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Gibbs interview wraps up Chargers' first round of coach talks

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=ArgYlZDh7EjL5slbAhstr.RDubYF?slug=ap-chargers-gibbs&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    <img src="http://msn.foxsports.com/id/6011924_36_2.jpg" title="Gary Gibbs" alt="Gary Gibbs" align="right" height="232" width="187" />SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Chargers finished the first round of interviews for their head coaching vacancy when they met with New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs on Sunday.

    General manager A.J. Smith and president Dean Spanos -- who fired Marty Schottenheimer on Monday night -- will review what they gleaned from the six candidates before deciding how to proceed, Smith said in a statement released by the team.

    "We're not operating on a timetable," Smith said. "We are leaving the process open-ended with the possibility of additional interviews"

    One possible candidate whose status remains uncertain is Jim Mora, who was fired as the Atlanta Falcons' head coach on Jan. 1 and hired by the Seattle Seahawks as assistant head coach/secondary on Jan. 21.

    "You'd have to ask them," Mora said when reached on his cell phone Sunday afternoon. "I'm not going to comment on it one way or another."

    Smith hasn't spoken with the media during the Chargers' interview process.

    No interviews were scheduled for Monday, the team said.

    Mora said he was at his Atlanta home, hanging out with his family, which he hadn't seen for a few weeks.

    "Right now I'm taking out the trash," he said.

    Mora, the 45-year-old son of former NFL coach Jim Mora, went 26-22 in three seasons with the Falcons but was fired following another second-half collapse and off-field distractions that infuriated team owner Arthur Blank.

    Mora's reluctance to be specific about whether he's a candidate for the Chargers job could stem from perhaps the biggest distraction in his waning weeks in Atlanta.

    During a Seattle radio station interview before a crucial game against Dallas, Mora said his "dream job" was to coach at Washington, his alma mater, and that he'd jump at the chance to take it -- even if the Falcons were in the middle of the playoffs.

    Mora claimed he was only kidding with the radio host, former college teammate and NFL quarterback Hugh Millen, but conceded that it didn't sound that way after listening to a tape of the interview.

    It's clear which way Smith is leaning. Five of the six candidates have defensive backgrounds. The sixth, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner, is the only one of the bunch who's been an NFL head coach. Turner was San Diego's offensive coordinator in 2001, which was LaDainian Tomlinson's rookie year. Turner was 58-82-1 in head coaching stints with Washington and Oakland.

    Gibbs is a former head coach at Oklahoma.

    "As I told A.J. and Dean, I'm not obsessed with being a head coach," he said. "I like the challenge of coaching and I like the challenge that we faced in New Orleans this past year. Certainly, there's a challenge here as far as the next head coach."

    Gibbs spent last season as the Saints' defensive coordinator after working as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. The Saints -- led by Drew Brees, who was jettisoned by Smith last offseason -- reached the NFC championship game before losing to the Chicago Bears.

    "Certainly, I've been the beneficiary of a good football team this past year in New Orleans," Gibbs said.

    In firing Schottenheimer, Spanos cited a "dysfunctional situation" between the coach and general manager.

    Gibbs said he could get along with Smith.

    "We had very candid conversations and there was certainly no reservations on my part," Gibbs said.

    The other candidates are Mike Zimmer, who was hired recently as Atlanta's defensive coordinator after doing the same job in Dallas; San Francisco 49ers assistant head coach Mike Singletary and Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who were teammates on the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl championship team; and Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan.

    Led by league MVP Tomlinson, the Chargers went an NFL-best 14-2 before melting down in their playoff opener, a 24-21 loss to New England.
     

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