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Rams, Cardinals, Texans could have head coaching vacancies

By newadmin / Published on Sunday, 08 Jan 2023 22:46 PM / No Comments / 3 views

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The 2023 NFL coaching cycle will begin in earnest in the coming days. It figures to play out much differently than last year. Following a record-tying 10 head coaching vacancies last offseason, there might be only a handful of open slots this winter. 

“Because of so much carnage the last couple years, I think we’re only talking about six teams this year,” FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer said.

Three teams — the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos — are already vacant. Glazer said the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans and Los Angeles Rams could also be conducting coaching searches in the near future. 

The most surprising of those, of course, is Los Angeles, where 36-year-old coach Sean McVay is considering stepping down just one year after winning the Super Bowl.  

“There’s a question mark whether he comes back,” Glazer said. “I don’t think he’s going to take a long time to make his decision. People inside the building, you talk to them, they’d be more surprised if he came back than if he left.” 

Glazer said Arizona and Houston could be parting ways with not only their head coaches but their general managers. 

“Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury, I wouldn’t be surprised if both of them are gone,” Glazer said. “Lovie Smith and Nick Caserio, either one or both will be gone after this year.” 

Smith would be going out with a bang, having led the Texans to a last-second win via a Hail Mary and two-point conversion in Week 18 against the Colts that knocked Houston out of the top spot for the 2023 NFL Draft. The Colts secured a top-five pick after losing their seventh consecutive game under interim coach Jeff Saturday. Glazer said Saturday and Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks will both interview with their respective teams.

Denver, which dismissed first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett in December after 15 games, has already started its search. Fox Studio analyst and ex-Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed Sunday he has spoken with the Broncos, though he cannot formally interview with any club until Jan. 17. 

Here are other potential coaching developments, courtesy of Glazer:

  • The Broncos plan to interview Payton, Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
  • Harbaugh, who recently said he expects to ultimately remain at Michigan in 2023 but made no promises, will also be a candidate for the Colts’ vacancy.
  • The Panthers plan to interview former NFL coaches Jim Caldwell and Frank Reich, who was dismissed by the Colts in October.
  • The Rams have a potential successor in their building. “If Sean McVay steps away, I think [defensive coordinator] Raheem Morris will be a name up there with the Rams,” Glazer said.
  • Among the league’s active assistants who are expected to interview for HC vacancies this offseason: Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson, San Francisco 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans, who Glazer said could be a top candidate for the Texans, and Broncos DC Ejiro Evero, who will reportedly interview with Denver this week.

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