The Bengals have already interviewed eight candidates (and attempted to meet with a ninth) for their head coaching position, but their search could expand in the coming days, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cincinnati has interest in assistants who were coaching during Wild Card weekend, but preferred not to disturb those coaches in advance of such critical games. While no new names have yet surfaced, potential candidates who coached this weekend Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Here’s more from the AFC coaching carousel:
- As had been expected, Richard will interview with the Dolphins and Jets today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “It doesn’t surprise me at all that clubs have the interest that they have in him,” said Jones. “There are no secrets in the NFL when it comes to people that can help you win football games. And he’s a winner.” Assistants preparing for a Wild Card playoff matchup aren’t allowed to interview in the week preceding said game, so Richard had to wait until Dallas completed its victory over Seattle on Saturday night. Richard is also meeting with the Buccaneers on Sunday.
- In a bit of record-keeping, the Dolphins announced that they completed their head coaching interview with Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen on Saturday, while the Browns did the same with Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Allen, 46, flopped as the Raiders’ head coach earlier this decade, but has transformed New Orleans’ defense from a laughingstock to a respectable unit over the past four seasons. Flores, meanwhile, interviewed for only one head coaching job in 2018 (Cardinals), but has lined up four sit-downs in the 2019 cycle (Broncos, Packers, and Dolphins in addition to Browns).
- Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler and linebackers coach Reggie Herring are drawing interest from around the league, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. However, both assistants are still under contract with Denver, and the Broncos presumably won’t let either leave until their new head coach decides if he wants to retain them. Kugler, previously the head coach at UTEP, joined Denver in 2018 and guided a Broncos front five which ranked as a top-12 unit in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate. Herring came to Denver in 2015 after having coached with Houston, Dallas, and Chicago.