NFL rumors: Chiefs plan for Hardman, Falcons moving on coach interviews, Bengals could lose OC

  • Bengals OC Brian Callahan is a popular head coach candidate
  • Falcons set to interview multiple potential coaches
  • Chiefs could involve Mecole Hardman more in postseason gameplan

Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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NFL Rumors: Bengals could lose OC Brian Callahan to head coaching opportunity

If you're trying to get on the phone with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, you might have to wait in line. The 39-year-old wunderkind is a popular name on the coaching carousel. Eight NFL teams are currently in search of a new head coach. Four have requested interviews with Callahan, per Ian Rapoport.

Callahan will speak to the Tennessee Titans Friday, Jan. 12, and the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday, Jan. 16. After that, the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are both "on the docket." More teams could soon join the mix, as Callahan's success with Cincinnati makes him an obvious head coach candidate.

Since taking over O.C. duties in 2019, Callahan has led the Bengals' offense to two AFC championship games in 2021 and 2022. Cincy beat the Kansas City Chiefs and made it to the Super Bowl in 2021. Joe Burrow arrived in Cincinnati one year after Callahan took the job. Few player-coach partnerships have been more fruitful in the years since. This past season was a mild flop for the Bengals, as Burrow was never healthy, but Callahan's play-calling chops remained evident. Unfortunately, whatever momentum the offense built up with Jake Browning at QB was offset by the Bengals' porous defense, which allowed the second most yards per game in the NFL.

Any team with a young, talented quarterback should have interest in Callahan. Both the Chargers and Titans are moving on from defensive-minded head coaches, so Callahan's offensive mindset is a natural change of pace. The Falcons have a ton of offensive talent in need of competent hands. The Panthers, meanwhile, need a coach that can successfully shepherd No. 1 pick Bryce Young before it's too late. Callahan checks boxes for all four teams.