Brian Callahan

Titans To Sign CB Chidobe Awuzie

Chidobe Awuzie will follow Brian Callahan from Cincinnati to Tennessee. The veteran corner has agreed to a three-year deal with the Titans, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports.

After Awuzie served as a vital presence in Cincinnati during its Super Bowl LVI run, the Bengals saw this contract deliver diminishing returns over the following two years. A Halloween 2022 ACL tear threw Awuzie off track, and after he returned in time for Week 1 in 2023, Lou Anarumo benched the former second-rounder around midseason.

The 6-foot defender received a second chance down the stretch and fared better. Awuzie played at least 97% of the Bengals’ defensive snaps in five of six games from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Still, with the Bengals having drafted two outside CBs early in the past two drafts (Cam Taylor-Britt, DJ Turner), it was clear his future wasn’t in Cincy.

As Callahan looks to fill out his first Titans squad, the former Bengals OC was surely looking for some reinforcement at cornerback. Kristian Fulton isn’t expected to be back in Tennesee next season while Sean Murphy-Bunting left to join the Cardinals.

The Titans can hang their hat on Pro Football Focus grading Awuzie 14th in 2021 and 33rd prior to his ACL tear. He’ll also be nearly two years removed from the injury next season, reducing any health concerns.

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

After a crowded carousel previously stopped, the 49ers opened their defensive coordinator position. Here is how the NFC champions’ search looks:

Updated 3-2-24 (10:00am CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

  • Gerald Alexander, safeties coach (Raiders): Interviewed 3/1
  • Daniel Bullocks, defensive backs coach (49ers): Interviewed 2/28
  • David Merritt, defensive backs coach (Chiefs): To interview
  • Nick Sorensen, defensive passing game specialist (49ers): Promoted
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Poll: Which Team Made Best HC Hire?

This year’s HC cycle became the rare carousel to generate more attention around the coaches who did not land jobs than the ones hired. Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel being left out will assuredly generate stories ahead of the 2025 hiring period, and it will be worth monitoring if Pete Carroll is connected to another coaching job.

But eight teams — up from five in 2023 — made the decision to change coaches. Dan Quinn‘s hire filled the final vacancy. While the Commanders’ process generated extensive fallout, teams are now moving forward with staff assembly following their HC hires.

The Commanders look to have gone through a bit of back-and-forth about their interest in Lions OC Ben Johnson. Pushing back on the notion the two-year Detroit play-caller was their top choice all along, Washington will give Quinn a second chance. But the former Dallas DC may well have been Washington’s third choice; the team made an aggressive push to land Mike Macdonald as well. The Seahawks finished that 11th-hour competition by giving the young Ravens DC a six-year deal.

Only Seattle and Washington waited until after the conference championship games to hire their coaches. Macdonald, who is half Carroll’s age, becomes the NFL’s youngest HC (36). (New Patriots leader Jerod Mayo, 37, held that title for several days.) A Ravens defense that carried major questions in the pass-rushing department led the NFL in sacks while leading the league in scoring defense as well. Quinn re-established his value over three years in Dallas, restoring that unit as one of the game’s best. While Quinn has the Super Bowl LI collapse on his resume and went 0-for-3 in playoff berths over his final three seasons in Atlanta, Washington’s new ownership group will bet on the experienced staffer.

Although the Commanders’ search produced a number of headlines, the Falcons introduced this year’s top “what if?” storyline. The only team serious about hiring Belichick, interviewing him twice, the Falcons steered clear of the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC. While Arthur Blank went into the hiring period prepared to hire the 24-year Patriots leader, it appears other Falcons higher-ups — in an effort potentially connected to their own statuses — helped sway the owner toward the Raheem Morris hire.

Morris, whom Falcons CEO Rich McKay hired during his time as Bucs GM in the early 2000s, will make the historically rare move of returning to coach a team years after operating as its interim HC. Morris left Atlanta on good terms in 2021 and comes back after a successful run as the Rams’ DC. Though, Belichick will undoubtedly be tied to Morris during the latter’s second Atlanta stay.

It took a six-year contract for the Panthers to bring in Bucs OC Dave Canales, who parlayed his first coordinator season into a head coaching gig. The Panthers trading the No. 1 overall pick and David Tepper‘s reputation as an impulsive meddler played into Carolina’s search, but the team had long been connected — despite Frank Reich‘s struggles — to pursuing an offense-oriented leader. Carolina also pursued Johnson for a second year but did not wait to make an attempt to interview him in-person. Following his work with Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield, Canales will be charged with developing Bryce Young.

The Titans also went offense with their hire, adding five-year Bengals non-play-calling OC Brian Callahan to succeed Vrabel. Zac Taylor‘s longtime lieutenant probably would have landed a job earlier had he called plays in a Joe Burrow-piloted offense, but the Titans will turn to the 39-year-old candidate to develop Will Levis. Brian Callahan will also technically oversee his father this coming season, hiring well-regarded Browns O-line coach Bill Callahan to the same position. This will be the Callahans’ first time on the same staff.

Las Vegas and New England each went with in-house solutions. The Raiders became the first team in seven years to elevate an interim HC to the full-time position. Mark Davis listened to his players, after expressing regret about not removing Rich Bisaccia‘s interim tag in 2022. But the second-generation owner also passed on interviewing other viable candidates for the job, only going through with required interviews to comply with the Rooney Rule. While Pierce accounted himself well as a leader during the season’s second half, his experience level is quite thin compared to just about every other HC hire in modern NFL history.

Using a Rooney Rule workaround by including language in Mayo’s contract about succeeding Belichick, the Patriots also passed on a true search. Robert Kraft intervened last year, extending Mayo after the Panthers had sought a meeting, and will give the keys to the recent Patriots linebacker. Mayo’s time in coaching does not match Pierce’s, though the former has spent more time as an NFL assistant. The franchise is largely keeping the Patriot Way going, promoting from within to fill the HC position and elevating an in-house staffer (Eliot Wolf) to fill the de facto GM post, only with Belichick no longer involved.

The highest-profile hire came out of Los Angeles. The Chargers became the team to lure Jim Harbaugh back to the pros. The Bolts gave the accomplished HC a $16MM salary — over five years — and signed off on allowing final say. Harbaugh has won everywhere he has been and held leverage in the form of another Michigan extension offer and a second Falcons interview being scheduled. The Bolts did not let him leave for that meeting and gave Harbaugh significant input into Tom Telesco‘s GM replacement (Joe Hortiz). Harbaugh’s final NFL snaps came with the Chargers, and after hiring three first-time HCs under Telesco, the team will make a bigger bet to turn things around.

Which team ended up doing the best with its 2024 hire? Why did Belichick fail to land a job? Will he and Vrabel be back in 2025? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts on this year’s HC market in the comments.

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

Titans Hire Brian Callahan As Head Coach

JANUARY 25: The Titans are giving the five-year Bengals offensive coordinator a five-year deal to lead their staff,’s Jeremy Fowler notes. Callahan’s contract length matches what the team handed Vrabel back in 2018.

JANUARY 22: Brian Callahan had a second interview with the Titans today, and the organization isn’t letting him leave Tennessee without a deal. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Titans plan to hire Callahan as their new head coach. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds that the two sides are working to finalize a deal.

In recent days, there’s been growing momentum towards Callahan earning his first head coaching gig. Besides his second interview with the Titans today, the coach was also expected to meet a second time with the Panthers and Falcons. Per The Athletic’s Paul Dehner, the Titans viewed Callahan as a top target, and they were clearly determined to make sure he didn’t land elsewhere.

Callahan has been on the head coaching radar for a while after guiding a talented offense in Cincinnati. While his first two years at the helm didn’t necessarily go as planned, the Bengals finished top-seven in points scored in both 2021 and 2022. The offense took a step back in 2023, although that was partly attributed to Joe Burrow‘s injury, and suitors clearly recognized that context as they pursued him for HC jobs.

Callahan had a long stint on the Broncos offensive coaching staff before serving as the Lions QBs coach (2016-2017) and Raiders QBs coach (2018). During his time in the NFL, he’s worked with the likes of Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, and Burrow. This has led many to assume that Callahan would be an ideal candidate to guide an offense that’s expected to be led by 2023 second-round pick Will Levis.

The Titans had one of the more surprising head coaching vacancies of this hiring cycle, as Mike Vrabel‘s departure wasn’t necessarily expected. The organization cast a wide net in their search for a replacement, with Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn among those to earn second interviews.

Ultimately, Callahan was the choice. With the head coach soon to be under contract, the Titans will look to fill out the rest of their coaching staff. One name that will surely be connected to Tennessee is Callahan’s father, Bill Callahan. The veteran coach has spent the past four years as the Browns OL coach, and the senior Callahan was previously the head coach for the Raiders.

On the other side, Bengals coach Zac Taylor will now have to hire a coordinator for the first time since he took the Cincy gig in 2019. Dehner notes that Bengals QBs coach Dan Pitcher has been groomed for the job and will likely be a leading candidate to replace Callahan.

Coaching Notes: Callahan, Browns, Vrabel, Seahawks, Smith, Johnson, Texans, Jets

The Titans ended Brian Callahan‘s five-year stay as a non-play-calling Bengals OC, hiring the veteran assistant as their Mike Vrabel successor. Although Callahan has never been his team’s primary play-caller, he will not give his first Tennessee OC that responsibility. Callahan will call Titans offensive plays, veteran reporter Paul Kuharsky notes. Callahan has spent five years learning from Bengals HC/play-caller Zac Taylor. He also worked under Jon Gruden in 2018 and Gary Kubiak in 2015. Not calling plays in Cincinnati undoubtedly held Callahan back, considering the success the Bengals’ offense generated during Joe Burrow‘s early years.

During a busy day on the coaching carousel, here is the latest from around the league:

  • Duce Staley will land on his feet. The recently dismissed Panthers running backs coach will take the same position with the Browns,’s Mary Kay Cabot reports. The Jets had planned to make Staley an offer as well, but the veteran RBs coach will replace Stump Mitchell in Cleveland. Staley has coached running backs for the past 11 seasons, doing so with the Eagles, Lions and Panthers. The former NFL running back will have a chance to coach Nick Chubb, assuming the perennial Pro Bowler returns from his ACL tear.
  • The Browns are also working to hire one of Nick Saban’s former assistants to replace the other position coach they fired last week. Tommy Rees, who landed the Notre Dame OC job in his 20s and held the same position at Alabama last season, is on the Browns’ radar, The Athletic’s Zac Jackson tweets. A former Chargers assistant, Rees is expected to become the Browns’ tight ends coach. Cleveland dismissed T.C. McCartney last week.
  • Two casualties of this coaching carousel are candidates to land elsewhere soon. Ex-Falcons HC Arthur Smith and recently dismissed Eagles OC Brian Johnson have generated interest around the league, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. Smith is being monitored as an OC candidate, per Russini, with a handful of teams looking into the three-year Atlanta HC. Prior to Smith’s Falcons tenure, the ex-Titans OC generated widespread interest as a head coach option in 2021. Johnson has not achieved similar status, and Russini does not confirm the one-year Eagles play-caller is on the OC radar. Though, that would not surprise considering Johnson received multiple HC interview requests during this cycle.
  • Mentioned recently as a candidate on the Seahawks‘ radar, Vrabel may be receiving some support from Seattle players. Some Seahawks view Vrabel as the best option for the job, per Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline. Although Vrabel now has three interviews completed or booked, the Seahawks have not yet met with him. They have met with their former DC, Dan Quinn, who was the first name to emerge as the top Pete Carroll successor option. The Dallas DC should still be considered the frontrunner, Pauline adds. Quinn has a second interview scheduled for Friday, but the Seahawks have a few targets set for second meetings this week.
  • The Texans are not bringing back defensive line coach Jacques Cesaire, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes. Lovie Smith hired Cesaire in 2022, whose contract is expiring. DeMeco Ryans‘ club did set a single-season sack record, with 46, which is quite something considering this franchise employed J.J. Watt for nine seasons. A former NFL D-lineman, Cesaire has been a D-line coach in the league since 2020.
  • On the subject of AFC D-line coaches, the Jets are retaining theirs. Aaron Whitecotton‘s contract was set to expire, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, but the New York Post’s Brian Costello notes the team reached an extension agreement Wednesday. Considering the success the Jets have had up front over the past two seasons, it is unsurprising they made a commitment to keep the Robert Saleh lieutenant around. The Jets also interviewed former Titans assistant Tony Dews for their RBs coach job, The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt tweets. Tennessee’s tight ends coach in 2023, Dews worked alongside current Jets staffers Todd Downing and Keith Carter in Tennessee.

Falcons, Panthers Planning Second Brian Callahan HC Interviews

With six teams still needing to fill their head coaching vacancies, the Bengals’ chances of running back its Zac TaylorBrian Callahan duo for a sixth year are in doubt. Callahan will have a chance to meet with at least three teams for a second time.

Already scheduled to interview a second time with the Titans, the five-year Bengals OC has received requests for in-person interviews in Atlanta and Charlotte. Both the Falcons and Panthers plan to bring in Callahan for a second meeting this week, according to’s Tom Pelissero.

[RELATED: Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Callahan, 39, interviewed with four teams already. Of those, only the Chargers have not been linked to bringing him in for an in-person summit. Beyond that, Callahan appears to have done well in his Zoom meetings recently. Teams can begin meeting with HC candidates on other staffs in-person following the divisional round, which will accelerate this year’s coaching carousel.

Although the Falcons have already interviewed Bill Belichick twice — to the point the legendary HC may be determining if he wants to land in Atlanta — the team is believed to still be planning a thorough search. Jim Harbaugh is meeting with the Falcons for a second time this week, while Mike Vrabel‘s first interview with the team is also on tap.

Callahan would certainly command a lower salary than these candidates, but he would also not check the experience box the NFC South club is believed to be seeking this time around. Arthur Blank has hired first-time HCs throughout his ownership tenure, but after the latest (Arthur Smith) failed to deliver a turnaround, the team has shifted course during this cycle. Belichick is still believed to be the team’s top candidate, but this process is expected to last several more days while the parties deliberate.

Not as much is known about the Panthers’ search, but the team’s 2023 showing and David Tepper‘s actions over the past year point to this not being the most coveted of jobs. Carolina has long been connected to Ben Johnson, with the Lions’ OC being viewed as the team’s top target. Johnson bowed out of the race to become Carolina’s HC last year, but the North Carolina native again met with the team Friday. Callahan would seem a second choice behind Johnson for the Panthers, who can rely on Tepper’s deep pockets to finalize its coaching search. The Panthers have been targeting another offense-oriented HC, with that intel coming out shortly after Frank Reich‘s ouster.

Considering the Bengals’ rise from a 2-14 season in 2019 to back-to-back AFC championship games, coupled with offensive coaches having the edge at the moment, it is a bit surprising Callahan has not generated more interest. That said, Taylor has been the Bengals’ play-caller throughout his Cincinnati stay. With three second interviews coming, Callahan does look to have a real chance of landing a top job soon.

Titans Schedule Second HC Interview With Brian Callahan; Team Eyeing Aaron Glenn?

Teams are still in the midst of their first round of coaching interviews, but arrangements can be made for in-person meetings amongst finalists. For the Titans, that is the case with Brian Callahan.

The Bengals offensive coordinator has been contacted to schedule a second head coaching interview by Tennessee, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports. In-person interviews (such as the one being arranged) cannot take place until after the divisional round, but it is telling Callahan is the team’s first candidate for a follow-up. To date, the Titans have conducted first interviews with four other candidates, and they have sent out requests for five others.

Callahan has once again been a top HC candidate during this year’s hiring cycle, as has been the case previously. The 39-year-old has interviewed with the Falcons, Panthers and Chargers in addition to his Titans summit. Callahan has been in his current post with Cincinnati since head coach Zac Taylor‘s arrival in 2019, and the pair have enjoyed success together particularly when Joe Burrow has been healthy. That was not the case for much of 2023, but the Bengals still managed to go 9-8 and finish mid-pack in scoring with Jake Browning at the helm.

Contrasting with a number of other HC-needy franchises, the Titans have not been connected with Bill Belichick or Jim Harbaugh. The two high-profile candidates headline the options available in this year’s cycle amongst experienced staffers, but Callahan is one of many younger play-callers whose stock has risen in recent years. He has never been a head coach, but his NFL tenure dates back to 2010. His background on offense would be welcomed as Tennessee looks to take a step forward on that side of the ball in 2024 with quarterback Will Levis atop the depth chart.

As Graziano notes, however, Callahan is not the only candidate to watch closely as it pertains to the Titans vacancy. Lions DC Aaron Glenn is Graziano’s predicted hire for Tennessee based on conversations with those connected to the search. Glenn, like his counterpart Ben Johnson, has been one of the hottest names around the league with respect to head coaching prospects. He has received an interview request from the Titans, but the parties have yet to speak.

Glenn’s attention will currently be on the Lions’ upcoming divisional round game against the Buccaneers. Next week, however, he will be eligible to conduct in-person interviews with the Titans and other interested teams. He and Callahan will be worth watching closely as it pertains to Tennessee’s ongoing search.

The third-year Detroit DC’s interview itinerary is coming into focus. Glenn does plan to meet with the Titans, per’s Ian Rapoport. Glenn plans to meet with each team who sent him a slip, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. The Falcons, Chargers and Commanders have also requested Glenn meetings.

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.