NFL Coaching Carousel: John Fox and 10 Coaches Who Could Replace Mike Singletary

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IDecember 27, 2010

NFL Coaching Carousel: John Fox and 10 Coaches Who Could Replace Mike Singletary

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 26: Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sideline at the Edward Jones Dome on December 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the 49ers 25-17. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The San Francisco 49ers decided on Sunday that they wouldn't even let head coach Mike Singletary keep his job for the last week of the regular season.

    For the Niners' last game this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will take over the head coaching duties.

    So, in all likelihood, the 49ers will be looking for a new head coach this offseason.

    Here are 10 coaches who could be taking over the San Francisco job next season.

10. Jim Tomsula

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    SAN FRANCISCO - 2009:  Jim Tomsula of the San Francisco 49ers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    It's highly unlikely that Tomsula will be able to take over the head coach spot after just one game as an interim.

    But, maybe, if he shows some real talent and ability, he can persuade Jed York to give him the job full-time.

9. Bill Cowher

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Head coach Bill Cowher of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Alltel Stadium on September 18, 2006 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars defeated the Steel
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Cowher recently said he'd only consider the Giants, Texans or Dolphins for his return to coaching.

    But, the 49ers should at least try to persuade him to reconsider.

    Though this is a long shot, San Francisco needs to at least pick up the phone and give Cowher a call.

8. Dave Wannstedt

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    CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04:  Dave Wannstedt the Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers watches play during the Big East Conference game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Gett
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Wannstedt was a failure as the Bears' coach, but he did have some good moments as a head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

    His Pitt Panther teams never quite lived up to expectations, but they weren't failures by any stretch of the imagination.

    Maybe it's time for Wannstedt to make a return to the NFL.

7. Tony Sparano

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12:  Head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Tony Sparano on the sideline against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    If the Dolphins' head man loses his job as predicted, he deserves a second chance.

    The problems with the Dolphins aren't his fault.

    They need better running backs, and Chad Henne probably isn't the answer at quarterback.

    Changing the head coach is the easy thing to do, but they should really look at changing the players.

6. Winston Moss

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    GREEN BAY, WI - 2009:  Winston Moss of the Green Bay Packers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    Moss receives very little recognition for the work he does as the Green Bay Packers' linebacker coach.

    But, year in and year out, Moss has his unit ranking amongst the best in the league.

    It's amazing what he's been able to do this year despite the injuries to Nick Barnett, Frank Zombo, Brady Poppinga and Brad Jones.

    It's about time Moss got some credit and starts being considered for head coach positions.

5. Gary Kubiak

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 02:  Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans coaches against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Kubiak took an unknown Arian Foster and made him the best running back in the league.

    Just imagine what he could do with Frank Gore.

    Kubiak would install his famous zone blocking scheme from his days in Denver and improve the running game in San Francisco.

    That would open up the kind of passing lanes that led to Matt Schaub leading the NFL in passing yards last season.

    But first, the Texans need to fire him, something that will likely happen after next weekend's games.

4. Wade Phillips

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 25:  Head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 25, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Singletary would scream at and berate his players.

    Maybe it's time for a change of coaching style in San Francisco.

    No one is more unlike Singletary than Phillips, who has always been known as a players' coach.

    Though Phillips had a really bad year at Dallas, his previous teams have all been very competitive, usually reaching the playoffs.

    Reaching the playoffs would be a good first step for the 49ers.

3. Jon Gruden

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 08:  Head coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 8, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Gruden's name gets tossed around whenever anyone talks about a head coaching position.

    In San Francisco, he'd have an ideal situation for him. He loves having a lot of quarterbacks, and he'd have Alex and Troy Smith to work with.

    Plus, he'd probably be allowed to take a QB in the first round of this year's draft and work with him all offseason.

    Finally, the 49ers job is a pretty historic job, something that might interest Gruden.

2. Brian Schottenheimer

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 02: Mark Sanchez #6 and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer of the New York Jets look on during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Schottenheimer is ready to take on his first head coaching gig, so he should be highly considered for the 49ers job.

    The Niners need an offensive revitalization, and Schottenheimer might be able to provide them just that.

    Plus, he's a young guy, so maybe the players would respond better to someone who is closer to their age.

1. John Fox

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 12:  Head coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers watches on during their game against the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium on December 12, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Fox is going to get another chance to be a head coach in the NFL.

    Before Jason Garrett's recent success, Fox was on the shortlist of potential candidates for the Dallas job.

    Now, he should be the leading candidate in San Francisco.

    He led the Panthers to some very good seasons in the days before the Saints became a powerhouse.

    He could have the 49ers wreaking havoc in the weak NFC West.