What you need to know in Green Bay Packers head-coaching search
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers got a head start on their coaching search when they fired Mike McCarthy on Dec. 2, and they have interviewed former head coaches Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano thus far, but they couldn’t move on all of their potential candidates until the regular season concluded due to league rules.
Now, Packers president and chief executive officer Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst can request permission from teams to interview coaches under contract, or they can reach out to coaches who have been fired.
Already, the reports are percolating. The Packers are expected to request permission to interview New England Patriots assistants Josh McDaniels and Brian Flores, as first reported by the Boston Globe.
For coaches under contract who are not in the playoffs, the Packers only need to be granted permission – and no team can block a coach from being interviewed for a head-coaching job.
But there are rules and datelines in place for coaches who are preparing for the playoffs. Those are as follows:
Jan. 6 – Assistants on playoff teams who have byes can be interviewed through the conclusion of the wild-card games.
Jan. 13 – Assistants on playoff teams that won their wild-card game can be interviewed through the conclusion of the divisional games.
Jan. 27 – Assistants who are on a Super Bowl team, and have previously interviewed for a head-coaching job, can have a second interview no later than this date.
A key note regarding assistants who are coaching in the Super Bowl: The Packers cannot sign them to a contract while their team is still active. This was illustrated a year ago when the Indianapolis Colts reached an agreement with Patriots offensive coordinator McDaniels to be their new head coach, but shortly afterward McDaniels backed out of that verbal agreement.
There is only one other league-mandated requirement regarding head-coaching interviews, and that is complying with the Rooney Rule. On Dec. 13 the NFL amended the rule, which requires organizations to interview at least one diverse candidate for head-coaching and general manager and equivalent front office openings. Previously, teams could interview an internal candidate to satisfy that requirement, but the league now requires that teams must interview one diverse candidate that is not employed by the team.
The Packers fulfilled this requirement by interviewing former Colts and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell before the season ended.
So, what happens after a head coach is named?
The Packers will be afforded some additional workout time under the collective bargaining agreement.
April 1 – The Packers and their new head coach can begin their voluntary offseason workouts, a full two weeks before teams that retained their head coach.
April – At some point before the NFL draft on April 25-27 – but no earlier than the third week of the offseason workout program – the new Packers head coach can hold an additional voluntary minicamp for veteran players.
May – The new head coach will decide when to hold the Packers’ three-day, post-draft rookie minicamp. He can choose either May 3-5, May 4-6, May 10-12 or May 11-13.
Mid-July – The Packers, and all teams, are allowed to open training camp for rookies and first-year players seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veterans. Veterans can report to training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later. These dates are determined by the collective bargaining agreement and cannot be altered.