Chris Tabor

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.

Coaching Rumors: Browns, Raiders, Bears

Even though new Browns lead football man John Dorsey is keeping current head coach Hue Jackson, he has just gotten started in reshaping the team’s coaching staff. Apart from hiring Ken Zampese and Adam Henry as the organization’s quarterbacks and wide receivers coaches earlier this week, the team has let go of five staff members from this past season, according to Tony Grossi of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Grossi reports that the team has moved on from former QB’s coach David Lee, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, running back coordinator Kirby Wilson, special teams assistant Shawn Mennenga and special teams quality control coach Stan Watson. Dorsey has brought a new look to the Browns front office and he’ll now remake the team’s coaching staff given this new coaching news.

Here’s more coaching news from around the league:

  • Raiders new head coach Jon Gruden has brought in a number of new coaches to join his staff for the 2018 season. But there is one coach that is definitely being retained from Jack Del Rio’s previous coaching crew. Assistant wide receivers coach Nick Holz is being retained, per Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link). While Holz is the only holdover as of now, Caplan does note that many other Del Rio staffers are currently being reviewed by the organization.
  • Matt Nagy has began filling out the Bears coaching staff for next season. The team announced that they have hired former NFL receiver Mike Furrey to coach their wideout group. Furrey was recently the head coach at Limestone College and played with Nagy in the AFL back in 2002. Furrey will likely inherit a much different group of receivers than the team had in 2017.
  • Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown is expected to return to the team in 2018, sources tell Todd Archer of ESPN.com. It was previously reported that while Dallas had wanted to retain him, he had also drawn interest from the Raiders and Texans.
  • While many hires are being reported, the Chargers are losing their tight ends coach John McNulty to the college ranks. McNulty will join Rutgers as their offensive coordinator for the next season, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). McNulty previously worked as an assistant coach for the Scarlet Knights from 2004-2008.

 

 

Extra Points: Redskins, Cousins, Raiders

Redskins coach Jay Gruden wants to see Kirk Cousins get a long-term contract and not just another one-year patchwork solution.

I think something has to be done,” Gruden told Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post. “I personally don’t want to go through another one-year deal, and just [keep going] one year, one year. I think you want to have a quarterback in here that’s going to be here. And hopefully that is Kirk, and if not, we have to move on and do what we have to do as an organization. For the most part, the great quarterbacks are in the same system year in and year out, and are developing in that system. [Teams are] not holding our breath every March and April, waiting for the guy. But if that’s the case, that’s the case. But we like Kirk and his development. He’s played well at times, without a doubt, proven that he’s a good starting NFL quarterback.”

Cousins did not quite match his 2016 numbers this past season and that could help the two sides reach a midway point in extension talks. Failing that, the Redskins can franchise tag him again for a whopping $34.5MM or use the $28.8MM transition tag, giving them the option to match any offer (though they would not receive any compensation if they do not match).

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • It remains to be seen whether the Raiders will face punishment for skirting the Rooney Rule, but the league has spoken on at least one aspect of Jon Gruden‘s hiring. When asked whether the NFL permits a team to reach an agreement in principle with a new coach before firing its current coach, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told Mike Florio of PFT, “There is no league rule or policy on this.” During Gruden’s introductory presser, owner Mark Davis said that he had a handshake deal with Gruden before firing Jack Del Rio. The Fritz Pollard Alliance seems fairly convinced that this was a violation of the Rooney Rule since the team interviewed minority candidates after reaching a deal with Gruden. However, the league may conclude that the Raiders complied with the rule since they did technically interview Tee Martin and Bobby Johnson before putting pen to paper with Chucky.
  • Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield may go without an on-field agent, as Liz Mullen of Sports Business Daily writes. It would be a daring play for Mayfield, who is facing many questions about his ability to adapt to the NFL.
  • The Bears have tapped Chris Tabor to be their new special-teams coordinator, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes. This marks Tabor’s second stint with Chicago, with his first coming in 2008-2010. For the last seven seasons, he’s been in Cleveland, where he’s lasted through two different owners, five GMs, and four head coaches.

AFC Rumors: Browns, Te’o, Jags, Jets, Simmons

The Browns endured an agonizing defeat for the second straight week, and their new kicker hovered at the center of the loss to the Dolphins. Cody Parkey missed three field goals, including what would have been a game-winning 46-yarder at the end of regulation. But the new Cleveland kicker was reportedly not the preferred choice of Browns special teams coach Chris Tabor.

Instead, the sixth-year Browns ST boss wanted the team to sign Robbie Gould, whom the Bears recently released, but he was overruled by Browns management, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. The Browns signed Parkey on Saturday morning after top kicker Patrick Murray sustained an injury Friday. Cleveland’s decision-makers decided Gould, a 12th-year veteran, was too expensive for them. This led to the decision to bring in third-year man Parkey, per Salguero.

Gould made $3.6MM with the Bears last season and remains a free agent. Parkey, per OverTheCap, is set to make $529K upon signing with the Browns, who possess just more than $48MM in cap space.

Here’s more from the AFC as Week 3’s night-game schedule continues.

  •  The Chargers fear starting inside linebacker Manti Te’o tore his Achilles’ tendon, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter). He will undergo testing on Monday to determine the severity of the injury that forced him out of the Chargers’ Week 3 loss to the Colts, Gehlken tweets. One of the Bolts’ captains, Te’o was beginning a contract year that would lose steam if he’s no longer able to play this season. The 2013 second-round pick has made 34 starts for the Chargers since his rookie season. An injury to the former Notre Dame standout would likely thrust rookie fifth-rounder Jatavis Brown into the lineup.
  • Broncos third-round safety Justin Simmons missed today’s game because of a broken bone in his left wrist, Mike Klis of 9News reports. Simmons operates as Denver’s third safety, but the team saw backups Will Parks and Shiloh Keo record turnovers. The defending champions released Keo earlier this week after his two-game suspension ended but re-signed him shortly after, likely due to Simmons’ status.
  • Jaguars owner Shad Khan has given Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley a long leash, but the team that received a fair amount of hype based on its offseason is now 0-3. The Jags are set to make their annual London trip next weekend, and with the bye looming, an 0-4 return from England will bring about a change of some sort, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union writes. After today’s 19-17 loss to the Ravens, the Jaguars — who will now occupy the No. 1 slot in the waiver order as the pecking order shifts to reflect this season’s records instead of 2015’s — are 12-39 under Bradley. That’s by far the worst mark in franchise history for a coach in his first four years. Both Tom Coughlin and Jack Del Rio went 9-7 in their second seasons. A coach has been fired after a Week 4 London loss the past two seasons. The Raiders jettisoned Dennis Allen after his team fell to 0-4 in a Wembley Stadium defeat to the Dolphins, who a year later canned Joe Philbin after his team lost its Week 4 England tilt.
  • The Jets‘ four-quarterback setup deprives the team of a fullback, and Todd Bowles doesn’t see the team making a move at that spot. “We’re good,” Bowles said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, when asked about a fullback-less roster. As Cimini notes, only 17 teams have fullbacks. The Jets cut Julian Howsare earlier this week and promoted tight end Braedon Bowman.

Coach Rumors: Giants, Tabor, M. Smith, Haslett

Ben McAdoo didn’t announce any decisions on his coaching staff during his introductory press conference this morning, but the new Giants head coach alluded to players improving in their second season in a defensive scheme, suggesting Steve Spagnuolo will be back.

Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that Spagnuolo will, in fact, return as the Giants’ defensive coordinator. A source tell Marvez (Twitter link) that the Giants will also keep secondary coach David Merritt on McAdoo’s staff.

As for McAdoo, Giants owner John Mara said today that the club had initially scheduled a second interview for him on Thursday of this week. However, when the Giants got wind of the Eagles’ strong interest in McAdoo, they pushed that second interview up a day to Wednesday, and ultimately promoted him to head coach (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News).

Here are a few more coaching-related updates from around the NFL:

  • Browns special teams coordinator Chris Tabor has been retained by new head coach Hue Jackson, the team announced today in a press release. Tabor has been in his current role since 2011, working under Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski, Mike Pettine, and now Jackson.
  • The Browns are also expected to add Vikings running backs coach Kirby Wilson to their staff as a running game coordinator, if Minnesota approves the move, writes Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • Former Falcons head coach Mike Smith is a “hot name” as a defensive coordinator and has several options, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). We’ll see if Smith, who interviewed for a pair of head coaching jobs, has interest in returning in 2016 as an assistant.
  • Jim Haslett will be named the Bengals‘ new linebackers coach, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com (via Twitter). Haslett, who served as a consultant for Penn State in 2015, was replaced by Joe Barry as Washington’s defensive coordinator a year ago.
  • Saints offensive line coach Bret Ingalls, offensive assistant Kyle DeVan, and secondary coach Wesley McGriff are leaving the team, with the latter two landing college jobs, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune tweets that Dan Roushar will likely move from tight ends coach to offensive line coach to accommodate new addition Dan Campbell.

Coach Updates: Joseph, Texans, Browns, Bucs

Earlier today, we passed along a report suggesting that former interim head coach Dan Campbell is unlikely to remain with the Dolphins. Now, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports has another update on Miami’s coaching staff, walking back his weekend report which suggested it was a “done deal” that Bengals assistant Vance Joseph would be joining the Dolphins as their defensive coordinator.

According to Marvez (Twitter links), Joseph can’t sign with another team until next Tuesday unless he’s released from his contract by the Bengals — the Dolphins could request Cincinnati release Joseph from his deal early, but the Bengals wouldn’t be required to do so.

Meanwhile, it’s not an absolute lock that Joseph will join the Dolphins when he’s free to sign with a new team. Per Marvez (Twitter link), there’s still a chance that the Bengals’ defensive backs coach could become Hue Jackson‘s defensive coordinator if Jackson gets a head coaching job, so a bidding war for Joseph’s services could be looming.

As we wait to see where Joseph lands, let’s round up a few more coaching-related updates…

  • The Texans have fired three assistant coaches, including special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Wide receivers coach Stan Hixon and special teams assistant Anthony Pleasant were also let go.
  • Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and three other Browns assistants have been asked to remain with the team if the new head coach wants them, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. That means defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, and several other Cleveland coaches will be free to explore opportunities elsewhere.
  • According to Peter King of TheMMQB.com, “word on the coaching circuit” indicates Jon Gruden would have listened very earnestly if the Colts‘ head coaching job had become available. Gruden has been linked to the Eagles’ coaching vacancy, but it doesn’t appear the ESPN analyst is going anywhere.
  • After former NFL GM Mark Dominik (Twitter link) alluded to a coach in the postseason who would be a strong candidate for the Buccaneers‘ head coaching opening, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) identified that coach as Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin. Goodwin interviewed with the Bucs on Friday, but won’t be able to speak to the club again for at least a week, with Arizona still alive in the playoffs.