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Wins by the 49ers and Seahawks may accelerate Mike Zimmer's future

Because the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks won this weekend, the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings may accelerate their respective head coaching searches.

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Once the Seattle Seahawks defeated the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, the Tennessee Titans faced a slight complication with their head coaching search after the team fired Mike Munchak earlier this month. Many believed that Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was an early favorite, but he still hasn't interviewed for the job in Tennessee. Per league rules, since no initial interview has happened with Quinn, he can't interview until after the Super Bowl.

There is, however, a rule that grants second interviews for candidates who have already interviewed with another team during the bye week between the league championship games and the Super Bowl, if that team is (obviously) playing in the big game. [NOTE, by other team, meaning a second interview with the same team. So Coach A, who interviewed with Team A can do so again. However, Coach A can't interview with Team B if he hasn't interviewed there until after the Super Bowl.]

No one that Tennessee has actually interviewed remains in the playoffs. They've chatted with four candidates at this point, including defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Other interviews include San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt (favorite in Detroit), Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who is now the head coach with the Washington Redskins.

The question facing Tennessee is, how long are they willing to wait for Quinn and do they risk losing other candidates? SB Nation's Tennessee Titans site, Music City Miracles, writes:

Many of the same coaches are being looked at by the remaining teams, but the Titans are rumored to have a heavy interest in the Seattle coordinators, namely the defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. The rub here, however, is that the Seahawks' staff can't be interviewed until their season is over at this point. The Titans missed their window to interview the teams on a bye week last weekend, and now that the team has beat the Saints, there will be at least another week to their season.

This keeps Mike Zimmer in play.

But for how long.

There is a belief that since the San Francisco 49ers beat the Carolina Panthers, that the Minnesota Vikings could pull the trigger on Mike Zimmer soon. Zimmer is scheduled to have a second interview for the Vikings head coaching vacancy early this week and Fox Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer tweeted on Sunday that Zimmer might not leave Minnesota. Had the 49ers been eliminated, Minnesota's head coaching search would have between 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Zimmer.

Now if the Vikings want Roman, they'll have to wait until the bye week between the conference championship and the Super Bowl -- they interviewed him already, therefore the above rule allows for a second chat. If the Titans want Quinn, they have to wait until the Super Bowl.

Since resolution for Cincinnati's defensive coordinator is becoming a waiting game with a little risk being applied, how long will Zimmer go without being named as a head coach with a team that's looking at other coordinators to make their final selection?