Here are my notes on some potential Titans head coaching candidates

Here are my notes on the head coaching candidates whose names are currently hot. I have not yet sourced this but I promise to do it. Getting too many questions to answer individually. Again, these are notes so please disregard grammar and spelling errors. I will try and clean this up later today.


Dan Quinn (born September 11, 1970) is the current defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks.[1] Quinn originally joined Seattle on January 12, 2009, after spending the previous six years coaching the defensive lines for the San Francisco 49ers (2003-04), Miami Dolphins (2005-06) and the New York Jets (2007-08). He began his NFL coaching career in San Francisco as their defensive quality control coach in 2001 before moving to the defensive line. He also served as the defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, before returning to the Seahawks on January 17, 2013 to replace the departed Gus Bradley, who became the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

Quinn played at Division-III Salisbury State College (now Salisbury University) as a defensive lineman from 1990 to 1993.

Dan played his high school ball at Morristown High School in Morristown, New Jersey.[2]

He began his collegiate coaching career at William & Mary in 1994 and at Virginia Military Institute in 1995, working with their defensive lines. 


Named offensive coordinator on January 20, 2011, Darrell Bevell enters his second season leading Seattle’s offense after spending five seasons (2006-10) as the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator.

Under Bevell’s direction in 2011, Seattle’s offense found its identity: running the football. Over the last-half of the season, the Seahawks running game ranked fifth in the NFL with 1,212 rush yards, posting 100-plus team rushing yards in eight of its last nine games, including a six-game streak that was its longest since the 2002-03 seasons.

With that success came Pro Bowl nods for Marshawn Lynch and fullback Michael Robinson. Robinson paved the way for Lynch’s career-highs in carries (285), yards (1,204) and rushing touchdowns (12). Lynch led the league the last-half of the season with 941 yards and nine touchdowns, rushing for 100-plus in six of the last nine games and became Seattle’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Shaun Alexander (2005).

Bevell also saw former Vikings starter Tarvaris Jackson battle through a pectoral injury and set careerhighs in attempts (450), completions (271), yards (3,091), completion percentage (60.2, min. 290 att.) and touchdowns (14), in compiling a 7-7 record as a starter.

With the Vikings, Bevell guided Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre to career years.

In 2010, the Vikings running game continued to churn up yardage with Adrian Peterson leading the way. Peterson earned his fourth straight Pro Bowl berth and rushed for 1,298 yards on the ground, the fifth-best mark in team history with four of the top five owned by Peterson. Peterson also had 12 rush scores, topping the 10-plus touchdown mark each year in the league. However, his offense was hobbled by injuries to their linemen, starting three different centers, losing both guards to injured reserve and getting only 20 total games out of 2009 Pro Bowl wide receivers Sidney Rice (6) and Percy Harvin (14).

The signing of Favre, who Bevell coached in Green Bay, spurred the Vikings to the eighth ranked passing offense in the NFL in 2009. The Vikings air attack matched the established productivity of the ground game in 2009. Favre’s favorite target was Rice, who led the team in receiving and earned his first Pro Bowl berth, and Visanthe Shiancoe, who set a Vikings record for tight ends with 11 touchdowns. Harvin earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, marking the second time in three seasons the Vikings drafted the Rookie of the Year, joining Peterson in 2007. On the ground, Peterson posted the third-best single-season rushing total in team history while leading the NFL and setting a team record with 18 rushing scores.

The 2009 Vikings ranked second in the NFL in scoring offense by one point to Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans, posting 447 of the Vikings 470 total points for the season on offense. The Vikings ranked fifth in the NFL in total offense. The offense distributed the ball with efficiency, becoming only the second team in NFL history to have six players catch 40-plus passes in a season.

In 2008, Peterson led the NFL and set a Vikings record with 1,760 rushing yards and set a team mark with 10 games over the 100-yard mark. Free agent addition Bernard Berrian led the team with 964 yards and tied an NFL record with a 99-yard receiving toss from Gus Frerotte.

The 2007 Vikings featured a dynamic backfield that set team records with 2,634 rushing yards and a 5.33 yard-per-carry average. The Vikings scored 22 rushing touchdowns, an improvement of 10 over the 2006 club.

Peterson burst onto the NFL scene in 2007 and left his name etched throughout the NFL’s and the Vikings’ record books. He won the 2007 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. In his fifth NFL game, Peterson broke the Vikings single-game rushing record with 224 yards at Chicago and three games later he set an NFL record with 296 yards on the ground against San Diego. Peterson ended the season with 1,341 yards to finish second in the NFL.

Peterson was the only offensive rookie in 2007 to earn Pro Bowl honors and was joined on the NFC squad by Tony Richardson, Matt Birk and Steve Hutchinson, who both repeated their trips from 2006.

In his first year as coordinator, the Vikings were led on the ground by Chester Taylor, who set a franchise record with 303 rushing attempts and the fourth-highest total in team history with 1,216 yards. The offense saw four different starting groups in the offensive line and only three players starting all 16 games across the front. Of the three players who did start every game, Birk and Hutchinson earned Pro Bowl berths.

Bevell worked with Green Bay for six years, serving the last three as quarterbacks coach, prior to his time in Minnesota.

He stepped into the Packers quarterbacks role in 2003 with solid results. Favre set a career high with a 65.4% completion rate, led the NFL with 32 touchdown passes and earned his eighth career berth in the Pro Bowl.

In 2005, Green Bay led the NFL in completions (383) and attempts (626) and set a team record in both categories. The 2004 Packers set a team record with 4,449 net passing yards, breaking an 11-year old franchise record en route to ranking third in the NFL in total offense. After setting a team record for rushing yards the season before, the Packers became the first NFL team since the 1988-89 San Francisco 49ers to set team marks in rushing and passing in back-to-back seasons.

Along with Favre in his first year in 2000, Bevell worked with Matt Hasselbeck before his trade from Green Bay to Seattle.

Bevell entered the coaching ranks at Westmar University in Lemars, Iowa, in 1996 where he worked as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He moved on to Iowa State in 1997 as a graduate assistant and then the University of Connecticut for two seasons in 1998-99 as wide receivers coach. The 1998 UConn Huskies posted a 10-3 record, a schoolrecord 461 points, won the Atlantic-10 Conference North Division title and advanced to the Division I-AA playoff quarterfinals.

In college, Bevell helped turn the University of Wisconsin program into a national power. A four-year starter for the Badgers, Bevell helped guide the team to a 10-1-1 mark as a sophomore in 1993. The squad claimed a share of the Big Ten championship for the first time since 1962 and defeated UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Between his sophomore and junior seasons, Bevell helped UW go 18-4-2. He left Madison as the school’s all-time leading passer with 19 team records and a pair of Big Ten marks. His 67.8% completion mark set in 1993 stood as the conference record until 2010, and he was a 61.4% passer for his career.

A native of Yuma, Ariz., Bevell was a standout at Chaparral High in Scottsdale where he played under his father, James. After redshirting in 1989 as a freshman at Northern Arizona, Bevell went on a two-year Mormon mission in Cleveland in 1990-91.

Rob Chudzinski – former HC of the Cleveland Browns

Chudzinski is a former tight end who played at Miami for the U. started his coaching career there. Started out coaching tight ends


From 1994-2003, Chudzinski coached at his alma mater, the University of Miami. He spent his first two years as a graduate assistant. He then served as the tight ends coach from 1996-2000. From 2001-2003, he served as both the tight ends coach and offensive coordinator. In 2001, the Hurricanes won the national championship. A year later, the Canes offense set school records for points, total yards and rushing touchdowns. During his tenure at the University of Miami he coached three All-American tight ends: Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, and Kellen Winslow II. He has coached both Winslow (Cleveland Browns) and Shockey (Carolina Panthers) in the NFL as well.

2001: QB Ken Dorsey threw for 2,652 yards with 23 TD vs 9 INT. RB Clinton Portis ran for 1,200 yards with 10 TD. RB Frank Gore ran for 562 yards with 5 TD. WR Andre Johnson had 682 yards with 10 TD. TE Jeremy Shockey had 519 yards with 7 TD.

2002: QB Ken Dorsey threw for 3,369 yards with 28 TD vs 12 INT. RB Willis McGahee ran for 1,753 yards with 28 TD. WR Andre Johnson had 1,092 yards with 9 TD. TE Kellen Winslow Jr. had 726 yards with 8 TD.

2003: RB Jarrett Payton ran for 985 yards with 7 TD. RB Tyrone Moss ran for 511 yards with 5 TD. RB Frank Gore ran for 468 yards with 4 TD. WR Ryan Moore had 637 yards with 3 TD. TE Kellen Winslow Jr. had 605 yards with 1 TD.

National Football League

Chudzinski served as the tight ends coach and interim offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns in 2004. In 2005, Chudzinski was hired as the tight ends coach of the San Diego Chargers. With the Chargers, he coached All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates. In 2007, Chudzinski was named the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.[1] That year the Cleveland Browns ranked eighth overall on offense, sent 4 offensive players to the Pro Bowl, and finished 2nd in the AFC North with a record of 10-6, their most wins since 1994. However, after the 2008 season Chudzinski was replaced by Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator, following the firing of Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel and the hiring of new head coach Eric Mangini. In 2009, Chudzinski returned to the San Diego Chargers as the tight ends coach and assistant head coach.

In 2011, Chudzinski was named the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator. He took one of the league’s worst offenses in 2010 and transformed it into one of the top 10 offenses in 2011 with rookie quarterback Cam Newton. The Panthers finished seventh overall in the league on offense, fifth in points scored, and set a new franchise record for total yards in a season.

On January 10, 2013, Chudzinski was hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.[2] However, after going 4-12 in 2013, Chudzinski was fired on December 29.

Hue Jackson, Cincinnati Bengals running backs coach

Was a star quarterback back in the day. Has coached extensively on the offensive side.

Jackson is in his 13th NFL season. He has been offensive coordinator for three NFL teams – Oakland, Atlanta and Baltimore. Before entering the NFL, he coached 14 years in the college ranks.

Jackson has been successful at every stop, and perhaps doesn’t get enough credit for what he did with the Oakland Raiders. Jackson runs a West Coast offense. He’s an aggressive play caller and has a good track record developing young quarterbacks.

National Football League

Washington Redskins

From 2001 until 2002, Jackson spent as Redskins’s running backs coach under Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier. In 2001, under Jackson’s tutelage, RB Stephen Davis rushed for 1,432 yards, breaking the record he had set in 1999 for most rushing yards in a season by a Redskin. In 2002, Davis was on pace for another 1,000-yard rushing season before suffering a season-ending injury. Jackson was promoted to offensive coordinator in Washington by head coach Steve Spurrier in 2003 and handled the team’s offensive play-calling, becoming the only coach to perform that duty other than Spurrier.

Cincinnati Bengals

Jackson was the wide receivers coach for the Cincinnati Bengals for 3 seasons. Under Jackson’s tutelage in Cincinnati, Chad Johnson and T. J. Houshmandzadeh became one of the most prolific wide-receiving tandems in the NFL. In 2005, the Johnson-Houshmandzadeh tandem combined to total 175 receptions for 2,388 yards, while helping the team secure the AFC North title and a playoff berth for the first time in 15 years. In 2006, Johnson (1,369 yards) and Houshmandzadeh (1,081 yards) became the first pair of Bengals to eclipse the 1,000–yard receiving mark in a single season. In each of Jackson’s 3 years in Cincinnati, Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl.

Atlanta Falcons

In 2007, after leaving Cincinnati, Jackson was an NFL offensive coordinator for the second time when he served in that capacity for the Atlanta Falcons under Bobby Petrino and Emmitt Thomas (Interim).

Baltimore Ravens

From 2008 until 2009, Jackson spent as Baltimore’s quarterbacks coach under head coach John Harbaugh. In 2008, Jackson tutored Joe Flacco, who became the first rookie QB to win two playoff games in NFL history as the Ravens advanced to the AFC Championship game. He helped the Ravens advance to the postseason in both seasons.

Oakland Raiders

In 2010, under Jackson’s guidance, the Raiders offense finished fourth in the AFC and sixth in the NFL in scoring (25.6 points per game) also finished fifth in the AFC and 10th in the NFL in total offense (354.6 yards per game) and second in the NFL and AFC in rushing (155.9 yards per game). The Raiders more than doubled their scoring output from the previous year, totaling 410 points. Under Jackson’s offense, RB Darren McFadden finished the season with 1,157 yards rushing on 223 carries for a 5.2 average YPC and 7 rushing touchdowns. McFadden also had 47 receptions for 507 yards and 3 touchdowns. His total numbers were 1,664 total yards and 10 total touchdowns for the 2010 NFL season. Making McFadden the NFL’s 5th leader in total yards from scrimmage for the 2010 season.

After the 2010 season Hue Jackson was named Oakland Raiders head coach in 2011, succeeding Tom Cable.

Jackson was fired by the Oakland Raiders on January 10, 2012 after one season as head coach by new general manager Reggie McKenzie. In his lone season as head coach, the Raiders finished the season with a record of 8–8 and missed the playoffs, after starting the season 7–4.

Greg Roman, OC San Francisco 49ers 

Former defensive lineman

Has never been a head coach. Has 15 years of NFL coaching experience.

1995-2001 – Strength and conditioning assistant/defensive and offensive quality control coach for the Panthers

2002-05 – Tight ends/quarterbacks coach for the Texans

2006-07 – Offensive line assistant for the Ravens

2011-present – Offensive coordinator for the 49ers

The New Jersey native returned to his alma mater at Holy Spirit High (Absecon, N.J.) as the head coach for a season. Roman joined Niners head coach John Harbaugh’s staff at Stanford as the running game coordinator the following season and later added associate coach and offensive assistant head coach to his resume in 2010.

The Cardinal had two Heisman runner-ups in quarterback Andrew Luck (2010) and Vikings free-agent-to-be running back Toby Gerhart (2009). In 2009, Stanford set a single-season school record of 2,837 rushing yards with Gerhart and Luck.

He then followed Harbaugh to the NFL with the Niners as offensive coordinator and helped guide San Francisco to the Super Bowl in their second season. The 49ers are still alive this postseason and will face the Panthers in the NFC Divisional round despite ending the season 24th in total offense (323.8). They got off to a slow start on offense and didn’t have wide receiver Michael Crabtree for most of the season. They were 11th last year in that same category (361.8).

In their 23-20 victory over the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field, Roman called a balanced game with 30 pass attempts and rushing yards and collected 381 total yards in the frigid conditions.

While he’s currently an offensive coordinator, he played defensive line at John Carroll University and starting his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach for the Panthers. He also worked with the defensive backs and linebackers in Carolina before switching over to offensive quality control coach.

Mike Zimmer, DC Cincinnati Bengals 

Multisport athlete played football baseball and wrestled

Played quarterback and then moved to linebacker

Dallas Cowboys

He joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 as an assistant coach of the nickel defense under Barry Switzer. He was promoted to defensive backs coach in 1995 and served in that capacity before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2000. The 2003 Dallas Cowboys defense gave up the fewest yards in the NFL while running an aggressive, speedy 4-3 defense. Despite the Cowboys’ problems over the years, Zimmer survived several coaching changes (Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells) and was rumored to have been a candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Nebraska (circa 2003). In 2005, he implemented the 3-4 defense favored by head coach Bill Parcells, although Zimmer had no prior experience with it.

Atlanta Falcons

When Bobby Petrino was hired to coach the Atlanta Falcons early in 2007, Mike Zimmer agreed to become the new defensive coordinator in Atlanta. Zimmer coached in Atlanta for only one season after Petrino left the Falcons for the University of Arkansas after thirteen games. Zimmer has been very outspoken against Petrino since the events of Petrino’s unexpected departure from Atlanta in 2007.[2]

Cincinnati Bengals

Zimmer was named the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals on January 15, 2008. In 2009, Zimmer earned NFL Assistant Coach of the Year honors from Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers and from,[3] after guiding the Bengals to the 4th ranked defense in the league. In 2011, the Bengals finished with the 7th ranked defense in total yards and 9th ranked defense in points allowed. In 2012, the Bengals finished with the 6th ranked defense in total yards and 8th ranked defense in points allowed,[4] prompting the Cleveland Browns to interview Zimmer for their head coaching vacancy.[5] The Browns eventually hired former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski on January 11, 2013.

The only reason people can figure that Zimmer, whose defenses impress every single season, hasn’t received an offer for a head coaching job is because he reportedly doesn’t play nice at interviews. He apparently tells the truth, and perhaps, he’s too rough when interviewing with owners and general managers. Doesn’t suck up as much as he should. Or maybe he just doesn’t interview well in general. Either way — and we said it in this space two years ago — it’s time for Zimmer finally to get his chance. He’s more than earned it.

Todd Bowles – DC Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals defensive coordinator: Bowles has been on the precipice of being a head coach the past few seasons. He was the assistant head coach under Tony Sparano in Miami for a number of years, and when Sparano was fired, Bowles took over as interim. After he didn’t get the job won by Joe Philbin, Bowles spent last season as the secondary coach in what became a disastrous season in Philadelphia. But Bowles has begun to resurrect himself in Arizona in 2013 with a defense that’s hanging out just outside the top-10. And how did Bowles do when he was Miami’s interim coach? He won two out of three games and nearly knocked off the eventual AFC champions, Patriots. He was impressive then, and he very well could make the same impression if he gets a chance at a head coaching job now.

Was interim head coach for the Dolphins in 2011 and went 2-1.

NFL coaching experience: 14 seasons

2000 – Defensive backs coach for the Jets

2001-04 – Defensive nickel package coach (three years) and secondary coach for the Browns

2005-07 – Secondary coach for the Cowboys

2008-11 – Assistance head coach/secondary head coach for the Dolphins

2012 – Defensive backs coach promoted to defensive coordinator with the Eagles

2013 – Defensive coordinator with the Cardinals


When Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians named his coordinators, he made it one of his goals to make them head coaches someday.

Bowles’ opportunity could come after just one season as defensive coordinator. The Cardinals finished 10-6 but did not make the playoffs. Their defense, however, was one of the best in the league finishing in the top 10 in total yards allowed (sixth; 317.4), rushing yards allowed (first; 84.4) and points allowed (seventh; 20.3)

Hall of Famer Bill Parcells has been one of Bowles’ mentors as a coach. He’s spent three tenures under Parcells as a head coach, general manager or executive with the Jets, Cowboys and Dolphins. Bowles took over as interim head coach for the Dolphins in 2011 after Tony Sparano was fired with three games left.

The Elizabeth, NJ played cornerback and won Super Bowl XXII as a member of the Redskins. Bowles, 50, played for eight seasons in the NFL despite signing as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 1986.

Jay Gruden – OC Cincinnati Bengals

PLAYING AND COACHING HISTORY — 1985-88: Played QB at University of Louisville. 1990: Played QB for Barcelona Dragons and Sacramento Surge (WLAF). 1991-96: Played QB for Tampa Bay Storm (AFL). 1997: Offensive coordinator, Nashville Kats (AFL). 1998-2001: Head coach, Orlando Predators (AFL). 2002-03: Played QB for Orlando Predators. 2004-08: Head coach, Orlando Predators. 2002-08: Assistant coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 2009: Offensive coordinator, Florida Tuskers (UFL). 2010: Head coach, Florida Tuskers. 2011-present: Offensive coordinator, Bengals.

Gruden played four seasons at QB for the University of Louisville (1985-88). He was a two-time team MVP. He played QB in the Arena League for six seasons (1991-96) with the Tampa Bay Storm, winning four AFL titles and posting numbers as the league’s all-time leading passer.

He was head coach for the AFL’s Orlando Predators for nine seasons (1998-2001 and 2004-08). He led the team to four championship game appearances, with two league titles. During a two-year hiatus from coaching the Predators, in 2002-03, he returned to the playing field as Orlando’s QB, leading two playoff seasons. He was elected in 1999 to the AFL Hall of Fame.

In 2002, Gruden accepted a position as an offensive assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, taking on a dual role as he also continued his AFL exploits during NFL offseasons. He worked for seven seasons at Tampa Bay under his brother Jon, the Bucs head coach.

In 2010, Gruden was head coach and general manager of the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League, leading the Tuskers to the championship game.

Hired by the Bengals in 2010               

Ray Horton – Former DC Cleveland Browns

Has never been a head coach but has 19 years of NFL experience.

1994-96 – Defensive assistant/assistant defensive backs coach for the Redskins

1997-2001 – Defensive backs coach for the Bengals

2002-03 – Secondary coach for the Lions

2004-2010 – Assistant defensive backs coach/defensive backs coach for the Steelers

2011-12 – Defensive coordinator for the Cardinals

2013-present – Defensive coordinator for the Browns


The Tacoma, Wash. native guided the Browns to a top-10 defense in total yards (332.4 ypg) and the eighth ranked pass defense (221.1 ypg). The Browns were 23rd in total defense (363.8 ypg) and 25 in pass defense (245.2 ypg) last season before Horton became defensive coordinator.

During his two seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cardinals, the defense finished in the top-two in third down defense (first in 2011 at 31.4 percent; second in 2012 at 32.9 percent). In 2011, the Cardinals’s defense allowed 34 total touchdowns, their fewest since 1994.

Horton spent his longest tenure with the Steelers under defensive coordinator and Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau, who coached Horton out of college (Washington) in 1983 as defensive coordinator for the Bengals. He played under LeBeau for six seasons and coached with him during his tenure with the Bengals (1997-2001) before reuniting in Pittsburgh.

Once Mike Tomlin was named head coach of the Steelers, Horton was promoted to defensive backs coach. Horton is credited with developing safety Troy Polamalu. The Steelers finished in the top 10 in total defense during Horton’s entire tenure, with five seasons finishing in the top five.

Horton spent 10 seasons in the NFL as a defensive back with the Bengals and Cowboys. He played in two Super Bowls and won one (Super Bowl XXVII) with Dallas that ended up as the final game in his career. Horton also earned All-America and All-Pac 10 honors at Washington and played in two Rose Bowls as a three-year starter. 


Horton attended the University of Washington, where he played as a cornerback and punt returner from 1980 to 1982 after a redshirt year. He recorded 10 career interceptions. He was a first-team All-Pac 10 selection, honorable mention Associated Press All-American, and played in two Rose Bowls.[2][3]

Playing career

Horton was chosen by the Bengals in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft. He won the job as a starting cornerback by the second game of the season.[4] During his time as a player in the NFL, Horton recorded 19 interceptions and returned them for 264 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also recovered 8 fumbles, which he returned for 48 yards and a touchdown. Horton was the starting punt returner for the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII and won a championship ring in his last season with the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII.

Coaching career

Horton began his coaching career in 1994 as a defensive assistant with the Washington Redskins. He was hired by Norv Turner, who coached him in Dallas. Horton was the defensive backs coach for the Bengals (1997-01) and Detroit Lions (2002-03). He was the assistant defensive backs coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-2006 before being promoted to defensive backs coach in 2007.[5]

On February 9, 2011, Horton was named defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.[6] In 2013, Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt was fired, though Horton was initially retained and considered for promotion to head coach.[7] On January 17, 2013, Horton was passed over for the promotion in favor of his former fellow assistant at Pittsburgh Bruce Arians, leading to his prompt departure from Arizona.[8] On January 18, 2013, Horton was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.[9]

Browns defensive coordinator: The man who Bowles replaced in Arizona after head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff were fired, has moved on to Cleveland, and he’s done an impressive job with the Browns. He took a Cardinals defense ranked as one of the worst and made it the 12th-best last season, and after interviewing for three head coaching jobs last offseason, he’s taken a Browns defense that lacks stars and turned it into the fifth-best unit in the league. Horton clearly was mad he didn’t get a head coaching job last year. You have to think there’s a good chance he’ll be pleased this offseason.

Ken Whisenhunt OC SAN Diego Chargers

Whisenhunt began his coaching career at Vanderbilt University, where he coached special teams, tight ends and running backs for the Commodores from 1995 to 1996. In 1997, he returned to the National Football League as the tight ends coach for the Baltimore Ravens. Whisenhunt was a transient in his early years in the league, moving to the staff of the Cleveland Browns in 1999 and to the New York Jets the following season.

Whisenhunt thinks highly of several defensive coaches around the league who would be possibilities to join him as defensive coordinator, sources said, including Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin, Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler (the defensive coordinator in waiting in Pittsburgh) and former USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, who worked with him in Arizona. Whisenhunt’s former offensive line coach, Hall of Fame guard Russ Grimm, is available having not coached this season, and putting together an experienced staff does not appear to be a problem.

That should be attractive to a candidate such as Whisenhunt, who has made his hay on the offensive side of the ball. He worked with Ben Roethlisberger during the quarterback’s first three years in Pittsburgh, and they won a Super Bowl together.

NFL head coaches under whom Ken Whisenhunt has served:

Ted Marchibroda, Baltimore Ravens (1997–1998)

Chris Palmer, Cleveland Browns (1999)

Al Groh, New York Jets (2000)

Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers (2001–2006)

Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers (2013–present)

Assistant coaches under Ken Whisenhunt who became NFL head coaches:

Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs (2009–2011)

He also revived Kurt Warner’s career as Arizona’s head coach from 2007-12, and took the Cardinals to the only Super Bowl in franchise history. In one year with San Diego, he’s helped Philip Rivers post a career season.


He played safety for William and Mary and is now in his 14th NFL season, and third as Carolina’s defensive coordinator.

McDermott has emerged as a head coaching candidate after taking over a Carolina defense that ranked among the worst in the league in 2010 and transforming it into one of the league’s top units. This season, the Panthers ranked second in the league, limiting teams to 301.3 yards and 15.1 points per game.

McDermott and the Eagles finished the 2009 season ranked 12th in total defense (321.1 ypg) and 19th in points allowed (21.1). The unit again ranked 12th in yards (327.2) the following year, but slipped to 21st in points allowed (23.6). McDermott’s unit also surrendered a franchise-worst 31 touchdown passes and ranked last in the league in the red zone, leading Andy Reid to fire him following the season.

Pete Carmichael Jr. OC New Orleans Saints 

Has been with the Saints since 2006. In the first six weeks of 2011, with Payton calling the plays, the offense averaged 452.2 yards. But when Payton broke his leg in Week 6 at Tampa Bay, Carmichael took over as play-caller for the final 10 games of the regular season.

The offense got even more dangerous, averaging 476.1 yards in that stretch before losing on the road to San Francisco in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Saints set NFL records that year in net yardage, passing yardage, first downs and third-down conversions, among other categories.

Last season, Carmichael guided an offense that averaged 410.9 yards, best in the NFC and second in the league. The Saints averaged 28.8 points — second in the conference and third in the NFL.

But the offense was complemented by a defense that surrendered the most yards in league history, and the team missed the playoffs at 7-9.


Norv Turner

Pros: Turner was on the same staff in Cleveland under Chudzinski. He is a proven offensive coordinator and even had a stint at that position with the Dolphins from 2002-2003. Turner brings the experience needed to an otherwise inexperienced staff. Turner also had head-coach experience and could help Philbin along in a big third season.

Cons: Similar to Chudzinski, Turner does not run a West Coast offense. Turner runs a numbers system made famous by Don Coreyell. That would require Miami to learn a new offense in an important year. Turner also is under contract with Cleveland. Although that is expected to change, Miami may want to move fast to fill its position.

Gary Kubiak

Pros: Kubiak was very successful as a longtime coordinator with the Denver Broncos. His West Coast offense in Denver was among the top units for a long time. Eventually that got him a head-coaching job with the Houston Texans. He was fired after eight seasons.

Cons: Health could be an issue after Kubiak passed out last season during a November game against the Indianapolis Colts. He may take the year off to get healthier or hold out for better offers. Kubiak’s recent head-coaching experience also could provide a tense situation, considering Philbin is in a must-win year.

Ben McAdoo, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach

Pros: McAdoo has been on Miami’s radar for quite some time. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, who worked in Green Bay, had interest in McAdoo joining his staff in Miami two years. But McAdoo stayed in Green Bay and was promoted internally from tight ends coach to quarterbacks coach. The Dolphins’ offensive coordinator position could lure McAdoo to Miami. McAdoo also comes from a West Coast offense in Green Bay, which is similar to Philbin’s philosophy. Keeping a West Coast scheme could make sense for continuity.

Cons: McAdoo has no experience as an offensive coordinator. He only has two seasons under his belt as a quarterbacks coach. The 2014 season could be a make-or-break year for Philbin and a lot of people in Miami. It would be risky putting the entire offense in the hands of a first-year coordinator.

Ben McAdoo, appears to be in line for a major upgrade in position as various teams look to replace departed head coaches and coordinators. McAdoo, 36, has a good reputation, and two years ago former Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano attempted to interview him for his offensive coordinator’s position.

Jim Caldwell – OC Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens offense wasn’t very good this year and his coaching record is a bit spotty. He did well in Indianapolis when he had Peyton Manning and was playing with Tony Dungy’s players. After losing Manning, he went 2-14 with the Colts and then got fired. He went 26-63 as a college coach.

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