NFL Rumors: Latest Gossip Surrounding 2018 Head Coaching Vacancies

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2018

ESPN broadcaster, and former head coach Jon Gruden watches warmups before an NFL preseason football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The NFL coaching carousel started to spin on Sunday following the conclusion of Week 17. 

As the week progresses, the carousel is expected to pick up its pace as teams with vacancies turn from interviews with in-house candidates to discussions with coordinators and position coaches from other teams. 

While none of the six open jobs have been filled yet, one appears to be on the market for a short amount of time, as the Oakland Raiders close in on the reintroduction of ESPN analyst Jon Gruden

All we have at the moment regarding the open jobs is speculation, and plenty of it, so here's a look at the latest rumors from across the league. 

Gruden Gets Candid About Raiders Job 

Gruden, who is preparing to call Saturday's AFC Wild Card Game between the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs, made an appearance on ESPN's Golic and Wingo on Wednesday to talk about his future plans. 

When asked if he would take the job if asked by Raiders owner Mark Davis, Gruden replied by saying, "I think there's a good chance." ESPN's official Twitter account provided us with the whole exchange.

No other serious candidates have been linked with the Raiders, which leads everyone to believe Gruden's last game in the booth for some time will come on Saturday. 

           

Colts Interviewed Josh McDaniels on Wednesday Night

With New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels allowed a narrow window to interview for jobs, the Indianapolis Colts wasted no time talking to the former Denver Broncos head coach.

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26:  Tom Brady #12  of the New England Patriots reacts with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Gett
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora  reported that McDaniels interviewed with the Colts on Wednesday night and his offensive background could be a boost to his candidacy.

However, the Colts aren't just looking at offensive minds to replace Chuck Pagano. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport  noted on Wednesday that Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard will interview for the job on Friday. 

                   

Lions Interview Mike Vrabel 

Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel interviewed with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday, according to the team's official Twitter account

Vrabel, who retired from playing in 2010, has turned into one of the rising stars of the profession. The former NFL linebacker started with the Texans as linebackers coach in 2014 and was promoted to his current position after last season. 

The Lions will bring in two additional candidates for interviews on Thursday. Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Green Bay Packers linebackers coach Winston Moss will be the next candidates to reach the interview phase, per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.

                

Giants Submit Interview Request for Jim Schwartz, Interview Steve Spagnuolo

The New York Giants are looking within the NFC East at potential solutions for the vacancy left open by the firing of Ben McAdoo.

ESPN's Adam Schefter  reported on Wednesday that the Giants submitted a request to the Philadelphia Eagles to interview defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and the conversation is expected to occur over the weekend. 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 27: Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Indianapolis Colts during a preseason NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty I
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Before bringing in one of their foes from the 2017 season, the Giants interviewed their own defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Wednesday, per Michael Eisen of Giants.com.

                  

Bears Interview Vic Fangio, Talking to George Edwards Next

Much like the other teams with head coaching vacancies, the Chicago Bears started their interview process in house on Wednesday by talking with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, per the team's official Twitter account

Next up for the Bears will be Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, who will interview on Thursday, per ESPN's Josina Anderson

Edwards has worked on NFL and college football staffs for almost 30 years. He's been on Mike Zimmer's staff in Minnesota since 2014, but this will be the first time he'll receive interest as a head coaching candidate. 

             

Cardinals Setting up Meetings After In-House Interview

The Arizona Cardinals brought in defensive coordinator James Bettcher for an interview on Wednesday before starting their external search.

Atlanta Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak are among the candidates the team has its eyes on, per Darren Urban of the team's official website. 

Munchak was previously head coach of the Tennessee Titans from 2011-2013, while Armstrong hasn't held a position higher than special teams coach, a post he's had with three franchises. 

             

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90 

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