Tag:Coaching Rumors
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: January 3, 2012 2:20 pm
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Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

Chicago has decided to move on from GM Jerry Angelo.(US PRESSWIRE)

By Will Brinson


Earlier in the year, there were rumors that Bears general manager Jerry Angelo might retire at the end of 2011. He laughed at those rumors then, but probably isn't laughing on Tuesday, as the Bears have relieved Angelo of his duties effectively immediately.

The team announced that news on Tuesday morning, confirming reports from Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune and Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. The team later updated their press release to read that "Lovie Smith will remain."

A source tells CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that the reason for making the move is simple: "the organization was growing stale."

Black Monday

The big question is how many people in the organization this will affect. Freeman heard that Lovie might be 'in a bit of trouble,' and even though Smith "will remain" he still can't feel completely safe within the organization, particularly since a new general manager isn't typically inclined to love a previous coach.

Smith received a two-year extension after last season, taking him through the 2013 season. The Bears also said that Lovie "will continue to evaluate his coaching staff," which means if he does stay, he'll see significant pressure as he heads into the "year before the lame-duck year" portion of his contract.

Meanwhile, one of the league's most scrutinized offensive coordinators, Mike Martz, has resigned for "philosophical differences" according to the Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei. (Martz's contract expired Sunday so, technically, he didn't resign so much as say, "If you're planning on giving me a new deal just know that I ain't coming back. And that's doubly true if you were going to tell me to beat it.") On Monday, Smith was noncommittal about Martz's future with the team and now we know why. 

Two guys that should be happy with this news? Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Cutler because the new offensive coordinator might be interested in fitting the scheme to his best player. And Forte because he could be more likely to get a new deal from the Bears under a new front office than he was from Angelo.

Angelo became Bears GM in 2001, fired Dick Jauron in 2003 and hired Lovie, who's 71-57 under Angelo (Angelo's teams were 95-81 overall) including one trip to the Super Bowl and a slew of dominant defenses.

But the Bears were exposed by injuries in 2011: when Jay Cutler and Matt Forte went down, it became clear that Chicago hadn't properly allocated assets to create depth on the offensive front. Chicago lost five of their last six games after a hot start had them in control of a wild-card spot and nipping at the undefeated Packers heels in the NFC North.

Angelo dealt with contract issues surrounding both Lance Briggs (twice now!) and Forte (the infamous "pay the man" debate) and doesn't exactly have a history of slam-dunking first-round picks. Pardon the list, but from 2001 to 2011 the Bears drafted the following players in the first round of the NFL Draft: David Terrell (8), Marc Colombo (29), Michael Hayes (14), Rex Grossman (22), Tommie Harris (14), Cedric Benson (4), Greg Olsen (31), Chris Williams (14) and Gabe Carimi (29).

Three times -- thrice! -- in that span, the Bears didn't have a first-round pick, although two of them were used to acquire quarterback Jay Cutler.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Report: Fisher will interview for Rams job

FisherBy Josh Katzowitz

Earlier this month, Jeff Fisher’s agent said his client would listen to anyone who might be interested in speaking to him about a coaching vacancy.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, the first team to show interest is the Rams, who will interview Fisher for the job this week. King writes that he expects the organization to go after Fisher and then try to find a new general manager.

Clearly, the Rams are moving on quickly after firing coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney today, and as CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson pointed out in his list of possible replacements, Fisher has to be one of the organization’s top choices.

Mike Freeman reported today that Fisher would have interest in the Colts or Buccaneers jobs but that he wouldn’t participate in mass interviews and that he would he “likely only interview with one or two teams. Possibly three.”

So, if he’s interviewing with the Rams, he clearly has interest, and with a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford and defensive corps that has nice pieces, the Rams seem to have a pretty good chance at landing one of the most sought-after coaches in this offseason.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:01 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 4:38 pm
 

Rex: Holmes will be back in 2012; owed $7.5M?

Santonio Holmes is escorted out of the Jets locker room Monday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With everything that happened with the Jets over the past 24 hours -- missing the playoffs, fighting with the media, in-fighting and whatnot -- you wouldn't be surprised if Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum decided to blow some stuff up. But they won't.

Ryan and Tannebaum confirmed on Monday during a press conference that Santonio Holmes, the player primarily deemed responsible for locker-room issues, would return, and that much-maligned offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would be back, barring another team (like Jacksonville) hiring him as their head coach.

Black Monday

"I believe Santonio will be back next year," Ryan said.

The pair were pelted with questions about Holmes and team chemistry and Ryan said they would do away with team captains altogether.

"I made a huge mistake," Ryan said. "Not just by naming Santonio a captain. With all the captains. It's not something I truly believe in."

When the Jets announced the press conference for Monday, speculation started to ramp up that the Jets could do away with Holmes altogether. However, as Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reported, Holmes is guaranteed more than $7 million in 2012 (with another $7 million of future salary becoming fully guaranteed on the second day of the 2012 league year).

Which is to say, the Jets can't really even consider releasing Holmes. They've simply got to find a way to get him to be better in the locker room. (Tannenbaum wouldn't comment on whether Santonio was disciplined for his behavior the last week.)

As for other issues, Tannenbaum said that Mark Sanchez will remain the starting quarterback in 2012. And Rex indicated there wouldn't be any changes on the coaching staff as of right now.

Oh and Rex's excuse for crying to his team in the locker room on Monday?

"Ah, Im Irish."


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Posted on: January 2, 2012 2:41 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 2:46 pm
 

Report: Colts 'clean house,' fire Polian family

The Colts shockingly fired Bill Polian on Monday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Colts allowed Jim Caldwell to conduct his normal press conference on Monday, but things took a turn for the crazy on Monday afternoon when the Colts announced a 5 p.m. ET press conference and reports emerged that owner Jim Irsay decided to "clean house" and fire Bill Polian and Chris Polian. There hasn't been confirmation of whether or not the team will also fire coach Jim Caldwell.

Black Monday

That news comes from the NFL Network and it means the Colts are admitting what became obvious this year: the entire Indianapolis roster just isn't very good. Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star confirms that the Polians have been fired, but there's still no word on Caldwell.

Peyton Manning shored up many problems for the Colts, but once he was injured, the team was exposed and limped its way to a two-win season and the No. 1 overall draft pick. Polian was hired in 1997 by the Colts and won NFL Executive of the Year a whopping six times. From 1997 to 2004, he hit a number of home runs in the draft, picking up Manning, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Dallas Clark in the first round.

From then til now? Not so good: Marlin Jackson, Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Donald Brown, Jerry Hughes and Anthony Castonzo over eight different drafts is a horrible misuse of first-round picks, even if they were near the bottom of the first round.

The Manning conundrum looms as the spiciest offseason storyline. The Polians gave Peyton his contract (and obviously drafted him) but Irsay is a tremendous supporter of his franchise quarterback. Cleaning house could mean moving onto a new era (one that will presumably feature Andrew Luck under center) ... or perhaps the Polians were prepared to move along without Manning and Irsay wasn't ready to do that.

Whatever, as Colts center Jeff Saturday told our Colts Rapid Reporter Tom James on Monday that Irsay promised him "there will be changes in the offseason." Saturday didn't know what kind of changes those would be.

They are, quite clearly, large changes. An entire overhaul of the Colts organization, in fact.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 2:12 pm
 

Report: Brian Schottenheimer to interview in Jax

SchottenheimerBy Josh Katzowitz

So far, it seems clear that the Jaguars are focusing on offensive assistant coaches to interview for their vacant coaching job.

According to the New York Daily News, Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will interview to be Jack Del Rio’s successor in Jacksonville. That interview could occur as early as next week.

Schottenheimer joins the mix along with Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for a Jaguars team that finished last in the league in offense and that features a rookie quarterback who had a disturbingly-bad season with one of the worst receiving corps in the league.

Of course, the value of Schottenheimer isn’t exactly high right now after the Jets' failure to make the playoffs could be laid mostly at the feet of the offense, which finished 25th in yards gained. He’s also not the first Jets assistant to draw interest from a Florida team (Miami is high on defensive coordinator Mike Pettine).

The Jets have scheduled a press conference for 3 p.m. ET, and since general manager Mike Tannenbaum also is set to attend, there have been whispers that coaching changes could be made. Not that Schottenheimer is worried about it.

"I've been fired before," he said last week. "If you get in this profession, you're going to get fired. And the guys that sit there and worry about it are the guys that generally end up getting fired, because they are sitting there worried about it."

Besides, if he’s hired, he could be interviewing for a promotion anyway.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:49 pm
 

Who will replace Steve Spagnuolo with the Rams?

Spags is out for the Rams, so who's in? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Monday morning, Steve Spagnuolo became the first NFL coach to get fired in 2012 (those jokes never get old do they?), as the Rams let him go after three years at the helm. Spags was 10-38 in that time and will be a hot candidate as a defensive coordinator, believed likely to land in either New York or Philadelphia.

The Rams also fired general manager Billy Devaney, which means they'll be approaching their coaching search in an interesting manner. Some reports indicate they might hire an established coach first and then seek out a young general manager but that doesn't necessarily mean it will go that way.

But right now we're more concerned about who will replace Spags in St. Louis. Let's run through some candidates. Feel free to leave yours in the comments or yell at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL if you think we forgot someone.

Jeff Fisher

Fisher's probably the top candidate for the Rams gig -- CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reported on Monday that Fisher's a really hot name in coaching circles right now although Freeman believes the Colts (if the job opens) and the Bucs (freshly open!) are his top-two choices. Jason LaCanfora "expects" that the Rams will pursue Fisher. Fisher makes sense as a 4-3 defensive coach; Chris Long, Robert Quinn, James Laurinatis are nice pieces to build a defense around. On offense, Steven Jackson's got good run left, Sam Bradford is a stud and the Rams have the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft. So there are pieces there that might be attractive to Fisher. One concern is who he'd bring in as his offensive coordinator -- Fisher's long-time OC Mike Heimerdinger passed recently.

Jon Gruden

Our own Mike Freeman recently reported that Gruden's "leaning" towards returning to the coaching ranks (Gruden continues to deny interest). There were rumors about an A.J. Smith + Gruden combo heading to St. Louis, but a lot of things have to happen to make that work. Gruden would almost certainly be interested in taking over a gig that features a prime prospect like Bradford, despite what he said about dealing Bradford and grabbing Robert Griffin III in the upcoming draft. However, the Rams are a rebuilding gig and that might represent too much risk for Gruden to leave his cushy gig at ESPN.

Jay Gruden

But if not Jon, how about Jay? But no, seriously, why not Jay? The "other Gruden" just spent a year developing Andy Dalton into a legitimate starting quarterback, he runs the West Coast offense, he'd be a nice "splash" hire for Kroenke and he's got lots of head coaching experience, albeit not at the NFL level. If the Rams aren't thinking about going with a coordinator-level guy, though, Gruden probably won't fit the mold. A lot will depend on how they approach the search.

Mike Sherman

So, this is kind of interesting, right? Sherman, the former Packers coach, was fired by Texas A&M just a few months ago ... and found out from a recruit. When that happens, you don't typically see your name go flying into a coaching search. But Cliff Saunders of 101 ESPN says Sherman is "in play" so it's out there. Sherman was an impressive 96-57 as Packers coach from 2000-2005 and is a West Coast guy -- he was Mike Holmgren's offensive coordinator in Seattle for one year before coming back to Green Bay and

Mike Mularkey

As CBS Sports Charley Casserly noted on Monday, Mularkey's drawing plenty of attention for people looking at coaches. Matt Ryan's developed into a top-flight NFL quarterback under Mularkey's watch, and the offense has been consistently, um, consistent.  The Falcons offensive coordinator has already drawn interest from Jacksonville for their vacancy. Mularkey has previous head coaching experience, and though his tenure with the Bills ended after two years, he wasn't fired. Mularkey resigned amid speculation that he didn't like the way the front office was handling things, particularly with the hire of Marv Levy. Buffalo's 9-7 record in 2004 -- Mularkey's first year -- was their last winning season.

Rod Chudzinski

"Chud" will be on every list that we make and with good reason: the job he did with Cam Newton in 2011 is drawing a lot of attention around NFL circles and he's considered a potential head-coaching candidate as early as next season. Given Sam Bradford's success in his rookie year, there's a good chance people in St. Louis could believe Chud could coach him back up. But the Rams may be hesitant to hire another coordinator after the failures of the last regime.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:33 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 1:47 pm
 

Pats OC Bill O'Brien not headed to Penn State

Bill O'Brien apparently is not a Penn State candidate (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

During the past few days, reports have emerged that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was a prime candidate to become the next head coach at Penn State.

USA Today even wrote that only the final details of the contract needed to be completed before Penn State could announce O’Brien as their guy. Apparently, though, O’Brien will not be heading to Happy Valley.

CBS’ Charley Casserly is reporting that O’Brien won’t be the next Penn State coach. Casserly also writes that 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman was interviewed and that Penn State will take another crack at Boise State’s Chris Peterson.

According to the Boston Herald, O’Brien wouldn’t take another job without seeing what the NFL has to offer. For now, it sounds like O’Brien will sit back and wait to see what occurs.

“Any imminent contract signing or agreement (with Penn State) is just off-base,” O’Brien’s agent, Joe Linta told the Herald. “The most important thing for him is to win the Super Bowl. But if someone is going to be interested in him in the NFL, it’s going to happen this week. He could be going somewhere else, he could be returning to the Patriots. But we’ll wait and find out if someone is interested in him and seeks permission to talk with him.”

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Report: Jags contact Panthers about OC Chudzinski

By Will Brinson

Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's probably the hottest coordinator name in the NFL right now and at least one team has contacted the Panthers to seek permission to speak with "Chud" about their open position, Ron Rivera confirmed on Monday.

According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, that team is the Jaguars. Person also notes that Rivera intimated at his year-end press conference the possibility of getting Chudzinski a raise and an extension.

In 2011, the Panthers finished a shocking seventh in the NFL in total offense (389.8 yards per contest) after ranking 32nd in the NFL in offense in 2010, and won six games almost entirely on the strength of their offense and the amazing performance of rookie quarterback Cam Newton. Chud is getting the lion's share of the credit for Newton's success, and rightfully so.

Back when Jack Del Rio was fired, we listed Chudzinski as a possible candidate to fill JDR's shoes.

The logic is pretty obvious: Newton's quick adaptation undoubtedly is appealing to a team like Jacksonville, who struggled mightily on offense with rookie Blaine Gabbert (the second-rated quarterback, behind Newton, on most draft boards) at the helm.

The Jags were dead last in offense in the NFL in 2011, posting just 259.3 yards per game. The question will be whether or not the talent level in Jacksonville appeals to Chudzinski. As Panthers tight end Greg Olsen told Person, Chudzinski will become a head coach at some point "whether it's tomorrow or two years from now."

Gabbert's shown talent as a young quarterback, but he's clearly not the rarified athlete that Newton is. The Jaguars lack any wide receiver talent, although Marcedes Lewis could appeal to Chudzinski, who's shown an ability to develop tight ends since he was at Miami University.

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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