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View Full Version : SI.com: Several teams interested in Saunders


tk13
01-03-2006, 04:29 PM
These are the first quotes I've seen from Al...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/football/nfl/01/03/bc.fbn.saunders.headcoa.ap/index.html

Several teams looking at Saunders
Chiefs offensive coordinator talking to Vikes, Texans
Posted: Tuesday January 3, 2006 3:55PM; Updated: Tuesday January 3, 2006 4:02PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Al Saunders, architect of the most productive offense in the NFL the past five years, traveled to Minnesota on Tuesday to interview for the Vikings' head coaching job. From there, he said, he was headed for Houston to talk with the Texans.

Saunders, the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator since 2001, said he also spent several hours Tuesday talking with Carl Peterson, the Chiefs president and general manager, about replacing Dick Vermeil, who retired Sunday.

Saunders also said the Detroit Lions want approval to speak with him.

"I know that Detroit has asked permission to talk to me and that's going through the formal process," he told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning while on his way to the airport. "I don't know when that will take place. Right now I'm just focused on my preparation."

Saunders, a fitness expert who continues to compete in marathons at age 57, was head coach at San Diego in 1986-88. He turned down an offer two years ago to become head coach at Nebraska.

"The timing just was not right," he said. "We (the Chiefs) were preparing for a playoff game in 2003, and I just didn't think I could be loyal to the Chiefs and the players if I took another job at the same time."

Saunders' offensive credentials are impressive. Under his command, Kansas City has led the NFL the past five years in total net yards (30,470), touchdowns (262), rushing touchdowns (131) and first downs (1,760). The Chiefs' 2,157 total points in that period trails only the 2,170 of Indianapolis.

Saunders said he had a good conversation with Peterson but was keeping all his options open.

"Things went very, very well," said Saunders. "I don't know what will take place."

Vermeil and many Kansas City players have lobbied Peterson to make Saunders their next head coach. Peterson, however, is lining up interviews with other candidates and is thought to be interested in Jets coach Herman Edwards, a close friend whom he has known since Edwards was in college. An obstacle is that the Chiefs would have to part with draft choices as compensation, as they did when they hired Vermeil even though he was retired from the St. Louis Rams.

"I would love to see Al Saunders replace me," Vermeil said. "I really would.

"I just know there's a number of people who were given opportunities who weren't nearly as qualified and hadn't paid their dues, and what a remarkable job he's done here."

If he has multiple offers, Saunders said he would be tempted to stay in Kansas City.

"I would like very much to have that opportunity," he said. "I think I would be a good for someone. Hopefully, I'll get a chance."

Deberg_1990
01-03-2006, 04:31 PM
Just out of curiosity, why did Saunders have to formally interview with Peterson anyhow?? Its not like CP doesnt know the guy very well and his capabilities??

Baby Lee
01-03-2006, 04:34 PM
Just out of curiosity, why did Saunders have to formally interview with Peterson anyhow?? Its not like CP doesnt know the guy very well and his capabilities??
Maybe their relationship to this point has been meat-and-potatoes strategy. You know, coordinating stuff. And they've never really discussed in depth his vision of running the team, assistants, philosophy, etc.

That said, the article is very strong evidence of mutual interest. The meeting went very VERY well, and Saunders would prefer to stay. of course, that's just one side of the convo.

Mr. Laz
01-03-2006, 04:35 PM
Just out of curiosity, why did Saunders have to formally interview with Peterson anyhow?? Its not like CP doesnt know the guy very well and his capabilities??

i don't know ... he already interview Saunders last time when gunther ended up being hired.


:shrug:

Baby Lee
01-03-2006, 04:37 PM
i don't know ... he already interview Saunders last time when gunther ended up being hired.


:shrug:
7 years ago. But then, how much can change in 7 years in the NFL?

Mr. Laz
01-03-2006, 04:41 PM
7 years ago. But then, how much can change in 7 years in the NFL?

true enough ... but most of that time Al was here with Vermeil and Peterson.

don't suppose it matters, i just hope it wasn't a token interview.

Baby Lee
01-03-2006, 04:43 PM
true enough ... but most of that time Al was here with Vermeil and Peterson.

don't suppose it matters, i just hope it wasn't a token interview.
And my point was that I don't think much of that time was spent musing on the finer points of Saunders' HCing philosophy. He had an offense to run, . . and a HC.

milkman
01-03-2006, 04:44 PM
Saunders, a fitness expert who continues to compete in marathons at age 57, was head coach at San Diego in 1986-88. He turned down an offer two years ago to become head coach at Nebraska.

"The timing just was not right," he said. "We (the Chiefs) were preparing for a playoff game in 2003, and I just didn't think I could be loyal to the Chiefs and the players if I took another job at the same time.

If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, then I have a whole new reason to respect the man.
That says something about his character.

Remember the Paul Hackett/USC fiasco?

sedated
01-03-2006, 04:44 PM
If I was a fan in another city, I would think, "Damn, this guy hasn't gotten an opportunity after all he's done? Now they are just gonna let him go?"


although, that's what I think now, so...nevermind

ceebz
01-03-2006, 04:51 PM
Just out of curiosity, why did Saunders have to formally interview with Peterson anyhow?? Its not like CP doesnt know the guy very well and his capabilities??


I would think they probably went over player evaluations and things of that sort. I think Carl would like to have a coach who's on the same page as he is.