As the NFL head coaching carousel continues to turn, we have a pair of reports on first interviews for openings around the league. Remember, per NFL policy, interviews taking place between now and Tuesday morning are virtual only. In person interviews are permitted on the Tuesday following Wild Card weekend. Let’s start with Frank Reich and the Carolina Panthers, before moving to Jim Caldwell and Sean McVay.
Frank Reich and the Carolina Panthers
Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich is getting an interview with the Carolina Panthers today.
After spending four-plus seasons as the head coach in Indianapolis, Reich was fired by the Colts after their Week 9 loss to the Patriots. He posted a 40-33-1 record with the Colts and had three winning seasons (plus two trips to the playoffs).
Reich joins a growing list of candidates in Carolina. A list that includes Steve Wilks, who spent 12 games as the Panthers interim head coach this season (6-6) and had a 3-13 record in his lone season as the Cardinals head coach in 2018.
Panthers GM Scott Fitterer and owner David Tepper met with Wilks on Tuesday to discuss his vision for the Panthers. Tepper said in October, when Wilks replaced Matt Rhule, that there was a chance Wilks could shed the interim tag if he did an “incredible job” in the final 12 games of the season.
Apparently, a 6-6 finish wasn’t quite as incredible as Tepper was hoping for.
In addition to interviewing Wilks on Tuesday and Reich today, they’ve submitted a request to speak with Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, and Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. All of whom figure to be the most popular names in this coaching cycle with no prior head coaching experience.
It seems Fitterer and Tepper have a solid pool of candidates, including a pair (Reich and Wilks) with head coaching experience and a defensive background. They also have a handful of up-and-coming offensive minds, which has been the hottest trend in the NFL in recent years.
Jim Caldwell and the Denver Broncos
Caldwell spent three years in Indianapolis and four years in Detroit. He has had some legitimate success over the years, which has made him a strong candidate in almost every coaching cycle since. Of course, he hasn’t actually landed another head coaching job since he departed Detroit after the 2017 season.
Most recently, the 67-year-old coach worked as the quarterbacks coach for Brian Flores in Miami (2019), and won three division titles in his three seasons as the head coach of the Colts. Caldwell also took the Lions to the playoffs in two of his four seasons in Detroit.
Sean McVay Clarity Coming
According to Dan Graziano, some clarity on the Sean McVay situation is expected by the end of the week:
You can read more about McVay’s uncertainty that has led him to allow his coordinators to explore other job opportunities here: