Every year, names emerge in the media as potential head-coaching candidates. Every year, the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel creates a list of candidates for distribution to the teams.
Per a source with knowledge of the list, a total of 23 names appeared on it for the current hiring cycle. Eight former NFL head coaches were identified, including Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Broncos offensive line coach Mike Munchak, and Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Of those, only Lewis, McCarthy, and McDaniels received interviews (McDaniels technically hasn’t had one yet). McCarthy was hired to coach the Cowboys.
The list included seven coordinators who have never served as head coaches in the NFL: Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Bieniemy, Richard, Roman, and Saleh landed on the interview list of one or more teams. None has been hired yet.
College head coaches on the list include Clemson co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Tony Elliott, Penn State coach James Franklin, Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, Baylor coach Matt Rhule, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, Stanford coach David Shaw, and Colorado coach Mel Tucker. Rhule is the only one whose name emerged publicly. Others may have been courted privately.
Former Panthers (now Washington) coach Ron Rivera didn’t appear on the list, presumably because the list was made before Rivera became available. Former Patriots special-teams coordinator Joe Judge, now the Giants coach, is the only coordinator hired who was not on the list.