The 2021 coaching searches are moving slowly, and that’s good

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Nearly two weeks after the end of the 2021 regular season, none of the eight franchises with a head-coaching vacancy have made a hire. (And, of course, moments after we publish this, someone will.)

The amount of patience being exhibited by the teams is unusual. How unusual?

Peter King explained on Friday’s PFT Live that, of the past 63 head-coaching vacancies before this year’s group, 53 of them resulted in a hire within two weeks after the end of the regular season.

It’s good that teams are taking their time, this time. The question becomes whether they’ll remain patient once the dominoes begin to fall. If, for example, one team hires a coach that other teams wanted, will other teams react by rushing to Plan B or Plan C or Plan Whatever?

The reality is that some of these hires will work, and some won’t. Some of these teams will be doing it all over again, sooner than later. But at least they’re each taking their time.

Part of the reality in this case could be that most teams didn’t enter the process knowing who they’d ultimately hire. As one source recently explained it, owners know who they’ll hire when firing the current coach, 70 to 80 percent of the time.

For now, 100 percent of the vacancies remain.

23 responses to “The 2021 coaching searches are moving slowly, and that’s good

  1. “”The question becomes whether they’ll remain patient once the dominoes begin to fall””.

    That’s exactly when things will heat up IMO.

  2. I would love to see a team go head coachless next season. My thoughts are their team’s record would actually improve. Once owners see how much of a waste of money it is to splurge on the next young hot coach, they’ll put division 3 coaches in and pay them in food credits at team facilities. Coaches don’t play. Don’t need to pay them.

  3. I don’t care who my team hires as coach & GM.

    What matters most to me is diversity, because I want to feel like a morally superior person.

  4. Mr. Davis just sign Harbaugh already–it isnt a secret, pull the trigger and get this dream team of coaches ready to take down the Hated Chiefs.

  5. in the end it’s a hiring decision no different than any other interview/job offer process – candidate interviews well with multiple relevant parties, candidate passes background check, candidate is thought highly of others outside organization, candidate has demonstrated results/track record – you do everything you can, but with hiring (especially from outside an organization) comes the inherent risk that things don’t work out for whatever reason

  6. Its too bad Matt Rhule was not fired and added to the number of new coaches who need to be hired but his time is coming but to this point genius David Tepper does not seem to have a clue????

  7. That tells me that there must NOT be that outstanding can’t miss candidate…
    That one guy that a team doesn’t want other guys to have…
    That odds are most if not all team needing a HC likely will settle for someone who will fail to produce wins and be fired 2-3 years from now…

  8. The biggest question that begs to be asked – Is the options for HC this year just that poor OR is it because of the pressure of society and the NFL to hire someone that isn’t the ‘common’ hire… You know, not like most of the other HCs….

  9. Maybe some of it is they are waiting to talk to Oc and dc of teams still in the playoffs. Guys in Buffalo, kc, and Tampa to be specific. I will also throw out there maybe Andy Reid will retire after this season. He has had health issues and his sons accident last year seemed to have changed his demeanor. He has been coaching a long long long time and maybe some of these coaches want to see if they can slide into a ready built franchise with a superstar qb…

  10. It’s good for teams that have their GM & HC. Everyone else will be playing catchup for FA and draft.

  11. Its bound to move slowly when you can’t get qualified candidates to interview.

    Were looking at you MN.

  12. Glad to see them looking around more than usual. How many times have we seen these pre-planned hires go poorly?

  13. This is all for show, there was criticism about the hiring process so the owners collectively have slowed things down. If you’re only hiring a coach and not a GM it shouldn’t take you two weeks to make a hire. You know you’re firing your coach before the season ends and you have an idea who the candidates are to replace him already

  14. Some teams are probably looking at candidates that are on teams still in the playoffs – but once the first team makes a hire I’m guessing open spots will fill quickly like the article mentions.

  15. I think someone hit the nail on the head that there could still be more vacancies. Andy Reid or Bruce Arians could retire. Those two organizations could promote from within, and maybe that’s what some of their assistants are waiting on. I wish the NFL would pause any coaching and front office interviews until the Super Bowl is over.

  16. I think there are a few reasons for the longer hiring process. As kcrobert10 pointed out, Reid could retire after the playoffs and perhaps Bieniemy moves up to fill the vacancy. Some of these coordinators of playoff teams could be saying they won’t decide until their season is over. Likewise, some owners may want to watch what happens in the playoffs. Maybe the Dallas game cooled people on Quinn and Moore.

  17. skoldaddy2020
    Jan 21, 2022, 8:38 AM PST
    I don’t care who my team hires as coach & GM.

    What matters most to me is diversity, because I want to feel like a morally superior person.

    +++++++++

    Pretty sure wanting to feel morally superior is all that’s require to be morally superior.

  18. mookie34 says:
    January 21, 2022 at 11:29 am
    I would love to see a team go head coachless next season. My thoughts are their team’s record would actually improve. Once owners see how much of a waste of money it is to splurge on the next young hot coach, they’ll put division 3 coaches in and pay them in food credits at team facilities. Coaches don’t play. Don’t need to pay them.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Really? So no need to pay the team doctors, airplane pilots/bus drivers, training staff, equipment managers, etc… Right? They don’t play either.

  19. The cases of Nagy, Rhule, Urban Meyer, Joe Judge, and the guy the Texans fired among others have proven that a pretty big determining factor for being a viable NFL HC candidate is to have already been an NFL HC. But because most NFL HCs who come available are in that situation because they weren’t successful enough previously, that comes with its own risks. On the other hand, if you are taking the path of hiring a hot coordinator to his first NFL HC gig you had better be damn certain he’s up to it, that he can put a decent staff together under him, and that his success as a coordinator can’t be attributed primarily to the HC above him or the players under him. With the money that’s now being attached to NFL HC contracts, owners and GMs have more to lose than ever if they get their pick wrong so I can very much see why they are being more deliberate now than they may have been in the past.

  20. Well yeah, the season is not even over…….a lot of the good coordinators are still coaching.

  21. If they are using a structured interview process (e.g., Topgrading) they have a much higher likelihood of finding the correct candidate. Most organizations don’t know how to hire, and that extends to the NFL.

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