Brock Olivo

Coaching Rumors: Cardinals, McAdoo, Fins

The Cardinals interviewed two more head coach candidates today, but the search will continue into next week, according to Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports. The Cardinals have met with Steve Wilks and Keith Armstrong twice and will not need to interview current defensive coordinator James Bettcher another time because of his history with the organization. The team will also interview John DeFilippo and Brian Flores next week, per Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com (Twitter link).

In addition, Somer states that the team could look at giving Jim Schwartz a second interview, but Jurecki did not mention the Eagles defensive coordinator in his tweet. The search is mostly continuing because both the Eagles and Patriots will be playing in their respective conference championships, so depending on how the games shake out, Arizona could resolve their head coaching search by the end of next week.

Finally, Somers importantly notes that former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has recommended Bettcher and Armstrong among this pool of coaches the front office is considering.

Here are more a coaching notes from around the NFL:

  • In more Cardinals coaching staff news, now two former staffers have now left for new opportunities, reports Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). In addition to former special teams coordinator Amos Jones moving onto the same position with the Browns, former wide receiver coach Darryl Drake has been hired by the Steelers.
  • Hue Jackson is adding an offensive coordinator to his staff and have interviewed former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo for the job. He interviewed with the Browns three days ago and apparently “It went fine”, a Browns source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Anderson adds that the source mentioned that they are “Just not going to rush into anything” after speaking to two candidates as of right now. Cleveland is also interviewing a high profile college coach in LSU’s RB coach Tommy Robinson for the same position on their staff, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • The Dolphins announced a slew of coaching moves today. The biggest apart from Dowell Loggains being brought on as offensive coordinator is former OC Clyde Christensen being reassigned as the team’s new director of football and player development. Shawn Jefferson was wide receivers coach, but will now be an assistant head coach working with the offense. They are also are promoting Ben Johnson to WR coach. He got experience with this group of players as an assistant WR coach last season.
  • The Bears have named Brock Olivo as the team’s new assistant special teams coach, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Olivo was the Broncos’ special teams coordinator last year and was with Matt Nagy on the Chiefs’ staff from 2014-16 as an assistant to special teams coordinator Dave Toub. He previously was a former running back for the Lions back in his playing days.
  • The Texans have promoted Anthony Midget to the team’s secondary coach, according to Mark Berman of Fox26 (Twitter link). Berman also notes that they have also hired Danny Barrett as the RB coach and Tracy Smith as an assistant special teams coach.

Coaching Rumors: Flores, Giants, Bears

Although finalists have emerged in the Giants and Colts’ HC searches, the Cardinals may be taking a more methodical approach. And despite Brian Flores lacking the coordinator experience others in the mix for the Arizona job do, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets the Patriots’ linebackers coach is very much a live candidate for the job. The Cardinals have interviewed Flores, incumbent DC James Bettcher, Pats DC Matt Patricia, Eagles DC Jim Schwartz, Vikings OC Pat Shurmur, Panthers DC Steve Wilks, Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak and Falcons ST coordinator Keith Armstrong. This franchise has cast the widest net yet in this year’s coaching carousel, so determining frontrunner status is a bit more complicated here than it is in the three other searches. Patricia’s name has been linked as a finalist with the Lions and Giants, however.

Here’s the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • With four HC vacancies remaining and the Giants reportedly identifying three finalists — Patricia, Shurmur and Josh McDaniels — the franchise might need a sleeper candidate if the aforementioned trio each takes a job elsewhere, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the thinking is Schwartz is that mystery choice. The Giants requested an interview with the former Lions coach, but the sides couldn’t get one scheduled.
  • Patricia doesn’t plan on letting it slip which way he’s leaning until after the Patriots‘ season concludes, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets (video link). The Patriots returning to the Super Bowl could put the Giants and Lions to difficult decisions, if Patricia indeed does not decide until season’s end. Rapoport speculates the Lions as perhaps a slight favorite here. The Lions may be going all-in on Patricia, Florio writes, to the point it’s unclear whom Detroit would tab if Patricia chose the Giants.
  • Chris Tabor will return to the Bears as their special teams coordinator, the team announced. Tabor coached the Browns’ ST units for the past seven seasons but prior to that served as Chicago’s assistant ST coordinator from 2008-10. Tabor made it through four coaching regimes in Cleveland, remaining on staff through the Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski, Mike Pettine and Hue Jackson runs.
  • Brock Olivo‘s first crack as a special teams coordinator did not go well, with the Broncos firing him after one season. But the Browns interviewed Olivo for the ST job open after the team let Tabor leave, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.
  • The Bears will hire Kevin Gilbride Jr. to coach their tight ends. The 39-year-old son of the retired OC, Gilbride coached under his father from 2010-13 and stayed on as Giants tight ends coach the past four seasons.

Broncos Shake Up Coaching Staff

Black Monday did not result in Vance Joseph‘s ouster, but his first staff is splintering as the Broncos begin an effort to re-emerge from a 5-11 season.

The Broncos are gutting their coaching staff, making decisions to fire wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, running backs coach Eric Studesville and special teams coordinator Brock Olivo, Mike Klis of 9News and Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post report (all Twitter links).

DC Joe Woods and OC Bill Musgrave are going to be back, Jhabvala and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport report (Twitter links). The Broncos, though, will be looking for a third ST coach in three years after Olivo’s units struggled with turnovers and the allowing of big plays this season.

Studesville was the Broncos’ longest-tenured assistant and was the team’s interim coach after Josh McDaniels‘ tenure ended late in the 2010 season. Tolbert served as wideouts coach since the ’11 campaign, joining when John Fox‘s tenure began. Studesville declined an interview for the Jets’ OC vacancy last year and was fired despite the Broncos’ rushing attack climbing from the No. 27 to No. 12 between 2016 and ’17. This season marked the first since 2011 the Broncos didn’t have a 1,000-yard receiver.

Rapoport notes (on Twitter) Gary Kubiak‘s expanded front office role likely has meant he’s been involved in the decisions, with John Elway‘s personnel department being one of the NFL’s smallest groups.

AFC Notes: Colts, Ravens, Broncos, Jets

A quick look around the AFC…

  • While announcing Andrew Luck‘s right shoulder surgery Thursday, Colts owner Jim Irsay declared that the quarterback will be ready for the season. Here’s a clearer timeline, courtesy of Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter): Luck will start throwing again in three months and should be ready for a full return in six months, which puts him on track for mid-July.
  • After four seasons, the Ravens are likely to part with pass rusher Elvis Dumervil this winter, writes Clifton Brown of CSNMidAtlantic.com. By releasing Dumervil, who has one year left on his contract, the Ravens would open up $6MM in cap space. Baltimore could use those savings to find a cover corner or offensive weapon, Brown suggests. Dumervil, who’s celebrating his 33rd birthday today, is coming off an eight-game, three-sack season. He missed just one contest out of 48 from 2013-15 and combined for 32.5 sacks, including a lofty 17.5 in 2014.
  • The Broncos will hire Brock Olivo as their new special teams coach, reports Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Olivo spent the past three years as the assistant special teams coach with the AFC West rival Chiefs.
  • Jets guard Brian Winters will receive all $15MM of the guaranteed money on his four-year, $29MM contract in the first two seasons of the deal, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. The pact also contains per-game roster bonuses of $500K in both 2019 and ’20.

AFC Notes: Texans, Dolphins, Jets, Broncos

After the Texans parted ways with offensive coordinator George Godsey yesterday, some in league circles believe head coach Bill O’Brien may simply assign himself play-calling duties, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. O’Brien was already leading the Texans’ offense at various points during the season, so a move of this nature wouldn’t be a complete surprise. In such a scenario, Houston would likely reshuffle its offensive staff, including shifting wide receivers coach Sean Ryan to quarterbacks coach, per Wilson.

Here’s more out of the AFC:

  • The Dolphins offered cornerback Bene Benwikere a futures deal that would have kept him in the club’s plans throughout the offseason, but Benwikere instead opted to sign on with Green Bay’s practice squad, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Benwikere was somewhat surprisingly waived by Carolina in early October, and though the Titans and Redskins both put in claims on him, he landed with Miami (who subsequently waived him and signed him to their taxi squad). In Green Bay, Benwikere will offer depth for the rest of the postseason.
  • Although a previous report indicated that Bears outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt had agreed to take the same position with the Jets, there is “no indication” that such a move will take place, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. New York did inquire as to Hurtt’s availability, but never actually agreed to hire him. Hurtt reportedly turned down a contract extension from Chicago.
  • The Jets began extension talks with guard Brian Winters before he suffered a torn rotator cuff last December, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. Winters, who yesterday agreed to a four-year, $29MM contract that includes $15MM in guarantees, is now signed through the 2020 campaign. Per Slater, New York used the contracts of fellow interior lineman J.R. Sweezy and Jeff Allen as comps during negotiations.
  • Chiefs assistant teams coach Brock Olivo will become the seventh candidate to interview for the Broncos‘ ST coordinator vacancy, as Mike Klis of 9NEWS tweets. Olivo, 40, has spent the past three seasons working under highly-respected Kansas City special teams coach Dave Toub.