Eight weeks nonetheless stay within the NFL common season, but we already know that no less than two groups — the Panthers and Colts — can be out there for head coaches. Others will seemingly be part of them.

Carolina fired Matt Rhule on Oct. 10 and named Steve Wilks the interim head coach. Wilks, who was in his first season because the Panthers’ defensive passing sport coordinator and secondary coach, has gone 3-3 since his promotion. Indianapolis determined final week to chop ties with Frank Reich and elevate workforce guide Jeff Saturday to the interim job. Saturday, regardless of having no professional or school soccer teaching expertise, beat the Raiders 25-20 in his first sport in his new function.

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We’ll see over the following two months whether or not both will carry out effectively sufficient to earn the everlasting job. In the meantime, officers of these groups, and others probably contemplating a head teaching change, will carefully monitor the work of the NFL’s prime assistants whereas drafting their checklist of potential candidates.

Some assistants from this yr’s prime squads already are on the radar. With sturdy finishes to the common season and postseason, they will strengthen the opinion of their our bodies of labor whereas positioning themselves to interview for extremely coveted head teaching positions.

Here are among the main assistants to look at throughout the homestretch of the common season and because the firing and hiring window approaches.

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Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has head teaching expertise, main the Vikings from 2010-2013. (Mitch Stringer / USA Today)

Leslie Frazier, Bills defensive coordinator

The 63-year-old Frazier once more leads one of the crucial dominant defenses within the sport, and is without doubt one of the most certified candidates on the market, with 24 years of NFL teaching expertise and one other 11 years on the school stage. The former defensive again is thought to be a powerful chief and as a strategic defensive thoughts. In his earlier stint as a head coach (2010-2013 in Minnesota), Frazier had one playoff look.

DeMeco Ryans, 49ers defensive coordinator

The 38-year-old former Pro Bowl center linebacker has established himself as one of many NFL’s finest defensive coordinators. He boasts an distinctive really feel for the sport, sturdy communication expertise and management qualities that trigger NFL insiders to consider it’s solely a matter of time earlier than he’s directing his personal workforce.

Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator

Quinn, 52, has 19 years of NFL teaching expertise, together with six as a head coach and 4 as a coordinator. His Cowboys unit ranks sixth in factors allowed (18.2), eleventh in whole yards (324.8) and first in sacks (35). Quinn went 43-42 as head coach in Atlanta (2015-2020) with a Super Bowl look in Year 2.

Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator

As Andy Reid’s right-hand man, Beieniemy, 53, is a part of the mind belief behind one of many league’s most prolific offenses the final 5 seasons. Yet the previous working again has been handed over for head teaching positions repeatedly. Reid stood on the desk for him throughout final spring’s house owners’ conferences. Is this the yr Bieniemy lastly will get the nod?

Byron Leftwich, Bucs offensive coordinator

The 42-year-old Leftwich’s star has dimmed barely because the Buccaneers offense regressed whereas coping with free agent and retirement losses and a rash of early accidents. But the previous NFL quarterback has thrived general as an OC in Tampa Bay, the place his items have ranked among the many prime 10 in whole offense in every of the final 4 years. A finalist for Jacksonville’s head gig final winter, Leftwich is more likely to have suitors this offseason as effectively.

Jonathan Gannon, Eagles defensive coordinator

The 39-year-old Gannon has directed a top-10 protection in every of his first two seasons with the Eagles. This yr, his unit ranks third in whole yards (299), first in opposition to the go (177.6) and third in factors (16.9).

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Shane Steichen might not be the one head coach candidate from the Eagles. (Bill Streicher / USA Today)

Shane Steichen, Philadelphia offensive coordinator

In two seasons as Nick Sirianni’s offensive coordinator and play-caller, Steichen has been instrumental within the growth of Jalen Hurts and the improved effectiveness and explosiveness of the Eagles’ offense. Philadelphia is ranked fourth in yards (376.9) and third in factors (27.3).

Jerod Mayo, New England linebackers coach

The former Pro Bowl linebacker and Super Bowl champion ranks amongst Bill Belichick’s prime assistants and garnered consideration within the final head teaching hiring cycle. Mayo, 36, helps oversee a protection that ranks seventh in factors allowed (18.4) and second in sacks (32).

Kellen Moore, Dallas offensive coordinator

Moore, 33, has been among the many extra intriguing assistants for a number of years now whereas serving to run a Cowboys offense that in 2021 led the league in each yards and factors. The former backup quarterback is seen as a pointy offensive thoughts whereas displaying rapport with quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush.

Others to look at

Things can change shortly from yr to yr. Last offseason, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and tight ends coach/assistant head coach Thomas Brown each had curiosity from groups, however the battered defending Super Bowl champs at the moment are struggling mightily. Patrick Graham is in the same state of affairs. After attracting curiosity within the final hiring cycle whereas defensive coordinator of the Giants, he finally accepted the identical job with the Raiders. But with Las Vegas struggling, it’s exhausting to know if Graham can be a head coach candidate once more this offseason. The similar could be stated of Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

Pittsburgh assistant coach Brian Flores boasts head teaching expertise and led the Dolphins to profitable information in two of his three seasons, however groups may draw back from him due to his ongoing discrimination lawsuit in opposition to that workforce, Giants, Broncos and the NFL itself.

One extra identify to regulate: Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, 38, who interviewed for the Denver head teaching place final season and this season directs a unit that ranks eighth in yards and sixth in factors. He may, nevertheless, want a bit of extra seasoning.

(Top photograph of Eric Bieniemy: Michael Reaves / Getty Images)



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