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Favre, new Packers coach begin talking


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Favre, new Packers coach begin talking Click here to find out more!

Adam Schefter By Adam Schefter

NFL Analyst

Adam Schefter's "Around the League" reports and commentaries can be seen regularly on NFL Total Access.

(Jan. 23, 2006) -- For the first time since he took over as Green Bay's head coach, Mike McCarthy spoke to Packers quarterback Brett Favre this morning.

The two would like to get together later this week, should McCarthy attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. By going to the game, McCarthy could drive the approximate 100 miles to Favre's home in Hattiesburg, Miss.

But there are no assurances McCarthy will even attend the Senior Bowl. He spent today in Green Bay interviewing coaching candidates for five openings he still has to fill. If he can't get his coaches hired in short order, then McCarthy would go to the Senior Bowl to continue the interview process, and then see Favre on the back side of the trip.

In 1999, Mike McCarthy was Brett Favre's quarterbacks coach.

In 1999, Mike McCarthy was Brett Favre's quarterbacks coach.

The feeling is that McCarthy's hiring has, if anything, enhanced the chances Favre would return for another season. But the quarterback still has not told anybody of his plans, including Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who has had regular contact with Favre.

If Favre decides to pack it in, one of the primary factors will be that he does not believe Green Bay can rebound to respectability in time for next season. But should Favre return -- and the longer time goes on without any word, the more likely it seems -- that will signal that he believes in McCarthy, Thompson and the team they will be fielding.


No team has bulked up its coaching staff this off-season more than the Washington Redskins. And the Redskins might not be through just yet.

Don't be surprised if former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray -- who interviewed for the Houston Texans head-coaching job -- winds up coaching in Washington with the Redskins. If Gray fails to land another defensive coordinator's job -- and jobs are running out, with New Orleans naming Gary Gibbs its defensive coordinator, and Green Bay going with Bob Sanders -- then Gray would look to Washington.

The fit would be a natural. Gray played for and coached with Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in Houston, and then coached under him again in Buffalo. Washington also could be on the verge of losing its cornerbacks/secondary coach DeWayne Walker to the defensive coordinator's job at UCLA. If it does, Gray would be an ideal replacement.

But this much is known: Now that Dick Jauron has been hired as the head coach in Buffalo, Gray is not going to be retained, which will free him to sign where he is wanted.

And every top available coach seems to be wanted in Washington.


Now that Dick Jauron has beaten out Mike Sherman for the top job at Buffalo, the former Green Bay head coach can start making his plans for next season.

It looks like Mike Sherman will have all of 2006 to work out his next decision.

It looks like Mike Sherman will have all of 2006 to work out his next decision.

And they are to take a year off from coaching, perhaps dabble in television, and not worry about the stresses that every NFL head coach must deal with.

Sherman has received interest in becoming an offensive coordinator -- it is believed multiple teams have contacted him, and he has denied their overtures -- but he doesn't want a coordinator job. He wants to wait for a head coach's job, and one will come his way, eventually, just not this winter.

Sherman's plan is almost identical to former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, who has little interest in becoming an offensive coordinator. Martz intends to take some time off from the game and wait around for a head-coaching job.


Here's a great example of why the Raiders are so hot to interview Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt for Oakland's vacant head-coaching job.

Whisenhunt helped revamp Pittsburgh's protection scheme last week to combat Denver's blitz-happy defensive attack. When Steelers players reported to work Jan. 18 to get the game plan, Whisenhunt and offensive line coach Russ Grimm taught them five new protection schemes that were installed in time for the AFC title game Jan. 22.

Whisenhunt praised the players for picking up the schemes so quickly, and obviously it worked. Against the Broncos' aggressive defensive attack, the Steelers allowed only two sacks. More often, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had the time he needed to find the open receivers and the best way to Detroit.


One of the key assistant-coaching hires is going to be the man Lions coach Rod Marinelli will hire as his offensive coordinator.

Keep an eye on this candidate: Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach Hue Jackson, best known for his postseason spat with his player, Chad Johnson.

Apparently Matt Millen, right, won't be welcoming anyone else from the Tampa Bay staff for a while.

Apparently Matt Millen, right, won't be welcoming anyone else from the Tampa Bay staff for a while.

Jackson and Marinelli each coached, at different times, at California and at USC. They know each other, and Jackson will, at the very least, be one of the leading candidates to become Detroit's offensive coordinator.

But Marinelli also needs a defensive coordinator. Despite hopes he could get out of his contract in Tampa Bay, Buccaneers linebackers coach Joe Barry will not be allowed to leave to join his father-in-law, Marinelli, in Detroit.

Barry had hoped the Buccaneers might acquiesce and allow him to work with family in Detroit. But the Buccaneers defensive staff has been raided this offseason.

Marinelli was hired as the Lions head coach and defensive backs coach Mike Tomlin was hired as the Vikings defensive coordinator, so the Buccaneers could not afford to lose Barry, too.

Thus, permission denied, which is typical for these Buccaneers. Few teams have been as strict as the Buccaneers about enforcing contracts. And now, Marinelli is left looking for a defensive coordinator and an offensive coordinator.

A 1 ... AND A 2 ... AND A 3-4

Good thing Seattle has two weeks to prepare for Pittsburgh and Super Bowl X-tra L-arge. It's going to need it.

This past season, the Seahawks faced only one team that ran the 3-4 defense that Pittsburgh does. It came in a game against Dallas, and through 59-plus minutes, the Seahawks could manage only three points.

Then, in the game's final 40 seconds, the Seahawks scored 10 points to beat the Cowboys 13-10. But it seems as if the Seahawks are going to need considerably more than 13 points against the Steelers.

Look for Seattle to spend plenty of overtime this week studying film of Pittsburgh and its 3-4 defense, so the Seahawks can have a better idea about how to best defeat it.

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