NFC South Rumors: Bucs, Falcons, Panthers

Former Jets head coach Todd Bowles has already been drawing interest as a potential defensive coordinator, and — perhaps unsurprisingly — Bowles’ most likely destination could the Buccaneers, provided that Bruce Arians (currently viewed as the favorite) lands the head coaching job in Tampa Bay, according to Josh Weinfuss of (Twitter link). If Arians is hired by the Bucs, he’s expected to “get the band back together” by hiring a number of his ex-Cardinals assistants. Bowles served as Arians’ DC in Arizona from 2013-14, leading units which each ranked top-seven in defensive DVOA.

Here’s more on NFC South coaching jobs:

  • If Arians does end up with the Buccaneers, former Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong could take the same role in Tampa Bay, tweets Vaughn McClure of Armstrong, who had been Atlanta’s ST coach since 2008, was fired last week as the Falcons cleared out each of their coordinator roles. Based purely on performance, Armstrong posted a strong effort in 2018, as Atlanta ranked 10th in special teams DVOA. The 55-year-old Armstrong took two interviews for the Cardinals’ head coaching job last season, and was one of two candidates Arians personally recommended as a successor (the other being incumbent DC James Bettcher).
  • Speaking of the Falcons, they have officially completed an interview with Darrell Bevell, whom they are considering for their offensive coordinator vacancy, per Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link). Bevell, who was out of the NFL in 2018 after being fired by the Seahawks, is one of three candidates known to have interviewed to replace Steve Sarkisian, joining former Titans head coach Mike Mularkey and former Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter. Ex-Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was also on Atlanta’s list of candidates, but the Broncos reportedly denied permission for an interview.
  • Panthers wide receivers coach Lance Taylor will not return in 2019, reports Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter links). Taylor had been leading Carolina’s wideouts since 2017, and was in his second stint with the Panthers’ franchise. Changes had been expected to the Panthers’ staff: although head coach Ron Rivera will be back next season, Taylor may not be the final Carolina assistant to move on. Taylor, for his part, may join the University of Alabama staff if he doesn’t land another NFL gig, per Marvez.
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