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Tag:Coaching Rumors
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 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.

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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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Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:41 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 10:43 pm
 

New Jags coach Mike Mularkey keeps Mel Tucker

The new Jags owner thinks that Mularkey will be the key to the team's long-term success. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Falcons managed just two points in their playoff loss to the Giants last week and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey parlayed that into the Jaguars head-coaching job.

Actually, that had nothing to do with Mularkey's new gig; Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan said that he was looking for a coach who'd be successful over the long term, and in his mind, Mularkey is his guy.

"When you start sobering up, how does it feel?" Khan said. "That's the key issue. After the binge, how do you feel? ... A wonderful thing about football is everybody looks great until the ball is snapped. Once the ball is snapped, results speak for themselves and we know in September how good a job he is doing preparing, strategizing, [assembling] the staff. It will all come out. By that time, the buzz, the splash, is going to be history."

We'll have to wait eight months to see on-field results, but Mularkey, who was the Bills head coach in 2004-2005, has begun putting together his coaching staff. ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports that Mel Tucker, who served as the Jaguars' interim head coach after Jack Del Rio was fired in late November, will remain as the defensive coordinator. And Falcons quarterbacks coach Bob Bratkowski will be the Jags' new offensive coordinator.

Tucker apparently turned down an opportunity to join the Vikings as defensive coordinator to return to Jacksonville.

And Bratkowksi, who worked with Matt Ryan in Atlanta and served as the Bengals' offensive coordinator for a decade (including Carson Palmer's tenure there), will now be charged with developing the team's 2011 first-round pick, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, and providing NFL rushing leader Maurice Jones-Drew some help.

CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Oehser writes that Gabbert is a good fit for Mularkey's offensive philosophy. “In this offense, you have to be able to move out of the pocket," Mularkey said. "We like to run the ball, but you have to have something to play off the run and Blaine fits that mold great.”

As for the less than enthusiastic public response to the news that Mularkey had been hired, fans can take solace in this: the new coach says he has learned from his previous mistakes. While the offense will be his, Mularkey will turn over play-calling duties to Bratkowaski. “There are some guys in this league who are excellent play-callers and can manage games (as a head coach)," he said. "I’m not sure I’m one of them.”

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 8:56 pm
 

Report: Phillips withdraws from Bucs job search

Phillips likes it so much in Houston that it seems he plans on staying awhile. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been as much a part of Houston's success this season as any other single factor. The Texans' D ranked 31st in 2010, according to Football Outsiders; a year in his system and the unit finished the 2011 regular season ranked eighth. 

When coordinators have success, that often leads to head-coaching opportunities. It's how Phillips got his gig with the Cowboys in 2006 -- he did a bang-up job with the Chargers as Marty Schottenheimer's defensive coordinator. So it wasn't surprising that the Buccaneers, which had just parted ways with Raheem Morris after three seasons, wanted to interview Phillips. The two sides were set to meet this Friday … except that it appears Phillips has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter.

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This news comes hours after Phillips had talked about a future that involved meeting with the Bucs about possibly being their next head coach. But he also sounded like a man clearly torn about leaving his current situation.

“Well again, you know, my first priority is to be here,” Phillips said of the Texans, who are preparing to play the Ravens this weekend, in comments distributed by the team. “I like it here. I love it here. You know we’ve had such a magical year and we’re going to keep it going so that’s my first choice. You know I may not be their choice either, but I am gonna interview and you know take it from there. As far as distractions, they asked me two weeks ago, they asked permission to talk to me two weeks ago so we knew what was going on for two weeks, but we didn’t let it be a distraction the week before so it won’t be this week.”

Turns out, Phillips likes it so much that he's decided to stay. Or at the very least, not pursue the Tampa Bay job.

Meanwhile, the Bucs organization is still in flux. Thursday afternoon, CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Scott Purks noted that "Nothing is totally clear about the search for a new head coach, but the leaders for the job appear to be Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer, Wade Phillips and Brad Childress -- in that order. Interviews with more candidates are expected in the next couple of weeks."

We can whittle list to three now that Phillips isn't interested.


The Houston Texans will square off against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Which team will advance to the Conference Championship? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview this game. Watch the game at 1 PM ET on CBS. 

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 3:15 pm
 

Report: Falcons looking at Schottey, Billick

By Josh Katzowitz

While we speculate about whether former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would join his father if Marty Schottenheimer got the Buccaneers head coaching job, another potential job has emerged for the younger Schottey.

According to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, Schottenheimer is on the list to be interviewed for Mike Mularkey’s old job as the Falcons offensive coordinator.

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While Schottenheimer is set to interview for the open University of Alabama offensive coordinator position as well, Atlanta also appears interested in Super Bowl-title winning coach Brian Billick, former Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, and Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements.

Assuming Billick wouldn’t want that job (and assuming that if Billick did want the job, the Falcons wouldn’t want to pay the salary Billick would desire), Koetter seems like a decent option. Although the Jaguars offense was a disaster this year when running back Maurice Jones-Drew wasn’t running the ball, Atlanta coach Mike Smith and Koetter worked together in Jacksonville.

Clements, meanwhile, was apparently a candidate for the Penn State job that ultimately went to Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:51 am
 

Jackson thinks 'I could have done it different'

JacksonBy Josh Katzowitz

On the heels of Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver’s initial interview with just-fired Raiders coach Hue Jackson, in which Jackson said he believed Oakland owner Mark Davis was the one who wanted him gone, Jackson participated in Rich Eisen’s podcast Wednesday to offer more insight into how and why he was let go.

While the Raiders are moving forward with the news that they’ll interview Todd Bowles for the head coaching job, Jackson and Eisen took a look back at what happened since general manager Reggie McKenzie was hired in Oakland.

A few highlights from the interview:

So, um, what happened? “A the end of the day, I didn’t win enough games, didn’t get to the playoffs. Once Mark saw where the franchise was, after he hired Reggie, he gave Reggie the opportunity to bring in his own coach.”

Did your comments after the Week 17 loss to the Chargers hurt you? “It could be. When you look at anything, it could have been the one thing that turned it the other way. Do I wish I could have done it different? Yeah. Normally after a game, I go in and shower and put on my suit and go talk. On that particular day, I didn’t do that. I was emotional. It was a big game for our football team for the opportunity to have a nine-win season for the first time since ‘02,  an opportunity to win the AFC West outright, to host a playoff game the next week, to honor Al Davis’ death. There was a lot riding on it and not to play like I thought we could, what spilled out of me was the emotional side.

“But I think everybody took that wrong. Was I disappointed and pissed off? Yes. But when I said I wanted to be involved in every aspect of the football game, I was saying that because I didn’t have the opportunity to do that. This was Al Davis’ team. This is what he wanted on the football team. The point I was trying to make moving forward, whether it be with the staff or schematically, I can now make those changes because the 2011 season had already been in place and wasn’t going to change.”

On how much impact he had on the Carson Palmer trade: “All I did was help facilitate that because I have a relationship with Carson and had a relationship with (Bengals owner) Mike Brown. There’s been so many reports that I did the deal. I don’t do deals. I’m not the general manager. I’m the coach. But I opened the line of communication, and the rest of it was done within our organization with our team of people.”

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:48 am
 

Sounds like Fisher is leaning toward Miami

FisherBy Josh Katzowitz

By the end of Thursday, this post could be obsolete. Hell, it might be outdated by the end of breakfast.

Or Jeff Fisher could continue making us wait as he tries to figure out his next move and whether he wants to be the coach of the Rams or the Dolphins. While at least one person on Twitter speculated that Fisher was stalling so he could determine what new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and owner Jim Irsay will do with coach Jim Caldwell, NFL.com is speculating that Fisher’s most likely option involves him taking his talents to South Beach.

Fisher interviewed with the Rams and Dolphins last week, and apparently since then, he’s been torn on which job to take.

Some believe the Dolphins can offer more money, but others think that the Rams already have a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford that could make Fisher’s transition easier. Some theorize that Fisher isn’t all that fond of Bradford, while others wonder how enthralled he’d be with the Dolphins organizational structure. He might not like the possibility of St. Louis moving to Los Angeles, and, I don’t know, maybe he’s worried about how much of his money will go to buying sunscreen in south Florida.

But Jason La Canfora’s sources tell him that, “one of the issues holding up a deal between Fisher and the Rams is compensation … Fisher is seeking to be among the higher-paid coaches in the league, in the range of $7 million per season … Rams owner Stan Kroenke has not displayed a willingness to reach that stratosphere to this point.”

Either way, it seems like Fisher’s decision could come soon. Maybe even before you’re done reading this post.

Until then, check out this week’s latest coaching news and rumors post.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 8:03 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 8:23 pm
 

Raheem Morris lands DB assistant job in WAS

Morris

By Josh Katzowitz

Raheem Morris has found a new job, and he’s had to take a rather large demotion to get it. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, Morris has been hired as the Redskins defensive backs coach, meaning Morris won’t even get to be a coordinator in his first job since the Buccaneers fired him as head coach.

Not that he’s ever been an NFL defensive coordinator before anyway. Three years ago, the Tampa Bay front office was so impressed by Morris’ work as the Buccaneers secondary coach, the ownership elevated him to the head coaching spot.

Morris' Next Move
After a 2010 season in which the Buccaneers finished a surprising 10-6, the team folded into a 4-12 squad this year while seemingly quitting on Morris with about a month left in the season.

But Morris has a previous relationship with Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (the two were assistant coaches together in Tampa Bay from 2004-05) and knows Redskins general manager Bruce Allen well (Allen was the Buccaneers GM at the time).

While the Buccaneers defense last season finished last in points allowed and 30th in yards, the pass defense was only the 12th-worst team in the league of yards given up (what’s not so good is that the team faced the fourth-least amount of passes).

The Redskins, meanwhile, ranked 12th in the league in passing yards allowed, but earlier Wednesday night, the Washington Post reported that the contract of long-time Redskins safeties coach Steve Jackson would not be renewed.

According to the paper, Morris has an understanding with coach Mike Shanahan that if he's offered a defensive coordinator job, he can bail out from Washington. Morris also has interviewed for the Vikings defensive coordinator position.

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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