Tag:Ken Wisenhunt
Posted on: January 23, 2011 4:28 pm
 

Report: Dick LeBeau a 'free agent' after 2010

Posted by Will Brinson

We hear all the time about players who are potential free agents. (Case in point: Peyton Manning, who doesn't have a contract for 2011 ... yet.) But what about the coaches? Case in point: Dick LeBeau, who's contract will reportedly expire following the 2010.

LeBeau, the Hall of Fame player (there's a distinction, and he's in for playing, but "not for coaching") who also happened to architect Pittsburgh's vaunted defense, will be a free agent after this season, according to ESPN.

There appear to be three possible outcomes from LeBeau hitting the market. One, he returns to the Steelers. Two, he retires. And three, he heads to Arizona.

The return to Pittsburgh is obvious, because he's had so much success there and the personnel in place is ideal for his system.

The retirement is a possibility because, as youthful as LeBeau still looks, he's 73.

And Arizona makes sense, because the Cardinals were terrible on defense in 2010, have former Steelers coaches Ken Wisenhunt and Russ Grimm on staff in the desert and don't currently have a defensive coordinator. (Also, old people go to the desert when they want to step away from work and play more golf, so that makes sense too.)

If LeBeau did jump to Arizona, he'd have his work cut out for him, but engineering a turnaround for that defense would be possible -- just not easy -- and would provide a pretty nice cherry on top of LeBeau's already superb career.

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 6:33 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 7:21 pm
 

NFL Coaching Hot Seat Tracker: Black Monday

Black Monday is upon us, and that means plenty of coaching changes. We've organized all the NFL teams into a semi-draft order (yes, we know the Raiders don't have that pick and yes, this could change, but it puts the bad teams up top!) to give you an idea of who's been fired, who might be fired, how much job security they have, and potential candidates in different cities. See someone you think SHOULD be on the hot seat or a candidate for a certain job we missed? Let us know in the comments.  

RELATED: BLACK MONDAY/TUESDAY RUMOR MILL ROUND-UP

Team Coach Job Security Candidates



Ron Rivera

Rivera lands a 4-year, $11.2 million deal reportedly
The Panthers announced on Tuesday that Ron Rivera will be the organization's fourth head coach .



John Fox

Fox HIRED!
It seemed like the Broncos might go with someone that was familiar with their organization, but ultimately, they opted for experience and Fox , who they believe can help the defense and the team turnaround quickly.



Chan Gailey

Safe
The Bills were terrible in 2010, but they never gave up and routinely came close to upsetting better teams. Also, no one else wants the gig.



Marvin Lewis

RE-SIGNED!
Lewis called himself "unemployed" and he seems as good as gone but then there was a report that he'll return with Cincy in 2011 . Then there was a report he wouldn't. Now he's back, officially .



Ken Wisenhunt

Safe ... for now
Hard to imagine the Cards would dump Whiz until they give him a shot with another real quarterback. Cowher thinks Kevin Kolb lands here.



Jim Harbaugh

HIRED!
After much speculation as to where Jim Harbaugh would land, he finally ended up signing a $25 million, 5-year deal with the Niners .



Jason Garrett

HIRED!
Garrett was named the full-time Dallas head coach on Thursday at a lengthy press conference in Cowboys Stadium.



Gary Kubiak

NOT FIRED!
Kubiak is safe but the entire defensive staff has been canned , and now the Wade Phillips for DC speculation begins.



Pat Shurmur

Pat Shurmur HIRED!
Shurmur bolted St. Louis for Cleveland and it appears Mike Holmgren really wanted someone familiar with his West Coast offense.



Jim Schwartz

Safe
Lions won four straight to close the season; Schwartz has to be a hero in Detroit at this point.



Pete Carroll

Safe
NFC West title locked Carroll in and even with the Seahawks ugly loss to the Bears, it's hard to question what he did in his first season.



Jeff Fisher

OFFICIALLY BACK! DONE
In a surprising move, Fisher and Tennessee are parting ways. Now, the Titans will have to replace their head coach and their starting QB.



Mike Shanahan

Needing a QB
Dan Snyder letting Shanny run the team so him getting booted is a long shot. QB situation is a bit of a nightmare though.



Leslie Frazier

HIRED!
The Vikings didn't wait long -- they announced on Monday that Frazier's "interim" tag would be lifted and he'll be their head coach.



Hue Jackson

Jackson was hired Monday
Cable got the boot and now it looks like Hue Jackson's the favorite to land the coaching gig. Al Davis is involved though, so anything could happen.



Steve Spagnuolo

Such a cold seat
Even without a division title, the turnaround in St. Louis is pretty clear and Spags is safe.



Tony Sparano

EXTENDED!
After the Fins chased Harbaugh  and embarrassed Sparano publicly, they apologized financially by giving him a 2-year extension. How swell.



Jack Del Rio

SAFE!
Del Rio's got one more year, but it's "playoffs or bust" for JDR, according to owner Wayne Weaver.



Norv Turner

Safe for 2011
Front office says Norv's their guy for at least next year. Another disappointing season like 2010 and he could finally get the boot.



Tom Coughlin

SAFE!
Coughlin is confirmed as returning by Giants owner John Mara
Coughlin's in the middle of a playoff fight (thanks to the Bears) and Casserly says he'll be back with a one-year extension .



Raheem Morris

Award-winning?
Losses in late games by the Packers and Giants would get Morris in the playoffs and a pretty good shot at Coach of the Year if he doesn't win anyway.



Jim Caldwell

Safe
As long as Peyton Manning's playing for the Colts, it's hard to see them dumping Caldwell.



Mike McCarthy

Safe
The Packers look like the latest team to go from  "talented team to nearly miss the playoffs" to "white-hot wild card that wins the Super Bowl," so there's no reason to question McCarthy.



Todd Haley

Division champion
Haley's pretty golden in KC, no matter what some people want to say about his ego.



Rex Ryan

In like foot. Er, flint
Back-to-back playoff berths for Ryan mean he's plenty fine.



Andy Reid

Safe
The only question is whether or not Reid will trade Kevin Kolb in the offseason and how long they can keep Vick.



Sean Payton

Safe, duh
He won a Super Bowl two years ago.



Lovie Smith

Surprisingly safe
Did anyone think Lovie was safe heading into 2011? Yet he won the division and the Bears are white-hot. Very impressive year. 



John Harbaugh

Safe
Only thing he has to worry about is whether he has to face his bro once a year or not.



Mike Tomlin

Safe
Clearly, Tomlin's doing alright. 



Mike Smith

Safe
Weird thing is, Smith's not getting nearly enough love as a potential coach of the year candidate.



Bill Belichick

Safe
Retirement is the only way he'll ever get removed from New England. Arguably his greatest coaching job ever. 

Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 1:53 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: It's time for Tavaris Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

Brad Childress' departure from the Minnesota Vikings organization certainly doesn't mean that Wednesdays aren't FavreDays still -- and so it's now Leslie Frazier handling the press conference questions of reporters while every network in the world livestreams his answers regardless of what else in the world is happening.

Frazier, who's immensely more enjoyable to listen to for 20 minutes than Chilly, said that there hasn't been a decision made on whether Brett Favre will start Sunday. In fact, he said that a decision probably won't come until Sunday, as the Vikings try to figure out if No. 4 can play. He also said that Favre won't start just to keep his streak alive.

"No, I don't think we approach it that way," Frazier said. "Either he can go or he can't go. And when he goes in there, we're of the expectation that he can play for four quarters. That would be the plan. So we wouldn't go into it, get a start, get a couple reps and get out, no."

So, even though Favre hasn't thrown a ball this week and even though he can't lift his arm very far and even though the Vikings offense went ballistic on the Bills once Tavaris Jackson entered the game on Sunday, Favre still gives Minnesota the "best chance to win." Presumably.

But does he?

The upside of Tavaris is that he's extremely mobile, he has a cannon arm and he's absolutely fresh right now. The downside of Tavaris is that he's inexperienced and he frequently makes terrible, inexcusable mistakes.

This differentiates him from Favre in that, um, he's not experienced. Oh, and that he won't be publicly upset if he can't start his 299th consecutive game.

That is to say, if the Vikings were playing to win, they would start Tavaris over Favre. And, actually, if they're playing to make sure that Favre doesn't get literally killed on Sunday, they'll start Tavaris -- the Giants pass rush isn't just formidable, it's terrifying, and they're going to get their hands on the Vikings quarterback, whoever it is.

If it's someone who's mobile instead of someone who's got unbelievable genes and an Iron Man body gripping his extremities by strings -- not to mention a busted foot and/or feet and/or ankles -- they'll stand a better chance of succeeding against a scary defense.

Look, some of Tavaris' success on Sunday came from two things: having Adrian Peterson and having Sidney Rice. Because they played the Bills, Peterson was able to soften up the defense and make Jackson's job easier. And because Rice is as stud, some of the throws Jackson made went from jump-balls to big gains.

But, hey, that's not so different from Favre being under center anyway.

****
So, this Cardinals quarterback situation is just a total nightmare isn't it? It's terrible for the fans and it's probably worse for Ken Wisenhunt, who absolutely knows that there's nothing he can do in order to improve his team's chances of winning over the next couple of weeks -- either he starts raw rookie John Skelton, or he keeps throwing Derek Anderson to the wolves.

There's a sound argument to be made from the perspective of "Skelton CAN'T be worse than Anderson -- just play him!" But there's also a sound argument to be made for the other side, as well. Because, you know, if you start Skelton and he gets hurt or stinks the joint up, you're wasting money on Anderson on the bench and getting the same result, with the possibility of hurting Skelton's development long term.

In hindsight, the team shouldn't have been so cheap that they weren't willing to pay Marc Bulger as well (we learned recently that Whiz and the Cards wanted to go after Bulger but didn't want to wait for the Rams to release him) and, instead, ended up with two rookies backing up their de facto starter in Anderson.

The moral of the story? You should always sneak into Kurt Warner's and do your best God voice to convince him to rejoin the team regardless of how morally corrupt that is make sure you have reasonably viable options at quarterback.

****
The notion of a "starting running back" is a little outdated in this two-back world we live in, but it still prominently exists. Look no further than the Giants situation where Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have flopped several times as the "starter." Jacobs, who regained the role recently, will continue to start "at this point," according to Tom Coughlin.

The bottom line is that Coughlin's going to keep going with the hot hand, he's going to pound both of these guys with his wide receiver corps banged up, and he'll use the "starter" thing as motivation for both Bradshaw and Jacobs.

And that, right there, is something that deserves a ton of praise -- Coughlin hasn't been scared to make change and motivate these guys in 2010, and that's why the Giants, instead of continually skidding after losses to Philadelphia and Dallas, are tied with the Eagles for the NFC East lead.

****


There's been some clamoring for Tim Tebow in Denver. After all, Josh McDaniels is gone and let's see what we've got, people! Unleash the Tebow!!! (Sorry, got excited there for a second.) This is silly.

Eric Studesville needs to win and he needs to win quickly and he needs to do it in a fashion that shows he can win next year as well (with Kyle Orton and his motley crue of wideouts), if he hopes to have a shot at the Broncos gig in 2011. It seems unlikely that he gets that job anyway, but not less likely than Tebow blossoming into a starting NFL quarterback over the next three weeks. So: upside is you have a guy who's not as good as Orton (yet). Downside: Studesville kills any chance of being a candidate in Denver and simultaneously sinks Tebow's trade value even further for next year.

****
Pants on Fire! (You see, because we examine hot seats)

John Fox: He's gone. His house, according to people I talked to recently, has been on the market for months. The only question is whether or not Frazier and Jason Garrett in Dallas can lose their jobs in the next three weeks to present attractive openings for a new gig.

Mike Singletary: MUnless the Niners rip off a miracle run, he's toast. And he clearly knows that. Why else would he make the flip-flopping of Troy Smith and Alex Smith "week-to-week"?

Jeff Fisher: Seems kind of crazy, but at this point, if you're Fisher, why would you stay? Your crazy old boss clearly prefers a guy like Vince Young to you (the guy who's been there, winning, for 17 years!) and walking out now, even with the Titans struggling mightily, would mean an easy opportunity to land another head coaching job.

Norv Turner: Once upon about two weeks ago, Turner might have had a shot at running the table and making an argument for COY award. Instead, the Chargers came out completely flat against Oakland, at home, as 13.5-point favorites. If the same thing happens (only with a 7.5 line) against KC, Norv better watch out.

Marvin Lewis: He's hanging out in John Fox's billiards room, obviously.

Gary Kubiak: Primetime struggles against Baltimore (at home, on Monday night) could make things awkward for Kubes. Fortunately, that Denver job's open, so he could potentially "leave" Houston for a "homecoming" and just work something out with Texans ownership where they don't fire him. (And then hire Fisher! The drama! The hatred! DO IT!)

Tony Sparano: There are so many coaches getting canned or sitting squarely on the heater that Sparano gets overlooked, but following up a blowout of Oakland with a terrible loss to Cleveland means he has to beat Buffalo and Detroit at home to close out the season at 8-8, as the Fins travel to the Jets and the Pats as well in the next four weeks. Losing one of those has the makings of a canning.

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Posted on: November 30, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Anderson to remain starter in Arizona

Posted by Will Brinson

Derek Anderson had a little bit to say following Arizona's Monday night loss after being asked why he was smiling in the middle of a blowout.

On Tuesday, though, coach Ken Wisenhunt stuck for both he and Deuce Lutui, at whom Anderson was smiling.

"Those guys have worked hard, they want to win," Wisenhunt said, via the Arizona Republic. "I'm not going to read too much into a couple of seconds of what you see on video. I'm going to base it on what I know about those guys and their demeanor and their approach."

That's a pretty fair assessment -- even if Anderson did FLIP OUT and scream at Kent Somers, it's not like smiling on the football field, even amid a nasty public beatdown, is worth cutting someone and moving on, provided they're at least trying.

Anyway, some good news: Anderson's shoddy performance Monday (15/35, 196 yards, no TDs, one pick) won't cost him his job according to Coach Ken Wisenhunt on Tuesday.

Wisenhunt indicated that Anderson gives the Cardinals the "best chance to win" and while that's debatable given his level of play, it's at least excusable because the other options involve throwing either John Skelton or Max Hall under the bus.

The Cardinals are probably out of contention (though not technically) and risking the development of those guys when Anderson's available just seems like a silly proposition. So in good news -- five more weeks of really awkward postgame interviews!

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 6:12 pm
 

Derek Anderson benched for Max Hall

Posted by Will Brinson

Ken Wisenhunt is quite enamored with BYU rookie Max Hall. However, he'd probably hoped not to have to play him in lengthy action as early as Week 4. But when the Chargers got up on the Cardinals by three touchdowns, partially because Derek Anderson looked awful in the pocket, Wisenhunt figured why not give the rookie a shot.

So, Hall's in the game for the Birds, Anderson is sitting on the bench (a fairly familiar sight, though).

His production hasn't been spectacular as he's currently 3/5 for 32 yards, but perhaps the biggest statistic -- thus far -- is his "zero" in the interception column, which is two less than Anderson.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 8:37 am
 

Giants don't want Leinart either

Posted by Will Brinson

The third spurning of Matt Leinart -- the Giants, who seemed like a decent fit , apparently aren't interested either -- may finally put an end to the two-day saga revolving around the ex-Trojan's inability to win the Cardinals starting job or be good enough to warrant a trade to another team.

At least until he's cut on Saturday anyway. Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that Giants GM Jerry Reese listened to what the Cardinals had to say re: trading Leinart, and then politely declined to continue discussions.

Basically, it boils down the Giants not wanting to give up anything in exchange for getting to pay $10 million to someone who doesn't know their offense. That's smart: by choosing not to trade for Leinart (who, bear in mind, doesn't want to be a backup) there's a pretty good chance they can always swoop him up if/when he gets cut.

And worst case, it appears they'll just avoid overpaying for a really expensive clubhouse cancer that doesn't have the talent/dedication to become a starter in the NFL.
P.S. Yes, we DID find a team who may want him after all. See: right.

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Posted on: September 1, 2010 2:24 pm
 

Boldin unsurprised by Leinart situation

Posted by Will Brinson

If anyone has a good idea of what's going on in Arizona without being muffled by a "no comment" situation (a la Larry Fitzgerald), it's Anquan Boldin.

And he's not at all shocked by the news that Ken Wisenhunt and Matt Leinart might not get along so swell.

“Honestly no. That’s just because I’ve been there and witnessed the relationship between both Matt and Coach Whisenhunt. So I’m actually not surprised. I don’t really want to speak too much on that because it’s not my problem. If it doesn’t refer to anybody in black and purple, I really could care less.”

I love a good quote like that -- Boldin doesn't want to talk about the situation, but he'll let you at least know what the deal is.

And clearly, the "deal" = "they don't get along."

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Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:46 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 4:48 pm
 

Here's who's intererested in Leinart

Posted by Will Brinson

Update2: Kent Somers reports that the Cardinals are indeed open to trading Leinart AND guard Reggie Wells, and have been talking with teams. The Raiders, according to the Raiders, are not one of those teams, having said on their website that "Adam Schefter is once again making untrue statements." Mercy.

The Raiders axe to grind aside, it makes a LOT of sense that the Cardinals are trying to deal Leinart (and would be relatively open about their interest). After all, they only have a few days to make something happen before they're forced to either keep him or cut him; keeping him would involve either dumping one of the rookies they like or holding onto four quarterbacks.

One big problem, though, is that Leinart wants to start, and there just aren't a lot of starting spots out there.

Update: The Bills are now denying their interest in Leinart , but Schefter is also reporting that the Cards and Bills talked this summer. It's not convoluted at all.

Last night we discussed the fact that the Cardinals had placed Matt Leinart on the trading block -- now we know who's interested.

Jay Glazer writes that "several teams have confirmed" that they've chatted with the Cards -- Adam Schefter points out that the Bills, Giants and Raiders are very specific possible destinations for the former first-rounder.

All three spots make a lot of sense: Eli Manning and Jason Campbell both suffered preseason injuries, while Jim Sorgi and Bruce Gradkowski remain injured. The Bills, for their part, are being forced to start Trent Edwards again, and that's no fun.

Leinart is probably hoping -- provided he actually wants to start and play football -- that Buffalo can pull something off. There, he'd have at least a chance of starting.

The downside, naturally, is that Buffalo weather isn't exactly on par with Southern Cal, brah.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com