Now that Black Monday has come and gone, there are officially five NFL head coaching opportunities available. With Arizona, Carolina, Denver, Houston, and Indianapolis all looking for new head coaches, there have been a ton of news and rumors surrounding the openings. Here is the updated list of each NFL coach hired during the 2023 cycle.
NFL Head Coaches Hired in 2023
Shane Steichen Could Be Set For Indianapolis
Reports on Super Bowl Sunday have Shane Steichen set to be heading to Indianapolis to become the head coach of the Colts. Steichen has been a candidate for a handful of jobs this cycle after the Eagles’ offense impressed in the 2022-23 season. The Colts have reportedly informed their other finalists that they are moving in another direction.
Steichen has been with the Eagles since 2021, having spent the previous seven years with the Chargers organization. Steichen began his time with the Chargers as an offensive quality control coach before spending four seasons as the QB coach. He was promoted to the interim offensive coordinator of the Chargers in 2019 and got the role full-time in 2020.
It is an intriguing landing spot for Steichen, given the Colts’ void at QB. While they have Matt Ryan under contract, the likelihood is that the Colts will be looking to draft and develop a young QB, including a potential move up in the draft. The Colts’ roster has some useful pieces, and the AFC South lacks a true juggernaut.
It will be interesting to see whether Steicehn opts for another bridge quarterback in 2023 or if he looks to start the rebuild through the draft. Either way, Steichen will have to hit the ground running in Indianapolis after the Super Bowl.
Sean Payton’s Short-Lived Retirement
It did not take very long for Sean Payton to return to the NFL. After stepping away from the game for only one season, Payton has decided to return as head coach of the Denver Broncos. In a move that will delight New Orleans Saints fans, Payton’s return means that they will be getting some significant compensation from the Broncos.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos sent their 2023 first-round pick and next year’s second-round pick for Payton and the Saints 2024 third. It is a massive deal that could have long-term implications for both franchises. Considering how much compensation the team gave up, do not be surprised if Payton finds himself at the top of the highest paid NFL head coaches list.
MORE: Denver Broncos 2023 Draft Picks
Payton, 59, spent 15 seasons coaching the Saints and led them to nine playoff appearances, including a win in Super Bowl XLIV. Now, he will head to Denver to take over a team that is in significant turmoil. After selling the farm to bring in QB Russell Wilson this past offseason, the Broncos couldn’t have had a worst season. With a stagnant offense that statistically ranked last in nearly all categories, the team never seemed to know how to take advantage of the weapons at their disposal.
Now, with Payton, who is known as a QB-guru, Denver fans can hope that he brings some of the same magic he had with Drew Brees to Wilson.
DeMeco Ryans Makes His Choice
After taking the San Francisco 49ers one game from the Super Bowl, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has been hired as the next head coach of the Houston Texans. Ryans, who succeeded Robert Saleh as the Niners’ defensive boss before the 2021 season, helped San Francisco to back-to-back NFC Championship Games.
The 38-year-old former Texan is now going to return home to take over the team that he spent his first six playing years with. After retiring from the game in 2015, he quickly became one of the hottest head coaching candidates.
The situation in Houston is actually an amazing spot for a new head coach. The division is one of the weakest in the NFL, and the Texans are set up for quick success. They have the second overall pick in the draft and boast the Cleveland Browns’ No. 12 selection thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade. That deal also gave Houston Cleveland’s third-rounder (No. 73), and they have three extra picks in the sixth round via trades with the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings.
Additionally, they are projected to have more than $40 million in cap space, the fifth most in the NFL. Realistically, with his pick of a franchise QB and a ton of capital to make significant moves, Ryans could make an immediate impact.
Frank Reich Makes His NFL Return in Carolina
The first new head coach hired in the 2023 cycle was Frank Reich. Reich was named the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Although the team was linked to a number of candidates, including Jim Harbaugh, Jim Caldwell, Ken Dorsey, and more, ultimately, they decided to bring in the known commodity, which is Reich.
Reich, who actually played the quarterback position for Carolina back in 1995 (the franchise’s first year of existence), will be replacing Matt Rhule, who was fired early on in the 2022 NFL season.
MORE: List of NFL Head Coaches Fired in 2023
After his 14-year playing career, Reich moved into coaching, with his first role being with the Colts in 2006. He worked his way up and broke into relevancy as the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles when the franchise won its first Super Bowl in 2017. After that success, he became the Colts’ head coach for five seasons, putting together a 40-33 overall record.
Reich also led the Colts to two postseason appearances. Much of his success was thanks to the resurgence of veteran QB like Philip Rivers. Rivers came into Indy on a one-year deal shortly after the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck, reaching the playoffs after going 11-5.
The Panthers, who finished 7-10 on the season, have a ton of questions that will need to be answered. The most glaring of which will be the QB position. The team had a carousel of QBs this year, with guys like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Phillip Walker getting opportunities as the starter. And although Darnold made a strong case near the end of the year to stick around, it is unlikely the team will head into the 2023 season with him as QB1.
Will Reich continue to try and bring in more veteran signal-callers to lead this young Carolina team? Or will they look to draft their next franchise quarterback in 2023?