Tag:Coach Tracker
Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:47 pm

Miami's coaching situation is a PR nightmare

Posted by Will Brinson

Something ain't stirring the Kool-Aid down in Miami. And all apologies to the inestimable Tone Loc for ganking his line (although it did involve the Dolphins, so I suppose it's okay), but whatever Stephen Ross is doing with his coaching situation seems a little bizarre.

Not only did he openly chase Jim Harbaugh (and Bill Cowher?) while Tony Sparano was/is still gainfully employed with the Dolphins, but apparently there's some sort of flirtation going on with Eric Mangini now too.

See, there was a press conference (or, if you prefer "media roundtable") planned in Miami for Friday. There the team was going to presumably present, as the Miami Herald's Armando Saiguero put it, "a unified front" after handing Sparano some "sorry for publicly embarrassing you by chasing after someone else" money.

That press conference was scheduled for 4:45 PM EST and then, suddenly, canceled. 

Why? Excellent question.

Well, they created a bit of a miss by running full sprint after Jim Harbaugh without firing Tony Sparano. Additionally, Jeff Darlington of the Herald cites sources who say the 'Fins scheduled a meeting with former Browns coach Eric Mangini for Friday. (Yes, this is like posting a sign inquiring into dates out in front of your ex-wife's house. Before she's moved out.) Supposedly the Browns were only seeking a "'consultant' who has 'knowledge of the division,'" and eventually cancelled the meeting anyway

But, given the surrounding circumstances, it's auspicious to say the least. Back to the cancelled press conference -- Darlington cites sources who believe the Dolphins suddenly realized what a mess they'd created and decided to "reorganize." Or something.

Either way, Tony Sparano should be announced as the head coach of the Dolphins sometime soon. And it's all but certain that his first press conference back from the job from which he was never fired shouldn't be awkward at all.

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Posted on: January 6, 2011 9:37 am

Report: McDaniels could be 49ers back-up plan

Posted by Will Brinson

The San Francisco 49ers had grand plans for this offseason. Oh, they were grand indeed -- like something out of Steely Dan's "Reeling in the Years," we were all informed that the genius would return. 

Then a weekend out at college happened, and now it looks like the Niners might end up with a combo of Trent Baalke and Josh McDaniels. 

No, seriously -- Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News reports that McDaniels could be the backup plan when if Miami swoops in and steals Jim Harbaugh, which appears more and more likely because of Stephen Ross' willingness to sling sufficient cheddar to get the Stanford coach to Florida.

McDaniels isn't a bad coach, despite his record, and there's actually a decent chance he could succeed if he had the proper structure around him and a good defensive coordinator. (In fact, if anyone could get a lot out of guys like Alex Smith and Josh Morgan and really turn Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis into stars, it's McDaniels and his offense.)

So the whole "look what they ended up with" thing isn't about dogging his offensive acumen -- it's about the Niners and their inability to maintain a consistent focus on their direction moving forward.

Things may pan out differently in terms of who they hire, but it's pretty clear that right now all the chatter about "doing things the right way" was more of a façade than anything else.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 5:06 pm

Marvin Lewis signs deal to return to Bengals

Posted by Will Brinson

The will he or won't he return to the Bengals saga with Marvin Lewis (at one point he left the campus when negotiations started to fall apart) ended in an agreement Tuesday between the coach and the team to have him return in 2011.

"Marvin Lewis signs deal to return," the Bengals announced on their official Twitter feed.

Lewis' return will mark his ninth consecutive season as coach of the Bengals, making him the longest-tenured coach in Cincinnati history. Lewis is 60-67-1 in the regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs as Bengals head coach.

Logically, the team will have given him a multiple-year deal -- it seems unlikely that Lewis would be willing to go through the same process a year from now, particularly when there was immediate (albeit reported) interest in his services both at the college and pro levels.

Lewis' return won't mean things stay the same all around in Cincinnati, though. It seems likely that wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco stand a good chance of being shown the exit. Owens is a free agent and Ochocinco's extension would need to be picked up in order to return, but there was significant strife between he and Lewis late during the 2010 regular season.

UPDATE (5:05 p.m.): According to the Bengals website, Lewis' new contract calls for a two-year deal.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 2:49 pm

Would 49ers give Harbaugh 'significant' power?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes keep getting upped by the hour -- first there was the report that Miami's working the hard sell, then there's the report that Michigan fired Rich Rodriguez.

And now there's a report from CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco that the 49ers would be willing to give Harbaugh "significant personnel power" if he came to the Bay.

"They are willing to give Harbaugh significant personnel power," a source told Maiocco Tuesday.

So, yeah, things are reaching comical proportions, because while Harbaugh's achieved incredible success at Stanford, he's not Vince Lombardi. And yet, he has every team with a coaching vacancy falling all over themselves to lure him in.

Would he succeed at Michigan? Almost undoubtedly (look what he did at freakin' Stanford). Would he do well in the NFL? There's very good reason to believe he would.

But would he absolutely do well with having to step in and immediately coach NFL players while doing front office management work? Because that's another story altogether, and many veteran NFL coaches struggle with the additional job requirements.

Maybe Harbaugh can deal with the added pressures, but the scary thing about the report isn't what might happen if he take the job. It's the 49ers inability to maintain a consistent direction (one they stated publicly no less!) in revamping the face of their organization.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:42 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 3:03 pm

Report: Lewis bolts on Bengals amid negotiations

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (2:50 PM): Well, turns out that Lewis and the Bengals aren't getting along so well. Adam Schefter updates his earlier report about Lewis rejoining the Bengals with the news that Lewis "left the Bengals campus" after the two sides "could not agree on [the] franchise's direction and his future is in serious jeopardy there." 

In other words, we're right back where we were about 24 hours ago, which is to say the Bengals will be hiring someone else and Marvin's somehow still holding all the cards in the situation.
Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals were expected to part ways now that his contract is up. But something weird happened along the way to him becoming "unemployed" -- leverage seemed to shift from the Bengals (who were firing him in a passive-aggressive way) to Lewis (who suddenly had tons of demands if he was going to stay).

It appears the Bengals might have caved to those demands (either that or they got scared when he was linked to the Pitt job and the 49ers job), because Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that within 24 hours the Bengals and Lewis "expect to resolve any issues" between them and that Lewis will remain as head coach of the Bengals.

Clearly, this is a dramatic shift in where the Bengals believed to be heading, but perhaps it has as much to do with Lewis being successful in Cincinnati (no, seriously) as it does with the current labor situation.

Both of those factors make Lewis an attractive candidate to return to the Bengals. Or perhaps Mike Brown didn't feel another candidate would be interested in what's always been a tough place to win. Either way, a surprise turn of events as it appears Marvin Lewis is returning to Cincinnati.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:18 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 11:53 am

Report: 'Fins have had contact with Harbaugh

Posted by Will Brinson

The Miami Dolphins head coach is currently Tony Sparano. But his fate is scheduled to be determined approximately some time Tuesday and if the 'Fins can land current Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, well, Sparano isn't long for southern Florida.

That possibility apparently isn't that far-fetched, as the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora is reporting that Miami has "had contact with Harbaugh." The Stanford coach has been in Florida all week for the Orange Bowl, obviously, so it makes sense that he could have "run into" (my words) a front office member or two from the Dolphins.

LaCanfora also mentions that he continues "to hear this could happen" -- this being Harbaugh as coach of the Dolphins.

No one really doubts that Harbaugh can succeed in the NFL. Or, at the very least, no one is looking at his possible success in the NFL with any sort of clear-colored lenses right now, because of the success he's had at Stanford, his brother's success with the Ravens, and a clear need for some fresh coaching blood with a lot of teams.

That's not to say he won't be a good coach, it's just that Miami isn't all that far removed from having Nick Saban as it's head coach and when he bounced from LSU to the NFL, there wasn't a hotter name on the market.

Still, the precautionary tale of Saban probably wouldn't stop Stephen Ross and the rest of the Miami ownership group and front office from inking the hottest name in coaching if he's willing to come to Miami, even though they already have a head coach in place.

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 6:48 pm

Adams still undecided on Fisher's future

Posted by Will Brinson

The Tennessee Titans and Jeff Fisher are in what's most likely the oddest "hot seat" situation, because of Fisher's lengthy tenure with the team.

So it makes sense that it's unfolding oddly -- Titans' owner Bud Adams released a statement (from Houston) shortly before Jeff Fisher took the podium (in Tennessee) and there appears to be some discord between the sides.

“I met for several hours today with Steve Underwood and Mike Reinfeldt about our organization and where we go from here," Adams said in a statement released by the team. "I will continue to review all aspects of what we do as a football team, including the coaching staff and other decisions that are in front of us.

"There are several things that need to be considered in this evaluation process, including Jeff’s (Fisher) history with our team, the labor situation and other challenges. I have been at this for a long time, and these decisions take time and thoughtful consideration. I will make the decisions that I feel are in the best interest of the team. I do understand the time element involved and would expect to make these decisions in the near future.

"In the meantime, I will continue to be in contact with Jeff and the senior staff for any additional information that I may need."

Fisher echoed the "no one really knows for sure what's going to happen" sentiment when speaking with the media in Nashville.

"I'm in a situation for the first time in my career where there's curiosity regarding my tenure here and I know everyone has a lot of questions here, but it is a process and we're going to continue to discuss it," Fisher said. "We have, as you can appreciate, some difficult decisions to make, so we'll continue with that. In the event I can't answer your questions, it's because we're still in the process."

The crux of the issue seems to be, simply, Vince Young.

Obviously things run a little deeper than that, and Fisher acknowledged that he could make a trip to Houston at some point in the week, but there's a general belief that Fisher doesn't want to coach Young and/or start him at quarterback, while Adams is adamant that Young is the Titans' quarterback of the future.

However, things have changed pretty dramatically since the initial issues between Fisher and Young earlier this year. Two jobs that seemed like ideal landing spots for Fisher, if he chose to walk or was fired, are either filled (Houston) or likely to be filled (Dallas).

While San Francisco, Cleveland and Carolina could also present an opportunity for Fisher if he becomes unemployed, it seems like he's lost a little bit of leverage in negotiations with his owner going forward.

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 2:57 pm

Week 17 Podcast Review: coaching speculation

Posted by Will Brinson

It's hard to go through today without singing some revised Steely Dan in your head ("Wheeeeeeen Blaaaaack Monday comes!"), but remember, there was still football yesterday.

With that in mind, Andy and I break down all the action from Week 17 and examine what the outcomes of certain games mean for certain teams. Where will the Browns go now that they've fired Eric Mangini? Can Rob Ryan hang around? Who will coach the Panthers? Did the Eagles loss to the Cowboys mean anything for their playoff hopes? Do the Seahawks stand a chance of winning at home against New Orleans? Did the Jets do the right thing in resting their players? And were the Bears smart to play their starters for the entire game? 

All those questions answered (plus much, much more) -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com