No teams fired coaches before the opening of the early interview window

Chicago Bears v Seattle Seahawks
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When the NFL created for the first time a two-week head start on interviewing assistant coaches from other teams, the Monday after Week 16 became a potential hot spot for head-coach firings.

And so, of course, no coaches were fired on Monday.

So what happened? Each team that may be thinking about making a coaching change either didn’t make a final decision or decided not to implement the decision that secretly has been made.

Let’s start in Chicago. If, as many believe, the Bears will be making a coaching change, why not do it now? The easiest answer could be that the Bears are planning to make even more sweeping changes, with perhaps a new G.M. and a new team president. If the people who will be picking a new coach will be gone, there’s no reason to get a head start on looking for a new coach.

In Charlotte, where owner David Tepper may be thinking about making a change, perhaps Tepper wants to see what current coach Matt Rhule can do under extreme pressure and urgency. Or maybe Tepper knows who he wants and there’s no reason to start early on tracking down a coach for whom Tepper will overpay, as he did with Rhule.

For the Broncos, it makes plenty of sense to keep Vic Fangio for another year. He’s under contract through 2022, and the Broncos likely will be sold next year. Why tie the new owner’s hands with a major financial obligation that would perhaps be removed from the purchase price? Also, Fangio is doing pretty well this year. If the Broncos can attract a high-end veteran quarterback, they could be special next year.

In Minnesota, the Vikings remain alive for the postseason. As previously mentioned, there’s no obvious interim replacement on the coaching staff. Even if the Wilfs have decided to make a change absent a playoff berth, it’s too early to pull the plug.

For the Seahawks, it’s still unclear what owner Jody Allen will do. New coach? New quarterback? Both? Neither. Also, it’s possible that the Seahawks will have a hard reset, making a head start on searching for a coach irrelevant.

The window for interviewing assistant coaches from other teams remains open through the end of the season. It’s therefore possible that, for example, the Vikings will lose to the Packers on Sunday night and the Vikings will end it on Monday, allowing them to get rolling on Zoom interviews with potential replacements.

Regardless, with the end of the regular season 12 days away, the annual spate of changes will be coming soon.

19 responses to “No teams fired coaches before the opening of the early interview window

  1. Hopefully the Wilfs give Bienemmy a wide berth. We’ve had an OC that didn’t call plays before. Not interested. Plus if he hasn’t gotten a job by now, something is most obviously up with him.

  2. There’s no logical reason why there shouldn’t be a hiring freeze until after the super bowl. Let the coordinators concentrate on their jobs and give their best without distractions. It’s so simple to implement so of course the league won’t do it.

  3. Hopefully David Tepper will do the fan base a favor and fire Head Coach Matt Rhule to put an end to the dumpster fire as the Carolina Panthers are going nowhere and will not win another football game in the 2021 campaign. Goodbye.

  4. Tepper, like Khan and others, believes his success in one field makes him a genius who is capable of success in any field. It doesn’t work like that. Rhule, Meyer, etc. – completely over their heads as NFL coaches. Don’t look for these franchises to improve anytime soon.

  5. Joe Judge has earned the right to stick around longer. I like what I’m seeing from him and Dave Gettleman. These titans of football have built a foundation and should be permitted to finish construction. I want to see the Giants sign them both to 10 year contracts.

  6. The Vikings need to move on. I actually like Mike Zimmer, but his teams consistently under perform to their talent level. There is no way on earth they should be 7-8 with the talent they have. And it is a consistent story.

    He has reached his ceiling as a coach. Time to move on.

  7. To all the people saying you should do a hiring freeze until after the superbowl. That would be completely unenforceable. We have cell phones now, and disposable ones are cheap, not to mention that the NFL doesn’t automatically have a right to search someone’s personal cell phone. I guarantee you teams are talking to assistants right now, they’re they’re not doing it publicly / officially.

  8. This is ridiculous. No good coach right now for a contending team ought to be distracted right now with interviewing for a head coaching job for next year.

  9. Is there a Save Mike Zimmer fund out there somewhere? NFC North fans are interested in contributing.

  10. The Jags play should be Pederson and give him a couple of years to get Lawrence rolling and also wash the stink off left behind by Meyers.

  11. With covid putting many starters in quarantine, I think some coaches deserve a pass this year. Extenuating circumstances!

  12. tyreehelmetcatch says:

    December 28, 2021 at 11:42 am

    There’s no logical reason why there shouldn’t be a hiring freeze until after the super bowl. Let the coordinators concentrate on their jobs and give their best without distractions. It’s so simple to implement so of course the league won’t do it.
    Uhhh yes theres a simple logical reason. If teams changing coaches/gms have to wait til after the superbowl then your putting those bad teams at a greater disadvantage by not being able to start their offseason planning while all the other teams which were already better are able to start preparing. The problem is what YOU wrote was simple and only looked at 1 small angle not the whole pictur

  13. The coaches that are losing are losing because of bad personnel. It’s the GM’s that should be on the hot seat. I mean, did Bill Belichick go from the GOAT to a lousy coach last year, and suddenly Bruce Arians became the GOAT? Don’t laugh, unless you’re laughing at yourself. So if Belichick can’t win without a decent QB, why should anyone else be expected to?

  14. Sean Payton should be fired. Oh wait. He has a big QB problem. But if Sean can use that as an excuse, why can’t all the other coaches? Zimmer doesn’t have a QB. Nagy doesn’t either. All the good QB’s are making their coaches look good, and vice versa

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