Titans, Chow discuss offensive coordinator job

Updated: February 6, 2005, 8:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who was mentioned, but rarely interviewed, for several college head coaching positions, is now being sought by an NFL franchise.

The Tennessee Titans are currently engaged in talks with Chow, who thinks an NFL position would help him get a college coaching job, ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel reports.

At age 58, he still longs to run his own program -- an opportunity that would enable him to become his sport's first Asian-American head coach.

Chow interviewed Friday for the Titans' offensive coordinator position and may be considering an offer of about $1 million a year. Chow met in Nashville with coach Jeff Fisher, a USC alumnus, quarterback Steve McNair and other members of the Titans organization before returning to Los Angeles Friday night.

Asked if he received an offer, Chow told television station WSMV-4 of Nashville: "The process is still going. I hope to hear from [Fisher] soon, and we'll go from there."

Chow is considered the leading candidate to replace Mike Heimerdinger, who left to serve in the same capacity with the New York Jets.

Fisher has alread interviewed assistant head coach George Henshaw and quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson off his own staff.

''I think [Chow] is very interested,'' Fisher told the Tennesean on Thursday night. ''He has not been exposed from an interview standpoint to the National Football League, and I think he is very much interested in exploring the opportunity here.

''This is the first step. I am hoping that it continues in the right direction. The entire process is ongoing and now this is an opportunity to talk to one of the more successful coordinators at the college level.''

Chow, who is one of the highest-paid assistant coaches at the college level, earning about $500,000 a year, told the Los Angeles Times he'd "have to be" interested in the Titans' opening.

Trojans coach Pete Carroll likely will have to restructure his staff because of several departures since USC won its second straight national title with a win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron left to coach Mississippi, and took with him graduate assistant Dennis Slutak, who worked with special teams. Quarterbacks coach Carl Smith was hired as the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator, and offensive line coach Tim Davis is also in talks with several NFL teams, according to the Times.

Chow has had only three known interviews for college head-coaching positions -- at Kentucky, Arizona and Stanford.

Arizona chose Mike Stoops, the brother of Oklahoma coach Bobby Stoops, a year ago, and Stanford picked Walt Harris three weeks ago.

"Very disappointing," Chow said of not being selected by Stanford. "But it lasted all of about two minutes. What can you do?"

His name came up again when Paul Pasqualoni was fired as the coach at Syracuse by new athletic director Daryl Gross, who left his post as associate athletic director at USC.

"I just think it's the wrong thing for me to pluck someone out of the program I just left," Gross said at the time. "That would be inappropriate."

Syracuse later hired Texas co-defensive coordinator Greg Robinson.

Chow has helped groom Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart into Heisman Trophy winners at USC where the Trojans have won the national title the past two seasons. He spent 27 years at Brigham Young working with quarterbacks such as Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer, Steve Young and Jim McMahon -- a former teammate of Fisher's.

He left after the 1999 season and spent one year at North Carolina State, working with standout quarterback Philip Rivers. He was hired by the Trojans before the 2001 season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ivan.maisel@espn3.com.