There are rumblings that Denver would be interested in Gary Kubiak as the Broncos look for their next coach. He’d be super attractive as an offensive coordinator candidate for just about anyone.
Jeff Fisher would be an upgrade for several teams who are in the market or will be in the market for a head coach, particularly Houston and Dallas.
Jack Del Rio's allowed his name to be linked to LSU and USC in the past, and I could see him as a college coach, though that would probably entail waiting a year. In the NFL, I don’t know that he’d be looked at for another head-coaching job. He could resurface as a defensive coordinator or a linebackers coach.
Coaching carousel could be fast and furious after Week 17
The season is coming to an end and a new year awaits all of us. With many people setting resolutions for 2011, the idea of change is also very much at the forefront for teams not heading to the playoffs. In fact, many organizations have already started planning for next season, which could include a coaching change. Many coaches will find out their fates on Monday. "Happy New Year, you're fired," is a refrain many have unfortunately heard in the league, and it will be uttered again this time around. Here is a look at what awaits some of the coaching staffs and front offices on the hot seat.
A new coach is going to Carolina to try and turn the team around, but the biggest looming decision will be if the Panthers feel Jimmy Clausen is their long-term answer at quarterback. Not in terms of starting, but long-term as far as winning.
Even though Marvin Lewis wants changes in Cincinnati, he does not have much leverage or another year on his contract. In any event, whoever is coaching the Bengals next season will most surely want to make the same changes.
All indications appear that the Eric Mangini era is coming to an end, and the two hot names to replace him are Marty Mornhinweg and John Fox.
Jerry Jones said he does not want a coach who has won a Super Bowl somewhere else, which means that Jason Garrett might be safe to stay on as head coach. That is, unless the Tennessee Titans cut Jeff Fisher free. Garrett is the favorite, but Fisher is really well liked in Dallas.
Denver Broncos John Elway is coming in, and is Jim Fassel far behind? My sources say if Gary Kubiak is not the man in Denver, Fassel just might become the new coach. The former Giants coach is a favorite of Elway. Stay tuned.
The Texans think they are just a good defensive coordinator away from being a great team. Indications are that owner Bob McNair is not making a head-coaching change, but will tweak the defensive staff. Will this work? Not unless the offense gets tougher as well.
Jacksonville Jaguars Jack Del Rio never appears safe in Jacksonville, in part because he has fired more assistant coaches in the last few years than any other team, and many are wondering if he is next to go. The Jaguars are an extremely young team and need an influx of talent to close the gap on their AFC competitors.
Bill Parcells appears to have saved Tony Sparano's job, but what won't be saved is the offensive staff. The Dolphins will be in the market, assuming that Sparano does stay for a new offensive coordinator.
This is the one team that really needs to figure some things out before it makes a move. The first thing needed is a complete and thorough autopsy of what went wrong. Then, a plan can be put into place.
New York Giants
Major problems to solve, but normally management will never rush to judgment. Tom Coughlin will have to make some changes if, in fact, he is back.
Even though the Raiders are now a good team, always expect changes there, not with the players, but with the coaches. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson might be in line for a head-coaching job, especially if there is an overhaul in Cincinnati.
San Diego Chargers
No changes coming at the top, but there might be some movement if defensive coordinator Ron Rivera is able to secure a head-coaching job.
San Francisco 49ers
A new general manager -- not me, by the way -- is heading to town and will hire the coach. Candidates from Mornhinweg to Jim Harbaugh are being talked about around the league. If Harbaugh wants to enter the NFL, I am sure he will have many places that could use his talents.
A showdown is scheduled in Nashville between Jeff Fisher and quarterback Vince Young. If Fisher loses, what coach in the NFL would actually want to coach Young?
Dysfunction is back in D.C. and, before deciding on their next quarterback, the Redskins need to decide what they want to be on both sides of the ball. This season seemed like a wasted year, and now Washington must make a few changes. And those adjustments might come from anywhere, but the first place to look is on defense.
Fox era over: Panthers say coach will not return next season
As John Fox left the Carolina Panthers' practice field Friday, he insisted he has known about his impending departure for about two years. A few hours later, the Panthers formally announced the end of the coach's nine-year run, in which he led the franchise to its only Super Bowl, saying the contracts of Fox and the rest of his staff will not be renewed after Sunday's game at Atlanta. "I told John today that I appreciate everything he has done for us over the last nine years, but as happens in this business, it is time for both sides to move in different directions," Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement released by the team.
Team officials: Broncos' coaching search to include Studesville
The Denver Broncos will formally interview interim coach Eric Studesville for the team's full-time job after the season, The Denver Post reported Friday, citing several team officials.
The Post revealed that the Broncos plan to be more deliberate with this offseason's search process than they were two years ago before hiring Josh McDaniels. It will be at least mid-January before the new coach is named, according to the newspaper.
Report: Vikings in serious contract discussions with Frazier
Leslie Frazier's calming influence on the Minnesota Vikings might be felt next season, too. The Vikings are in serious discussions with Frazier to make him their full-time coach, the Star Tribune citing league sources. reported Friday night, Frazier, 51, is seeking a three-year contract, according to the newspaper, after going 3-2 as the interim replacement for Brad Childress, who was fired Nov. 21 following a 3-7 start. If negotiations go well, Frazier could be announced as the full-time coach some time after the Vikings' Sunday season finale at Detroit.