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Steelers assistants looking to move up

PITTSBURGH (Jan. 10, 2006) -- Pittsburgh assistant Russ Grimm will interview for head coaching vacancies with the Lions, Packers and Saints later this week, after the Steelers coaches have finalized their game plan for a Jan. 15 divisional playoff game against Indianapolis.

Grimm, the offensive line coach, is seen as a front-runner for the Lions job and will be interviewed the night of Jan. 12 in Pittsburgh by Lions president Matt Millen. The Packers interview will be Jan. 13.

The Saints, who might interview Grimm by phone, are looking to replace a former Steelers assistant coach, Jim Haslett, who was fired following a 3-13 season.

Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt also has one interview this week, with the St. Louis Rams -- his first for a head-coaching position. Whisenhunt, a Steelers coordinator for two years, called the throwback pass to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that resulted in a game-sealing touchdown pass to Cedrick Wilson during a 31-17 playoff victory Jan. 8 in Cincinnati.

Grimm, a former star on the Washington Redskins offensive line known as the Hogs, was a finalist with Lovie Smith for the Bears job before Smith was hired two years ago. After that interview, Grimm added the title of assistant head coach in Pittsburgh. Grimm also interviewed with the Browns last season before Romeo Crennel was hired.

The Lions already have talked to or plan to talk to interim coach Dick Jauron, who took over when Steve Mariucci was fired two months ago; Haslett, Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Browns offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon; Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis and Buccaneers defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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