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Tag:Mike Zimmer
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:41 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:54 pm
 

Coaching carousel winners and losers

Flynn is one of the big winners from the coaching carousel. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

The NFL coaching carousel has come to a close with the Buccaneers and Colts the final two teams across the finish line, hiring coaches on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Let's take a look at some of the winners and losers from a hectic offseason. Because if we're not firing out knee-jerk reactions, what's the point?

Winners

Matt Flynn: Flynn was already going to get real paid this offseason. But new Fins coach Joe Philbin was his freaking quarterbacks coach. Yeah, the rumor is the Dolphins like Peyton Manning better than Flynn. (Also a rumor: I like steak better than tofu.) But Flynn knows Philbin's system and he certainly has to be more inclined to sign his ridiculously overpriced free-agent contract with a team employing his old coach and his old system right? Even if he's not, he could end up in a bidding war between Stephen Ross and Dan Snyder. That's like a sandwich made of $100 Bills.

Ryan Grigson
: The new Colts general manager still has a long road ahead, and needs to draft well to really get Indy's latest rebuild rolling. But he's got an owner who's setting him up well: his first two decisions (firing Jim Caldwell, hiring Chuck Pagano) mean that the Colts simply need to hire a competent offensive coordinator to groom their No. 1 overall pick and let their defensive-minded coach get to work on installing his scheme. Sound familiar? It should.

Norv Turner: Turner was certainly on the old hot seat when the season ended and somehow he still has a job. It might be loyalty. It might be Philip Rivers' influence. Or it might just be a miracle. Whatever, Turner was a lock to get fired and somehow stuck around San Diego for at least another year.

Steve Spagnuolo: Spags got canned from the Rams job but landed squarely on his feet when he got the Saints defensive coordinator job. They'll contend for Super Bowls over the next few years and as Wilson pointed out, Drew Brees is secretly his best weapon. It's an ideal spot to reload and wait for another head-coaching gig.

Jeff Fisher: Fisher got the quarterback he wants, the personnel power he wants and a big old pile of money when he chose the Rams over the Dolphins.

Jay Cutler: Mike Martz retired and took his seven-step drops behind a shoddy offensive line and no pretense of having a running game with him.

Atlanta Falcons: No offense to Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder (as well as his superb mustache) but the ATL just got a major assistant upgrade. Ryan maxed out under Mularkey, and Dirk Koetter loves to go vertical -- having Julio Jones and Roddy White make that an easier task than whoever was catching balls with the Jaguars. And Mike Nolan, quite simply, has a fantastic defensive track record.

Cam Newton/Andy Dalton: The two biggest rookie surprises lucked out big time this offseason as their respective offensive coordinators, Rob Chudzinski and Jay Gruden, didn't move on to theoretically greener pastures. Now Newton and Dalton will each get a full offseason to prepare and should look even better in their second year.

Losers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even if Greg Schiano is "the guy," and there's a significant number of people who think he is not, they bungled this search. (For the record, I kind of like the Schiano hire, but it's risky.) They fired Raheem Morris quickly but were the last team to get a new coach in place. They whiffed -- publicly -- on Chip Kelly. They interviewed a bunch of old dudes -- Brad Childress, Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer -- who now probably feel used. An unimpressive effort all around and indicative of how attractive this job is.

Rob Ryan: Think of all the people who got interviews this offseason. Everyone got an interview. Except Rex's twin brother. Think running his mouth and losing twice to the Giants because his secondary couldn't defend anyone ended up hurting his chances to get a head coaching job? It absolutely did.

Mike Zimmer: Also a dude who can't catch a break. Or interview well? Whatever, Zimmer finally got some heat for coaching jobs (it's been long enough) and couldn't seal the deal on anything. Hopefully he'll get more looks but this has a "flyover" feel to it in terms of how much interest other teams will have in Zimmer going forward.

Brian Schottenheimer: Schottey Jr. might have landed with the Rams, but he'll likely be under heavy scrutiny from fans and could see a short leash, depending on how Fisher's feeling. The worst part is a year ago, he was a hot name for a head-coaching job and instead the Jets ran him off while managing to air out some of their respective greivances with the rest of the dirty laundry.

Mike Sherman: Sherman was the leader in the clubhouse for the Bucs job ... or so we thought. Now he's reportedly headed to run Miami's offense. That could vault him back up to a head-coaching gig, but considering he found out about his firing from Texas A&M at a recruit's house (!), landing an NFL job just a few months later would've been a major coup.

Peyton Manning: Bill Polian's out, Jim Caldwell's out and the Colts seem hell bent on cleaning house. The logical next move appears to be shipping Manning out of town as well.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:43 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 10:41 am
 

Report: Sherman, Chud getting 2nd Bucs interview

By Will Brinson

Only two head-coaching vacancies remain: the Colts and the Buccaneers. Indy got a late start on their search so it's not surprising Jim Irsay's still looking. But things are getting a little weird for the Bucs, who whiffed on landing Chip Kelly from Oregon.

They're now backpeddling and are reportedly focusing in on former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

The Tampa Bay Times Stephen F. Holder wrote on Wednesday that barring another mystery candidate like Kelly emerging, it looked like a "one-horse race" for the Bucs gig with Sherman the only pony on the track. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Sherman will interview for the second time with the Bucs on Wednesday.

However, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes that according to the "buzz around Mobile" at the Senior Bowl, Chudzinski is also getting a second look with the Buccaneers. (Chud is in Mobile along with the Panthers coaching staff, but not talking to anyone.)

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is, and he sounds like he'd like the Bucs to wrap up their search already.

"We've heard nothing. Hopefully, we'll hear something by the end of the week," Rivera said, per Person. "We do know, from what I hear, they've brought in somebody for a second interview. So we'll see what happens."

The Bucs waiting until Wednesday to regroup and start interviewing candidates for the second time shows pretty clearly that they were all-in on Kelly, in case that wasn't obvious by what happened on Sunday evening.

Sherman, Chud Marty Schottenheimer, Wade Phillips, Brad Childress, and Mike Zimmer were the only known candidates for the job in Tampa Bay. (Phillips withdrew his name from consideration.)

Earlier Wednesday, Sherman was the only guy with a second interview coming and appeared to be the proverbial leader in the clubhouse. But it might have been just the end of the (also proverbial) third round.

Chud's now getting a second look and Chilly, Schottey or, um, Zimmy could all end up getting a second look too.

Or another shocking name could emerge out of nowhere; given how off the radar the Glazers and Mark Dominik kept Kelly's name until the last minute, it wouldn't be that surprising.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:13 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 12:27 pm
 

Childress would like Bucs job; for now, he waits

ChildressBy Josh Katzowitz

The last time we heard from former Vikings coach Brad Childress, he was talking about Randy Moss’ time in Minnesota and, in one of the most-candid and best-described quotes you’ll ever hear from a head football coach, he gave this golden nugget:
 
"We had good guys, by and large,” Childress said, “[but Moss] walked in the locker room and vomited on it."

Now that Childress has cleaned the stench of Moss from his clothes and mustache, he’s looking ahead. To possibly getting the Buccaneers head coaching job. He’s in the Tampa area to coach the East-West Shrine game, and according to JoeBucsFan.com, Childress said he’d like a job, please.

“There is only 32 head coaching jobs in the National Football League,” Childress said. “I have always said it’s important to work with good people. All indications are the Glazers are great folks, so it’s a good job."

While he’s been in touch with the Buccaneers organization for the job, Childress is far from the only candidate. As we’ve detailed, Mike Sherman (seemingly the early favorite to land the job), Wade Phillips (who has pulled his name out of consideration), Mike Zimmer, Rob Chudzinski, John Gray and Marty Schottenheimer (!) are a few of the names linked to the opening.

And Childress, of course. Though he hasn’t heard from the Buccaneers in the past few days, Childress said he’s not frustrated by the process. Besides, he’s in the middle of coaching college players anyway.

“[The Glazers] advertised their process,” he said. “I mean, they were completely candid and accurate in what they said and they said it would be a while.”

So for now, Childress waits. And, in case a player like Moss comes around again, here’s hoping he’s got a mop and an industrial-sized bottle of Lysol.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:28 pm
 

Fins to take 2nd look at McCoy, Philbin, Bowles



By Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like the Dolphins are getting closer to hiring a new coach. At the same time, they’re not getting very close at all.

After failing to land Jeff Fisher, who spurned the organization for St. Louis, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will get his second interview with Miami owner Stephen Ross when Ross travels to New York to meet with him. But … just because you’ve received a second interview doesn’t necessarily put you in elite company.

That’s because Todd Bowles, who replaced Tony Sparano for the final three games of the season (and went 2-1 in the process), will get a second interview as well. As will Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin (before you count out Philbin, whose 21-year-old son died earlier this month, the Miami Herald reports that Philbin wants the Dolphins job and is eager to relocate his family to Miami).

In fact, it seems the only coaches who didn’t make the second interview cut were Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer -- who, once again, probably won’t get the head coaching job he deserves -- and Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, who signed a two-year contract extension with Chicago on Tuesday.

So, the Dolphins are making progress, down from five candidates to three. But it seems like it’ll be a couple more days before Miami fans find out who will be next to lead the team.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:00 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 1:13 pm
 

Latest coaching rumors, news (Week 3)

Black Monday, part III

By Josh Katzowitz

Coaching news and rumors don't slow down just because there's football. If you missed all of last week's action, hit it here to catch up on Black Monday, week one and Black Monday, week two and then scroll down. Make sure to bookmark this page as we'll be updating it throughout the week with the latest news and rumors.

FRIDAY
12:30 p.m. ET
  • Looks like the speculation concering Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was true. He told Mike Tomlin he will retire.
THURSDAY
11:50 p.m. ET
  • Ah, the old switcharoo. Now that Steve Spagnuolo has taken the Saints offensive coordinator job, the circle is complete. He replaces former New Orleans offensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who left to take the Rams offensive coordinator job to work for Jeff Fisher, who replaced Spagnuolo as head coach. What does it all mean? Nothing, except the NFL is a crazy business.
10:55 a.m. ET
  • Although it appears that former Chiefs coach Todd Haley wants to coach in Arizona and that the Cardinals want Haley to coach for them, the Arizona Republic reports the two sides are having a difficult time making that happen. There's an open spot for a quarterback coach, but it sounds like Haley wants more responsibility than that.

WEDNESDAY
9:40 p.m. ET
  • After firing Jim Caldwell, the Colts have begun to prowl for their next head coach. First on the agenda: Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.
  • There is now a question whether Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will return to Pittsburgh next season. His contract is up, and it sounds like he might decide to retire from the game.
7:30 p.m. ET
  • Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, one of about 300 candidates for the Raiders head coaching position, has decided to decline his chance to interview with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, according to the Denver Post. McKenzie seemingly will still interview Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
  • As the Tennessean reports, Mike Reinfeldt has been promoted to senior executive vice president/chief operating officer and moved Ruston Webster to general manager.
TUESDAY
10:40 p.m. ET
  • Though it's been thought that Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss has a good shot to land the Raiders job, Oakland will interview at least four more candidates. That includes Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Bears defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
  • As Rapid Reporter Dan McLellan writes, Chargers offensive line coach Hal Hunter has been named San Diego's new offensive coordinator. “Hal has been an important part of our offense since I’ve been here,” coach Norv Turner said. “He has a complete understanding of what we want to do in the run and the pass.”
7:45 p.m. ET
  • One defensive coordinator domino has been knocked down as the Falcons have hired Mike Nolan to replace the departed Brian Van Gorder. Which could open up Steve Spagnuolo heading to New Orleans to replace Gregg Williams as Saints defensive coordinator.
  • According to the Florida Times-Union, former University of Florida and University of Illinois head coach Ron Zook will interview Wednesday for the Jaguars special teams coach.

5:30 p.m. ET

  • The Dolphins are down to three head coaching candidates -- Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, Miami interim coach Todd Bowles and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. You can now eliminate Mike Zimmer and Dave Toub from consideration.

MONDAY

5:15 p.m. ET

3:50 p.m. ET

  • Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has made the lateral move to become the defensive coordinator for Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Yep, it'll be a good old fashioned Titans reunion party in St. Louis

11:30 a.m. ET

  • Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy did such a good job with a Tim Tebow-led offense that he'll be interviewed by the Dolphins for their head coaching job.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:27 am
 

Report: Dolphins to interview Denver's Mike McCoy

Miami will reportedly interview McCoy on Monday. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy's name shot up coaching candidate lists after a season that saw him turn Tim Tebow and an unconventional offense into a division winner. And according to multiple reports, he'll interview with the Dolphins for their head-coaching position on Monday.

Both the Miami Herald and NFL Network report that McCoy will head to South Beach for an interview.

McCoy's worked under John Fox with the Carolina Panthers for several years before taking the offensive coordinator position under Josh McDaniels in Denver beginning in 2009; he was retained when Fox replaced McDaniels in 2011.

In his three years in that position, he's authored the league's No. 1 ranked rushing offense (2011) and a passing offense that ranked in the top 15 in passing yards twice (2009, 2010).

Perhaps most impressive about McCoy, who's just 39, is what he's done with limited resources. The Broncos traded away Jay Cutler before the 2009 season and under McCoy, Kyle Orton still threw for more than 3,500 yards in two consecutive seasons. After the Broncos traded Brandon Marshall following the 2009 season, Brandon Lloyd became a Pro Bowler.

And, of course, in 2011, McCoy re-engineered the offense in the middle of the season to fit Tebow's skills and helped Denver win a division title.

When the Dolphins struck out on landing Jeff Fisher Friday, they began turning to other candidates. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's a hot name in South Beach right now, Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin could get a second interview and according to the Herald, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael has been "discussed internally."

If the Dolphins are truly looking to become a potent offensive team, McCoy could very well be their best choice.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 3:35 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 3:44 pm
 

Winners/losers from the Jeff Fisher saga

In every contest, even coach hirings, there are winners and losers. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With the news that Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins now confirmed by CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, we figured we'd take a look at the saga from the knee-jerk perspective of picking winners and losers.

Trust us, someone always wins. And someone always loses. It's life. Leave yours in the comments.

WINNERS

Jeff Fisher: Stop us if we're being too obvious, but the dude straight cleaned up, you guys. We don't have contract details yet, but Mike Freeman's already reported that the Dolphins feel "used." If that's the case, Fisher's getting a pile of money from the Rams and the word on the street is he'll be picking his own general manager. He got everything he wanted and more when he became the top candidate in the coaching candidate class, even if he's not worth it.

Mike Zimmer: As Albert Breer of the NFL Network notes, Zimmer now moves to the front of the Dolphins coaching list. He's previously worked with 'Fins general manager Jeff Ireland in Dallas, and could be a good fit in Miami. He's also getting mentioned for the Buccaneers gig (and will interview with Tampa Bay), which means the Dolphins might feel a need to hurry things up on Zimmer and get something done, which could land him his first job as a head coach. At the very least, he has leverage now.

Carolina Panthers: When Jay Gruden pulled out of the running for the Rams gig, it looked like Fisher picking the Dolphins could really open up the door for St. Louis to hire Panthers offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski. Instead, Chud's primary option is to bolt for the Bucs, which seems less likely.

Gregg Williams: Williams is doing just fine with the Saints now, but his contract's up and there's a decent chance he bolts to work with his old boss in Tennessee. It's not like he was going to get canned from New Orleans (we don't expect him to anyway), but now he has leverage with both the Saints and Rams and could potentially pick the job he wants. Or, if New Orleans wanted to move along after a bad defensive year, Williams wouldn't be burnt. Plus, if he can turn around the Rams defense, he'll likely parlay that into another head-coaching gig.

Lake Dawson: The current VP of Football Operations for the Titans has already interviewed with the Rams. He seems like a pretty solid bet to land the general manager position with St. Louis now.

Mustaches: Fisher's got one a stash that's strong enough to grow icicles, store lunch for later and generally support the weight of a pint of Guinness head. Him patrolling the sidelines for an NFL football team only enhances the manly allure of lip fur.

LOSERS

Stephen Ross: For the second year in a row, Ross' Dolphins have come in second place while chasing a big-name coaching candidate. Last year it was Jim Harbaugh (how's that working out for the 49ers?) and this year it was Fisher. At least this time Ross wasn't already employing a coach when he went chasing after a big name.

Stan Kroenke: If the reports that Fisher doesn't have a contract are true, um, WUT? Why would Kroenke let himself get in this situation? No general manager, a coach who "picked" him and no agreement with that coach in place other than "you get power"? Doesn't this mean Fisher kind of runs the negotiations on his contract and salary from here on out?

Jeff Ireland: Whether or not the rumors about Fisher demanding power are true is irrelevant, because they're out there, and that means it looks like, to many people, that the Dolphins front office is a bit of a mess. (The "Carl Peterson might be running his own coaching search" rumors don't help much either.)

St. Louis Rams: Oh yeah, we went there. Though it's entirely possible that Fisher will be a good hire and he'll lead the Rams back to respectability quickly, St. Louis is still going all in on Fisher at this point. What if they're wrong and just handed a pile of cash, the power to select a general manager and a long contract to a guy who only won 10-plus games six times in his 17-year career with the Titans? Oh, right. They did just do that.

Justin Blackmon: Given that the Titans only once used a first-round pick on a wide receiver (1998, Kevin Dyson), it would be somewhat surprising to see them pull the trigger on Blackmon at No. 2 overall. Obviously this can change depending on how he works out and what sort of trades emerge, but Fisher's spent a lot of picks on defense during his days in Tennessee.

LeBron James: Because one of Fisher's highly-publicized choices was the Miami area, everyone and his brother will now use the line "Take his talents to St. Louis." It won't ever die, LeBron.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:45 pm
 

Bucs will interview Mike Zimmer, Rob Chudzinski

Mike Zimmer's intense style might fit nicely in Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Up until Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hadn't shown much interest in interviewing anyone under the age of 75* for their vacant head-coaching position. So it might be refreshing for fans to hear that the Buccaneers have asked permission to talk with both Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

Latest Coaching Rumors, News

According to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, the Bucs plan to speak with both soon.

Previously, Tampa scheduled interviews with Brad Childress, Wade Phillips, Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Sherman. That's not the youngest bunch of bucks. (Chilly's the youngest, at 55.)

But that's Tampa's prerogative, especially coming off a disastrous 2011 that saw Raheem Morris, who turned 35 during the season, lose control of his team, possibly because he wasn't seasoned enough to appear disciplined.

Phillips withdrew his name from consideration prior to Friday's scheduled interview, and with the latest additions to the list, it appears Tampa wants to increase the scope of its search.

Of course, Zimmer's actually 22 days older than Childress, so it's not as if he's that different. And, honestly, he makes the most sense for this position, in our opinion.

For whatever reason, Zimmer's struggled to get interviews for head-coaching gigs until this season and has never been up for serious consideration. But he's a hard-nosed coach known for his discipline, and his defenses have always been top-tier: only once in his three stops (Dallas, Atlanta, Cincinnati) since 2000 has his defense ranked below 20th in total yards allowed.

And that was his lone season with the Falcons in 2007, which means he didn't exactly have a lot of time to work his magic. In 2003, Dallas had the top-ranked defense in the NFL under Zimmer, and the Bengals have been a top-10 unit twice since he took over as defensive coordinator there in 2008.

As for Chudzinski, well, he's a hot name on the coaching circuit right now because of his work with Cam Newton. He's going to get a job in the NFL at some point and he's a Florida guy, so Tampa could make sense. But it's hard to imagine that the Panthers would let "Chud" go to a division rival; if Tampa were really impressed with Carolina's offensive coordinator, it wouldn't be that surprising to see them give Chud a raise and a promotion.

*Approximate

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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