Wade Phillips likely candidate for DC role after Texans fire Bush
Houston Texans defensive coordinator Frank Bush was fired Monday by coach Gary Kubiak, suggesting that Kubiak will return for a sixth season in 2010 following a trouble-filled 6-10 campaign, according to the Houston Chronicle on Monday. Kubiak is expected to announce Bush's departure in a meeting with reporters Monday afternoon. Bush joined the Texans in 2007 as a defensive assistant, and spent the past two season as defensive coordinator. Bush harbored no illusions of retaining his job entering Sunday's season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars. "I've got to find a way to sell myself to another organization," Bush told the Houston Chronicle on Friday. "I'll stay positive. I'll stay upbeat. I'll keep believing in the things I do." Bush, who ran the Texans' defense for two seasons, could be replaced by former Dallas Cowboyscoach Wade Phillips, league sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora last week. Phillips would inherit a unit that ranked last against the pass (267.5 yards per game) and 29th overall (376.9 yards per game) this season.
The San Francisco 49ers have requested interviews with two current NFL coordinators to fill their head coaching vacancy, according to various reports Tuesday. NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reports that the Niners asked permission to speak to Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, according to a league source. Jackson caught the Niners' eye because of the improvement of a young Raiders offense to 10th in the league in 2010. He also was a candidate when Mike Singletary interviewed for the job in 2009. Newsday reported Tuesday that the 49ers also are interested in New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, whose defense led the NFL in turnovers and finished seventh overall. The 49ers also have been linked to Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, whom La Canfora reported Tuesday is drawing serious interest from the Miami Dolphins, despite the fact they have a coach in Tony Sparano.
Stanford's Harbaugh quietly emerges as Dolphins candidate
League sources expect the Miami Dolphins to make a push to hire Stanford University coach and former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh as the Dolphins' next head coach. The Dolphins have had multiple conversations with Harbaugh about the position, according to a league source. Harbaugh will begin exploring his coaching options now with Stanford's season complete, and the process is not expected to take long. The University of Michigan, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos are among the teams that want him, but the Dolphins are quietly evaluating him as well, according to sources.
Talks ongoing, but Lewis expected to return to Bengals
All signs indicate that Marvin Lewis will return as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals and that no major changes are expected, a source with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday. Lewis's contract expires after the season, but the team and Lewis are expected to strike a deal to keep him in place.
Adams advised to retain Fisher, move on from QB Young
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams is being advised by senior management to part ways with quarterback Vince Young, according to a league source, but the decision remains his entirely. Adams has yet to make a final decision on keeping coach Jeff Fisher, but Adams has been made aware of the fact that Fisher will not stay if Young remains on the team. Fisher has one year remaining on his contract, and he does not believe he can win with Young on his team, according to sources close to the coach. And Fisher "has the right within his contract to play whomever he wants," according to a source. So Fisher has no intention of relenting on the quarterback issue whenever he meets with Adams. Adams has been advised in the past against keeping Young and has remained staunchly loyal to the 2006 first-round pick, so Titans sources are doubtful much will change now.
The front office won't change significantly. The Cincinnati Bengals will still be practicing in the cold. Even with all that, Marvin Lewis decided to stay. Lewis agreed to an unspecified contract extension on Tuesday that will make him the longest-tenured coach in club history. Owner Mike Brown agreed to changes in the coaching staff and the roster as part of a deal that left both sides comfortable.
Panthers hope to interview 49ers' Manusky for head coaching job
The Carolina Panthers have asked permission to speak to San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for their coaching vacancy. Manusky joined the 49ers in 2006 after serving as the linebackers coach for the San Diego Chargers. He was with the Washington Redskins in 2001. The 49ers defense finished the season with mixed results: they were sixth in defending the rush (96.7 yards per game) and 13th in yards per game (327.8) but were 16th in scoring (346), 24th in receiving yards allowed per game (231) and 25th in receiving yards allowed (3,941).
As expected, 49ers promote Baalke to general manager
The San Francisco 49ers made one expected announcement Tuesday night. Is another coming later this week? The 49ers on Tuesday night announced they have promoted Trent Baalke, who has been their vice president of player personnel, to general manager, an appointment expected for almost a week. Now he will lead the search for a new head coach.
Cable out as Raiders coach after team declines option
The Oakland Raiders informed Tom Cable on Tuesday night that they will not pick up the option in his contract, the team announced. "Coach Cable was informed the club would not be exercising its option for the 2011 season, and that he's free to seek employment elsewhere," his agent, Don Yee, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Teams already have shown interest in Tom." Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will take over as the new head coach, a source close to Jackson told the San Francisco Chronicle. Earlier Tuesday, the 49ers asked for permission to interview Jackson for their head coaching vacancy. But Raiders senior executive John Herrera says the team has not talked to any candidates yet.
Texans bring in ex-Cowboys coach Phillips to fix defense
Wade Phillips faces quite a challenge in fixing the Houston Texans' defense, but he's excited about it. "I'm fired up about the opportunity," Phillips told the Houston Chronicle. "I studied tape of 15 Texans games. I like their talent. I'm excited to work with them." Phillips was hired as the Texans' new defensive coordinator Wednesday, assigned to revamp a unit that dropped to the bottom of the NFL this season. The former Dallas Cowboys coach joins Gary Kubiak's staff two days after the Texans fired defensive coordinator Frank Bush, secondary coach David Gibbs, linebackers coach Johnny Holland and assistant linebackers coach Robert Saleh.
Report: Vikings dismiss several coaches; Bevell safe for now
Two days after his interim tag was removed, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier followed through on his promise to examine the staff and scheme on both sides of the ball. Frazier relieved quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, offensive line coach Pat Morris and assistant offensive line coach Jim Hueber of their duties, the Star Tribune reported Wednesday. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell remains in his position for now. The Star Tribune also reported that linebackers coach Fred Pagac could be elevated to defensive coordinator after serving that role after Frazier became interim coach in late November, replacing the fired Brad Childress. The Vikings also need to replace running backs coach Eric Bieniemy, who announced in December that he was leaving Minnesota to become offensive coordinator at the University of Colorado, where he played.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams says it's time to let QB Vince Young go and for the franchise to find its next quarterback. The Titans released a statement Wednesday night in which Adams said Young won't be on the team's roster next season, but he's still evaluating the coaching staff. "We have two critical decisions to make, the direction of the coaching staff and the future at the quarterback position. They are separate issues to me and will be dealt with separately," Adams said. Jeff Fisher could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. He is the NFL's longest-tenured coach with his current team, having just finished his 16th full season and coached his 273rd game with the Titans. Tennessee started this season with high expectations and was atop the AFC South at 5-2 before losing eight of the final nine games to finish 6-10. Fisher said during his weekly radio show Tuesday night that talks with the team were ongoing. The NFL's uncertain labor situation also muddles the big picture.
Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross has traveled to the West Coast in an urgent effort to convince Stanford's Jim Harbaugh to become his next coach, according to two sources. Ross was accompanied by general manager Jeff Ireland and former NFL executive Carl Peterson to make the pitch to Harbaugh to replace Tony Sparano as the team's head coach, the sources said. Ross is willing to make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in the NFL, which would place his salary in the $7-to-$8-million range, the sources said, after receiving a signal from the Stanford coach that he was now willing to listen seriously to the team's presentation. The meeting between Dolphins and Harbaugh is scheduled to take place Thursday morning, a source said. The Dolphins still would need to satisfy the NFL's Rooney Rule that requires teams to interview minority candidates before hiring a new coach. Sparano also has not been fired yet.
The San Francisco 49ers met with Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh for five hours on Wednesday, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. The source said Harbaugh met with team president Jed York and newly-named general manager Trent Baalke. Harbaugh returned Tuesday night to the Bay Area from a 40-12 Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech in Miami that gave the Cardinal a program-best 12-1 record. He now must weigh his options, which appear to be many.
Signs continue to point to the Dolphins landing Jim Harbaugh as their next head coach.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News has a source that says “all indications” are that Harbaugh will accept Miami’s huge offer, believed to be more than $7 million per season. Miami would reportedly go above $8 million per year if the 49ers upped their offer. (Translation: Harbaugh’s agent is playing this very well.)
You can take Jeff Fisher out of the equation right now. He's staying in Tennessee, where he will stay so long as Bud Adams as a pulse. I've said this many times, and I'll say it again: Bud Adams DOES NOT like change. Period. He is about like the Rooneys in Pittsburgh when it comes to coaches. Titans' fans are still living high off of the Super Bowl appearance back in the 1999 season, and of course, the glory years in which they were contenders for AFC Central Division championships against the rising Indianapolis Colts. Fisher has had some decent teams since the mid 00s, but he hasn't been able to win consistently enough, nor has he won a Super Bowl, to thus warrant him staying in Nashville as the head coach of the Titans.