There is still more than a month remaining in the NFL schedule, but most seem to believe John Fox and the Carolina Panthers will part ways at the end of the year.
That will put the Panthers in the market for a head coach for the first time since 2002. One name that will top the list, according to a report on ESPN tonight by Adam Schefter, is Arizona Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm, who also serves as an assistant head coach.
The report cited the relationship Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has with the Rooney family, who would give Grimm a strong endorsement. Grimm passed on an opportunity to interview for the Buffalo Bills’ job last year. He was a finalist for the Chicago Bears’ job that went to Lovie Smith in 2004. Widespread reports indicate Grimm was the top choice to replace Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh before the NFL stepped in and pointed out that in order to put teeth to the Rooney Rule the organization needed to hire a minority.
Obviously, a losing season in Arizona won’t help Grimm’s candidacy, but he’s been a hot name for a while and should still receive strong consideration.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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