Saturday, January 29, 2022

2022 NFL coaching tracker: Culley, Judge, Flores, Nagy, Zimmer, Fangio out; updates, latest news on firings

The NFL coaching carousel is upon us with the conclusion of the regular season, as plenty of teams will begin to make decisions on the future of their franchise. The Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars began the process of searching for their next coach during the season with the in-season firings of Jon Gruden and Urban Meyer. (Jacksonville has already begun the process of searching for their next head coach.)

The Denver Broncos didn’t waste any time in firing Vic Fangio, making them the third team that will be looking for a new head coach in 2022. The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago bears are two other teams that made a decision on their coaches, moving on from Mike Zimmer and Matt Nagy, respectively.

With all the coaches on the move around the NFL, we’ll be tracking every single firing around the league (and the coaches who are going to be retained). To keep you up to date on the latest firings, rumors and hirings, make sure to keep tabs on the coaching tracker below.

Texans

  • Fired: David Culley
  • Hired: TBD

David Culley was saddled with one of the worst rosters in the league and did not have the services of Deshaun Watson at quarterback. It was widely thought that the Texans overachieved but it wasn’t enough to get Culley more than one season.

Giants

  • Fired: Joe Judge
  • Hired: TBD

Judge was a disappointing 10-23 in his two seasons as head coach and seemed like his job would be safe, at least until the Giants hired a new general manger, but the Giants dropped the hammer on Tuesday evening.

The Giants are now in the market for a new GM and head coach after missing the playoffs for five straight seasons.

Dolphins

  • Fired: Brian Flores
  • Hired: TBD

Flores never made the playoffs in three seasons in Miami, but he’ll be one of the most sought after candidates in this hiring cycle. He’s the only head coach to start a season 1-7 and finish with a winning record (2021), as the Dolphins went 24-25 in his three seasons — with two winning campaigns. Flores went 24-18 in his final 42 games as a head coach. 

The firing of Flores is the most surprising of this head coaching cycle, even if the Dolphins never had an offense ranked above 22nd in his three seasons at the helm. Miami has uncertainty at quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa and a poor offensive line, a task the next head coach will have to inherit. Flores overachieved in Miami, despite the Dolphins trying to stock up draft capital and missing on free agent signings over the last three years. 

Vikings

  • Fired: Mike Zimmer
  • Hired: TBD

The Vikings fired Zimmer on Monday after eight seasons leading the franchise. While Zimmer finished 72-56-1 in his tenure, the Vikings were just 15-18 over the last two seasons and failed to make the playoffs both seasons. Minnesota is just 33-31 since losing in the NFC Championship Game in the 2017 season, having the 27th ranked defense in 2020 and the 30th ranked defense in 2021. 

Minnesota has a quarterback in Kirk Cousins and a high-powered offense, yet Cousins has a $45 million cap number for 2022. The next head coach of the Vikings will be tasked with fixing a defense that has been one of the worst in the NFL the last two years and how to manage the Cousins situation (which will be the task of the next general manager going forward as Rick Spielman was also fired). 

Bears 

  • Fired: Matt Nagy
  • Hired: TBD

The Bears moved on from Nagy after four seasons leading the franchise, as Nagy finished with a 34-31 record with only one losing season (2021). Nagy lead the Bears to the NFC North title in his first season and won coach of the year, but went just 20-27 since. He was tasked with developing quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, but the Bears moved on from him despite making the playoffs in two of Trubisky’s three seasons as a starting quarterback. 

Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace traded up and drafted Justin Fields, only to have Andy Dalton start over him to start the season as Fields struggled in his development. The Bears have a top-ten defense in yards allowed, but the next head coach will be tasked on fixing a talented and broken offense. Fields is a good centerpiece for a coach that likes to develop quarterbacks. 

Broncos 

  • Fired: Vic Fangio 
  • Hired: TBD

The Broncos fired Fangio after he failed to get them in the playoffs after three seasons in Denver, compiling a 19-30 record in his tenure. Denver hasn’t made the playoffs in six seasons, and is still searching for that franchise quarterback the team hasn’t had since Peyton Manning

Fangio built a strong defense in Denver, but general manager George Paton bought low on Teddy Bridgewater in the hopes Denver would finish with a winning record and compete for the playoffs. The Bridgewater experiment didn’t last, but Denver has a talented roster that could compete for the AFC West with a much better signal-caller. Denver already has Dan Quinn as a candidate for its next head coach, and more candidates are expected to be revealed in the coming days. 

Raiders

  • Fired: Jon Gruden
  • Hired: TBD

Gruden was the first head coach to be fired after a series of emails were released in an investigation into the Washington Football Team that included racist, homophobic and sexist emails sent from Gruden. The Raiders went with interim head coach Rich Bisaccia for the remainder of the season. Bisaccia has gone 7-5 and has Vegas in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

The Raiders job will be an attractive one if Bisaccia isn’t retained, and the team could have interest in Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Vegas may get a later start on searching for its head coach since the Raiders made the playoffs.

Jaguars

  • Fired: Urban Meyer
  • Hired: TBD

The Jaguars fired Meyer 13 games into his first season after a series of incidents led to his dismissal. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell filled in the final four games for the Jaguars, who have already begun the process of searching for a head coach. The Jaguars have interviewed Doug Pederson, Todd Bowles, Jim Caldwell, Byron Leftwich, and Kellen Moore over the last two weeks — and also plan to interview Bill O’Brien

With Trevor Lawrence and the No. 1 overall pick, the Jaguars job will be an attractive one. 

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