Four of seven new coaches had only one interview in the 2021 cycle

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Seven teams, nearly a full fourth of the league, changed coaches during or after the 2020 season. Those seven teams requested a total of 58 interviews.

Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press has obtained the internal NFL football operations list of 2021 head coach interview requests. The interviews requested by (but not necessarily conducted by) each team appear below.

Falcons: Eric Bieniemy, Todd Bowles, Joe Brady, Nathaniel Hackett, Raheem Morris, Robert Saleh, Arthur Smith.

Lions: Darrell Bevell, Eric Bieniemy, Todd Bowles, Dan Campbell, Marvin Lewis, Robert Saleh, Arthur Smith.

Texans: Eric Bieniemy, Joe Brady, Jim Caldwell, David Culley, Matt Eberflus, Leslie Frazier, Tim Kelly, Marvin Lewis, Arthur Smith, Brandon Staley.

Jaguars: Eric Bieniemy, Urban Meyer, Raheem Morris, Robert Saleh, Arthur Smith.

Chargers: Eric Bieniemy, Joe Brady, Brian Daboll, Matt Eberflus, Jason Garrett, Robert Saleh, Arthur Smith, Brandon Staley.

Jets: Eric Bieniemy, Joe Brady, Brian Daboll, Matt Eberflus, Aaron Glenn, Patrick Graham, Marvin Lewis, Robert Saleh, Arthur Smith, Brandon Staley.

Eagles: Dennis Allen, Eric Bieniemy, Todd Bowles, Joe Brady, Jerod Mayo, Josh McDaniels, Kellen Moore, Robert Saleh, Nick Sirianni, Arthur Smith, Brandon Staley, Duce Staley.

The list reveals that, of the seven coaches hired, four of them (Campbell, Culley, Meyer, and Sirianni) had only one interview during the entire cycle.

Bieniemy ultimately was requested by all seven teams; however, the Eagles reportedly did not actually interview him. All teams except the Texans requested an interview with Saleh — who was one of the candidates recommended to ownership by quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Here’s the total interview requests by candidate: Eric Bieniemy (seven); Arthur Smith (seven); Robert Saleh (six); Joe Brady (five); Brandon Staley (four); Todd Bowles (three); Matt Eberflus (three); Marvin Lewis (three); Raheem Morris (two); Brian Daboll (two); Nathaniel Hackett (one); Darell Bevell (one); Jim Caldwell (one); Leslie Frazier (one); Tim Kelly (one); Jason Garrett (one); Aaron Glenn (one); Patrick Graham (one); Dennis Allen (one); Jerod Mayo (one); Josh McDaniels (one); Kellen Moore (one); Duce Staley (one); David Culley (one); Dan Campbell (one); Urban Meyer (one); Nick Sirianni (one).

That’s a total of 27 candidates for seven jobs. Of the 27, more than half of them, 17, had only one interview request. Ten had two or more.

The fact that more than half of the jobs went to candidates who had only one interview underscores the unique nature of each team’s decision-making process. When four of seven jobs go to candidates to whom none of the other six teams even wanted to talk, it shows that NFL owners are still going to do whatever they want to do.

For those four one-interview-only candidates, it will be very interesting to see whether the team that hired them made the mistake, or whether the other six who decided not to even ask to interview them did.

20 responses to “Four of seven new coaches had only one interview in the 2021 cycle

  1. “… owners are still going to do whatever they want to do.” I am not a business person so I’m not sure what this means — are the NFL owners supposed to do something different? Is there a different vetting process that most corporations do before hiring a leader? Someone help me by breaking down the significance of these numbers.

  2. When ANYONE invest their money into buying something, not one of them does it wanting others to tell them how they should run it….
    ‘NFL owners are still going to do whatever they want to do.’…. has people forgotten what the word owner means…. They know who they want running their team and they hire them…. If It is any other way then it isn’t really his team now is it

  3. All these people interviewing Eric Bienemy, but nobody wants to hire him after interviewing him….Strange given all the hype he gets.

  4. So what? Much like free agency, if a candidate impresses you, you don’t let them leave the building without a contract. If a candidate gets multiple interviews without an offer, it says more about their plan to turn the team around or their personality or their communication skills than anything else.

  5. I’d love to analyze this info from previous years. What’s the winning percentage of head coaches who only interviewed with the team that hired them versus the winning percentage of coaches who were interviewed by multiple teams

  6. This once again proves how data can be manipulated to fit a narrative. Take the four hired with only one interview. Urban Meyer would have been interviewed by ALL seven teams, he wanted Jacksonville to get the first pick. Ne was a Jets candidate until they won too many. Dan Campbell has had interviews before, so he was already on the head coach radar. I’ll give ya Sirranni and Culley, but C’Mon man, did you expect the Texans do do something inside of the box? The Eagles?, who have a long history of hiring outside the box? Andy Reed was not even a coordinator when he was hired by the Eagles. He was only a QB coach. But continue to beat the drum, even if the sticks are broke and the batter head has a crack.

  7. Look – if you run a business, you can hire whoever you want to – and forcing someone to hire a candidate they aren’t interested in is a recipe for disaster.

    And yes, in business – not just sports business, hires are made more often then you realize based on who knows who.

    Want to improve minority hiring? Create more networking opportunities outside of the hiring process. Create more opportunities for assistants to promote themselves – or be more visible . Stop teams from interviewing candidates until after the Super Bowl – leveling the playing field. Create a league wide high potential training program – as a means to fast track talented coaches.

    Be create – don’t legislate processes forcing people to do “token” interviews so that they can ultimately hire whoever they want. That does no one any good.

  8. Most owners have no idea about who to hire for their coach. They get information second or third hand. These owners all have phones, and they receive tons of advice. Most advice is self-serving. Then you have presidents and GM’s, many of whom are incompetent. It’s not that these people are trying to do something wrong. They mainly just don’t have any clue. We all generally get the same education every Super Bowl Sunday. The success of your franchise is mainly tied to your QB. It doesn’t really matter about the coaches, etc. But we’ve seen that when a winning QB has a white coordinator, he gets a head coaching job. They think the coach has something to do with it. When the winning QB has a black coordinator, then it’s all about the QB, and the coach had nothing to do with it. This definitely isn’t an NFL issue. This is the way the people in America were brought up. Nobody’s trying to be sneaky. That’s just how our minds have been programmed. It’s obviously a complicated issue because many don’t understand it, and the rest of us are afraid to acknowledge it. There’s nothing to feel guilty about. We were raised that way. It’s not an individual issue, it’s the society, and it’s not only in American society. How many Fortune 500 companies have black leaders? If you want to try to trend toward solving the problem, lobby for more education spending, and be patient. It’s not going to go away in one generation. If you don’t see the problem, keep the blindfold on. Ignorance is bliss.

  9. This is the biggest piece of garbage I have ever read. Just a load of manufactured crap.

    So 4 of the 7 head coaching positions went to coaches with only one interview. But 17 had only one interview. So that’s a success rate of about 25%.

    3 of the positions when to coaches who had multiple interviews. 10 coaches had multiple interviews. So that’s a success rate of 30%.

    What does that prove? That the people that interviewed had a 25-30% chance of getting hired. That’s it. Nothing else. Having only one interview does not mean you will not be hired. Having multiple interviews does not mean you will be hired.

  10. charliecharger says “But we’ve seen that when a winning QB has a white coordinator, he gets a head coaching job. They think the coach has something to do with it. When the winning QB has a black coordinator, then it’s all about the QB, and the coach had nothing to do with it.”

    Care to provide evidence of this? You seem to be making up a lot of stuff with sweeping generalizations like that.

  11. Owners are in the business of football. Lots of companies have horrible people running them. All business hire from within their own circle. As fans we seem to forget that 31 teams every year do not win a super bowl. 9 clubs have even been one or zero times.

  12. Here let me explain. These numbers show how owners satisfy the Rooney requirement before interviewing the candidate they intend to hire. The vast majority of multiple interviewees satisfies the Rooney rule requirement. The single interviews only interviewing with 1 team represents the candidate they intended to hire all along. Not being interviewed by other teams means nothing for them since their interview would not satisfy the rooney rule. 🤷‍♂️

  13. If I’m a billionaire who owns a team I will gladly interview eligible minorities. However, I hold the cards & will hire whoever I dam well please.

  14. I am sure every team has 1 or 2 candidates that they seriously consider and the other candidates are just to comply with the stupid Rooney Rule.

  15. So what. The guy who actually owns the team gets to make the decision not the media. Get over it already.

  16. You know, Mark Davis solicited – and received – a ton of advice, all directing him to hire Reggie MacKenzie as his GM shortly after his father died. So he did it. And a minority, to boot! And it was an unmitigated disaster, an excruciating 5 seasons of garbage coaching hires and hideous drafting for Raiders fans!

    Leave the owners alone. Let them make their hires, let them decide quickly whether or not they’ve done right and move on with the franchise.

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