Will new interview rule trigger a wave of firings?
For the first time ever, NFL franchises will be permitted to officially commence interviewing assistant coaches from other teams with time left in the regular season. As of Monday, December 27, the window opens on virtual interviews.
There’s an important catch. The teams that will be interviewing assistants from other teams must have a vacancy, or the coach must have been told that he’ll be gone after the season ends. Will this spark a wave of firings beginning, frankly, as soon as today?
Two teams, the Raiders and Jaguars, already have a head start. Other teams, if they know they will be making a change, may decide to get a head start of their own, by firing the head coach sooner than later. So if they’re going to do it next Monday, why not clear the decks now?
Four weeks ago, a Pulitzer-winning reporter claimed that Bears coach Matt Nagy would be fired after the Thanksgiving game at Detroit. If the Bears have decided to make a move after the season (whether they should is a different issue), why wait?
The more realistic possibility would be to make the move after the Week 16 games, setting the stage to embark on interview efforts on Monday morning. This timeline, however, creates an awkward and antsy and not-so-Merry Christmas for plenty of coaches and their families, who will now be bracing for the axe to fall earlier than usual.
Regardless, the window is opening. Who will be the first one to be thrown through it?