ATLANTA (AP) — In another sign they are looking beyond six-time Super Bowl winner Bill Belichick, the Atlanta Falcons conducted a second interview with Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik on Thursday.
The face-to-face meeting with Slowik comes after he met virtually with the Falcons last weekend. The 36-year-old is considered one of the league's top coaching prospects after he oversaw the development of rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and helped the Texans reach the playoffs.
Slowik is the fourth candidate to get a second interview with Atlanta, following Belichick, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.
A week ago, the Falcons seemed to be moving toward hiring Belichick, who parted ways with the New England Patriots after a tenure of more than two decades that spiraled in recent years without Tom Brady.
The 71-year-old Belichick has won more Super Bowl titles than any other coach and his 333 wins, including playoffs, leave him just 14 shy of Don Shula's record.
But, even as other vacancies have been filled, the Falcons continue to cast a wide net in their search for Arthur Smith's successor. He was fired as Falcons coach after three seasons, each of which resulted in a 7-10 record.
In all, the Falcons had interviewed 14 potential candidates, though two of those — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan — have accepted head coaching jobs elsewhere.
Callahan replaced Mike Vrabel, who was fired by the Titans and interviewed with the Falcons for the first time on Wednesday.
Atlanta, Washington and Seattle are the only teams that still have coaching vacancies. Five other openings have been filled.
The Falcons' search could carry into next week if they want to hold a second interview with Detroit offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn or Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.
All have met virtually with Atlanta's search committee, which is led by owner Arthur Blank and CEO Rich McKay, but they are now off limits until after the conference championship games Sunday.
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