Is Rivera Next In Line For Head Coaching Gig In San Diego

It would be tough to find two teams who have more in common with each other than the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys. Both have great young Quarterbacks (Philip Rivers - Tony Romo), great RB duos (Tomlinson/Turner - Jones/Barber), great young pass rushers (Phillips/Merriman - Spencer/Ware), underrated corners (Jammer/Florence - Newman/Henry), Both teams made head coaching changes following playoff seasons and here is the kicker, the Chargers hired a former Cowboys coordinator and the cowboys hired a former Charger coordinator.

But could there be something else in common between the two teams? This year, the Dallas Cowboys brought in Jason Garrett to be the apprentice to Wade Phillips and learn how to run a team before taking over in a couple years. Jerry Jones really liked what he saw in Garrett but figured he wasn't ready to be a head coach, and probably thought that while Garrett knew enough about the offense, he should learn about how to run a defense, and what better way to do that than with the league's best 3-4 defensive mind.

This got me to thinking; could the chargers be planning something like this themselves? For the past two offseasons, Ron Rivera has spent the first month of the offseason interviewing for head coaching positions and had missed out on over 10 head coaching jobs. Rivera felt he missed out on many of those jobs because of his lack of 3-4 experience, and so he ultimately took the Chargers Linebacker coach position to get a chance to learn about the nuances of the 34 defense.

Now why would he come to San Diego to be the Linebacker coach when he could of easily went to Dallas and became the LB coach or even defensive coordinator and learn from the best?

Here is my thought; When Rivera came to interview for the head coaching job here in San Diego, he supposedly had a great interview with AJ Smith and was said be the only candidate who interviewed that came to AJ with a "plan". Could this all be part of "the plan"?

Everything he has done the past 4 years has suggested that AJ Smith believes the old saying "Defense wins championship" and many believe that he wanted Wade Phillips to be Marty Schottenheimer's replacement. So why would he hire an Offensive coach like Norv Turner? Could it be that AJ didn't believe Rivera was ready and wanted him to learn the 3-4 defense first from a Wade Phillips understudy (Ted Cottrell)? Also could it be, that much like Jason Garrett, AJ Smith didn't think he was ready to handle the other side of the ball and wanted him to learn from one of the best in the business?

Now, there are no facts to prove this theory, but hey, its the offseason, what else is there to talk about??

May 28, 2007

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Anonymous said... May 29, 2007, 4:45:00 PM

Interesting take. I think Rivera is gone next season and will take a head coaching job somewhere else.

Rob Zepeda said... May 29, 2007, 4:46:00 PM

Me and Matt are going to discuss this in Episode 003 of the Podcast!

Docsilver said... May 29, 2007, 5:21:00 PM

I Norval wins, he'll be the coach here for some time. Ted Cotrell is in a far better position to become the head coach.

Docsilver said... May 29, 2007, 5:25:00 PM

If Norval wins the topic is moot. Ted Cotrell is in a much better position to become head coach if he screws up.

Ivan Abrahim said... May 29, 2007, 6:52:00 PM

You guys are right, if Norv wins, its a moot point, but think about it, you really think anything besides a super bowl is going to be good enough, especially with this roster?

As for Cottrell, Really? The guy is 60 years old and came out of retirement to take this job and only signed a 2 year contract (whereas Norv signed a 4 year deal). Also, Cottrell has been in the NFL 22 year and has never been a head coach, i think if he was HC material, he would of found a HC job by now.

I really think he took this job partly as a favor to AJ to teach Rivera all about the 34 defense

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