The Coaching Search
Arizona Cardinals - Of the seven or so candidates for their vacant head
coaching job (Cam Cameron, Norm Chow, Mike Sherman, Russ
Grimm, Jim Caldwell, Ken Whisenhunt, Ron Rivera), it's
believed that Rivera has the best shot to win out. League sources have told
scout.com that Rivera, who is from the West Coast, has already been calling
around to possible coaches to join him wherever he ends up. Rivera, we're told,
strongly believes he'll get a head coaching job this year. It's widely believed
in league circles that Rivera and Whisenhunt are the top two candidates in the
league right now for head coaching openings. Chow is well liked by the front
office and is also seen as a viable candidate for the job.
Rivera has ties to VP of football operations Rod Graves from his days
with the Chicago Bears.
Atlanta Falcons - Those familiar with the situation told scout.com
Friday evening that the leading candidate for the vacant head coaching job
is Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt who is on the
short list of just about every team with an opening. Whisenhunt, who played
collegiate at Georgia Tech, has done a very good job with QB Ben Roethlisberger and the feeling is that he could handle coaching QB
Those also in the running are Mike Singletary, Cam Cameron, and
Ron Rivera. Cameron is an intriguing possibility because he's done such a
good job with QBs Drew Brees and Philip Rivers and the Chargers
had arguably the NFL's best offense this season.
Oakland Raiders - The two early favorites for the job would be Dennis Green who knows owner Al Davis well and Jim Fassel who was
once an assistant with the team. It's still not known if Green wants to coach
again, however. Arizona sources say that Green wanted out of there and expected
to be fired weeks before it actually happened.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan could also be a choice is Davis decides to stay in house.
Pittsburgh Steelers - It's widely believed that Ken Whisenhunt,
their offensive coordinator, is the top candidate for the job then offensive
line coach Russ Grimm. The team generally would like to stay within the
organization but a dark horse here would be Ron Rivera who has an
interview set up over the next few days.
Other League Notes
Dallas Cowboys - A league source told scout.com late Friday
evening that there's a strong chance that head coach Bill Parcells will
retire after their season is over unless the team goes deep into the playoffs.
Parcells, after three bad home losses, is having a hard time fixing the problems
on defense and he knows there isn't much more he can do to alleviate them at
this point. While many fans and pundits have been speculating that he would
leave because of having to deal with WR Terrell Owens, the source points
out that it's simply not the case. It's really all about where he sees the team
going and what it would take and how long it would to get those problems fixed.
San Francisco 49ers - It was around this time last year that
scout.com wrote that the team was expected to concentrate on offense in free
agency and in the draft for 2006. The team signed WR Antonio Bryant and
three out of their top four selections in the draft were from the offensive side
of the ball. Team sources indicate that the team is likely to do the opposite
this year. San Francisco is likely to look to upgrade their secondary,
linebackers, and defensive line. One player that could be on their short list in
free agency is Baltimore Ravens SLB Adalius Thomas who head coach Mike Nolan knows well from his days as their defensive coordinator. A league
source points out that Thomas, who has played almost every position on defense
in his career with Baltimore, could be a moving chess piece for Nolan's scheme
and could be the playmaker that their defensive has been missing.
Seattle Seahawks - The talk about the league is that WR D.J. Hackett
will receive a lot of interest come March when free agency begins. Hackett is
set to become a restricted free agent and is seen around the league as a high
upside and ascending player. The team is already paying three of their receivers
big money so it's unlikely they would match a very high money offer from another
Tennessee Titans - Now that the smoke has cleared in the departure of GM
Floyd Reese, league sources indicate that Reese and head coach Jeff
Fisher's frosty relationship was a contributing factor and a power struggle
was an issue. Tennessee's drafts over the past few years certainly have been
suspect at best and there's a belief in league circles that both were not on the
same page on drafting certain players. Both men seemed to have differing
opinions on their last two first-round selections QB Vince Young and CBAdam
One player that team sources say was a constant issue for the two was the
playing time of CB Andre Woolfolk who has been buried on the depth chart
almost since he was selected in the first round of the 2003 draft.
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