Top Five Defensive Minded NFL Head-Coaching Candidates

Josh BAnalyst IDecember 31, 2008

5. Jim Schwartz

Schwartz has been the defensive coordinator for the Titans since 2001. He probably could have been a head coach of the Titans had they not found stability in Jeff Fisher, who has been there since 1994.

The Titans won with defense this year and if the Titans make it far in the playoffs, it has to increase the appeal of other teams in Schwartz.

He's always been known as a good judge of talent. He did research for Bill Belichick of the Browns and now has a lot of say in the players brought into the Titans defense.


4. Jim Johnson

Johnson is the defensive coordinator of the Eagles and has been since 1999.

Since 2000, the Eagles defense ranks first in sacks (342), second in third down efficiency (34.3 percent), second in red-zone touchdown percentage (43 percent), and fourth in fewest points allowed (17.6 per game).

The Eagles finished third in defense this season with 274.3 yards allowed per game.


3. Marty Schottenheimer

Why hasn't anyone hired him? I just can't figure it out.

Schottenheimer was fired from the Chargers after 2006, when the team went 14-2 but failed to win a playoff game.

Schottenheimer had the most wins for an active head coach with a record of 200-126, but had a playoff record of 5-13.

NFL head coaches such as Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, and Herm Edwards have worked under Schottenheimer.

While his playoff woes have turned off teams from wanting Schottenheimer, it's surprising that no team wants him to make them competitive.


2. Steve Spagnuolo

Spaguolo has been the Giants defensive coordinator for two seasons. Since then, the Giants have won a Super Bowl and finished first in the NFC.

Spagnuolo is known for blitzing on most plays. It sounds simple, but it's effective. Whether it's a corner blitz or five or six defensive linemen, the Giants defense has been able to overpower the best offensive lines.

In the Super Bowl, the Giants sacked Tom Brady five times, who had been sacked only 21 times during the regular season.


1. Bill Cowher

While it may be unlikely that Cowher decides to coach again, there isn't a single team in the NFL that wouldn't mind having him.

Cowher is a proven winner. As head coach of the Steelers, he took them to the Super Bowl twice and won it in 2006. He also won the division eight times and has a respectable 12-9 playoff record.

Cowher was recently interviewed by the Jets, but decided he wasn't interested. This leads me to believe that the Jets weren't really interviewing him, but begging him to be the head coach.

You can't blame them for trying. Cowher is more proven than anyone available at the moment.