Coaching Rumors: Blackburn, Bears, Browns

The Panthers will be making a change atop their special teams staff. Incumbent special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey is out, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets, and the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez reports (on Twitter) Chase Blackburn will now run Carolina’s special teams units. A former linebacker who won two Super Bowls with the Giants and finished his career with the Panthers, Blackburn had been working as the Panthers’ assistant ST coach for the past two years.

Here’s the latest from the coaching ranks.

  • For the first time since 2010, someone other than Chris Tabor will oversee the Browns‘ ST units. Amos Jones will relocate to Cleveland to take over as the team’s special teams boss, Marvez tweets. Jones coached the Cardinals’ ST groups during Bruce Arians‘ five-year stay in Arizona. Tabor is now the Bears’ ST coordinator.
  • Rumored to be a candidate to stay in Chicago despite the Bears‘ coaching change, Dave Ragone will indeed stay on as the team’s quarterbacks coach, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports. This comes after the Bears interviewed both ex-Raiders OC Todd Downing and Texans assistant Pat O’Hara for the job. Ragone could be in line for an extension, Biggs notes, with one year remaining on his Bears contract.
  • Biggs also notes Vic Fangio believes most, if not all, of his defensive assistants will remain on staff. The Bears finished as the No. 14 DVOA defense in 2017 and retained Fangio despite his contract having expired.
  • The TitansSteve Wilks HC interview took place Thursday. Both Wilks and Texans DC Mike Vrabel interviewed for this job today. Wilks remains a candidate for the Cards’ HC job.
  • Speaking of the Cardinals‘ HC position, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic tweets James Bettcher likely won’t need a second interview to be hired. Should the Cards determine their current DC is the right man for the job, Somers notes his five years of experience working with the team should be a sufficient judge rather than a second meeting for the HC job.
  • The Raiders continued to add to their coaching staff this week, bringing aboard four new assistants to Jon Gruden 2.0’s first staff. Recently jettisoned Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac will land in Oakland as its D-line instructor, and Byron Storer will be the team’s assistant special teams coach. Trgovac coached Green Bay’s defensive lines from 2009-17. The 33-year-old Storer played for Gruden as a fullback in Tampa Bay from 2007-08 but hasn’t coached in the NFL since working with the 2013 Chargers. Additionally, Tim Berbenich and Travis Smith will be offensive and defensive quality control coaches, respectively. Smith’s been a Raiders assistant for most of this decade. He served as outside linebackers coach in 2017 after being promoted from the quality control group last year.
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2 comments on “Coaching Rumors: Blackburn, Bears, Browns

  1. TJECK109

    It’s interesting how teams configure their coaching staffs. Some teams seem to have coaches then asst coaches at the same position while others won’t. You’d think their would be uniformity or a limit to how many coaches you can have.

    • bravesfan88

      Yeah, it’s pretty crazy the amount of coaches an NFL team typically carries. I could be wrong, but I believe the average size of a typical coaching staff is right around 20 coaches.

      It really just depends on the teaching and coaching philosophies of the head coach. There are guys like Mike Tomlin and especially Bill Belichick that strongly believe the more coaches you have helpinf run your team, the more likely it is to have confusion or a misunderstanding. Belichick, who almost always has the least number of coaches on his staff, tends to operate as a bit of a control freak…but in a good way obviously lol…

      BB thinks the more coaches he has, the more coaches he has to watch over, and it leads to more opportunities to get HIS message not appropriately relayed to the players. He always wants to make sure everyone is reading the same book, on the same page, and that everyone better understand he is the author!!

      On the other hand, there seemed to be a notable increase in coaching staff sizes after the number of practices were cut down and more highly regulated. Some coaches think the more able bodied coaches the better, to a certain degree of course. Pete Caroll, consistently has either the largest or one of the largest staffs in the league…He is a believer in trusting his staff, splitting up responsibilities, and allowing his players to get more specialized, more situational oriented, and more role specific training. He is of the belief that smaller class sizes work more efficiently and effectively.

      Then, also, you have the aspect of analytics, sports science, strength training, and health and nutrition. All of these specialized fields of football are being more closely looked at over the past few years, and more teams are hiring “specialists” and “assistants” to help their team get any possible edge over the competition. With these fields growing, with new technology being used, and with new ways to implement the information provided from this technology, I personally only see “coaching staffs” growing larger and larger. The staffs will most likely continue to become more and more specialized, and continuing to cover the newer aspects of player’s health, etc. and just overall continue developing the specialized nuances of the game in general, especially as more and more information becomes inevitably available…

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