Around the NFL  

 

Bengals' Jay Gruden, Zimmer hot coach candidates

Cincinnati's fierce crash and burn out of the AFC playoffs hasn't dimmed the interest of teams looking at Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden as potential head-coaching material.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the San Diego Chargers' 27-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals from Wild Card Weekend on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. ET.

» NFL Network schedule

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Monday that four teams -- the Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans -- have contacted the play-caller on the heels of Sunday's 27-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers, according to a team source and a second involved in the process.

Gruden later confirmed to NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala that he hasn't heard about the Lions interview yet, but plans to meet with each of the other three teams.

Andy Dalton was at the epicenter of Sunday's meltdown in The Queen City, but Gruden's handiwork was suspect. The Bengals came out of the gate playing hyper-conservative on offense, punting on a trio of fourth-and-short scenarios.

San Diego defenders later told Kinkhabwala that Gruden's attack was hardly a puzzle to figure out:

Teams interested in Gruden have something in common: Deep issues at quarterback or a young signal-caller in need of special attention. Our friend Jeff Darlington thinks the 'Skins are genuinely interested:

Breer also reported that the Redskins, Vikings and Titans want to speak with the team's defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, according to two Bengals sources. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted that the Titans and Vikings are pushing to interview Zimmer quickly and their "interest is very real."

Zimmer is long overdue for a shot at the head-coaching level. Seen by some as a wild-card, Zimmer's on-field product speaks for itself. Buried in Sunday's ugly loss was a defense that held the Chargers to six points off three turnovers and did all it could to keep the team afloat despite Dalton's ghastly antics.

We'll find out soon enough if either of these Bengals assistants will leave Cincy's cupboard bare heading into the long winter ahead.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped all the Wild Card Weekend action.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15