A Defensive Coordinator Candidates List If Mike Zimmer Leaves For The Sunshine State

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 1: Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams looks on from the sideline against the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome on January 1, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Though he's still with the Cincinnati Bengals as the team's defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer is heavily being considered for the head coaching position for the Miami Dolphins with an interview scheduled for Tuesday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bengals defensive back Kevin Coyle and Jacksonville's Jack Del Rio are being thrown out as the favorites to replace Zimmer if the unthinkable happens. And if that day comes, my money is on Coyle.

That being said we have to believe that the Bengals are gathering their list of eventual replacements if they're forced to react to Zimmer's departure. Save for Del Rio and Coyle, here's a quick list of names we threw together. And there's BIG names too, to satisfy those that only want recognized names.

Steve Spagnuolo

The recently fired St. Louis Rams head coach is being heavily courted by the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. Though not directly related to the Cincinnati Bengals, if the Falcons hire Spagnuolo, it keeps the road open for an eventual Marvin Lewis and Jack Del Rio reunion if Mike Zimmer leaves for a team in Florida.

Spagnuolo ran a 4-3 as a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants Super Bowl run in 2007 that held the New England Patriots, then the highest scoring offense in the NFL, to only 14 points.

Bill Sheridan

Currently the Miami Dolphins linebackers coach, Sheridan spent 2009 as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants but was fired after only one season despite having a 13th ranked defense (though 30th ranked in scoring defense). Sheridan has been a linebackers coach throughout much of his coaching career, which is a position that the Bengals that could use a little coaching up with Rey Maualuga (and probably Keith Rivers).

Sheridan has a minor Cincinnati connection as a former linebackers coach for the University of Cincinnati from 1988-1991.

Mike Singletary

Call it a long-shot at best. After being fired by the San Francisco 49ers following the 2010 season, Singletary joined Minnesota as the Vikings linebackers coach. However Minnesota recently demoted their defensive coordinator in Fred Pagac, who was offered the linebackers coaching position. That could pose a problem because that was Singletary's job.

So the team may promote Singletary as the Vikings defensive coordinator or they could fire him outright.

However the one thing to consider is that Singletary has never been a defensive coordinator in the NFL and during his time in San Francisco, the 49ers ran a 3-4 defense.

Joe Woods

Currently the Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach, NFL Insider Adam Schefter described Woods to have a "similar makeup to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin." Woods has been with the Vikings since 2006 as the team's defensive backs coach.

Joe Vitt

Currently the linebackers coach and New Orleans Saints assistant head coach, Vitt has mostly served as a linebackers coach throughout his extensive NFL career, most notably coaching Jonathan Vilma, who is one of the league's premiere linebackers.

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