There have been 22 NFL coaches hired over the past three seasons.
And each year there was speculation that some of those teams might seek an assistant on Jim Harbaugh’s staff to take over as head coach. The 49ers advanced deep into the NFC playoffs each of those three seasons, yet Harbaugh's staff has remained intact.
In 2012, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts. This year, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings.
Washington requested permission to interview Roman and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in early January. But Washington hired Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden without even the courtesy of a follow-up phone call to either Roman or Fangio, neither of whom had a formal interview.
What’s interesting -- and it seems counterintuitive -- is that the best way to keep a coaching staff together is continue to win.
In the past three years, no assistant coach of a Super Bowl team has been hired to become a head coach. Teams simply are not willing to wait that long. And only once has a head coach been hired off a team that advanced as far as a conference championship game.
That was 2012, when the Indianapolis Colts hired then-Baltimore defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano three days after the Ravens lost in the AFC Championship to the New England Patriots.
Over the past three years:
--Five coaches (Dennis Allen, Joe Philbin, Mike McCoy, Gus Bradley and Ken Whisenhunt) were on staffs that lost in the divisional round of the playoffs;
--Four coaches (Mike Mularkey, Bruce Arians, Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer) were hired after their teams lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs;
--Four coaches (Greg Schiano, Doug Marrone, Chip Kelly and Bill O’Brien) were hired from the college ranks;
--Three coaches (Rob Chudzinski, Jim Caldwell and Mike Pettine) were hired off staffs that did not make the playoffs in the most recent season;
--Two coaches (Jeff Fisher and Lovie Smith) were hired who had head-coaching experience but sat out the previous sesason;
--As mentioned, one coach (Pagano) was on the staff of a team that lost in the conference championship game.
--One coach (Marc Trestman) was hired from the Canadian Football League;
--One coach (Romeo Crennel) was hired as coach after taking over on an interim basis the previous season.
--One coach (Andy Reid) went from one head-coaching job to another when he landed on his feet with the Kansas City Chiefs after being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles.