The Tampa Tribune confirmed via an NFL source Friday that Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has received permission to talk to the Buccaneers about their head coaching position. That puts Zimmer in play with two teams after Jeff Fisher took the Rams job Friday afternoon.
Zimmer, who has led the Bengals defense to two top 10 finishes during his four seasons as coordinator, interviewed with the Dolphins earlier this week. A favorite has yet to emerge in either city and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray have joined Zimmer as an addition to the Bucs derby. They join a trio of former NFL head coaches already in the mix: Marty Schottenheimer, Brad Childress and Mike Sherman.
In Miami, Zimmer is on a less experienced list that includes Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and Bears special teams coach Dave Toub.
If Zimmer gets one of the jobs, the speculation for the leading in-house candidate to replace him is secondary coach Kevin Coyle. Coyle just finished his 11th season with the club after a college career he was the defensive coordinator at Holy Cross, Syracuse, Maryland and Fresno State.