Published: January 1st, 2012 | Tags: Jason La Canfora, Michael Lombardi, Bill Cowher, Billy Devaney, Jason Garrett, Jeff Fisher, Jim Caldwell, Jon Gruden, Kirk Ferentz, NFL GameDay Morning, Peyton Manning, Raheem Morris, Stan Kroenke, Steve Spagnuolo, Tom Coughlin
Monday likely will set the stage for significant transition around the NFL, with a laundry list of coaches and general managers sitting on the proverbial hot seat.
Firings will give way to hirings, and we can expect to hear familiar names thrown into the mix as teams search for new coaches and front-office leadership.
NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi and Jason La Canfora visited the “NFL GameDay Morning” set on Sunday to share what they’ve heard about changes to come.
Don’t expect a shake-up in Dallas, however.
“I don’t see anything really happening here, other than Jason Garrett maybe having someone to take some of his hats off his head and help with the offense and beef up that staff,” La Canfora said.
La Canfora pointed out that in New York, where questions swirl around the future of Tom Coughlin, it might come down what the Giants coach chooses to do with his future. If he steps aside, that vacancy would be highly coveted, and perhaps tantalizing enough to lure Bill Cowher into the fold.
Lombardi added that he doesn’t believe Coughlin is ready to leave.
“I think Tom Coughlin is one of these guys who loves football too much to just walk away. I think he’s all in,” Lombardi said. “And the Giants love Tom Coughlin, and this is a tough decision for them because they really don’t want to make a move because the question nobody fills in the blanks for, is ‘If we fire Tom Coughlin or remove Tom Coughlin, who’s coming in next?’ That’s the hardest thing to answer, and I don’t think Tom Coughlin wants to leave.”
Lombardi has been told that coach Jim Caldwell is safe in Indianapolis as long as vice chairman Bill Polian is around. In addition, the team isn’t interested in a “reshaping of the Colts” if QB Peyton Manning returns next season.
La Canfora and Lombardi also agreed that Steve Spagnuolo is likely gone in St. Louis, with La Canfora expecting the Rams to pursue Jeff Fisher and possibly court Jon Gruden, no matter what he has said about his television career.
“They call (the Rams’ owner) silent Stan Kroenke because he doesn’t talk to anyone, but everybody knows that St. Louis is basically going to be removed of general manager Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo,” Lombardi said.
The news is no better for Bucs coach Raheem Morris. Lombardi believes the team is “left with no choice” but to send Morris packing after last week’s defeat at the hand of the Panthers, the team’s ninth in a row.
Lombardi also believes that one NFL team will pursue a big-name college coach. He refused to name-drop, but he assured that it won’t be Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.