No team fired coaches before the opening of the early interview window

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When the NFL for the first time created a two-week lead on interviewing assistant coaches from other teams, the Monday after Week 16 became a potential hot spot for head coach firing.

And then, of course, no coaches were fired on Monday.

What happened? Each team that might be considering making a coach change either did not make a final decision or decided not to implement the decision that has been secretly made.

Let’s start in Chicago. If, as many believe, the Bears want to make a change of coach, why not do it now? The easiest answer could be that the Bears are planning to make even more radical changes, perhaps with a new GM and a new team president. If the people who have to choose a new coach are gone, there is no need to get a head start on looking for a new coach.

In Charlotte, where owner David Tepper might be considering making a change, Tepper might want to see what current coach Matt Rhule can do under extreme pressure and urgency. Or maybe Tepper knows who he wants and there is no need to start early to find a coach that Tepper will pay too much for, as he did with Rhule.

For the Broncos, it makes good sense to keep Vic Fangio for another year. He is under contract until 2022 and the Broncos are likely to be sold next year. Why tie the hands of the new owner with a major financial obligation that might be removed from the purchase price? Fangio is also doing quite well this year. If the Broncos can attract a high-end veteran quarterback, they could become special next year.

In Minnesota, the Vikings stay alive for the off-season. As previously mentioned, there is no obvious temporary replacement in the coaching staff. Although Wilfs has decided to make a change without a playoff spot, it is too early to pull the plug.

For the Seahawks, it’s still unclear what owner Jody Allen will do. New coach? New quarterback? Both? None of them. It is also possible that the Seahawks will have a tough reset, making a head start on searching for a coach irrelevant.

The window to interview assistant coaches from other teams remains open until the end of the season. It is therefore possible that, for example, the Vikings will lose to the Packers on Sunday night, and the Vikings will finish it on Monday, allowing them to get started with Zoom interviews with potential replacements.

Either way, with the end of the regular season 12 days away, the annual wave of change is coming soon.

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