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Mike Zimmer's Return Places DC Candidates With New Teams The Next Day

When Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was being courted by the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there was a feeling that two of the team's candidates to replace Zimmer were defensive backs coach Mike Coyle and former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. By the time Greg Schiano was announced as Tampa Bay's newest head coach, Zimmer was assured a return with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012 in the same capacity he's worked since 2008.

What's interesting isn't so much Zimmer's return -- save for an unexpected turn, we had expected it for well over a week. It's what happened afterwards.

Reports surfaced on Thursday that not only was Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano the second finalist for the head coaching job in Tampa Bay, he was negotiating with the team on a contract agreement. The five-year deal became official Thursday afternoon. The result of the agreement meant Zimmer was returning for the final year on a three-year deal he signed in 2010.

It also meant that the Bengals didn't need candidates to replace him. Defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle, who was in Miami the day that Schiano signed with Tampa Bay, finally agreed to terms to become Miami's defensive coordinator Friday morning. Several hours later Adam Schefter reported that Del Rio signed with the Broncos to become Denver's newest defensive coordinator.

After Schiano signed with the Buccaneers, ensuring Zimmer's return, it's not surprising that Coyle and Del Rio signed with their respective teams the next day. Mostly because they were the candidates to become Cincinnati's newest defensive coordinator.