Josh McDaniels, Lovie Smith, David Shaw Among Top Candidates to Replace Fired NFL Head Coaches (Photos)

josh mcdanielsFive NFL teams gave their head coaches the ax on Black Monday, and more jobs could come open as the playoffs get underway.

The Cleveland Browns (who made their move Sunday night), Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings already are in the market for new coaches, and there are plenty of hot candidates to consider for those jobs.

The Texans, who fired Gary Kubiak during the season, have reached out to a number of potential candidates. They’ve even interviewed Lovie Smith, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and potentially a few others as they try to lock down a coach before other searches start. Smith might not be available for much longer, though, as the Bucs, who fired Greg Schiano on Monday, apparently are very interested in hiring the former Chicago Bears coach, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Browns canned Rob Chudzinski after only one season in Cleveland, and they reportedly are hot on Josh McDaniels for the opening. Meanwhile, the Lions, Vikings and Redskins are getting their search preparations in order after firing Jim Schwartz, Leslie Frazier and Mike Shanahan, respectively.

With O’Brien, McDaniels and Smith attracting the majority of the attention early on, some other candidates have fallen under the radar. So let’s jump on the 2014 version of the coaching carousel and see what other candidates might pop up in the weeks ahead.

Check out the NFL’s top-10 coaching candidates >>

Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

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