But Harbaugh is in a labor market with very little demand. Only two NFL teams need new head coaches, and with the recent hiring of Mike Shanahan in Washington, the list is down to one as of right now. Some teams may still make decisions to enter the market, though.
Oakland keeps getting mentioned as a team that might be on the market. The futility of predicting anything that Al Davis does makes me hesitate to predict whether or not head coach Tom Cable will be in Oakland next season. Cable was accused of punching an assistant at the beginning of what would be a 5 win season. Now the Raiders are answering questions about JaMarcus Russell traveling to Vegas during a team meeting and Al Davis is turning down Rich Gannon’s offers to help the organization. Davis is fickle about his head coaches, so the Oakland job could be available.
After firing everyone on staff, the Buffalo Bills are sure they’re hiring a new head coach. The list of coaches showing interest or being examined by Buffalo keeps getting longer though, which doesn’t bode well for Jim Harbaugh’s chances. My list of candidates in the order of their chances of being hired:
1. Bill Cowher – former Steeler’s coach-turn-commentator, Cowher reportedly has been contacted by the Bills and could be hiring a staff. Fans are putting up a billboard urging the team to hire him, and reports keep coming in that Cowher hasn’t yet ruled out the Bills despite his interest in other possible job openings.
2. Leslie Frazier – assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. He was recently interviewed by the CEO and General manager, and they seemed impressed.
3. Brian Billick – former coach of the Baltimore Ravens and currently a commentator. He is allegedly quietly assembling a staff, but purportedly has yet to be contacted by the Bills.
4. Brian Schottenheimer – New York Jet’s offensive coordinator. Said about his job in New York: “I love it here, I love working with Coach Ryan and I hope I’m here for a long time….this is not just coach speak…It’s not just something I’m saying to you guys.”
5. Jim Harbaugh – head coach for the Stanford Cardinal, already mistaken for an NFL head coach. Columnist Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News is strongly urging for a Harbaugh hiring. Harbaugh has recently signed a new contract with the Cardinal, but Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com still believes that Harbaugh could be in the mix.
6. Jim Haslett – coached the Saints and the Rams for a short time, but being looked at by the Redskins for a defensive coordinator position.
7. Ron Rivera – defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers
8. Russ Grimm – offensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals
The decision from Buffalo should come soon. Right now the Bills seem to be interested in many other candidates, however, so I don’t believe Stanford fans should be too concerned about Harbaugh jumping up to the Bills.