*At one point Mike McCoy was seen as the hottest head coaching candidate, and the frontrunner in both Arizona and Chicago. But both teams backed off of McCoy, who ended up Chargers head coach. What happened? Our sources say he did not interview as well as other candidates.
*Don't be surprised if the Patriots let Wes Welker walk when free agency rolls around. As much as they love and appreciate him they won't pay a premium to keep him. Bill Belichick has a system which is designed to have interchangeable parts at most positions. Said a former Patriots wide receiver: “He will just go find the next Wes Welker.”
*We hear if Jon Gruden wanted to return to coaching, he could have had multiple jobs with total control and a seven year contract worth close to $10 million per year. Gruden would have considered coming back for the right job, but he didn’t think it existed this year.
*A source says Browns honcho Joe Banner is involved in all aspects of the operation, including hiring assistant coaches and running the scouting department. That’s one reason some coaches were leery of the head coaching vacancy in Cleveland.
*The reports that Howie Roseman was turning off head coaching candidates may have been driven by the fact that Roseman doesn’t always play ball with some members of the media. The truth, according to a former Eagles employee? “Howie is a coaches’ GM. He will get his head coach whatever he wants.”
*One of the reasons Chip Kelly did not appeal to all teams is they questioned his ability to put together a top flight NFL coaching staff. He has spent most of his coaching career at New Hampshire and Oregon, and has not had a chance to build a big, impressive network of coaches he can trust.
*Rumor has it that if Bruce Arians had gotten the head coaching job with the Bears, he would have brought Ken Whisenhunt as his offensive coordinator and Russ Grimm as his offensive line coach. He probably had to change that sell job when he was talking to the Cardinals, however, as Whisenhunt and Grimm were part of the old regime.
*Reports of friction between Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley were overblown, and Haley is not unhappy about returning to the Steelers. In fact, he loves it there. And if Roethlisberger had not missed time with a pretty serious rib injury, he would have had outstanding numbers.
*New Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub will be allowed to work with defensive linemen in practice, which he also did when he worked for Andy Reid in Philadelphia. That could diversify his resume and put him on a fast track for a head coaching job. John Harbaugh also was Reid’s special teams coach before being allowed to work with defensive backs. A year after that, he became head coach of the Ravens.