NFL Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Coaching Searches

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIJanuary 14, 2014

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 8:  Head Coach Mike Munchak of the Tennessee Titans looks on during a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on December 8, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Titans 51-28.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Only three games in the NFL season remain, and with 28 teams already done playing, several franchises are working on finding their head coaches for the 2014 season.

The spots are beginning to be filled around the league. Jay Gruden became the head coach of the Washington Redskins, and according to the Tennessee Titans, they have officially hired former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Still, there are some open spots available. So let's take a look at some of the most recent rumors surrounding a few potential coaching candidates.


Mike Zimmer

Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer before the AFC wild card playoff game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Before signing Whisenhunt, the Titans formally interviewed Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer according to the team's official website, but they decided that he wasn't the right candidate for the position.

But Zimmer still appears to be a hot candidate. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Zimmer will be meeting with the Minnesota Vikings.

This is the second interview the Vikings have had with Zimmer, and it's a good sign for him to have been interviewed twice by two different teams. Zimmer helped make the Bengals defense one of the best in the league, as they gave up just 305.5 yards and 19.1 points per game.

Given his experience with defenses, it makes sense for the Vikings to be interested in Zimmer. Minnesota gave up 397.8 yards and 30.0 points per game, ranking 31st and 32nd in the league respectively. 

While adding Zimmer won't turn things around immediately, bringing him in could help improve those numbers. Of course, the Vikings still need more talent on that side of the ball, but his defensive mind could make it more difficult for opposing offenses. He may not have head coaching experience, but that hasn't stopped the Vikings before.


Mike Munchak

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 3: Head coach Mike Munchak of the Tennessee Titans looks on from the sideline during a game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 3, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Titans beat the Rams 28-21. (Photo by
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

When an NFL head coach is fired, a good portion of them tend to take a step back and accept a position as an offensive or defensive coordinator or even a job as a specific position coach. For Mike Munchak, it appears that he might not be taking a step back at all, as he's still a head coach candidate.

Alex Marvez from Fox Sports reported that Munchak interviewed for the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job.

Munchak was fired after going 7-9 in 2013 and 22-26 in three years with the Titans. Despite the fact that Jake Locker was hurt for most of the season, the Titans felt that Munchak wasn't leading the team in the right direction.

That makes this decision a questionable one for the Browns. They fired Rob Chudzinski after just one year as the head coach, which shows that the Browns don't exactly have the longest leash for their coaches anymore.

If Munchak was hired as the Browns coach, it's unlikely that he could turn the team around in just a season. The defense is improving, but the offense is still a bit of a mess except for Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron.


Jim Caldwell

Aug 12, 2013; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell talks to the media after training camp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a quick rise back to being a head coaching candidate after being fired from the Indianapolis Colts after the 2011 season for Jim Caldwell. After taking a job as the quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens, he became the offensive coordinator after Cam Cameron left for LSU.

Now, with a vacancy open in Detroit, it looks like the Lions are targeting the former Colts head coach, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

For the Lions, firing Jim Schwartz was the right move. They have one of the most talented teams in the league, but Schwartz couldn't keep his team in check, and they were one of the most undisciplined teams in the league.

While he had some success in Indianapolis while Peyton Manning was there, Caldwell wasn't known as a motivator while with the Colts. He was a very quiet coach who didn't really do a lot in terms of hyping up players, and that could work out or fail miserably for the Lions. Either it could force the Lions as a whole to calm down and stop making dumb mistakes, or the players could resist and create a division in the locker room.

Caldwell didn't exactly help the Ravens become a high-powered offense as their offensive coordinator, as they put up just 335.5 yards and 22 points per game. He doesn't seem to have the most impressive resume, but the Lions still appear interested.