Bob Wylie

Bills, Browns Interview Joe Philbin

In addition to interviewing with the Vikings, Joe Philbin took part in meetings with the Bills and Browns, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports.

The interview with Minnesota was for the franchise’s offensive line coach job; it’s not clear what position(s) Philbin discussed with Buffalo and Cleveland. The latter, however, filled its offensive line coach position with James Campen on Monday.

The Browns fired O-line coach Bob Wylie last week. After firing Juan Castillo, the Bills are still believed to need an offensive line coach. Buffalo also appears to have, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (on Twitter) parted ways with assistant O-line coach Andrew Dees and offensive assistant William Vlachos.

Philbin spent the 2018 season as the Packers’ offensive coordinator and interim head coach. Green Bay interviewed Philbin and hired Matt LaFleur for the full-time HC job, triggering an extensive Philbin interview circuit. The 57-year-old coach served as the Packers’ OC twice and was the Dolphins’ head coach from 2012-15. He coached tight ends and the offensive line in Green Bay and coached Indianapolis’ O-line from 2016-17.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Part Ways With Several Coaches

Although the Browns kept a key part of their 2018 late-season setup in place, promoting Freddie Kitchens to head coach, they are going to be looking for a largely new staff.

In addition to letting interim HC Gregg Williams go, the Browns are ending the Cleveland tenures of several coaches, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Among them are quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese, special teams coordinator Amos Jones, offensive line coach Bob Wylie, tight ends coach Greg Seamon and special teams assistant Josh Cribbs. The Browns, as could be expected, will ax linebackers coach (and late-season play-caller) Blake Williams, Cabot notes.

Expected to stay are wideouts coach Adam Henry and DBs coach DeWayne Walker, Cabot adds, with running backs coach Ryan Lindley — a Cardinals quarterback during Kitchens’ time as Arizona’s QBs coach — could remain as well.

This Browns team lost fewer games than the franchise had since its 2007 season, but the Kitchens regime will involve many new faces at the Berea, Ohio, facility. This should not be incredibly surprising, considering these assistants arrived during Hue Jackson‘s tenure.

Jones finished his first season as ST coordinator, while Zampese took the QBs job last year as well. He’d previously served as the Bengals’ OC before being fired early in the 2017 season. Seamon served on all three Jackson staffs, finishing his tenure under Gregg Williams. Wylie, of Hard Knocks fame, came to Cleveland in 2017 after a CFL stint. Known obviously for his special teams brilliance in Cleveland, Cribbs broke into coaching this season.

Also let go: assistant DBs coach Jerod Kruse, offensive assistant Bob Saunders, assistant offensive line coach Mark Hutson and quality control coaches Brian Braswell and Eric Sanders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bell, Jets, Ravens, Harbaugh, Browns, Wylie

Although Le’Veon Bell‘s decision to sit out the 2018 season has caused people in the league to question “his character, competitiveness and motivation”, the Jets must go hard after Bell in free agency, opines Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Mehta writes that the Jets have a “golden opportunity” to get Sam Darnold another weapon, and quotes several of Bell’s former teammates who swear by him.

Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon, who played with Bell in Pittsburgh, told Mehta “when he steps foot in this building, you’re going to get 100 percent from the guy” and that he would “bring the best out of so many people.” Mehta writes that the team “would be foolish not to make an aggressive run at Bell”, and he would fit right in with the New York media market. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has said repeatedly that he plans to be aggressive using New York’s salary cap space this offseason, so Bell being a Jet is a very real possibility.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Despite the team’s surprise announcement yesterday that John Harbaugh would return to coach the Ravens in 2019 and that the team hoped to work out an extension with him, the two sides haven’t had any talks on an extension yet, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. La Canfora seems to think that an extension is still far from a guarantee, and writes that “numerous significant matters would have to be resolved” before any deal could get done. It will be an interesting situation to monitor, especially if the Ravens end up missing the playoffs.
  • After breaking his ankle in practice, Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie had successful surgery and is recovering well the team announced, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). Wylie, who became a fan favorite due to his starring turn on this year’s season of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’, is “questionable at best” for this weekend’s game, according to the team’s announcement.
  • The Texans will be without to key offensive playmakers for their pivotal game against the Eagles tomorrow, as the team ruled out running back Lamar Miller and receiver Keke Coutee for the game, according to James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link). Coutee has been out for a few weeks now, but this will be Houston’s first game without Miller in the backfield. It’ll likely be a lot of Alfred Blue against a tough Philadelphia defensive front.

Coaching Notes: Rams, Broncos, Browns

The Rams introduced former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay as their head coach yesterday. COO Kevin Demoff, who led the search for a new coach, admitted that he wasn’t initially sure what to make of the 30-year-old.

“When you’re meeting someone who is 30 years old, your natural reaction is that you want to believe, but you’re searching for the reasons why,” Demoff said (via ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez). “Sean kept knocking those down at every turn, to the point where ‘why’ changed to, ‘Why not?’

“The terms you saw were ‘brilliant,’ ‘genius,’ ‘star.’ Jon Gruden suggested he was special. Those are amazing adjectives when you talk about describing someone. When you ask people for the negatives, they always say, ‘He’s young.’ We always looked at that as just another descriptive word. To me, the age factor, when you look at what the players said, this is about leading players, and their devotion to Sean, the way they feel, what you read about him, is to us what negated the age factor. They could believe in Sean as a leader.”

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • McVay is adding former Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry to his coaching staff in the role of assistant head coach/linebackers coach, reports FoxSports.com’s Peter Schrager (via Twitter). Barry was fired by Washington in early January following two seasons with the organization. The 46-year-old also served as the defensive coordinator for the Lions from 2007 through 2008. ESPN.com’s John Keim tweets that Barry had interviewed for the Jaguars linebackers coach gig, and he also had plans to meet with the Saints.
  • Vance Joseph has made another addition to his staff. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos have hired Jeff Davidson to be their offensive line coach. Davidson spent the 2016 season as the Chargers offensive line coach, where he worked under Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. The two also worked together in Carolina when Davidson served as the offensive coordinator for the Panthers.
  • The Browns have hired Bob Wylie as their new offensive line coach, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (via Twitter). The 65-year-old has been coaching for more than three decades, and he spent the past three seasons coaching the offensive line for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. His last NFL gig came in 2011, when he coached the Raiders’ offensive line.