With coaches already having been fired in Jacksonville, Kansas City and Miami, and with several more vacancies expected, former Titans coach Jeff Fisher and Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer are expected to be hot commodities on the open market, with Fisher likely to get the most interest.
Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher will listen to coaching offers, but people close to Cowher, who now works as a CBS broadcaster, believe he’s more inclined to stay in television. The same is true of former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden. But a word of caution: a big-money deal for either coach could change those plans.
In addition to the Jaguars, Chiefs and Dolphins, coaching changes are also expected in St. Louis (Steve Spagnuolo), San Diego (Norv Turner), Indianapolis (Jim Caldwell), and Tampa Bay (Raheem Morris). Philadelphia’s Andy Reid and the Giants’ Tom Coughlin are also not entirely assured of returning in 2012.
Fisher will be very high on several teams’ lists, but beyond him, there is a dearth of candidates for an expected slew of openings, especially if Cowher and Gruden stay in the broadcast booth. Schottenheimer and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Jon’s younger brother, will therefore draw attention. Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the former Broncos head coach, has also been mentioned in connection with the opening in Kansas City, where Scott Pioli is the general manager. Pioli and McDaniels worked together with the Patriots.
Other assistants who could get noticed: Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Panthers offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski, and Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.