Chargers next coach? What are the odds?

The search for Marty Schottenheimer's replacement is on and the list of candidates is a lengthy one. The Chargers want to leave no stone unturned and every candidate would love to inherit a 14-win team littered with all-stars. The following is a list of the top 13 candidates, as of now, along with the odds of each landing the post, measured on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the most likely.

Pete Carroll, USC – Although he tops all other potential hires in sex appeal, Carroll has oodles of job security at USC and has little incentive to jeopardize his steady situation. He was 33-31 in his four seasons as an NFL head coach and is 65-12 since taking over the Trojans.

Probability: Two in 10

Norm Chow, TEN – This is perhaps the most logical candidate, as Chow worked with Philip Rivers at North Carolina State and has a regional ties from his days as offensive coordinator at USC. In addition to Rivers, Chow has tutored the likes of Steve Young and Carson Palmer.

Probability: Three in 10

Ted Cottrell – A former defensive coordinator with the Bills, Jets and Vikings, Cottrell has experience with the 3-4 scheme the Chargers utilize. He also has experience working with A.J. Smith from their days together in Buffalo. A defensive coordinator may be all he ever is, though.

Probability: One in 10

Bill Cowher, PIT – A.J. Smith is a big fan of Cowher. However, San Diego would have to compensate the Steelers if it hires him. Also, Cowher is a close friend of Schottenheimer's and is undoubtedly upset about the way his friend was released.

Probability: One in 10

Gary Gibbs, NO – A former linebackers coach in Dallas and the defensive coordinator for the Saints in 2006, Gibbs has a knack for getting a lot of productivity from mediocre talent. If he could get the Chargers to similarly overachieve, he would be a stellar hire.

Probability: One in 10

Russ Grimm, ARI – A former offensive line coach with the Steelers, Grimm is now in a similar post with the Cardinals. A former member of the Redskins' renowned "Hogs" offensive line, he would be a good fit for the smash-mouth brand of football the Chargers hope to play.

Probability: One in 10

Jim Mora, SEA – As head coach of the Falcons between 2004 and 2006, Mora went 26-22 and led Atlanta to an NFC title game appearance. Mora began his career as an assistant coach with the Chargers and is known for leading stingy defenses and efficient rushing attacks.

Probability: Two in 10

Bill Parcells, DAL – Dean Spanos holds a great deal of respect for Parcells, who boasts two Super Bowl wins and a 161-122-1 career record. However, the Cowboys would be entitled compensation if he comes out of retirement in 2007, something he seems disinclined to do.

Probability: One in 10

Ron Rivera, CHI – The Chargers could luck out by landing Rivera, as he likely would have landed elsewhere were it not for the Bears' Super Bowl run. He is a defensive guru but prefers the 4-3 scheme, a change the Chargers are unlikely to make.

Probability: Three in 10

Rex Ryan, BAL – The defensive coordinator of the Ravens since 2005, his units ranked in the top five in both seasons. Ryan has experience with the 3-4 defense the Chargers plan to run and is known as a player's coach and an excellent motivator.

Probability: Two in 10

Mike Singletary, SF – A former standout linebacker with the Bears, Singletary is now the assistant head coach with the 49ers. Although he has excelled in his current role, he has no experience as a head coach or even as a coordinator.

Probability: One in 10

Norv Turner, SF – As offensive coordinator of the Chargers in 2001, Turner installed the offense still utilized in San Diego today. Although he flopped in his previous two head coaching stints, he could be a great hire if he can land a proven defensive coordinator.

Probability: Three in 10

Mike Zimmer, ATL – After spending the past six seasons the defensive coordinator in Dallas, Zimmer took the same job with the Falcons earlier this offseason. His experience with the 3-4 defense and his aggressive play-calling are his greatest assets.

Probability: One in 10

Lightning Quicks:

The Chargers have denied the Dallas Cowboys permission to speak with secondary coach Brian Stewart and assistant linebackers coach/quality control John Pagano.


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