There’s a fleet of big name coaches in the recycle bin for owners to choose from after the inevitable January 2010 sideline bloodletting. But for those who opt to skip past Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan or Jon Gruden for lesser know and less expensive men, these are a few of the prospects to consider.
Leslie Frazier. The Vikings defensive coordinator has been in the running many times. Given the strength of the Minny defense and the fact the Vikings will be much discussed, he could get his shot after this year.
Brian Schottenheimer. The offensive coordinator for the Jets worked in 2008 with Brett Favre and now will work at the other end of the spectrum – rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2009.
Mike Zimmer. The hard-bitten Bengals defensive coordinator has been showcased by HBO’s Hard Knocks series. He already had a good reputation. This helps it. Even better would be a decent year defensively from Cincy.
Jason Garrett. Once the heir apparent in Dallas, his star dimmed a bit the past two seasons as the Cowboys came undone down the stretch. Still, the Cowboys offensive coordinator has the brains and presence to make the leap.
Ron Rivera. The Chargers defensive coordinator is another coach who’s been in the mix for head jobs before but has seen those chances dwindle recently. San Diego is primed for a big season in 2009, however.
A final look at the 2009 season, including a look at the key players, best offenses and coaches who have to win.
Darrell Bevell. No assistant coach has had his name mentioned more often this offseason than the Vikings young offensive coordinator. How Favre goes, so go Bevell’s immediate chances of becoming a head coach.
Pete Carmichael Jr. This one’s a little off the board. Carmichael will be a first-year offensive coordinator for the Saints after being the team’s quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator since 2006. And the Saints have been unstoppable. He’s just 38.
Bobby April. April is one of the best special teams coordinators in the league. Has been for 15 seasons. While head coaches almost always make the leap from offensive or defensive coordinator, April – 56 – would be a gutsy and shrewd choice by some owner.
Mike Heimerdinger. The Titans offensive coordinator worked under Mike Shanahan in Denver for a stretch and now, in Tennessee, he’s helped develop a terrific running attack and is making use of aged quarterback Kerry Collins.
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