The high turnover rate in the NFL means there are always new head coaching positions available. Many teams will be looking at the NFL offensive coordinators available for hire in order to fill their most important role.
NFL owners seem more committed than ever to hiring offensive coaches. In the last five hiring cycles, 36 head coaches had been hired by NFL teams. 24 of them had an offensive background, while only 11 of them came from the defense.
The lone coach that fit into neither category was former Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge, who was hired by the New York Giants in 2020 before being replaced by Brian Daboll, the former offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. Judge is currently an offensive assistant with the Patriots.
New coaches don’t tend to work out, but the offensive ones have earned more wins and have lasted longer; they have a combined record of .479, compared to the record of .435 for defensive coaches.
Because offense tends to be a bigger driver of wins than defense in the modern NFL, an offensive head coach provides another advantage – when they do well, and their coaching staff gets poached, they can keep their offense intact.
With that in mind, let’s look at the top NFL offensive coordinators available for head coaching positions.
Top NFL Offensive Coordinators Available for Head Coaching Positions
Kellen Moore | Dallas Cowboys
Kellen Moore has been in discussion as a hot head coaching candidate for some time but hasn’t had a great opportunity open up – especially as the Cowboys had since struggled to meet their expectations offensively.
But with the team healthy and more control over the offense, Moore’s innovative approach to offensive football has come back into focus. With five years of coaching under his belt, he’s more ready now than when his name first hit coaching circles.
He’s already been part of the interview circuit and reportedly impressed teams with his performances in those interviews.
Given how well backup quarterback Cooper Rush played while Moore was coordinating and the extraordinary performance of the Dallas offense when Prescott returned to the lineup, NFL teams hoping to get the most out of their quarterback might want to rush after Moore.
Shane Steichen | Philadelphia Eagles
The top team in the NFL right now might be the Eagles. Whether or not that bears out by the end of the season, the turnaround the Eagles have put together is impressive. Jalen Hurts’ development as a passer is a big reason the Eagles have performed so well this year, and the coaching staff who was part of that deserves credit for helping Hurts improve his timing and accuracy as a passer.
Steichen has long been regarded as a smart offensive mind and has been involved with the development of Justin Herbert along with Hurts. That’s not a bad track record to rely on, and teams might be curious about how he might be able to lead the development of their quarterback.
Mike Kafka | New York Giants
The Giants’ turnaround with Daniel Jones is even more impressive than what the Eagles have done with Hurts. While Jones hasn’t developed into quite the quarterback Hurts has, the offense has been able to run despite injury after injury and a depleted receiving corps.
Kafka, a former backup quarterback, has traveled around the league and has worked not just with Daboll in New York but also with Andy Reid in Kansas City. After seeing his coaching work in New York, owners might be thinking that Kafka’s success with the Chiefs wasn’t just a circumstance of working with Patrick Mahomes and Reid.
Eric Bieniemy | Kansas City Chiefs
Speaking of the Chiefs, perpetual head coach candidate Eric Bienemy has been the offensive coordinator in Kansas City for years and has been heavily involved in the continued development of Patrick Mahomes. After Doug Pederson was successful coming out of Kansas City despite not having a role as the primary play-caller, the door is wide open for further offensive minds to make their mark.
Bieniemy has made the rounds multiple years as a head coaching candidate and has had a number of interviews with teams. Because of the historical disparity in black head coach hiring rates, Bieniemy has been championed by organizations like the Fritz Pollard Alliance, especially after NFL teams hired Pederson and Matt Nagy, who both held the same position under Reid.
Bieniemy has the coaching resume to match or even exceed some of the hires we’ve seen, and he certainly knows offense.
Brian Callahan | Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals’ offense has taken off in recent weeks, but it has always had some juice under Callahan. Joe Burrow has been able to throw to a spectacular group of receivers, but what stands out for Callahan, aside from helping take the team to the Super Bowl, is his ability to keep adapting the offense to what the team needs.
Callahan has a wide range of experiences with a diversity of offenses and has developed a reputation for connecting with players and having a handle on every position on the offense. He impressed in interviews in the last round and should be seeing a number of interviews in this cycle as well.
Honorable Mention: Frank Smith | Miami Dolphins; Ben Johnson | Detroit Lions
Both the Lions and Dolphins have had surprising offensive showings and will deserve some consideration in the process in the next hiring cycle because of it. With only one year under their belts as offensive coordinators, it might be difficult for them to find a job as head coaches early on in their careers, but it’s not impossible. NFL teams have hired head coaches without much coordinator experience, like former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and current Bengals head coach Zac Taylor.