One coach in particular, Winston Moss, probably is the top candidate for a defensive coordinator or head coaching job upon the conclusion of Green Bay's season. Moss, who turned 42 on Christmas Eve, has the ideal combination of playing and coaching experience in the National Football League over the past 19 seasons. At this point, he will at least be considered to lead a defense, if not an entire team.
The only thing holding Moss back right now is the fact that other teams cannot interview him until Green Bay's season is over. That may come as soon as Jan. 12, or late as Feb. 3 (Super Bowl XLII).
Packers head coach promoted Moss to assistant head coach/defense quickly last Jan. 15 not only to help his chances of eventually becoming a head coach, but also to keep him around Green Bay for another season to work with the Packers' linebackers. With Bob Sanders heading the defense, McCarthy elevated Moss to a role in which he could expand his duties on defense. After the Packers' season concludes this year, look for Moss to be named as either a defensive coordinator or head coach for another team. If McKenzie or Schneider is hired in Atlanta, it may be with the Falcons.
If Moss doesn't go on to become a defensive coordinator or head coach, it will be a shock. Moss has paid his dues as an assistant, and has all the leadership qualities that a team seeks in a head coach. With the Packers' success this season and his position on the team, other teams in need of a coordinator or head coach would be foolish to overlook Moss.
Moss is finishing his eighth season as an NFL coach and second season with the Packers. He reunited with McCarthy in January of 2006 after working with him for five seasons in New Orleans from 2000-04.
Moss played linebacker for 11 seasons in the NFL with three different teams – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1987-90), Los Angeles Raiders (1991-94) and Seattle Seahawks (1995-97). He played in 155 games with 146 starts.
Moss began his NFL coaching career as a defensive quality control coach in 1998 with the Seahawks. In 2000, he went to New Orleans as a defensive assistant/quality control coach. He was promoted to linebackers coach in 2000, a position he held through the 2005 season before coming to Green Bay.
Moss has made it clear to anyone who will listen that he wants to be a coordinator, then head coach. Now it's just a matter of time. Other coaches on Green Bay's staff probably will be considered for better positions with other teams, including offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, but Moss seems destined to take another step toward his NFL coaching goal, if not his ultimate goal, soon.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at email@example.com.