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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Early Coordinator Options

ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter report that Dave Wannstedt will be a candidate for both the Carolina and San Diego defensive coordinator spots.

San Diego needs to replace Ron Rivera, and Wannstedt has a long history with head coach Norv Turner. Wannstedt, who gave Rivera his first coaching job in Chicago, is close with Rivera as well. Mortensen/Schefter's source, which sounds like it's from Wannstedt's camp, states he's a candidate for DC in both situations. The former Bears and Dolphins head coach was recently released as head coach of his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh.

Chargers assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski, who worked there as TEs coach twice in between a stint as Browns OC, is available. Assistant coaches aren't traditionally available when under contract to make lateral moves (the NFL determines titles as coordinator, or asst. HC, to still just be "assistants"), but Chudzinski allowed his contract to expire.

The former Miami Hurricane TE won two championships there and ended up coaching there 1996-03, the last three of which he called plays as offensive coordinator. With his first of two years with Cleveland, he coordinated the 8th overall offense.

Wannstedt coached there as defensive coordinator the first three years Chudzinski played there, if you need a connection between the two. Chudzinski, as a position coach and coordinator, has never directly coached quarterbacks, but I'm not typically of a mind to double up tasks like OC and QBs coach, nor seemingly does the front office or Rivera - each mentioned the two as separate ideas in discussion, thankfully.

Various sources suggest that the team could fall back on Ron Turner as OC. The former two-time Bears OC and Illinois head coach would be an awful option I'd rather not continue commenting on.

Pat Yasinskas notes a third option, Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. Yet another coach with a university of Miami background (graduated with a law degree while coaching there in the mid-80s), Trestman was OC with the last of the Seifert era 49ers, was QBs coach under the Jon Gruden Raiders and OC with the year-after Super Bowl team, coached QBs under Wannstedt in Miami in 2004, went to NCSU for two years to be an overly conservative OC for Chuck Amato, and finished this narrative with three years with the Alouettes and two Grey Cups.

Trestman isn't being rumored elsewhere, but is an interesting choice. Since it looks like the front office will have say in the offensive hires, it's possible this has validity from within the team itself.
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