Jets, Bill Cowher agree to discuss coaching vacancy

Tuesday, December 30th 2008, 3:55 PM

Puskar/AP

Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher agrees to meet with Jets to discuss Gang Green's coaching vacancy.

The Jets are interested in former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, and Cowher is interested in talking with the Jets about their head-coaching vacancy.

The Jets and Cowher have agreed to meet to discuss the job, a team source said. It's unclear when that meeting will take place, though it could be this week.

A potential obstacle in a Jets-Cowher marriage could be the role of GM Mike Tannenbaum. Jets owner Woody Johnson is adamant about splitting the coach and GM jobs, according to a person familiar with his thinking, but Cowher hasn't given the impression in preliminary talks with the Jets that he's looking for total control.

That, however, doesn't mean this marriage will happen. It's believed that Cowher wants to bring in his own personnel chief, which could create a problem with Tannenbaum currently in that role. It's possible that Tannenbaum could take a different role, but that hasn't come up yet in discussions, the team source said.

In other coaching developments:

• The Jets will interview Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Saturday.

• The Jets also will interview two in-house candidates, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and assistant head coach/offensive line Bill Callahan.

• The "old-school" coaches - Bill Parcells, Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Holmgren - aren't on the Jets' radar. The Jets sent a feeler to Holmgren, but he said he wasn't interested.

• Former coach Eric Mangini, wasting no time after being fired, is scheduled to interview for the Browns' head-coaching job Tuesday or Wednesday, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting. The timing is odd, considering the Browns haven't hired a GM. Their leading candidate is believed to be Patriots personnel guru Scott Pioli, whose friendship with Mangini was damaged by the Jets-Patriots SpyGate scandal.

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