The annual coaching carousel soon will spin, and the league has been working to compile a list of recommended candidates for the looming array of vacancies.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the first tier of coaching candidates consists, in no particular order, of Cowboys defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Kris Richard, Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt (a two-time former head coach), Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak (former coach of the Titans), Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (former Broncos head coach), former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, and former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell.
The second tier consists of Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen (former Raiders coach), Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley (former Jaguars head coach), Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale, and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
Packets for each candidate will be made available to the teams that will be hiring a head coach without the use of an outside consultant. (The Packers, for example, aren’t using a consultant.) The Career Development Advisory Panel for 2019 consists of Bruce Arians, Bill Cowher, Dick Daniels, James “Shack” Harris, Charley Casserly, John Madden, and Jimmy Raye III.
Madden is a highly influential voice on the panel, given his ongoing relationship with the NFL’s coaches. Arians is an intriguing presence, given that he has openly stumped for the vacancy in Cleveland.