Brian Daboll

Bills Deny Giants’ Request To Interview Brian Daboll

Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was “high atop” new Giants head coach Joe Judge‘s list of OC candidates when he took over in New York, but Buffalo denied Big Blue’s request to interview the longtime NFL coach, reports Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

It’s no surprise the Bills didn’t allow to Daboll to speak with the Giants about what would have been a lateral move. Typically, clubs only allow their coaches to interview with other teams when a promotion is involved. And Daboll, who served as play-caller for the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, and the University of Alabama before landing in Buffalo, impressed enough in 2019 to warrant head coaching interest from Cleveland, is certainly a valuable commodity on Sean McDermott‘s Bills staff.

The Giants are clearly looking for an experienced offensive coordinator to pair with first-year coach Judge, who has never been an offensive nor defensive coordinator at any level. New York has already interviewed incumbent OC Mike Shula plus ex-Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, and is thought to also be interested in former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and ex-Dolphins OC Chad O’Shea.

Although the Bills ranked just 22nd in offensive DVOA a season ago, Daboll was lauded for running a creative offensive that utilized the strengths of 2018 first-round pick Josh Allen. In New York, Daboll would’ve been tasked with developing another first-rounder, 2019 No. 6 overall pick Daniel Jones.

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Latest On Browns’ Coaching & GM Search

The Browns have their new head coach in Kevin Stefanski, but they still need a new GM after firing John Dorsey. They recently requested an interview with Eagles exec Andrew Berry, and Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports tweets that he’s “at the front of the GM candidates.”

Robinson notes that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam once said he considered Berry a future GM, and that he has a relationship with chief strategist Paul DePodesta. In a separate tweet, Robinson explains that it may come down to whether or not Berry wants to take the job. He notes that Berry, who used to work in Cleveland under former GM Sashi Brown, is only 32 and in a good situation in Philly. He also writes that Berry will likely get other calls if he passes on the job.

As for the search that ultimately ended in Stefanski, Robinson has some interesting new nuggets. He tweets that Josh McDanielswanted a specific structure with the Browns” and that he “wasn’t going to an org where DePodesta or anyone else was a ‘side jury’ reporting to Haslam.” If that’s the case, then it sounds like McDaniels never got too close to landing in Cleveland despite his lengthy visit. The Browns and Haslam have caught plenty of flak for their odd reporting structures, and it sounds like that was an issue once again this time around. 

Robinson also tweets that both Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh “had very good interviews” and that he thinks they were the finalists along with Stefanski. Both should be hot names during next cycle. As for Stefanski’s staff, Robinson tweets that the rookie head coach will likely target either Gary or Klint Kubiak. The Kubiaks were on staff with Stefanski in Minnesota, although Robinson thinks the Vikings will try to retain both. Either could be a candidate to be Cleveland’s new OC assuming Stefanski hires one.

Finally, Robinson tweeted about the future prospects for assistant GM Eliot Wolf and VP of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith. He thinks the Haslams are open to both staying, and that Wolf will have a conversation with whoever the new GM is about a role.

Brian Daboll, Robert Saleh Remain In Mix For Browns Job

The Browns interviewed Josh McDaniels on Friday to (seemingly) wrap up their eight-candidate run of meetings. The buzz at the work week’s end fixated on the Patriots offensive coordinator and Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski, but this weekend, other names remain in the mix.

Bills OC Brian Daboll is the sleeper in this process, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen, who notes Daboll gave a strong interview earlier this week (Twitter link). Additionally, 49ers DC Robert Saleh is not off the radar either. Saleh and Stefanski have been most connected to this job recently, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (on Twitter).

Saleh and Stefanski will match up in San Francisco on Saturday afternoon, and the loser of said showdown will be eligible to accept Cleveland’s offer immediately. While the Browns would have to wait to hire the winner in this matchup, they are not competing against any other team to fill their HC post. The Browns were believed to want to wrap up this search by today, but Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that the team now seeks to table that decision until after divisional-round weekend (Twitter link).

McDaniels left Cleveland without a deal in place, which could be an ominous sign for his chances of securing his job with his hometown franchise. The northeast Ohio native has interviewed for this job three times since 2009. Stefanski wowed Browns brass during last year’s coaching search, but the John Dorsey-led search included Jimmy Haslam preferring Freddie Kitchens. Paul DePodesta, who is piloting this year’s search, has a good relationship with Eagles DC Jim Schwartz. But the former Lions HC’s momentum may have cooled.

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Browns Notes: GM Search, DePodesta, McCarthy, Saleh, Daboll

While the primary focus in Cleveland remains on their search for a new head coach, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Browns could have their eyes on a pair of front-office employees with the Seahawks for their general managerial opening. Via Garafolo’s report, Seattle’s co-directors of player personnel, Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, are two well-respected executives that could emerge as leading candidates.

Here’s more notes from the Browns organization:

  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport noted that two head coaching candidates in the Browns search that align with Kirchner and Fitterer are former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. McCarthy’s connection to the two Seattle executives is unclear, but Saleh started his coaching career in Seattle and has built his defensive scheme upon the Seahawks 4-3 at the peak of the “Legion of Boom.”
  • The Browns pushed back their interview with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for Cleveland’s head coaching position, according to Ian Rapaport of NFL.com. Daboll remains a candidate, but since the Bills were eliminated from the playoffs in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Texans, the team decided to delay his interview to this week so he could meet more of the team’s current front office staff.
  • Browns chief strategist Paul DePodesta has been the center of a lot of coverage surrounding the power struggle in Cleveland. The onetime assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics is spearheading the Browns head coach search, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, but is not under contract with the team beyond next week. With that said, DePodesta is still wanted in Cleveland and the team may want to extend the executive at the same time of the team’s general manager and head coaching hires to put the organization on the same page.

Josh McDaniels To Meet With Browns

The Browns have secured a Josh McDaniels meeting. Having set much of their itinerary for the first round of coaching interviews, the Browns will meet with McDaniels, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

A Cleveland-area native, McDaniels is believed to be the Browns’ top choice. He joins 49ers DC Robert Saleh, Ravens OC Greg Roman and Bills OC Brian Daboll as those set to interview. Roman and Mike McCarthy are in Cleveland today. McDaniels’ interview will likely occur Jan. 10, Cabot adds.

Jimmy Haslam said earlier Thursday the organization will hire a head coach with NFL experience, ruling out Urban Meyer. But McDaniels’ Ohio ties run deeper. The Barberton, Ohio, native previously interviewed with the Browns in 2014 but took himself out of the running for a job that eventually went to Mike Pettine. Haslam was intrigued by McDaniels during the previous interview, and that interest does not appear to have cooled. This time, the longtime Patriots OC is believed to be intrigued by the opportunity — one that will likely come with some personnel control.

McDaniels, 43, is also on the Giants’ and Panthers’ wish lists, so the Browns may need to make an attractive offer. The franchise being GM-less would seemingly appeal to McDaniels, who may want to bring longtime Patriots executive (and fellow northeast Ohio native) Nick Caserio to Cleveland. Caserio’s contract expires after this season. Defections of McDaniels and Caserio would represent a major blow to New England’s infrastructure.

While the three-time Super Bowl champion OC’s play-calling acumen cannot be dismissed, he will have much to prove from a personnel and leadership standpoint. The Broncos gave the then-33-year-old coach personnel control in 2009, and McDaniels’ controversial moves — and 2010 videotaping scandal — led to a quick firing. His spurning of the Colts eight years later was believed to damage his rebuilt stock, but the widespread interest in the veteran coordinator over the past several days has shown the league has effectively overlooked that decision.

Daboll is set to interview with Browns brass Sunday in Buffalo, Cabot adds. Neither he nor McDaniels can take an interview until next week, due to the AFC East teams being in wild-card games. Daboll spent two years as the Browns’ OC, under Eric Mangini, from 2009-10.

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Browns To Interview Bills OC Brian Daboll

Add another name to the list of Browns head coaching candidates. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that Cleveland will interview Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for the vacancy.

Daboll has had stints as offensive coordinator with four different organizations (including the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, and Bills), and his 2019 season may have been his best. The Bills rushing attack finished in the top-10 for yards (a fact that’s even more impressive when you consider that 36-year-old Frank Gore led the team in carries). Daboll has also received credit for helping to develop young signal-caller Josh Allen.

Daboll also has major experience in the playoffs. The coach has five Super Bowl rings from his various stints with New England (including the role of wide receivers coach). The 44-year-old also won a CFB national championship after serving as the co-offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2017.

Yesterday, the Freddie Kitchens era in Cleveland came to an end after just one season. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, an Ohio native, has already been mentioned as a candidate. The organization is also reportedly trying to secure interviews with Ravens OC Greg Roman and Vikings OC Kevin StefanskiStefanski was a finalist for the Browns’ HC job last year before they elected to hire Kitchens.

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Brandon Beane On Bills’ QB Decision

Second-year Bills GM Brandon’s Beane went through a lot to trade up and land Josh Allen, making two deals — with the Bengals and Buccaneers — to vault the Bills into that No. 7 spot.

When asked about his first-round quarterback’s chances of earning earlier-than-expected playing time, Beane said it could come down to how he looks in the Bills’ first preseason game.

I think you give everybody the fair amount of reps now. Right now we’re going with Nathan (Peterman) and A.J. (McCarron) with the majority of the ones and twos, but giving Josh at least a period a day – at least,” Beane said, via John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. “And we’ll do that through the first preseason game, and then we’ll adjust from there and decide, Are we going to keep it the same? Are we going to give him more reps? Or are we going to give him less? Everything is earned here.”

Buffalo snapped major North American sports’ longest playoff drought last season by booking the AFC’s No. 6 seed in dramatic fashion, and that progress may impact the team’s quarterback decision.

Although the Bills’ offense will look remarkably different, given that Tyrod Taylor and three key offensive linemen are out of the picture, last year’s work may prompt the GM and coaching staff to go with one of the veteran signal-callers while the Wyoming-produced prodigy observes to start the season.

Some people say, ‘Hey, don’t play a rookie at all.’ And some people say go ahead and play him no matter what,” Beane said. “And I think the thing is you’ve got to be fair to the other – when you get your 53-man roster – the other 52 players. Because everybody wants to win now, including Sean (McDermott) and I. And so (the players) see the same practice. They watch the same practices; they’ll watch the same preseason games. And if you’re not putting the best guy out there I think they’re going to lose their respect for you.”

Beane said he will be involved in the decision, along with McDermott and new OC Brian Daboll. Ownership will not steer the team one way or another in this matter, per Beane. Daboll last served as an NFL coordinator for the 2012 Chiefs, who went 2-14, but he served as national champion Alabama’s OC last season.

It will be a group decision,” Beane said. “There’s Sean and I. We’ll obviously talk. There’s Brian Daboll. He’ll be involved. He knows more than everybody who’s hitting everything. He’s in every meeting with these quarterbacks. It’s his offense.

… We’ll talk to (owners Terry and Kim Pegula) about the evaluation process. ‘Hey, this is what A.J. did well in Game 1 … this is what he’s got to improve on.’ Or, ‘This is what Josh did what, and what he’s got to improve on.’ And same with Nathan. So, yeah, we’ll definitely talk.”

Despite his five-interception disaster in Los Angeles last season, Peterman showed well in minicamp. McCarron would seemingly be the best bet for veteran stability, but Allen’s displayed improvement in training camp. Allen was viewed as a longer project than peers Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold coming into the draft.

(Allen) was behind, being in the draft, whereas both A.J. and Nate were already learning Brian Daboll’s system a month-plus before Josh got there,” Beane told Kryk regarding Allen’s summer progression. “But definitely, by the time we left there in June he was mentally there. Now it’s just catching him up physically, knowing all the plays – it’s a big playbook – and getting the guys lined up. But he has done a great job to this point.”

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Bills Hire Brian Daboll As OC

The Bills have hired Brian Daboll as their new offensive coordinator, the club announced today.Brian Daboll (Vertical)

[RELATED: 2018 NFL Coordinator Tracker]

Daboll, fresh off a National Championship as the offensive play-caller for the University of Alabama, will replace longtime NFL coach Rick Dennison, who was fired on Friday after only one season in Buffalo. Multiple head coaching candidates had reportedly expressed interest in hiring Daboll as an offensive coordinator, so the Bills acted quickly to add him to their staff.

While the 42-year-old Daboll spent the 2017 campaign in the collegiate ranks, he does boast vast amounts of NFL coaching experience. He’s coordinated offenses for the Browns (2009-10), Dolphins (2011), and Chiefs (2012), and has also worked in a number of offensive roles for the Patriots, first from 2000-06 and again from 2013-16.

In Buffalo, Daboll will be tasked with heading an offensive unit which ranked 22nd in scoring, 26th in DVOA, and 29th in yards a season ago. Running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Zay Jones will be among the weapons at Daboll’s disposal, while Buffalo has decisions to make on quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wideout Kelvin Benjamin.

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Coaching Rumors: Daboll, Bettcher, Bears

Several potential head coaching candidates have identified Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as a possible play-calling addition, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). The 42-year-old Daboll, fresh off a National Championship, has served as an NFL OC with the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs. He also spent two stints in New England, coaching wide receivers and tight ends under Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.

Here’s the latest on the 2018 hiring cycle:

  • In-limbo Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher could be in consideration for a role with the Bears, reports Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM (Twitter link), who reports Chicago’s brass would like to meet with Bettcher. One of nine candidates to replace Bruce Arians in Arizona, Bettcher could be without a job if the Cardinals go in a different direction. It’s unclear exactly what title Bettcher would hold with the Bears, especially since Chicago is expected to retain incumbent DC Vic Fangio.
  • The Bears are forging a reunion with Harry Hiestand, whom they’ve hired as their new offensive line coach, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Hiestand, 59, previously served as the Bears’ OL coach form 2005-09 before moving onto the Titans and Notre Dame, with whom he’s spent the past six seasons. Multiple teams were reportedly pursuing Hiestand, per Greg Gabriel of Pro Football Weekly (Twitter link), and the longtime coach had no intention of remaining in South Bend. In Chicago, Hiestand will work with an offensive line that ranked in the bottom half of the league in both adjusted sack rate and adjusted line yards.
  • Hiestand isn’t the only staff change the Bears made today, as they’ve also hired Charles London as their next running backs coach, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. London has spent time in Chicago before, as he was a offensive quality control coach for the club from 2007-09. After a brief stint with the Titans, London followed Bill O’Brien to Penn State and then to the Texans, where he coached for the past four years.
  • Offensive line coach Frank Pollack has been fired by the Cowboys, per Marvez (Twitter links). It’s a stunning move in some regard, especially since the Dallas offensive line was viewed as an especially dominant unit as recently as 2016. But injuries and ineffective play led to the club’s front five struggling last season, leading to Pollard’s dismissal. Elsewhere in Dallas, assistant special teams coach Keith O’Quinn is expected to be reassigned, either as the Cowboys’ primary ST coach or as the club’s tight ends coach, per Marvez.

AFC Notes: Patriots, Texans, Steelers, Jags

The University of Alabama is hiring Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll as its new offensive coordinator, according to Chris Low of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Daboll, who has led offenses at the NFL level for the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs, was first linked to the Crimson Tide earlier this week by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports. Former Texans play-caller George Godsey was also in consideration for the vacancy in Tuscaloosa, per Feldman.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Veteran safety Quintin Demps hasn’t engaged in contract negotiations with the Texans as of yet, and although the pending free agent would prefer to return to Houston in 2017, he’s not interested in offering the club any sort of hometown discount, Demps told SiriusXM NFL Radio today (Twitter links). Demps is entering his age-32 campaign, which could depress his value, but he’s started 26 games over the past two years and is coming off a season in which he graded as the league’s No. 12 safety, according to Pro Football Focus. After earning only $1.5MM in 2016, Demps should be in a for raise, but he’s not going to break the bank in a safety market that also includes Eric Berry, Tony Jefferson, and T.J. McDonald.
  • Tight end Ladarius Green is expected to be healthy enough to play in 2017, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert yesterday told reporters, including Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times (Twitter link). Green only appeared in six games during his first campaign with Pittsburgh, as concussion issues limited his ability to get on the field. Although he provided 16.9 yards per reception when he was on the field, Green could represent too large a risk for the Steelers to undertake, especially given that his post-June 1 release would clear $5MM in cap space.
  • Defensive tackle Abry Jones‘ four-year, $16MM deal with the Jaguars contains $6.5MM in guarantees, which are comprised of a $2.5MM 2017 base salary, a $1MM roster bonus due next March, and $3MM 2018 base salary, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Chad Henne‘s new one-year contract is worth $3.5MM, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link), and contains a $500K signing bonus, a $750K roster bonus due on September 7, and $2.5MM available via incentives.
  • Steelers linebacker Steven Johnson‘s new deal is a one-year, minimum salary benefit contract that comes with $80K in guaranteed money, per Caplan (Twitter link). Under the terms of the MSB, Johnson will only count for $615K on Pittsburgh’s salary cap.