Shallow Pool of Coaching Prospects

As one owner said: "The best team in the league is Green Bay, and their most recognizable (assistant) is (defensive coordinator Dom) Capers," who would be a tough sell because of his previous head coaching experience.

Not counting Dallas and Minnesota, which retained their interim coaches from the end of the 2010 season (Jason Garrett and Leslie Frazier, respectively), there were six franchises with head coach vacancies in the offseason, just a tick less than the average for the past 20 years.

There could be as many after this season, and there are a number of guys on the hot seat.

What there may not be, though, is the usual volume of potential replacements.

One owner who could make a change, and who has spent some time the past couple weeks taking a cursory look at some presumptive future head coaches, told The Sports Xchange this week that the usual pool of candidates from currently successful franchises isn't deep.

"I mean, take a look at the really good teams and give me a name," said the owner. "The best team in the league is Green Bay, and their most recognizable (assistant) is (defensive coordinator Dom) Capers. He's had two (head coaching) jobs already and, while they were difficult situations, no doubt, he was fired from both of them. Can you bring him in and tell your fans, 'Well, the third time's the charm?' I don't know."

The owner noted that, excluding current college coaches, the likely candidates for jobs after this season may fall into two categories: some assistants who may be lesser-known to fans and high-profile former NFL coaches who are working in other capacities.

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Len Pasquarelli is a Senior NFL Writer for The Sports Xchange. He has covered the NFL for 33 years and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. His NFL coverage earned recognition as the winner of the McCann Award for distinguished reporting in 2008.

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