Monday, January 5, 2009
AFC West news and notes
By Bill Williamson
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
There is interview news in the AFC West on Monday night:
The Chiefs are meeting with New England general manager Scott Pioli. This is significant movement for the Chiefs.
Pioli is widely considered the top executive available and his hiring would give instant credibility to the Chiefs. It would also likely mean the end of the Herman Edwards era in Kansas City. Pioli will almost certainly want to bring his own coach in anywhere he goes.
Pioli had been talking to Cleveland. The fact that he has gotten to the stage where he is talking to the Chiefs may mean he is focusing on Kansas City. The Chiefs are certainly focusing on Pioli. He has been the focus of a slow process.
- Meanwhile, Denver added Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to its list of head coaching candidates. Frazier will interview Wednesday. He will be the sixth candidate to interview to replace Mike Shanahan. Three are offensive coaches and three are defensive coaches.
- Here's what, courtesy of the Chargers' PR staff, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers had to say when asked if he expected a similar game Sunday in the team's divisional playoff game at Pittsburgh Sunday as the Chargers had in Pittsburgh seven weeks ago. The Steelers won, 11-10. It was the first 11-10 game in the history of the NFL. It is somewhat to be cold, possibly snowy conditions Sunday just as it was Nov. 16 when the two teams met:
"Yeah, as far as a physical standpoint, a weather standpoint," Rivers said. "Obviously it's a heck of a defense and a heck of a team. Same kind of game in that sense. Will it be as low scoring or 11-10 game? Who knows how it will end up, but certainly field position will be key as it always is this time of year and especially in cold weather. It'll be just what you expect this time of year."
- Weird fact: The Chargers are 0-13 in Pittsburgh in the regular season and 2-0 there in the postseason.
- The talk around the league that Oakland assistants Tom Rathman and Greg Knapp could end up in San Francisco as assistants. Knapp has also been connected to a job in Seattle.
- Give Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera credit for saying he will wait to talk about head coaching jobs until after the San Diego season is over. Rivera's focus and integrity is one of the reasons why he will make a good head coach. Detroit had inquired about him but will have to wait until after the season to talk to him.
- If Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't play Sunday because of a groin injury, it will be the first time in his eight seasons in the league he has missed a game due to injury.