January 25, 2024   4 MIN READ

Harbaugh Bolts Michigan For L.A.

Michigan's National Champion HC Returns to NFL; Panthers Hire Canales; Falcons Pass on Bill


The Los Angeles Chargers have made official the long-expected return of Jim Harbaugh to the NFL. 

Jim Harbaugh

GETTY IMAGES: Jim Harbaugh returns to the NFL after winning the NCAA National Championship

Harbaugh owns a 44-19-1 record as an NFL head coach with three NFC title game appearances and one Super Bowl berth to his name with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14.

After parting ways with the Niners in 2014, Harbaugh returned to his alma mater Michigan, leading the team to an 86-25 record. While the team made several bowl appearances, it was not until this past season where the 60-year-old finally won a national championship.

Now, he heads back to California looking to recapture his previous NFL success. 

While the Chargers already have their franchise quarterback in place with Justin Herbert and several key pieces like left tackle Rashawn Slater and edge rusher Joey Bosa, the team is projected to be several million dollars over the cap and has needs at key positions on both sides of the ball. 

The team also needs to hire their general manager as well as fill out the rest of the staff. Harbaugh seemingly has his coordinators already in place, per Aaron Wilson.

Four of the eight head coaching vacancies have now been filled. The Washington Commanders, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Seattle Seahawks remain without one.

Dave Canales

The Carolina Panthers are poaching a rising coaching star in the NFC South to lead their organization.

Dave Canales will be the new Panthers head coach, per NFL Network.

Canales spent one season as offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, overseeing a unit that came alive with a resurgent season from former Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield. 

Previously, the 42-year-old Canales had spent his entire NFL coaching career with Pete Carroll and the Seahawks, joining the staff in 2010. 

He served in various roles from wide receivers coach to passing game coordinator to quarterbacks coach.

As QB coach in 2022, he successfully ushered in the transition from franchise star Russell Wilson to Geno Smith. Smith had a breakout year under Canales’ coaching.  

The Panthers, on their third head coach in three seasons, are hoping that Canales will develop 2023 number one draft pick Bryce Young, who struggled in his rookie season.

Raheem Morris

The Atlanta Falcons have passed on the GOAT in favor of a familiar name to the organization.

Current Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will be the next head coach of the Falcons.

Morris was a member of the Falcons’ coaching staff under Dan Quinn, serving as the team’s receivers coach before moving to defensive coordinator in 2020, where he would become the interim head coach following Quinn’s firing in the middle of the season.

Since then, Morris became defensive coordinator for the Rams, winning the Super Bowl in the 2021 season.

Morris had a brief stint as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach from 2009-11. At the time, he was one of the youngest head coaches ever at the age of 33.

For a short period, it appeared that Atlanta would be going for Bill Belichick, who parted ways with the Patriots after 24 seasons and six Super Bowls. Belichick and the Falcons had multiple in-person interviews, but did not come to terms.

With no reported interest from the remaining teams with coaching vacancies, it appears the greatest coach of all time will not have a head job in the fall.

Six of the eight head coaching vacancies have now been filled. The Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks remain without one.

Dennard Wilson

A former Eagles assistant is receiving multiple interviews for a defensive coordinator job. 

The Tennessee Titans have become the second known team to request an interview with Dennard Wilson, per ESPN.

Wilson, currently the defensive backs coach for the Baltimore Ravens, is a game away from his second straight trip to the Super Bowl.

Defensive backs Kyle Hamilton, Geno Stone, and Brandon Stephens have all had their career-best season under Wilson, who shares responsibilities with defensive passing game coordinator and secondary coach Chris Hewitt.

The 41-year-old Wilson was part of Nick Sirianni’s staff in Philadelphia from 2021-22, coaching a Pro Bowler in Darius Slay, an All-Pro in James Bradberry, and the NFL interceptions leader in C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Though Wilson was a finalist for the DC job after Jonathan Gannon’s departure following the 2022 season, he ultimately lost out to Sean Desai in a plan that was abandoned just 13 games into 2023. Wilson and the Eagles would then part ways.

– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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