April, 63, has been an NFL special teams coach since 1991 when he began his pro career with the Falcons. He was only four games into his Tennessee career, having joined the club prior to this season. April left the Jets in order to replace Nate Kaczor, who was hired by the Buccaneers. Titans head coach Mike Mularkey was familiar with April’s work, as the pair had worked together on the Bills staff in 2004.
Hoffman, meanwhile is in his fourth year with the Titans and in his 27th season as an NFL coach. The team’s assistantspecial teams coordinator since 2013, Hoffman guided punter Brett Kern and kicker Ryan Succop as they enjoyed some of their best seasons. Last year, Succop didn’t miss a kick inside of 50 yards (13-for-13).
WEDNESDAY, 6:20pm: The Titans have officially hired Robiskie, according to Wyatt. They’ve also named Dick LeBeau their assistant head coach/defensive coordinator and Bobby April their special teams coach.
LeBeau’s new role is a slight title change, as he was the Titans’ assistant head coach/defense during the 2015-16 season. Ray Horton was Tennessee’s D-coordinator, but he left Wednesday to join the Browns’ staff. LeBeau was in charge of a Titans defense that finished an impressive 12th overall this past year, a big improvement over its 27th-place ranking in 2014. The 78-year-old has extensive experience working with defensive staffs, having begun his coaching career in the 1970s. He has served under Mularkey in both Buffalo and Tennessee.
April is familiar with both Mularkey and LeBeau, as the three were together with the Bills in 2004. April has been a special teams coach with eight different teams since 1991. He held that position with the Jets during the ’15-16 campaign.
9:49am: Robiskie will indeed be the Titans’ new offensive coordinator, according to Tiffany Blackmon of the NFL Network, who reports that the former Falcons wide receivers coach has accepted the job (Twitterlinks).
MONDAY, 1:45pm: Speaking to reporters today at a press conference, Mularkey said Robiskie remains in the interview process for the offensive coordinator job (Twitter link via Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com).
With multiple outlets reporting that Robiskie will get the job, I expect it’s just a matter of time until we get official word from the team, but Mularkey said he has three candidates for the position, per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (Twitter link).
Mularkey also said today that the offensive coordinator will call the plays for the Titans, tweets Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com.
11:02am: With the Titans’ new general manager and permanent head coach set to address the media later today, the team may also be set to announce its new offensive coordinator. According to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the club is hiring Terry Robiskie to fill that position.
Robiskie, a longtime NFL assistant, served as the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator from 1989 to 1993, then was the Browns’ OC in 2004. In between those two OC stints, and in the year since then, he has primarily been a wide receivers coach.
Most recently, Robiskie has spent the majority of the last decade in Atlanta, having served as the Falcons’ wide receivers coach since 2008. He and Mike Mularkey worked together in Atlanta for several seasons, with the new Titans head coach having been the Falcons’ offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2011 before heading to Jacksonville.
In Tennessee, Robiskie will be taking over an offense that ranked 30th in the NFL in 2015 with an average of 311.8 yards per contest. The unit, led by Marcus Mariota and Zach Mettenberger, wasn’t particularly productive passing or rushing the ball, ranking 25th in both categories.
That ineffective 2015 unit was led by Jason Michael, who is expected to stay put and become Tennessee’s new quarterbacks coach, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). A Sunday report indicated that Michael would be hired by the Rams as either the tight ends coach or the passing game coordinator, but it appears that’s not the case.
As has been widely speculated, it appears as though a number of Chip Kelly‘s assistant coaches from Philadelphia are expected to join Kelly’s 49ers staff. Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com tweets that former Eagles WR coach Bob Bicknell will become the new WR coach in San Francisco, while Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirms (via Twitter) that DL coach Jerry Azzinaro and QB coach Ryan Day are also expected to follow Kelly to the Bay Area. As Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com observes (via Twitter), former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula was interested in hiring Bicknell as San Francisco’s offensive coordinator last season, but Bicknell’s preference at that time was to stay in Philadelphia.
Now let’s dive into some more coaching updates:
Expanding upon McLane’s tweet that PFR passed along along last night, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that, with the Chiefs now eliminated from the playoffs, Kansas City OC Doug Pederson is expected to be announced as the Eagles‘ new head coach within the next week.
As for Pederson’s new coaching staff, McLane tweets that the Eagles could keep RB coach Duce Staley, special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, assuming Pederson is amenable to retaining them.
The Titans are prepared to hire Bobby April as their special teams coach, according to Marvez (via Twitter). April, who served in the same capacity with the Jets last season, was fired after Gang Green’s disappointing special teams performance in 2015. However, as Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com tweets, April has coached a number of strong special teams units in his remarkably long career. April has worked as a special teams coach/coordinator since 1991, when he first entered the NFL as a tight ends and special teams coach for the Falcons. Since that time, he has been employed by the Steelers, Saints, Rams, Bills, Eagles, Raiders, and Jets.
The Eagles have not yet scheduled a second interview with Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase for their head coaching position, a league source familiar with the club’s thinking tells Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. While Frank suggests that this contradicts a previous report on Gase, that Wednesday report didn’t actually say a second interview had been formally set up by the Eagles — just that the team wanted to bring him back for a second meeting.
Although it hasn’t been scheduled yet, a second interview between Gase and the Eagles could still happen. However, Frank suggests that the club may not finish its first round of interviews and regroup until next week sometime.
In other coaching news out of Philadelphia, Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson will interview with the Eagles on Sunday for their head coaching job, regardless of how Kansas City does in its playoff game, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
Here are several more coaching-related updates from around the NFL:
The Jets have parted ways with special teams coach Bobby April, tweets Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. Special teams assistant Steve Hagen and assistant offensive line coach RonHeller have also been let go by the club.
If he doesn’t get a head coaching job somewhere, look for ex-Falcons head coach Mike Smith to be a candidate for the Buccaneers‘ defensive coordinator job, tweets Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Leslie Frazier is on his way out in Tampa Bay.
Panthers GM Dave Gettleman says he has talked to several teams looking for a head coach about defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. At the moment, only the Browns have formally asked for an interview, as David Newton of ESPN.com writes. McDermott has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Eagles and Giants as well.
Per Mike Wells of ESPN.com, the Colts have officially confirmed several previously-reported changes to their coaching staff, including the dismissal of defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. The club also announced it has parted ways with strength and conditioning coach RogerMarandino and running backs coach Charlie Williams.
January 23rd, 2015 at 2:05pm CST by Dallas Robinson
JANUARY 23: The Jets have finally made the hiring of Rodgers official, confirming it in a press release. The team also announced the hiring of Bobby April as special teams coordinator.
JANUARY 16: New Jets head coach Todd Bowles has begun to fill out his staff, as Adam Caplan of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers will take over as New York’s defensive coordinator. Reports yesterday indicated that the Dolphins would not block Rodgers’ move to their division rival, and now it sounds like deal will be finalized at some point in the coming days (Twitter link via Caplan). Rodgers, 45, has worked as an NFL assistant since 2003, and his time in Miami overlapped with Bowles’ from 2008-11. He’ll replace Dennis Thurman, who followed ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan to Buffalo.
In South Beach, Rodgers worked with a Dolphins defensive line that included talented players such as Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Jared Odrick, and although the club’s entire defense tailed off near the end of the season, it still finished eighth in adjusted sack rate. Miami’s line did contribute to a defensive unit that ranked 24th in rushing yards allowed, however. In New York, Rodgers will employ a similarly talent defensive line — Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson lead a position group that helped the team Jets finish fifth in rushing yards allowed and fourth in adjusted sack rate.
The primary area of focus for Rodgers, then, will be Gang Green’s secondary, which allowed the third-highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks, and finished 24th in DVOA against the pass. Chief among Rodgers’ assignments will be to mold two recent first-round defensive back selections, corner Dee Milliner and safety Calvin Pryor, in the hopes of fortifying a weak secondary.
Rodgers, a Tennessee alum, coached in the college ranks before joining the Cowboys as a defensive tackles coach in 2003. He’s been in his current role since ’08. As for scheme, it’s unclear what look what Rodgers will use as his base defense — the Dolphins ran an 4-3 front, while Bowles and the Cardinals employed a 3-4 defense. Regardless, the unit will surely look different that than the Ryan-led defense of recent years.