Austin Clark

Coaching Notes: Campbell, Smith, Dolphins

Prior to hiring Adam Gase, the Jets requested an interview with Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. The Browns were interested as well, before promoting Freddie Kitchens. Instead, the Big 12 leader signed an extension to stay in Ames. But Campbell is intrigued by the prospect of coaching in the NFL, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. Known for his offensive acumen and the revitalization effort he authored at Iowa State — which has started 5-2 this season — Campbell could be a more serious contender to fill one of the league’s coaching vacancies next year. Since the last time he popped up on the NFL radar, Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Rhule have made the jump. The Cyclones’ 40-year-old HC may be next.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • Unsurprisingly, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has emerged as a coaching candidate. “A lot of intrigue” surrounds Tennessee’s second-year OC, Pelissero adds. Smith, 38, did not receive looks last season, but Ryan Tannehill‘s sustained success — Thursday night’s underwhelming performance notwithstanding — after a mediocre Miami career has turned heads. Smith figures to receive interview requests in 2021.
  • Despite the NFL’s recent trend of preferring offense-oriented coaches, Brandon Staley is viewed by some as a future head coach. The Rams plucked Staley off Vic Fangio‘s Broncos staff, making the 37-year-old assistant their defensive coordinator. He is viewed by current and former colleagues as a future HC, Pelissero adds. However, teams may want to see Staley be a coordinator for more than one season. Prior to his Los Angeles arrival, he served as outside linebackers coach in Chicago and Denver.
  • Shifting to current coaching situations, a few teams will be without staffers Sunday. The Dolphins will be hit hardest on this front. After placing Christian Wilkins and Kyle Van Noy on their reserve/COVID-19 list, the Dolphins will be without quarterbacks coach Robby Brown, defensive line coach Marion Hobby, outside linebackers coach Austin Clark and quality control staffer Kolby Smith against the Chargers because of coronavirus protocols, per ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe (on Twitter). Running backs coach Eric Studesville and former Texans OC George Godsey will assist Chan Gailey with QB responsibilities.
  • The Bengals and Steelers have a combined 10 players on their respective COVID lists. The Bengals will also be without wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell because of “COVID-19 reasons,” the team announced. Assistant wideouts coach Troy Walters will take on more responsibility.

Dolphins Add To Coaching Staff

The 2020 Dolphins will have two new coordinators, but in addition to the previously revealed Chan GaileyJosh Boyer OC-DC setup, the rebuilding team will bring in some new position coaches as well.

Steve Marshall will become the Dolphins’ third offensive line coach in two years, while Curt Kuntz and Austin Clark will come aboard as assistant defensive backs and outside linebackers coaches, respectively. None of Miami’s new assistants coached in the NFL this season.

Marshall will join Brian Flores‘ staff, following Pat Flaherty and Dave DeGuglielmo in the role. Both spent time as the Dolphins’ O-line coach last year. Marshall coached in the Alliance of American Football last year; his most recent NFL work came as Jets O-line coach from 2015-17. Marshall also spent time with the Packers, Texans and Browns while previously serving as offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and North Carolina.

Kuntz will make an interesting rise, having spent the past eight years as the head coach at Struthers (Ohio) High School. Bill Belichick‘s father, former Navy scout Steve Belichick, attended Struthers. This loose Patriots connection makes sense on Flores’ staff. Clark, 30, spent the past two seasons on Lovie Smith‘s Illinois staff. This will be Clark’s first NFL gig.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.