Cannon Matthews

Staff Notes: Pats, Fins, Bolts, Hawks, 49ers

The Alabama Crimson Tide are searching for an offensive coordinator in the wake of Steve Sarkisian‘s departure and will likely interview Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll for the role, reports Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Daboll previously served under Alabama head coach Nick Saban at Michigan State, as Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com notes, and worked as an NFL offensive coordinator in Cleveland, Miami and Kansas City from 2009-12.

More coaching news from around the league:

  • Former defensive end Andre Carter is joining the Dolphins’ staff as an assistant D-line coach, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. Carter, 37, played in the league from 2001-13 and piled up 80.5 sacks.
  • The Chargers have hired ex-Atlanta defensive coordinator Richard Smith to coach their linebackers, per a team announcement. Smith, who was atop ATL’s defense the past two years, became a coaching free agent when the team fired him last week. The 61-year-old has been working with pro linebackers since 1988, when he was with the now-defunct Houston Oilers, and has since coached LBs in Denver, San Francisco, Detroit and Carolina.
  • Sherman Smith is out as the Seahawks’ running backs coach, a position he had held since 2009, according to Sporting News’ Alex Marvez. The Seahawks are promoting assistant RBs/assistant special teams coach Chad Morton to Sherman’s former spot (Twitter links).
  • The 49ers have landed ex-Buccaneers tight ends coach Jon Embree as an assistant head coach/TEs coach, writes Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle. His son, Taylor Embree, is coming aboard as a quality control coach. The younger Embree spent last season as a defensive assistant in Kansas City.
  • Elsewhere on the 49ers’ staff, the team has interviewed Falcons assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich to become its special teams coordinator, per Marvez (Twitter link). Caplan reported last week that the Niners were likely to meet with Sutulovich.
  • The Redskins have hired Cannon Matthews as a defensive quality control coach, relays JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Matthews served as the assistant defensive backs coach last year with the Browns, who parted with him in January.

Coaching Rumors: Bills, Jags, Raiders, Ravens

Although Anthony Lynn has long been viewed as the favorite to take over as the Bills‘ head coach, team ownership has been extremely impressed by Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Indeed, Buffalo is now in something of a “holding pattern” as Lynn and McDermott interview elsewhere, tweets Vic Carrucci of the Buffalo News. Lynn has been linked to every head coaching job that remains open, while McDermott has drawn interest from the Chargers and 49ers in addition to the Bills, as PFR’s 2017 Head Coaching Search Tracker shows.

Here’s more on the 2017 hiring cycle:

  • The Jaguars will retain defensive coordinator Todd Wash under new head coach Doug Marrone, but nearly every other member of the defensive staff is being let go, reports Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. Defensive assistant Mike Rutenberg is the only other defensive coach who will remain on board. Jacksonville had 24 coaches on staff at the end of the regular season, and that number figures to be reduced, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
  • Ken Norton Jr. will remain the Raiders‘ defensive coordinator, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Head coach Jack Del Rio assumed play-calling duties midway through the 2016 season, and Oakland ultimately finished 23rd in defensive DVOA. While Norton Jr. will stick around, defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson has been fired, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link).
  • Former Buffalo offensive coordinator Greg Roman could potentially join the Ravens staff in some undefined role, per La Canfora (all Twitter links). Baltimore recently announced that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return for the 2017 campaign, so Roman — who has remained in contact with head coach John Harbaugh — could join the Ravens in a run-game director capacity.
  • The Eagles have fired wide receivers coach Greg Lewis, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Lewis spent just one season as a coach with Philadelphia (after having spent the 2003-08 seasons with the club as a player). Current Bills WRs coach Sanjay Lal is of “strong interest” to the Eagles, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The Browns announced that they’ve begun to restructure their defensive staff under new coordinator Gregg Williams, parting ways with defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi, inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland, assistant defensive backs coach Cannon Matthews, and outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik. Cleveland also fired offensive line coach Hal Hunter.

Browns Add Eight To Coaching Staff

The Browns continued to fill out their coaching staff Monday, with Hue Jackson announcing the hiring of eight coaches to work for him during his first season in Cleveland, according to a report on the team’s website.

All of which are position coaches or other assistants after the Browns announced more than two weeks ago the additions of Ray Horton, Pep Hamilton and several others.

Here’s the full list of coaches and their respective titles.

  • Rock Cartwright, offensive quality control
  • Louie Cioffi, defensive backs
  • Ken Delgado, assistant defensive line
  • Johnny Holland, inside linebackers
  • Cannon Matthews, assistant defensive backs
  • Robert Nunn, defensive line
  • Eric Sanders, defensive quality control
  • Ryan Slowik, outside linebackers

Cioffi served in the same position under Horton during his previous one-year stint as the Browns’ defensive coordinator in 2013. Cioffi’s worked with Horton in 10 of his 21 seasons.

Nunn was the Giants’ defensive line coach from 2010-15, collecting a Super Bowl ring in guiding the NASCAR package-powered team to the 2011 championship.

Slowik served as the Jets’ defensive line coach last season.

North Notes: Megatron, Packers, Haslam

There’s no decision yet, and no exact timetable, for Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson as he considers whether or not to continue his playing career, agent Bus Cook tells Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Shortly after the regular season ended, Megatron issued a statement indicating he was considering retirement, but Lions fans will have to wait at least a little longer before finding out what the wideout’s future plans are.

“Nothing to report,” said Cook, who is currently in Mobile, Alabam for the Senior Bowl. “Have to wait and see. He has to think about what he’s going to do and then go from there.”

As we wait to find out what Johnson decides, let’s check out a few more items from out of the NFL’s North divisions….

  • After a weekend report suggested that Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was frustrated by the team’s lack of free agent spending, general manager Ted Thompson said on Monday that there’s no problem between him and McCarthy, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). However, Cole suggests there may be “growing tension” in Green Bay after McCarthy’s latest postseason loss.
  • Cole also has an update on the Browns (video link), reporting that team owner Jimmy Haslam is in Mobile for Senior Bowl practices, in an effort to take on a more “hands-on approach” as the head of the franchise. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link) confirms Haslam’s attendance, but says the Browns owner plans to leave today after having dinner with scouts on Monday night.
  • The Browns have added Ken Delgado to their coaching staff as an assistant defensive line coach and former Titans assistant Cannon Matthews as an assistant defensive backs coach, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
  • The Bears announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve named Richard Hightower their new assistant special teams coach. Hightower replaces Derius Swinton, who joined the 49ers last week.
  • Justin Tucker‘s impressive track record when it comes to clutch kicks should give him some leverage when he and the Ravens discuss a new contract this winter, writes Clifton Brown of CSNMidAtlantic.com.