Carroll County Times

Redskins widen coaching search

The Washington Redskins continued to widen their coaching search on Monday, requesting permission to interview six more candidates - five of them NFL coordinators, and another from the college ranks, multiple people with knowledge of the situation said.

The Redskins hope to interview both of the Cincinnati Bengals' coordinators, Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, and both of the San Francisco 49ers' coordinators, Greg Roman and Vic Fangio. They also seek interviews with San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin.

Those requests bring the total of candidates on Washington's list to 11. Monday's requests came on the same day that General Manager Bruce Allen and other team officials hosted New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell for an interview at Redskins Park.

Gruden and Zimmer became available for interviews as soon as their team lost to the Chargers in Sunday's wild-card round of the playoffs. Gruden confirmed to reporters in Cincinnati that he would interview with three teams, including the Redskins, but it wasn't immediately clear if Zimmer would interview. Either could be hired immediately.

Monday represented the first possible date that Whisenhunt, Roman and Fangio became available for interviews because their teams both had first-round playoff games. But while each is free to interview, none is eligible for hire until his team is eliminated from the playoffs.

It wasn't immediately clear if a date has been set for any of those three interviews.

Franklin becomes the first college coach known to draw interest from the Redskins. His interview is expected to take place this week, said two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Redskins had not publicly confirmed interviews with any college coaches.

One of those people said that Franklin's interview with the Redskins is not yet firmly scheduled, but he has told associates that he expects to speak to the team. Franklin also could be a candidate for the Cleveland Browns' coaching vacancy, that person said.

Franklin, who has been at Vanderbilt for three seasons, is the former offensive coordinator at the University of Maryland and was named the Terrapins' head coach-in-waiting under former coach Ralph Friedgen. But he left College Park for Vanderbilt in December of 2010. Vanderbilt this season went 9-4, including 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference, and capped its season with a 41-24 drubbing of Houston in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Franklin is considered a rising star in coaching and a possible candidate for the Penn State coaching job in addition to his prospective candidacy with several NFL teams.

Gruden, the brother of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden, is regarded as a candidate for several teams with coaching vacancies, including the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans. He oversaw the league's 10th-ranked offense this season, and it's unlikely that the Bengals' struggles in Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Chargers will significantly harm his chances.

The Redskins in the past week have interviewed four other coaches: Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Dallas special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, and Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.