Candidates for Defensive Coordinator IF Ron Rivera Leaves


San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator looks like he is the leading candidate to take over the Carolina Panthers head coaching job. He was asked to do a 2nd interview yesterday. Replacing Rivera will not be an easy task, he led the defense to the top statistical defense in the league. He has been searching for an NFL head coaching position and he may get his opportunity with the Panthers. If Rivera does leave the Chargers, WHO will fill the gigantic void that is left when he leaves. Coach Wade Phillips would have been a perfect candidate to fill in at defensive coordinator, but he was already brought on by the Houston Texans to take over their defense. Phillips was the defensive coordinator for the Chargers in the past and has a good working relationship with head coach Norv Turner.

Looking over a few of the head coaching casualties from this last season, we can find some candidates we could bring in to run the defense.

Here is a short list that I came up with:

Greg Manunsky – Manunsky is currently the defensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers, but he may not be there much longer with the firing of Mike Singletary and new Head Ccoach Jim Harbaugh might want to bring in some of his own people. Manunsky was the linebackers coach for the Chargers under Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Manunsky runs a 3-4 defense in San Francisco and is a very good defensive coordinator.

If Manunsky is available, I would guess that he would be the top candidate to take over the defense. He is familiar with the Chargers and Norv Turner and he would bring the same defensive style and gameplan with him.

Rob Ryan – Ryan, the twin brother of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, is currently interviewing for head coaching positions. With the firing of Eric Mangini in Cleveland, Ryan may no longer have his defensive coordinator position with the Browns. He runs the 3-4 defense and has been successful with Cleveland and Oakland with the defense.

I really hate Rex Ryan, but for some reason I would like to have that same type of attitude and passion on our coaching staff to coach the defense.

Mike Singletary Singletary was fired as the San Francisco 49ers Head Coach, but was known as a passionate leader. He was one of the best linebackers in NFL history. He was the linebackers coach with the Ravens and the 49ers before becoming the head coach for the 49ers.

He interviewed for the San Diego head coaching position in 2007, but the Chargers chose Head Coach Norv Turner over him. He would bring a lot of passion and yelling to the defense. His style of coaching may be too much of an extreme opposite of Head Coach Norv Turner.

John Fox – Fox, former head coach of the Carolina Panthers, has had previous experience with the San Diego Chargers as a defensive backs coach under Coach Bobby Ross. He is from San Diego and went to college at San Diego State. He was a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants before becoming the head coach of the Panthers. Hiring Fox would also give the Chargers more experience to the coaching staff, since Fox has been a head coach since 2002 and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2003. He would be a potential replacement to Turner, if Norv falters again in the season.

Fox does not run a 3-4 defense. He did not run it with the Giants and did not run it with the Panthers. Coach Rivera did not run the 3-4 defense until he came to San Diego, but I don’t think that the Chargers are in a position to have a coach in training.

Who do you think would be the best possible fill-in? Of course it would be best if we could keep Rivera here. Is there any other candidates that you can think of?