Bill Kollar

Coach/Front Office Notes: Texans, Broncos, Jets

It’s already been a busy day in the coaching rumor mill. The Jets hired Pepper Johnson as their defensive line coach, the Falcons were granted permission to interview Raheem Morris, and the Bears added former Broncos coach Bo Hardegree. Let’s check out a couple more coaching and front office notes, including more moves by the Jets:

  • The Texans have hired Paul Pasqualoni as their defensive line coach, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The former Dolphins and Cowboys defensive coordinator spent 2014 as the Bears d-line coach.
  • The man that Pasqualoni will be replacing, Bill Kollar, was recently hired as the Broncos new defensive line coach. One of his former players, J.J. Watt, supports his former coach’s new gig. “He’s always going to shoot you straight,” Watt told Mike Klis of The Denver Post. “He’s going to coach you hard and tell you like it is. Kubiak, Kollar, everybody, yeah, you guys (in Denver) have got a great staff.”
  • The Raiders will interview Bills wide receivers coach Rob Moore on Sunday, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. If everything goes well, the 46-year-old will get the job, sources tell Caplan.
  • The Jets will hire former Bears scout Rex Hogan as their college scouting director, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network. It was thought that recently hired Brian Heimerdinger would take over the role, but Breer notes that the former Rams executive will instead be taking over a “prominent front office role.”

AFC Links: Browns, Phillips, Williams, Jets

New Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo did not study quarterback Johnny Manziel before accepting the position in Cleveland, writes Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

“I’ll be honest with you. I’m going to be flat out honest with you because it’s the only way I know how to be. I have not. I’ve not watched the games from last year with Johnny. Obviously, I studied Johnny coming out of college and spent some time with Johnny,” said DeFilippo. “I wouldn’t say it was a lot of time, but I spent some time with Johnny. He flew out to Oakland and spent a day with him. Can you get an overview on a guy in one day? No, but you can get a grasp of what he thinks and how he’s feeling and those things. I got along with Johnny when we met with him, but I can’t tell you that I’ve watched the games yet. No, I have not.”

This could mean DeFilippo is not convinced that Manziel will be the quarterback of the future in Cleveland. That point is only further confirmed when he admitted during his pressure that the quarterback situation is still in flux. “We’re not sure if our starting quarterback is in the building right now or not,” said DeFilippo. “If he is that’s great. If he’s not, that’s great too.”

Here are some more links from around the AFC:

  • The Browns are pursuing former journeyman quarterback Steve Walsh to be their new quarterbacks coach, writes Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1. Walsh has been coaching high school football for the past six years, but has turned down a number of opportunities to coach at a higher level.
  • The Broncos are still looking for a defensive coordinator, and one possibility could be former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, writes Gil Brandt of NFL.com (via Twitter). Phillips served as the Texans defensive coordinator for three years under new Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, and the two could reunite in Denver.
  • The Broncos have not hired a defensive coordinator, but they have hired Bill Kollar as their defensive line coach, according to USA Today. Kollar spent the last six years coaching the defensive line for the Texans.
  • The Jets have a pressing need a cornerback, and new GM Mike Maccagnan will have a number of options to improve the position, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. He writes they could go after Antonio Cromartie or Byron Maxwell in free agency, but an intriguing prospect in the draft could be Quinten Rollins of the University of Miami (Ohio).
  • Bills star pass rusher Mario Williams will be playing for a new defensive coordinator for the sixth straight year, writes Kevin Patra of NFL.com. With head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, the defense will switching back to a 3-4 base. Williams is excited to play outside linebacker. “I look forward to it,” he said. “So hopefully if (Ryan) hears this, this is my call-in: Will Linebacker. So hopefully it works out.”
  • Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis is still recovering from a torn Achilles that forced him to miss all of 2014, but there is no guarantee he will be back in time for next season’s training camp, writes Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “He’s still in recovery,” said general manager Ryan Grigson. “He’s a freak and you hope that he has an athletic genetic freak type of recovery so that he’s ready day one of training camp. But that information is not clear yet or a timeline is not there because it’s a tough injury. Hopefully in a couple months from now, we’ll be able to have some information on that.”

Extra Points: Broncos, Titans, 49ers, Bears

The Texans have released defensive line coach Bill Kollar from his contract in order for him to join ex-Houston coach Gary Kubiak and the Broncos, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link). Kollar had been the Texans’ DL coach since 2009. He has family in the Denver area, and he credited Bill O’Brien for being gracious enough to let him leave. Per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Kollar is “considered an elite coach by his peers.” Here’s more from around the league…

  • Linebacker Derrick Morgan told SiriusXM NFL Radio that the Titans want to re-sign him, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. The impending free agent has never lived up to his first-round billing, having posted just 23.5 sacks in five seasons as a pro.
  • The Eagles let executive Tom Gamble go earlier this year as part of a reported power struggle, but it appears that he’ll land on his feet. Per John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link), Gamble has discussed taking a role with the 49ers, and is expected to accept it. Gamble previously worked in San Francisco’s front office from 2005-13.
  • The Bears have found a new tight ends coach, hiring former Saints offensive assistant Frank Smith, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Former Saints executive Ryan Pace, now the general manager in Chicago, may have had some familiarity with Smith.
  • New Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has hired a new front office member, bringing in Rams scout Brian Heimerdinger to serve in a front office role, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Heimerdinger could be installed as the new college scouting director or be given a new title, but he won’t be replacing anyone already on staff, per Cimini.
  • The hiring of Adam Gase as offensive coordinator could be good news for Jay Cutler‘s future with the Bears, according to Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report (Twitter links). Per Pompei, Gase’s system has similarities to that of Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, who is known to get the most out of his quarterbacks.