2023 NFL Coaching Tracker: Latest News, Rumors and Buzz

Thursday, Jan. 12

Broncos, Payton to Meet Monday

Sean Payton’s first interview of the 2023 hiring cycle is set. He’ll meet with the Denver Broncos on Monday in Los Angeles, ESPN reported.

Payton, former coach of the New Orleans Saints, is one of the hottest names on the market. Denver is hoping to pair the former Super Bowl champ with franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, who had one of the worst seasons of his professional career in 2022.

The Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett with two weeks left in the 2022 NFL regular season, in just his first season as coach. The Cardinals and Texans have also received permission from the Saints to interview Payton.

Panthers Request to Interview Mayo; Patriots Trying to Retain Him

The Panthers requested permission to interview Patriots inside linebacker coach Jerod Mayo, ESPN reported. The Patriots, however, announced they are negotiating with Mayo to keep him on staff, setting up an interesting decision for the long-time New England player.

Mayo played eight seasons for the Patriots and was named a 2010 first-team All-Pro. He’s been the team’s inside linebackers coach since 2019.

The Panthers fired coach Matt Rhule in October, leaving the team in the hands of interim coach Steve Wilks. They’ve cast a wide net in their hiring search, as evidenced by Mayo’s inclusion. Mayo is also a candidate for the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator job.

Colts Hold Interviews with Evero, Bieniemy

Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy completed interviews for the Colts head coaching vacancy Thursday, as reported by NFL Media and the Colts’ social media account.

Evero is a head coaching candidate for a number of teams after just one season as defensive coordinator of the Broncos, despite Denver’s disappointing 5-12 record. Evero is, nonetheless, highly respected in league circles. He’s been an NFL coach, in some capacity, since 2007.

Bieniemy is a familiar name among the interview circuit, having met with more than a dozen times for various head coaching positions over the past four years. The Colts are the first team he has been linked to this hiring cycle.

The Colts moved on from coach Frank Reich after a difficult 3-5-1 start to the season, turning to inexperienced former star Jeff Saturday. Things didn’t improve under Saturday, who went 1-7 in his time in charge, prompting the Colts to look beyond Saturday (though he hasn’t been ruled) for their opening.

Johnson Interviews With Texans

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson completed his interview with the Texans Thursday afternoon, NFL Media reported. Johnson will interview with the Colts on Friday and the Panthers next week.

He led one of the most exciting and improbably successful offenses of the 2022 season, helping the Lions achieve their first winning season since 2017. Detroit finished fifth in the league in points per game up from their 25th overall finish in 2021.

Johnson also has the coveted former-quarterback background as he spent four seasons quarterbacking the University of North Carolina. Since then, he’s coached in multiple offensive roles, including quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the Dolphins and tight ends coach for the Lions.

This season was Johnson’s first as an offensive coordinator, but clearly, teams have seen enough to buy into his candidacy for a head coaching spot.

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