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Shanahan's defense could be run by Zimmer or Haslett

We reported on December 26 that Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will be Mike Shanahan’s first choice to run the defense in Washington.  Charley Casserly of CBS said the same thing over the weekend.  (Our DVR apparently quit working during the part where Casserly and/or James Brown gave us credit for being the first to report it.)

But there’s another name to watch.  Per Jason La Canfora of NFL.com, Jim Haslett would be a possibility, if Shanahan can’t get Zimmer.

As Peter King of SI.com points out, Shanahan was “thinking hard” about using a 3-4 defense when King spoke with Shanahan at Steelers training camp in August.  Zimmer and Haslett have experience with both defenses, although most recently both have used 4-3 alignments.

Former Broncos defensive coordinator Bob Slowik has been sharing office space with Shanahan and undoubtedly will be a member of the Washington staff, but most likely not as coordinator.

Zimmer is under contract with the Bengals through the end of the season.  A league source recently told us that, technically, Zimmer’s commitment expires at the end of February.  It will be interesting to see whether the Bengals let Zimmer leave early, especially since Bengals coaches typically are asked to roll up their sleeves and start helping with pre-draft preparations after the season ends, due to the low number of full-time scouts in Cincinnati.

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20 Responses to “Shanahan's defense could be run by Zimmer or Haslett”
  1. milehiclown says: Jan 6, 2010 7:35 AM

    If there was a failing of Shanny it was that he ALWAYS hired the wrong guy for the D.

  2. lichnor says: Jan 6, 2010 7:35 AM

    “(Our DVR apparently quit working during the part where Casserly and/or James Brown gave us credit for being the first to report it.)”
    This is the problem with media, all media, today. Everyone worries more about being first than being correct.
    I wonder if you would be not-so-subtly hinting for credit on all the things you report first that are wrong?
    Somehow, I don’t think so.

  3. runtheball says: Jan 6, 2010 8:21 AM

    Why would they run a 3-4 when they are paying Haynesworth all that money? That is a waste of money for him to play the nose, and he will not be as big a force at end. Unless Elway is coming out of retirement it doesn’t matter anyway. Shanahan will fail and pocket a lot of Little Danny’s money. It will be interesting to see who is a bigger failure Shanahan or Cowher.

  4. bake says: Jan 6, 2010 8:22 AM

    well anyhow, I hope it’s someone who will stay with the 4-3. The guys are used to it. The team hasn’t had any consistency on offense, let’s not start changing the only thing was close to working for the last 10 years.
    But at least now there is hope in the building. Hoe and Change. Sounds good, right? Hope and Change…Somebody oughta use that as a catch phrase. Hope and Change……

  5. homercles82 says: Jan 6, 2010 8:46 AM

    Florio, we need to know how this works with the Rooney rule. We haven’t seen enough of it.

  6. jwill007 says: Jan 6, 2010 8:56 AM

    How can teams talk about going after a DC still under contract???? Zimmer may or may not leave if its a money thing he may…..But we will simply promote Jeff Fitzgerald(architect of 4LBs to the pro bowl in 1 season) as the new DC…He worked under Rex Ryan he worked under Zimmer this guy is a hell of a DC in waiting….our LBs have played very well and Sting Rey, Dhani Jones(Thats right who would thunk a Dhani Jones could be a MLB on a # 4 Defense) Yeah facts baby…..Fitz will replace him…..We aint scared HOWEVER we hope he stays….Its a business..

  7. blester01 says: Jan 6, 2010 9:03 AM

    This had better be a rumor or the Bengals are going back to mediocrity very fast without Zimmer running the defense. If it turns into a bidding war, then I think I can predict who is going to win it.

  8. OranjelloJones says: Jan 6, 2010 9:16 AM

    jwill007 Zimmer’s contract expires after this season so he’s free to do whatever he wants and Cincy can’t block him. It comes down to whether he wants change and to move or not because I doubt Mike Brown is going to beat Snyder in the bidding process if it comes to that.

  9. Verbal Kint says: Jan 6, 2010 9:19 AM

    If Zimmer leaves for another D-coordinator job I will punch my own face until I black out.

  10. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Jan 6, 2010 9:24 AM

    The only reason Zimmer would make a lateral move like this is money. Call me naive or whatever, but I don’t think he makes this move.

  11. tigeralum99 says: Jan 6, 2010 9:55 AM

    I would love to see Zimmer stay…
    That being said…I would love to see Fitzy as a D coordinator…in Cincinnati
    Cant have both happen…
    Since Zim is under contract till February..
    Mikey Brown makes him fulfill his contract therefore throwing the ole’ “cock block” to the Skins…
    I would find it hard to believe MB would let him walk for the same position for another team.
    Your heard it here first as to what will happen if Zimmer is not extended… Will I get credit for breaking this story????

  12. chunky soupy sales says: Jan 6, 2010 10:06 AM

    Somebody needs to keep a watch over Bill Walsh’s grave.
    Danny’s going to be digging it up soon to shake a bag of money at him.

  13. SmashMouth says: Jan 6, 2010 10:18 AM

    tigeralum,
    When it comes to out/over-spending no body can beat the Danny. MB might think about getting a part time job as a dishwasher or bouncer or something if he wants to keep Zimmer.

  14. JetGreeeen says: Jan 6, 2010 10:24 AM

    Florio, bloggers usually don’t get credit for any story breaks, real or imagined.

  15. Laxer37 says: Jan 6, 2010 10:33 AM

    The Bengals screwed up by not extending Zimmer earlier. Just last week Zimmer was asked if the two sides were talking extention and he replied “not seriously”.
    Sounds like a guy that that is a little peaved that he’s getting jerked around by a penny pinching owner.

  16. Grinder says: Jan 6, 2010 10:49 AM

    Zimmer is a good DC. Being a Cowboy fan, I hope he stays in Cincy.

  17. PolegoJim says: Jan 6, 2010 11:21 AM

    Zim is gone.
    He’ll want to start off fresh with a veteran head coach and an opp to build, rather than dinking around with the Bengals for a few more up and down unfulfilling years.
    Wouldn’t you?

  18. whodey says: Jan 6, 2010 11:32 AM

    Zim is worthy of a HC job, not a lateral DC move. This is just pure speculation by folks who get paid to speculate. Nothing to see here…

  19. ZombieRevolution says: Jan 6, 2010 11:40 AM

    “(Our DVR apparently quit working during the part where Casserly and/or James Brown gave us credit for being the first to report it.)”
    Its hard to sift through the 95% of PFT’s content that basically reports nothing or is a citing of someone else’s original work.

  20. tigeralum99 says: Jan 6, 2010 12:22 PM

    Smash Mouth,
    at this point money does not matter if Mikey Boy holds him to his contract. ( it was stated that the contract is up in February) however my sources are still trying to confirm that… wink wink.
    I would not count the Bengals out just yet…
    IF he does leave Fitzy will get the DC position IMO.
    It will certainly be interesting once the season is over…

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