Gus Malzahn

Coaching Notes: Trestman, Bowles, Shanahan

We learned earlier today that Mike Smith was unlikely to return as coach of the Falcons in 2015, but there are plenty of head coaching candidates for whom the future appears much brighter, along with a number of others who are likely to be relieved of their duties or otherwise on the move. Let’s take a look:

  • As we passed along earlier, Bears head coach Marc Trestman is expected to be fired after the season.
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is a top head coaching candidate for the Jets and Bears, and the Dolphins have not ruled out a reunion with Bowles.
  • Although the University of Michigan apparently has a legitimate chance to land 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh as its next head coach, the Wolverines also have the RavensJohn Harbaugh, the SaintsSean Payton, the BillsDoug Marrone, and the CowboysJason Garrett on their radar, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Outside of Jim Harbaugh, however, the other named candidates are highly unlikely to appear in maize and blue next year.
  • In the same piece, La Canfora writes that Jim Harbaugh briefly accepted the Michigan job in 2011 before changing his mind shortly thereafter.
  • Ian Rapoport of tweets that UCLA’s Jim Mora and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn are two collegiate coaches whom NFL teams may consider for head coaching vacancies in 2015. Rapoport adds (Twitter links) that he would expect the 49ers to have interest in Mora and the Dolphins to have interest in Malzahn.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that Mike Shanahan has not ruled out a return to coaching in 2015, and Florio lists the Falcons and 49ers as possible destinations. However, Shanahan, who was responsible for drafting Jay Cutler, maintains his belief that Cutler is a franchise quarterback, and the Bears (assuming they hang on to Cutler) may want to pursue Shanahan.

Extra Points: Griffin, Glennon, DEA

Robert Griffin III has struggled since returning from injury this season, and Washington’s head coach Jay Gruden has the power to bench the former first-round pick, writes Conor Orr of In the past, Griffin had been protected by ownership, but patience could be running thin within the organization.

Here are some other notes from around the NFL:

  • Speaking of quarterbacks getting benched, Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times argues that the Buccaneers need to return Josh McCown to the sidelines. McCown is not playing well, and although Mike Glennon has failed to perform well either, the young quarterback at least deserves a chance to prove himself as the team’s starter.
  • The DEA has continued its investigation of NFL medical staffs this week, focusing on the alleged mishandling of prescription drugs, writes Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Although the investigation is ongoing, there will likely not be any more post-game searches.
  • San Antonio is a long shot to obtain the Raiders from Oakland, but they will still attempt to lure an NFL franchise to their city, writes Tom Orsborn of“I’ve seen stranger things happen when parties stay in the game. If staying in the game is a low-cost option, I wouldn’t walk away if I were San Antonio,” said Marc Ganis, a league consultant and president of SportsCorp. “Now, that doesn’t mean I’d pour lots of resources into it, or raise people’s hopes dramatically. But I certainly wouldn’t walk away, because you never know what happens in these things. These things can turn in odd ways.”
  • We have looked at top head coaching candidates a number of times so far this season, and will do so again as Adam Caplan of ESPN compiles a comprehensive list of assistant coaches who will be sought after for interviews this offseason (subscription required). At the top of his list are Patriots‘ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Seahawks‘ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and Cardinals‘ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Caplan also highlights Baylor’s Art Briles, Stanford’s David Shaw, and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn as college coaches who could make the jump to the NFL.