Peter King’s Top 15 Head-Coaching Candidates

As we continue to keep you abreast of all the head-coaching buzz around the league, today we share some thoughts from’s Peter King.

In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, King provided a list of 15 names he’s come up with after talking to front-office people around the league in the last two weeks. Many are coaches we’ve already discussed in this space, while other names are new. He breaks them down into college candidates (five) and current NFL assistants (10).

The college names:

1. Chip Kelly, Oregon
David Shaw, Stanford
3. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
4. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
5. Doug Marrone, Syracuse

We just wrote about Chip Kelly this morning. By most accounts, he’s going to take the leap this offseason.

Shaw is an interesting name because he has NFL experience. He was the quality control coach with the Eagles back in 1997, before moving on to the Raiders from 1998-2001 (quality control/quarterbacks); the Ravens from 2002-2005 (quarterbacks/wide receivers); and the Chargers in 2006 (wide receivers/passing game coordinator).

Ferentz, too, has NFL experience, having served as the assistant head coach/offensive line coach of the Ravens/Browns from 1993 to 1998. So does Marrone, who was the Saints’ offensive coordinator from 2006-2008 and the Jets’ offensive line coach from 2002-2005.

King says he didn’t mention Bill O’Brien because he doesn’t think the Penn State coach is leaving Happy Valley.

Here are the 10 NFL assistants King mentions:

1. Mike McCoy, Broncos offensive coordinator
2. Mike Zimmer, Bengals defensive coordinator
3. Vic Fangio, 49ers defensive coordinator
4. Perry Fewell, Giants defensive coordinator
5. Dirk Koetter, Falcons offensive coordinator
6. Dave Toub, Bears special-teams coordinator
7. Bruce Arians, Colts interim head coach/offensive coordinator
8. Ray Horton, Cardinals defensive coordinator
9. Kyle Shanahan, Redskins offensive coordinator
10. Clyde Christensen, Colts quarterbacks coach

A lot of names there, and we’ll dive into several of them in the coming weeks, but a few quick notes:

* McCoy is a name you’re going to hear a lot about. He’s been the Broncos’ offensive coordinator for four seasons, and prior to that, worked as an offensive assistant with the Panthers from 2000 to 2008.

* We wrote this morning about the Eagles potentially taking a look at special-teams coaches. Toub served on the Eagles’ staff from 2001 to 2003 as an assistant working with John Harbaugh’s special-teams group and the defensive line. He interviewed with the Dolphins for their head-coaching vacancy last offseason.

* Noticeably missing from King’s list are Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

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