Although I doubt that any of the owners read this, I thought it might be beneficial for all of us to have a serious discussion about who we the fans want to replace Norville Turner. I had been giving the matter some thought during November (before the 3 game run) and really serious thought since the Christmas Eve disaster.
Please post your nominees for the search committee. You can even defend coach Turner if you want. Please convince the committee as to why your nominee is the guy to lead us to the promised land. After the jump, I give you my five candidates to start our search; one retread and 4 current NFL assistants.
1, Jeff Fischer, former HC for the Tennessee Titans: USC player under John Robinson. He was drafted by the Bears in the 7th round in 1980, made the team, playing under Buddy Ryan. Went on IR in 1985 and was Ryan's assistant while on IR. Followed Ryan to Philadelphia in 1986 and then was promoted to Defensive Coordinator in 1988 at the age of 30 (at the time the youngest coordinator in the league). In 1994, he got the DC gig under Coach Pardee in Houston. Pardee was fired in November and Fischer took over as interim HC. Remained HC of the Oilers/Titans until the end of the 2010 season. Overall record 142-120 (regular season) and 5-6 in the playoffs, including one SB appearence.
Pluses – Experience; he has coached outstanding teams, bad teams, rebuilding teams and teams on the way up. Reputation; Fischer is probably the most credible former coach out there. Time away and not being on TV; only out a year and has not become part of the football media. Minuses – Has never really been considered an innovator, although some of his coordinators (Jim Schwartz, Greg Williams, and Mike Munchak) seem to be having success. He has not coached a 3-4 style defense.
2. Perry Fewell, current DC for the NY Giants. Fewell played his college ball at a small school. Between 1985 and 1997 punched his ticket at 4 college programs in position coaching on the defensive side of the ball and ending as the DC for Vanderbilt in 1995 through 1997. Hired as DB coach by Jacksonville in 1998 and did that job for Rams and the Bears until 2005 when he was hired by the Bills to be their DC. He was named interim HC after Jauron was fired in 2009. The Bills had a 3-4 record on his watch. Last two years he has been the Giants DC.
Pluses – Defensive minded coach that is noted for his intelligence and charisma. He is also noted for having the ability to make quick adjustments during games or to shake up his teams during rough stretches. Minuses – He has not served under elite coaches. He would need a good OC for the side of the ball he has not coached. He also lacks playoff experience.
3. Winston Moss, current assistant head coach / ILB coach for the Green Bay Packers. He was an NFL LB, the 50th pick in the 1987 draft after playing his college ball at Miami (FL).the Seahawks and the team we don’t name on this site, in addition to TB. He retired in 1997 and his first coaching job was as Defensive QC assistant coach for Seattle. Was a Saints assistant coach from 2000-2005, leaving New Orleans to become the LB coach for Green Bay in 2006. Was promoted to DC in 2007 and was the only defensive coach to NOT get fired after the disaster season of 2008.
Pluses – Another defensive minded coach that knows what a championship team looks like. Minuses – Same as Fewell’s, except that Moss does have playoff experience.
4. Mike Zimmer, current DC for the Cincinnati Bengals. He played college ball at Illinois State, starting at QB and then moving to LB after a hand injury. Defensive position coaching at college programs from 1978 – 1984, becoming the DC for Weber St. in 1985. He became the Washington St. DC in 1989, staying there until 1993. Joined Dallas Cowboys staff in 1994, and stayed there through several coaching changes through 2006. Was Cowboy DC from 2000-2006. Was Bobby Petrino’s DC in Atlanta for the 2007 season. DC for the Bengals in 2008 on.
Plus – Has showed an ability to develop defensive players and is considered “a player’s coach”. He also has been quite flexible in his career – when Parcells put in the 3-4 defense in Dallas in 2005, he coached it good enough to stay for another year, despite never coaching a 3-4 defense before then. Got a defensive back on track after a good 2009 season followed by a terrible 2010 campaign. Minus – Very little experience coaching winning teams and virtually no playoff experience.
5. Rob Chudzinski – Current OC for the Carolina Panthers. Played TE with Miami (FL) from 1986 – 1990, and was the starter for two National Championship teams. From 1994-2003, he coached for Miami, the last 3 years as OC, including a National Championship team in 2001 (remember Jeremy Shockey?). TE Coach for Cleveland in 2004. TE Coach for the Bolts in 2005 & 2006. OC for the Browns in 2007 and 2008; four Cleveland Offensive players went to the Pro-Bowl in 2007 (including Derek Anderson). Back to the Bolts for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, he then followed Ron Rivera to Carolina.
Plus – Player development; he seems to get more out of the guys that he coaches than even they may think is possible. Kellen Winslow Jr., Antonio Gates, Phillip Rivers, and Derek Anderson have had some of their best seasons when he has been on the coaching staff. He does know a lot of the Bolts current players and has recently coached many of them. Minus – May be too familiar with many of the players for what may be a reloading program. Also, he has not seemed to show a real commitment to any one organization or has not been around long enough to have a track record anywhere. (This may be actually plus, if the reason why he changes teams so often is due to being recognized as a genius and being in high demand from those he has worked with.)
My own personal favorites are Jeff Fischer and Winston Moss, but I would like to be further educated. There are certainly a number of other names out there.