Mike McCarthy

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

Jerry Jones Reaffirms Commitment To Mike McCarthy

Ever since his decision to step away from coaching the Saints, Sean Payton has been connected to a number of positions around the league. Among those is a reunion with the Cowboys, but owner Jerry Jones is once again backing the team’s incumbent HC. 

Payton spent three season as Dallas’ QBs coach before being hired by the Saints in 2006. His tenure in New Orleans included the franchise’s lone Super Bowl title, but it came to an end this January. He won’t coach in 2022, instead trying his hand at broadcasting. The 58-year-old has still be linked to other, future, coaching roles during the offseason, however.

Chief among those is the reported deal in place with the Dolphins which would have seen him join Miami alongside Tom Brady if not for Brian Flores‘ racial discrimination lawsuit. More generally, his name has been used in discussions of Mike McCarthy‘s future with the Cowboys.

After a 6-10 campaign in 2020, the former Packers HC led the team to an NFC East title last season. That success was overshadowed by an underwhelming playoff loss, however, leading some to speculate that McCarthy could be on the way out. In the aftermath of their elimination, though, Jones made clear his support of the former Super Bowl winner. Jones reacted similarly when the idea of bringing Payton back came up again.

“Sean Payton shouldn’t be out there” he said, via Clarence E. Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram“For him, the Cowboys, that’s just sheer out of the air. It’s well known we’re good friends and we think a lot of him as a head coach. But in this case… he shouldn’t be a conversation piece.”

While Jones added that “it’s also an eternity between right now and next year,” his commitment to McCarthy for 2022 is obvious. The Cowboys have a number of new faces – particularly along the offensive line and in the receiving corps – to work with for the upcoming campaign, one in which expectations will once again be high for the team. McCarthy’s performance will no doubt affect the future of his tenure, but for now it is safe.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Commanders, Staff, Toney, Giants, Eagles

The Cowboys and Commanders each ran afoul of NFL offseason rules during their OTA workouts this year. As a result, each team will lose 2023 practice time and each squad’s head coach received a six-figure fine. Both Mike McCarthy and Ron Rivera received $100K fines for workouts deemed over the line, the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins and ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano note (Twitter link). Washington will be short two OTA days in 2023 due to excessive contact. This marks the second consecutive year McCarthy received a fine for offseason overwork. He received a $50K fine last year, with the Cowboys being docked $100K and a 2022 OTA for 2021 violations. The Cowboys will be docked one OTA day in 2023. OTAs do not hold the role they once did, and teams have begun to limit offseason activities on their own. The Eagles will go into training camp after not holding a mandatory minicamp. But Dallas and Washington will need to make minor adjustments to their 2023 offseason schedules.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Injuries wrecked the Giants‘ offense last season, sidelining starters at just about every position. Some new issues cropped up this offseason. Neither Kenny Golladay nor Kadarius Toney participated fully at any point during Big Blue’s offseason program, per NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt, who adds Toney is dealing with a new knee injury (Golladay’s issue is unknown). Toney injuries have become a recurring problem for the Giants. Ankle, oblique and quadriceps issues limited Toney to 10 games last season, one that began after he missed most of training camp due to a hamstring problem. This year’s camp becomes more important for the 2021 first-rounder as a result of last year’s run of setbacks.
  • Toney still projects as part of Brian Daboll‘s first 53-man roster; Darius Slayton might not. The Dave Gettleman-era investment has been mentioned in trade rumors, and The Athletic’s Dan Duggan views the former fifth-round pick as unlikely to be part of this year’s Giants edition (subscription required). The Giants are likely to continue shopping Slayton up until cut day, Duggan adds, as he would be their No. 5 receiver if everyone is healthy. Almost no one in the team’s top four (Golladay, Toney, Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson) being healthy could point to Slayton staying. Shepard is still recovering from the Achilles tear he suffered last season. A two-time 700-yard receiver, Slayton is due a $2.54MM salary in 2022.
  • Both Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates were lost for the season early in the Giants’ miserable 2021 slate. While Lemieux is favored to start at left guard this season, Rosenblatt notes Gates might not return to action at all this season. This is not an out-of-the-blue development. Then-HC Joe Judge said Gates’ leg fracture sustained in Week 2 of last season could be career-threatening. That said, a report earlier this year gave Gates better odds at returning. The Giants gave Gates — a 16-game center starter in 2020 — a two-year, $6.82MM extension two years ago. But offseason addition Jon Feliciano is ticketed to take over at center.
  • The Eagles lost nearly all of their high-ranking front office staffers this offseason, seeing four of them leave for assistant GM gigs elsewhere. One of those, Andy Weidl, is now Omar Khan‘s right-hand man in Pittsburgh. Weidl worked with the Eagles for more than six years, and although he took over the team’s VP of player personnel post after Joe Douglas became the Jets’ GM in 2019, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes Howie Roseman did not give Weidl as much input as Douglas had. This became an understandable source of friction for Weidl. The Eagles went in a different direction with their new Roseman right-hand men, promoting staffers without traditional scouting backgrounds (Jon Ferrari and Alec Hallaby) to assistant GM posts.

NFC East Rumors: Cowboys, McClay, Minshew, Eagles

Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones participated in an interview with a local Dallas radio station on Friday in which he aired out some of his frustrations with the team’s 2021 season. He vocalized some frustrations about one of the team’s top cap hits, wide receiver Amari Cooper, not playing up to his contract. Charean Williams of NBC Sports wrote a bit about how Jones’s views could affect Cooper’s future with the team.

Jones voiced some problems he’s had with how and when the coaching staff decides to deal with issues plaguing the team, frustrated that these issues aren’t normally addressed until the season is over. While the ESPN article by Todd Archer held some harsh words from Jones, it doesn’t appear at this point that head coach Mike McCarthy‘s job is in jeopardy this offseason.

Here are a few more notes on the NFC East, starting with another item out of the Lone Star state:

  • Cowboys’ vice president of player personnel Will McClay reached an agreement with the team, signing a three-year contract extension to remain with the Cowboys earlier this month. Those who follow the franchise know McClay plays a large part in the Dallas front office. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report it on Twitter, ending speculation that the longtime-Cowboy staffer may pursue one of the open general manager positions.
  • After the Eagles’ Week 18 loss in a meaningless game against the Cowboys, quarterback Gardner Minshew, who started the game as Philadelphia wanted to rest an ailing Hurts, gave an interview in which he detailed a meeting from earlier in the season that he had with head coach Nick Siranni. After leading the Eagles to a win over the Jets in Week 13, Minshew questioned Sirianni on what it would take to beat out Hurts for the starting job permanently. Mike Kaye, of NJ.com, reveals how Minshew gained some insight on his position with the team, as well as some perspective from being on the team to begin with.
  • Following the Eagles’ playoff loss in Tampa Bay, 11-year veteran and four-time first-team All-Pro Jason Kelce suggested that this past NFL season may be his last. As a guest on a Philadelphia sports-radio show Thursday, Sirianni gave a peek inside his own negotiations to keep Kelce active. “I sent him two kegs of beer yesterday,” Sirianni revealed. “As long as he wants to go, we want him to go. And I’ll be trying to convince him every single day that I can to come back and play.” In an NBC Sports article, Dan Roche detailed the rest of a very complimentary conversation with the Eagles’ head coach.

Cowboys Expected To Keep HC Mike McCarthy

In the aftermath of yet another early playoff exit, some are wondering if the Cowboys should move on from second-year head coach Mike McCarthy. While changes are expected at one – if not both – coordinator positions in Dallas’ coaching staff, it appears that he is not in danger right now. 

While speaking on 105.3 The Fan, executive vice president Stephen Jones was asked about his confidence that McCarthy would be back. As reported by the Athletic’s Jon Machota (via Twitter), Jones’ response was: “absolutely. Very confident”. In the immediate aftermath of the team’s 23-17 loss to San Francisco, owner and GM Jerry Jones said “I don’t even want to discuss anything like that at this particular time”, but his son’s comments today certainly point to McCarthy staying on for at least a third season at the helm.

The senior Jones’ overall level of dismay was clear in his other postgame remarks. As ESPN’s Todd Archer reports, Jones said, “I’m really disappointed for our fans. They really deserved to see this team advance on into the playoffs”, as was expected to an even greater degree of this season’s squad. The loss marks the Cowboys’ seventh one-and-done appearance in the postseason within a stretch of eleven straight times falling short of the NFC title game.

Public expressions of confidence in McCarthy are hardly new. Stephen Jones stated in December his faith in the 58-year-old to lead the team on a Super Bowl run. After an injury-riddled 6-10 campaign in 2020, McCarthy’s second year in charge went much better: a 12-5 record, an NFC East title, and optimism surrounding a loaded offense and surprisingly resurgent defense. Sunday saw an alarming lack of discipline and execution, however, leaving the Cowboys with an early offseason once again.

The aforementioned Machota writes that McCarthy should share a large deal of blame for the loss. He notes that the Cowboys were the most penalized team in the NFL during the regular season, something that was a factor on Sunday as they were flagged 14 times. Wondering aloud if the Cowboys are simply an undisciplined team, Machota writes “they certainly looked like one Sunday. They look unprepared, too. And those things ultimately fall on McCarthy”.

It is widely expected that some form of change will be coming on the Cowboys’ staff. The list of candidates for the eight head coaching vacancies league-wide includes both OC Kellen Moore and DC Dan Quinn, the latter being touted as the favorite for the Broncos’ job. As for McCarthy himself, he provided a similar response to those of his bosses with regards to his job security: “I don’t have any concerns. I’m proud to be standing here today. I’m proud of my football team”. Considering the ten-year run Jason Garrett had in the role previously, it would not come as a surprise if the Super Bowl XLV champion McCarthy was given a fair amount of leeway in his early years with the Cowboys.

Coaching Searches Starting To Come Into Focus

As the playoffs begin, some teams are narrowing in on their preferred targets. Some teams don’t need to worry about the playoffs because their candidate isn’t participating, while others may just be waiting until their candidate’s season is over.

Jason La Canfora, of CBS Sports, reported that former Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores is considered the favorite to get the Texans’ open head coaching position. He suggests that firing David Culley may have been a reaction to Flores’s surprising availability. Both firings came as a shock to NFL media, so it’s not outrageous to assume that the Texans saw Flores get cut loose and decided to make a bold move of their own.

Flores and Texans’ general manager Nick Caserio worked together as scouts in the Patriots’ system. Flores won eight of his final nine games in Miami this year, showing a promising potential. Not to mention that Flores was a factor in Deshaun Watson waiving his no-trade clause for the Dolphins earlier this year, before that deal fell through. The Texans have other candidates, but Flores has interviewed with the Bears and will continue to be a target for other teams, so Houston will likely want to secure their target sooner, rather than later.

Tom Pelissero, of NFL Network, reported that Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is looking like the favorite to replace Vic Fangio in Denver. This situation is a little more fraught. The connections aren’t quite clear. Obviously Quinn’s resume speaks for itself as he made it to the Super Bowl with Atlanta and has helped develop an impressive, young Cowboys’ defense, but the Broncos just fired a defensive-minded coach in Fangio and it’s a bit surprising to see them double-down on that philosophy.

There’s also the issue that, unlike Flores, Quinn isn’t currently available. He hasn’t even interviewed with any teams. Even when he does, it seems those teams may be in competition with his current employer. La Canfora put out a report that Dallas holds Quinn in such high regard that they might be willing to move on from current head coach Mike McCarthy in order to secure Quinn as his successor.

There’s plenty of moves to be had and plenty of time for it all to play out. Be sure to follow all our updates on the 2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Latest On Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy’s Job Status

Mike McCarthy‘s second season in Dallas could be his last unless his team is able to put together a playoff run. Adam H. Beasley of ProFootballNetwork.com reports that McCarthy’s Cowboys may need to make it to the NFC Championship Game if the head coach wants to keep his job.

As Beasley explains, Jerry Jones will soon be 79, and the owner is unwilling to show as much patience as he did with former head coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys’ 6-10 record in 2020 left a lot to be desired, and while that record was obviously impacted by Dak Prescott‘s injury, another disappointing campaign could spell the end of McCarthy’s tenure in Dallas. If the Cowboys do underachieve, Jones may be ready to start over with a new head coach as he pursues that elusive championship.

Further, Beasley notes that some within the organization are “a bit dubious” about McCarthy’s coaching staff hires. The head coach has brought in four former Packers staffers (Joe Philbin, Joe Whitt Jr., Jeff Blasko, and Scott McCurley) since he’s been in Dallas, and the writer implies that some within the organization have been less than thrilled with the additions.

McCarthy has already slightly revamped his coaching staff in anticipation of the 2021 season. This past offseason, the team let go of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and replaced him with former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. McCarthy will surely be hoping that the coaching change (coupled with Prescott’s return and the team’s offseason acquisitions) will change the team’s fortunes…and help him keep his job.

Cowboys, 49ers, Jags Penalized For OTA Violations

SATURDAY: It turns out the 49ers were not forced to cancel their final week of OTAs this year, with Schefter adding the team avoided such a penalty after having already canceled its final OTA session and its mandatory minicamp (Twitter link).

THURSDAY: Three organizations have been slapped with fines following OTA violations. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the league handed out the following punishments:

  • Cowboys fined $100K, HC Mike McCarthy $50K
  • 49ers fined $100K, HC Kyle Shanahan fined $50K
  • Jaguars fined $200K, HC Urban Meyer $100K

The three teams violated CBA rules focused on offseason workouts.

The Cowboys will also have to forfeit one of their OTA practices during the 2022 offseason, while the Jaguars will have to forfeit a pair of 2022 practices. The 49ers have already carried out their penalty; per Schefter, the NFL Management Council “ordered” the organization to cancel the final week of OTAs back in June. When we reported that the 49ers were cutting short their offseason program, the decision was attributed to injuries, as the team lost part-time starters Justin Skule and Tarvarius Moore for the season and running back Jeff Wilson for the next few months.

“The health and safety of our players is our highest priority, and we take following league rules very seriously,” the 49ers said in a statement today (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area on Twitter). “We will continue to work with the NFL and the NFLPA to ensure compliance.”

Cowboys: We’re Keeping Mike McCarthy

Despite speculation about his job security, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones says Mike McCarthy will “absolutely” be the head coach in 2021. In an interview with 105.3 The Fan, Jones placed more of the onus on injuries than McCarthy’s coaching. 

There will be absolutely no change with coach McCarthy, and I am surprised that someone would question Mike, these unprecedented situations that everyone’s been in on top of that,” Jones said. “No one is making excuses, but we have had some real challenges in the injury category. If you look at his track record and his pedigree, he’s consistently won year in and year out. We have the utmost confidence that this ship is going to be righted quickly, and Mike is going to be the leader of this group. He’s certainly a great head coach and I think we’re going to see that going forward. He’s a great head coach in this league, he’s accomplished a lot, and he’s going to accomplish a lot more before it’s all said and done.”

Jones’ vote of confidence comes on the heels of a morale-boosting 30-7 win over the Bengals. The competition had something to do with it, but the Dallas D gave McCarthy their best performance of the year. That definitely helps the coach’s case, but it probably won’t save defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. In his first DC role since 2014, the Cowboys D has been a total flop in 2020. The Cowboys — in the NFL’s cellar for points allowed – are expected to make some serious changes this spring, even though McCarthy will be spared.

Cowboys Expected To Retain HC Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy‘s first year as the Cowboys’ head coach has not gone well, to say the least. At 3-9, Dallas is at the bottom of the awful NFC East, so it’s fair to wonder if McCarthy’s job is in jeopardy.

About a month ago, team EVP Stephen Jones adamantly shot down the notion that he could look to move on from McCarthy at season’s end, but his club has been blown out by the Washington Football Team and the Ravens over the past two weeks, performances that have engendered plenty of conversation about the Cowboys’ effort and heart.

Nonetheless, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network hears that McCarthy will indeed be retained for the 2021 season (video link). After all, it would be difficult for any head coach to overcome the loss of his starting quarterback and the complete decimation of his offensive line, and while the uninspired play is cause for concern, it’s generally advisable to give a HC at least two years to get things moving in the right direction.

But even if McCarthy’s job is safe, there could be major changes on the way. One team source told Rapoport that “something has to change,” and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan could be on the outs. Nolan spent his last few seasons in the league as a linebackers coach and had not been in charge of a defense since 2014, when he wrapped up a three-year stint as the Falcons’ DC. His return to the coordinator ranks has been a disaster, as the Cowboys are near the bottom of the league in total defense and dead last in points allowed per game.

Nolan, 61, has a ton of experience, having served as a defensive coordinator with eight different franchises and as the 49ers’ head coach from 2005-08. But two of his terms as DC lasted just one year — the Jets in 2000 and the Broncos in 2009 — and it looks like the Cowboys will be the third team on that list.