The NFL is a performance-based business that often asks the question, "What have you done for me lately?"
With a number of organizations underperforming in 2012, there have been a litany of head coaches being shown the door. This has opened windows for coordinators on winning teams to pursue head coaching aspirations as they see fit. There are a few hot commodities currently occupied with the postseason; primarily Mike Nolan and Greg Roman.
Nolan, 53, has been the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in 2012, in what has been perhaps their best season. The Falcons have gone from a offensive fireworks show, to a more balanced team that will play hard defensively. Nolan has received high praise in a short period of time, turning around what was the Achilles of this ball club.
Mike Nolan told me he'd only leave ATL for the "right" HC job and won't jump at just anything bc of his relationship w Smitty and DiMitroff— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January 13, 2013
But just because he is drawing attention as a potential head coaching candidate does not mean he will leave Atlanta. Nolan has been connected to the Philadelphia Eagles -- a team that has been struggling to land their next HC. In no way was Nolan their first choice for the position, so he might not be as inclined to leave a good situation in Atlanta for them.
There is also the possibility that Nolan is content as a defensive coach. There have been a great deal of successful long-time coordinators. Nolan has been both a head coach and defensive coordinator, but it's clear he excels at the latter. Nolan was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for three-and-a-half years, finishing with a 18-37 record from 2005-2008.
Of course, it will be his decision to make, but don't be surprised if he is not eager to leave Atlanta.