Bob Babich

Staff Notes: Tomsula, Callahan, Bills, Broncos

Jim Tomsula was out of football this season after a 5-11 campaign as San Francisco’s head coach in 2015, but it appears he’s about to resurface. The Redskins are targeting Tomsula, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, though he doesn’t specify which position the 48-year-old would take in Washington. It seems likely Tomsula would coach the Redskins’ D-line, though, considering he held that role with the Niners from 2007-14. The Redskins have an opening there thanks to the firing of Robb Akey earlier this month.

More on several coaching staffs:

  • Newly minted Rams head coach Sean McVay has already reeled in one experienced coordinator in defensive chief Wade Phillips, and he could next add one on offense in Bill Callahan, reports Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson (Twitter link). Callahan is currently the Redskins’ offensive line coach – McVay, of course, was their offensive coordinator – and has been a coordinator in both Oakland and Dallas.
  • Along with officially hiring Leslie Frazier as their new defensive coordinator, the Bills announced the additions of Juan Castillo (offensive line coach/run game coordinator) and Bob Babich (linebackers) to their coaching staff Friday. They’ll also retain special teams coach Danny Crossman for a fifth season. Castillo, who spent the past four years with the Ravens, was previously a longtime staff member in Philadelphia – where he became familiar with new Bills head coach Sean McDermott. Babich coached the Chargers’ linebackers this past season, which came after a three-year run as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator.
  • The Broncos have a couple candidates for their special teams coach job in Marwan Maalouf and Derius Swinton II, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). The Dolphins granted the Broncos permission to interview Maalouf, who’s Miami’s assistant special teams coach. Heading to Denver would mean once again working on the same staff as rookie head coach Vance Joseph, who was the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator in 2016. Swinton is currently the 49ers’ special teams coach, but his future there is in doubt with a new head coach on the way. He worked as the Broncos’ assistant special teams coach from 2013-14.
  • The Browns have hired DeWayne Walker to coach their defensive backs, according to Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. Walker was in Jacksonville as its DBs coach over the past four years. In going to Cleveland, he’ll reunite with Browns head coach Hue Jackson and new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Walker worked with each of them in previous stops.
  • Chargers defensive line coach Giff Smith, defensive backs coach Ron Milus and assistant DBs coach Chris Harris will remain in place under Anthony Lynn, relays Sporting News’ Alex Marvez (Twitter link). They could end up on the defensive staff of Gus Bradley, who will interview for the Bolts’ D-coordinator job.

Coach Rumors: Koetter, Bucs, Babich

Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, the presumed favorite to replace Lovie Smith as Tampa Bay’s head coach, has finally had a formal interview with the team, tweets Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

While Koetter’s name surfaced as a candidate for the job within minutes of the team parting ways with Smith, the Buccaneers interviewed two other candidates first — Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott sat down with the Bucs during their respective teams’ bye weeks.

Let’s check in on a few more coaching-related stories from around the NFL….

  • The Chargers have hired former Jacksonville DC Bob Babich as their new linebackers coach, as Ricky Henne of Chargers.com writes. The job was previously held by Mike Nolan, who has moved on to other opportunities. Babich has 33 years of coaching experience, including his DC job in Jacksonville from 2013-2015.
  • Cowboys defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson, who interviewed with the Browns for their head coaching position, has elected to remain with the Cowboys, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com. Henderson never seemed likely to land Cleveland’s HC job, but there were rumblings suggesting he would join Adam Gase‘s staff with the Dolphins.
  • Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer announced today that he has not renewed Jeff Davidson‘s contract, meaning Minnesota will be in the market for a new offensive line coach (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). Per Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link), Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty will interview for the Vikings’ position.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Jaguars Part Ways With DC Bob Babich

Just hours after general manager David Caldwell suggested there would likely be changes coming to the defensive staff, the Jaguars have parted ways with defensive coordinator Bob Babich, writes Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Babich, like head coach Gus Bradley, was hired by Jacksonville in January 2013. Unlike Bradley, he won’t get return to the team in 2016.Bob Babich

While Bradley’s work as the defensive coordinator in Seattle from 2009 to 2012 contributed significantly to earning him the Jaguars’ head coaching job, he and Babich could never get Jacksonville’s defense firing on all cylinders. In each of the past three seasons, the team has ranked in the bottom 10 in the NFL in terms of points allowed and yardage allowed.

The Jaguars had the opportunity to add a standout player to their defense this past year, using their third overall pick to draft Florida pass rusher Dante Fowler. However, the first-round rookie tore his ACL on the first day of mini-camp last summer and missed the entire 2015 season.

Jacksonville’s next defensive coordinator will benefit from Fowler’s return, and it’s possible the Jags will use this year’s fifth overall pick on a defender as well. After seeing players like Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson enjoy breakout seasons in 2015, the team figures to focus more heavily on defensive reinforcements in the offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Staff Notes: Browns, Lions, Jaguars

Mike Pettine isn’t giving up his position as Browns head coach without a fight, as he has already offered up the suggestion that he would make significant changes to his coaching staff if the ownership decided to retain him, writes Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal.

It is unusual for a head coach to be so willing to give up his staff in exchange for his job, which points towards the likelihood of him getting fired. However, owner Jimmy Haslam vowed not to blow up the franchise back in August, and might consider keeping Pettine for continuity’s sake.

Here are some more notes involving current coordinators and coaching staffs in the NFL:

  • Despite offensive struggles this season, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has not lost any confidence in Scott Linehan’s ability to coordinate the offense, writes David Moore of DallasNews.com.
  • Jim Caldwell may be on the hot seat in Detroit, but his coaching staff is even more uncertain. Many Lions’ coaches could be in the running for better jobs elsewhere, while others could decide to jump ship if any opportunity should arise, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Of all the Lions’¬†staff, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is least likely to return, as he will be a top head coaching candidate around the league this hiring cycle, writes Michael Rothstein of ESPN.
  • The Jaguars offensive took a big step forward this year, but defensive coordinator Bob Babich might not have done enough to keep his job into 2016, writes Ryan O’Halloran of Jacksonville.com.
  • The Bears are expecting offensive coordinator Adam Gase to be offered a head coaching job this year, after interviewing with five teams a year ago, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains will be in consideration, as could Ken Whisenhunt and Pat Shurmur.
  • Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan looked like a head coaching candidate during the team’s 5-0 start, but the disappointing finish put that status into question. Still, Shanahan is excited to be back with the team in 2016 to build on what the offense started, writes Vaughn McClure of ESPN.
  • Despite completely turning the Seahawks offense around midseason, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell isn’t receiving much head coaching buzz this season, writes Sheil Kapadia of ESPN. He has been in the discussion the past two offseasons but has not been able to come away with a job. His 2015 performance¬†might be the best offense he put on display, but he doesn’t seem to be as hot as other candidates.
  • Some changes will be made on the 49ers coaching staff, but defensive coordinator Eric Mangini believes they won’t wait long to find out, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. For one, linebackers coach Clancy Pengergast is expected to leave to join USC’s coaching staff.