Doug Pederson

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

Jaguars Looking At OL Ekwonu With Top Pick

We wrote a bit in January about NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu potentially being the best offensive lineman in the draft. Well, he certainly thinks so, as he told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday that he’d “definitely deserve” to be drafted No. 1 overall, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com

He’s not totally off base in his thinking. ESPN’s Mel Kiper mocked Ekwonu to Jacksonville in his latest mock draft just before the Combine. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, many at the Combine, including ESPN’s Todd McShay, expected Ekwonu to blow up in Indianapolis.

There’s already been a bit of talk connecting Ekwonu to the Jaguars. General manager Trent Baalke has a tendency to prefer explosive linemen and Ekwonu demonstrated his explosiveness in field drills including an impressive sub-5.00 second 40-yard dash. Baalke and new head coach Doug Pederson will be looking to put together a group at offensive line that can protect former No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence and create holes for running backs James Robinson and Travis Etienne.

Jawaan Taylor is expected to compete with Walker Little for the right tackle job. Captain Brandon Linder should return to form at center after MCL and ankle injuries forced him to miss a large part of the 2021 NFL season. Andrew Norwell is expected to hit the free agent market and Cam Robinson could join him if the team decides not to utilize their franchise tag on Robinson for the second straight year. Veteran sixth-man Tyler Shatley was recently re-signed and Ben Bartch could help out at guard. So the versatility of Ekwonu could line him up as the perfect choice for Jacksonville’s current situation, where lots of question marks surround the depth chart. Even so, the Jaguars could also fall in love with Evan Neal, who is largely seen as the top pure tackle in the draft.

Still, the redshirt sophomore out of Raleigh is a young, talented prospect with the ability to dominate at tackle or guard. Even if he slips past Jacksonville at No. 1 overall, don’t expect him to be available after both New York teams get a chance to draft. Ekwonu will aim to be only the third Wolfpack offensive lineman in history to be picked in the first round, the highest-drafted Wolfpack prospect since Bradley Chubb in 2018, and, above that, the first top overall pick out of NC State since Mario Williams in 2006.

Jaguars’ EVP Search On Hold

The Jaguars were thought to be making multiple additions to their front office personnel, including an executive vice president. However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that that search has been put on hold. 

It came out in February that owner Shad Khan was conducting a search for a new EVP as part of a general strategy to add more “brainpower” to the organization. Many thought that former Vikings GM Rick Spielman was the favorite for the job, as he had already interviewed for an unnamed position which would outrank current Jaguars GM Trent Baalke.

Instead, Rapoport notes, internal meetings with new head coach Doug Pederson have been going well, to the point where maintaining the status quo at the top of the organization has becomes Khan’s preference. Specifically, Khan “doesn’t want to impede significant progress with a new voice”. It was noted that the team was planning on moving towards a more “collaborative approach”, and turning its attention to long-term building rather than quick-fix solutions with an experienced voice in Pederson.

In a follow-up tweet, Rapoport adds that other front office hires could still be forthcoming. Most notably, an assistant GM is still being sought out; if that ends up being the highest-ranking member of the organization brought in, Baalke would maintain his position of only reporting to Khan himself. For now, it seems as though the Jaguars will enter the offseason maintaining essentially the same structure that they finished the regular season with.

AFC Coaching Notes: Pederson, Broncos, Bills, Raiders, Texans

Although the Jaguars had offensive-oriented coaches in place as head coach in Doug Marrone and Urban Meyer, neither operated as the team’s primary play-caller. That pattern will change with Doug Pederson. The former Eagles HC will call the Jaguars’ offensive plays, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This is not surprising, with the former Super Bowl-winning coach having been Philadelphia’s play-caller during his five seasons at the helm. Pederson also helped establish his HC case by calling plays at points with the Chiefs. Pederson’s primary task will be relaunching Trevor Lawrence‘s career after the prized quarterback prospect struggled under Meyer and Darrell Bevell. OC Press Taylor has not called plays previously, but passing-game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has. They will be Pederson’s right-hand men on his Lawrence reboot effort.

Here is the latest from the AFC coaching ranks:

  • In addition to making the long-expected Ejiro Evero defensive coordinator hire, the Broncos are plucking two more assistants off the Rams’ staff in the wake of Super Bowl LVI. Dwayne Stukes is coming to Denver to be the team’s special teams coordinator, while Marcus Dixon is leaving Los Angeles for Colorado to be the new Broncos D-line coach. Stukes, 45, spent the 2021 season as the Rams’ assistant ST coordinator. Stukes has experience as an ST coordinator — with the 2011 Buccaneers — and has been an assistant ST coach with the Bears and Giants. Dixon will also be a one-and-done with the Rams, having been hired as their assistant D-line coach last year. Previously, Dixon spent four years as an assistant at Division I-FCS Hampton.
  • The Raiders are hiring a new defensive line coach, tabbing Frank Okam for that role, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). This comes more than a month after the Panthers fired Okam. Carolina brought Okam from Matt Rhule‘s Baylor staff in 2020, when he served as the Panthers’ assistant D-line coach. Carolina bumped Okam to its D-line coach last year. He will follow ex-Panthers assistant Jason Simmons to Las Vegas.
  • The Bills are expected to hire Marcus West as a defensive assistant, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweets. Previously a co-defensive coordinator at Charlotte, West is on track to be the Bills’ assistant D-line coach, per Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic (on Twitter). This will be West’s first NFL coaching gig.
  • One of the Marrone-era holdovers Meyer kept on his lone Jaguars staff, Joe Danna is now on board as the Texans’ safeties coach, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Danna spent five seasons in Jacksonville and was with the Jets and Falcons as well, serving as DBs coach with both teams.

Latest On Jaguars’ Front Office

The Jaguars are in the process of rebuilding not only their coaching staff, but also their front office personnel and structure. As ESPN’s Michael DiRocco writes, the team is looking to add multiple new executives, including an executive vice president of football operations. 

As he states, owner Shad Khan is looking to hire not only an EVP, but also “someone to work under” general manager Trent Baalke. It wouldn’t be the first time the Jaguars had a structure like that, as a similar one was in place when the Jaguars were last in playoff contention.

When speaking about the changes, Khan said, “One of the reasons we had the [coaching] search was not only looking for the head-coaching candidate but really to learn about other organizations… So some of the practices, some of the structure that works, we got great insight into it. Strengthening the football operations, more staff, that’s part of our goal. We’ve had too flat an organization and we want to add brainpower and more people to strengthen that”.

Tom Coughlin held the EVP title beginning in 2017 during the Doug Marrone coaching era in Jacksonville. That season ended with a trip to the AFC Championship game, but the organization was streamlined after Coughlin was fired in 2019. Khan elected to try a more coach-centric structure when he hired Urban Meyer, a decision that proved to be borderline disastrous. A return to the previous system so quickly after Meyer’s firing would represent a very fast about-face from Khan and the organization.

Many believe that Rick Spielman will eventually be named as the new EVP. The former Vikings GM recently interviewed for a position that would outrank Baalke, though nothing has been made official yet. In addition, the team would have to meet with at least two external minority candidates for the position in order to satisfy the Rooney Rule.

Especially after the hire of former Super Bowl winner Doug Pederson as head coach, the Jaguars are “taking a collaborative approach”, DiRocco writes. With an emphasis on long-term building, as opposed to a less patient, win-now approach with Meyer, more voices being involved in decision making could be a productive first step towards turning around a franchise which has finished at the bottom of the NFL for two straight years.

AFC Coaching Notes: Colts, Bills, Jaguars, Ravens

Since Frank Reich was able to land defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to replace Bears’ head coach Matt Eberflus, Bradley has begun the process of putting his staff together. Today Bradley added longtime defensive backs coach Ron Milus to coach his secondary, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Milus first started coaching defensive backs at his alma mater, the University of Washington, about eight years after playing cornerback there. He held the college position for seven years before getting an NFL coaching opportunity in 2000. Since then, Milus hasn’t spent a season out of work with stints in Denver, Arizona, New York (Giants), St. Louis, Carolina, San Diego, and Las Vegas. His longest stint was with the Chargers, spending eight years in southern California and transitioning with the team to Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles that Milus was retained when Bradley joined the Chargers’ staff. He followed Bradley to Las Vegas and will join him once more in Indianapolis.

Here are a few other coaching notes from around the AFC starting with another bit from the Hoosier State:

  • In addition to Milus, Mike Chappell of Fox59 reports that Indianapolis is also in the process of hiring linebackers coach Richard Smith, who worked with Bradley and Milus in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Smith has coached in the NFL since he debuted for the Houston Oilers in 1988 coaching special teams and tight ends. He found his niche as a linebackers coach in 1997 for the 49ers and has had three short stints as a defensive coordinator in Miami, Houston, and Atlanta.
  • ESPN’s Yates also tweeted out a report that the Bills have added former QB Kyle Shurmur on staff in a defensive quality control position. After four years at Vanderbilt, Shurmur signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs, spending time on their practice squad as well as on the Bengals’ and Washington’s practice squads. He was released by Washington a little over a month ago and that appears to mark the end of his playing career. He seems to be following in the footsteps of his father, Pat Shurmur, and joining the coaching track.
  • A castaway from the Matt Nagy Bears’ staff, outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey will not be without work for long as Curtis Crabtree of NBC Sports reports that Shuey is joining Doug Pederson‘s staff in Jacksonville in the same role. Shuey and Pederson had two separate tenures together in Philadelphia.
  • Pederson also made a crucial move of retaining running backs coach Bernie Parmalee. Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network tells us that keeping Parmalee was a priority for Pederson, especially due to his strong relationship with star running back James Robinson.
  • Baltimore has hired Rob Leonard as outside linebackers coach, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley (Twitter). Leonard will replace Drew Wilkins who left to join Brian Daboll‘s staff in New York. Leonard spent the past three seasons in the same position with the Dolphins. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic adds that former Michigan analyst Ryan Osborn will follow Mike Macdonald to the Ravens for a quality control position. Osborn is credited with having a role in the development of Wolverines’ EDGE players like Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.

Interim HC Bevell Won’t Remain With Jaguars

Darrell Bevell‘s tenure in Jacksonville was a short one. With the hiring of Doug Pederson being announced earlier this month, it appears that Bevell will not remain in northern Florida as a part of Pederson’s coaching staff, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. 

Brought onto Urban Meyer‘s staff to be offensive coordinator a little over a year ago, Bevell was tasked with serving as the interim head coach for the Jaguars’ final four games of the 2021 season after Meyer was relieved of his duties. Over those four games, Jacksonville recorded one win and three losses to finish the season 3-14.

This wasn’t Bevell’s first tenure as an interim head coach. Just last season, Bevell coached the final five games of the Lions’ 2020 season after the firing of Matt Patricia, winning one game in Detroit, as well, for a career record of 2-7 as a head coach (all in an interim capacity).

Bevell will likely return to his day job as an offensive coordinator. While the Jaguars’ offense finished last in the NFL this season in multiple categories, Bevell’s seen success as a play caller in Seattle, finishing as a top-ten scoring offense in five of his seven seasons with the Seahawks, including a top-four scoring offense in 2015. Bevell’s first gig calling plays came in Minnesota where he spend five years leading a Vikings’ offense to varying results, including a 2009 offense that finished second in scoring, featuring Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin.

According to Wilson, Bevell has received interest from multiple NFL teams and his moving on from Jacksonville will allow him to pursue those opportunities.

Jaguars To Hire Mike Caldwell As DC

FRIDAY: Although the Jaguars interviewed former Dolphins secondary coach Gerald Alexander for their defensive coordinator job this week, Caldwell will indeed land the position. The Jags are hiring the Buccaneers’ inside linebackers coach for their top defensive spot, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This will be Caldwell’s first DC gig, but the former NFL linebacker has been in coaching since 2008. He and Pederson broke into coaching together on Andy Reid‘s Eagles staffs in the late 2000s. The two were also each on the Eagles’ roster in 1999, Reid’s first year with the team.

TUESDAY: The name first associated with new head coach Doug Pederson has landed the role of defensive coordinator on his first Jaguars staff. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the team is close to hiring Mike Caldwell as their new defensive coordinator (Twitter link).

Caldwell was named as a top candidate for the DC role soon after Pederson’s hiring. The 50-year old spent five years with the Eagles working with their linebacking corps. He was gone by the time Pederson became Philadelphia’s HC, though, so the only connection between the two is the overlap in their playing careers there in 1999.

Caldwell also has experience as the LBs coach with the Cardinals, Jets and Buccaneers. His three years in Tampa Bay saw him oversee one of, if not the best, tandems in the league at that position in Devin White and Lavonte David. That success, including a Super Bowl championship last season, earned him an interview with the Ravens for their DC vacancy.

Now, Caldwell will take on a coordinator role for the first time in his career. It’s the first to be filled under Pederson, as the team is still in search of a new OC, and it was recently announced that former special teams coordinator Nick Sorensen will not be returning.

Jaguars Plan To Hire Jim Bob Cooter

Former Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will be one of the key voices in charge of getting Trevor Lawrence on track next season. The Jaguars are hiring the young assistant, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Cooter will serve as the passing-game coordinator under Doug Pederson in Jacksonville. This will be Cooter’s most notable role since his time as Detroit’s OC (2015-18). Previously, the 37-year-old staffer worked as a consultant with the Eagles.

The Lions hired Cooter to be Matthew Stafford‘s position coach in 2014 and quickly bumped him up to OC. The Jim Caldwell-era assistant stuck around for one season under Matt Patricia but was not retained for the 2019 campaign. Cooter spent the next two seasons as the Jets’ running backs coach.

Ex-Eagles coach Press Taylor was also in the mix for this job, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane (on Twitter). A former Pederson lieutenant, Taylor spent the 2021 season with the Colts.

Pederson called plays with the Eagles and said he will do so with the Jags as well. The Jags attempted to interview Texans assistant Pep Hamilton for their OC vacancy, but new Houston HC Lovie Smith promoted him. The Jags have hired ex-Chargers HC Mike McCoy as their quarterbacks coach but do not employ a nominal OC yet. For now, Pederson, McCoy and Cooter will be in charge of developing Lawrence.

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints created nine full-time vacancies available this year.

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

Updated 2-7-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants