Twenty-two candidates to consider for coaching vacancies

With more head coaching jobs expected to open than last year's six and few A-list candidates to fill them, the upcoming firing-and-hiring cycle could be as unpredictable as any in recent years.

Setting aside white whales (Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh, Stanford's David Shaw), in-house candidates (Paul Guenther and Darrin Simmons with the Bengals, Steve Spagnuolo with the Giants), college coaches who could draw NFL interest (Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Utah's Kyle Whittingham) or coaches who'd be prime candidates elsewhere if they become available (the Texans' Bill O'Brien), here's the short list of NFL assistants who figure to get a look in the coming weeks, based on recent conversations with team executives and others:

Patriots OC Josh McDaniels
Vikings OC Pat Shurmur
Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo
Chiefs OC Matt Nagy
Patriots DC Matt Patricia
Eagles DC Jim Schwartz
Panthers DC Steve Wilks
Chiefs STC Dave Toub
Eagles OC Frank Reich
Texans DC Mike Vrabel
Saints AHC/TE coach Dan Campbell
Seahawks AHC/OL coach Tom Cable
Steelers OC Todd Haley
Vikings DC George Edwards
Lions DC Teryl Austin
Steelers OL coach Mike Munchak
Seahawks DC Kris Richard
Saints DC Dennis Allen
Eagles STC Dave Fipp
Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter
Bears DC Vic Fangio
Cardinals DC James Bettcher
Buccaneers DC Mike Smith

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