Coaching derby

Updated: 9 p.m.

The NFL coaching carousel is taking the Bengals on a little bit of a whirl heading into the weekend.

Could Dallas owner Jerry Jones' reported extension offers to three defensive assistants Thursday impact Cincinnati's search for a linebackers coach? And could Rams head coach Scott Linehan's timetable delay a decision on an offensive coordinator until next week?

Linehan has interviewed Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese and Falcons offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, the former Bengals receivers coach also drawing interest from Cincinnati.

The Bengals received permission to talk to Jackson apparently in anticipation of losing Zampese. Jackson, a college quarterback who has coached the position on the collegiate level, worked with Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer as USC's offensive coordinator.

Or, the Bengals could move receivers coach Mike Sheppard to quarterbacks, a position he has coached in Seattle and New Orleans. But it is doubtful Jackson would return to coach only receivers or quarterbacks after his first season as an NFL coordinator.

Linehan, who plans to interview a couple more candidates, has spoken on the phone informally with former head coaches Cam Cameron and Brian Billick about the job but doesn't appear to be close to a decision, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Bengals also appear to still be interviewing linebacker candidates. Word out of Miami Thursday night is that two coaches on the Dolphins' jumbled staff appear to be on Cincinnati's radar in backers coach George Edwards and assistant backers coach Glenn Pires.

Edwards, who has worked with head coach Marvin Lewis (2002 in Washington) and new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in Dallas (1998-2001), is apparently in play even though he was one of two coaches retained by Bill Parcells when he took over the team a few weeks ago. That move was made before general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano were in place.

With Sparano casing the Cowboys coaching staff, including linebackers coach Paul Pasqualoni, Jones has offered extensions to Pasqualoni, secondary coach Todd Bowles, and defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers. But Pasqualoni, a former head coach at Syracuse, probably won't be making a lateral move and could be in line for defensive coordinator or an assistant head coach role.

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