by Stal Herz - 01/06/2006
While the coaching carousel continues to spin everywhere except for Kansas City, picking which horse to put your NFL coaching props money on can be dizzying.
Well my friends, the merry-go-round stops here with a break down of the prime targets in this hiring season. With props odds on coaching vacancies about to come out, here's the latest news from around the league.
Al Saunders: Right now Al Saunders has the rep and the stats to write his own ticket, but he might want to stay in Kansas City and be part of the new Larry Johnson Experience theme park opening next season. Saunders is the darling of the bunch, and all the owners are keeping hush about their desires. Look for Houston to make a bid as well.
Gary Kubiak: With both the Chiefs and Raiders looking for a messiah to lead them back to the playoffs, Kubiak would be a nice fit, but the feeling here is that he has had so much Shanahan propaganda injected into his dome that he's likely to want to head a little further south. Texas has a young squad and a fan base ready to embrace a winner. A No.1 pick in the draft is a nice new toy to begin your legacy with.
Mike Singletary: With the requirements for minority hires, you'll see Singletary's name mentioned everywhere, but you've got to figure that the team who needs him will already have an offense in place and need someone to come and speak to a young defense a la Marvin Lewis and Jack Del Rio. Kansas City or even the St. Louis Rams could use this legend to add some backbone to all of their flash. Detroit is too much of a rebuilding program.
Russ Grimm: The Offensive Line Coach of the Pittsburg Steelers will be getting the royal treatment from the Texans whose offensive lines over the years have slowed the progression of David Carr and masked the talents of Dominick Davis and Andre Johnson. With any protection, this squad could turn things around in a hurry. If they don't nab Kubiak, look for Grimm to be IN.
Scott Linehan: The Miami Dolphins offensive line made Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams look like viable options each time they touched the ball, so it's no wonder the Offensive Line coach is receiving Merlin Olson Gift Baskets from around the league. Although he's wanted by all, Nick Saban might put a little something extra in his paycheck to keep him around for the next stage of the rebuilding process. Turning around the career of Ricky Williams is a huge badge. He'll wear it with more pride next year.
Brad Childress: The Philadelphia defense has caused body aches for years thanks to the efforts of Childress, and with the Eagles about to enter a major rebuilding period themselves, now is his time to sail. It seems like the Vikings have a fun time on cruises these days, and while they are indeed offensive, it is the defense that has the players but needs a guru to lead them. Childress is that man.
Sean Peyton: A few years ago everyone including Peyton thought he was headed to the Raider Nation to give Big Al another Gruden clone, but it was not to be. He might be going back to Cali, but I don't think so. New Orleans might be a stop for big Shaun to start his head coaching career, but he might just stay with the Tuna for a while longer to learn what he can from the master and perhaps inherit the Cowboys when the guard changes.
Ron Rivera: While Lovie Smith wants to keep his Defensive Coordinator around, the Silver and Black have been calling. Joining the Raiders would satisfy the Nation as well as big Al. Who knows, having a defensive mind leading the team could leave Davis calling the offensive plays, just like he wants it.
Jim Fasel: Why would anyone want the Ravens Offensive Coordinator? Well, the Chiefs like to go with veteran coaches who know how to hold a team steady. Although every sign points to Herman Edwards bolting New York for some KC BBQ, if something goes wrong and they don't hand the controls over to Saunders, look for Fasel to get the nod.
Mike Martz: This guy was meant to wear the Silver and Black, but there's no way his heart could withstand an entire season with Randy Moss and Al Davis, although Al always likes the crazy calls. The Lions might need an offensive Guru such as this to make the sleeping Cats into a Blue Angels Air Show. You heard it here first, the Blue Angels.
Kirk Ferentz: The Iowa head coach is a hot name being thrown around, but is he a bargaining chip or a blue chip? Houston has shown some interest, but that team needs someone who has proven to be a leader and can win NOW. If you look at the Green Bay Packers and what they're about to go through, a Midwest guy with a big heart and a ton of fire could be just what this organization needs to build back to greatness.
Wade Phillips: If the Packers decide not to go young and want to build up their porous defense, then San Diego's Defensive Coordinator would be a solid choice and one that the football savvy fans of the only city that actually owns their team would approve of.
Make sure you're reading the local papers each time you're looking to make off with something like a prop, and keep Doc's Sports in your favorites to see what odds our recommended Internet sportsbooks are offering.