Bobby Slowik

More Bill Belichick Fallout: Kraft, Falcons, Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Commanders

Plenty has emerged in the wake of Bill Belichick going from eight-time Super Bowl champion to unemployed, but as the legendary coach regroups, some additional information about what went down in Atlanta — along with other teams’ coaching searches — has come to light.

Connecting some dots based on what has previously come out this offseason,’s Don Van Natta, Seth Wickersham and Jeremy Fowler report in an expansive piece that Falcons execs dissuaded Arthur Blank from hiring Belichick and Robert Kraft played a major role in the process that ended up veering away from an overqualified candidate who had initially appeared the favorite for the job Raheem Morris now has.

On the morning of the day Morris became the pick, Belichick still viewed himself as likely to land the job. Blank confirmed the 24-year Patriots HC did not ask him for personnel control, but power brokering — given Belichick’s outsized influence and experience — is believed to have still gone down in Atlanta’s front office. As a result, Belichick felt “blindsided” by the Morris hire.

CEO Rich McKay and GM Terry Fontenot did not want to work with Belichick, according to ESPN, which adds the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC was willing to work with the fourth-year GM (while confirming he and McKay’s less-than-stellar relationship). A previous report pointed to Belichick’s concern with Fontenot and the Falcons’ overall power structure. Fontenot, McKay and Falcons president Greg Beadles were part of the Falcons’ second Belichick interview.

Going so far as to reveal Falcons brass’ final rankings for the HC job, Fowler, Van Natta and Wickersham indicate Belichick did not finish in the top three for the Atlanta position. Beyond unanimous top choice Morris, Mike Macdonald and Texans OC Bobby Slowik respectively slotted second and third in this process.

Kraft is believed to have played a role in Blank backing off his initial hope to hire Belichick. A conversation between Blank and his longtime friend came after the Jan. 15 Blank-Belichick yacht meeting, and ESPN reports the Patriots owner warned the Falcons boss not to trust the accomplished HC.

Seeing as this comes during an offseason that has seen more information come out — via the much-discussed The Dynasty series — about Kraft’s issues with Belichick, it is hardly surprising the longtime Pats owner would provide such a warning. Robert Kraft, who considered ousting Belichick after 2022 (before son Jonathan Kraft advised against), referred to Belichick as “very, very, very arrogant, per ESPN. A Robert Kraft spokesman denied the owner, who was naturally complimentary of the game’s second-winningest HC upon the January separation, disparaged Belichick to Blank.

Belichick had already assembled a coaching staff, with some familiar names indeed believed to be part of it. Beyond plans to bring Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge aboard, former Texans VP (and Patriots staffer) Jack Easterby was on the radar to be part of a Belichick Atlanta staff. Falcons execs expressed reservations about this staff, with ESPN adding Blank also questioned why this group failed elsewhere. Belichick reportedly responded by saying this group was comprised of “better soldiers than generals.” Judge has since joined Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss staff. The Texans moved on from Easterby in 2022.

New Commanders GM Adam Peters, a Patriots scout in the 2000s, discussed the HC position with Belichick. Minority owner Magic Johnson pushed for Washington to hire the Maryland native, but Josh Harris — who spoke to Kraft about Belichick in December — had decided he would not make that move. We had heard previously the NBA and NHL owner wanted a more collaborative approach, which many current NFL owners prefer, rather than handing the keys to one person. With Harris wanting a front office-oriented leadership structure, Peters has final say on Commanders football matters. Belichick was not interested in the Chargers.

The three other NFC East HC jobs may well be open in 2025, and ESPN notes Belichick would be interested in the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants positions — should they open up. The Eagles did work on Belichick before determining Nick Sirianni would stay, with Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman viewed as fans of the future Hall of Famer, and the former has been close with Jerry Jones for many years. Lurie looks to have joined the Falcons in expressing hesitancy in greenlighting a Belichick move that would bring major changes while qualifying as a short-term fix.

Belichick, who turned 72 on Tuesday, is now six years older than the oldest HC ever hired (Bruce Arians). Any team that considers a 2025 hire would be adding someone who will turn 73 before coaching his next NFL game.

A Belichick confidant also expressed doubt the former Giants DC would earn another HC job unless Jones signs off on a Cowboys hire. Mike McCarthy‘s lame-duck status will keep Belichick rumors going, it would seem, but for now, a TV gig appears in the works. Belichick is expected to join Peyton Manning‘s Omaha Productions for analysis-based work. ESPN’s Pat McAfee also announced Belichick will be part of his show’s draft coverage (video link).

Fifteen wins shy of Don Shula‘s career record, Belichick is believed to have informed allies he expects to land at least one interview next year. While the NFC East jobs are worth monitoring, the bumps the Patriot Way has taken — coupled with Belichick’s age and implied threat to organizations’ status quos — leave it far from certain he will have a third opportunity to lead an NFL team.

Assessing NFL’s OC Landscape

This offseason showed the turnover that can take place at the offensive coordinator position. As a result of several decisions in January and February, the NFL no longer has an OC who has been in his current role for more than two seasons. Various firings and defections now have the 2022 batch of hires stationed as the longest-tenured OCs.

One of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, Pete Carmichael is no longer with the Saints. The team moved on after 15 seasons, a stay that featured part-time play-calling duties. The Browns canned their four-year non-play-calling OC, Alex Van Pelt, while three-year play-callers Arthur Smith and Shane Waldron are relocating this winter. Brian Callahan‘s five-year gig as the Bengals’ non-play-calling OC booked him a top job.

The recent lean toward offense-oriented HCs took a bit of a hit of a hit this offseason, with five of the eight jobs going to defense-oriented leaders. Callahan, Dave Canales and Jim Harbaugh were the only offense-geared candidates hired during this cycle. But half the NFL will go into this season with a new OC. Following the Seahawks’ decision to hire ex-Washington (and, briefly, Alabama) staffer Ryan Grubb, here is how the NFL’s OC landscape looks:

2022 OC hires

  • Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions*
  • Mike Kafka, New York Giants*
  • Wes Phillips, Minnesota Vikings
  • Frank Smith, Miami Dolphins
  • Adam Stenavich, Green Bay Packers
  • Press Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars*

Although this sextet now comprises the senior wing of offensive coordinators, this still marks each’s first gig as an NFL OC. Three of the six received HC interest this offseason.

Johnson’s status back in Detroit has been one of the offseason’s top storylines and a development the Commanders have not taken especially well. The two-year Lions OC was viewed as the frontrunner for the Washington job for weeks this offseason, and when team brass did not receive word about Johnson’s intent to stay in Detroit (thus, waiting until at least 2025 to make his long-expected HC move) until a Commanders contingent was en route to Detroit for a second interview, a back-and-forth about what exactly broke down took place. Johnson should be expected to remain a high-end HC candidate next year, but Dan Campbell will still have his services for 2024.

Kafka interviewed for the Seahawks’ HC job, and the Giants then blocked him from meeting with the NFC West team about its OC position. Rumblings about Kafka and Brian Daboll no longer being on great terms surfaced this year, with the latter yanking away play-calling duties — given to Kafka ahead of the 2022 season — at points in 2023. Taylor may also be on the hot seat with his team. Doug Pederson gave Taylor the call sheet last season, and Trevor Lawrence did not make the leap many expected. After a collapse left the Jaguars out of the playoffs, the team had begun to look into its offensive situation.

2023 OC hires

  • Jim Bob Cooter, Indianapolis Colts
  • Nathaniel Hackett, New York Jets*
  • Mike LaFleur, Los Angeles Rams
  • Joe Lombardi, Denver Broncos
  • Todd Monken, Baltimore Ravens*
  • Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Drew Petzing, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Brian Schottenheimer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans*

Only nine of the 15 OCs hired in 2023 are still with their teams. One (Canales) moved up the ladder, while others were shown the door following that organization canning its head coach. The Eagles were the only team who hired an offensive coordinator last year to fire that staffer (Brian Johnson) after one season. Nick Sirianni fired both his coordinators following a wildly disappointing conclusion.

Hackett may also be drifting into deep water, given what transpired last year in New York. Rumblings of Robert Saleh — who is on the hottest seat among HCs — stripping some of his offensive play-caller’s responsibilities surfaced recently. This marks Hackett’s fourth chance to call plays in the NFL; the second-generation staffer did so for the Bills, Jaguars and Broncos prior to coming to New York. After the 2022 Broncos ranked last in scoring, the ’23 Jets ranked 31st in total offense. Hackett’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers has largely kept him in place, but 2024 may represent a last chance for the embattled coach.

Of this crop, Monken and Slowik were the only ones to receive HC interest. Neither emerged as a frontrunner for a position, though Slowik met with the Commanders twice. The Texans then gave their first-time play-caller a raise to stick around for C.J. Stroud‘s second season. Stroud’s remarkable progress figures to keep Slowik on the HC radar. Monken, who is in his third try as an NFL OC (after gigs in Tampa and Cleveland), just helped Lamar Jackson to his second MVP award. The former national championship-winning OC did not stick the landing — as Jackson struggled against the Chiefs — but he fared well on the whole last season.

Schottenheimer is on his fourth go-round as an OC, while Lombardi is on team No. 3. The latter’s job figures to be more secure, being tied to Sean Payton, compared to what is transpiring in Dallas. With the Cowboys having Mike McCarthy as the rare lame-duck HC, his coordinators probably should not get too comfortable.

2024 OC hires

  • Joe Brady, Buffalo Bills*
  • Liam Coen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
  • Ken Dorsey, Cleveland Browns
  • Luke Getsy, Las Vegas Raiders*
  • Ryan Grubb, Seattle Seahawks*
  • Nick Holz, Tennessee Titans
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Washington Commanders*
  • Klint Kubiak, New Orleans Saints*
  • Brad Idzik, Carolina Panthers
  • Kellen Moore, Philadelphia Eagles*
  • Dan Pitcher, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Zac Robinson, Atlanta Falcons*
  • Greg Roman, Los Angeles Chargers*
  • Arthur Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers*
  • Alex Van Pelt, New England Patriots*
  • Shane Waldron, Chicago Bears*

The 49ers do not employ a traditional OC; 16 of the 31 teams that do recently made a change. Most of the teams to add OCs this year, however, did so without employing play-calling coaches. This naturally raises the stakes for this year’s batch of hires.

Retreads became rather popular. Dorsey, Getsy, Moore, Van Pelt and Waldron were all OCs elsewhere (Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle) last season. Smith will shift from calling the Falcons’ plays to running the show for the Steelers. Dorsey, Getsy and Van Pelt were fired; Moore and Waldron moved on after the Chargers and Seahawks respectively changed HCs. Moore and Smith will be calling plays for a third team; for Moore, this is three OC jobs in three years.

Coen, Kingsbury and Roman are back after a year away. Kingsbury became a popular name on the OC carousel, having coached Caleb Williams last season. This will be his second crack at an NFL play-calling gig, having been the Cardinals’ conductor throughout his HC tenure. This will be Coen’s first shot at calling plays in the pros; he was Sean McVay‘s non-play-calling assistant in 2022. Likely to become the Chargers’ play-caller, Roman will have a rare fourth chance to call plays in the NFL. He held that responsibility under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco; following Harbaugh’s explosive 2015 49ers split, Roman moved to Buffalo and Baltimore to work under non-offense-oriented leaders.

Grubb, Holz, Idzik, Pitcher and Robinson represent this year’s first-timer contingent. Grubb has, however, called plays at the college level. Robinson is the latest McVay staffer to move into a play-calling post; he was a Rams assistant for five years. A host of teams had Robinson on their OC radar, but Raheem Morris brought his former L.A. coworker to Atlanta. Pitcher appeared in a few searches as well, but the Bengals made the expected move — after extending him last year — to give him Callahan’s old job.

* = denotes play-calling coordinator

Mike Macdonald Received HC Offer From Commanders?

After a succesful two-year run as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald was one of the top head coaching candidates around the league. He took the Seahawks’ HC position on Wednesday, but that does not appear to have been the only offer on the table.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports the Commanders offered their head coaching position to Macdonald. The timing in this matter is critical, given the involvement of Lions OC Ben Johnson in both Washington’s and Seattle’s searches. Florio notes the Commanders’ offer was made after Johnson made it known he was electing to remain in Detroit for at least one more season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds (via Earl Forcey of 106.7 The Fan) that Washington contacted Macdonald while he was en route to Seattle to inquire about his continued interest in the position.

That certainly points to Macdonald being the team’s preference over its eventual hire, Cowboys DC Dan Quinn. For much of the hiring cycle, Johnson appeared to be the Commanders’ top choice, with his decision forcing the team to move in a different direction. As Schefter’s colleague John Keim reports, however, Johnson was not seen as a unanimous top choice at any point in the vetting process. No offers had been made to Johnson (or any other candidate) before the highly-acclaimed OC bowed out of the running, Keim adds.

Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik also agreed to take himself out of the picture after receiving head coaching interest, although Keim notes he was never considered a likely hire for Washington. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Dan Graziano adds that while Johnson was considered by many around the league to be the Commanders’ top choice, Macdonald may have actually been the team’s No. 1 option.

The 36-year-old led the Ravens to a first-place finish in a number of defensive categories in 2023, and he will be tasked with overseeing a turnaround on that side of the ball with the Seahawks. Offensively, however, Seattle offers much more in the way of known commodities compared to Washington. The latter team has an unsettled QB situation which will likely be addressed with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, along with plenty of room for improvement along the O-line. The Commanders’ defense also bottomed out late in the 2023 season, and it will be a focus for free agent and draft moves. Macodonald’s decision to forgo the Commanders in favor of the Seahawks – if he did indeed have such an opportunity – is thus reasonable.

Quinn will be at the helm moving forward in the nation’s capital, and the ESPN piece notes how his leadership traits were well-received in his interview process. The beginning of his tenure with Washington will, however, likely be marked with the belief he was not atop the team’s pecking order for coaching candidates.

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

OC Bobby Slowik To Stay With Texans

Bobby Slowik entered Tuesday still in the mix for both remaining HC openings. The Texans’ offensive coordinator will pass on Seattle and Washington. Slowik will stay in Houston, according to’s Albert Breer.

A new deal, one that Breer mentions includes a significant raise, will keep Houston’s play-caller in town. This will ensure pivotal continuity for the ascending Texans, who saw C.J. Stroud become an impact rookie with Slowik calling the shots. This marked Slowik’s first season calling plays, but the former 49ers assistant was a fixture on this year’s HC carousel. He figures to be a big name during next year’s hiring period as well. This agreement also comes with an extension,’s Dan Graziano tweets.

The Seahawks interviewed Slowik, and the Commanders had met twice with the up-and-coming play-caller. Slowik, 36, also met with the Falcons, Panthers and Titans this month. The Falcons interviewed Slowik twice but went with Raheem Morris. Ben Johnson was rumored to be the favorite for the Washington job, but even with the two-year play-caller staying in Detroit, Slowik will no longer pursue the position. It is far from certain Slowik would have landed the job; he was not mentioned as a favorite like Johnson was. Still, this narrows the field for the Commanders.

Ravens DC Mike Macdonald, Ravens D-line coach Anthony Weaver, Cowboys DC Dan Quinn and Lions DC Aaron Glenn are the coaches remaining in the mix who have interviewed twice with the Commanders. Slowik met with Commanders brass in-person Jan. 23. Glenn is meeting with team reps today. Macdonald and Quinn are also in contention for the Seahawks’ job. Neither Seattle nor Washington has contacted Bill Belichick.

This represents big news for the Texans, who have seen quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson interview for multiple OC positions. The Saints have interviewed Johnson twice, while he spent today in Tampa meeting with Buccaneers brass. Slowik staying would provide some protection in the event Johnson leaves, giving Stroud continuity going into his second season. The Slowik-Johnson partnership worked wonders for Stroud in 2023; the No. 2 overall pick is the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year acclaim.

Effectively in a two-year holding pattern as they pondered how to replace Deshaun Watson, the Texans ranked 30th in each of the previous two seasons. DeMeco Ryans‘ Slowik hire helped vault the team (with a notable Stroud assist) to 13th in scoring this season. The Texans voyaged to the divisional round, doing so after winning just 11 games from 2020-22. Set to build around Stroud’s rookie contract, the team now has assurances Slowik will keep working with the prized prospect.

Slowik resides in a strong spot regarding future HC employment. He comes from a Kyle Shanahan tree that has already produced three HC hires since 2021 and is tied to one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks. It is arguable this situation outflanks Johnson’s in Detroit, given Stroud’s trajectory. Higher-profile jobs could become available in 2025, with the Cowboys and Eagles deliberating on their HCs after disappointing playoff exits. The Bills have also hit a divisional-round wall under Sean McDermott, while the Jaguars are weeks removed from a collapse. Slowik will join Johnson in reassessing the landscape in 2025.

Texans’ Bobby Slowik Arranges Second HC Interviews With Commanders, Falcons

After a strong debut season as a coordinator, Bobby Slowik continues to drawn signficant head coaching interest. The Texans OC has a pair of second interviews lined up for a head coaching gig.

Slowik will meet with the Commanders today before a follow-up with the Falcons, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. His second meeting with Atlanta will take place on Thursday, SI’s Albert Breer adds. Slowik interviewed virtually with both teams on Sunday, and his second meeting with each will take place in person.

Slowik began his NFL coaching career under Mike Shanahan in Washington as a defensive assistant, spending three years in that capacity. Taking on the Commanders’ HC position would thus represent a return to the place where he started as a staffer. Slowik is best known for his work on the offensive side of the ball, however, which began when he paired with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco.

While the latter served as play-caller, Slowik was an instrumental member of the 49ers’ offensive staff during his time in the Bay Area. The 36-year-old worked as San Francisco’s passing game coordinator from 2021-22 before he followed DeMeco Ryans to Houston. That move allowed him to take on the Texans’ offensive coordinator role, and the results thoroughly exceeded expectations.

With Slowik at the helm, quarterback C.J. Stroud delivered one of the most productive rookie seasons in NFL history. Houston advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs as part of the organization’s dramatic turnaround in Ryans’ debut season as a head coach. His and the team’s success has, to no surprise, entered Slowik’s name into the conversation of the league’s top up-and-coming offensive minds.

The Commanders quickly brought in a new general manager (Adam Peters, who has a relationship with Slowik dating back to their time in San Francisco), but the team has cast a wide net in its coaching search. Veteran defensive coordinators – and ex-head coaches – Dan Quinn and Raheem Morris – have lined up a second interview with Washington. The Commanders have also shown a strong interest in Lions OC Ben Johnson, however, and Slowik profiles as being similar to the latter given his age and background on the offensive side of the ball.

Unlike the Commanders, the Falcons have frequently been linked to high-profile candidates Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh. Atlanta has met with both candidates, but the team has also sent out a second request to speak with Mike Macdonald and Anthony Weaver as part of a wide-ranging search. Slowik will have competition for both positions, but his status as a serious candidate for both Washington and Atlanta demonstrates the extent to which has stock has risen this year.

Seahawks Request HC Interviews With Ben Johnson, Bobby Slowik

As the Seahawks continue to cast a wide net in search of a Pete Carroll replacement, they plan to speak with two of the 2024 cycle’s most popular candidates. Seattle has requested a head coaching interview with Lions OC Ben Johnson, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. In addition, Texans OC Bobby Slowik has received a slip, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

[RELATED: 2024 Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Seattle moved Carroll into an advisory role last week, despite his public comments suggesting he was prepared to coach the team for a 15th season. Interview requests have begun as a result of the move, with general manager John Schneider at the helm of the coaching search. As he confirmed in a Tuesday press conference, the latter will handle all personnel matters after Carroll held final say in that regard during his lengthy HC tenure.

Johnson has received an interview request from each HC-needy team except the Patriots and Raiders to date. The up-and-coming play-caller is believed to have a mutual interest with the Chargers, but significant competition will exist for his services. The Commanders and Panthers have identified Johnson, 37, as their top target. Seattle will thus have a number of suitors to outmaneuver if the team is to land him in this year’s cycle.

Much Like Johnson last year, Slowik has boosted his stock considerably in his first year as a coordinator. The former 49ers passing game coordinator followed DeMeco Ryans from San Francisco to Houston this offseason, and he has delivered a strong performance. The Texans ranked seventh in the league in passing yards this season despite quarterback C.J. Stroud missing time due to a concussion. Slowik, 36, is lacking in experience compared to a number of other candidates available this year. He has nevertheless received interview requests from the Falcons, Panthers, Titans and Commanders.

Schneider said he intends to begin Seattle’s coaching search tomorrow with virtual interviews (in-person meetings with coaches still in the playoffs cannot take place until after the divisional round). CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones notes the Seahawks’ interview with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is scheduled for Thursday. Quinn was immediately named as a candidate to watch given his ties to the franchise, though he too has garnered considerable interest from other teams with a HC vacancy.

Given the fact the team has several roster pieces in place from last year’s run to the postseason and the continuity strived for in terms of adding a coach similar to Carroll in terms of culture-building (as Schneider added will be the goal), Seattle’s hiring process will be worth watching closely. The team has targeted staffers from both sides of the ball, and the ultimate selection will be tasked with the significant challenge of matching Carroll’s success.

Titans Request Four HC Interviews; Team Not Targeting Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh

With the dust having settled on Mike Vrabel‘s firing, the Titans are moving quickly in searching for his replacement. The team is casting a wide net, but a pair of high-profile candidates are not included.

Tennessee has submitted head coaching interview requests for Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Colleague Ian Rapoport reports that the Titans are also interested in Texans OC Bobby Slowik, while adding the team is set to speak with Bengals OC Brian Callahan tomorrow. Lastly, Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson has received an interview slip, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.

[RELATED: Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Those names add further to the list of Titans targets, a group which already had five members comprising of coordinators on both sides of the ball as well as Raiders interim head coach Antonio Pierce. As Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports, however, neither Bill Belichick nor Jim Harbaugh are on the team’s radar. The former has officially parted ways with the Patriots as expected, while the latter has been linked to an NFL return for several months and is well-positioned to do so after winning a national title with Michigan.

Although Ben Johnson has been connected to commanding a high salary — due to his popularity on this latest HC carousel — the Titans staying out of the Belichick and Harbaugh derbies points to both a less expensive coach being targeted, along with a younger option. Belichick has now been ruled out for the Commanders and Titans. The Falcons remain connected to the legendary Patriots leader, while loose connections have formed between Belichick and the Chargers and Raiders. No official Belichick interview request has come out yet. Harbaugh has been connected to both the Falcons and Commanders, but the reigning national champion coach still looks to have the best chance of resurfacing in the NFL via the Chargers or Raiders.

This continues a remarkable rise for Slowik, who worked with Kyle Shanahan in both Washington and San Francisco. The Shanahan tree has proven fruitful since the 49ers’ 2019 turnaround, and Slowik’s play-calling debut — under ex-Shanahan DC DeMeco Ryans — produced the Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite in C.J. Stroud. The Texans’ rebound from 3-14 to 10-7 has put Ryans in danger of losing his play-caller early.

Brian Johnson has received two interview requests in two days; this follows the Panthers’ slip. This is not Johnson’s first season calling plays, however, as he was previously the OC at Florida. Ben Johnson’s play-calling efforts over the past two years have seen him draw interest just about everywhere. This makes five HC interview requests for the two-year Lions OC, who has played an integral role in the team’s turnaround. After bowing out early on last year’s HC carousel, Johnson is likely to land a job this year.

Callahan interviewed for the Colts and Cardinals’ jobs last year and has been in place as an OC longer than Slowik and the Johnsons combined (five years). That said, Zac Taylor calls plays in Cincinnati. But Joe Burrow‘s rapid ascent and the competent play of backup Jake Browning this season again led the way to Callahan becoming an HC candidate. In addition to the Titans, Callahan has received requests from the Panthers, Chargers and Falcons.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

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 Interview With Texans OC Bobby Slowik

The Commanders are eyeing a somewhat familiar face in their head coaching search. According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, the Commanders requested an interview with Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik.

[RELATED: Commanders Fire Ron Rivera]

Slowik started his coaching career as a defensive assistant in Washington back in 2011. He eventually moved on to the 49ers, working his way up from a defensive quality control coach to offensive passing game coordinator. After one year in that latter role, the 36-year-old was hired as the Texans offensive coordinator last offseason.

Despite his offense featuring a rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud and a number of question marks at the skill positions, the Texans offense was productive in 2023. The offense had the fewest giveaways in the NFL, and the passing offense ranked top-10 in yards. While veteran Devin Singletary eventually had to take over for struggling sophomore Dameon Pierce, Slowik got great production from his wide receivers, with Nico Collins (80 receptions, 1,297 yards, eight touchdowns) and rookie Tank Dell (47 catches, 709 yards, seven touchdowns) led the way.

The offense’s performance has now made Slowik a popular name on the head coaching market. The coordinator has already received an interview request from the Panthers for their head coaching job.

Slowik joins a growing list of candidates to replace Ron Rivera in Washington. That grouping includes Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn (Lions), Anthony Weaver and Mike Macdonald (Ravens), and Raheem Morris (Rams). Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is also expected to receive consideration for the HC post.