Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

Rising Stars: Five NFL Assistant Coaches That Could Be Head Coaches Next Year

With the NFL playoffs in full swing, many teams are already looking ahead to preparations for the 2023 season. This offseason will include a head coaching change for at least five NFL teams - the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts will all be looking to fill vacancies at head coach.

For most franchises, prior coaching experience on an NFL sideline is a prerequisite for the head coaching job. The coordinator and position coach roles provide valuable experience in game planning, situational awareness, and managing specific position groups while giving a glimpse into the requirements of leading the locker room as a head coach.

So which current NFL assistant coaches are best positioned to be head coaches in 2023?

Featured Promo: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off and win big in 2023. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, 15 lineup tools, new Team Sync platform, Lineup Optimizer, Premium DFS tools and cheat sheets, and much more! Sign Up Now!


First, What Can We Learn From 2022 Head Coach Hirings?

There were 10 head coaching changes in the lead-up to the 2022 season. Seven of these vacancies were filled by first-time head coaches, all coming from offensive or defensive coordinator positions. The remaining spots went to head coaching veterans in Doug Pederson, Todd Bowles, and Lovie Smith.

Five of these 10 new head coaches led their team to the playoffs in 2023, while two were fired less than a calendar year after taking the job. The five new head coaches for 2022 who have already seen playoff returns are the aforementioned Doug Pederson in Jacksonville, Todd Bowles in Tampa Bay, Brian Daboll with the Giants, Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota, and Mike McDaniel with the Dolphins.

It should be noted that four of these five are offensive-minded coaches with playcalling experience coming from offensive coordinator roles at their previous franchises.

It is clear that prior reps leading the offensive or defensive side of the ball indicate a higher likelihood of being hired as a head coach. Which current coordinators or assistants are likely to make the leap to head coach in 2023?


#1. San Francisco 49ers DC Demeco Ryans

Demeco Ryans is one of the hottest names in coaching circles right now, and for good reason. The former All-Pro linebacker has had a quick ascent up the coaching ladder since retiring as a player in 2015. Ryans started as a defensive assistant with the 49ers in 2017 before progressing to defensive coordinator just five years later, replacing former DC Robert Saleh, who took the head coaching job with the Jets.

In his two years as the 49ers' defensive coordinator, Ryans’ units have finished third and first in the NFL in yards allowed, with the defense playing a large role in the team’s deep playoff runs over that time. The 49ers also ended the 2022 regular season with the top-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 15.3 points per game.

Ryans has interviews lined up with several teams already, including the team that drafted him, the Houston Texans. It would be a surprise to many if he does not land a head coaching job this cycle.


#2. Philadelphia Eagles OC Shane Steichen

Eagles OC Shane Steichen has flown largely under the radar as a key contributor to Philadelphia’s recent offensive success, largely due to the spotlight being on second-year head coach Nick Sirianni. Steichen has played a critical role for the Eagles in his two years as offensive coordinator, including calling plays for the NFL’s second-best offense by both points and yards in 2022.

Steichen came to Philadelphia after a short stint as OC with the Los Angeles Chargers, meaning his pedigree includes coaching two rising stars in QB Justin Herbert and QB Jalen Hurts. Steichen’s playcalling helped catapult Hurts into the MVP conversation this year and has been instrumental in leading the Eagles’ explosive offense into the NFC Championship this postseason.

Expect Steichen to be a top candidate with teams looking for an offensive mind at head coach in 2023.

#3. Denver Broncos DC Eljiro Evero

The Denver Broncos had a disastrous season under first-time head coach Nathaniel Hackett in 2022, with the one silver lining being Eljiro Evero’s defensive unit.

Evero inherited a defense that ranked 20th in total DVOA in 2021 and helped improve them to 10th in DVOA among defenses in 2022. Despite a bottom-tier offense not providing much relief, Denver’s defense tied for second in the NFL in 2022 in yards per play allowed.

While Evero only has a year of coordinator experience under his belt, his previous experience coaching with the likes of Sean McVay, Mike McCarthy, and Vic Fangio has helped prepare him for the next step.


#4. Dallas Cowboys OC Kellen Moore

Another former player turning heads as a head coaching candidate is current Cowboys OC Kellen Moore. In his third season as offensive coordinator, the Cowboys finished 2022 as the third-best scoring offense after leading the league in this category last year.

The 2022 season brought new challenges for Moore and the Cowboys' offense, including an early-season injury to QB Dak Prescott that brought backup QB Cooper Rush into relevance. Rush went 4-1 during Prescott’s absence, putting a spotlight on Moore’s ability to adapt the gameplan according to the team’s strengths on a week-by-week basis.

Moore will likely garner interest again as a head coaching candidate this offseason.


#5. Philadelphia Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon

With Philadelphia being one of the hottest teams in 2022, it is no coincidence that two Eagles coordinators made this list. DC Jonathan Gannon is in his second year as head of the Eagles' defense, joining the team in 2021 alongside Nick Sirianni.

The Eagles finished the 2022 regular season with the eighth-best scoring defense in the NFL, a stark improvement over their 2021 campaign where they finished 18th in this category. Philadelphia led the league with 70 sacks this season, 15 more than the next-highest team. They also finished the season with a 15.1% turnover rate, good for third-best in the NFL.

For teams looking to replicate the same magic that other defensive-minded coaches like Mike Vrabel and Robert Saleh have seen in their first HC jobs, don’t be surprised if Gannon gets his first shot at a head coaching role in 2023.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts


Tejay Antone53 mins ago

Dealing With Flexor Strain
Bo Bichette1 hour ago

Blue Jays, Bo Bichette Reportedly Avoid Arbitration With Three-Year Deal
Frank Vatrano1 hour ago

Snipes In Overtime Tuesday
Phil Kessel1 hour ago

Contributes Two Points In Vegas Victory
Ilya Sorokin2 hours ago

Shutout Seattle Tuesday
Timo Meier2 hours ago

Carries Sharks To Overtime Win
Nathan MacKinnon2 hours ago

Notches A Goal In Avalanche Loss
Joel Embiid3 hours ago

On Injury Report Again
Rickie Fowler3 hours ago

Past Bodes Well At WM Phoenix Open
Jaylen Brown3 hours ago

Likely To Play Wednesday
Sam Burns3 hours ago

Looks To Keep Improving At Phoenix
Daniel Gafford3 hours ago

Not Listed On Wednesday's Injury Report
Austin Reaves3 hours ago

Playing Against Thunder
Scottie Scheffler3 hours ago

Could Stay Near The Top At Phoenix
Hayden Buckley4 hours ago

Poised For Rebound At WM Phoenix Open
Matthew NeSmith4 hours ago

Still Trying To Find Fall Form
PGA4 hours ago

Sungjae Im Poised To Keep Rolling In Phoenix
4 hours ago

Tom Kim Expects To Contend At Phoenix This Week
Derek Carr5 hours ago

Saints Granted Permission To Visit With Derek Carr
Jonas Valanciunas6 hours ago

Starting Against Hawks
Brandon Ingram6 hours ago

Playing As Expected Tuesday
DeMar DeRozan7 hours ago

Sitting Out Tuesday Against Memphis
Dejounte Murray7 hours ago

Cleared For Tuesday
RJ Barrett7 hours ago

Available To Play Against Magic
Yuta Watanabe7 hours ago

Will Undergo MRI Wednesday
Kyle Tucker7 hours ago

Astros, Kyle Tucker Have Discussed Extension
Kevin Durant7 hours ago

Out Through All-Star Break
Jon Berti7 hours ago

Marlins, Jon Berti Avoid Arbitration
Bradley Beal7 hours ago

Uncertain For Wednesday
Kyle Kuzma7 hours ago

Questionable To Play Wednesday
DJ LeMahieu7 hours ago

Looks Back To Old Self
Josh Donaldson7 hours ago

Projected To Start At 3B For Yankees
Pavel Francouz7 hours ago

In Avalanche Net Tuesday
Bowen Byram7 hours ago

Ready To Go Tuesday
Tristan Jarry8 hours ago

Remains Unavailable Tuesday
Kasperi Kapanen8 hours ago

Returns To Action Tuesday
Kevin Labanc8 hours ago

Set To Sit Again Tuesday
Zach Whitecloud8 hours ago

A Game-Time Call Tuesday
Troy Terry8 hours ago

Questionable For Tuesday
Rudy Gobert9 hours ago

Questionable Again On Tuesday
Devin Booker9 hours ago

Probable To Return On Tuesday
OG Anunoby10 hours ago

Remains Sidelined, Resumes Light On-Court Work
Kyle Lowry10 hours ago

Out For The Next Three Games
Oswald Peraza10 hours ago

Yankees Impressed With Oswald Peraza
Ben Simmons10 hours ago

No Longer On Injury Report On Tuesday
Anthony Volpe10 hours ago

On A Mission
DeMar DeRozan10 hours ago

Uncertain For Tuesday Against Grizzlies
Jamal Murray10 hours ago

Now Questionable For Tuesday's Game
Dejounte Murray10 hours ago

Questionable With Migraine On Tuesday
Matt Gage11 hours ago

Blue Jays Place Matt Gage On Unconditional Release Waivers
Phillip Diehl11 hours ago

Guardians Agree To Minor-League Deal With Phillip Diehl
Derrick Lewis12 hours ago

Rough Times Continue For Derrick Lewis
Serghei Spivac12 hours ago

Sergey Spivak Earns Huge Victory On Saturday
MMA13 hours ago

Jung Da Un Unable To Do Enough To Earn Decision
Devin Clark13 hours ago

Eeks Out Close Decision Win
Blagoy Ivanov13 hours ago

Unable To Stop Recent Slide
Marcin Tybura13 hours ago

Continues To Shine With Latest Victory
Kyle Nelson13 hours ago

Saved From Defeat With Late Point Deduction
MMA14 hours ago

Choi Doo-ho's Point Deduction Takes Away A Victory
Yusaku Kinoshita14 hours ago

Unable To Score A Victory In Debut
Adam Fugitt14 hours ago

Dominates With First-Round Finish
Jakob Chychrun17 hours ago

Scores Twice In Coyotes Victory
Matthew Tkachuk17 hours ago

Racks Up Five Points Against Tampa Bay
Kyle Palmieri17 hours ago

Pushes Point Streak To Five Games
Dougie Hamilton17 hours ago

Notches Three Assists
Jack Hughes17 hours ago

Extends Multi-Point Streak To Five Games
Mika Zibanejad18 hours ago

Reopens Season With A Three-Point Effort
Aleksander Barkov18 hours ago

Injured In Blowout Win
Ian Kinsler1 day ago

To Rejoin Rangers As Special Assistant To GM
Pete Crow-Armstrong1 day ago

Gets Non-Roster Spring Training Invite
Ronald Guzmán1 day ago

Giants List Ronald Guzman As Two-Way Player
Victor Robles1 day ago

Nationals, Victor Robles Avoid Arbitration
Carlos Correa1 day ago

Withdraws From World Baseball Classic
A.J. Green1 day ago

Announces His Retirement
Brock Purdy1 day ago

Leaning Toward Surgery?
Mecole Hardman1 day ago

Lands On Injured Reserve
Clyde Edwards-Helaire1 day ago

Chiefs Activate Clyde Edwards-Helaire From IR
Jonathan Toews1 day ago

Likely Out Tuesday
Valeri Nichushkin1 day ago

Set To Return Tuesday
Stephen Piscotty1 day ago

Giants Agree To Minor-League Deal With Stephen Piscotty
Milwaukee Brewers2 days ago

Sal Frelick Expected To Play For Italy In WBC
Zach Wilson2 days ago

Jets Have No Plans To Trade Zach Wilson
New York Mets2 days ago

Mets Top Prospect Matthew Allan To Miss 2023 Season
Cleveland Browns2 days ago

Myles Garrett Dislocates Toe At Pro Bowl Games
Rowdy Tellez2 days ago

Playing For Mexico In WBC
Carlos Beltran2 days ago

Joining Mets Front Office
Shohei Ohtani2 days ago

MLB Experts Leave Out Angels For Shohei Ohtani Bid
Joey Logano3 days ago

Facing Different Reality At Los Angeles
Ross Chastain3 days ago

And The Clash On Sunday
Ty Gibbs3 days ago

Has To Race Into Coliseum Main Event
Kyle Larson3 days ago

Bit Of A Wildcard At Los Angeles
Alex Bowman3 days ago

Qualified Ninth At Los Angeles
NASCAR3 days ago

A.J. Allmendinger Has Exciting Saturday At Coliseum
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

Starts Second In Heat Three At Coliseum
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Continues Chevy Theme In Los Angeles
Aric Almirola3 days ago

Rises To Fifth In Qualifying Saturday
William Byron3 days ago

Qualifies Fourth For Sunday At Los Angeles
Christopher Bell3 days ago

Surprises Some At Coliseum Saturday
Kyle Busch3 days ago

Loves Los Angeles Again On Saturday
Justin Haley3 days ago

Heats Up Coliseum Track Saturday
Josh Jacobs3 days ago

Won't Settle In Extension Talks
Mecole Hardman4 days ago

Doubtful For Super Bowl
JuJu Smith-Schuster4 days ago

Kadarius Toney Questionable
Derek Carr5 days ago

Won't Extend Contract Trigger Date
Derek Carr5 days ago

Expected To Draw Plenty Of Interest
Aaron Rodgers5 days ago

: "I'm Not Going To San Fran"
Joe Mixon5 days ago

Charges Against Joe Mixon Will Be Dropped
Joe Mixon5 days ago

Has Warrant For Arrest
Mecole Hardman5 days ago

Unlikely To Play In Super Bowl