Vance Joseph

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. With Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints, there are now nine full-time vacancies available this year. After Thursday’s news, two of those openings (Denver and Chicago) have been filled, and a major candidate in Dan Quinn has decided to remain in Dallas. Friday saw another name scratched off the list, with the Giants making their HC hire.

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

Updated 1-28-21 (10:0pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Vikings Request Permission To Speak With Six More Coaches About HC Job

And like that, we’ve got a growing list of candidates for the Vikings HC job. Following news that the Vikings requested permission to interview Todd Bowles for the gig, we’ve learned that the organization requested permission to interview six additional coaches:

  • Jonathan Gannon, defensive coordinator (Eagles) (via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter)
  • Nathaniel Hackett, offensive coordinator (Packers) (via Pelissero on Twitter)
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Cowboys) (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter)
  • Kevin O’Connell, offensive coordinator (Rams) (via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Twitter)
  • Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator (Cowboys) (via Pelissero on Twitter)
  • DeMeco Ryans, defensive coordinator (49ers) (via Pelissero on Twitter)

Five of those coaches have already been connected to other HC vacancies, but this is the first reported interview request for Ryans. The former NFL linebacker has been on the 49ers coaching staff since 2017, and he was promoted to defensive coordinator last offseason after Robert Saleh left for New York. During his first season in the role, the 49ers defense ranked third in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed.

Of course, the Vikings may not be sticking with only seven candidates. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin tweets that the Vikings have also explored the candidacy of Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

Per Pelissero (on Twitter), the Vikings are hoping to find a replacement for former GM Rick Spielman before they hire a replacement for former HC Mike Zimmer. However, considering the anti-tampering rules, the Vikings only have until Sunday to interview coaches on byes, so they have reason to speak with someone like Hackett ASAP. The Vikings plan to kick off their GM interviews on Sunday, with Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort first in line.

Dolphins Request HC Interviews With Cardinals’ Vance Joseph, Cowboys’ Kellen Moore

Vance Joseph has enjoyed some eventful years since leaving Miami in 2017. The Dolphins, however, are interested in bringing the veteran defensive coach back to south Florida.

The Dolphins requested a head-coaching interview with Joseph, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. This follows the team’s interview summons for Brian Daboll, Mike McDaniel, and Dan Quinn. Joseph, however, has more familiarity with the franchise. This marks Joseph’s first connection to an opening this year.

In addition to the Joseph inclusion, the Dolphins sent out a request to meet with Cowboys OC Kellen Moore, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Prior to taking the Broncos HC job, Joseph spent the 2016 season as the Dolphins DC. That did not go particularly well, with Miami ranking 29th in total defense that year. Nevertheless, Joseph impressed enough to beat out Kyle Shanahan to become Denver’s HC. The Broncos fired him after two years, however. Joseph went 11-21 in Denver, starting the franchise’s run of sub-.500 seasons. Joseph, 49, has run the Cardinals’ defense since 2019. Following two relatively mediocre seasons, Arizona’s defense has turned it around in 2021, including them ranking seventh in passing yards allowed.

Moore inked a three-year extension with the Cowboys towards the close of the 2020 season, but he’s remained a hot name in coaching circles. The rival Eagles requested an interview with him in January of 2021 before ultimately going with Nick Sirianni.

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury Clears COVID Protocols

Oct. 24: Kingsbury has cleared COVID-19 protocols and will be on the sidelines for today’s game against Houston, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Cards are in search of a 7-0 start, and they are heavily favored to defeat the one-win Texans.

Oct. 16: The Cardinals are looking to improve to 6-0 tomorrow, but they won’t have their head coach on the sideline. Kliff Kingsbury has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t coach tomorrow’s game against the Browns, per NFL.com.

[RELATED: Chandler Jones Land On Reserve/COVID-19 List]

According to the team, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers will share head coaching duties during tomorrow’s contest. Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter), Kingsbury will “script as much as he can” prior to the game, but the organization will be relying on a collaborative approach when the script inevitably goes awry. Garafolo notes that QBs Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy will even have a say on offensive play calling.

We heard earlier this week that edge rusher Chandler Jones had tested positive, and he’s unlikely to play tomorrow after showing symptoms. The team will also be without GM Steve Keim, who tested positive and won’t make the trip to Cleveland. QB coach Cam Turner and defensive tackle Zach Allen also tested positive and won’t travel with the team.

As a result of the positive tests, the Cardinals are now dealing with “enhanced COVID-19 protocols,” but the NFL doesn’t have any intention of rescheduling or postponing tomorrow’s game.

Browns, Colts Did Not Match Cardinals’ J.J. Watt Offer

The Cardinals came out of the J.J. Watt sweepstakes a surprise winner. It took a two-year, $31MM deal, with $23MM guaranteed, for Watt to head to the desert. This was not the only offer the former Texans great received.

A report indicated the three-time Defensive Player of the Year turned down more money from the Browns and Colts. However, that may not be the case. Both 2020 playoff teams did not top the Cardinals’ offer, according to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot and The Athletic’s Stephen Holder (on Twitter).

The Browns were viewed as an early Watt finalist, and while the team may well have been in it until the end, Cabot notes Cleveland’s offer did not reach the $15MM-AAV place. The Browns’ proposal likely landed in the $12MM-per-year range, per Cabot. Under Chris Ballard, the Colts are known for their patience with free agency and trades — as was the case with the team’s Matthew Stafford talks — and Holder wonders if the team was even a high bidder for Watt.

Watt targeted a team with a sound quarterback situation. The Cardinals have that box checked in Kyler Murray, with Watt indicating Tuesday that his belief in the young dual-threat star helped lead him to Arizona (Twitter links via ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss). Cardinals DC Vance Joseph, who was with the Texans during Watt’s early years in Houston, is believed to have led the Cards’ recruitment effort, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Watt confirmed Joseph was a key factor in his decision to head west.

Cleveland still intends on adding a major piece to team with Myles Garrett, while Indianapolis currently resides in the top five in cap space. The Browns and Colts, respectively, have Olivier Vernon and Justin Houston on track for free agency. The Colts have not ruled out re-signing Houston — whom they gave a two-year, $24MM contract in 2019 — but he will turn 32 this year.

Cardinals To Hire Vance Joseph As DC

Vance Joseph will join the Cardinals as their new defensive coordinator, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. The Cardinals have since announced the addition of Joseph, also noting Ohio State linebackers coach Bill Davis will take the same job in Arizona.

Joseph wasn’t successful during his run in Denver (11-21 record), but he was viewed as a desirable defensive coordinator during his time with the Dolphins in 2016. He’s generated plenty of DC interest thus far in 2019: Joseph had been set to interview for the Browns’ DC position today, and was reportedly in contention for the same role under Adam Gase in New York. He also met with the Bengals regarding their head coaching job, but Cincinnati has since gone with Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor.

Arizona and first-time NFL head coach Kliff Kingsbury had been searching for a veteran defensive coordinator, and they’ll get that in Joseph. Other reported candidates for the job included former Packers DC Dom Capers and ex-Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, but it doesn’t appear either ever actually interviewed for the job.

The Cardinals had indicated they’d look for a coach who would run a 3-4 defense, but that hasn’t been Joseph’s specialty. While he kept the Broncos’ 3-4 in place when he was hired as Denver’s head coach, Joseph used a 4-3 look as the Dolphins’ DC in 2016.

Browns To Interview Vance Joseph For DC

The Browns will interview former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph for their vacant defensive coordinator position on Friday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Browns To Interview Jim Bob Cooter For OC]

Joseph wasn’t successful during his run in Denver (11-21 record), but he was viewed as a desirable defensive coordinator during his time with the Dolphins in 2016. He’s generated plenty of DC interest thus far in 2019: Joseph interviewed for the Cardinals’ coordinator job on Thursday, and is reportedly in contention for the same role under Adam Gase in New York.

Joseph is also technically still in contention for the Bengals’ head coaching position. He’s familiar with Cincinnati management after spending two years in town as the club’s defensive backs coach, but if he were the Bengals’ choice for head coach, the announcement likely would have already been made. Joseph isn’t under contract with any team after being fired by Denver, so there’s nothing stopping the Bengals from hiring Joseph immediately.

Cleveland and new head coach Freddie Kitchens are seeking to find a replacement for former defensive coordinator/interim head coach Gregg Williams, who was dismissed following Kitchens’ ascension on Wednesday.

Cardinals To Interview Vance Joseph

Former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph will meet with new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury on Thursday to discuss the team’s defensive coordinator position, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). As the first candidate to speak with Kingsbury, it appears that Joseph has a good opportunity to land the job.

Of course, Joseph is still in the mix for the Bengals’ head coaching search, which also includes Eric Bieniemy, Hue JacksonBill LazorTodd Monken, Darren SimmonsZac Taylor, and Shane Waldron. Despite Joseph’s lack of success in Denver, he’s believed to have a real chance of becoming Cincinnati’s next head coach.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals are also said to be considering the 68-year-old Dom Capers as a potential defensive counterpart to Kingsbury.

Coaching Rumors: Jets, Stefanski, Schiano

Former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph is a “strong candidate” to become the Jets‘ defensive coordinator under new head coach Adam Gase, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). While it doesn’t sound as though New York has officially reached out to Joseph yet, the connection makes sense, as Joseph served as Gase’s DC in 2016 before landing the top job in Denver. Joseph interviewed for the Bengals’ head coaching job and remains a candidate there, but the Jets clearly present something of a fallback plan.

On the offensive side of the ball, Dowell Loggains — who worked under Gase with both the Bears and Dolphins — is expected to be involved in Gase’s staff, tweets Jeff Darlington of NFL.com. However, Loggains is still technically Miami’s offensive coordinator and will need to get out of his contract, per Rapoport (Twitter link).

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods has drawn interest as a defensive backs coach from both the Redskins and Jaguars, and as many as three teams are eyeing Woods, possibly even as a coordinator, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Denver had not been allowing its assistant coaches take interviews with other teams, but that will change now that new head coach Vic Fangio is in place. Fangio is a defensive coach by trade, so he may take on play-calling now that he’s in Denver. Even if he doesn’t call plays himself, Fangio might want to bring in his own DC, so Woods is certainly in limbo. A longtime defensive backs coach, Woods took over the Broncos defense in 2017.
  • In returning as the Vikingsfull-time offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski inked a two-year deal, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link). Stefanski is now signed for longer than head coach Mike Zimmer, whose contract expires after the 2019 campaign. The 36-year-old Stefanski took over as Minnesota’s OC after John DeFilippo was fired, and lead the club’s offense for the final three games of the regular season. Despite that limited track record, Stefanski was a serious candidate for the Browns’ head coaching position, finishing second only to Freddie Kitchens.
  • New Packers head coach Matt LaFleur will likely implement much of his own staff, at least on the offensive side of the ball, but one incumbent Green Bay staffer has already received an offer to stick around. LaFleur wants tight ends coach Brian Angelichio to stay with the Packers, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Angelichio worked with Kyle Shanahan on the 2014 Browns’ staff, meaning he has experience with the Sean McVay/Shanahan/LaFleur offense. He’s been with Green Bay since 2016.
  • Klint Kubiak is receiving “strong consideration” for the Broncos‘ quarterbacks coach job, tweets Klis. Kubiak is the son of Gary Kubiak, the former Denver head coach who was today installed as the club’s offensive coordinator under new head coach Vic Fangio. Klint Kubiak, 31, began his coaching career at Texas A&M before moving to the Vikings in 2013. He joined the Broncos in 2016, serving as an offensive assistant focusing on quarterbacks.
  • In announcing defensive coordinator Greg Schiano‘s departure from Ohio State, head coach Ryan Day said Schiano would be pursuing “options in the NFL” (Twitter link). That’s certainly a vague statement, and doesn’t indicate Schiano has a specific job lined up, but he could be in consideration for DC or position coach gigs around the league. Head coach of the Buccaneers from 2012-13, Schiano was rumored to have generated NFL interest at this time last year, but he ultimately stayed at OSU.

Vance Joseph To Have Two Day Interview With Bengals

Vance Joseph‘s head coaching interview with the Bengals will take place over the course of Thursday and Friday, a source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s perhaps an indication that Joseph is high on the Bengals’ list as they get their search underway.

Joseph had a rough two years as the head coach of the Broncos, and nearly lost his job in Denver after one season, but he has history with the bengals. Joseph served as the club’s defensive backs coach in 2014 and 2015, guiding his unit to an NFL-leading 41 interceptions during that time.

Joseph was expected to be a top defensive coordinator candidate in this cycle, but the Bengals apparently believe that he can thrive as a head coach in the right environment. If this doesn’t shake out, however, it’s hard to see Joseph being a top head coaching candidate elsewhere after the Broncos took a nosedive in 2017 and 2018.

The Bengals have also reached out to Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and Rams offensive staffers Zac Taylor and Shane Waldron. There are also in-house candidates in the mix such as Bengals OC Bill Lazor and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons.