How wild-card games can impact search

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If you are a fan of the Tennessee Titans and don't have a big rooting interest in today's wild-card playoff games, you might want San Diego to knock off Cincinnati and Green Bay to top San Francisco.

The Bengals and 49ers appear to have more intriguing head coaching candidates on their staffs. If their seasons are over and Titans general manager Ruston Webster wants to speak to Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Bengals special assistant to the head coach and running backs coach Hue Jackson or 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, they will be immediately available if their teams lose.

(I'm also curious about Green Bay offensive coordinator Tom Clements. I don't think San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is a guy Webster will look at.)

Coaches on teams that win this round can also be interviewed this week. But Webster will have to go to the city where they work. And some assistants working for a team with Super Bowl aspirations are wary of creating a distraction by interviewing.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post outlines the rules in this fine piece.