Mike Nolan, the former San Francisco head coach who is also a four-time defensive coordinator, is the "clear front-runner" to be Green Bay's new defensive coordinator, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy served as Nolan's offensive coordinator with the 49ers in 2005 and the two have maintained a close relationship. Nolan would replace Bob Sanders, who was fired over the weekend.
One of the more intriguing aspects of Nolan's candidacy is that he has, at times, run a 3-4 defense. He began his tenure in San Francisco using a 4-3 but gradually made the transition to a 3-4. Although his personal relationship with McCarthy is important, you have to assume there would be some level of 3-4 discussion in Green Bay if Nolan is in fact the next coordinator.
Meanwhile, Tom Silverstein and Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that former defensive quality control coach Joe Whitt Jr. is likely to become the Packers' next secondary coach.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Packers president Mark Murphy speaks to the Journal Sentinel about the Packers' coaching overhaul: "The way I viewed it, it's a pretty strong message that we want to win here. That's the priority."
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Bears have not yet made a formal offer to former Detroit coach Rod Marinelli.
- Former Lions defensive coordinator Joe Barry is actively campaigning to join the Bears' coaching staff, possibly as the replacement for fired linebackers coach Lloyd Lee. "If I had an opportunity to work for Lovie Smith, I would cherish it," Barry told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
- Although it was originally reported that Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett took his name out of the running for Detroit's head coaching job, the Lions have in fact interviewed him. Adam Schefter of NFL.com reports.
- Miami assistant head coach Todd Bowles is scheduled to interview Wednesday with Lions officials, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- Minnesota backup quarterback Gus Frerotte wants some clarity before agreeing to return to the Vikings next season, writes Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- The unwillingness of Minnesota coach Brad Childress to admit mistakes is reminiscent of former coach Dennis Green, writes Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune.
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