Like the prettiest girl at the school dance, George Seifert showed yesterday he's not going to say yes to the first suitor.
The Carolina Panthers flew Seifert into Charlotte Monday night, just several hours after they fired Dom Capers, who coached the team in its first four years.
Owner Jerry Richardson, determined to hire a big name, tried to get Seifert to say yes yesterday. But Seifert flew back to his California home last night, giving the conventional answer that he wants to talk the situation over with his wife.
It's more likely that Seifert's waiting to see if he gets a more attractive offer. Seattle is probably at the top of his list.
Seifert, who won two Super Bowls in San Francisco before being pushed out after the 1996 season, is likely to wait for an overture from the Seahawks before making any decision.
Of the seven teams looking for coaches, only the Cleveland Browns aren't interested in Seifert. Browns president Carmen Policy wants an offensive-minded coach and helped show Seifert the door in San Francisco.
Besides Seifert, the other hot candidate is Green Bay Packers coach Mike Holmgren. Holmgren has fewer options than Seifert because he wants to be both coach and general manager and the Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers don't want one man doing both jobs.
The most intriguing speculation is that if the Packers beat the 49ers Sunday, Holmgren could wind up in San Francisco and 49ers coach Steve Mariucci could rejoin Policy, the man who hired him in San Francisco.
Other developments on the coaching carousel:
The Browns, the only team allowed to interview coaches in the playoffs before their teams are eliminated, talked to Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak yesterday after meeting with Minnesota offensive coordinator Brian Billick on Monday. Policy was lavish in praise of both, saying he was "blown away" by Billick and "really impressed" with Kubiak.
No minority candidates appear to be at the top of any lists. Ray Anderson, the agent for both Oakland defensive coordinator Willie Shaw and Stanford head coach Tyrone Willingham, said neither has yet been contacted.
Trying to boost the stock of his offensive coordinator, Sherman Lewis, Holmgren let him call the plays against the Chicago Bears Sunday. But the speculation is that Packers general manager Ron Wolf won't promote Lewis to replace Holmgren if the head coach leaves.
The most bizarre speculation is that Chicago could be interested in former Bears middle linebacker Mike Singletary, who has no coaching experience of any kind.
Philadelphia is expected to interview Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, possibly as soon as today. Eagles general manager Tom Modrak and Haslett both went to the same college (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and Modrak worked with him in Pittsburgh.
Pub Date: 12/30/98