Former Oilers and Titans head coach Jeff Fisher is reportedly leaning toward taking the St. Louis Rams’ coaching job, and the Dolphins are planning to book interviews with other coaches in the coming days.
As of Sunday afternoon, Fisher had not informed the Dolphins of his intentions. But the Dolphins – who were optimistic they would land Fisher after he visited Tuesday – were no longer optimistic.
One official said the team expects Fisher to go to the Rams. Fox broadcaster Jay Glazer said he would be “shocked” if Fisher doesn’t pick the Rams, and a deal with St. Louis could be done within 24 to 48 hours.
Fisher visited Rams headquarters Sunday and was expected to meet with quarterback Sam Bradford. The Rams apparently are appealing to Fisher because of Bradford and because they have a high draft pick (second overall). The Dolphins’ draft position – eighth or ninth – will be determined by a coin toss with Carolina next month.
Glazer said the Dolphins are expected to ask permission to interview Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who has a good relationship with Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland from their time together in Dallas.
Zimmer has spent the past 12 years as an NFL defensive coordinator – seven with Dallas, one with Atlanta and the past four with Cincinnati. His defense ranked 15th last season and seventh this season.
But Zimmer’s defense didn’t play well Saturday in a 31-10 playoff loss to Houston, which was led by rookie quarterback T.J. Yates.
The Dolphins also plan to speak with Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, whose offense played poorly in Sunday’s 24-2 playoff loss to the Giants.
The Dolphins have conducted four interviews (interim coach Todd Bowles, Fisher, Bears special teams coach Dave Toub and Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin). Philbin reportedly made a good impression on the Dolphins during his interview. Zimmer, 55, has never been a head coach, and neither have Toub or Philbin. Mularkey was 14-18 in two years as Buffalo’s coach (2004-05).
It’s official. Josh McDaniels will return to the New England Patriots as an offensive assistant this week, and will serve under Bill O’Brien, the offensive coordinator who was named coach at Penn State on Saturday.
The team made the announcement Sunday night.
O’Brien, introduced in State College, Pa., over the weekend, was due to fly back to Massachusetts on Sunday night, so he and McDaniels can plan for the Denver Broncos in the AFC divisional playoff round. The Patriots, the AFC’s No. 1 seed, had a bye this weekend.
McDaniels, 35, worked for New England from 2001-2008, including three seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He was the head coach of the Broncos from 2009-10, before becoming the offensive coordinator in St. Louis this season.
Once O’Brien’s tenure officially ends in Foxborough, McDaniels will again become the offensive coordinator for the Patriots.
Interestingly enough, McDaniels’ first game back in New England will be against the team that gave him his biggest chance in the NFL. But the Broncos, who drafted quarterback Tim Tebow during McDaniels’ tenure, went in another direction after McDaniels lost 17 of his last 22 games.
McDaniels was the only Rams assistant under contract through next season when former head coach Steve Spagnuolo was fired last week.
HUE SILVER & BLACK?
CBS analyst Charley Casserly said on “The NFL Today” pregame show that based on his conversations with Hue Jackson and his agent, the Raiders coach has not been fired.
Casserly said that Kennard McGuire, the agent for both Jackson and new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, told him that Jackson remained in place and that McKenzie planned to “come in this week and evaluate the entire organization.”
On “Fox NFL Sunday,” analyst Jay Glazer reported McKenzie and Jackson would meet today, that McKenzie was “still evaluating,” and that he believed Jackson would remain as head coach.
The Raiders, who made no announcements Sunday, have scheduled a news conference to introduce McKenzie at 2 p.m. Tuesday.