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Zimmer gets his turn in front of Bolts' bosses

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Ao_eNjIJd1U_YonPnmLcDyhDubYF?slug=ap-chargers-zimmer&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    <img src="http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/22/226006.jpg" title="Mike Zimmer" alt="Mike Zimmer" align="left" height="170" width="142" />SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Chargers have gone 5-for-5 in interviewing head coaching candidates who've won a Super Bowl ring as either a player or assistant coach.

    The latest is a former Tuna helper, Mike Zimmer, who met with Chargers executives on Saturday as they continued to search for a replacement for the fired Marty Schottenheimer.

    Zimmer was hired recently as Atlanta's defensive coordinator after doing the same job for Bill Parcells in Dallas. With Parcells' status uncertain, Zimmer jumped to the Falcons on Jan. 9. Parcells, the Cowboys' coach for four season, retired two weeks later.

    "When Bill came in, he helped me a lot in wanting to be a head coach," Zimmer said. "Some people, that's all they dream about. All I dream about is being the best I can be and getting the players to play as best as they can and hopefully win a lot of championships."

    Zimmer started with Dallas in 1994 and worked for head coaches Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and Parcells. He was the defensive coordinator from 2000-06.

    "I've seen a lot of different ways that work," he said.

    Zimmer was defensive backs coach when the Cowboys beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl following the 1995 season. That was a year after the Chargers made their only Super Bowl appearance, losing 49-26 to San Francisco. Since then, the Chargers are 0-3 in the postseason, including their shocking 24-21 loss to New England on Jan. 14 after they'd gone an NFL-best 14-2.

    Schottenheimer was fired Monday night by team president Dean Spanos, who cited a "dysfunctional situation" between the coach and general manager A.J. Smith.

    Smith and Schottenheimer had an icy relationship, apparently due to disagreements over personnel moves.

    "A.J. Smith seems like a great guy and I'd rather have somebody that is straightforward and honest with me than someone who is communicating by saying one thing one way and saying another thing another way," Zimmer said. "I'm an upfront person and I think that works out the best."

    The Chargers used an aggressive 3-4 defense the last three seasons that was implemented by coordinator Wade Phillips, who was hired by the Cowboys to replace Parcells.

    The Cowboys ran a 3-4, and Smith said in a statement released by the team that Zimmer is "very knowledgeable about the system we want to keep in place here."

    San Diego led the NFL with 61 sacks in 2006.

    Others who've interviewed for the Chargers job are 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; Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who was the Ravens' defensive line coach when they won the Super Bowl after the 2000 season; and Norv Turner, a two-time Super Bowl winner as Dallas' offensive coordinator in the early 1990s.

    Ryan is the son of Buddy Ryan, the defensive coordinator for the 1985 Bears and a former head coach with Philadelphia and Arizona.

    Turner is the only one of the bunch who has NFL head coaching experience. He was fired by both Washington and Oakland. Turner was San Diego's offensive coordinator in 2001.

    Scheduled to interview Sunday is Gary Gibbs, a former Oklahoma head coach who is New Orleans' defensive coordinator. He will end the streak of interviewees with a Super Bowl ring.

    Zimmer said the Chargers present a unique situation, and that a change in the coaching staff shouldn't mean a change in systems and terminology.

    "I think the coaches should allow the players to continue to get better at what they are getting better at and let us learn what we call in this thing, as opposed to what they have to learn to call it," he said.

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