- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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A look at potential coaching staff issues for AFC South teams.
Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips are looking to fill position coach slots at linebacker and defensive back, and they are crucial hires going forward.
The linebacker coach who replaces Johnny Holland will need to have some experience in the 3-4 front that Phillips will install. The secondary coach who follows David Gibbs may have as many eyes on him as any assistant in the league when the 2011 season rolls around.
He’ll be expected to help fix a pass defense that rated dead last in the NFL.
Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is a candidate for the top job in Denver. Kubiak has been the playcaller, so it wouldn’t be a deadly loss. But it would mean a third coordinator in three years for Matt Schaub. And Dennison could take an assistant or two with him.
Jim Caldwell said Sunday he isn’t expecting any staff changes.
“Don’t anticipate it, but certainly you know how things happen in this league and it is certainly a possibility,” he said.
I do not know the contract status of the staff heading toward the likely lockout. Caldwell is signed through 2012.
Because Jack Del Rio’s staff is moving forward as lame ducks, the team will grant permission for any assistant to talk to other teams about jobs.
A deal for more than a year will be attractive to anyone who can get one and Del Rio will have a hard time attracting a quality replacement because he can’t offer any long-term assurances.
If offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter lands Denver’s head-coaching job, he could pull a couple of guys with him as he'd be able to offer longer contracts.
With only one-year contract extensions to offer, Jeff Fisher could see Hall of Famer Mike Munchak, his offensive line coach, and defensive line coach Jim Washburn leave for better offers with more stability.
The interior offensive line had issues this season and the defensive line wore down. But the Titans would be far better off with two staples of Fisher’s staff a part of the fix.
Only one member of his staff has a deal for next year. Fisher controls his staff. There are some rumblings about changes that would include some shuffling. It’s hard to predict what that could be now.