While the Cincinnati Bengals are gearing up for a critical week 14 game against the Indianapolis Colts, we're keeping our multi-tasking eyes and ears around the league for possible coaching changes. Though any change today won't directly impact the Bengals immediately, it could have a direct influence later with probable interest in Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden... and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons if teams were smart.
The Houston Texans fired head coach Gary Kubiak on Friday, a day after their Thursday Night loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith and current San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt have already drawn interest.
Reports also surfaced Sunday morning that the Tennessee Titans are looking to clear house. According to those reports, the Titans aren't expected to pick up the final-year option on Jake Locker's contract, running back Chris Johnson will likely be cut after the season and head coach Mike Munchak is coaching for his job.
Another report coming out of ESPN is generating significant speculation that Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is on his way out. The report, written by Dan Graziano, states that Shanahan had "grown tired of the way (Redskins owner Dan) Snyder empowered Griffin and openly esteemed him above all other players."
Shanahan didn't blame Griffin but did blame Snyder for creating an atmosphere that Shanahan did not believe was conducive to winning. Shanahan privately told people close to him that he felt Snyder's behavior with regard to Griffin was a "complete farce."
It's premature to speculate right now, but I wouldn't expect much interest for Jay Gruden in Tennessee or Houston. Washington is a possibility with an owner that likes to make high-profile moves with offensive minded coaches. But if anyone looks at Gruden's track record, we're not certain if anyone will show interest at this stage -- he'll have to have a significant offensive run in the playoffs. Mike Zimmer will figure into the silly season of coaching carousels once front offices look towards a defensive front man.
One thing is for certain: Chris Mortensen reported on ESPN's Sunday Countdown that former head coach Jon Gruden isn't going anywhere, committed to saying in the booth for the 2014 season.