Raheem Morris

2023 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, 10 NFL teams hired new head coaches. Following the Panthers, Broncos and Texans’ hires, this year’s vacancy count sits at two. Last year’s Saints and Buccaneers moves, however, showed these job openings can emerge at unexpected points.

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

Updated 2-2-23 (1:20pm CT)

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Latest On Broncos’ Coaching Search

As the offseason enters its fourth week, this Broncos ownership group’s first coaching search looks to have skidded off track. A host of updates have emerged in recent days regarding the new owners’ HC pursuit, but the team’s preferred candidates are mostly out of the picture.

Jim Harbaugh loomed as a frontrunner early but bowed out of the race, while Dan Quinn was well-regarded during his time in the derby. He recommitted to the Cowboys for a second straight offseason. The Texans look to have the inside track for DeMeco Ryans, who had gained steam with the Broncos late last week. For the time being, the Sean Payton-to-Denver talk has faded.

While CEO Greg Penner flew to Ann Arbor to meet with Harbaugh, the meeting caught other Broncos HC candidates off-guard, according to The Athletic’s Mike Sando (subscription required). Harbaugh said the Broncos’ job would be the one he’d want if he returned to the NFL, with this stance emerging not long after the longtime Michigan HC recommitted to his alma mater. But the Broncos are not believed to have made an offer. Harbaugh remains at Michigan, and Denver’s set of second-tier candidates do not appear closer to landing the job.

Despite this rocky search, Troy Renck of Denver7 notes the other batch of candidates the Broncos have met with — Rams DC Raheem Morris, former Lions HC Jim Caldwell and ex-Stanford HC David Shaw — have not gained momentum for the job. With DC Ejiro Evero also not being connected to the post since interviewing nearly three weeks ago, this would leave Payton still atop the team’s wish list. Indeed, the Caldwell-Evero-Morris-Shaw contingent has been informed no second interviews are on tap, 9News’ Mike Klis notes.

Payton made the Broncos his first interview; that occurred more than two weeks ago. Initial reports indicated Payton was behind the new Broncos ownership contingent, but a subsequent offering suggested pause. Payton directly refuted that he feared a power struggle with one of the team’s new owners, and the former Super Bowl-winning HC addressed his status over the weekend. The door remains open for Payton, per Renck, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport suggested the franchise still wants to swing for a “big, big, big” hire.

Payton, 59, is the only candidate who would seem to fit that description, and other teams may be realizing they will not be able to entice him to leave FOX this year. Linked to preparing a big Payton push, the Panthers hired Frank Reich. The Cardinals adding a host of new candidates Monday points to them realizing Payton is likely an unrealistic goal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com offered during a Pat McAfee Show appearance (video link). Payton interviewed with the Cardinals on Thursday. It will take a first-round pick and at least some Day 2 selections to pry Payton’s rights from New Orleans, but the way this search is going, hints of desperation may soon come out of Denver.

If the Broncos cannot lure Payton from FOX, they will either need to circle back to what appear to be their lower-tier candidates or add names to the list. As of Monday night, no new names are on the radar, Klis reaffirms, adding the Broncos will not send the Saints two first-round picks for Payton. That was a rumored Mickey Loomis ask weeks ago. For a team that entered the offseason preparing an “ultra-aggressive” search for an experienced HC to execute a turnaround, this figures to be a pivotal week for its new ownership contingent.

Broncos, Jim Harbaugh Met Over HC Vacancy; Team To Expand HC Search?

JANUARY 29, 9:40pm: Troy Renck of Denver7 is in line with the NFL Network pair in terms of the new names being added to Denver’s search with things having not gone according to plan so far. However, 9News’ Mike Klis reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos are actually still focused on their original list of candidates who are still available, and that “there is a plan” the organization is on course to follow. In any case, Denver will be a key team to watch as the HC story unfolds in the coming days.

JANUARY 29, 7:30am: Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com hear that, even after Harbaugh’s announcement that he would be remaining at Michigan, he continued to have conversations with Penner and Broncos GM George Paton. Penner did not make an offer to Harbaugh during last week’s summit, though it does not appear that the door to a Harbaugh-Denver partnership is closed quite yet. Indeed, Harbaugh has reportedly said that the Broncos’ job is the one that he would want if he elects to return to the pros.

Both NFL.com and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter) say that the Broncos could begin to expand their head coaching search given that some of their top choices in Payton, Harbaugh, Ryans, and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn are either out of the running entirely or no longer appear to be likely options. If that happens, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan could get a call, and the club has reportedly done research on Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.

In addition, NFL.com reports that candidates like Raheem Morris, David Shaw, Jim Caldwell, and Ejiro Evero could all be back in play, although Troy Renck of Denver7 suggests otherwise (Twitter link).

JANUARY 28: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was once again one of the names most commonly floated as a candidate in advance of this year’s NFL head coaching cycle. However, he ultimately remained committed to staying in Ann Arbor for at least the 2023 season, a decision which seemed to mark the end of his involvement in discussions surrounding the league’s remaining vacancies.

Despite that, Broncos CEO Greg Penner flew to Ann Arbor to meet in person with Harbaugh last week, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The latter interviewed with Denver virtually as part of their initial list of candidates to replace Nathaniel Hackett; his experience made him – along with Sean Payton – a serious contender for the position before he made it official he will once again stay at the college level.

As Schefter notes (and several others have since corroborated), the sit-down was primarily a matter of Penner doing his due diligence with Harbaugh. Denver’s HC search has been far more methodical this offseason than the one in 2022 which resulted in Hackett being hired for his first opportunity as a bench boss. His marked lack of success in that post has, in part, steered the organization towards an experienced coach. Harbaugh no longer being in the running could change that to an extent, especially if Payton ends up on another staff or remains as a Fox analyst for the 2023 season.

Harbaugh, 59, interviewed with the Vikings last year and was connected to the openings in Denver, Carolina and Indianapolis in 2023 prior to his announcement confirming he will still coach the Wolverines. In the wake of that decision, the Broncos have shifted their attention to the likes of defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans. The latter seems to be a top target for Penner and Co., though signs are now pointing to him being the frontrunner for the Houston vacancy.

That could put more pressure on the Broncos to land Payton, something which would require draft compensation being sent to the Saints and a sizeable contract being doled out for his services. Earlier this week, however, Payton’s second interview with Denver was put on hold, so uncertainty remains on all sides in that situation. In any case, Schefter adds that some feel this cycle was likely be the last in which Harbaugh was a serious candidate to re-join the NFL coaching ranks, though this in-person meeting suggests he could still draw interest in 2024.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Jim Irsay Still Pushing For Jeff Saturday Hire; Eric Bieniemy, Raheem Morris In Mix

The Colts lost seven of their final eight games, finishing 4-12-1. The team had not lost seven games to close out a campaign since its inaugural season in 1953. But Jim Irsay still looks to be pushing to keep Jeff Saturday, the interim head coach he stunned the NFL by hiring in November.

Saturday is going through his second interview Wednesday, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, who adds as many as seven candidates will advance to the second round of interviews (Twitter link). That list includes Ejiro Evero, and ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano tweets Rams DC Raheem Morris will receive an in-person meeting. The Colts held virtual interviews with 13 candidates — the most of any HC-seeking team this year — but Irsay was not involved in those sessions. He will be there for the second interviews.

Irsay said in November he hoped Saturday would stay on as a full-time HC, and although no team has made an interim coach a full-time hire since the Jaguars removed Doug Marrone‘s interim tag in 2017, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson notes Irsay is still pushing for Saturday. More pushback has emerged, however. Just as Irsay confidants attempted to dissuade him from hiring Saturday two months ago, Anderson adds (via Twitter) those close to the owner are again attempting to convince him Saturday is the wrong choice.

Indianapolis should also be expected to meet with Eric Bieniemy and special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone for a second time. Each remains in the mix, Graziano adds, though no second interviews with either have been scheduled. Bieniemy has generated extensive OC interest around the league, being connected to open jobs and likely on the radar for some that will soon be available, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes the longtime Chiefs OC is focused on potential HC gigs. Only the Colts, however, have interviewed him for their job.

Some around the league believe this will come down to Bieniemy or Saturday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds. Considering the backlash both the Saturday hire and Bieniemy’s extended time on the HC carousel have each generated, the Colts choosing Saturday in that instance would create more controversy.

Andy Reid has been the Chiefs’ primary play-caller since 2013, and while Bieniemy has been labeled as a poor interviewer at points during his long run as Reid’s right-hand man, the fifth-year OC has been in place in this role throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ QB1 stay. Considering Mahomes is about to win a second MVP award and will do so after the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill, that should reflect well on Bieniemy. Judging by the Arizona, Carolina, Denver and Houston searches, however, teams are not closely connecting the Reid lieutenant to such success. Bieniemy and Colts GM Chris Ballard worked together during the latter’s time in the Chiefs’ front office, though Fowler adds the Saturday-Irsay relationship continues to loom over this process.

Ballard ran the first set of Colts HC interviews, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes, adding that Carlie Irsay-Gordon (Jim’s daughter) has played a key role throughout this process as well. Ballard attempted to talk Irsay out of the Saturday hire in November and admitted as much this month. It should be expected the seventh-year GM will keep pushing for a different hire, but Irsay obviously will make the final call. This process should drag into next week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (video link).

Saturday promised extensive changes if he were to land the full-time job. He offered ex-Frank Reich staffers Scott Milanovich and Scottie Montgomery OC duties, but each turned down the job. That led to assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier receiving the opportunity. The Colts started three QBs during Saturday’s stay (Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Sam Ehlinger) but only won one game under interim coach. The team’s NFL-record collapse in Minnesota and other shaky performances did not exactly give Saturday momentum coming out of the season. If Irsay bucks staffers’ advice and goes in this direction again, it would make for one of the most interesting decisions in coaching history.

Latest On Sean Payton

JANUARY 22: A league source tells Ben Volin of the Boston Globe that, since the Chargers’ head coaching job will not become available this year, the Panthers’ and Texans’ posts will be of most interest to Payton. In Volin’s opinion, the fact that Wilson called Payton to sell him on the Broncos’ job is not a good omen for Denver, and if Payton were to be lured to Houston, he may ultimately push general manager Nick Caserio out and take over as de facto GM. Both Houston and Carolina have the cash to pay Payton the salary he wants.

JANUARY 20: Payton’s Panthers interview has not been cancelled. He will meet with the team Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. That will be the former Saints HC’s third interview in a week. He met with the Texans on Jan. 16 and Broncos on Jan. 17.

JANUARY 19: The Broncos search for their fifth head coach since 2014 has been rolling this week as the franchise moves quickly and effectively in their plans. Denver’s three-person team of Broncos CEO and owner Greg Penner, owner Condoleezza Rice, and general manager George Paton has been cruising through initial interviews with a potential plan to move one to three finalists forward for second interviews next week, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS.

Most speculation is that a final three is emerging, similar to last year’s trio of finalists which consisted of Nathaniel Hackett, Kevin O’Connell, and Dan Quinn. The obvious frontrunner in his year’s search is former Saints head coach Sean Payton. Quinn is projected to join Payton as a finalist for the second straight year, while former Stanford head coach David Shaw is reportedly a sleeper candidate to round out the top three.

Payton interviewed on Tuesday and appears to have lived up to the hype in the meeting. Contradicting earlier reports that the Broncos and Saints were “on the same page” with respect to the trade compensation necessary to acquire Payton’s contract, Klis avers that the two parties “have not engaged in trade talks.” There is also a rumor that, despite interest from essentially every other team in the NFL with an open position, Payton will either end up with the Broncos or back on television with FOX, a belief reported by Denver7’s Troy Renck.

Payton was scheduled to interview with Carolina tomorrow, but those plans are “on hold” as Panthers owner David Tepper is spending time with the grieving players of his MLS team, Charlotte FC, following the passing of young defender Anton Walkes in a tragic boating accident today in Miami, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Russell Wilson has reportedly reached out to Payton, according to Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd who was quoted on his show saying, “Wilson has contacted Sean, legally, by the way, through channels. He wants Sean Payton. He needs fixing. He knows he needs fixing.”

Following their Tuesday morning meeting with Payton, the interview trio met with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris who impressed them “with his preparation and plan to win.” The same three executives interviewed 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans today in San Francisco and will travel to Dallas for a meeting with Quinn tomorrow. This will conclude the initial interview process, and Denver will choose candidates moving forward out of the above-mentioned Payton, Quinn, Shaw, Morris, and Ryans and previously interviewed candidates Ejiro Evero, who is the team’s current defensive coordinator, and Jim Caldwell, who formerly served as the Colts and Lions head coach. The team also previously interviewed Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, but Harbaugh announced his decision to remain in Ann Arbor.

Whomever the franchise decides to move forward with will meet with a new group of executives consisting of Penner, his wife and co-owner Carrie Penner Walton, and controlling owner Rob Walton. Paton will reportedly also be available to spend time with the final candidates and participate in follow-up discussions.

It’s certainly sounding like Payton will be one of the few to move forward next week as both parties sound hellbent on the union. That being said, Quinn is being considered a “co-favorite” and Shaw’s Stanford connections to the Penners and Rice make him a candidate to be brought in next week, as well. We’ll just have to wait through the weekend to see how the next round in the process unfolds.

Sean McVay To Remain With Rams

The Rams are no longer awaiting word on Sean McVay‘s future. After rumblings he was going to leave after six seasons surfaced, McVay is shooting that talk down. He will come back.

McVay informed members of the Rams organization he plans to stay in place as the team’s head coach, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). The team gave McVay space to make his decision, and he took a few days. Despite the Rams’ 5-12 finish and a run of injuries gutting their depth chart this season, the Super Bowl-winning HC will attempt to pick up the pieces in 2023.

Rams COO Kevin Demoff said the team had a contingency plan, with the Los Angeles Times’ Gary Klein indicating defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and tight ends coach Thomas Brown almost certainly resided as McVay fallback options. Both coaches are up for other positions, but each could also return as top McVay lieutenants next season. McVay is considering staff changes, Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo add (via Twitter).

Still the youngest head coach in the NFL, McVay has received extensive interest from networks for prime analyst roles. Even part-time work would have satisfied certain networks, giving McVay a lucrative out from his Rams post. The wunderkind coach confirmed he is interested in pursuing a TV career at some point. Amazon and Fox wooed him last year, but he turned each down and signed an extension that made him one of the league’s highest-paid coaches. It appears the 36-year-old leader will stay on that contract and attempt a Rams reload.

A Sunday report pointed to McVay being likelier to step away, though The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue indicated some among the Rams believed he would ultimately come back (Twitter link). The Rams sent out an ominous message earlier this week, letting their assistants know lateral moves to other teams, as McVay pondered his future, would not be blocked. While it does sound like staff changes are coming — one we know will happen is at the offensive coordinator post, after Liam Coen returned to Kentucky — several key Rams staffers will likely be back.

McVay’s arrival in Los Angeles turned the Rams from the league’s worst passing offense to the NFL’s top scoring team, resulting in a 2017 playoff berth and Coach of the Year honors. Proving to be one of the modern game’s premier offensive minds, McVay accomplished that feat at 31, led the Rams to the Super Bowl at 32 and won it at 35, putting himself on a trajectory to become one of the game’s all-time greats — should he choose to stick around long enough to bolster his resume. The Rams are 60-38 under McVay, but they did just complete the worst Super Bowl title defense in history.

Last year, the Rams extended Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp. By December, none of those stars were available. The 2022 season flipped the Rams’ injury fortune, with offensive line setbacks also crushing the team. L.A. started four quarterbacks, including waiver claim Baker Mayfield. Stafford, 35 in February, said he has no plans to retire. The Rams prioritized a healthy Stafford offseason — after 2022’s featured nagging elbow trouble — and used Mayfield down the stretch. Donald, who joined Kupp as the drivers of the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI win last year, also made it clear McVay played a major role in his decision not to retire last year.

The Rams will face familiar problems in 2023: no first-round pick (they do have a second-rounder this year) and a cap-space figure projected to be near the bottom of the league. These issues have not deterred the McVay-Les Snead regime from continually fielding strong teams, but 2023 — when Kupp will join Donald and Stafford as over-30 standouts — may be more challenging.

McVay leaving the Rams could have brought an organization-altering change, considering the value he has presented the team over the past six years. Checking this box will be the most important, and the Rams can now move on to staff and roster matters as they attempt to assemble a fifth playoff team in the McVay era.

Broncos Schedule Sean Payton Interview

The Broncos will be the first team to meet with Sean Payton during this year’s hiring period. The parties will get together for an interview in Los Angeles.

Payton surfaced on the Broncos’ radar weeks ago, and the team will meet with the former Saints HC on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Broncos are not the only team expected to interview Payton this year, but they were the first to receive permission from the Saints to do so.

[RELATED: 2023 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Prior to the Cardinals and Texans receiving permission from the Saints to interview Payton, the Broncos discussed the Super Bowl-winning coach with the NFC South club. The sides reportedly agreed on compensation in the event of a trade for Payton’s rights — a first-round pick and more — but it is not known exactly what it would cost for Denver to pry the highly regarded play-caller from New Orleans. No coach has been traded since the Chiefs acquired Herm Edwards from the Jets (for a fourth-round pick) in 2006. Bigger prices for HCs (Jon Gruden, Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Mike Holmgren) were required over the previous decade, however.

In the team’s first coaching search headed by its new ownership group, the Broncos are preparing to be “ultra aggressive” in landing a leader this time. The Broncos went with first-time HCs with each of its past three hires — either brought in by John Elway or current GM George Paton — but they are prioritizing experience this time around. Paton is part of the Broncos’ search, but new CEO Greg Penner is running it. Through a football lens, that is a rather interesting setup. But Penner has effectively stripped some of Paton’s power, announcing the next head coach will report to him and not the third-year GM.

Payton and Jim Harbaugh are believed to be the frontrunners here, with Cowboys DC Dan Quinn in the mix as well. Though, it remains to be seen if either Payton or Harbaugh are ultimately interested. Rob Walton‘s checkbook may well impact that. The Broncos have interviewed Harbaugh, DC Ejiro Evero, ex-Stanford HC David Shaw and former Colts and Lions HC Jim Caldwell. They are planning to meet with Rams DC Raheem Morris and 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans as well. The Broncos’ previously reported Morris meeting will take place later Tuesday in L.A., Schefter tweets. The team does not have any other interviews scheduled, Mike Klis of 9News tweets, adding that Quinn and Ryans are expected to interview next week as well.

No more Payton interviews are scheduled, but Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football adds all five HC-needy teams have reached out to the Saints about their former coach (Twitter link). Cardinals and Texans meetings could follow, and the prospect of Payton waiting out the Chargers or Cowboys playoff results — to see if jobs he was initially linked to open up — should be in play as well. Payton staying at FOX and waiting until next year will obviously be a consideration as well.

Jim Harbaugh Early Frontrunner For Broncos HC Job?

The Broncos’ second HC search in as many years is producing bigger headlines compared to their 2022 process, with Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh regularly connected to the team. A Payton interview is expected, and the longtime Saints coach has spoken with the team. But Harbaugh is further along.

The Michigan coach interviewed with the Broncos virtually Monday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link). The team has sent out other interview requests, and its long-expected interview with defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero occurred Tuesday. But Harbaugh might have an early leg up. The eight-year Michigan HC is the early leader here, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets.

This pushes back on Payton-to-Denver being a done deal, despite the Broncos and Saints having agreed on compensation for the current FOX analyst’s rights. A Payton move — believed to cost a first-round pick and more — would further deplete Denver’s draft arsenal, which the Russell Wilson trade already affected. The Broncos acquired a first-rounder in the Bradley Chubb trade but do not have a second-rounder this year. Denver did not make a first-round pick last year, with the Seahawks obtaining it for Wilson. Harbaugh, nor any of the other known Broncos candidates, would not cost any draft capital.

Despite Harbaugh’s proclamation that he expects to coach Michigan again in 2023, The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner notes (via Twitter) the former 49ers HC is believed to be eager to return to the NFL. Harbaugh, 59, said he has unfinished business in the league, and the belief is he will strongly consider a return to the league this year. Harbaugh is interested in taking the Denver job, Mike Sando of The Athletic adds (subscription required).

Harbaugh was supposed to interview with the Broncos later this week, but Renck notes the parties bumped it up, making him the first to meet with Denver’s new ownership about the position. Harbaugh certainly carries a feather-ruffling reputation, and Renck adds some among the Broncos have bristled at the notion Harbaugh could become the team’s next coach. A clash with GM Trent Baalke helped lead Harbaugh out of San Francisco eight years ago.

The Panthers are no longer believed to be pursuing Harbaugh, per Sando and The Athletic’s Joe Person, and the Colts — rumored to have interest — have not set up an interview with the ex-Indianapolis QB. These developments clear an early path for the Broncos. Harbaugh interviewed for the Vikings job last year but was not offered, and a recent ESPN report indicated Michigan is under investigation for potential violations. That could help explain Harbaugh’s urgency to give the NFL another shot.

Payton would bring more to the table from an offensive scheming standpoint, something that will be critical as the Broncos attempt to move Wilson back on track. But Harbaugh’s .695 win percentage — in four 49ers seasons — ranks sixth in NFL history. Evero also worked with Harbaugh during each of his four seasons in San Francisco, opening the door — barring the first-year DC landing another HC job; the Colts and Texans are interested — for the Nathaniel Hackett hire to stay on in his current post. The Broncos have also sent out interview requests for 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans, Cowboys DC Dan Quinn and Rams DC Raheem Morris. The two-year Rams defensive boss is set to interview Jan. 17, which doubles as the earliest date the Broncos can meet with Payton.

Colts Request HC Interviews; Jeff Saturday Wants To Stay

On display knocking the Packers out of the playoff race, the Lions finished off a remarkable turnaround this season. Early interest is coming in for Dan Campbell‘s coordinators.

Following a Texans interview request, OC Ben Johnson received another from the Colts, whom Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) are interested in speaking with Lions DC Aaron Glenn. Jeff Saturday is believed to remain in the equation for Jim Irsay‘s team, but the owner said last month he looked forward to meeting with a host of candidates for the gig. The Colts will also attempt to meet with Rams DC Raheem Morris, per CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones (on Twitter), and Eagles OC Shane Steichen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

This run of HC interest represents quite the rise for Johnson, who started last season as Detroit’s tight ends coach. For Glenn, the HC interest comes a few months after rumors of his potential ouster as Detroit’s DC surfaced. The Lions, however, completed an incredible bounce-back effort by going from 1-6 to 9-8.

Glenn’s defense did not cross the finish line with particularly strong marks. The Lions’ late-season surge still ended with their defense in last place in yards allowed and 28th in scoring. A crucial December loss to the Panthers ended with Carolina setting franchise records in total yards and on the ground. Still, the development of players like Aidan Hutchinson, James Houston, Jeff Okudah and Kerby Joseph reflects well on Glenn, who was up for the Saints’ HC job that went to Dennis Allen last year. Glenn, 50, took over Lions DC duties in 2021 but spent the previous five years on Sean Payton‘s staff.

Jared Goff finished the season fifth in QBR — by far the highest placement of his career — and closed his second Lions campaign with a 29-7 TD-INT ratio. Behind one of the league’s better offensive lines, Jamaal Williams also put together a 1,000-yard season that ended with him leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns (17 — a number that broke Barry Sanders‘ 31-year-old Lions record). Johnson, 36, has gone from never calling plays at any level prior to 2022 to being a sought-after interviewee.

Morris, a former Buccaneers coach and Falcons interim HC, wrapped his second season as the Rams’ DC. While 2022 proved to be a rough year for the defending Super Bowl champions, Morris’ work shaping the 2021 Rams’ defense will still make him an intriguing candidate. Morris, 46, has experience coaching on both sides of the ball at the NFL level. Mostly a defensive coach, he helmed the Falcons’ wide receivers from 2016-19.

The Texans also requested a Steichen meeting, but the Eagles’ continued growth on offense — as Jalen Hurts morphs from a player with long-term questions to a surefire extension candidate — has been expected to generate looks for their play-caller. Ex-Colts OC Nick Sirianni gave Steichen play-calling duties midway through last season, and the 37-year-old assistant drove the team to becoming the league’s top rushing attack. The Eagles rank third in total yards and points this season, and Hurts took a major leap as a passer.

Despite the Colts completing their worst regular season in at least 11 years, Irsay has stumped for Saturday on multiple occasions since making the controversial hire. Saturday wants to stay on as head coach, Mike Chappell of CBS4 notes, adding that while no interview has been scheduled one should be expected. It would be odd (and wildly unpopular) for the coach in charge of the Colts’ first seven-game losing streak to end a season since the team’s 1953 expansion year would stay on, but that scenario remains in play.

Broncos Request HC Interviews With Dan Quinn, Raheem Morris, DeMeco Ryans

The list of candidates for the vacant Broncos’ head coaching role continues to grow. Denver has formally requested an interview with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). In addition, Mike Klis of 9News tweets that the Broncos have reached out for permission to speak with Rams DC Raheem Morris and 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans. 

The Quinn news comes as no surprise, given the degree to which he has been linked to Denver this offseason and last. The former Falcons HC was one of the top candidates in the 2022 coaching cycle, taking part in interviews with the Broncos but also the Bears, Dolphins, Vikings, and Giants.

Choosing to remain in Dallas for one more year proved to be a fruitful one for Quinn. The 52-year-old led Dallas to a solid showing in most defensive categories, including the fifth-fewest points allowed per game (20.1) and the league’s third-highest sack (54) and seventh-highest interception (16) totals. He has experience as a head coach (something widely thought to be a top priority for the Broncos after their disappointing results in recent years with rookie HCs), and has familiarity with Russell Wilson given their shared time in Seattle.

Morris, likewise, has a lengthy NFL resume including a three-year stint as head coach of the Buccaneers and time spent alongside Quinn in Atlanta. He has held his current role in Los Angeles for the past two years, and helped guide the team’s defense during their Super Bowl win last year. The 46-year-old has been named as a candidate to replace Sean McVay should he step away from the Rams, but he is also a likely to be highly sought-after from outside teams as well.

The same is expected to hold true of Ryans, 38. He has been a member of San Francisco’s staff since 2017, working his way up to the DC role last year. Over the course of the past two campaigns, the 49ers have boasted an elite unit on that side of the ball, making Ryans a serious head coaching candidate in short order. With San Francisco being playoff-bound, he, like Quinn, will not be eligible to interview with the Broncos until next week at the earliest, should Denver be granted permission to do so.

The Broncos already have their first set of interviews lined up, with current DC Ejiro Evero and, virtually, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. The addition of Quinn, Morris and Ryans to their list of candidates – which also includes, of course, Sean Payton – will make the Denver search one to watch in the coming weeks.