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Tag:Mike Heimerdinger
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:53 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:54 pm
 

Report: Jeff Fisher has 'always wanted' Bears job

Jeff Fisher would reportedly be thrilled to land the Bears gig. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher's the hottest name in coaching right now, likely getting his pick of open jobs around the NFL. But here's a spicy meatball: Fisher's top choice of NFL gigs isn't one that's open, as he reportedly has "always wanted" the Chicago Bears job.

Latest Coaching Rumors, News

That's what Albert Breer of NFL Network reported on Tuesday night, and it's a bit of a stunner, though the connected dots do make some sense. For starters, Fisher was a Bear when he was in the NFL from 1981-1984. According to Breer, Fisher has "maintained a close relationship with ownership" since his playing time.

Additionally, Fisher's old offensive coordinator, the late Mike Heimerdinger, worked with current Bears quarterback in Denver ... where Cutler played only because Bud Adams forced the Titans to draft Vince Young over Cutler in 2006. (Also, re: Cutler; he played at Vanderbilt. Which is in Nashville. Which is where the Titans are. There's a connection here.)

Breer notes that Fisher is also "aware of the player Cutler has become" since leaving Denver. Ultimately, Cutler would satisfy Fisher's desire for a franchise quarterback at his next job. And the Bears defense is a pretty good building block to start with.

Just one problem: Lovie Smith's still coaching in Chicago. Despite firing their general manager, the Bears decided that Smith "will remain" as the coach of the organization. So there's no place for Fisher in Chicago right now, and Breer writes that it ultimately isn't something that's likely to happen, and the "more likely result" is Fisher landing with the Rams.

The Bears would need a significant swing in management -- a la Bill Polian -- in order to warrant that sort of drastic coaching change. But if the 2012 coaching carousel's taught us anything, it's that the unexpected is pretty normal and ruling anything out is foolish.

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Tributes pour out for Heimerdinger

Mike Heimerdinger, takling with V. Young, died Friday night (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After the death of longtime assistant coach Mike Heimerdinger from cancer on Friday, his former colleagues and players have released statements expressing their sadness and their condolences. Here are a few of them (you can find more of them from our Rapid Reporters):

Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt: “We are saddened today to hear the tragic news of Mike's passing. Mike was a good man that brought a great level of dedication and professionalism to his job. He was brave in his fight over the last year and showed such a commitment to the game. Nothing was going to stop him last season from being a part of the team and having his stamp on the games. Our thoughts go out to Kathie and his kids through this difficult time. Mike and his family will always be with us.”

Titans coach Mike Munchak: “My prayers are with his family. Mike was a great football coach; and over the years, we had a great relationship. I learned a lot of football from Mike and I have a number of great memories and experiences that will always be with me. It is just hard to believe he is gone. It is a sad day for his family and for those who knew him.”

 Titans running back Chris Johnson: “He was a great coach and a tough coach. I know I wouldn’t have become the player I am without his confidence and the trust that he showed in me. My thoughts go out to his family.”

Former NFL center and NFLPA President  Kevin Mawae: “It is with great regret and sorrow that we learn of the passing of Coach Mike Heimerdinger. "Dinger", as many people knew him, was a great coach and a good man. For those who knew him and played for him, they knew Dinger was a man who loved his family, enjoyed his players, and loved the game of football. Dinger's fight with cancer was indicative of the type of person he was; determined and courageous. It was my privilege to play for Dinger while with the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans. I am better for having known and played for him. The NFL community has lost a great member of its fraternity this week. On behalf of the National Football League Players Association, the players offer their condolences to Kathie, Alicia, Brian and the rest of the Heimerdinger family."

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who employed Heimerdinger as an assistant in Denver and was a roommate of Heimerdinger’s at Eastern Illinois: "We lost a very special person and my best friend in Mike Heimerdinger. I know the man upstairs needed a superstar so he took him earlier than we all wanted. His love for his family was unprecedented and I will forever miss him."

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who was coached by Heimerdinger with the Broncos: "Thoughts and prayers are with the Heimerdinger family. We lost a great man last night."

Houston Chronicle sports writer John McClain: “I've been covering the NFL for more than 30 years. Only one coach ever called and thanked me for covering him when he left: Mike Heimerdinger.”

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 10:31 am
 

Mike Heimerdinger, 58, dies of cancer

HeimerdingerPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Mike Heimerdinger, a former offensive coordinator for the Broncos and Jets who was most recently employed as the offensive coordinator for the Titans, died Friday after a short battle with cancer, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter

Heimerdinger, 58, was diagnosed last November, but that very same week, he put off chemotherapy to return to his job, calling plays in the press box during gameday. Heimerdinger said he wanted to remain with the team as he went through his outpatient chemo, and that’s what he did the rest of the 2010 season.

But after Jeff Fisher resigned following the season, new Titans coach Mike Munchak decided not to keep Heimerdinger. For his part, Heimerdinger didn’t appear bitter about his firing nor about his diagnosis.

“The hard part is I am not a real patient person, and this is not a patient disease,” Heimerdinger said in June. “It is a marathon, and I want it done now. I want the chemo to work and doctors to say, ‘It is all gone.’ But that is not going to happen. So you have to come to terms with that. That is the hard part for me.

“I was hoping it went away. I was hoping that the first treatments, it would go into remission and disappear. Obviously it didn’t, so I’ve had to do more treatments. The main thing is to keep it under control and not spread it. And it hasn’t spread, and it is under control. Hopefully, we can keep it under control.

In the offseason, he won the Halas Award for overcoming adversity from the Pro Football Writers Association.

"He was passionate about the fight, obviously because of his love for his family but what also drove him passionately was his desire to get back on the sideline,” Fisher said, via ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. “He loved his family, he loved this game and all that came with it. We've lost a great one."

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 7:30 pm
 

Britt issues statement, explains Facebook hacking

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Kenny Britt refuses to go away. He's been in the news recently for various legal entanglements, and then, earlier this week, Britt was the victim of a Facebook hacker. At least that's the story he's telling.

On Monday, this post showed up on Britt's Facebook wall:

"Retiring from the NFL. F*** You Goddell. So there is that."

It was promptly deleted and the "real" Britt informed his readers through a series of Facebook posts that his account had been hacked, he's not really retiring, and he's very much looking forward to the start of the NFL season.

Everyone hoped that would be the last we'd hear from Britt until there was actual football to discuss. Nope. The Titans wide receiver released a statement Tuesday night further explaining what happened.

Details via the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt:

“I have the utmost respect for Commissioner Goodell, the NFL and the TN Titans,” Britt said. “The Facebook posting as reported was not made by myself nor have I given any statements to anyone regarding this matter. It is not a defense but a fact that this Facebook page and associated email account were hacked and reported more than 120 days ago.”

Please. Stop. Talking. The first rule of PR is to bury the story and pray people forget about it. The recent news about the possibility of a new CBA had done just that … and then Britt goes an issues a statement.

Assuming for the moment that his Facebook account really was hacked, does Britt believe people are going to take him seriously after spending the last few weeks in court rooms and squad cars? (Also worth noting: Britt's been arrested at least six times since the Titans drafted him in April 2009.)

We joked about it Monday, but Britt's "Hey, my Facebook got hacked!" defense is right from the Anthony Weiner playbook. All that's left is for Britt to hold a press conference and have Benjy Bronk yell out unprompted questions about hot physiques and smooth sexy chests.

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Kenny Britt now says Facebook account was hacked

Posted by Ryan Wilson

UPDATE: Prunty tweets that Britt has deleted the offending post citing a "change of heart." Britt then claimed in a subsequent post that his Facebook account was hacked and he has no plans to retire. We believe this is commonly referred to as the "Anthony Weiner defense." Either way, mystery solved. 

Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. Between his court appearances and arrests, it's a wonder he has time to post to Facebook. But according to the Twitter feed of the Newark Star-Ledger's Brendan Prunty, this was on Britt's Facebook wall Monday afternoon:

"Retiring from the NFL. F*** You Goddell." So there is that."

It's not clear if Britt was being ironic when he referred to Roger Goodell as "Goddell," or if he just misspelled the NFL commissioner's name.

In any event, Britt still doesn't seem to get it. ESPN's John Clayton thinks Britt "could be facing a one- or two-game suspension [for his legal entanglements] if the player conduct policy is re-established … his continued problems with the law are going to catch up to him."

As might his social media habits. But the Titans say they have no plans to cut ties with Britt, probably because he's the second-most dynamic player on the team after RB Chris Johnson. And rookie QB Jake Locker is going to need all the help he can get.

Still, with every new revelation in the Britt saga, we're reminded of something his father told the Star-Ledger in April.

“I’m worried about [Kenny] all the time. … But my concern is not with Kenny, per se, it’s more with Kenny’s friends, and he knows that," Britt's father said. "He has too many friends with too much free time. He needs to be around more positive people.”

This also reminds us of something Mike Heimerdinger, Britt's former offensive coordinator in Tennessee, said last week. “Kenny can be as good as anybody, but eventually you have to grow up.”

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Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:00 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 10:43 am
 

Heimerdinger, Fisher concerned for Britt

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Kenny Britt has been busy this offseason, but for all the wrong reasons. While most of us have little trouble staying on the right side of the law, Britt struggles to go more than a week without some sort of legal entanglement. He's been arrested six times since the Titans drafted him in April 2009. We're starting to think that the frequent cuffings and stuffings aren't much of a deterrent.

Let's be clear: Britt isn't committing armed robberies or shooting up malls. But repeated arrests for marijuana possession and reckless driving adds up. He's not Hannibal Lecter, but he also struggles to follow the same basic rules the rest of us manage to do without really thinking about it. At worst, Britt could end up in the slammer; at best, his employer can't count on him. And it's not like he's a practice squad scrub -- he would have long been released if he were. Britt's the second-best player on the Titans after Chris Johnson. He's sort of important to what they're trying to do.

Back in April, several arrests ago, Kenny's dad, Jack Britt, told the Newark-Star Ledger that “I’m worried about [Kenny] all the time. … “But my concern is not with Kenny, per se, it’s more with Kenny’s friends, and he knows that. He has too many friends with too much free time. He needs to be around more positive people.”

We don't want to be that guy but, well, that sounds like a job for Kenny's father.

Former Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who's currently battling cancer, told the Tennessean Monday that “Kenny can be as good as anybody, but eventually you have to grow up.” And even though it's no longer Jeff Fisher's problem, Fisher still keeps up with Britt's off-field issues.

“I didn’t get the call but I am following it closely and it is not an easy thing,” Fisher told the Tennessean. “Somehow, deep down, you kind of still feel responsible or still feel like you want to help. I hope he can get things sorted out.”

Last season, when Fisher was still coaching the Titans, he benched Britt after the wide receiver was allegedly involved in a bar fight. These problems now belong to the new guy, head coach Mike Munchak.

“You have to be very careful to jump to conclusions until you get all the facts, and I think that is probably what (Mike) is doing right now, he’s gathering the facts,” Fisher said. “The difficulty is you can’t have contact with him and that is hard on Mike and his staff for sure.”

Maybe the Titans should have someone on staff at the Nashville Police Department. Just to be safe, they might want to include the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and for a national presence, the FBI.

Finally, here's something lawyer and ProFootballTalk.com proprietor Mike Florio wrote about Britt this spring:

"We’ve mentioned once or twice the connection between the lockout and players being locked up. Though we’re not excusing bad behavior, the fact remains that the arrest rate for NFL players tends to go down when they have the structure that comes from being with their teams."

We hate to keep going back to this because it started off as a big joke. But, you know, Ray Lewis wasn't wrong.

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 10:43 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 11:41 pm
 

Mike Heimerdinger still battling cancer

Posted by Ryan Wilson

If you need more proof that the NFL is a business, consider Mike Heimerdinger. The former Titans offensive coordinator was diagnosed with cancer last November, and in February he was fired by new Tennessee head coach Mike Munchak.

To Heimerdinger's credit, he didn't bemoan his professional fate, saying at the time, "It's never easy to be fired. [Munchak] has to do what's good for the Titans, and [he] will do what's best for the Titans. I appreciate my time here, but it's never easy to be fired."

But everything's relative, and for Heimerdinger, losing a job isn't in the same conversation as beating cancer. He's currently undergoing his second round of chemotherapy and weighs 170 pounds, down 60 pounds from November.

“The hard part is I am not a real patient person, and this is not a patient disease,” Heimerdinger said on Monday from the NFL Alumni Charity Golf Classic held in his honor this year. “It is a marathon, and I want it done now. I want the chemo to work and doctors to say, ‘It is all gone.’ But that is not going to happen. So you have to come to terms with that. That is the hard part for me.

“I was hoping it went away. I was hoping that the first treatments, it would go into remission and disappear. Obviously it didn’t, so I’ve had to do more treatments. The main thing is to keep it under control and not spread it. And it hasn’t spread, and it is under control. Hopefully, we can keep it under control.”

According to the Associated Press, in addition to the charity golf event, fundraising efforts also included a silent auction featuring "… 2012 Masters tickets, signed pictures by Chris Johnson and Jay Cutler, autographed helmets from Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and the 2010 Heisman winner Mark Ingram and autographed jerseys from John Elway and Peyton Manning."

Al Smith, the former Houston linebacker and current president of the Tennessee chapter of the NFL Alumni, said it was an easy decision to donate money raised through the charity to the American Cancer Society after Heimerdinger was diagnosed with the disease.

"The fact [Heimerdinger] battled through still coaching through it all and showing the perseverance and determination and overcoming the disease, we thought it would be good to benefit something that resonated with him," Smith told the AP.

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Posted on: May 2, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 7:54 am
 

Pro Football Writers of America awards announced

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Pro Football Writers of America has announced its awards for 2011.

The Good Guy Award (given to the player that best helps the media do its job) goes to Aaron Rodgers. This is the fourth-straight year a quarterback has taken the honor (Drew Brees won it in 2010).

The Horrigan award is given to the person (not a player or team public relations staffer) whose qualities and professional style help the media best do its job. The 2011 Horrigan winner: Rex Ryan. (His quotes alone wrote half the stories for all football writers this past year.)

The Rozelle Award goes to the public relations staff that consistently strived for excellence in dealing with the media. This year’s winner is the Baltimore Ravens. (Very well-deserved, says yours truly.)

Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger won the Halas Award for overcoming the most adversity (Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer during the season).

Finally, 32-year veteran Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Bob McGinn took home the McCann Award, which goes to the reporter that has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football.

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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