Mike Kafka

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

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

Giants Block Seahawks From Interviewing Mike Kafka For OC

The Seahawks have found their new head coach in Mike Macdonald as well as a key assistant in Leslie Frazer. The team still has an offensive coordinator vacancy, however, and that position will be worth watching as the 2024 hiring cycle winds down.

Seattle lost Shane Waldron this offseason when he departed for Chicago. That resulted in the team’s ongoing search for a replacement, which has included connections to a shortlist of outside candidates. Another name to monitor would have been Mike Kafka. The current Giants OC drew interest from the Seahawks, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports. He adds, however, that New York has blocked him from interviewing for a lateral move.

Kafka was among the candidates who conducted a second head coaching interview with Seattle, but to no surprise he did not land a HC gig this offseason. The Giants took a step back on offense in 2023, hurting the 36-year-old’s stock. Kafka had not previously been connected to any OC openings this year, but Jones notes he interviewed well during the Seahawks’ head coaching search. Teams are prohibited from blocking coaches’ efforts to take promotions with new clubs, but they are allowed to prevent moves under an equal title such as a New York-to-Seattle trek in Kafka’s case.

The Giants appeared poised to move on from Kafka at one point (as they since have with DC Don Martindale and special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey), but today’s news certainly suggests he will remain in place for 2024. Head coach Brian Daboll took over play-calling duties at times this season, so his relationship with Kafka will be a key storyline should the pair continue working together moving forward.

Seattle has sent out an interview request to Detroit’s Tanner Engstrand, and the team has also been linked to Alabama’s Ryan Grubb. Those two names will be among the top targets for the Seahawks’ OC vacancy, but their continued desire to at least consider Kafka points to their search expanding. With no other known coordinator interest at the moment (and every HC opening now filled), meanwhile, the latter appears set to take part in a third season overseeing the Giants’ offense.

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

Latest On Pete Carroll’s Seahawks Exit, Team’s HC Search

Hours after the Seahawks closed the regular season with a win over the Cardinals, Pete Carroll said he was ready to return for a 15th season in charge. Two days later, the Seahawks officially announced other plans, moving on from the Super Bowl-winning HC.

Carroll may not have been resolute on returning, however. During the season, the longtime Seattle HC informed some team decision-makers he was moving toward retirement and was interested in staying with the team in a different capacity, Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline notes. That path came to fruition, though it is not known what role Carroll will play going forward. He is not part of the committee searching for his own replacement.

The apparent Carroll backtracking did not sway Seahawks management, per Pauline, as team higher-ups were ready to move in a different direction. Carroll, 72, said he lobbied to keep his job and expressed frustration he was forced to convince non-football staffers. That said, GM John Schneider — effectively Carroll’s right-hand man for 14 years — has since assumed full control of the Seahawks. The veteran GM is leading the HC search.

This proved to be a disappointing season for the Seahawks, who faced higher expectations after a 9-8 2022 slate and a busy offseason. Seattle used two first-round picks, gave Dre’Mont Jones a $17MM-per-year deal and brought back Bobby Wagner. The team also traded for Leonard Williams, sending the Giants second- and fifth-round picks at the deadline. The Carroll- and Clint Hurtt-run defense struggled, finishing 30th in points allowed and 28th in DVOA. The team rallied back from its 6-7 place, but the mini-surge was not enough to qualify for the playoffs — even in a weak NFC wild-card chase. Hurtt is now with the Eagles, having agreed to become their D-line coach.

With Ben Johnson off the board, the likelihood of Ravens DC Mike Macdonald landing one of the two remaining jobs increases. Macdonald remains in the thick of the Seattle derby, ESPN’s Dan Graziano relayed on NFL Live (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta), but Giants OC Mike Kafka has also emerged as a name to watch here. Bobby Slowik has joined Johnson in bowing out and agreeing to keep his current job.

It would surprise if Kafka landed this job, if only because the Giants are coming off a rough follow-up to their surprising 2022 divisional-round run. The Giants tumbled to 30th in points scored and in offensive DVOA. Granted, Daniel Jones‘ injury changed the equation for the Giants, who have employed Kafka as their play-caller over the past two seasons. Jones, however, was not playing well before his ACL tear. And tension between Kafka and Brian Daboll ran high at points, leading to the head coach yanking play-calling duties during games. Rumblings about Kafka being out of the picture in New York surfaced, but he remains on staff. Kafka is not in contention for the Washington job.

Here is how the Seahawks’ HC search looks:

Seahawks Arranging Second HC Interviews With Five Candidates

Seattle’s first head coaching search since 2010 has seen a number of first interviews take place, and more are coming. A list of candidates set to receive a second look has emerged as well, however.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports Seattle is arranging second interviews with five head coaching candidates: Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Raiders DC Patrick Graham, Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, Rams DC Raheem Morris and Cowboys DC Dan Quinn. Pelissero adds, though, that the list is likely to grow in time.

Each of those staffers has met with the Seahawks once already. The latter in particular was immediately floated as a top option to replace Pete Carroll given his ties to the organization. Quinn served as Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2013-14, having also spent a pair of seasons there (2009-10) as the team’s defensive line coach. He has enjoyed regular season success during his time with the Cowboys, and Dallas’ postseason letdown has not taken him out of serious consideration for at least the Seahawks’ gig.

Evero, Graham and Morris join Quinn in having a background on the defensive side of the ball. Evero, like many other staffers on the Panthers, entered the 2023 season with notable expectations given his success with the Broncos. While Carolina struggled mightily on offense, Evero’s unit held up well in certain categories and finished fourth in total defense. He has drawn interest from a number of teams as a result, including the Panthers.

Morris, like Quinn, has NFL head coaching experience. The former took over after the latter was fired by the Falcons, and he also spent three seasons in charge of the Buccaneers. Morris has rebuilt his stock to an extent during his run with the Rams’ defense. He has been connected to four openings other than Seattle’s so far.

Graham’s NFL coaching career dates back to 2009, and he has worked as a DC with the Dolphins, Giants and Raiders. Las Vegas experienced a dramatic defensive turnaround after Antonio Pierce was promoted to interim head coach, and with him now having been given the position on a full-time basis, Graham could very well be on the way out. The 44-year-old held the title of assistant head coach during his time in New York, but he has never led a staff at the college or NFL levels.

As the only staffer with a background on the offensive side of the ball, Kafka’s inclusion on the list is notable. He was reported to be in danger of losing his position during the 2023 season, one in which little went according to plan for the Giants. Kafka has survived, however, and he will remain in New York for 2024 unless his second straight year receiving HC interest lands him an opportunity elsewhere.

Today’s news does not include a first interview being arranged with former Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. That is signficant given the connections made between he and the Seahawks in recent days. Vrabel has interviewed with the Falcons and Chargers, so the Seahawks could have competition for his services if they decide to meet with him. In-person interviews with coaches currently on NFL staffs cannot take place until after the divisional round is completed. Given that rule, and the volume of staffers reciving an extended look, Seattle’s search will likely continue for some time.

Giants Coaching Notes: RBs Coach, ST Coordinator, Daboll, Kafka

The Giants have added two coaches to their staff. The team announced that they’ve hired Joel Thomas as their new running backs coach and Aaron Wellman as their executive director of player performance.

Following a long stint in college coaching, Thomas was named the Saints running backs coach in 2015. Since then, the Saints are tied for second in the NFL with 161 rushing touchdowns, with Alvin Kamara earning five Pro Bowl selections over that span. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints didn’t block the interview despite the lateral move, with the organization “not wanting to hold a coach back.”

Thomas is set to replace Jeff Nixon, who left his role with the Giants after one season to become Syracuse’s offensive coordinator.

Wellman was previously the Giants’ strength and conditioning coach on both Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur’s staffs. He’s spent the past four years as Indiana University’s senior assistant athletic director for football performance.

More Giants coaching notes:

  • Thomas McGaughey was fired after six seasons as the Giants special teams coordinator, and the organization has started to look for his replacement. According to Rapoport, the Giants interviewed Matt Harper last weekend for the coordinator job. Harper has been with the 49ers organization since 2021, serving as the team’s assistant special teams coordinator.
  • Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Carlos Polk is also expected to be a candidate for the special teams job. The veteran coach spent the past two seasons as the Bears assistant special teams coach, and he previously held that same role with the Jaguars, Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Chargers.
  • There’s more fallout from the sudden Giants/Don Martindale divorce, with much of it focused on head coach Brian Daboll and his handling of the coaching staff. According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, the coaching staff’s finger pointing got so bad that GM Joe Schoen ended up tuning in to the coach’s headsets during games. This decision may have stemmed from the opinion of some coaches that Daboll’s sideline behavior was “destructive,” with Leonard noting that the coach’s input “was never proactive, always reactionary.”
  • While the Daboll/Martindale argument grabbed headlines, Daboll also didn’t have the rosiest relationship with Mike Kafka. The offensive coordinator “received the brunt of Daboll’s fury” and was constantly second-guessed. This latter point was clear in Daboll’s handling of play-calling duties, as Kafka’s in-game responsibilities were constantly changing

Seahawks Request HC Interview With Giants OC Mike Kafka

The Seahawks’ list of head coaching candidates continues to grow. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team requested a head coaching interview with Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.

[RELATED: 2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Following a successful first season in New York, Kafka emerged as a serious head coaching candidate last offseason. The coordinator garnered interviews with the Cardinals, Texans, and Colts for their head coaching jobs, but he ended up sticking with the Giants for the 2023 campaign. Thanks in part to injuries, the Giants offense ended up being one of the worst in the NFL this past season. The offense ultimately ranked 29th in yards and 30th in points scored.

That performance didn’t stop the Giants from retaining Kafka, and it hasn’t stopped HC-needy teams from pursuing the former Chiefs staffer. Kafka has already interviewed for the open head coaching position in Tennessee.

Now we can add Seattle to the list of suitors. Kafka guided Saquon Barkley to one of his most productive seasons in 2022, and it’d be interesting to see what he could do with the talented Kenneth Walker/Zach Charbonnet tandem in Seattle.

The 36-year-old coach joins four definitive candidates and one rumored candidate in Seattle:

Titans Request HC Interviews With Antonio Pierce, Four Others

Ousting a popular defensive-minded coach, the Titans are starting off their search to replace Mike Vrabel by sending to interview requests to defense-oriented staffers.

Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Cowboys DC Dan Quinn and Raiders interim HC Antonio Pierce have received requests to meet with Titans brass about the newly vacated job, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport report. This represents more of the same for Glenn, a candidate over the past two years, but new territory for Pierce, who is in only his second season as an NFL coach. Quinn will interview for the job virtually Wednesday, per SI.com’s Albert Breer.

Additionally, Pelissero notes Giants OC Mike Kafka received a Titans interview summons. Ravens DC Mike Macdonald is also on the Titans’ request list, per Schefter. Both young coaches have surged onto the radar in recent years, with Macdonald riding more momentum at this point.

Pierce is on the radar to keep his job in Las Vegas, but the Raiders are understandably targeting higher-profile names. Jim Harbaugh is in the mix to reunite with the first team to give him a shot as an NFL coach, though Raiders HC interview requests have not emerged yet. The franchise is working on its GM role first. Pierce represents an unorthodox candidate, having been moved from linebackers coach to interim HC. The former Super Bowl-winning linebacker had resigned from his Arizona State DC post in 2022, amid an investigation into recruiting violations during the COVID-19 pandemic, but went 5-4 as Raiders interim HC.

Quinn has been a popular figure on the past two coaching carousels, but the Cowboys’ DC jumped off both rides. He had aimed to land the Broncos’ HC job in 2022, but the franchise went through on what became one of this era’s biggest mistakes by hiring Nathaniel Hackett. Producing two more high-end Cowboys defenses since, Quinn now could have a chance to return to the team that raised his profile. The Seahawks have moved on from Pete Carroll, and Quinn — Seattle’s DC from 2013-14 — is expected to be a lead candidate.

Glenn and Quinn overlap in interview requests during this cycle. In addition to the Titans, both have received requests from the Chargers and Commanders. Glenn has managed to attract steady interest despite his Detroit defenses not rivaling Quinn’s Dallas groups in terms of rankings. The Lions have not produced a top-half ranking in scoring or total yardage in Glenn’s three seasons in charge, but the former cornerback is well-regarded — after a run as the Saints’ DBs coach — and interviewed for the Cardinals and Colts’ jobs last year.

Tennessee’s Kafka request is somewhat surprising. Although Kafka was in the mix for the Arizona, Houston and Indianapolis gigs in 2023, the Giants’ offense regressed this season. That said, the team produced a surprising playoff berth behind quality seasons from Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley in 2022. Jones’ injury wounded the Giants this season, as they tumbled from 15th to 30th in points from 2022-23. Still, the Titans will take a look at the former Chiefs assistant soon. No in-person coaching interviews can take place until after the divisional round. Kafka has called plays during both his Giants OC seasons.

Just 36, Macdonald did not receive any interview requests last year. The Ravens’ defensive performance in 2023 has changed the equation, elevating the play-caller’s stock. Baltimore led the NFL in scoring defense this season; Macdonald’s unit has ranked in the top 10 in both points and yards in each of his two seasons in charge. The longtime Ravens position coach-turned-Michigan assistant is on others’ interview lists as well, with the prospect of Baltimore losing both he and first-year OC Todd Monken in play.

Giants Fire ST Coordinator Thomas McGaughey; OC Mike Kafka, DC Don Martindale Likely To Be Retained

2:14pm: Further changes to the Giants’ staff are coming. Offensive line coach Drew Wilkins and his brother, defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins have been let go, Charlotte Carroll of The Athletic reports. Both staffers have a history with Martindale given their shared time in Baltimore, and the latter has publicly praised both on several occasions. For that reason, speculation continues to point to a Martindale departure even though Daboll suggested otherwise this morning.

10:30am: Changes have been made to the Giants’ coaching staff, but a degree of stability is set to remain in place. Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson have been fired, head coach Brian Daboll announced on Monday.

All three coordinator have been mentioned as potentially being on the hot seat, so McGaughey’s dismissal comes as little surprise. The 50-year-old’s NFL coaching career dates back to 2001, and he had a stint as an assistant with the Giants from 2007-10. He returned to New York after as the team’s coordinator in 2018 (following stints in that same role with the Jets, 49ers and Panthers), enjoying relative success early on.

In recent years, however, the Giants’ third phase performances have taken a turn for the worse. In 2023, New York finished 21st in terms of special teams DVOA, marking a continuation of the team’s underwhelming showings. Now, for the first time since Pat Shurmur‘s tenure as head coach, the Giants will need to find a replacement special teams coordinator.

Johnson followed Daboll to the Giants in 2022 after their shared time with the Bills. The O-line was a sore spot throughout the campaign, though, and New York allowed a league-leading 85 sacks. That figure is in part a result of the slew of injuries the Giants dealt with up front, but also a lack of development from certain young members of the unit. That includes right tackle Evan Neal, who struggled before missing the latter portion of the season due to an ankle injury which will require surgery.

Notably, though, Daboll added that he expects both offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Don Martindale to be retained for 2024. Both staffers were reported to be on the chopping block in November, something which came as little surprise given the team’s regression from its impressive playoff run in 2022. New York faced issues in the passing game both before and after Daniel Jones‘ ACL tear, leading to a 30th place finish in scoring (15.6 points per game).

The team’s defense did not fare much better under Martindale this season, and tensions between he and Daboll became a major talking point during the season. A November report from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer pointed to a parting of ways being likely given the Daboll-Martindale rift, something the Giants attempted to publicly downplay. Martindale himself has also stated an intention to remain with the Giants, and it now appears that will be the case.

Significant improvement on both sides of the ball will be needed by New York if the team is to avoid a repeat of this season’s shortcomings. Plenty of significant decisions loom, including one on the future of running back Saquon Barkley. Jones’ contract has also not quelled doubts about his Giants tenure beyond the 2024 campaign. While ownership is on board with general manager Joe Schoen‘s rebuilding efforts, Daboll appears to likewise be satisfied a largely intact coaching staff will be able to rebound in 2024.