Kris Richard

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

Jaguars To Hire Kris Richard, Cory Robinson

Spending this season without an NFL gig, Kris Richard will again be paired with Ryan Nielsen in 2024. The two former Saints co-defensive coordinators are reuniting in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars are adding Richard to their staff, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. The two worked in New Orleans together from 2021-22. Richard is best known for his time as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator, and that tenure has helped keep him on HC carousels. The 44-year-old assistant, who interviewed for the Raiders’ HC job this month (though, he did not appear a serious candidate), will resume his career as the Jags retool on defense.

While Richard’s time as Seahawks DC lasted three seasons, he was in Seattle for the Legion of Boom’s entire run. Rising from assistant DBs coach to cornerbacks coach to DBs coach to DC, Richard was the most consistent non-Pete Carroll presence on those coaching staffs. The Earl ThomasRichard ShermanKam Chancellor mentor has not followed Gus Bradley or Dan Quinn up the ladder, but he has continued to be a regular on defensive staffs since his Seattle stay wrapped in 2018.

The Seahawks finished four straight seasons as the NFL’s top scoring defense, following only the 1950s Browns by accomplishing that over a four-season stretch. Coaching in two Super Bowls as a DBs instructor, Richard was in place during the last of those seasons (2015). The Seattle defense has not reached those heights since, and it has trended downward since Richard was fired following the 2017 season. Richard spent two seasons with the Cowboys (2018-19) before resurfacing in New Orleans. This season marked Richard’s second year off in the past five, however; he did not coach during the 2020 campaign.

The Jags are also hiring Cory Robinson as cornerbacks coach, Wilson adds. This continues the Saints reunion shaping up in Jacksonville. Robinson spent the past season with the Tennessee volunteers but worked under Nielsen and Richard with the Saints in 2022 as assistant DBs coach. Robinson held that role in New Orleans for three years.

Raiders Interview Kris Richard For HC Job

After a year away from coaching, Kris Richard is generating head coaching interest. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders conducted an in-person interview with Richard today.

[RELATED: 2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Most recently, Richard was the Saints’ defensive backs coach during Sean Payton’s final season in New Orleans, and he earned a promotion to co-defensive coordinator when Payton left in 2022. Following one season in that role, the Saints parted way with the coach last offseason. Richard generated coordinator interviews with the Panthers, Broncos, and Dolphins but ended up sitting out the 2023 campaign.

Richard made a name for himself as defensive backs coach and eventually defensive coordinator in Seattle, where he was credited with forming the iconic Legion of Boom secondary. He won a Super Bowl as a DBs coach, and when he was promoted to coordinator, he guided the team to first-place and third-place finishes in points allowed. However, following a 2017 campaign where the Seahawks ranked 13th in points allowed, Richard was let go. The coach would go on to serve as the Cowboys defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator before heading to New Orleans in 2021.

This would be a bit of a homecoming for Richard. The 2002 third-round pick had a brief stint with the Raiders organization, spending a part of the 2007 campaign with the squad.

The search for Josh McDaniels‘ full-time replacement in Las Vegas has been slow going. Interim HC Antonio Pierce sounds like the favorite for the job, and there’s been rumors of a Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh pursuit. The only definitive candidate is former Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who interviewed with the organization today. With the organization having interviewed Richard and Frazier, the organization has satisfied Rooney Rule obligations and can hire a coach as soon as they want, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Broncos Interview Kris Richard For DC Job

Denver’s defensive coordinator search now includes one of Sean Payton‘s former Saints staffers. The team has met with ex-New Orleans assistant Kris Richard, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

The Saints recently parted ways with Richard, one of their two co-defensive coordinators last season, but he joined New Orleans’ staff during Payton’s time. Richard, 43, was the Saints’ defensive backs coach during Payton’s final season in New Orleans.

[RELATED: Broncos Request Vance Joseph DC Interview]

Best known for his Seattle tenure, Richard came up for the Denver job earlier this month. Payton has been connected to a few of his former Saints staffers, interviewing Ronald Curry for the Broncos’ OC position. And Richard has some notable experience here.

After seeing both Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn become head coaches elsewhere, the Seahawks promoted Richard in 2015. The Legion of Boom’s position coach, Richard finished off the Bradley-, Quinn- and Pete Carroll-led run of Seattle leading the NFL in scoring defense in four straight seasons. No team had accomplished that since the Browns in the 1950s. Richard re-emerged as a DC last season, working alongside Ryan Nielsen. The Saints ranked in both the top 10 in total defense and points allowed, but after Nielsen left for Atlanta, Dennis Allen still made a change. Allen hired ex-Broncos DC Joe Woods after an interview process that looked to be just Woods.

This would be a new opportunity for Richard, whose two chances at DC posts came under defensive-minded HCs. Payton is, of course, an offense-oriented leader. His search has featured veterans and younger coaches, with Sean Desai and Rex Ryan coming up most often in this search. Despite Ryan being an NFL Countdown staple since being fired by the Bills late in the 2016 season, he is viewed as the favorite for the Denver job.

Coaching Notes: Fangio, Kocurek, Broncos, Dolphins, Falcons, Gray, Lions, Bills, Bears

The 49ers showed interest in Vic Fangio, joining almost every other DC-seeking team. But Fangio’s former team did not have the chance to bring him back in for an interview; Fangio finally committed to the Dolphins on Thursday morning. The 49ers were interested in a Fangio reunion, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, and 9News’ Mike Klis adds Fangio was also intrigued by coming back to San Francisco. The 49ers’ usage of a 4-3 scheme throughout Kyle Shanahan‘s tenure would not have been a major issue regarding a reunion with the 3-4 guru, Branch adds. That would make sense, as the 4-3/3-4 divide is not nearly as big an issue — thanks to sub-packages’ rise — as it was several years ago.

San Francisco remains on the hunt for a DeMeco Ryans replacement, placing Steve Wilks and Chris Harris (not the cornerback) on its interview list. The 49ers also are considering promoting defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets. The well-regarded staffer has been Nick Bosa‘s position coach throughout the All-Pro’s career and has fostered development from others as well. Ryans, meanwhile, is interested in bringing Kocurek to Houston as his DC.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • Some recently dismissed assistants may be on the Broncos‘ radar. Ex-Sean Payton staffers Joe Lombardi, Kris Richard and Dan Roushar are in the mix for Broncos gigs under their new coach, Klis notes. Lombardi worked on Payton’s Saints staff for 11 years, the final five as QBs coach, but lost his Chargers OC gig recently. The Saints parted ways with both Richard and Roushar recently. The ex-Seahawks DC was in New Orleans for just one season (2021) under Payton, while Roushar had been on the Saints’ staff for the past 10 years. Richard may be in the running for Denver’s DC post, though Klis adds the Ejiro Evero-Payton talks began Wednesday night. The parties continued discussions today. Evero, who is under contract, staying on staff and leaving for a head coaching job in 2024 would net the Broncos two third-round picks.
  • The Falcons brought in former DC Jerry Gray as an assistant head coach. Gray, 60, spent the past two years as the Packers’ secondary coach but worked with Arthur Smith in Tennessee. Smith and Gray were both Titans staffers in the early 2010s, when the latter was Tennessee’s DC. The Falcons hired Ryan Nielsen as their defensive boss last week, but Gray will be a key assistant. Green Bay let Gray’s contract expire, with ESPN’s Rob Demovsky noting (via Twitter) Gray and DC Joe Barry were not on the same page.
  • Once again, the Dolphins will look for a new offensive line coach. Miami fired Matt Applebaum after one season,’s Armando Salguero notes (Twitter link). Mike McDaniel‘s next hire will be the Dolphins’ eighth O-line coach in nine seasons. Applebaum, 39, joined McDaniel’s staff in 2022 after spending his previous coaching years in the college ranks.
  • The Lions added two fairly recent NFLers to their staff. They brought in Dre’ Bly and Steve Heiden to coach cornerbacks and tight ends, respectively. Bly, who played for the Lions from 2003-06 and made two Pro Bowls with the team, has not coached in the NFL previously. He spent the past four seasons coaching cornerbacks at North Carolina, his alma mater. Heiden will come over from the Cardinals, who employed the ex-NFL tight end as their tight ends coach throughout Kliff Kingsbury‘s tenure. The ex-Cardinal had been on Arizona’s staff for 10 years.
  • Acting quickly after making a change late last week, the Bills filled their safety coach role by hiring Joe Danna. Working under Lovie Smith with the Texans this season, Danna was in Jacksonville under Doug Marrone and Urban Meyer for the previous five yeras.
  • After the Falcons hired Nielsen, they fired Jon Hoke. But the veteran position coach will land in Chicago. The Bears hired Hoke as their cornerbacks coach and passing-game coordinator. This is a reunion for Hoke, who coached Bears DBs for six seasons (2009-14) previously. The team also promoted Omar Young from the quality control level to assistant QBs and wide receivers coach. Young is a 14-year coaching veteran who spent time with OC Luke Getsy in Green Bay.

Saints Part Ways With Kris Richard

Dennis Allen is set to have a completely new defensive coaching staff in New Orleans. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Saints are parting ways with co-defensive coordinator Kris Richard.

Richard, who was also responsible for coaching the secondary in 2022, split DC duties with Ryan Nielsen, who ended up leaving New Orleans to become the Falcons’ new defensive coordinator.According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football (on Twitter), Richard was a valued member of the coaching staff but “some philosophical differences” led to the team looking elsewhere.

This means Allen, who previously served as the Saints DC, will now be on the look out for a new coach to guide the defense. Per Underhill (on Twitter), the head coach intends to oversee and run everything on the defensive side of the ball. However, the team still intends to hire a defensive coordinator, a defensive line coach, and a secondary coach.

Richard originally joined the Saints as their defensive backs coach in 2021. His gig in New Orleans was preceded by a two-year stint in Dallas, where he served as the Cowboys defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator. The coach cut his teeth in Seattle, eventually culminating in him becoming defensive coordinator in 2015. During Richard’s first two years at the helm, the Seahawks ranked as a top-three defense, but following an underwhelming 2017 campaign, the coach was relieved of his duties.

The 43-year-old has been a popular name on the coaching circuit this offseason, and the fact that he was willing to take interviews for a minor promotion probably hinted that his time in New Orleans could be coming to an end. Richard was connected to defensive coordinator jobs with the Dolphins and Panthers. The coach could also be a candidate to join Sean Payton with the Broncos, according to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter).

Latest On Panthers’ DC Search

Today marks the first official day at work for new Panthers head coach Frank Reich, the first domino to fall in the 2023 HC cycle. Much remains to be seen with respect to his staff, including coordinators on both sides of the ball.

On defense, it became clear that Reich’s preference for his new DC was Vic Fangio. The 64-year-old agreed to terms yesterday on a deal with the Dolphins which will see him become the league’s highest-paid coordinator, however, leaving Carolina to look elsewhere to fill the position. A pair of finalists remain in the running.

Those two are Saints co-defensive coordinator Kris Richard and Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel. Those two are the only candidates other than Fangio to have interviewed for the position, so it comes as little surprise that they remain in the running. Joe Person of The Athletic notes that Carolina has “moved on” to Richard and Manuel as it pertains to the DC opening, with the latter seeming to be in the lead (subscription required).

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports also reports (via Twitter) that Manuel remains the subject of considerable interest from Carolina. The 43-year-old has two years of DC experience, dating back to his time with the Falcons in 2017 and 2018. That post came between tenures in Seattle and Philadelphia prior to his current one in New York. Neither he nor Richard, who has multiple stints as a defensive coordinator on his resume, have experience working with Reich, though they have ties to general manager Scott Fitterer dating back to their shared time with the Seahawks.

Anderson adds that the Panthers could have competition in the form of the Texans for Manuel’s services. Houston is thought to be a potential destination for him in the (expected) event that 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans is hired as the team’s new head coach. Especially if that were to happen, attention could shift once more towards a staffer who does have experience working alongside Reich.

Person names Colts DC Gus Bradley as someone who has been “mentioned” as a candidate to follow Reich to Carolina. As he notes, however, an interview request as not yet been submitted. Anderson tweets that Reich brought up the possibility of hiring the 56-year-old, something ownership was not in favor of. It was then that Fangio was pursued, to the point where the Panthers were willing to give him the league’s largest coordinator contract (Twitter link).

With Reich expected to call plays on offense, the team’s ultimate choice at the DC spot will go a long way in determining their success on that side of the ball. Steve Wilks, who guided Carolina to an impressive run at the end of the season filling in for Matt Rhule, remains on staff for now, but he is likely to head elsewhere with new faces coming in on the Panthers’ sidelines.

Dolphins To Interview Vic Fangio, Kris Richard, Sean Desai For DC

Vic Fangio will interview for a third defensive coordinator position during this year’s cycle. The Dolphins’ previously rumored interest will produce a meeting.

Miami is set for interviews with Fangio, Seahawks assistant Sean Desai and Saints co-DC Kris Richard, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter links). Fangio and Desai worked together with the Bears, while Richard has been a fixture in defensive coordinator searches in recent offseasons. The Fangio and Desai meetings will occur Wednesday.

Richard, 43, re-emerged as a DC after four seasons on the position coach level. The Saints promoted the veteran staffer to that role, placing him alongside Ryan Nielsen in a rarely utilized co-DC arrangement. The former Seahawks DC had spent time under Rod Marinelli as the Cowboys’ secondary coach from 2018-19 and caught on with the Saints as their DBs coach in 2021. Richard is best known for his time in Seattle, however. He served as the Legion of Boom’s position coach and later Seattle’s DC during that unit’s heyday, and the Seahawks of that period became the first team to lead the NFL in scoring defense in four straight years since the 1950s Browns.

This garnered Richard some HC interest back in the late 2010s — which included a 2019 Dolphins interview — but nothing materialized. The Saints have ranked in the top 10 defensively in each of Richard’s two years with the team, though Dennis Allen has overseen both those units. The Panthers have also spoken to Richard about a meeting. Nielsen has come up as a candidate — in Atlanta and Minnesota — as well, so New Orleans faces the possibility of losing both its DCs this offseason. Desai, the Bears’ DC in 2021, also received an interview request from the Vikings.

Fangio has interviewed for the Falcons and Panthers’ positions thus far but came up in connection to the Dolphins gig soon after it became available. He is believed to be the lead candidate, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets, with ESPN’s Jeff Darlington noting (via Twitter) Fangio and Mike McDaniel share an agent and have a good relationship.

Fangio, 64, did not last too long in his HC opportunity with the Broncos, though his three-year Denver tenure was the longest since John Fox‘s, but the longtime defensive staffer was long believed to be a hot candidate to return to a full-time role as a DC. That is coming to fruition. Fangio’s options could soon include a return to the 49ers, with the team being connected to rehiring him in the event DeMeco Ryans departs.

Lions OC Ben Johnson In Lead For Panthers HC Job?

It sounds like Ben Johnson is now the favorite to land the Panthers’ head coaching gig. According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports (Twitter link), the Lions offensive coordinator “has the lead” for the position. Joseph Person of The Athletic shares a similar sentiment, noting that “it still feels like there’s momentum” for a Johnson hiring.

[RELATED: Patriots’ Jerod Mayo Declines Panthers HC Interview]

After serving on Matt Patricia’s staff in Detroit, Johnson was kept around following Dan Campbell’s hiring. Johnson ended up impressing the new coach enough to earn a promotion from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator. During Johnson’s first season at the helm, the Lions ended up finishing 9-8 despite sporting the NFL’s worst scoring defense. Jared Goff finished the year with 29 passing touchdowns (his highest total since 2018), while running back Jamaal Williams broke Barry Sanders‘ franchise record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 17.

Thanks to the Lions’ resurgence, Johnson has turned into a popular name on the head coaching circuit. Besides the position in Carolina, Johnson has also been connected to head coaching jobs with the Texans and Colts. Even if Johnson doesn’t get the job with the Panthers, he could still be a target for the organization, with Person suggesting pairing the offensive mind with an experienced head coach candidate like Sean Payton.

Elsewhere on the coaching front, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Panthers have requested permission to interview Saints defensive backs coach Kris Richard for “a possible” defensive coordinator job. The Panthers will probably provide their new head coach with some say in a defensive coordinator hire, although Rapoport notes that the organization is conducting interviews for both gigs concurrently.

Richard made a name for himself in Seattle, where he played an important role in the formation of the Legion of Boom. The coach was relieved of his duty as defensive coordinator in 2017 and later caught on with the Cowboys. He joined the Saints as their defensive backs coach in 2021 before earning a promotion to co-defensive coordinator (with Ryan Nielsen) in 2022. Thanks in part to New Orleans’ performance this past season, Richards “likely will get offers” for full DC opportunities, per Rapoport.