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Tag:Jeff Fisher
Posted on: January 19, 2012 6:21 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 7:21 pm
 

Steve Spagnuolo joins Saints staff

Spags will join Payton in New Orleans for 2012. (US Presswire)

By Ryan Wilson

Earlier this week, Gregg Williams, the Saints' defensive coordinator for the previous three seasons, took the same job in St. Louis to work for his old boss in Tennesse, newly named Rams head coach Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. There had been speculation before New Orleans' season ended in San Francisco last Saturday that Williams might choose to follow Fisher so it wasn't surprising when it eventually happened.

Williams was reportedly torn about leaving the Saints but the defense, which struggled against the run in 2011, could be better in 2012: CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Larry Holder confirms through a league source that New Orleans has hired Steve Spagnuolo who, up until two and a half weeks ago, was the Rams head coach. He landed that gig after serving capably as the Giants' defensive coordinator in 2007-2008, which includes shutting down the 2007 Patriots, one of the most high-powered offenses in NFL history, in Super Bowl XLII.  He was fired from St. Louis after sandwiching a 7-9 season around one- and two-win seasons. 

Now he'll join Sean Payton's staff. And unlike St. Louis, where injuries and lack of talent meant that the Rams had to hold opponents to fewer than 10 points to have a chance to win, Spags will lead a defense whose best weapon isn't named Vilma or Smith or Ellis, but some guy named Drew Brees. And he's good for at least 35 points every time he steps on the field.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:07 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 11:36 am
 

Report: Colts called Jeff Fisher about interest

Fisher's only shot in a Colts jersey. (The Tennessean)
By Will Brinson

On Tuesday, the Colts decided to (finally) fire Jim Caldwell as the team's head coach. It was a smart decision by Jim Irsay and new GM Ryan Grigson, but the delay in removing Caldwell form his post was a bit odd.

Although the news, as reported by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that the Colts called Jeff Fisher and inquired about his availability before Caldwell was fired and before Fisher took the Rams job makes the timing a bit more interesting.

(The Colts also reportedly interviewed Steve Spagnuolo for the position of defensive coordinator on Monday night, before firing Caldwell.)

However, Fisher was "not interested" and turned down the Colts.

This is fascinating because, as we mentioned on the podcast yesterday, it seemed like Fisher could've landed Andrew Luck (or Peyton Manning?) if he'd waited a few days, returned to the weakened AFC South and been handed the keys to a franchise in full rebuild mode.


Perhaps it was too much rebuilding, though, and that could tell us all we need to know about the future of Manning with the Colts: Fisher has to believe he can win now (to a degree) with the Rams.

If he hits a home run with the No. 2 pick, coaches up the defense and gets an offensive coordinator who can bring the best out of Sam Bradford, he probably can.

In Indy, things might not be quite so simple. There's more work to be done and Grigson was already in place, meaning Fisher would have to work with his vision as well.

It's also entirely possible the Colts called, found out he was getting $35 million over five years and considered just hanging up the phone.

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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 17, 2012 11:49 am
Edited on: January 17, 2012 1:02 pm
 

Report: Fisher to sign 5-year, $35M deal with STL

Fisher reportedly will make $7 million a year in St. Louis. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Rams will officially introduce Jeff Fisher as their new head coach in a 2 p.m. ET Tuesday press conference. After days of vacillating between the Miami and St. Louis jobs, Fisher settled on the Rams last Friday.

And now, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas, he's going to be well compensated, too.

"Before taking the podium for the first time at Rams Park, Fisher will sign a five-year contract believed to pay him around $7 million annually, easily making him the highest-paid coach in franchise history."

Thomas notes that it wasn't the $35 million over the life of the deal that enticed Fisher to take over a 2-14 team. It was his desire to have have the resources available to "put together a strong coaching staff, be active in free agency and have a strong personnel department."

Fisher's title isn't expected to include "vice president" -- just "head coach" -- which is probably for the best. Joe Gibbs, Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan are recent examples of coaches who struggled to also make personnel decisions. One decision Fisher will have to make: naming an offensive coordinator.

Reports earlier this week had former Jets OC Brian Schottenheimer as the front-runner, but ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted Tuesday that recently fired Raiders head coach Hue Jackson would also be interviewed for the job.

One thing that is for certain: Gregg Williams, Fisher's defensive coordinator in Tennessee, will be joining him in St. Louis.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:50 pm
 

Report: Gregg Williams leaves Saints for Rams

Reunited and it feels so good. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday night we passed along a report that the Rams were offering Brian Schottenheimer their offensive coordinator position and also mentioned the likelihood of Gregg Williams leaving the Saints to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Though there's been no confirmation of the former news, the latter appears to have happened, as Williams reportedly will join Fisher with the Rams.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that Williams, who's contract was up in New Orleans, is leaving the Saints to complete the Titans reunion.

Williams worked with Fisher in Tennessee from 1997 through 2000 before leaving to take the Bills head-coaching gig. In his final season with the Titans, his defense was the top-ranked unit in the NFL. After leaving Buffalo, Williams worked with the Redskins and Jaguars before helping lead the Saints to a takeaway-fueled championship defense and a Super Bowl victory.

His last two years haven't been as impressive, however, and he was potentially headed to an awkward contract situation until Fisher took the job in St. Louis.

Williams will take on a pretty big task, as the Rams were 26th in the NFL in points allowed and 22nd in yards allowed. The Rams also ranked 23rd in interceptions but were decent at sacking opponents.

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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 16, 2012 12:21 am
 

Report: Rams offer Brian Schottenheimer OC job

Brian Schottenheimer's reportedly been offered the Rams OC gig. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Brian Schottenheimer's unceremonious departure from the Jets cooled most of the chatter about him landing a head-coaching gig, but several teams showed interest in bringing him on as their offensive coordinator. And now the Rams have reportedly offered him the position.

Schottenheimer was mentioned as a candidate for the Falcons offensive coordinator position, but Dirk Koetter landed that gig on Sunday. On Saturday, a report emerged that the Rams were interested in Schottey, and on Sunday evening, NFL.com's Mike Lombardi reported that St. Louis offered him the position.

Latest Coaching Rumors, News

Lombardi writes that Schottenheimer is prepared to accept the job and "all that's left to make it official is for the contract to be completed." It's not surprising that Schottenheimer, who's stock dipped at the same pace as the Jets offensive production in 2011, would take the job.

But it's unlikely that Rams fans will be too thrilled: the Jets never finished better than 17th in passing offense and only once finished in the top 10 in total offense for a season under Schottenheimer.

The failures of Mark Sanchez to progress as a passer isn't exactly hopeful news for Rams fans either; Sam Bradford took a big step back in 2011 after a really promising rookie season. While injuries, failures on the offensive line and a lack of weapons didn't help, there's reason to be concerned.

Fisher's decision on the other side of the ball may come under some heat as well: it's believed that he'll bring -- or try to bring -- Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to St. Louis. Williams coached under Fisher in Tennessee before taking the head coaching job in Buffalo in 2001.

The Saints defense is aggressive (their No. 2 ranking in takeaways in 2009 is precisely why they won the Super Bowl), but that's not always a good thing; just look to the final five minutes of their playoff loss to the 49ers and the inability of Williams' calls to avoid giving Alex Smith single-coverage looks to Vernon Davis.

Both Schottenheimer and Williams have had success before, so it's not like this can't work. But like Williams defense, the result for both guys could be boom or bust.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:02 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 7:03 pm
 

Dolphins owner 'not discouraged' about Fisher

Miami owner Stephen Ross says next coach 'with something to prove is going to be better' than Fisher. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It took a while, but Jeff Fisher finally made a decision Friday, choosing the Rams over the Dolphins as his next head-coaching destination.

Miami owner Stephen Ross has now lost out on his top candidate two years running. Last offseason, Jim Harbaugh opted to say in the Bay Area instead of moving to South Beach, and the 49ers, 13-3 and division champs during the regular season, are still in the playoffs. But Ross says he's "not discouraged at all" by the latest snub.

Latest Coaching Rumors, News
“I have mixed feelings [about Fisher choosing St. Louis over Miami],” Ross told the Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde. “But I feel very confident we’ll find the best man for this organization. I feel very good about it. I’m not discouraged at all.”

Also worth pointing out: the Dolphins don't have a 1a) after Fisher. It's not quite back-to-the-drawing board time, but there aren't any big names on the list, either. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just the reality in Miami right now.

The club released a statement Friday afternoon admitting what everyone already knew ("We did have conversations with Jeff Fisher about becoming the head coach of the Dolphins.") before trying to assuage fans' concerns about the team's immediate future ("We are excited about those people under consideration, and we are confident that the individual we eventually select will be the right person to lead this football team.”)

CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chris Perkins provides details:

"Miami’s next head coach could come from a group of interviewees that includes Todd Bowles, the interim coach; Dave Toub, Chicago’s special teams coach; and Joe Philbin, Green Bay’s offensive coordinator. It’s conceivable Miami could extend its coaching search beyond its interviewees. Mike Mularkey accepted the Jacksonville job."

Perkins adds: "Interestingly, all the former full-time Miami coaches that aren’t retired have relatively high-profile jobs. Tony Sparano was recently named the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. is Baltimore’s offensive coordinator, Nick Saban just won a national title with Alabama, and Dave Wannstedt is Buffalo’s defensive coordinator. Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson are retired and aren't coming back to coaching."

Not to worry, though. The owner of a team that has made one playoff appearance since 2002, and last won a playoff game in 2000 feels good about the franchise's future.

"It's funny, in the back of my mind, I've really believed you go with people who have something to prove and are younger. That's how I've always worked in my business. I was always fighting that idea in my mind while I was talking to (Fisher). Something told me if I get someone like him with that experience it'd be good. At the same time, I don't feel lost. I believe someone really good who has something to prove is going to be better."

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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