Chad Hall

Staff Notes: Bills, Taylor, 49ers, Ryan, Eagles

Another former Panthers assistant will land a job on the Bills‘ coaching staff. Buffalo hired Ken Dorsey to be its quarterbacks coach. A former Miami Hurricane standout, prior to his days with the 49ers and Browns, Dorsey spent five seasons as the Panthers’ QBs coach. In 2018, the 37-year-old coach was on Appalachian State’s staff. Dorsey will take over for David Culley, who is now on Baltimore’s staff. The Bills also promoted Chad Hall to wide receivers coach. The 32-year-old former NFLer spent his first two seasons in coaching as a Bills offensive assistant. Another hire the Bills announced this week: bringing in Terry Heffernan to be their assistant offensive line coach. Heffernan has NFL coaching experience, being a Lions staffer earlier this decade, but spent the past three years at Division I-FCS Eastern Kentucky. Heffernan coached under new Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson in Detroit.

None of the offensive coaches who have been hired or promoted have a direct tie to second-year OC Brian Daboll, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Here is the latest from the coaching carousel:

  • Two teams have yet to hire their head coaches, but the Bengals will look to finalize their agreement with Zac Taylor soon after Super Bowl LIII. The Rams’ quarterbacks coach will travel to Cincinnati on Monday, with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweeting the parties will make their pending partnership official.
  • Rob Ryan initiated the process that ended with him becoming the Redskins‘ new inside linebackers coach. The former defensive coordinator said Kirk Olivadotti‘s decision to take a job with the Packers prompted him to reach out to the Redskins about a job, Ryan said on NBC Sports Washington‘s Redskins Talk podcast. Ryan interviewed with the Redskins twice in the past but has never worked with the franchise.
  • Kyle Shanahan was a bit surprised teams aggressively pursued members of his coaching staff, considering the 49ers went 4-12 this season. “It was a little unexpected,” Shanahan said during an interview with KNBR (via NBC Sports Bay Area). “I didn’t think our staff was going to get raided after a 4-12 year, so that caught me off a little bit.” The Broncos did the main raiding, hiring Rich Scangarello and T.C. McCartney. The Packers also hired Adam Stenavich to become their offensive line coach. Shanahan also denied permission for the Vikings and Packers to interview Mike LaFleur and did not allow Mike McDaniel to speak with the Cardinals, citing neither offensive assistant being up for a play-calling role with one of those teams.
  • San Francisco also lost another assistant, but this time to the college ranks. Defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley will become the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
  • The Eagles will swap out assistant offensive line coaches. After Eugene Chung‘s contract expired, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro notes the Eagles will hire Roy Istvan to replace him. Istvan will come all the way up from the NAIA level, having coached most recently at Florida’s Keiser University. However, he spent time with Philadelphia offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland in the distant past, playing for Stoutland at Southern Connecticut in the 1980s and then breaking into coaching during Stoutland’s stay as that program’s OC. This will be Istvan’s first NFL job.

East Rumors: Foles, Kitna, Belichick

It is all but certain that the Eagles will part ways with Nick Foles this offseason, and there has been plenty of speculation as to how that might happen given Foles’ present contract situation. The most-discussed scenarios involve the team basically forcing Foles to buy his way into free agency for $2MM, and even then, the Eagles could put the franchise tag on Foles and trade him, thus eliminating any voice that Foles might have in the matter.

But as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, Foles and the Eagles have an excellent relationship, as evidenced by the team’s most recent gesture of goodwill. As such, JLC suggests that Philadelphia could pick up Foles’ 2019 option, thereby triggering a $20MM salary, and then orchestrate a trade to a team of Foles’ liking. Realistically, there are only a handful of teams that will be in the market for Foles, so by going that route, Foles could keep the above-referenced $2MM and still end up with a team that he would have signed with anyway (and he and his new team would likely enter into a long-term pact whether he is traded or signs as a free agent). As La Canfora observes, the Dolphins and Jaguars are the two clubs who have been linked to Foles thus far.

Now for a quick roundup of a few more east-related items:

  • We learned earlier today that the Cowboys could hire Jon Kitna as their QB coach and name Kellen Moore as their new OC. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), Kitna will indeed become Dallas’ QB coach, which means that Moore — who served as the team’s QB coach in 2018 — may very well take the OC reins. Schefter’s ESPN colleague, Chris Mortensen, reports that head coach Jason Garrett is “in line” to serve as the team’s offensive play-caller in 2019 regardless of who the OC is (Twitter link).
  • In the past couple of years, we have heard a lot about the tension among the three pillars of the Patriots‘ franchise: owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. But as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com observes, when Belichick recently commented on the upcoming 25th anniversary of Kraft’s ownership, he said, “[h]ope we can continue it for a long time.” That brief but telling statement is in keeping with what Reiss has been sensing of late, which is that Belichick, 66, will be coaching New England for the foreseeable future.
  • Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio tweets that the Bills could promote offensive assistant Chad Hall to wide receivers coach to replace Terry Robiskie, who recently joined the Jaguars’ coaching staff.

Coaching Notes: 49ers, Browns, Bills, Saints

New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan could look to pilfer one of his Atlanta subordinates, as running backs coach Bobby Turner could be leaving the Falcons for San Francisco, reports D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Turner has long been associated with Shanahan and his father, Mike, having coached with the family in Denver and Washington before joining the Falcons in 2015. A previous report indicated Atlanta was unlikely to allow Turner to follow Shanahan to the West Coast.

Here’s more from the 2017 hiring cycle:

  • The Browns have agreed to hire former Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee for the same role, tweets Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Lee, 63, has coached offenses and QBs since the mid-1970s, and most recently had two separate stints with the Buffalo interrupted by a run with the Jets. In Cleveland, he’ll work with Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and — if he’s retained — Robert Griffin III. Previously reported staff changes that included moving tight ends coach Greg Seamon to QBs coach were only in place for the Senior Bowl, adds Cabot (Twitter link).
  • The Bills have hired former NFL wide receiver Chad Hall as an offensive coaching assistant, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Hall, who played for the Eagles in 2010 while new Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott served as the club’s defensive coordinator, will work with the Bills’ wideouts, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. The Buffalo gig will mark the first coaching job for Hall, who last played in 2014 with Jacksonville.
  • Hall wasn’t the only coach hired by the Bills this week, as Buffalo also announced that its hired Bobby Babich as assistant defensive backs coach. Babich, the son of longtime NFL defensive coordinator Bob Babich, will serve under newly-installed DBs coach Gill Byrd. Babich, who spent the 2016 campaign with Florida International, has also spent NFL time with the Browns and Panthers.
  • The Chargers have hired D’Anton Lynn as a defensive assistant and Dan Shamash as an offensive quality control coach, per Caplan (Twitter link). Lynn, the son of new Los Angeles head coach Anthony Lynn, coached with the Bills last year, while Shamash spent the 2016 season with Jacksonville.
  • Former North Carolina State defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen has been hired in the same role by the Saints, reports Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports (Twitter link). New Orleans originally pursued former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula for the position, but will instead roll with Nielsen, who’s coached with the Wolfpack since 2014.
  • The Bears could have interest in hiring Bob Bicknell as their new wide receivers coach, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Bicknell has coached wideouts at the NFL level since 2012, spending time with Buffalo, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and isn’t expected to retained by the 49ers.
  • Cedric Smith is returning to the Broncos as an assistant strength and conditioning coach after seven years in Houston and Kansas City, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter link). Smith previously worked for Denver from 2001-06.

Extra Points: Browns, Chargers, Rams, Bills

The Browns may want to think twice about who they select with the top-overall pick. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that the organization would be making a giant mistake if they pass on Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson.

“I’m just telling you if they pass on Deshaun Watson, they’re passing on Michael Jordan,” Swinney said. “I’m just telling you. I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about. I’m just an old funky college coach. (But) Deshaun Watson is the best — by a long shot.”

Swinney also said Watson would be a perfect fit for Browns head coach Hue Jackson.

“It would be awesome,” he said. “It would be easy and he’ll figure that out. It will be the easiest player he’s ever coached. I’m sure he’s coached some good ones and so I have I, but he’s simple. Very low-maintenance, humble, same guy every day and always ready. He comes to every meeting prepared. That’s how you change things. You change a culture — for me it’s through discipline and recruiting and staffing and all of that stuff. For them, it’s decision-making. It’s who you pick.”

Let’s check out some other notes from around the NFL…

  • For those wondering whether the Chargers would ever return to San Diego, owner Dean Spanos all but squashed those theories today. “That’s not even a consideration,” Spanos told Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News. “There’s no looking back. We’re moving forward.”
  • The Rams are likely adding Aaron Kromer to their staff as the new offensive line coach, reports ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez. Kromer has spent 11 seasons as an offensive line coach, most recently in Buffalo. The long-time coach also served as the Bears offensive coordinator from 2013 through 2014. As Gonzalez notes, the Rams used seven draft picks on offensive linemen between 2014 and 2015.
  • The 49ers never formally requested to interview Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, coach John Fox told Rich Campbell of The Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Fangio will instead be sticking in Chicago, and Campbell expects him to be “heavily involved” in coaching the team’s outside linebackers. The team is without an outside linebackers coach after losing Clint Hurtt to the Seahawks.
  • The Bills have hired Chad Hall as an offensive assistant, reports Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). The former Eagles wideout will join David Culley and Juan Castillo on coach Sean McDermott‘s staff.

Jaguars Sign Two, Waive Two

We’ll round up today’s minor transactions here, with the latest news appearing at the top, starting with the Jaguars’ latest transaction:

Jaguars To Sign Ramses Barden, Chad Hall

Former third-round pick Ramses Barden will get another chance to catch on with the NFL team, having reached an agreement to sign with the Jaguars, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Jags will also add receiver Chad Hall, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link). Mark Long of The Associated Press tweeted earlier today that Jacksonville was auditioning Barden and Hall.

Barden, 28, was selected 85th overall by the Giants in the 2009 draft, but only managed to record 29 receptions for the team over the course of five seasons. The 6’6″ wideout inked a futures deal with the Bills in January, but lost his roster spot this offseason when Buffalo decided to cut him. Hall, meanwhile, has spent time with the Eagles and Chiefs, catching 16 career passes in parts of three NFL seasons.

For the Jaguars, whose receiving corps has been depleted by injuries and absences this summer, Barden and Hall will likely just provide some camp and preseason depth, but perhaps they’ll also have the opportunity to compete for roster spots if they impress this month.

As O’Halloran notes, to make room for the incoming players, the Jags have cut safety Jerome Junior and waived-injured wideout Nathan Slaughter, who suffered a foot injury.