AFC South: Mike Zimmer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer interviews with the Tennessee Titans today about their vacant head coaching job.

I can't imagine the Titans will hire him before he leaves Music City. I expect methodical, deliberate general manager Ruston Webster to talk to everyone he wants to talk to before making that leap.

Zimmer
But that could mean Zimmer goes off the board.

Zimmer interviewed in Minnesota on Wednesday, and there is a great deal of buzz saying the Vikings really want him.

Will the Titans be influenced by that? Should they be? If Webster ends the day feeling like Zimmer is his guy, does the GM accelerate his timetable?

The thing here is to get the right guy.

If Zimmer is the right guy, then Webster might have to act faster than he might have liked to ensure he gets him. He's expected to head west to talk to San Diego coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. It would be out of character for Webster to cancel that, having made a decision to hire Zimmer.

Webster can't be surprised, however, if he gets word on his way to the aiport that the Vikings have hired Zimmer.

One thing the Titans have going for them: Theirs is a better job in a more attractive place to live, where Zimmer won't be coaching a team about to enter two seasons of stadium limbo.

AFC South links: Jags tab Olson as QB guru

January, 20, 2012
1/20/12
9:25
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Houston Texans

The Houston Chronicle's John McClain answers a dozen hot-button questions about the team heading into the offseason, such as whether this playoff season was a fluke, whether Mario Williams will be back, and what's the biggest need in this year's draft.

McClain ranks the Texans.

Texans center Chris Myers and defensive end Antonio Smith have been added to the AFC’s Pro Bowl roster.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts asked for permission to interview Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to fill their head-coaching job.

The team is expected to interview New Orleans offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael either today or Friday, according to the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell.

Meet the candidates to become the Colts' next head coach.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The team hired Greg Olson, who was the Buccaneer's offensive coordinator from 2009-11, to mold Blaine Gabbert as its quarterbacks coach.

Ron Zook told the Florida Times-Union's Tania Ganguli that he had not been offered special-teams coordinator job by the Jaguars.

Tennessee Titans

Mike Munchak added Steve Brown, a former teammate from his days with the Oilers in the '80s, to his staff as assistant secondary coach, reports The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt.

The Examiner's Greg Arias identifies the Titans' biggest areas of need and some players who may be of interest to the Titans in the first round of the NFL draft.

The Titans' 2011 draft class was one of the most productive ever for the team, writes The Tennessean's John Glennon.

Music City Miracles grades the performance of the team's tight ends last season.
Power Rankings turn to an important, relatively unknown bunch this week: assistant coaches.

But we’re not ranking the top 10 assistant coaches, we’re ranking the top 10 up-and-coming assistant coaches. Who are guys who have not been head coaches before (interim stints didn’t disqualify anyone) who we expect will ultimately be patrolling the sideline in the primary headset?

It’s an interesting list that has a lot of debatable votes. For example, I didn’t vote for Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who wound up No. 1.

I explain why in Kevin Seifert’s piece unveiling the overall rankings (and here's the column relating to it all). I also make the case for Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who got my third-place vote and finished fifth overall.

Considering that I am on record selecting Koetter as my head coach if I assembled a staff from the AFC South pool of coaches, including the four head coaches, my vote should be no surprise. Indications were he was great in his interview with Denver, and only John Fox’s prior experience got him the job ahead of Koetter.

He was the No. 1 selection for agent Bob Lattinville, who represents a lot of coaches and put together a top 10 list for me.

Here’s my ballot, which I remind you counted just one-eighth of the overall result:
  1. Rob Ryan
  2. Winston Moss
  3. Dirk Koetter
  4. Greg Olson
  5. Bill O’Brien
  6. Darren Perry
  7. Brian Schottenheimer
  8. Rich Bisaccia
  9. Mike Zimmer
  10. Mike Waufle

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