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NFL grants clubs permission to virtually interview coaches still in playoffs

Head-coaching candidates who are still in the hunt for Super Bowl LV are going to get a chance to continue their dual pursuit of the final step up the sideline ladder.

The NFL has granted clubs permission to conduct virtual interviews this week with candidates who are still in the playoffs, provided the employing club consents, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

The league's granting of permission to conduct virtual interviews in a window in which teams weren't allowed to communicate with such coaches opens the door wider for the candidacies of Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who are both candidates for remaining vacancies in Houston and Philadelphia. Bowles will interview with the Eagles on Monday, per Pelissero, while the Texans will meet virtually with Bieniemy, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Houston waited too long to request an interview with Bieniemy to get an opportunity to do so before the initial playoff interview window had closed, delaying the potential hiring of one of the most qualified candidates available. Philadelphia, meanwhile, put itself in an uphill climb by waiting a week to fire head coach Doug Pederson, launching its new search the morning after the conclusion of Super Wild Card Weekend.

Each franchise will now get a chance typically not afforded to them in previous years. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting how interviews are being conducted, though, the league has been willing to adjust, which could lead to a potential decision on either of these candidates earlier than previously possible.

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