Tag:Jeff Fisher
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 2:12 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 4:05 pm
 

Jeff Fisher picks Rams over Dolphins

St. Louis has replaced Steve Spagnuolo with Jeff Fisher. (Getty Images)
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By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed.

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Fisher stated last week that he was down to two choices: Miami and St. Louis. One (Miami) featured an owner willing to pay big, big bucks. The other (St. Louis) featured a young, star quarterback in Sam Bradford, potentially more front office control and the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Fisher chose the latter and he'll be roaming the sidelines for the Rams in 2012.

"I'm pumped," fullback Britt Miller told The Associated Press. "I figured that because he wanted a little more control that Miami was probably not the place for him. I'm really pumped."

Fisher's been the hottest coaching name this offseason, getting mentioned in rumors involving the Rams, Dolphins, Colts, Buccaneers and even the not-even-vacant position in Chicago, which was supposedly Fisher's dream job.

It's believed that Fisher could bring current Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who worked with Fisher in Tennessee, to join him in St. Louis.

Momentum reportedly swung back to the Dolphins earlier in the week, but here's an interesting tidbit from Yahoo Sports Mike Silver: Fisher was willing to meet Dolphins owner Stephen Ross "halfway" on personnel matters, letting general manager Jeff Ireland still retain plenty of power. However, Ross/Ireland reportedly weren't willing to budge and it may have ultimately cost them a chance to land Fisher.

Reports also indicate that Fisher will choose his own general manager in St. Louis, so the amount of leverage he pulled out of these two teams really can't be overstated.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:13 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 11:14 am
 

Latest coaching rumors, news

Coaching news and rumors abound through the playoffs. (EoF Illustration)
By Eye on Football staff

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 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.

SUNDAY
11:15 a.m. ET

FRIDAY
2:05 p.m. ET

12:45 p.m. ET
11:33 a.m. ET
  • Bill Callahan is officially on board with the Cowboys, and he's actually going to be named the offensive coordinator, which is pretty interesting. However, Jason Garrett will continue to call plays. And, presumably, timeouts. Ahem.
THURSDAY
8:35 p.m. ET

3:15 p.m. ET
  • With the loss of Mike Mularkey to Jacksonville, the Falcons reportedly are looking at Brian Billick, former Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to fill the Atlanta OC job.
  • Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed that Aaron Kromer, New Orlean's OL coach, will interview for the Rams head coaching job.

11:50 a.m. ET
  • If the Colts fire coach Jim Caldwell, could new Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson, formerly the personnel director of the Eagles, consider Philadelphia offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg? The Philadelphia Inquirer thinks there might be some merit to that idea.
8:50 a.m. ET
  • According to a radio station in Orlando, the Bengals have signed a three-year extension with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. So, it appears that Gruden will be staying in Cincinnati.

WEDNESDAY


8:05 p.m. ET
  • Former Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris has landed a new job as the defensive backs coach for the Redskins. It's nice to see that Washington DOES provide jobs to the unemployed.
7:30 p.m.
  • Todd Bowles, formerly the interim coach in Miami, is the first Raiders coaching candidate to emerge in the wake of Hue Jackson's firing, according to ESPN.
  • Mike Mularkey wants to keep former Jaguars interim coach Mel Tucker in Jacksonville as the defensive coordinator. That's via the Florida Times-Union, which quotes Mularkey as saying, "I want to really just have a chance to sit down and talk to him. I’ve spoken to him already, prior to this going down. We really have a pretty good relationship, so hopefully it works out.” Tucker has already interviewed for the Vikings defensive coordinator job.
6:05 p.m. ET
  • According to the Newark Star Ledger, former Chiefs coach Todd Haley will arrive in New Jersey on Wednesday night to interview for the Jets offensive coordinator job. It's not yet Tony Sparano's gig.

5:35 p.m. ET
  • Here are a couple of reasons why we shouldn't be holding our breath about a Schottenheimer family reunion.

10:25 a.m. ET

  • Ryan Grigson is the new general manager for the Indianapolis Colts. Grigson served as director of player personnel with the Eagles for the past year and was the director of college scouting before that.
  • The Jaguars hiring Mike Mularkey eliminated Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski from leaving for Jacksonville, but the Associated Press reports he's now interviewing for the Rams job.
  • One report has the Falcons, who "let" Brian VanGorder leave for Auburn, checking out Steve Spagnuolo for the defensive coordinator position. That'd be a nice fit.
TUESDAY
11:45 p.m. ET

  • It's your standard quiet Tuesday night on the NFL coaching rumor front: Brian Schottenheimer is out as Jets offensive coordinator and the latest reports have Tony Sparano stepping into that role in 2012. (Schotty didn't get "fired" by the way, but yeah, it sounds awkward.)
10:35 p.m. ET
6:40 p.m ET
  • The Dolphins announced that they interviewed Mike Zimmer, defensive coordinator of the Bengals. Meanwhile, Cincy offensive coordinator Jay Gruden declined to interview with the Rams and Jaguars and will stay with Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton.

3:30 p.m ET

  • Winston Moss, the assistant head coach/linebackers coach for the Packers, is considered the front-runner for the open Raiders job.
2:20 p.m. ET
MONDAY
8:40 p.m. ET
  • Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has drawn interest from the Rams and will interview for their head coaching position Thursday, according to the Denver Post.
6 p.m. ET
  • One time-Rams scout Ryan Grigson, now the Eagles director of player personnel, interviewed Monday for the St. Louis general manager job, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
  • As Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was scheduled to interview for the Dolphins head coaching job Monday. Strangely enough, Cincinnati offensive coordinator has NOT been approached by the Jaguars to interview. “I have not heard anything," Gruden said. "I don’t know what’s happening to be honest with you. I don’t know if I’m ready. I’m just dealing with the season that came to an end and whatever happens, happens. I got a couple texts from people that heard I was a candidate for the job but I haven’t heard anything otherwise. I don’t know exactly how it works. I’ll probably find shortly if it is true.”
2:57 p.m. ET
  • Cowboys secondary coach Dave Campo, formerly Dallas' head coach, will not return for 2012, writes the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Apparently, the rest of Jason Garrett's staff should be safe.
  • Via ESPN's Adam Schefter, Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey will interview for the Jaguars job on Tuesday.
11:10 p.m. ET

10:30 a.m. ET

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 12:16 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 12:57 pm
 

Report: Williams could follow Fisher (to Rams?)

Could Jeff Fisher and Gregg Williams join forces in 2012? (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is known for his aggressive, blitz-happy style and it's served New Orleans well in recent years (also helping: having Drew Brees on the other side of the ball dropping 400 yards a game on helpless opponents). But Williams has been an NFL coach for more than two decades, getting his start with the Houston Oilers in 1990. He coached under Buddy Ryan during that time, and became the Titans' defensive coordinator in 1997, four seasons into Jeff Fisher's tenure.

Williams and Fisher's paths have diverged in the years since; the former was the Bills' head coach from 2001-03, the Redskins defensive coordinator under Joe Gibbs (2004-07), the Jags' DC (2008), before landing in New Orleans in 2009. The latter coached the Titans through 2010, took 2011 off and now looks to be a prime candidate for either the Rams or Dolphins gig in '12.

And when Fisher returns, he could be interested in bringing Williams with him. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, "many around the league" will leave New Orleans after the season and -- to borrow a phrase -- join forces with Fisher. The two helped lead the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000, a 23-16 loss to the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams.

Meanwhile, sources tell CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that it's "95 percent certain" that Fisher is headed to St. Louis. 

More corroboration: FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer reported during Sunday's pregame show that the Dolphins have moved on from Fisher, presumably because they think he's leaning towards taking the St. Louis gig. (Glazer tweets: "I'd be shocked if Fisher isn't Rams new coach in next 48 hours. He's at Rams complex mtg w Bradford and others.")

Then there's this: "Unless something didn't work for the Rams or for Jeff when they met Thursday, it was always planned that there would be a follow-up in St. Louis," a source very close to Fisher told the St. Louis Post-Distpatch's Jim Thomas. Like Glazer, Thomas thinks that "Fisher wouldn't be visiting Rams Park on Sunday if he wasn't seriously considering becoming the next head coach of the St. Louis Rams."

More details via Thomas:
In interviews with Miami and St. Louis, Fisher did a lot of listening. He wanted to get a sense of each owner's vision for the franchise, but also check on more mundane matters as well.

Fisher went into both meetings with a checklist of all the non-economic things important to him, seeking to get those answered to his — and the club's — satisfaction. …The idea was to avoid any remorse or misunderstanding once the parties started discussing financial terms.
As for the Dolphins, other candidates they might now be interested in include Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Packer offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, and Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. 

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 4:16 pm
 

For the gambler in you, wild card edition

By Josh Katzowitz

Each week, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Who will be the next head coach of the Buccaneers?    

Mike Sherman 8/5

Brian Billick 2/1

Rob Chudzinski 3/1

Mike Mularkey 3/1

Bill Cowher 10/1

I guess the big question is whether the hiring of Sherman would excite the Buccaneers fanbase? Considering his Texas A&M teams were so mediocre, does that wipe away the successes he had with the Packers when Brett Favre was in his prime? I mean, wouldn’t anybody else on the above list be more exciting than Sherman? Not that fan excitement is the biggest factor on hiring a coach, but I’m not sure I see Sherman as the guy. That said, I think I’d go with Mularkey, though it is more of a longshot.

Who will be the next head coach of the Rams?   

Jeff Fisher 1/1

Field 5/7

Go with Fisher. That Rams job could be a good one for him.

How many Wild Card teams will win this weekend?        

0 10/1

1 9/5

2 7/4

3 4/1

4 30/1

The Steelers will beat the Broncos. The Bengals will beat the Texans. The Falcons will beat the Giants. The Lions will lose to the Saints. So, I’d go with 3 and make some money.

Will a wild card team win the Super Bowl?       

Yes 6/1

No 1/10

Does anybody see the Falcons, Lions or Bengals winning the Super Bowl? Of course not. But the Steelers are a different story. If Ben Roethlisberger is healthy enough and Isaac Redman plays well enough at running back and that defense doesn’t get old overnight, Pittsburgh could make a run. And if you think so, give “yes” a shot. Otherwise, at 1/10, this isn’t worth a bet.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:05 am
 

Report: Ray Horton interviewing for Rams job

By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher is the primary target for the Rams in their current coaching search, but another name has hopped onto St. Louis' list.

The Rams received permission to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, and will talk with Horton on Friday.

Horton was previously the Steelers defensive backs coach before being hired by Ken Wisenhunt in the offseason to take over as DC in 2011. (Aside: here's a great story about him giving a cafeteria worker in Pittsburgh his Mercedes for $20 on his way out of town.)

Horton's aggressive blitzing style was a welcome change for the Cards, but the team struggled to pick up on his new scheme early on; the team struggled out to a 1-6 start and looked like they might have one of the worst defenses in the NFL early on.

But from November on, the Cardinals went 7-2 down the stretch and never gave up more than 23 points in a single game, limiting better offenses like the Eagles, Cowboys and 49ers to less than 20 in upset wins.

Latest Coaching Rumors, News

In 2010 the Cardinals ranked 29th in yards allowed per game and 30th in points allowed per game. This year, despite dealing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philly and drafting Patrick Peterson, they improved to 18th in yards allowed per game and 16th in points allowed per game.

One thing to watch here: Horton satisfies the Rooney Rule (minority candidates) for the Rams.

If St. Louis interviews Horton and quickly moves on to hiring Jeff Fisher (which is well within their right to do), it's also a bit disingenuous to the spirit of the rule, because Horton won't actually have been given a fair shot at landing the job.

It's good for him that he'll continue to be a hot name as a potential candidate for head coaching jobs but it's a reminder that the NFL needs to fix a rule that only gives lip service to providing opportunities for minorities.

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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: January 3, 2012 6:21 pm
 

Jeff Fisher interviewed with Dolphins Tuesday

By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher is, as our own Mike Freeman wrote recently, the hottest name in coaching this offseason. He's been mentioned in rumors involving the Colts, the Rams, the Buccaneers and he has, without question, interviewed with the Dolphins.

We know because the Dolphins announced it on Tuesday afternoon.

"The Miami Dolphins completed an interview with Fisher today for their vacant head coaching and he is the latest candidate to replace Tony Sparano, who was fired on December 12, 2011," the team said in a statement released by the team. "Interim Head Coach Todd Bowles was the first to interview on Monday."

What the Dolphins didn't say is how the interview went down.

According to reports, Fisher flew on owner Stephen Ross' private helicopter to South Beach, where he was (presumably) wooed with the prospects of running a once-proud Miami franchise.

Additionally, Carl Peterson was involved in the interview as well, according to Dave Hyde of the Miami Sun-Sentinel. Hyde reports that Peterson, not yet affiliated with the Dolphins on a formal basis, "stepped off the helicopter that landed at Dolphins headquarters."

The one problem for the Dolphins in attempting to land Fisher is, according to many reports, the lack of a franchise quarterback in Miami. Fisher reportedly wants to end up somewhere with a top-flight quarterback and unless Miami can pull a surprising trade for a veteran (ahem, Peyton Manning, ahem) or move up from the 8th/9th spot to a top-five pick, it seems pretty unlikely they'll end up with Robert Griffin, III.

Which would make it more difficult for them to end up with Fisher.

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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