The Falcons' coaching search continues to chug along, and we have a fresh batch of rumors and news to pass along in the absence of an announced hiring. I do expect we'll see a hiring in the next week or so, however.
Join us for a tour of Rumorland, population Falcons.
- Rex Ryan is having a second interview in Buffalo. If you're a fan of Ryan, this may seem threatening, but I doubt Ryan will take the job in Buffalo before he has a second interview in Atlanta. The Falcons are a more desirable job, in my humble opinion, and Rex's problem in Buffalo—no quarterback—would be more or less the same in Buffalo. There are rumors that Atlanta's dragging their feet with Ryan, but that could easily be coming from Ryan's camp.
It's important to keep that in mind with Ryan, who is a gregarious guy with media connections. There's little question he's going to try to get some leverage for his preferred job, and based on everything I've heard thus far, I still believe Atlanta is that job.
- The Patriots' win could make it difficult for the Falcons to get him in for a second interview. It will be fairly obvious if McDaniels is the preferred candidate if the Falcons go through a second round of interviews and don't make a hire, but that carries its own risks if there are still open jobs McDaniels is interested in, because the rest of the candidates the Falcons prize could already have jobs locked up.
You saw McDaniels doing his excellent work with the offense against the Ravens, but I know many fans have reservations because of his lousy stint in Denver. That's understandable, of course, and yet I can't shake the feeling that he's one of the team's top candidates.
The Falcons interviewed Todd Bowles today, but unfortunately the interest in his interview isn't as great as it was with Rex Ryan, so we have no idea how long that interview went. Bowles is my preferred candidate, which isn't a real secret, so I'm hoping he blew away Atlanta. It's entirely possible that if he didn't, he'll be Chicago's head coach in the very near future.
- Teryl Austin is up next. He's maybe the most intriguing and unknown candidate on the list, as he's coached with four different teams but just wrapped up his first season as a coordinator, leading Detroit to one of the finest defensive seasons in the team's long and futile history. Teams are always on the lookout for the next Mike Tomlin—a bright coach who can make the leap from coordinator to head coach without a ton of experience—and Austin showed teams a lot in 2014.
- This list is light on details, but there will be more heat and light next week, when the Falcons line up second interviews. Rex Ryan's the only candidate I've seen confirmed for those interviews, but I bet they'll have at least three queued up. Stay tuned.
Who do you think will end up being the team's next head coach?