Among NFL’s hot coaching candidates, Bieniemy isn’t due. He’s overdue.

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  • Eric Bieniemy
    Eric Bieniemy
    American football player
  • Pete Carroll
    Pete Carroll
    American football player and coach
  • Matt Nagy
    Matt Nagy
    American football coach
  • Doug Pederson
    American football player and coach

Black Monday 2022 isn't expected to be as dark as last year when the number of fired NFL head coaches reached seven.

But you never know.

When Pete Carroll is in trouble, they are all pretty much in trouble.

The Jaguars and Raiders already have openings. We all know Matt Nagy, Coach of the Year in 2018, is finished in Chicago on Jan. 10, 2022. And anyone familiar with how this league works figures knows there are some nervous NFLers heading down the stretch in Denver, Houston, Carolina, Jersey (Giants) and, yes, Minnesota.

The Jaguars are getting the early jump, taking advantage of the new rule that allows teams to interview candidates from other teams during the final two weeks of the regular season. They requested numerous interviews this week in hopes of correcting owner Shad Khan's boneheaded belief a year ago that Urban Meyer could lead grown men who get paid and can't be bullied.

Let's take a look at 10 of the hottest head coach candidates available this year:

Eric Bieniemy

Twelve NFL teams hired head coaches the past two seasons. Somehow, Bieniemy went 0-for-12.

Bieniemy, 52, played nine seasons as a running back. He was Brad Childress' running backs coach in Minnesota. He's been with Andy Reid for all nine seasons in Kansas City, the past four as offensive coordinator.

In Year 1 with Bieniemy as coordinator, Patrick Mahomes won MVP, went 12-4 and threw for 50 touchdowns and 5,097 yards. In Year 2, the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in half a century. In Year 3, they made it back to the Super Bowl. This year, they're 11-4 and won their sixth consecutive AFC West title. Overall, they are 55-16, including the playoffs, the past four years.

Critics say Bieniemy doesn't call the plays. Well, neither did Doug Pederson before he went on to Philadelphia and won a Super Bowl.

John Harbaugh, another Reid disciple, also won a Super Bowl in Baltimore. Bieniemy's time isn't due. It's overdue.

Doug Pederson

The 53-year-old Super Bowl champ took a year off after going 4-11-1 with the Eagles in 2020.

After winning Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on Feb. 4, 2018, Pederson went 22-25-1 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs.

That's a red flag, but not big enough to keep him from landing another job.

Todd Bowles

There are two pretty important TBs in Tampa. Tom Brady and Todd Bowles, the 58-year-old defensive coordinator who tormented Mahomes and the Chiefs in last year's Super Bowl beatdown and has the Bucs in the top 10 in fewest points allowed this season.

Bowles went 10-6 as Jets head coach in 2015, but followed up with seasons of 5-11, 5-11 and 4-12. A bit of a concern, but, hey, it's also the Jets.

Brian Daboll

The 46-year-old Bills offensive coordinator deserves a lot of credit for turning Josh Allen into a superstar in the making. Many thought that would have gotten Daboll the Chargers job a year ago when Justin Herbert was coming off his rookie season.

Daboll has been a coordinator for eight seasons, the past four in Buffalo. The Bills have climbed from 30th in scoring to second last year and third this year.

Matt Eberflus

The 51-year-old is in his fourth year as Colts defensive coordinator. His schemes and adjustments have been impressive. Just ask Bill Belichick's Patriots after last week.

The Colts have ranked in the top 10 in takeaways the past four years, including second this season.

Nathaniel Hackett

Yes, it's probably easier being a 42-year-old Packers offensive coordinator when your quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.

But let's not forget: As Jacksonville's offensive coordinator in 2017, Hackett helped Blake Bortles go 10-6, reach the AFC Championship Game and darn near beat the Patriots.

Byron Leftwich

The former quarterback, the seventh overall pick by the Jaguars in 2003, will be in the mix for the Jaguars job. He has been an offensive coordinator for four seasons, the past three with Tampa Bay and the past two with the G.O.A.T. as his quarterback.

Josh McDaniels

It's hard to believe it's been 12 years since McDaniels was a failed head coach, going 11-17 in Denver in 2009-10.

That was the first time he left Belichick's shadow in New England.

He tried again, accepting the Colts job before stiffing them. That makes him a risk to hire, but probably a risk teams are willing to take considering his latest work includes turning rookie Mac Jones into a winning quarterback.

Kellen Moore

The 33-year-old Cowboys offensive coordinator appears to be on one of those modern-era fast tracks to the top.

The Cowboys are division champs with an offense that ranks first in yards (409.5) and points scored (30.5).

Dan Quinn

The 51-year-old Cowboys defensive coordinator is the perfect example of how quickly perceptions change in the NFL.

He won a Super Bowl coordinating Seattle's top-ranked defense. That got him the Falcons head coaching job, which led to a 28-3 lead over the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Of course, that led to a historically painful loss from which Quinn's Falcons never recovered. Consecutive 7-9 seasons and an 0-5 start last year got him fired.

A year later, he's a savior in Dallas. The fifth-worst scoring defense under Mike Nolan is now the seventh-best scoring defense under Quinn.

The Cowboys also lead the league in interceptions, takeaways and third-down defense. And, yes, Quinn's stock is rising this year as quickly as it bottomed out last year.

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