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Tag:Coaching Rumors
Posted on: January 7, 2012 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 9:20 pm
 

Jets eye candidates should Schottenheimer leave

Gang Green begins the offensive coordinator search in case Brian Schottenheimer doesn't return. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

When Jets head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum held their somber end-of-season press conference last Monday, they indicated, among other things, that Mark Sanchez would remain the starting quarterback in 2012, and Brian Schottenheimer, should he not get a head-coaching gig, would return as the offensive coordinator.

Schottenheimer arrived in New York in 2006 and he's been a favorite punching bag of Jets fans since. Still, he's annually mentioned as an rising star in the coaching ranks and destined to be a head coach. He was rumored to be in the running to replace Nick Saban in Miami following the 2006 season but later removed his name for consideration.

Perhaps ready to move on, Schottenheimer interviewed for the Jaguars job Friday. Jacksonville fired Jack Del Rio in November, the franchise was sold to Shahid Khan in December, and are desperately seeking an offensive identity.

While Schottenheimer's head-coaching fate remains undecided, the Jets are making contingency plans to fill his job. The potential replacements, according to the New York Post?  Recently fired Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and the man behind the Jags' 31st-ranked offense, Dirk Koetter.

We hear those two names, think about the barrage of criticism fans directed at Schottenheimer on a weekly basis and "Be careful what you ask for" immediately comes to mind. Schottey deserved the scrutiny, but if you were wondering how things could get worse, that answer might lie with Sparano or Koetter.

That's not completely fair; Sparano arrived in Miami in 2008 with Bill Parcells' blessing and immediately led the Dolphins to 11 wins and the postseason a year after they went 1-15. And Koetter, who came to Jacksonville in 2007 from Arizona State, was responsible for the Jags' third-ranked offense his first season. But they've slipped in the subsequent seasons (2008, 11th; 2009, 17th; 2010, 14th; 2011, 31st).

ESPN reported earlier that Sparano and former Chiefs coach Todd Haley have discussed "joining forces" as a packaged deal. Sparano would handle the running game and Haley would handle the passing game. No word on possible destintions although Fantasy Island immediately comes to mind. (Really, who has two coordinators on the same side of the ball? Then again, maybe "Joining Forces" is the name of their comedy troupe or lounge act. Or both.)

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 3:49 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 1:18 pm
 

Is Hue Jackson in danger of getting fired?

JacksonBy Josh Katzowitz

With the Raiders hiring former Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie as their new general manager, one has to wonder what, if anything, that means for coach Hue Jackson.

Yes, Jackson has only been in Oakland for one season and nearly made the playoffs (he was Tebowed out of the postseason), but according to Pro Football Talk, there’s a clause in his contract that gives McKenzie the right to fire Jackson.  

As Mike Florio writes, “It’s believed that Jackson has damaged his stock in Oakland via statements[*] made in the wake of Sunday’s home loss to the Chargers, which caused the Raiders to miss the postseason for the ninth straight year.  To stay, Jackson will have to submit to the new structure and accept the fact that his influence as to football matters necessarily will diminish.”

*Here’s what Jackson said after the Raiders lost last Saturday to eliminate themselves from the postseason: "I'm pissed at my team. At some point in time as a group of men you go in the game and you can say whatever you want about coaches, you win the game. Here's your time. Here's your time to make some plays. We didn't get them stopped and we didn't make enough plays. Yeah, I'm pissed at the team. Like I tell them, I always put it on me, but I am pissed at my team because when you have those kind of opportunities, you've got to do it and we didn't do it."

Also potentially damaging his credibility: Jackson’s decision to bring in quarterback Carson Palmer and when he called it the greatest trade ever made.

Yahoo Sport’s Michael Silver, though, believes Jackson is safe, writing, "My Raiders sources believe Hue Jackson will NOT be fired, despite rumors...”

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:53 am
Edited on: January 7, 2012 12:00 pm
 

Report: Romeo Crennel will be next Chiefs coach

Crennel will reportedly become the full-time coach in KC. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Romeo Crennel did nice work as the interim coach for the Chiefs in 2011, going 2-1 over the three games he coached, including a shocking upset of the (at the time) undefeated Packers, a near win against the Raiders in overtime and a victory over the eventual division-champion Broncos in Week 17.

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And now he's reportedly been given the full-time nod as head coach of the Chiefs, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Saturday morning that the Chiefs are "planning to retain Romeo Crennel and remove interim tag from his title."

The Chiefs recently interviewed ex-Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, but it's not hard to see how they zeroed in on locking down Crennel. Jeff Fisher is going to either Miami or St. Louis (and has said as much), Josh McDaniels is already in New England, Kirk Ferentz is staying at Iowa and that leaves Crennel as an obvious choice to keep running the Chiefs.

Additionally, his defense over the final eight weeks of the season was incredibly impressive. The Chiefs allowed just two opponents -- the Patriots and then the Jets, the latter being the game that got Todd Haley fired -- to score more than 20 points in that stretch, and Crennel's gameplans against high-powered offenses, particularly while handicapped by the Tyler Palko era, was quite impressive.

He's a locker room favorite in Kansas City, and if he can bring in a capable offensive coordinator and avoid the injuries that plagued Kansas City in 2010, there's a reasonable chance that the Chiefs could return to the top of the AFC West next season.

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:37 am
Edited on: January 8, 2012 1:18 pm
 

Josh McDaniels to Patriots, starts immediately

Josh McDaniels will join New England immediately (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

With the news that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has taken the Penn State head coaching job, we told you Josh McDaniels was scheduled to interview for his old job in New England. The Associated Press has confirmed that not only will McDaniels get that job, beginning in 2012, but he’ll join the team immediately in time for this year’s playoffs.

The story was originally reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

McDaniels had a terrible year in his only season as the Rams offensive coordinator -- St. Louis ranked 31st in yards gained and dead last in points scored -- but he had so much success previously in New England that the move makes perfect sense from  a Patriots perspective. O'Brien, meanwhile, will return to New England until the season is finished.

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Ever since leaving New England, though, McDaniels hasn't had a real good run of success. When he took over the Broncos head coaching job, the team started the year 6-0, but during the rest of the 2009 season and into 2010, Denver lost 17 of 22 games. He was fired 13 games into last season. Then, he took the Rams offensive coordinator job under head coach Steve Spagnuolo, but that offense, through injuries and a unit that had a tough time adjusting to the new scheme, was a disaster.

Now, McDaniels returns to the position he held from 2006-08, when the Patriots never finished lower than 11th in total offense and were the top NFL offense in 2007.

The Patriots are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and they won't have to play until next Saturday in Foxboro, so McDaniels would have at least a week to reingratiate himself to the team. As CSNNE's Tom E. Curran retweets, McDaniels' offense already has faced the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Packers and Saints this year, and that would help New England's prep if it has to face those squads in the postseason (out of those teams, the Patriots have played only Pittsburgh this year).

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:20 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:24 pm
 

Report: Pats set to interview Josh McDaniels

McDaniels could be headed home with Brady and Belichick. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Despite a miserable 2011 season as Rams offensive coordinator (St. Louis ranked 31st in yards per game and last in points per game), Josh McDaniels remains in pretty hot demand as a coach.

The former Broncos coach was actually the only Rams coach retained in a front-office purge, but St. Louis let it be known they'll release McDaniels from his contract. At this point he's a leading candidate for various openings in Kansas City, and now, he's set to interview with his old team, the Patriots.

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That last piece of news is courtesy of NFL Network's Albert Breer, who reports that the Pats have received permission to speak with McDaniels and will talk to him over the weekend about the offensive coordinator position vacated by Bill O'Brien's departure to Penn State.

McDaniels, of course, was O'Brien's predecessor, so there's a good chance that he'll ace the interview. Under McDaniels, the Pats offense was beyond prolific, scoring 589 points and ranking first in passing yards, total yards, points, touchdowns and net yards per attempt en route to a 16-0 regular season. (You may have heard of this team.)

Tom Curran of CSN New England noted that the "relationship [is] strong" between Bill Belichick and McDaniels, so it's unlikely that any burnt bridges would negate McDaniels desire to return.

Then there's this: wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, scheduled to be a free agent, already said he wants to go wherever McDaniels goes. Since he already knows McDaniels offense, it's likely he'd be a perfect fit in New England's offense (think a filthy rich man's Deion Branch?) as well, and combined with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, could make the Pats offense absolutely deadly.

But McDaniels is also being courted by the Chiefs; if he's offered the head-coaching job in Kansas City, it might be too difficult for him to turn down in favor of returning to New England.

Given the choice between running the Chiefs offense and running the Patriots offense, however, it's hard to imagine him going anywhere other than New England.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:13 pm
 

Bears promote Mike Tice to offensive coordinator

By Will Brinson

The Bears recently decided to not invite offensive Mike Martz back for another season as offensive coordinator and announced on Friday the promotion offensive line coach (and former Vikings head coach) Mike Tice to the position.

Tice, entering his 16th season as an NFL coach, was hired as the offensive line coach before the 2010 season in Chicago. The Bears offensive line isn't exactly renown for their high-level of talent and for the early part of both 2010 and 2011, Jay Cutler spent the better part of the season on his back, ducking defenders who waltzed through the protection schemes in Chicago.

But Tice deserves credit for his adjustments, as the offensive line dramatically improved over the course of the season.

In telling news, the Bears pointed out in their press release that Tice "interviewed for the position with coach Lovie Smith on Thursday," indicating that Lovie's gig for the upcoming season is, in fact, safe.

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Tice's five years as Minnesota's coach indicate precisely what kind of difference we should expect to see from the Bears offense going forward: only once did the Vikings, even with Daunte Culpepper under center, rank in the top-10 in passing attempts. Twice they ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing attempts, and in all but one of those years, the Bears ranked in the top 10 in yards per rushing attempt. (Certainly worth noting: Daunte Culppeper piled up some rushing yards as well.)

In other words, while Martz was pass-pass-pass and then pass again, Tice is likely to be run-run-run and run again. It should be a stark contrast, and if the Bears can improve the offensive line and keep Matt Forte in town, it could be a more productive offense as well, even as the NFL shifts to more pass-happy offenses.

Certainly Cutler, who reportedly didn't want Martz back in the first place, should be happier. Or at least healthier.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:05 am
 

Report: Ray Horton interviewing for Rams job

By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher is the primary target for the Rams in their current coaching search, but another name has hopped onto St. Louis' list.

The Rams received permission to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, and will talk with Horton on Friday.

Horton was previously the Steelers defensive backs coach before being hired by Ken Wisenhunt in the offseason to take over as DC in 2011. (Aside: here's a great story about him giving a cafeteria worker in Pittsburgh his Mercedes for $20 on his way out of town.)

Horton's aggressive blitzing style was a welcome change for the Cards, but the team struggled to pick up on his new scheme early on; the team struggled out to a 1-6 start and looked like they might have one of the worst defenses in the NFL early on.

But from November on, the Cardinals went 7-2 down the stretch and never gave up more than 23 points in a single game, limiting better offenses like the Eagles, Cowboys and 49ers to less than 20 in upset wins.

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In 2010 the Cardinals ranked 29th in yards allowed per game and 30th in points allowed per game. This year, despite dealing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philly and drafting Patrick Peterson, they improved to 18th in yards allowed per game and 16th in points allowed per game.

One thing to watch here: Horton satisfies the Rooney Rule (minority candidates) for the Rams.

If St. Louis interviews Horton and quickly moves on to hiring Jeff Fisher (which is well within their right to do), it's also a bit disingenuous to the spirit of the rule, because Horton won't actually have been given a fair shot at landing the job.

It's good for him that he'll continue to be a hot name as a potential candidate for head coaching jobs but it's a reminder that the NFL needs to fix a rule that only gives lip service to providing opportunities for minorities.

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:08 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 8:33 am
 

Report: Jack Del Rio to interview for Chiefs job

Could Jack Del Rio be the next Todd Haley? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

We didn't see this coming: Former Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio will interview for the Chiefs' head-coaching job Friday, according to Kansas City's KCTV5.

Jacksonville fired Del Rio in late November after a 3-8 start. It was his eighth season with the Jaguars and he left with a 68-71 record, including two playoff appearances. But the Jags under Del Rio hadn't finished above .500 since 2007, a four-year span that included two 5-11 finishes (including '11, when they went 2-3 with Mel Tucker as the interim head coach). And sources told CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco that Del Rio had lost his drive, showing up to work at 9 a.m., which is swell for your garden-variety sedentary pencil pusher but equivalent to banker's hours for an NFL head coach.

Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, who played for Tom Coughlin and Del Rio before ending his career with Bill Belichick and the Patriots, said that Del Rio played favorites and that contributed to his downfall.

"Why do you think I'm not there?" Taylor asked the ThePostGame.com's Eric Adelson shortly after Del Rio was canned. "… At the end of the day, [Del Rio]'s not a head coach. He's a great defensive coach. But he's not a head coach."

Also not helping Del Rio: the Jaguars' dreadful offense, exacerbated by a rookie quarterback and zero playmakers outside of Maurice Jones-Drew. But it's not like the Chiefs are an offensive juggernaut. They "featured" Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton under center at various points this season. Yes, Del Rio, a defensive coach, could higher a brilliant offensive mind to turn things around but if that's the thinking, why hire Del Rio at all? Just hire the brilliant offensive mind.

Or, if general manager Scott Pioli is interested in a defensive-minded head coach in the Belichick mold, here's a thought: give the job to Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs' defensive coordinator who took over after Todd Haley was fired late in the season. Crennel has the support of his players and he did something no other team had been able to do in 12 months: beat the Packers.

Kansas City has also interviewed Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin are are reportedly interested in speaking with Falcons' OC Mike Mularkey.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com