Next targets: Cameron, Singletary

The Falcons have received permission to interview San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Malcolm “Cam” Cameron and San Francisco 49ers defensive assistant Mike Singletary. The interview with Cameron is expected sometime this weekend as the Chargers have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Singletary’s interview is expected early next week.

Cameron is the first potential candidate to replace Jim Mora as the head coach of the Falcons that has previous experience as a head coach. Cameron coached for five seasons at Indiana University, where he compiled a 18-37 record. Under Cameron’s guidance, current Washington Redskins receiver Antwaan Randle-El became one of the premier dual threats in the country, rushing for nearly 4000 yards and throwing for over 7000 as a quarterback there. He also combined for 86 touchdowns.

Cameron’s current achievement is that his Charger offense ranks first in the league in scoring offense, and 7th in total offense. The Chargers offense has finished 5th and 3rd in scoring offense the past two seasons, consecutive top five finishes that had not occurred since the famed days of “Air Coryell” in the mid-80s.

Cameron’s previous tenure prior to joining Indian in 1997, was as quarterbacks coach of the Washington Redskins, where he worked under Norv Turner and helped develop Gus Frerotte. Prior to that he spent a decade as an assistant at the University of Michigan.

Singletary’s coaching experience is limited, with 2006 marking only his fourth season patrolling NFL sidelines. Singletary’s duties in San Francisco, mostly involve tutoring their young linebackers. Prior to joining the 49ers in 2005, he worked for two seasons as linebackers coach in Baltimore. His contributions have made 49er linebacker Brandon Moore into one of the emerging gems of the NFL, who led the 49ers with 92 tackles and 6.5 sacks this past season.

But Singletary is most renown for his 12-year Hall of Fame career. He was inducted into the Hall in 1998. Like another candidate for the Falcons head coaching job, Ron Rivera, he was apart of the 1985 Bears championship team. Singletary was the unquestioned leader of a series of Bears defenses that during his career, finished in the Top 5 in total defense six times, and first three consecutive seasons (1984-86). Singletary retired after 1992, finishing his career with 1488 tackles. He was named to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls and to the league’s All-80s team, and was AP Defensive MVP twice (1985, 1988).

Although Singletary’s lack of experience on the sideline is considered a considerable obstacle for him to become a head coach, many observers believe it is only inevitable that he does achieve that goal of leading an NFL franchise in the near future. Herman Edwards and Rod Marinelli are two current examples of NFL head coaches that never coordinated an NFL defense prior to their hirings.

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Aaron Freeman
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