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Mooch

Jan 30, 2008, 2:37 PM EST

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Another day, another round of stories, rumors and dots to try to connect in the process of the Redskins’ selection of a head coach. Three names have been the buzz the last few days. Here’s one of them, the other two will be covered later today.

Steve Mariucci’s name came up on Sunday night when my friend Jason LaCanfora did an excellent job of connecting some dots in his blog and saw a lot of indicators that pointed to Mooch. These indicators are tidbits like an odd conversation with Mariucci’s agent, the fact that Jim Zorn and Greg Blache have ties to the ex 49ers and Lions coach and the fact that Mariucci and Vinny Cerrato worked together in San Francisco. This wasn’t a case of LaCanfora adding two and two and getting seven. He couched it as pure speculation, but it was quite compelling.

Mariucci currently is employed by the NFL Network and, of course, he’s working the Super Bowl this week. On the set on Tuesday morning, his response when asked about his candidacy for the Redskins job was very similar to one he gave to David Elfin of the Times. In short, it was very much a non-denial, although far from a confirmation. Here is the video of what transpired on the NFLN set.

Mariucci was 72-67 in nine NFL seasons from 1997-2005. In his six seasons in San Francisco he was 57-39 plus 3-4 in the playoffs. His record with the Lions was 15-28 before he was dismissed with 11 games left in the 2005 season.

He was fired by William Ford and Matt Millen. Ford has been writing checks to Mariucci to the tune of around $5 million a year ever since. The five-year contract that Mooch signed with the Lions ends tomorrow. Broadcasting pays well, but not that well. The gross income figure on Mariucci’s 1040 is about to lose a zero from the end of it. That’s pretty powerful incentive to put down the microphone and pick up the whistle.

To call him a good potential hire, you would have to write off his record in Detroit. Considering the lack of success in Motown since 1957 you certainly can rationalize doing that. He was fired from San Fran after 12-4 and 10-6 seasons; the Niners haven’t won more than seven games in a season since.

His chances of ending up with the job could best be described as realistic. He wants to get back into coaching. There is one job open if he wants to do so in 2008. If the Redskins offer, it’s likely that he’ll accept.

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