Hall of Famer Singletary to interview with Cowboys


Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

IRVING, Texas — Add Mike Singletary to the list of candidates to become coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Hall of Fame linebacker will interview Tuesday with team owner Jerry Jones. He'll become the eighth candidate considered to replace Bill Parcells.

Best known for his ferocious play with the Chicago Bears, Singletary is a Houston native who played college football at Baylor. He's been coaching in the NFL since 2003, spending two years with Baltimore and the last two with the San Francisco 49ers.

Another 49ers assistant, offensive coordinator Norv Turner, has been viewed as the front-runner in Dallas, but he returned to the Bay Area following his interview Sunday.

The Cowboys already have hired Jason Garrett and are considering him for the head coaching job or likely will make him offensive coordinator. Defensive coordinators Wade Phillips of San Diego and Gary Gibbs of New Orleans also are being considered.

Jones also has talked to three members of Parcells' staff, including Todd Bowles, who is black, thus fulfilling the league requirement for a minority candidate.

Singletary, 48, retired after the 1992 season and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998. He spent his post-playing days doing motivational speaking, writing books and co-founding a company that provides leadership training, then got into coaching in 2003.

After failing to land the head coaching job at Baylor, Singletary was hired by Baltimore and spent two seasons guiding the inside linebackers. Mike Nolan was the team's defensive coordinator and when he became the head coach in San Francisco, Singletary followed. He was assistant head coach for linebackers, then named assistant head coach for defense last season.

Parcells resigned last Monday, ending a four-year run in which he went 34-32 and failed to win a playoff game over four seasons.

The Cowboys lost four of their last five games this past season, with defense the weak link.

Jones may not hold a lack of NFL head coaching experience against Singletary; Parcells was the first coach in club history with that on his resume. All five head coaches NFL teams have hired this offseason are first-timers.

GIANTS

Former Browns coach Chris Palmer was hired as quarterbacks coach, taking over the job of making Eli Manning a more consistent player.

"I had Chris speak with Eli the other day and they talked for about 20-25 minutes," Coach Tom Coughlin said. "They discussed many aspects of the quarterback position and I know they're going to work hard together on the fundamentals."

Coughlin said the 57-year-old Palmer will contribute to the game plans, but his main job will be working with Manning on fundamentals.

STEELERS

Coach Mike Tomlin completed his first staff by hiring five new coaches, including Bob Ligashesky as the special teams coach and Amos Jones as Ligashesky's assistant.

Also added were wide receivers coach Randy Fichtner, running backs coach Kirby Wilson and offensive line coach Larry Zierlein.

LIONS

Detroit hired former Purdue head coach Jim Colletto to coach their offensive line.

Colletto was UCLA's offensive line coach last season after coaching the same unit with the Oakland Raiders, for one season, and for the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2004.

BROWNS

Cleveland added three assistant coaches, hiring Steve Marshall as offensive line coach, Tom Myslinski as strength and conditioning coach and Alan DeGennaro as assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Marshall was offensive line coach for the Houston Texans from 2004-05 after many seasons coaching lines at the collegiate level.

Myslinski spent three seasons with the Browns as a part-time assistant strength coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2002-04.

Browns coach Romeo Crennel has spent the offseason overhauling his staff and still must hire coaches for special teams, wide receivers and assistant offensive line and offensive quality. Maurice Carthon, who resigned as the Browns offensive coordinator six games into last season, was hired Monday as the running backs coach for Arizona.

CARDINALS

Coach Ken Whisenhunt hired Maurice Carthon as his running backs coach and Richie Anderson as his tight ends coach.

Anderson, who played for 13 seasons as a fullback with the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, was an assistant wide receivers/tight ends coach with the Jets last season.

Carthon, another former fullback with the New York Giants and the Indianapolis Colts, spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

Tomlin, hired last week, retained six members of Bill Cowher's final staff — including new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was promoted last week from receivers coach. Also returning are defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, defensive line coach John Mitchell, linebackers coach Keith Butler and tight ends coach James Daniel.

Ray Horton, previously the assistant defensive backs coach, was promoted to defensive backs coach. Darren Perry, the former Steelers player who held that job for the last three seasons, was not retained.

"They are all good communicators who will help make sure our players understand what exactly is expected of them," Tomlin said Monday — the first full day he has spent in his office since taking over last week.

Previously, Tomlin identified former Cincinnati Bengals player and assistant coach Ken Anderson as the quarterbacks coach. Anderson, 57, replaces former University of Massachusetts coach Mark Whipple, who had been the quarterbacks coach since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004 but was not retained.

The Steelers have never had two coaches devoted to special teams — Chuck Noll once coached them by himself — but Tomlin decided to do so following a major falloff in production by the kicking units last season.

Chris Gardocki's 41.3 yards-per-punt average was the third-lowest among NFL regulars, and Jeff Reed missed seven of 27 field goal attempts. Reed had missed only five times in each of the previous two seasons, while attempting more kicks in each than he did last season.

Ligashesky, a 44-year-old native of suburban McKees Rocks, coached previously in the practice complex where the Steelers train — he was Pitt's tight ends and special teams coordinator under former coach Walt Harris from 2000 to 2003. He was the St. Louis Rams' special teams coach during the last two seasons after being the Jaguars' assistant special teams coach in 2004.

Whipple's departure signals the Steelers' unhappiness with Roethlisberger's play in the season after he won the Super Bowl in only his second year as starter. Roethlisberger threw 23 interceptions — three more than in his first two seasons combined — and was sacked 46 times, twice as many as in 2005.

Fichtner, 43, was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the last six seasons at Memphis, where Tomlin once was an assistant. The 45-year-old Wilson has been an NFL running backs coach for the last nine seasons with the Cardinals, Bucs, Redskins and Patriots.

Wilson is only the second Steelers' running backs coach since 1972. He replaces Dick Hoak, who held the job for 35 seasons — the longest continuous tenure by an assistant with one team in NFL history.

The 61-year-old Zierlein was the Buffalo Bills' line coach last season after holding the same job with the Browns from 2001-04.

Jones, 47, also coached at Pitt in 1992 as the kicking game coordinator. He was the special teams and outside linebackers coach at Mississippi State for the last three seasons. This will be the first time he has coached in the NFL.

Tomlin coached previously in college or the NFL with Zierlein, Fichtner, Wilson and Jones.

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