Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals coach Mike Zimmer prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M
Teams start getting eliminated from the NFL playoffs. That means their coordinators and/or position coaches become available to interview for head coach job openings. The San Diego Chargers upset the Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Wild Card round. Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer are both among the most recognizable names who’ll receive interest from teams who need a head coach.
Among those teams: the Tennessee Titans. Gruden and Zimmer have both been linked as potential replacements for Mike Munchak, who was removed from his position this past weekend. Zimmer has held the Bengals defensive coordinator spot since 2008. Gruden has held the offensive coordinator job since 2011.
Jay Gruden, age 46, is the younger brother of former Super Bowl champion head coach Jon Gruden. For the last three seasons, Jay oversaw the progression of quarterback Andy Dalton, a third-year quarterback who led the Bengals to three consecutive playoff appearances. Despite Dalton’s consistent playoff failures, he finished the 2013-14 NFL season with 4,293 yards and 33 touchdown passes. That’s a lot more than many people expected anyone to get out of Dalton. Jay Gruden has been a head coach in the Arena Football League and United Football League.
Mike Zimmer, age 57, has never been a head coach. He has spent the last 14 seasons as a defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys (2000-06), Atlanta Falcons (2007) and Bengals (2008-present). His brief Falcons tenure was a result of Bobby Petrino deserting the team in 2007. Zimmer runs a 4-3 defense, although he ran a 3-4 when coached under Bill Parcells in Dallas.
Which of these coaches would Tennessee Titans prefer? Gruden appears like the more likely candidate to land a future job because of his success as an AFL head coach, he’s younger, his brother is a Super Bowl champion head coach (genes), and most teams appear like they want offensive-minded coaches who can develop the quarterbacks and stay with them for the long term.
With that said, from what I’ve seen with many Cincinnati fans, they’re willing to let Jay Gruden walk and wouldn’t mind replacing Marvin Lewis with Zimmer. Always like seeing what the fans of the team who have seen these coaches on a weekly basis have to say.
Who do you want? Give your take in the comments, Twitter or Facebook. Leave your vote in the poll below. Results in 2-3 days.