Teams can't afford to let window pass

Updated: December 31, 2003, 9:36 AM ET
By Randy Mueller | ESPN NFL Insider
The race is on to interview head coaching candidates for open NFL jobs this week.

In accordance with the NFL guidelines for hiring a head coach, assistants under contract with teams that have qualified for a first-round bye in the playoffs can be interviewed through Friday (Jan. 2) by teams that have head coaching openings.

As we've already seen with Lovie Smith having scheduled and interviewed with Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants, these guys will be in high demand this week. Guys like Smith, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis and others will have to squeeze their opportunities to sell themselves to potential employers for their dream jobs around their preparations for next week's playoff games. And guys like Maurice Carthon and Mike Heimerdinger will have to wait another week.