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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Chargers start process to replace Rivera

By Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner is not wasting time trying to replace defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who was hired as Carolina’s coach on Tuesday.

Turner has already interviewed current defensive assistants John Pagano and Steve Wilks. San Francisco defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will interview with the team on Thursday. Meanwhile, San Diego tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski could be headed to Carolina to be Rivera’s offensive coordinator.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that St. Louis offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur could be named the head coach in Cleveland by Friday.

If so, that could clear the way for former Denver coach Josh McDaniels to end up as the offensive coordinator in St. Louis. McDaniels is extremely interested in the St. Louis job but has also interviewed in Minnesota. Carolina could be interested in McDaniels if he doesn't end up with the Rams.

Schefter also reports that, if the Shurmur talks break down in Cleveland, the Browns could turn to former Carolina coach John Fox. He interviewed in Denver on Wednesday.

Don’t be shocked if Cleveland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is a candidate to return to Oakland as defensive coordinator if Hue Jackson is promoted to head coach. There has been talk Ryan could be a head-coaching candidate and that may be the case. But he could still possibly return as a coordinator.

After his dominant performance in the BCS Championship game Monday, Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley has moved up on Mel Kiper’s draft big board Insider. Denver would likely target Fairley with their No. 2 pick. There is more than three months left before the draft, and a lot can happen, but expect Fairley to stay near the top of the draft list.

Could the secondary-hungry Insider Houston Texans make a push for Champ Bailey or Nnamdi Asomugha? Both Asomugha and Bailey are unrestricted free agents. Will the AFC West see two of its top defenders leave the division?  I still say Oakland will do what it takes to keep Asomugha and Bailey’s future will be revisited in Denver soon.

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers and Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel chime in on Tom Brady’s stellar season.

The Chiefs have re-signed all eight of their practice squad players.