Monday, January 2, 2012
Polian, Roman, Flynn and other subjects
By Mike Sando
Lots going on around the NFC and in the NFC West. Let's make the rounds ...
- Polian's availability: Bill Polian's departure from the Indianapolis Colts as team president comes while the St. Louis Rams are seeking new leadership. This could be an intriguing fit. Polian succeeded in acquiring weapons for a franchise quarterback. Other aspects of the Colts' roster suffered for the tradeoff. Rams owner Stan Kroenke and executive vice president/chief operating officer Kevin Demoff are leading the efforts to find a coach and general manager. Owners sometimes consult with league brass in putting together short lists of candidates. If Kroenke were to take that route, I would expect Polian's name to emerge. Polian has vast experience, but he's also nearer the career finish line than most other candidates.
- Fisher's status. Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher remains a logical candidate in St. Louis. Demoff's father is Fisher's agent. Fisher coached several hours' drive away in Tennessee and never seemed to care about coaching in a glitzy market. His long track record with the Titans would make him a high-percentage play for the Rams, who took a chance on a first-time head coach when they hired Steve Spagnuolo before the 2009 season. Fisher is expected to interview with the Miami Dolphins and the Rams. He sounds like the early favorite.
- What to do with McDaniels. All but one Rams assistant coach appears on his way out with an expiring contract. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the exception. He could become a candidate for jobs elsewhere. For now, he's a Rams asset. If that remains the case,the team's next GM and/or head coach would likely decide whether McDaniels remained with the team.
- Greg Roman's prospects. San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has held up his coordinators as strong candidates for head coaching jobs. Reports suggest Penn State might have been listening. Losing Roman would hurt, but Harbaugh's presence as an offensive-minded head coach would protect the 49ers from the turmoil that ensued when they lost offensive coordinators under defensive-minded head coaches previously.
- Matt Flynn's appeal. The Green Bay Packers' backup quarterback tossed six touchdown passes against Detroit in Week 17. The Seattle Seahawks will be looking for a long-term quarterback prospect even though Tarvaris Jackson is expected back. Their GM, John Schneider, was with the Packers when Green Bay drafted Flynn. Schneider would have a good feel for Flynn. Would the Seahawks make an offer substantial enough to trump their interests in a quarterback through the draft? I'd be a little surprised. They pick 11th. The team did not, by all accounts, push to acquire Flynn by trade when deciding to go after Charlie Whitehurst. Has Flynn shown enough in limited reps to become a legitimate option? That is the question. The Packers have no realistic way to keep Flynn from testing the market. Naming him their franchise player would force them to pay him more on a one-year basis than Aaron Rodgers is earning. The money would become guaranteed if Flynn signed the franchise offer.
Those are a few of the issues percolating around the division. Back with more in a bit.