By Evan Bleier / January 12, 2019

Inside the Firing-and-Hiring Process for NFL Head Coaches

During the playoffs, the business of the NFL is in high gear off the field for the teams that didn't make the postseason.

 Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Head Coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns shake hands after the completion of the game at Paul Brown Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Head Coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns shake hands after the completion of the game at Paul Brown Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Two years ago, seven new NFL head coaches were hired and of those, only the Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles still has his job.

Pro football is a results-based business and, as such, hirings and firings are as frequent as bad jokes at a Friars Club roast.

With NFL franchise values all at or exceeding $2 billion, impatient owners feel it is perfectly logical to get rid of a coaching staff at a cost of $15 million to 20 million. Even at that expense, getting the right person running the franchise is ultimately a cost-effective move in theory.

When new coaching prospects are brought in to interview, they are usually asked to evaluate players with regard to how they fit into their proposed scheme, their production related to their paycheck, and their room for improvement.

Coaches are also asked for their thoughts on staffing and come in prepared with a list of names of everyone from potential coordinators to strength coaches.

To help in the process of finding that perfect fit for the headset, some franchises will even hire search firms or turn to agents for counsel, although not everyone is in agreement that this makes sense.

“From a management perspective, everything is future focused once the regular season is over, even for teams in the playoffs,” according to Sports Illustrated. “Scouting staffs soon gather in war rooms to assemble and architect ‘the Board’ before heading to the combine in late February. The most important games of the year are happening on the field, but the business of the NFL is in high gear off the field, and will be that way now for a while.”

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