NFL coaching carousel tracker 2019: Bengals eyeing Rams QB coach; Jets to hire fired Dolphins coach Adam Gase

NFL coaching carousel tracker 2019: Bengals eyeing Rams QB coach; Jets to hire fired Dolphins coach Adam Gase

With the end of the NFL season upon us, the league’s annual coaching purge has kicked into high gear. We’re tracking all the latest news as teams search for the right coach that will change the direction of their franchise. Heading into the 2019 offseason, there were at least eight teams looking for a new

With the end of the NFL season upon us, the league’s annual coaching purge has kicked into high gear. We’re tracking all the latest news as teams search for the right coach that will change the direction of their franchise.

Heading into the 2019 offseason, there were at least eight teams looking for a new coach, and that number could jump even higher if we see any more surprise moves. To keep you up-to-date on the latest firings, rumors and hirings, here’s our coaching tracker for the 2019 offseason. 

AFC

Browns

Fired: Hue Jackson
Expected to be hired: Freddie Kitchens

With the Browns firing Hue Jackson in October, they had plenty of time to figure out their coaching situation and after a long search, they decided to hire someone already on their coaching staff. According to ESPN.com, the Browns are going to hire offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens. Kitchens was one of two finalists along with former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. The Browns went 5-3 after Jackson was fired and a big reason for the turnaround was due to a Cleveland offense that suddenly became explosive with Kitchens calling the plays. By sticking with Kitchens, the team will allow Baker Mayfield to develop with a familiar face. The team also interviewed interim coach Gregg Williams. Although Williams led the team to a 5-3 record, he won’t be returning to the Browns’ coaching staff in 2019. 

Jets

Fired: Todd Bowles
Expected to be hired: Adam Gase

After making the decision to fire Todd Bowles, it appears the Jets have decided to replace him with a familiar face. According to NFL.com, the Jets are going to hire former Dolphins coach Adam Gase. Gase interviewed with multiple teams over the past 10 days after being fired by the Dolphins on Dec. 31. During his three years with the Dolphins, Gase went 5-1 against the Jets. The Jets job was a popular one. For one, former Packers coach Mike McCarthy reportedly said that the Jets job was the only one he would be interested in landing this offseason. Baylor coach Matt Rhule was also reportedly interested in the job, but backed off after GM Mike Maccagnan said Rhule wouldn’t be able to put together his own staff. The Jets also showed some interest in former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken. As for Bowles, he was fired after leading the Jets to three straight last place finishes in the AFC East, including an ugly 4-12 finish this year. 

Broncos

Fired: Vance Joseph
Hired: Vic Fangio

One year after almost firing Vance Joseph, the Broncos decided to actually pull the trigger this year by firing the second-year coach the day after the season ended. Although the Broncos struggled on offense under Joseph, they decided to roll the dice on another defensive coach by hiring Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Fangio could end up dealing with the same problems that Joseph dealt with and the biggest problem is that John Elway hasn’t been able to find a quarterback since Peyton Manning retired. Steelers offensive line coach Mick Munchak was the other finalist for this job. Fangio will head to Denver after leading a Bears defense that surrendered fewer points in 2018 than any other team in the NFL.  

Bengals

Stepping down: Marvin Lewis
Likely hiring: Zac Taylor

After 16 years on the sideline, Marvin Lewis is finally done in Cincinnati and it looks like the Bengals already have their eye on his replacement. According to ESPN.com, the Bengals are hoping to hire Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor. Of course, the problem with that is that Taylor isn’t allowed to be hired until the Rams’ season is over, which means the Bengals could be waiting until February to make a hire if Los Angeles makes a run to the Super Bowl. The Bengals have already interviewed multiple in-house candidates, including offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, special teams coach Darrin Simmons and special assistant Hue Jackson. Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has also been mentioned as a strong candidate for the job. As for Lewis, he had been with the Bengals since 2003, and compiled a record of 131-122-3 during his time with the team. At one point under Lewis, the Bengals made the playoffs in five-straight seasons. However, Lewis will mostly be remembered for the fact that he didn’t win a single playoff game during his time in Cincinnati, going 0-7. 

Jaguars

Not getting fired: Doug Marrone and Dave Caldwell

Despite an ugly 5-11 season, the Jaguars have decided not to cut ties with coach Doug Marrone. After the team’s season finale, Jags owner Shad Khan announced that Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell will both be returning for the 2019 season, although it sounds both guys will be on a short leash. Keeping Marrone makes a lot of sense and that’s mainly because he’s just one year removed from leading the Jaguars to an AFC title game appearance. In 2018, Marrone had to deal with an ugly season where six different offensive linemen were placed on injured reserve — Andrew Norwell, Cam Robinson, Will Richardson, Brandon Linder, and Josh Walker. The biggest thing Marrone needs to figure during the offseason is who his quarterback is going to be heading into 2019. 

Dolphins

Fired: Adam Gase
Possible candidate: Rex Ryan

The 2018 season has been a struggle for the Dolphins, and on Monday, team owner Stephen Ross responded to that struggle by firing Adam Gase. One name to watch as Gase’s replacement is Rex Ryan. According to the Miami Herald, Ryan has been contacting potential assistants to prepare for the event that he interviews for the Dolphins job at some point this week. The Dolphins are also expected to interview Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and New England’s Brian Flores

Ravens

Expected to stay: John Harbaugh

Although the Ravens have committed to Harbaugh for the 2019 season, he’s being listed here because he’s in an odd situation. For one, the two sides have yet to discuss a new contract. Harbaugh’s current deal expires after the 2019 season and NFL coaches rarely go into a season as a “lame duck,” which means the two sides will likely need to hash something out soon if Harbaugh’s going to stay. Also, it’s still possible that Harbaugh leaves. According to ESPN.com, there are multiple teams interested in Harbaugh and at least one team plans on calling Baltimore to make an offer for him if the Ravens end up missing the playoffs. According to La Canfora, there are multiple teams that would potentially be interested in Harbaugh, including the Broncos, Jets, Dolphins and Buccaneers.  

NFC

Packers

Fired: Mike McCarthy
Hired: Matt LaFleur

After holding nearly 10 interviews over the past five weeks, the Packers have finally made a decision on their coaching job as the team has decided to hire Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. (For more on the LaFleur hiring, be sure to click here). Besides LaFleur, the Packers also interviewed Josh McDaniels and Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, along with Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Interim coach Joe Philbin, who had the backing of several key players, including Aaron Rodgers, was also interviewed for the job. In the end, the Packers chose LaFleur, a 39-year-old who has worked with some of the best offensive minds in the game. Before joining the Titans, LaFleur was the offensive coordinator under Sean McVay for a year in L.A. The 39-year-old also served as the quarterbacks coach in Atlanta for two seasons, including 2016 when Matt Ryan won the MVP and took the Falcons to the Super Bowl.  

Cardinals

Fired: Steve Wilks
Hired: Kliff Kingsbury

The Cardinals had high expectations for Wilks when they hired him in January, but 2018 basically turned into a disaster, which is why the team fired him after just one season. To replace Wilks, the Cardinals are going with a somewhat surprising move: They’ve hired Kliff Kingsbury. Although Kingsbury is a fantastic offensive mind who groomed Patrick Mahomes, he’s also a failed college coach who was fired by Texans Tech after putting together a 35-40 record over six seasons. This is definitely a high-risk, high-reward move by the Cardinals. Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s name was also connected to this job, but he wanted nothing to do with it. La Canfora reported that McCarthy made it known that he was going to pass on any offer from the Cardinals, even though the team was willing to give him full control. 

Buccaneers 

Fired: Dirk Koetter
Hired: Bruce Arians

Koetter was dumped after just three years in Tampa Bay in a move that wasn’t a total surprise, and that’s because the Bucs finished the season at 5-11, which left them in the NFC South cellar for the second straight year. After firing Koetter, the Bucs immediately set their sights on former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who they officially hired on Jan. 8. Although there were a total of eight jobs open this offseason, Arians made it clear that he was only interested in two of them: The job in Cleveland, and the job in Tampa Bay. A big selling point for Arians is that fact that he has a previous relationship with Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who was a member of Arizona’s front office during Arians’ first season as coach (2013). The hiring of Arians means that Jameis Winston will now be playing for his third coach in five years when the 2019 season kicks off. 

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