Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores

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Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
© Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports Brian Flores

The Saints are expected to interview Brian Flores for their head-coaching vacancy (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). At least, that’s the plan — Flores is also in the running for the Giants’ HC job, and they’re expected to make a decision sometime this weekend.

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The Giants are reportedly down to two candidates in Flores and Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. The Saints, meanwhile, are scrambling to find their next HC after Sean Payton‘s shocking decision to step down.

In years past, the Saints’ job would have held tremendous appeal for coaching candidates. This time around, they’re dealing with a salary cap nightmare, so one has to imagine that Flores would prefer the Giants job if that offer comes through first. The same goes for Byron Leftwich — the Bucs offensive coordinator may leap at the Jaguars job, if/when that offer comes through.

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In addition to Flores and Leftwich, the Saints are also expected to chat with their own defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

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More must-reads:

  • Report: Former Dolphins HC Brian Flores a ‘finalist’ for Giants job
  • Sean Payton doesn’t think he’s ‘finished coaching’ but won’t take jobs ‘right now’
  • The ‘300 passing yards in a conference championship game’ quiz

Related slideshow: The best head coaching candidates for the 2022 NFL season (Provided by Yardbarker)

Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores
Saints reportedly plan to interview former Dolphins HC Brian Flores

The best head coaching candidates for the 2022 NFL season

The end of the NFL regular season brought several head coach firings and resulting vacancies, as it always does in the league. These 25 names are some of the top candidates available to fill the available jobs.

Dennis Allen, DC, Saints

Allen’s stint as the Raiders head coach from 2012-2014 didn’t go well, but he’s rebuilt his stock as the defensive coordinator of the Saints. The defense has become elite under Allen over the last two seasons, and he will almost assuredly get another shot soon, if not this offseason.

Eric Bieniemy, OC, Chiefs

Bieniemy has seemed to be the top candidate in the media over the last two offseasons, yet he’s still waiting for his first NFL head coaching job. The Chiefs offensive coordinator has helped lead an elite offense in KC, and is clearly well-liked by his players. The former running back remains one of the most prominent candidates in the league.

Todd Bowles, DC, Buccaneers

Bowles was the last coach of a winning team with the Jets in 2015, but his next three seasons were poor before he was fired. Once again, he’s led one of the top defense in the league while guiding the Bucs, orchestrating a complete turnaround over the last two seasons. He could be a perfect fit joining a team with more talent than he had in New York.

Jim Caldwell

Caldwell led the Colts to a Super Bowl, and perhaps more impressively, helped the Lions to have three winning seasons in four years from 2014-2017. It’s almost unfathomable that he’s been mostly out of work since then, but Caldwell could be a great fit for a team that’s ready to win now.

Brian Callahan, OC, Bengals

Coaching is in Callahan’s blood as the son of former Raiders head coach and renowned offensive line coach Bill Callahan. The younger Callahan has cut his team as an offensive assistant and has led the surging Bengals offense over the last three seasons.

Brian Daboll, OC, Bills

Daboll has a long coaching history, with stints as an offensive coordinator with the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, Alabama, and the Bills. He’s finally found the right fit in his current role, developing Josh Allen into one of the premier quarterbacks in the league, and could be ripe for his first head coaching opportunity.

Todd Downing, OC, Titans

After serving as the Raiders offensive coordinator in 2017, Downing got another opportunity with the Titans this year and is making the most of it. The offense has remained solid despite major injuries to Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Julio Jones. With an NFL coaching career that dates back to 2005, Downing has paid his dues.

Matt Eberflus, DC, Colts

Eberflus was brought to Indy by Josh McDaniels before the Patriots assistant infamously backed out of the head coaching position, but he’s stuck around as defensive coordinator for four seasons. Over that time, the Colts defense has ranked top 10 in points allowed in three out of four seasons, showing Eberflus to be one of the best coordinators in the game.

Brian Flores

Flores was recently let go by the Dolphins, a shocking firing after he exceeded expectations in his three seasons with the team. Despite failing to make the playoffs, Flores proved he could win with two winning seasons in three years and would make for an excellent hire.

Leslie Frazier, DC, Bills

Frazier is a long-time defensive coordinator with the Bengals, Vikings, Buccaneers, and Bills. His Buffalo defense has been the best in the league this season, which could give him another shot as a head coach after struggling with Minnesota over three-plus seasons from 2010 to 2013.

Nathaniel Hackett, OC, Packers

Hackett is in his third stint as an NFL offensive coordinator after serving in the same role with Buffalo and Jacksonville. His recent work with Green Bay has been impressive, but his most impressive work was leading the Jags offense to the AFC Championship Game in 2017 with Blake Bortles at quarterback.

Jim Harbaugh. HC. Michigan

Harbaugh had a successful stint as the 49ers head coach before going to Michigan in 2015, and there’s been talk that he could return to the NFL in 2022 after leading the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff. If he does entertain a move, there will likely be several organizations and plenty of money to entice him.

Vance Joseph, DC, Cardinals

Joseph struggled as a head coach with the Broncos for two seasons from 2017 to 2018 with a bad quarterback situation, but he revitalized his coaching career as the defensive coordinator of the Cardinals. Arizona went from near the bottom of the league to top 12 in points allowed in each of the last two seasons.

Mike Kafka, QB Coach, Chiefs

Kafka is a well-known assistant and likely their heir apparent at offensive coordinator in KC if Eric Bieniemy is hired away. It’s also possible that Kafka could get some head coaching consideration as an ascending offensive assistant under Andy Reid.

Byron Leftwich, OC, Buccaneers

Leftwich has served as the offensive coordinator under Bruce Arians over the last three seasons in Tampa Bay, helping lead the team to a Super Bowl. He was also a long-time starting quarterback in the NFL and would seem to be a convenient pick for Jacksonville after playing for him.

Don Martindale, DC, Ravens

Martindale recently finished his fourth year as the Ravens defensive coordinator and has led elite defenses for much of that time. He’s seen as one of the most innovative defensive coordinators in the NFL, though the injury-plagued Ravens did see major regression in 2021.

Jerod Mayo, ILB Coach, Patriots

A key part of the Patriots’ defense in two Super Bowls, Mayo has made a name for himself as the Patriots inside linebackers coach since 2019. He’s already started to receive head coaching consideration despite his inexperience as a coach.

Mike McDaniel, OC, 49ers

McDaniel certainly fits the bill as an intelligent, analytics-driven assistant as a Yale alum, but he’s also a long career of experience as an NFL coach. He’s followed 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan to several stops and currently serves as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Josh McDaniels, OC, Patriots

McDaniels had a rocky two-year stint as the Broncos head coach in 2009-2010, but he’s rebuilt his reputation as a top offensive coordinator in New England. Some teams could be hesitant to interview McDaniels after he accepted and then turned down the Colts head coaching job in 2018.

Kellen Moore, OC, Cowboys

The Cowboys have led the league in yards in two of Moore’s three years as the Cowboys offensive coordinator, so it’s not a surprise that he’s often mentioned as a top head-coaching candidate. Still only 32, he’s almost assured an opportunity within the next few years.

Bill O’Brien, OC, Alabama

O’Brien had a winning record in five of seven seasons as the Texans head coach, but his tenure went off the rails when he was given front-office power. Now the offensive coordinator at Alabama, O’Brien could get another shot in the NFL soon.

Kevin O’Connell, OC, Rams

Hiring any offensive coach associated with Rams head coach Sean McVay has been en vogue over the last few years, and O’Connell has that going for him as LA’s coordinator over the last two seasons. He doesn’t call plays in LA but has helped revitalize the offense with Matthew Stafford aboard.

Doug Pederson

Pederson helped lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl in 2017 but wore out his welcome last year with the decline of Carson Wentz. After taking a year off, he seems like one of the top candidates available.

Dan Quinn, DC, Cowboys

After an up and down stint as the Falcons head coach, Quinn has re-established himself as an elite defensive coordinator by completely turning around the Cowboys’ defense. He seems to be having fun in his current role but is likely to get another shot after the great job that he’s done in Dallas.

Dave Toub, ST Coach, Chiefs

Toub has built a reputation as one of the top special teams coaches in the game and has received head coaching consideration in the past. Special teams coaches rarely receive head coaching promotions in the NFL, but his long track record shows that he could be deserving.

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