Ben Bloom

Ohio Notes: Hunt, Burrow, Staff

Despite another new regime coming to Cleveland and Kareem Hunt running into more off-field trouble, the Pro Bowl running back expects to stay with the Browns for the 2020 season. He expects to be back with the Browns via high-level RFA tender or an extension, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (video link), and wants to remain with his hometown team. Hunt signed a one-year deal with Cleveland in 2019, but because he has just three years of service time, the controversial ex-Chief is not yet eligible for unrestricted free agency. To keep Hunt, the Browns will likely have to apply a first- or second-round tender on him. Hunt became available after a video showed him shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel in 2018, leading to the Chiefs waiving him. He was pulled over while driving with marijuana in his vehicle last month. New Browns GM Andrew Berry was not with the team when John Dorsey signed Hunt, but his offseason comments point to the team moving to keep its Hunt-Nick Chubb backfield together for next season.

Here is the latest from the Ohio teams:

  • Joe Burrow‘s Bengals interest has come up at multiple points this offseason, with rumors circulating that the Ohio native may not be thrilled about going to the team that holds the No. 1 overall pick. But Burrow’s stance thus far likely points to nothing being decided until he meets with Bengals brass on the customary pre-draft tour — Combine visit, facility visit, workout — before he decides on his course of action, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link). Burrow’s “I do have leverage” comment was not an interjection but merely repeating a reporter’s question as part of a response. No player has maneuvered his way away from a team with the top pick since Eli Manning did so when the Chargers held the 2004 top pick.
  • Longtime Cowboys assistant Ben Bloom will resurface in Cleveland. The Browns are hiring Bloom as a senior defensive assistant, according to Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio (Twitter link). Bloom started his NFL coaching career with the Browns, working on Eric Mangini‘s two staffs from 2009-10. He spent nine seasons on Jason Garrett‘s Cowboys staffs, the past two coaching Dallas’ linebackers.
  • Some around the league view the Patriots as a fit for nine-year Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. The Bengals, who are expected to draft Burrow at No. 1, plan to help Dalton work out a trade.

East Rumors: Cowboys, Bills, Fins, Giants

The Cowboys are nearly finished revamping their coaching staff, as they’ve promoted Keith O’Quinn to special teams coordinator and promoted Ben Bloom as linebackers coach, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. O’Quinn, who was previously Dallas’ assistant ST coach, was widely expected to be promoted to the full-time role to replace Rich Bisaccia, who left to join Jon Gruden‘s Raiders. Bloom, meanwhile, joined the Cowboys’ staff in 2011 and had most recently been an assistant coach for special projects. He’s taking over for Matt Eberflus, who is expected to become the Colts’ new defensive coordinator under presumptive head coach Josh McDaniels. Dallas is still planning to fill more two roles, tweets David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, as the club wants to hire a new tight ends coach and an assistant special teams coach to work under O’Quinn.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • While the Bills‘ pass defense finished 12th in DVOA thanks to solid performances from rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White and veteran safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, Buffalo has parted ways with defensive backs coach Gill Byrd, according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News (Twitter link). To replace Byrd, the Bills have hired former Texans secondary coach John Butler, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Butler had spent the past four seasons Houston after following Bill O’Brien from Penn State to the Texans.
  • The Dolphins have also found a new defensive backs coach, the club has hired Tony Oden to replace Lou Anarumo, per Marvez. Detroit parted ways with Oden last week as the team clears out its defensive staff prior to future head coach Matt Patricia‘s arrival. Oden had been with the Lions since 2014, but his tenure in the Motor City didn’t overlap with that of Miami defensive coordinator Matt Burke, who had left the club the year prior. Oden, who will now work with Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones, and T.J. McDonald, among others, has also coached with the Saints, Buccaneers, and Jaguars.
  • One of the least productive units in the NFL has a new position coach, as the Giants have hired Hal Hunter as their offensive line coach, reports Marvez. Hunter boasts a lengthy coaching history that dates back to 1984, but he only first entered the NFL in 2006. He coached the Chargers’ offensive line and subsequently became San Diego’s offensive coordinator, and also had stops in Indianapolis and Cleveland.