Washington) this offseason. He didn’t land either of those gigs, but he’ll still earn a promotion to defensive coordinator in Miami. We heard yesterday that Weaver was the favorite to land the open defensive coordinator position previously held by Fangio, who recently left the Dolphins to return to the Eagles.

Weaver, a former Ravens second-round pick, earned his first NFL coaching job with the Jets in 2012. He was the defensive line coach in Buffalo, Cleveland, and Houston before he landed the Texans defensive coordinator gig in 2020. The Texans defense didn’t fare all that well that season, and with David Culley being brought in as head coach in 2021, Weaver wasn’t retained.

He was quickly scooped up by his former coach, John Harbaugh. Weaver joined the Ravens coaching staff as their defensive line coach/run game coordinator in 2021, and he earned a promotion to associate head coach in 2022. Schultz notes that the Ravens attempted to keep Weaver on their staff, but the Dolphins managed to lure him to Miami.

It’s not a huge surprise that Weaver decided to take his talents elsewhere, as he’s twice been passed over for Baltimore’s DC gig. The Ravens hired Mike Macdonald over promoting Weaver to DC in 2022, bringing the former back after a one-year stay at Michigan. They most recently elevated inside linebackers coach Zach Orr over Weaver to replace Macdonald. The Ravens defensive coaching staff has been decimated this offseason. Besides Weaver and Macdonald, the Ravens have also lost defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, who was named the Titans new defensive coordinator.

The Dolphins should anticipate an improvement to their already-impressive pass rush corps. Miami finished third in the NFL this past year for sacks, behind only the Chiefs and Weavers’ Ravens. A Dolphins pass rush featuring Bradley Chubb (11.0 sacks in 2023), Zach Sieler (10.0), Christian Wilkins (9.0), and Jaelan Phillips (6.5 sacks in only eight games) could become that much more formidable with their new defensive coordinator at the helm.

After the Dolphins and Fangio decided to mutually part ways last month, the organization cast a relatively wide net for a replacement. Many of their targets earned DC jobs elsewhere or decided to stick with their current situations. Besides Weaver, the known remaining candidates included Dolphins inside linebackers coach Anthony Campanile, Texans linebackers coach Chris Kiffin, Dolphins outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik, and former Chargers head coach Brandon Staley.

Anthony Weaver Emerging As Dolphins DC Favorite; Ravens Aiming To Retain DL Coach

Already losing their defensive coordinator to the head coaching ranks, the Ravens could soon see another key defensive staffer move up the ladder elsewhere. Although Anthony Weaver did not land the Commanders’ HC job, he has emerged as a name to watch on Miami’s radar as a coordinator.

Weaver’s Dolphins interview looks to have positioned him well to replace Vic Fangio. The Ravens’ D-line coach is viewed as the frontrunner for this job, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. He interviewed for the Atlanta and Washington HC jobs, joining Mike Macdonald in that regard. The latter landed a top job — in Seattle — while Weaver remains on the Ravens’ staff.

John Harbaugh confirmed earlier Friday that Weaver was still in the race to be the next Miami DC, but the longtime Baltimore leader said (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec) the team wants to keep him on staff. Weaver has been with the Ravens since 2021. A Dolphins DC hire would give Weaver a second chance in a coordinator role; he spent the 2020 season as the Texans’ DC.

The Ravens hired Macdonald over promoting Weaver to DC in 2022, bringing the former back after a one-year stay at Michigan. They have now since elevated inside linebackers coach Zach Orr over Weaver to replace Macdonald. These developments would seem to point to the veteran assistant exploring options elsewhere, though the former NFL D-lineman did begin his playing career in Baltimore in the 2000s.

If Miami pulls the trigger, and Weaver decides to make the move to South Beach, the Dolphins could expect to see an improvement to an already very impressive pass rush. Miami finished third in the NFL this year for sacks, behind only the Chiefs and Weavers’ Ravens. A Dolphins pass rush featuring Bradley Chubb (11.0 sacks in 2023), Zach Sieler (10.0), Christian Wilkins (9.0), and Jaelan Phillips (6.5 sacks in only eight games) could become that much more formidable.

Despite Weaver’s old ties to Charm City as a former second-round draft pick for the Ravens, his time coaching in Baltimore has been a short three years. The Ravens have shown their desire to keep him on staff, enticing him with add-on titles like run game coordinator and associate head coach during his time, but with Orr taking the reins as DC in 2024, it will be difficult to keep Weaver in place once again. Expect another Ravens staffer to coach their way out of Baltimore.

Ravens Promote Zach Orr To DC

A day after Mike Macdonald‘s departure for Seattle, the Ravens have a new defensive coordinator. Once again, Baltimore will give its defensive play-calling gig to a staffer who brings extensive experience with the franchise.

The Ravens announced Thursday they are elevating inside linebackers coach Zach Orr to replace Macdonald. A former Ravens linebacker, Orr has been on the team’s staff for all but one season since 2017. Multiple logical candidates appeared in place for the Ravens, but it will be Orr who takes over.

The Packers interviewed Orr on Wednesday but went with Boston College HC Jeff Hafley. At 31, Orr will become the NFL’s second-youngest defensive coordinator. Cardinals DC Nick Rallis is 30.

[RELATED: Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

This promotion comes after Dennard Wilson agreed to leave for Tennessee. The Titans reached an agreement to hire Wilson, who spent this past season as the Ravens’ defensive backs coach, as their next DC. D-line coach Anthony Weaver also stood as a clear option, considering he booked two interviews for the Commanders’ HC job and has coordinator experience (2020 in Houston). But Orr loomed as the favorite over Weaver, The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec tweets.

The Seahawks also considered Orr an option to become their next DC, according to’s Brady Henderson. Orr worked under Macdonald over the past two seasons and coached alongside him in Baltimore from 2017-20. While this could open the door for Weaver in Seattle, it is a bit early to make predictions before the Seahawks start a search.

Orr has ascended fairly quickly in Baltimore. His playing career ended early due to a neck injury. A congenital neck condition stalled Orr’s ascent as a Ravens defender. He started 15 games for the Ravens in 2016, moving into the lineup that year and making 133 tackles. Despite the Ravens rostering C.J. Mosley at the time, Orr led the ’16 team in tackles and intercepted three passes. The neck problem interrupted Orr as a player, but he was part of the Ravens’ coaching staff soon after that retirement.

Learning the ropes as a defensive analyst from 2017-20, Orr received a chance to coach a position in Jacksonville in 2021. Unfortunately for Orr, that came under Urban Meyer. The Jaguars scrapped the Meyer operation, which included Orr as an outside linebackers coach, months after greenlighting it. The Ravens rehired Orr in 2022, and he has mentored one of the league’s best linebacking duos in that span. Baltimore saw both its inside ‘backers — Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen — earn Pro Bowl nods. After an iffy first two seasons, Queen has taken off with Smith and Orr in the fold. Queen is a candidate to leave in free agency, seeing as the Ravens have Smith tied to the NFL’s top ILB contract. But the Ravens will again ensure continuity on their defensive staff.

Baltimore hired Macdonald from Michigan, but he had been on John Harbaugh‘s staff from 2014-20. The continuity-based franchise has made familiarity a prerequisite for this job. The Ravens bumped Don Martindale up to DC in 2018, after he had spent the previous six seasons on staff. Dean Pees was a Ravens assistant before moving to DC in 2012, with Chuck Pagano taking the same path previously. Both Greg Mattison and Rex Ryan were position coaches in Baltimore prior to moving up, with Mike Nolan doing the same in 2002.

Marvin Lewis was hired from outside the organization, but seeing as that took place during the year the Browns morphed into the Ravens (1996), this Baltimore-based franchise has never looked beyond its facility for a DC option. Orr will continue the pipeline, being the first ex-Ravens player to take this job.

2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

The Commanders’ hire has wrapped this year’s cycle. Barring a team making an 11th-hour change, the 2024 HC carousel has come to a stop. The final breakdown produced five defensive coaches being hired compared to three with backgrounds on offense. Many teams are still searching for offensive and defensive coordinators, however.

Updated 2-1-24 (10:37am CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Jerod Mayo, linebackers coach (Patriots): Hired

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Dolphins To Conduct DC Interviews With Anthony Weaver, Chris Kiffin

Anthony Weaver is still in the running for a head coaching opportunity, but he has also drawn interest for a coordinator vacancy. The Ravens’ defensive line coach will interview with the Dolphins for their DC position, Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports.

As Weaver toggles his status on the HC and DC carousels, the Dolphins are also preparing to interview Texans linebackers coach Chris Kiffin. That meeting will take place Friday,’s Tom Pelissero tweets.

Despite the Dolphins giving Vic Fangio a contract worth more than $4.5MM annually — a deal believed to have the veteran coach positioned as NFL’s highest-paid DC — the team is searching for a defensive play-caller for a second straight offseason. The Eagles have since brought Fangio back to Philly.

Weaver, 43, is the rare position coach to receive a second interview for a head coaching position. The former NFL D-lineman has coordinator experience, but just one year of it; and that came for a 4-12 Texans team. Weaver has been the Ravens’ D-line coach since leaving Houston, and interested teams now have Justin Madubuike‘s monster contract year to factor into their decisions.

Although Weaver interviewed for the Falcons’ HC job and remains in the running in a Commanders search that has since changed after Ben Johnson‘s surprising decision Tuesday morning, he has not interviewed for a defensive coordinator job during this cycle. The Dolphins are the only team to request an audience with the veteran assistant regarding a DC post. Weaver’s second Commanders HC interview occurred Monday.

This is new territory for Kiffin, who joined DeMeco Ryans‘ team during the 2023 offseason. The son of famed DC Monte Kiffin, Chris moved up from the college ranks in 2018 to join Kyle Shanahan‘s staff. He overlapped with Mike McDaniel in San Francisco from 2018-19, when the current Dolphins HC was the 49ers’ run-game coordinator. Kiffin, who assisted as a 49ers pass rush specialist, coached the Browns’ D-line for three seasons (2020-22).

As of Tuesday afternoon, here is how the Dolphins’ DC search looks:

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Interview requested
  • Anthony Campanile, inside linebackers coach (Dolphins): Interviewed
  • Ejiro Evero, defensive coordinator (Panthers): Interview blocked
  • Leslie Frazier, former defensive coordinator (Bills): To interview 1/30
  • Chris Kiffin, linebackers coach (Texans): To interview 2/2
  • Ryan Slowik, outside linebackers coach (Dolphins): Interview expected
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed
  • Anthony Weaver, defensive line coach (Ravens): To interview

Adam La Rose contributed to this post.

Commanders, Seahawks Not Expected To Make HC Hires This Week

With the Falcons bringing back Raheem Morris and the Panthers luring Dave Canales from the Buccaneers, the NFC South now has four head coaches again. That leaves just two openings remaining; neither is likely to be filled this week.

The Commanders and Seahawks are expected to wait a bit longer, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter noting both teams are planning to delay their searches until next week. NFL rules will dictate these delays. Staffers on a team preparing for a conference championship game cannot meet with teams about a coaching job.

Despite the Chiefs and 49ers’ continued success, these delays pertain to the Lions and Ravens’ coordinators. Ben Johnson, Aaron Glenn, Mike Macdonald and Anthony Weaver are in the mix for jobs. Other coaches remain in the running for the Seattle and Washington gigs, but the non-Detroit or Baltimore-affiliated candidates are free to conduct in-person interviews now.

The NFL rule change last year prevented any coach on an NFL staff from conducting an in-person interview with a team until after the divisional round. As a result, Glenn, Johnson, Macdonald and Weaver have only interviewed virtually. Last year’s hiring period involved lengthy waits as well, with the Cardinals and Colts not making their hires until after Super Bowl LVII. Eagles staffers Jonathan Gannon and Shane Steichen signed on to fill those positions, needing to wait until after the Super Bowl due to league rules. If the Ravens or Lions advance that far this season, their assistants would need to wait until after Super Bowl LVIII to be hired.

Washington has been connected to Johnson for a bit now. Both the Panthers and Commanders were believed to have the second-year Lions OC positioned as the favorite in their respective searches. Johnson spurned Carolina last year and may not have given indications he was interested this year, either. Though, Johnson did interview with David Tepper‘s club. Johnson interviewed with both the Commanders and Seahawks virtually, joining Glenn and Macdonald.

Johnson and Glenn are expected to meet again with the Commanders. Macdonald interviewed virtually with Washington, but only Weaver has a second Commanders interview arranged among Baltimore staffers. The Ravens could see both their coordinators return, which represented an unlikely scenario given the team’s success this season. Macdonald has not interviewed with the Seahawks, and OC Todd Monken has not been connected to either of the remaining openings. The Seahawks are believed to be interested in Mike Vrabel, though they have not interviewed him. No Vrabel-Commanders connections have emerged.

Bill Belichick is not believed to be on either NFC team’s radar, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reinforces. Belichick, 71, had only met with the Falcons about their vacancy. Although Arthur Blank initially targeted the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC, the Falcons changed course and hired Morris. The latter met twice with the Commanders and was set for a second Seahawks interview Friday. Unless another team fires its head coach, Belichick is likely to find himself shut out — from HC positions, at least — in this cycle. The 29-year HC veteran is 14 wins shy of Don Shula‘s career record. He has been on an NFL sideline in every season since 1975.

Falcons Request Second HC Interviews With Ravens’ Mike Macdonald, Anthony Weaver

TODAY, 7:46pm: As expected, the Falcons also invited back Raheem Morris for a second interview. The team announced this evening that they’ve completed their second talk with the Rams defensive coordinator.

MONDAY, 3:25pm: More finalists for the Falcons’ head coaching position have emerged. Atlanta has requested a second interview with Ravens staffers Mike Macdonald and Anthony Weaver, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

With the Ravens having advanced to the AFC title game, members of their coaching staff cannot take part in interviews this week. When available, however, they will be able to meet in person with the Falcons as their search for an Arthur Smith replacement continues. The leading candidate in that department continues to be Bill Belichick, but nothing is certain as of yet.

Atlanta is poised to conduct a thorough search even though the team has already spoken with Belichick twice. The six-time Super Bowl winner is joined by Jim Harbaugh in receiving an in-person look so far with Atlanta. As coaching free agents, those two are not subject to the rules of staffers currently employed in the NFL. Atlanta must still satisfy the Rooney Rule, however, something which will be the case once the team speaks for a second time with Weaver and another external minority candidate.

While Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the favorite to win a second MVP award, Baltimore’s defense has played a massive role in the team’s success this season. The unit led the league in sacks, takeaways (tied) and points allowed, something which has not been done before in NFL history. That has, to no surprise, led to signficant HC interest for Macdonald in particular.

The 36-year-old returned to the Ravens last year after a single season as Michigan’s DC. His three total years as a play-caller limit his experience compared to a number of other candidates, but the Falcons are joined by the Panthers, Chargers, Seahawks, Titans and Commanders in being at least connected to him. A strong showing in the postseason – the Ravens’ defense allowed three points in their win against the Texans – has no doubt upped Macdonald’s value.

The same is true for Weaver, who interviewed with the Commanders for their head coaching vacancy. His NFL coaching career dates back to 2012, and he has extensive experience as a D-line coach. The 43-year-old has also worked as a coordinator once (with the Texans in 2020), and for the past two seasons he has held the title of associate head coach with the Ravens.

Both Macdonald and Weaver figure to be in demand if they ca replicate their performances this week against the Chiefs. After that contest, they will be free to speak with the Falcons or any other teams taking a serious look at them for a head coaching gig.

Commanders Scheduling Second HC Interviews With Dan Quinn, Raheem Morris

TUESDAY, 7:40pm: Another candidate has earned a second interview with the Commanders, as ESPN’s John Keim reports that Ravens defensive line coach Anthony Weaver is expected to meet again with the organization.

Weaver is also in consideration for the Falcons head coaching job, where he also earned a second interview. Weaver has spent the past three seasons in Baltimore, including the past two as the DL coach/associate head coach.

MONDAY, 5:55pm: The Commanders are lining up second interviews with head coach candidates. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Commanders are expected to host Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on an in-person interview. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is scheduling a second interview with the Commanders.

Following the Cowboys’ disappointing playoff loss, it didn’t take long for Quinn to hit the interview trail. He met with the Commanders last week, and he’s already earned second interviews with the Titans and Seahawks.

Following a third-straight standout year by the Cowboys defense, Quinn is once again a popular name on the head coaching market. The veteran coach reportedly rejected previous HC opportunities in order to stick with Dallas, but it sounds like he’s more open to moving on in 2024. The former Falcons head coach has also been connected to the Panthers and Chargers jobs.

Morris is also a popular HC candidate this offseason. We previously heard that Morris earned second interviews with the Panthers and Seahawks, and in addition to the Commanders, Schefter notes that the coordinator is also expected to take a second interview with the Falcons.

Morris has served as the Rams defensive coordinator since 2021. He served as Atlanta’s interim head coach in 2020 following the firing of (who else) Dan Quinn. Morris’s stint in Atlanta spanned six years, and he had a previous three-year stint as the head coach in Tampa Bay.

In addition to Quinn and Morris, the list of Commanders head coach candidates includes:

Washington Commanders

Falcons Send Out Seven HC Interview Requests

11:35am: A seventh name can be added to the Falcons’ growing list of targets. Texans OC Bobby Slowik has received an interview request, per SI’s Albert Breer. Slowik followed DeMeco Ryans from San Francisco to Houston this offseason, and 2023 has marked his first stint as a coordinator. His and the team’s success has landed the 36-year-old on the HC radar this offseason. The Panthers and Commanders have also submitted interview requests for Slowik.

10:13am: The Falcons have been connected to two high-profile coaches in recent days, but the team has yet to line up any interviews with interested candidates. That is set to change soon, as Atlanta has now sent out six interview requests.

[RELATED: Head Coaching Search Tracker]

The Falcons are looking to speak with Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, who adds Atlanta is also interested in Bengals OC Brian Callahan. In addition, Lions DC Aaron Glenn and Ravens defensive line coach/associate head coach Anthony Weaver are on the list of request recipients, colleague Ian Rapoport tweets. 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has also received a request, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Lastly, Atlanta has requested an interview with Rams DC Raheem Morris, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Johnson, as expected, has been one of the most sought-after candidates so far. In his second season at the helm of Detroit’s offense, the Lions have remained among the league’s most efficient teams on that side of the ball. The 37-year-old has been in the Motor City since 2019 and a coordinator only since 2022, but his relative lack of experience did not stop him from generating interest during last year’s hiring cycle. An aggressive Johnson pursuit is expected from the Panthers, but he is also on the radar of the Chargers and Commanders.

Callahan has likewise been connected to a number of openings this season after receiving interest last year. The Bengals fell short of expectations this season, and the offense struggled in a number of categories. Despite going much of the year without Joe Burrow, though, Cincinnati still managed to go 9-8 while finishing 16th in the league in scoring. Notably, each of the other candidates listed for the Falcons’ vacancy have a background on the defensive side of the ball.

That includes Glenn, whose unit has not matched Johnson’s in terms of effectiveness. Nevertheless, the former has received interest from the Chargers, Titans and Commanders so far. Weaver has served as a position coach during his three-year Ravens tenure, but he has held a coordinator role in the past, doing so with the Texans in 2020. Mentioned less frequently than fellow Baltimore staffers Todd Monken and Mike Macdonald, Weaver has nonetheless received an interview request from the Commanders in addition to today’s summons.

Wilks and Morris both have interim head coaching experience. The former finished off the season with the Panthers last year after Matt Rhule was fired. Wilks received support from several Panthers players to be retained on a full-time basis, but the team instead went in a different direction. That led him to San Francisco, where he has guided the 49ers’ defense to top-10 finishes in both points and yards allowed en route to securing the NFC’s top seed.

Morris, meanwhile, is an interesting name given his Falcons connection. The 47-year-old joined Atlanta in 2020 as an assistant head coach, later taking on the DC title in 2020. Midway through that season, Dan Quinn was fired and Morris finished the campaign as interim head coach. He has not received another opportunity to lead a staff since then, but his three-year coordinator run with the Rams has been well received and it has put him back on the HC radar this offseason.

After making the unsurprising move of dismissing Arthur Smith, the Falcons have been connected to both Jim Harbaugh and Bill Belichick. Links to the latter have continued in the wake of his long-rumored spilt with the Patriots having been confirmed. No Harbaugh or Belichick interviews have been lined up to date, of course, but the team will now have meetings with a host of other options as the Falcons look to take a step forward in 2024 and beyond.

Commanders Request HC Interviews With Ben Johnson, Aaron Glenn, Raheem Morris, Anthony Weaver

Moving quickly in the wake of Ron Rivera‘s expected firing, the Commanders have already begun identifying targets for his replacement. The team has sent out a number of interview requests.

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and DC Aaron Glenn are among the candidates being sought out, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Both staffers, and Johnson in particular, are believed to be hot commodities in the 2024 hiring cycle. As a result, it comes as little surprise that Washington will speak to each of them.

Johnson has enjoyed a successful second season in his current posting, helping the Lions remain on the league’s most efficient offenses. His work with quarterback Jared Goff has earned considerable praise, and it made him a firm target of the Panthers last year. Johnson, 37, is one of the younger coaches set to be on the market, but he has been an NFL staffer for 12 years.

Once again, Carolina is prepared to make a serious run at Johnson for the team’s latest head coaching vacancy. The Panthers are in need of a new HC and also a GM, and much of the franchise’s ability to rebound from the struggles of the past few years will depend on quarterback Bryce Young‘s development. Johnson would be a welcomed addition in that regard, but the presence of Justin Herbert in Los Angeles has made the Chargers gig an attractive one. A mutual interest is thought to exist between Johnson and the Bolts.

Glenn’s tenure with the Lions has been less consistent than Johnson’s, but he could likewise be connected to several openings this year. Detroit put together an extension for him last winter, as a sign of his success as part of Dan Campbell‘s staff. Glenn did make it clear in the summer, however, that he has his eyes on a head coaching gig at some point in his career.

In addition to the Lions duo, the Commanders have requested to speak with Rams DC Raheem Morris, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Morris has been in Los Angeles for the past three years in his second defensive coordinator gig at the NFL level. The 47-year-old’s coaching career includes a stint as secondary coach in Washington from 2012-14. A return to the nation’s capital would give the Commanders a veteran staffer and, like Rivera, one with a background on the defensive side of the ball.

Morris was a high-profile candidate for a number of vacancies in recent years. He interviewed twice with the Vikings in 2022 before Minnesota elected to add Kevin O’Connell. Morris was also linked to the Broncos‘ and Colts‘ gigs last year. It would come as little surprise if he were to land his first head coaching opportunity since his three-year run at the helm of the Buccaneers (2009-11).

Lastly, Washington has also submitted a request with Ravens D-line coach Anthony Weaver, per Schefter. Weaver holds the title of associate head coach, and his strong showing in Baltimore over the past three seasons has landed him on the HC radar. Ravens coordinators Todd Monken and Mike Macdonald are also expected to receive interest, but Weaver has experience at the coordinator level (with the Texans in 2020) and is a well-regarded staffer.

More names will no doubt emerge with respect to the Commanders’ search process, but for now a strong quartet has surfaced. Each candidate could speak with any number of teams currently looking to fill a vacancy, so Washington will have competition on the coaching market. Virtual interviews with candidates on playoff teams cannot take place until at least January 16 given this year’s adjustments to the interview procedure.