After a few weeks of scattershot speed dating, NFL teams and head coaching candidates are starting to pair off. Tuesday was, quite possibly, one of the most consequential days on the carousel in quite a long time. Let’s get you up to speed…
Three teams have either made confirmed hires, or are exchanging vows at the altar. Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur is the new head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury is the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. And Bruce Arians is likely sipping a Crown Royal after dotting the I’s on his four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That leaves five jobs left, a few of which could start moving quickly. Here’s where they stand:
Browns: The team is reportedly between offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and longtime Vikings assistant Kevin Stefanski. Kitchens would presumably have the edge given that we know how he can operate with Baker Mayfield. Stefanski, though, has risen quickly and has been blocked from taking bigger jobs before while under Mike Zimmer.
Broncos: Denver is between Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak. Munchak was head coach of the Titans from 2011-13, while Fangio has been a perennially overlooked coordinator with decades of experience. His potential hiring has been compared to the Vikings finally taking a chance on Zimmer after a storied career as a defensive assistant or coordinator.
Jets: Adam Gase seems to be the name to watch, according to the New York Post. An interesting tidbit in this piece: Mike McCarthy may end up sitting out 2019, taking time to regroup after a long tenure in Green Bay. Could there be some fascinating jobs opening in 2020 he could have his eye on?
Bengals: Could it be between former staffers Vance Joseph and Hue Jackson? Teammate Albert Breer has the Bengals down to some familiar faces.
Dolphins: A source tells the Miami Herald that Patriots de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores is at the top of their list. Miami seems to be the quietest team so far, which might make sense given that the Patriots have to lose before they can truly put the full court press on.
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NOW ON THE MMQB: Jenny Vrentas went to L.A. for the Wade Phillips experience. … The Cardinals landed on Kliff Kingsbury as the man for the head coaching job weirdly fast, writes Jonathan Jones. ... Inside the NFL hiring process with former Packers exec Andrew Brandt. … Nick Foles did it again. What happens next?
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Inside the Vikings’ 2018 season. … Vrentas’ definitive piece on the insanity that happens while a coach is preparing for interviews. … The great Charlie Pierce on Lamar Jackson.
1. Are the Raiders seriously flirting with San Diego for 2019?
2. Former Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter already has a new job, as Matt Ryan’s newest offensive coordinator in Atlanta.
3. Why the Seahawks beat themselves against the Cowboys.
4. For those expecting Trevor Lawrence to join the Alliance of American Football: Not so fast.
5. Josh McDaniels has taken his name back off the board, and will remain in New England.
For those in need of some brainless entertainment, here’s a man opening more than $1,000 worth of baseball cards.
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