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November 30, 2023

NFL Reportedly Approves Rule Change Delaying In-Person HC Interviews During Playoffs

NFL Reportedly Approves Rule Change Delaying In-Person HC Interviews During Playoffs

Doric SamOctober 17, 2023

Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Any NFL team in search of a new head coach after this season will have to wait a bit longer than usual to find the right candidate.

Per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, NFL owners unanimously approved a proposal to delay in-person head coaching interviews for candidates currently employed by NFL teams until after the divisional round of the playoffs.

Breer added that virtual interviews will still be allowed, but the rule change essentially “levels the playing field for coaches who are in the playoffs.” Teams also will still be allowed to conduct in-person interviews with coaching candidates who aren’t employed by another team as well as in-house candidates.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero pointed out that this could create an issue of how to enforce a rule that “may encourage tampering.”

The previous rules allowed for in-person interviews to begin after wild-card weekend. The process had become a source of frustration in recent years, as there was a belief that qualified coaching candidates from teams that advance in the postseason were not able to fully focus on helping their current squad win a playoff game.

For example, the Dallas Cowboys were bounced from last year’s playoffs in the divisional round while they had a pair of coveted coaching candidates in offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. The team’s loss was not necessarily due to Moore and Quinn interviewing with other teams, but those distractions certainly didn’t help, either.

This past offseason, five teams hired new head coaches. The Carolina Panthers were the first to fill their opening when they tabbed Frank Reich as head coach 18 days after their regular season ended.

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