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My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

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My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:33 pm

Here are my early predictions on the coaching carousel


Jets: Bill Cowher, Steve Spagnuolo

Lions: Jason Garrett

Rams: Rex Ryan

Browns: Steve Spagnuolo, Eric Mangini

Raiders: Kevin Gilbride (Tom Cable stays on as Coordinator)

Chiefs: Brian Billick

Jaguars: Jim Schwartz

Dallas: Mike Shannahan

Denver: Jim Fassel


Last edited by Big_Pete on Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:55 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:01 pm

Broncos fired Shannahan. 14 years as HC there, wow that is impressive.

Also Martz was fired as OC from the 49ers. I doubt he'll get a HC job somewhere but it does add something to the possibilities.

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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:04 pm

Big_Pete wrote:Here are my early predictions on the coaching carousel


Jets: Bill Cowher

Lions: Jason Garrett

Rams: Rex Ryan

Browns: Steve Spagnuolo

Raiders: Kevin Gilbride (Tom Cable stays on as Coordinator)

Chiefs: Eric Mangini

Jaguars: Jim Schwartz
I agree with Garrett and the Lions, he could turn that team around.

If Cowher coaches this year I'd guess he'd go to the Jets, otherwise no where.

If Gilbride goes anywhere it'll be the Raiders.

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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:05 pm

You guys think Shannahan would take a job any where? After 14 straight years as an HC, I would think he'd want to relax for a year or two.

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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:54 pm

NYG Hampton 27 wrote:You guys think Shannahan would take a job any where? After 14 straight years as an HC, I would think he'd want to relax for a year or two.

I didn't think shannhan was fired, I just thought he got relieved of some of the GM/Personel duties
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:57 pm

NYG Hampton 27 wrote:I agree with Garrett and the Lions, he could turn that team around.

If Cowher coaches this year I'd guess he'd go to the Jets, otherwise no where.

If Gilbride goes anywhere it'll be the Raiders.


If Cowher doesn't go to the Jets, then it is very likely Spags

I am not sure Al Davis wants to go with a virgin Head Coach again, he has had some shockers in recent years; which is why I think Gilbride is a good option there

At the Lions Garrett has the makings of a good young team with plenty of potential (they were 7-9 last year); plus he has an owner who is loyal to a fault.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:58 am

I think Fassel is a strong chance with Denver

They will be hoping he can do something similar with Jay Cutler to what he did successfully with Elway; plus he has a good history with Denver

It is a matter of time before he gets a HC shot again.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:25 am

I think Shanahan would be a good choice for Dallas but I thought Jones said he was sticking with Phillips again.. of course Jones' word doesn't really mean anything.

I like Fassel to Denver. Not so sure he's an upgrade over Shanahan but I could see it happening.

Spags to the Jets seems likely. He'd have some players to work with, just needs to find a future qb to work around. Cowher would be the better choice though imo.

Jason Garrett to the Lions would be a mistake for the Lions. If the Lions are going to change this franchise around they need someone with head coaching credibility. Can Garrett run a defense? draft good players? run a whole team?
The Lions need to push hard after a coach like Bill Cowher, Shanahan, or even Bill Parcells.

Raiders will mess up whoever Al Davis chooses. Gilbride or Fassell might help but they need more help than that

Chiefs won't be fooled twice by a Jets castaway. Fassel might work in this situation.

De-Rio will coach again for the Jags next year I believe.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:02 am

I just feel that Garrett would be a good fit in Detroit

They have invested heavily in offense, I think that will be

Plus with the front office set, I doubt the next coach gets too much control (although will have input)

Jerry Jones and Mike Shannahan have a history of good relations (eg they set up the annual preseason scrimmages together); Jones' support of Phillips was before Shannahan became available. Ironically Shannahan replaced Wade Phillips in Denver as HC

Cowher isn't going anywhere unless he wants to, he already has indicated he wanted to years off and has extended his deal in broadcasting for 1 more year. The Jets were the only real chance imho. He is only going to go into a situation he really likes.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:06 am

I just had an interesting thought....

If Spags and perhaps Gilbride leave for greener pastures, what happens if Coughlin decides to step aside after the season (unlikely but possible)?
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:44 pm

Big_Pete wrote:I just had an interesting thought....

If Spags and perhaps Gilbride leave for greener pastures, what happens if Coughlin decides to step aside after the season (unlikely but possible)?

I wouldn't worry to much about that.
That goes against Coughlins way of doing things. He could have left Boston College early and headed for the pros but didn't because he had unfinished business rebuilding BC's football program into a winner. I doubt he would leave the Giants without both, an offensive and defensive coordinator
When TC finally leaves coaching he'll likely either be fired or dead.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:17 pm

I wouldn't be surprised, if the Giants win it all again, Coughlin retires and Spags is promoted to HC.

Thats a big if, but a possibility.

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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:21 pm

from kffl.com

Rams | Team interested in Fassel
Thu, 01 Jan 2009 11:53:56 -0800

James Walker, of ESPN.com, reports the St. Louis Rams are interested in interviewing former NFL head coach Jim Fassel for their vacant head coaching position, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Fassel is also a good fit here
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:22 pm

The Broncos are also interested in Spags
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:19 pm

Big_Pete wrote:The Broncos are also interested in Spags
This would be a perfect situation for Spags. Denver has already established an explosive offense and has a franchise qb in place. They would get a great defensive mind with Spags to help turn things around.
The fans really seem to want Spags to come there http://www.milehighreport.com/2009/1/2/707310/vote-09-who-do-you-want-to now let's just see if the owner really wants him.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:49 am

articles on Spags from insidefootball.com http://trainathought.insidefootball.com/

Thurday 1 Jan

MUSINGS ON THE SPAGNUOLO SITUATION

Like everyone else, I’ve been following the annual NFL head coaching carousel with interest, and in particular the interest around the league in Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. For those who haven’t’ been closely following the various reports, here’s how things are said to be shaping up and, for good measure, I’ve thrown in my two cents on the various reports.

St. Louis. Reportedly the Rams didn’t want to pony up the moneythat Spags is likely to command as a first-year head coach. He currently makes $2M per season with the Giants, so figure as a head coach, he’d probably get double if not triple that amount, which would be a gamble for a franchise ownership that has reportedly contemplated selling its shares in this dreadful economy.

Cleveland. The Browns are said to be interested in Spagnuolo, and in fact were said to have met with him already, but I don’t think they make a move to hire him until they bring a general manager on board.

New England’s VP of Player Personnel, Scott Pioli, has reportedly been interviewed and offered the Browns’ GM job. If Pioli takes the job, the Boston Herald reports that Iowa’s head coach Kirk Ferentz is at the top of Pioli’s very short list of head coaching candidates.

The bottom line, though is I don’t see the Browns jumping on any head coaching candidates until they put a GM in place. And if that GM is Pioli, I would be surprised if Spags gets to the next round of interviews for that job.

Jets. With all due respect to Brett Favre, who is a legendary quarterback, his presence in New York has not gone as expected. And now, as we prepare to enter yet another off-season of “will he or won’t he?”, the longer Favre takes to decide his future, the bigger the problem for the next coaching staff.

Let’s say Favre waits until March or April to decide whether he’s coming back. Not only is that going to impact what the Jets can do in free agency (I believe Favre will count for $13M against next year’s cap), it will also probably affect the design of a new offensive play book.

With new stadium PSL sales reportedly not going well for the Jets, my gut tells me that Jets management tries to entice Favre’s return for at least one more year and the sooner the better. Yet if they do allow him to come back, they create a situation that is not the best for a new head coach looking to show he’s not jut a one-hit wonder as a coordinator.

I’m not saying that Spags couldn’t handle the situation, but it’s all about choosing the right circumstances for your career, and I don’t think the circumstances as I described above would be the right situation. And let’s all remember the lesson we learned when the great Bill Belichick’s first head coaching gig, with Cleveland ended in disaster because at the time of his hiring, the circumstances were not fully in his favor.

Denver. This is the team that worries me the most, as in talking about ideal circumstances, I think the Broncos offer the best scenario. Denver seems to need some minor re-tweaking, unlike the other franchises that are courting Spags.

The Broncos seem to be leaning toward bringing in a defensive minded coach to fix their struggling team, which puts Spags high up on the list. According to a report by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Denver is scheduled to meet with Spags on Saturday.

Denver is also reportedly looking at Tampa’s newly named defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris, but I really think Spags has the advantage over Morris if it comes down to a two-man race given his experience and the fact he has a Super Bowl under his belt.

The one thing that might come into play here, though, is what the Broncos decide to do with their GM position. Remember, former head coach Mike Shanahan had final say over football personnel. I don’t think that Denver owner Pat Bowlen would extend the same offer to a new head coach, and if that’s the case, then Denver is pretty much in the same boat as Cleveland with regards to first getting a GM on board and THEN bringing in a head coach.

However, Denver might decide to bypass hiring a GM considering they will have to still pay Shanahan the balance of his contract if he doesn’t land employment elsewhere. So that remains to be seen what they will do. Quite frankly, I can’t see the Broncos giving a rookie head coach complete say over the personnel decisions, but that’s not to say they won’t roll the dice on the right guy.

Oakland. Al Davis has been unusually quiet about his head coaching position. Many observers believe that he won’t bring back Tom Cable, and in fact there has been some speculation that Davis is interested in Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. But then again, Davis has made a name for himself by being unpredictable, so who’s to say he won’t make an 11th hour run at Spags or even decide to keep Cable?

Detroit. The Lions, who are also said to be interested in Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Miami assistant Todd Bowles, are another team who are said to have met with Spagnuolo on New Year ‘s day, but my guess is that given the way the Lions are structured, the Lions won’t be finalists for Spags’ services. Besides, it remains to be seen if the revamped Detroit front office (which has President Tom Lewand and GM Martin Mayhew), can recover from the mess left behind by the previous regime.

Also, Detroit is said to be looking to add a third member of the front office football operations, though it is owner William Clay Ford who will ultimately have the final say over who the next head coach of his team will be. My feeling has always been that it can be a tricky situation to walk into a job not knowing who you are going to be working with up front and when there are too many chefs in the kitchen. So I don’t think the Lions are the right fit for Spags.

A couple of final thoughts for now. First, if Miami’s Bill Parcells does indeed have the itch to return to coaching, he will almost certainly leapfrog over all of the eligible candidates. Parcells can get out of his contract with Miami if owner Wayne Huizenga decides to give up control of the team to Stephen Ross. So don’t rule that possibility out especially considering Parcells doesn’t seem to stay very long with franchises these days.

And I wouldn’t count out Marty Schottenheimer or Bill Cower just yet as with the right offer, I think one or both could be enticed to come back to coaching.

If all else fails, the best scenario Giants fans can hope for is that the team remains alive through the Super Bowl. The reason is that no NFL teams with head coaching vacancies can offer any head coaching positions to prospects whose current teams are still in competition for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Since many teams usually like to put a coaching staff in place by the end of January so they can prepare for the upcoming college all-star games and NFL Combine that take place in late January – February, the longer the Giants remain in the playoffs, the better chance they have at retaining Spags.

and

Friday 2nd Jan

Opinion: If Spags Goes Green, Possible Solution at QB Awaits

*** Disclaimer: This article is MY OPINION. ***

As Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo prepares to have preliminary interviews with the Jets and Denver on Saturday, my initial thought was that of the two teams (I don't think Cleveland or Detroit are serious candidates for his services), Denver probably was the more attractive scenario because the Broncos have a pretty good offense in place, and have a defense in dire need of an overhaul, which would be right up Spags' alley.

But now I’m having second thoughts. For starters, the Broncos still don’t have a general manager, and I have to think that will affect how quickly they can move in their quest to get a head coach because in these preliminary interviews, there’s only so much that can be made in the way of promises until the entire front office is in place.

So that takes me right back to the Jets, who DO have a complete front office and who are in a much better position to make promises to prospective head coaching candidates. And one of the promises the Jets will almost certainly have to make to a prospective candidate is to have a say in how to resolve their quarterback situation.

Let’s recap here for a moment for those of you who don’t follow the Jets. Brett Favre, the future Hall of Famer and current Jets starting quarterback, will be 40 years young on his next birthday. If he returns for a 19th NFL season, he will do so with a hefty 2009 salary cap figure ($13M) and he will be coming off a torn bicep tendon injury which affected his play down the stretch.

While Favre has indicated that he’ll make a decision sooner than later regarding his NFL future, it’s probably unlikely that he’ll arrive at one before the Jets get a new head coach in place. Regardless, there have already been reports that the new head coach won’t necessarily be stuck with Favre .

Ok, so what does this have to do with Spagnuolo, you ask? If he is the leading candidate and he’s promised equal say over who his quarterback will be, I’d say the chances are pretty good that the Jets will borrow a page out of the Tennessee Titans’ book by perhaps taking a long hard look at getting a former number one quarterback who’s been around but who’s still got some years left in him and who would probably come at a fairly reasonable price.

Who fits that description, you might ask? Why none other than the Giants’ very own David Carr, a player with whom Spags is very familiar.

Carr, remember, only signed with the Giants for one year, as he still has hopes one day being a starting quarterback for a NFL team. And if Kerry Collins, another former first rounder, was able to find new life with the Titans after being bounced around a bit, then who’s to say that Carr won’t find the same rainbow?

The move certainly would make sense on so many levels for Gang Green. If Favre returns for a 19th season – and as an outsider looking in, I don’t see how he can return to the Jets if the feelings expressed by team MVP Thomas Jones accurately reflect the consensus of the Jets’ organization.

Even if Favre is welcomed back, you’d have to think that the new head coach won’t hesitate to pull him out of the lineup at the first sign of trouble, lest he risk losing credibility with his new players.

Right now, the Jets have two other quarterbacks on their roster, Brett Ratliff and Kellen Clemens. Of the two, Ratliff is said to be closer to being ready. However from a business view point, Ratliff is probably not the way to help the Jets'sagging PSL sales as he would probably need a year or two more to get his NFL sea legs -- time the Jets do not have on their side.

Enter a young veteran quarterback like Carr, who had a good showing in 30 minutes of football in the Giants’ regular season finale against Minnesota, into the lineup. While no one will mistake Carr's resume for Favre's, the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately?” environment. And let’s face it – Favre’s 2008 performance down the stretch (injury or no injury) doesn’t exactly inspire excitement in prospective PSL customers.

Given the state of the economy, people are spending their money more judiciously these days. So who would want to shell out big bucks for a team that hasn’t won an playoff game since 2004, when they defeated San Diego 20-17 in overtime in the AFC Wild Card game, and who was last in the Championship game in 1998, a contest they lost to Denver?

When you consider that the Jets, who are slated to draft 17th this year, probably won’t be able to get a blue-chip quarterback (unless they engineer the trade of the decade), looking at Carr makes even more sense if your goal is to land Spagnuolo.

Further, the Jets defense, ranked 16th overall, isn’t in as bad of shape as Denver’s, ranked 29th league wide, so Spags would probably have a little less work to do in terms of fixing the roster.

Free agency doesn’t commence until February 27,. For what it’s worth, don’t think the Giants won’t extend an offer to Carr. However, I firmly believe that given his relatively young age, Carr probably wants to be a starting quarterback, and if he can make the move to a team like the Jets and have a familiar face in Spags to work with, the Jets would be foolish to not explore that avenue.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:14 pm

from insidefootball.com

Update on the Spags Interview Process

As you know, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo interviewed with the Jets this afternoon and is scheduled to meet with team of officials from the Denver Broncos tonight.

One interesting note though about Spags’ interview with the Jets, which was reported by Adam Schefter of the NFL Network, is that owner Woody Johnson was NOT present for the Spagnuolo interview, as Johnson is on vacation out of the country.

Why is this significant? Because supposedly the Jets coaching search is going to be a collaborative effort between GM Mike Tannenbaum and Johnson. So while I suppose it’s possible that Tannenbaum is doing all the pre-screening of the candidates and is reporting back to Johnson on those he recommends for further interview, it was still interesting to learn of this little detail considering most of the other teams in need of a head coaching search have their owners involved in the preliminary stages.

Also, Schefter reported that the Oakland Raiders did indeed receive permission from the Giants to interview offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, this just five days after Raiders senior executive John Herrera called reports of the team's interest in Gilbride as "false and unfounded."

According to Schefter's report, the Oakland interview was done over the phone as Raiders owner Al Davis has been battling a knee injury which forced him to miss his team's regualr season finale last week. Gilbride is believed to be the first candidate on Davis’ radar.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:16 pm

and another

SPAGS PREPARES FOR POSSIBLE PROMOTION

With the Giants ranked the top NFC seed this year following their Super Bowl victory, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has never been in higher demand than he is today. And today, Spags will sit for the second round of preliminary interviews with the New York Jets and Denver Broncos.

The Giants, for their part, seem resigned to the fact that there days with the popular assistant coach could be winding down to an end.

“Am I surprised by it? Of course not, not at all,” said head coach Tom Coughlin of the interest Spagnuolo has drawn around the league. “Steve is very, very well thought of by our organization and he knows that. So we will see where that goes.”

“I’m not worried about that at all,” said MLB Antonio Pierce. “I can’t worry about the other stuff. Spags is a grown man. He is his own employee. He is the CEO of Spags Incorporated and my job is not to tell Coach Spags what to do and what not to do.”

“We’d love to keep him here forever, but we know how it is when you have a lot of success and how people want to call to talk to you,” added CB Corey Webster. “I think he’d be good at whatever he sets out to do; he’s a hell of a defensive coordinator right now.”

So what makes Spagnuolo such an intriguing head coach prospect? Well besides the fact that he is creative, young and innovative with his defensive game plans which resulted in the 2008 Giants finishing fifth overall in total defense, and in the top ten league-wide in 14 other defensive categories, he is a patient, likeable man who believes in teaching his players and collaborating with them to find ways to get them to perform at an optimal level.

“The one thing about Spags that really stands out from my stand point is he’s very detailed even about the smallest things,” said CB R.W. McQuarters. “You can see it when he puts the plan together. He goes through every man and every assignment. He’ll sit there and call out about six defenses and while guys are sitting there asking, ‘What he say?’ he’s onto the third and fourth, telling the secondary, linebackers and d-linemen what to do.”

McQuarters believes that Spagnuolo will be an excellent head coach if given the opportunity because he has continued to reinvent himself by engaging in two-way idea exchanges with his fellow coaches and his players. “When you’ve been around a bunch of different players and coaches, and other teams, you sort of pull some of the things from everyone you come in contact with that stuck with you. You take all this information to your office so that when you get ready to present your ideas, you start hitting on all different points.”

So despite his players being excited for him and what lies ahead, they’d be lying if they said they didn’t want to see their beloved defensive coordinator stay. “I expect him to stay,” Pierce said with a grin. “He is under contract to be the New York Giants defensive coordinator so I don’t expect him to go anywhere.”
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:56 pm

Spags is a grown man. He is his own employee. He is the CEO of Spags Incorporated and my job is not to tell Coach Spags what to do and what not to do.
-Peirce

haha thats great

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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:05 am

from espn.com

Sources: Jones might pursue Shanahan as coach

By Chris Mortensen
ESPN.com
(Archive)

Updated: January 4, 2009, 2:01 AM ET

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hasn't changed his mind about firing coach Wade Phillips, but Mike Shanahan would be the leading candidate if he ever does make a move, according to team sources.

Mike Shanahan, a fan of Tony Romo, could end up with the Cowboys in 2010.

Shanahan's unexpected firing Tuesday by the Denver Broncos has prompted Jones to give "thought" to hiring Shanahan as the future Dallas coach -- even more so than Bill Cowher or Mike Holmgren -- but 2010 may be more timely than 2009, the sources said.

The story was first reported Saturday morning on ESPN's NFL Countdown show.

Jones and Shanahan have had a strong relationship and share a mutual admiration for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Shanahan offered Romo more money than Jones did in 2003 when Romo was an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois, Shanahan's alma mater.

Also appealing to Jones, Shanahan would not carry an exorbitant price tag. Because his contract had three years remaining, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen owes Shanahan $20 million. Any owner who hires Shanahan could pay him a lower salary than the estimated $7 million a year he's owed and Bowlen would be obligated to pay the balance of that "offset."

Jones has been committed to a third season with Phillips as head coach and Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator. Sources say the owner was particularly pleased with Phillips' work with the defense and doesn't want to interrupt that progress. The chance Jones could hire Shanahan and convince Phillips to remain as defensive coordinator is very remote, a source said. Shanahan replaced Phillips as head coach when he was hired in Denver.

If Garrett should land one of the head coaching jobs available now, it could influence Jones to reconsider his plans and approach Shanahan about joining the Cowboys for the 2009 season because of the offensive void left by Garrett's departure, a source said.

The same source added that Jones was growing "angrier by the day" because of the Cowboys' last two defeats -- to Baltimore and Philadelphia -- which left them out of the playoffs.

However, as noted, any proposed union between the Cowboys and Shanahan is more likely for 2010.

Shanahan seemed to confirm the timing of his eventual return, regardless of the destination, when he told Peter King of SI.com and NBC on Saturday: "What I'm going to do is take a couple of weeks to sit back and relax a little, then consider what it is I'm going to do. Unless there's a perfect situation out there, I'd rather sit out the year and return next year."

However, as profootballtalk.com also reported Saturday, most standard NFL head coaching contracts contain a clause that the coach must "use his very best effort to seek other employment." It is unknown if Shanahan has that specific clause and many in the league doubt Bowlen would not honor the contract if the coach sat out.

Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN.
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:52 am

from profootballweekly.com



Mile-high microscope

Spagnuolo early favorite to succeed Shanahan, but Broncos' job should attract many top candidates


By Dan Arkush
Jan. 5, 2009

With the smoke still not completely cleared from the bombshell announcement last Tuesday that Mike Shanahan’s 14-year run in Denver had come to an abrupt end, league insiders across the country have been busy trying to figure out the most likely bet to fill what is widely considered to be the most attractive head-coach opening available at present.

Whoever gets the Broncos' job figures to be sitting a lot prettier than the gentlemen who end up filling the other head-coaching vacancies that are apparently there for the taking with the new year beginning (Jets, Browns, Lions, Rams, as well as quite possibly the Chiefs and Raiders).
Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Dallas' Jason Garrett

The selling points in Denver’s favor are obvious: a highly regarded owner willing to spend money (Pat Bowlen), an up-and-coming Pro Bowl quarterback (Jay Cutler) and arguably the most rabid fan base the NFL has to offer.

The way we hear it, after former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher officially announced during the CBS pregame show Sunday that he is planning on remaining a TV talking head for at least another year, the person most likely to reap the spoils of this tantalizing trifecta is highly regarded Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Spagnuolo, whose $2 million salary makes him one of the league’s highest-paid assistants, reportedly met informally with Bowlen and Broncos chief operating officer Joe Ellis in New York City over dinner Saturday evening.

Spagnuolo — who also interviewed for the Jets’ vacancy over the weekend and has been specifically mentioned as a serious candidate in Cleveland and Detroit — shapes up as the most qualified candidate to repair a suspect Denver defense that ultimately proved to be the major reason that best friends Bowlen and Shanahan decided to part ways.

“ 'Spags' would seem the most logical fit,” a well-connected league insider told PFW. “Denver went from offensive-minded Dan Reeves to defensive-minded Wade Phillips once before, and that sort of move is pretty typical of most owners. The offense is a well-oiled machine, but the defense has been broken beyond repair for years. That side of the ball desperately needs attention. Spagnuolo could fix it.”

Before the weekend was over, we hear Bowlen and Ellis had an interview set up in Boston with 32-year-old Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Perhaps as early as later today, sources tell us Tampa Bay secondary coach Raheem Morris will be the first candidate to formally interview for the head-coaching job in Denver.

Morris is another young up-and-comer who has been compared to Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and is set to become the Bucs’ new defensive coordinator, replacing Monte Kiffin if a better opportunity doesn’t materialize.

However, Morris has no NFL experience as a coordinator, the Bucs’ defense fell apart in the final month of the season after Kiffin decided he would join his son in Tennessee, and the “Tampa 2” defense has lost a lot of luster in league circles as Tony Dungy’s disciples — Lovie Smith, Herm Edwards and Rod Marinelli — have all struggled running the single-gap attack that is designed to limit big plays.

“Monte Kiffin is the only guy who could run that defense effectively, and he had 13 years as a coordinator (with the Buccaneers),” a veteran personnel evaluator said. “Now everyone is trying to emulate (Eagles defensive coordinator) Jim Johnson. His guys are all having success. Look at (Ravens head coach) John Harbaugh, Spags, (Vikings defensive coordinator) Leslie Frazier and 'Chico' (Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera).

“If I’m an owner, that’s the pipeline I want.”

While there’s reason to believe Morris will get a token interview to meet the Rooney Rule guidelines, well-placed sources say Bowlen is legitimately interested in Frazier, who has built an impressive résumé, quickly climbing the coaching ladder under a distinct group of mentors, including Mike Ditka, Johnson and Dungy.

Word is Bowlen has his sights set on a younger man to grab the reins from Shanahan, and other possibilities who have been mentioned include Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, who has indicated that he’s solely focused for the time being on winning a national collegiate championship but has brought unprecedented success to Bowlen’s alma mater.

Oklahoma’s matchup with Florida this Thursday for the BCS title will be Stoops’ fourth shot at a national title. Stoops, however, has zero NFL coaching experience and is widely regarded as a college lifer lacking the around-the-clock work ethic that is demanded in the NFL.

Although it’s not considered a potential deal breaker by any means, we hear it’s possible Spagnuolo’s East Coast roots could keep him from starting life anew west of the Mississippi. Both he and his wife, Maria, are reportedly very involved in the New Jersey community in which they currently reside.

Regarding Denver’s current assistant coaches, we hear Bowlen is leaning toward cutting the cord with most of them but will consider a plan of action on a coach-by-coach basis.

If a defensive-minded coach like Spagnuolo is hired, our sources in Denver believe passing-game coordinator Jeremy Bates — another up-and-comer who has a strong working relationship with Cutler similar to the relationship Shanahan previously had with Broncos legend John Elway — could very well be retained.

Bowlen also must decide what to do about the GM duties Shanahan also handled, but we hear he wants to nail down the head-coaching post first. The Broncos owner is already on record as saying his next head coach won’t have nearly as much power as Shanahan enjoyed in his dual head coach-GM role and that the team’s current front-office trio of Jim Goodman, Jeff Goodman and Brian Xanders would stay in place.

One name that has been specifically mentioned for the GM post is Eagles GM Tom Heckert, who spent six seasons in the Philadelphia organization together with Spagnuolo and has been a candidate for other GM openings the past few years.

What would be a much more intriguing scenario is the possibility that Elway — who co-owns the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush with Bowlen and has become one of the Mile High City’s most prominent movers and shakers in the business community — could be considered for a high-profile front-office position with the Broncos.

Unlike Dan Marino, whom Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga tried to lure back to the front office, Elway has experience in ownership and is a “second generation” personnel man like so many GMs who have landed top jobs (Heckert, Thomas Dimitroff, Jeff Ireland, Scot McCloughan). At the pinnacle of Denver’s success, Elway’s father, Jack, was responsible for recommending many of the players.

As for Shanahan, who is still owed $20 million by Bowlen over the next three years, his apparent plan is to carefully weigh his options the next couple of weeks, which we hear could very well include joining up with good buddy Jerry Jones in Dallas — if not this year, then in 2010, after he spends some time decompressing.

“Shanahan would be a great fit in Dallas,” said one pro personnel director. “They could move Wade Phillips to defensive coordinator. That’s what Wade is. He had to take back the reins from (D-coordinator Brian Stewart), who he was training there. He gave him a free lunch, and the kid screwed up.”
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

Post  Big_Pete on Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:36 pm

update on the coaching carousel.....


The Broncos, Browns, Lions, Colts, Seahawks, 49ers all have new head coaches

Jon Gruden has just been fired in Tampa

Herman Edwards is on the way out in KC as Scott Pioli cleans house
Pioli wants to run a 3-4 so Spags won't be in the mix there.


The Jets, Rams and Raiders are still open
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Re: My thoughts/predictions on the Coaching carousel

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