The hunt will be on in earnest for a defensive coordinator soon. Once the Senior Bowl is over and everyone has gotten back to their offices, we should expect John Fox and company to start the interview process.
One name has already come up courtesy of Charles Chandler of the Charlotte Observer.
Among the most notable candidates the Carolina Panthers could consider for their defensive coordinator position is former Rams and Saints head coach Jim Haslett, a former Carolina divisional rival who spent one season early in his career working with current Panthers head coach John Fox.
Haslett served as linebackers coach for the Raiders in 1994 when Fox was the defensive coordinator.
Our friend, Nick Yeoman, who puts up some great videos on You Tube, threw out some names of his own (That all starts at around the 4:30 mark). See the video here.
After the jump, we’ll take a look at the guys he mentioned.
Ron Meeks – Formerly of the IndianapolisColts
Meeks resigned this week after seven seasons in Indy as the DC. He has coached in Dallas, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Washington and St. Louis all prior to joining the Colts staff in 2002.
Shawn McDermott – Philadelphia Eagles, Defensive Backs Coach
He is a former linebackers coach with the Eagles. Here is some info from his bio on the team’s website.
The linebacking group flourished under McDermott in 2007 as two youngsters – Omar Gaither (team-leading 170 tackles and 14 hurries) and Chris Gocong (92 tackles, including 7 for a loss) – progressed into full-time starters for the first time in their careers.
From 2004-06, McDermott served as the Eagles secondary/safeties coach. In 2004, he saw both of his starting safeties (Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis) earn Pro Bowl berths for the first time in team history. Under McDermott’s watch, Dawkins went on to earn two more Pro Bowl berths following the 2005 and 2006 seasons. In addition, McDermott has been credited with the development of Eagles S Quintin Mikell.
Dave McGinnis – Tennessee Titans, Assistant Head coach/Linebackers
Former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. He posted a 17-40 record but rose again with the Titans. From the Titans’ site:
Under McGinnis’ direction, Keith Bulluck has matured into one of the finest linebackers in the NFL. Bulluck led the team in tackles in five of the last six seasons, with 100 or more stops in every campaign, posted a career-high five sacks in 2004 and 2005 and a franchise record for interceptions by a linebacker with five last season. David Thornton joined the Titans as a free agent in 2006 and has amassed 262 tackles in two seasons. In 2007, the Titans ranked fifth in the NFL in total defense and rush defense.
As defensive coordinator in Arizona, he led a group that produced three Pro Bowlers in CB Aeneas Williams, DT Eric Swann and DE Simeon Rice. Rice also earned AP Rookie of the Year honors in 1996 and tallied 51.5 sacks in his tenure with the team, including a franchise record 16.5 sacks in 1999. His 1998 defense helped lead Arizona to the playoffs and ranked third in the league in takeaways with 39. He totaled 16 wins (16-33) in three full seasons as head coach.
Ron Rivera – San Diego Chargers, Defensive Coordinator
This would be tough since it would be a lateral move but don’t rule it out. Rivera has proven himself in his time in the league. Check out the bio on the Chargers’ website:
Rivera’s coaching train pulled into San Diego from Chicago where he coordinated one of the NFL’s top defenses from 2004-06. En route to an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, Chicago led the NFL with 44 takeaways in 2006, while finishing fifth in the league in total defense and third in scoring defense. In 2005 the Bears won their first of two consecutive NFC North titles and ranked second in the NFL in total defense. In Chicago, Rivera and the Bears ran the “Tampa 2 Defense,” a scheme that relies heavily on zone coverage.The list of Bears defensive players that went to the Pro Bowl under Rivera includes linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, safety Mike Brown, cornerback Nathan Vasher and defensive tackle Tommie Harris.Before becoming a defensive coordinator, Rivera spent five seasons as the linebackers coach under one of the most aggressive defensive coordinators in the NFL, Philadelphia’s Jim Johnson. The Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship Game in each of Rivera’s final three seasons in Philly.
Embarking on his seventh season as an NFL head coach in 2007 and his 28th overall season in the league as either a player, a scout, an assistant coach or a head coach, Edwards’ diverse background in pro football provides him with a unique perspective on how to build and lead a team. During his previous 27 seasons in the NFL — a distinguished tenure that has included extended stints with four different franchises — Edwards’ teams have reached the playoffs on 17 different occasions.
His initial NFL coaching experience came with the Chiefs at training camp in ‘89 as the recipient of the club’s Minority Coaching Fellowship. Since the inception of the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program in ‘87, over 1,100 coaches have participated. Edwards is the first graduate of the Minority Coaching Fellowship to go on to become the head coach of the franchise for which he served his fellowship. Appropriately, both of those coaching opportunities with the Chiefs were extended by Peterson, the man who signed Edwards to his initial NFL contract as a rookie free agent cornerback with the Philadelphia Eagles in ‘77 and whose association with Edwards stretches back to the early ‘70s when Peterson attempted to recruit Edwards to attend UCLA.
Beginning with that tour of duty during Kansas City’s training camp in ‘89, Edwards had an opportunity to learn from a trio of coaches — Marty Schottenheimer, Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy — who have led their respective teams to a combined 32 postseason appearances as NFL head coaches. Of that illustrious group, the most profound influence on Edwards’ coaching career has unquestionably been Dungy, who joins Edwards as one of 11 former assistant coaches in Kansas City history who have gone on to become an NFL head coach. Edwards’ 30-year relationship with the victorious head coach in Super Bowl XLI dates back to ‘77 when the duo played against one another in the Hula and Japan Bowls, a pair of college football all-star contests.
There are some interesting choices here. Your thoughts are always welcome. Feel free to comment.