Coaching carousel spinning

Much like free-agency season, or draft season, job-hunting season for coaches now requires a scorecard, so here are the latest additions, deletions and changes on the Steelers' evolving coaching staff:

* Fired defensive coordinator Tim Lewis will be replaced by either Dick LeBeau, Greg Blache, Ted Cottrell or Willy Robinson. LeBeau, the assistant head coach for the head-coachless Buffalo Bills, will interview with Steelers Coach Bill Cowher on Tuesday.

Blache (pronounced Blahsh) is currently under contract as the defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears, who also are without a head coach. Blache will interview with Cowher on Wednesday. Blache will also talk to Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo about the head-coaching job in Chicago.

Cottrell, the deposed New York Jets coordinator, has an offer on the table to be the Minnesota Vikings' next coordinator, and is meeting with the San Diego Chargers today about the same position. Cottrell will interview with the Steelers on Thursday. Robinson is the Steelers' secondary coach and is the in-house favorite to fill the vacancy.

* Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey has turned down an opportunity to interview for the Oakland Raiders' head-coaching position because, among other things, he's a lead candidate for the same opening in Buffalo. According to Sunday's edition of The Buffalo News, Mularkey, Dick Jauron and Charlie Weis are the three leading candidates for a position that could be filled as early as today. An early decision would leave out Weis, who is the offensive coordinator for the still-contending New England Patriots. Also, because the Bills played so poorly on offense last season Mularkey would seem to have an edge over Jauron, who has a defensive background.

* The Steelers are prepared to fill Mularkey's spot with offensive line coach Russ Grimm, who is interviewing to become Chicago's next head coach. Grimm had dinner with Angelo last night and will meet with him again today. The Chicago Sun Times believes Grimm and St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith are the leading contenders for the job.

Teams will begin scrambling to fill out the remainder of their staffs this week, since assistant coaches without contracts for next season are allowed to be hired after midnight Tuesday.

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