Tracking the Washington Commanders’ coaching search

Who are the candidates? Who has interviewed? What are the next steps?

Josh Harris and his limited partners have begun the process of rebuilding the Washington Commanders' football operations. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
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The Washington Commanders introduced Adam Peters as their new general manager on Tuesday, making him the team’s primary football executive as it rebuilds its front office and coaching staff under new owner Josh Harris. The team reached an agreement with Peters Friday after a quick search; Washington fired Ron Rivera as its coach and primary football executive on Monday.

Widely regarded as one of the top talent evaluators in the NFL, Peters, 44, is one of Harris’s first major hires and will be charged with reviving a team that has not posted a winning record in seven consecutive seasons. One of his first tasks will be to hire a new head coach.

New GM Adam Peters shares his vision for rebuilding the Commanders

Only virtual interviews are allowed with head-coaching candidates before the conclusion of the divisional round of the playoffs. Candidates whose teams are not in the playoffs and or had a first-round bye were allowed to interview virtually before wild-card games begin. Those who did have first round games can begin to interview virtually three days after their first-round game, but before the start of the divisional round.

As with the primary executive hiring process, teams must hold in-person interviews with at least two external candidates who are people of color or women.

A head-coach candidate cannot agree to a contract with another team until his season has concluded.

Keep track of the coaching search here.

Glenn interviewed Saturday

Aaron Glenn, the Detroit Lions’ defensive coordinator, interviewed on Zoom on Saturday, the day before his team’s divisional playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Johnson interviewed Friday

Ben Johnson, the Lions’ offensive coordinator, interviewed on Zoom on Friday, a person with knowledge of the interview said. It was one of four virtual head-coaching interviews Johnson had in the two days leading up to the Lions’ divisional playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also talked to the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks. Then after the Lions’ win over the Bucs, he interviewed with the Falcons.

Bieniemy interviewed

Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed last week, ahead of the divisional playoffs, two people with knowledge of the interview said.

Quinn interviewed

Dan Quinn, the Cowboys defensive coordinator, interviewed on Zoom on Jan. 18.

Morris interviewed

Raheem Morris, the Rams’ defensive coordinator, also interviewed virtually on Jan. 18.

Weaver interviewed

Anthony Weaver, the Baltimore Ravens’ assistant head coach and defensive line coach, had a virtual interview with the Commanders on Jan. 11, a person with knowledge of the team’s plans said.

Macdonald interviewed

Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald also interviewed the week before Super Wild Card weekend, another person confirmed.

Head-coaching interview requests

Johnson: The 37-year-old helped revive the career of quarterback Jared Goff and turned the Lions’ offense into one of the more prolific in the NFL over the past two seasons. He takes an analytical approach and has 12 years of NFL coaching experience, including seven (2012 to 2018) with the Miami Dolphins.

Weaver: Weaver was a second-round pick by the Ravens and spent seven years playing in the NFL. As a coach, he has bounced from the Jets to the Bills, Browns, Texans and Ravens over the past 12 seasons, coaching the defensive line.

Macdonald: Macdonald has spent the past decade with a Harbaugh. He was with John for seven seasons in Baltimore, starting as a defensive intern and working his way up. Then he worked for Jim in 2020, serving as Michigan’s defensive coordinator. Then he went back to John. Over the past two seasons, Baltimore’s defense has ranked among the top five in total yards, rushing yards, scoring, opponent third-down conversion rate and defensive red-zone touchdown rate.

Glenn, Lions defensive coordinator: Glenn spent 15 seasons in the NFL as a cornerback, then dabbled in personnel before shifting to coaching. After seven seasons as a defensive backs coach in Cleveland and New Orleans, he was hired to his current role with the Lions in 2021.

Morris, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator: The longtime defensive coach spent three years in Washington (2012 to 2014), leading its secondary. He was the head coach of the Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011 and was the interim coach of the Falcons in 2020. Morris won his first Super Bowl as a quality control coach on Jon Gruden’s Tampa Bay staff and his second as the Rams’ defensive coordinator.

Quinn, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator: Quinn has 21 years of NFL coaching experience and a lengthy track record with elite defenses. He helped lead the Seattle Seahawks and their “Legion of Boom” secondary to back-to-back Super Bowls, then spent six years as head coach of the Falcons, taking them to the Super Bowl in his second season. Dallas’s defense had top-five finishes in total yards, passing yards and points under his tutelage last season.

As their biggest rivals sputter, the Commanders embrace competence

Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans offensive coordinator: Slowik began his NFL coaching career with Washington as a video assistant and then spent three years as a defensive assistant, working closely with former pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan. Slowik switched to offense in 2021 as a passing game specialist on Kyle Shanahan’s staff in San Francisco. In Houston, he has turned one of the worst offenses in the league a year ago into the seventh-best passing attack in 2023 with rookie C.J. Stroud at quarterback.