According to the Canton Rep's Steve Doerschuk, the Cleveland Browns have told Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's agent that they would like to interview him the second time about becoming the team's next head coach on Friday. It's also believed that the two main favorites for the job are Zimmer and former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt and that the decision will be made by Monday
Mike Zimmer's agent was told the Browns want to talk to the 56-year-old Bengals defensive coordinator again tomorrow.
Zimmer has been told the coaching search will be wrapped up by Sunday night.
This didn't come from our source, but it is our belief that it is coming down to Zimmer and Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt, with Bruce Arians still in the picture in a whirlwind drive toward a decision.
Zimmer was hired by the Bengals owner Mike Brown in January of 2008 and since that time, the Bengals defense has been on par with the Steelers' and Ravens' who have long been in control of the division. In fact, Zimmer's defense has largely been the reason that the Bengals have been able to make it into the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.
Losing Zimmer would be a problem for the Bengals, but it's likely inevitable. If it doesn't happen this season, it will eventually. That's the double sided sword of having good coordinators. However, losing Zimmer to a division rival could be potentially devastating as the Bengals would have to face him twice a year without him on our side.
Stay tuned for updates on both Zimmer and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden as teams are beginning to announce their new head coaches.