NFL teams still looking for offensive or defensive coordinators

USA TODAY Sports

With all the head coaching jobs taken, teams need to fill other positions.

When Rob Chudzinski agreed to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, he filled a very important gap for a team desperately trying to become relevant once again.

But he also left a big hole, too.

Chudzinski was the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers before he packed his bags for colder weather. The Panthers are now one of nine teams that still need to find a new offensive or defensive coordinator this offseason.

Here's a breakdown of who is looking for what and why, in alphabetical order:

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Need: Offensive coordinator
Previous coach: Mike Miller

When the Cardinals fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt on Dec. 31, almost the entire offensive coaching staff went, too. Mike Miller was the offensive coordinator for two seasons before getting the boot. Now the Cardinals have hired a former offensive coordinator -- Bruce Arians -- as their head coach. How will that impact their O.C. job? Only Arians knows at this point.

Arians already said the team needs to improve at quarterback, so the offensive coordinator will have a huge hand in that. Arians could try to bring someone over from the Colts to fill that hole.

More coverage at Revenge of the Birds.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Need: Offensive coordinator
Previous coach: Rob Chudzinski

With Chudzinski in Cleveland, the Panthers need to find an offensive coordinator who will make the most of young quarterback Cam Newton. Apparently that search is close to ending, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The final three candidates are Mike Shula, Pat Shurmur and Hue Jackson. Shula would be a logical choice, as it would be a promotion from quarterbacks coach. Shula has been working with Newton for the last two seasons in that position. Shurmur might not be a good fit, though, considering he has historically run a West Coast offense.

More coverage at Cat Scratch Reader.

CHICAGO BEARS

Need: Defensive coordinator
Previous coach: Rod Marinelli

The latest coaching move in the NFL was the Bears announcing Thursday that Rod Marinelli, the defensive coordinator, would not be back with the team. Marc Trestman, the team's new head coach, made the announcement at his introductory press conference.

With Trestman running the show, it's unknown what he'd be looking for in a defensive coordinator. Trestman is known for his offensive prowess. However, with the Bears looking to fill out the coaching staff quickly, Trestman might bring in assistants from his former team -- the Montreal Alouettes.

More coverage at Windy City Gridiron.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Need: Defensive coordinator
Previous coach: Dick Jauron

Despite a push from the players, the Cleveland Browns and new coach Chudzinski decided to let defensive coordinator Dick Jauron go. Jauron was the AP Coach of the Year in 2001 after leading the Bears to a 13-3 record. He's since bounced around as a head coach and defensive coordinator, but Chudzinski decided to go in a new direction.

The Browns are set to interview former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris for the D.C. job. Morris is the defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, though, former Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton is the front runner. Horton was close to landing the Cardinals head coach job, and angry when the team went with Arians.

More coverage at Dawgs By Nature.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Need: Offensive coordinator
Previous coach: Bruce Arians

The Colts are another team that was stripped of a talented coordinator because of another team's coaching vacancy. Former O.C. Bruce Arians is now head coach in Arizona.

Like the Panthers, it's an important position to help promote the growth of a young quarterback. Andrew Luck was the No. 1 overall pick last year and had a fine season leading a young Colts team into the playoffs. But for the Colts' draft pick to work out, they're expecting many more great seasons from the Stanford grad.

The Colts could promote quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen to the O.C. job if they want to have a seamless transition for Luck. Christensen was the Colts' O.C. in 2010 and 2011.

More coverage at Stampede Blue.

NEW YORK JETS

Need: Offensive coordinator
Previous coach: Tony Sparano

After an ugly offensive season behind quarterback Mark Sanchez -- a season that included a "butt fumble" -- the Jets fired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano in the second week of January.

It's a crucial position for head coach Rex Ryan. If the Jets don't start winning again, his seat could get toasty. The latest report is that Cam Cameron, who was fired as the O.C. of the Baltimore Ravens late this season, is not going to be the next offensive coordinator for the Jets.

Whoever gets the job will have a full plate. Is Sanchez good enough? Do they have enough offensive weapons? Can they compete with the high-powered offense of AFC East rival New England?

More coverage at Gang Green Nation.

OAKLAND RAIDERS

Need: Offensive coordinator
Previous coach: Greg Knapp

As offensive coordinators get gobbled up (Norv Turner landed in Cleveland, while Ken Whisenhunt is now with San Diego), the Raiders are still trying to find the right man. The Raiders fired offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in December after one season in that role.

SB Nation's Silver and Black Pride broke down the search, with perhaps the most interesting candidate being former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, who led the Rams to the playoffs in four of the six seasons he coached them. The 2001 version of the Rams were known as "The Greatest Show on Turf" but lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said he doesn't "have a time frame for getting somebody in," so he could take his time to fill the position.

More coverage at Silver and Black Pride.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Need: Defensive coordinator
Previous coach: Todd Bowles

It's not official yet, but the Eagles might need a new defensive coordinator. Yahoo's Michael Silver is reporting that the Cardinals are going to hire Bowles to be their D.C.

New head coach Chip Kelly could bring someone in from Oregon as the new D.C. (like he did for new defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro), or he could promote someone within. Linebackers coach Mike Caldwell, who has been with the team since 2008, could slide up to fill that position.

Or, he could go in a different route: Kelly is eyeing Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to make the jump to the next level, according to CSN Philly.

More coverage at Bleeding Green Nation.

ST. LOUIS RAMS

Need: Defensive coordinator
Previous coach: Gregg Williams

Once again, it's not official, but former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is very close to becoming the new D.C. in St. Louis. Ryan would replace Gregg Williams, who was fired at the beginning of the year.

Ryan was fired by the Cowboys last week, which prompted a lot of head-scratching. Ryan has been coaching in the NFL since 1994, when he started as a defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals. After a brief stint in the college ranks, he returned as the linebackers coach for the Patriots from 2000-2003. Since then, he's been the defensive coordinator in Oakland, Cleveland and, lastly, Dallas.

More coverage at Turf Show Times.

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