News is flying around the NFL today. Here is some of what I’m hearing:
1. Buffalo: The one name that makes the most sense to me is Brian Schottenheimer, the son of former Bills player Marty Schottenheimer and current offensive coordinator of the New York Jets. Marty and new Bills general manger Buddy Nix have a great relationship, which will help get Brian an interview. His work with the Jets might get him the job.
2. Cleveland: The Browns almost surely will make a move with Eric Mangini now that Mike Holmgren is fully in charge of the football operations. It’s very safe to assume that the next coach of the Browns will have ties to the west coast offense and have a prior relationship with Holmgren. Marty Mornhinweg, the former Lions head coach and current offensive coordinator of the Eagles, might be on the list of candidates.
3. Oakland: Most buzz going around NFL circles is that Tom Cable will not be back as head coach. Owner Al Davis usually takes a long time to make any decision, but if he opts to fire Cable, look for Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and former Giants head coach Jim Fassel to be the two leading candidates.
4. New York Giants: Expect Bill Sheridan and others on the defensive staff to be looking for work, but the changes in New York won’t stop there. Some high-priced players won’t be back, either. Given how bad the Giants are in all phases, they’ll need to make changes to their scheme, players and coaches.
5. Miami: The Dolphins have to be disappointed with their season after starting off 0-3, and then going 7-3 and finishing 0-3. Most of their problems can be attributed to being too slow at linebacker as they need to find players who can make plays in the kicking game. The Fins are like the Giants – they must address all three areas of their defense, from players to coaches to scheme. One player I don’t expect to return is Joey Porter, especially with a million-dollar roster bonus due in March.
6. Pittsburgh: The Steelers must find a way to gain more balance within their offense and will make changes to their staff. But yesterday showed clearly that Mike Tomlin got his team to play hard, play inspired and play to win — something that didn’t happen in Kansas City, Cleveland and at home against the Raiders.
7. Washington: Mike Shanahan is in D.C. as expected, and his son Kyle will be following him in two weeks. Mike Zimmer of the Bengals is the name I hear most often for the defensive coordinator job.
More to come as I hear the news.
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