Clint Hurtt

NFC Coaching Notes: 49ers, Seahawks, Rams, Bears, Vikings

Gus Bradley‘s hesitancy surrounding the Chargers’ DC job was believed to have been connected to an opportunity with the 49ers under Tom Cable. But now that Cable withdrew his name from consideration, the Bolts still don’t have a decision from Bradley. However, buzz around league circles points to a Kyle Shanahan-Bradley setup in San Francisco making sense, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets.

This comes after a report indicating Bradley “spurned” the 49ers when asked if he would team with Shanahan. It would help explain Bradley remaining without a job after being coveted by Anthony Lynn in Los Angeles. The 49ers have shown a willingness to target DCs, with the Bears blocking their request for a potential Vic Fangio reunion, due to having a coach in line to accept the job in Shanahan, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes.

Here’s more from the 49ers and the rest of the league during the postseason hiring period.

  • Shanahan will not put up a fight for control over the 49ers’ 53-man roster if hired, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports. The would-be first-time HC would be fine working alongside a GM regarding the draft and prospective trades, Maiocco writes, and could meet with GM candidates on second interviews on Tuesday. The Falcons’ OC is expected to meet with the 49ers again on Tuesday.
  • The Seahawks hired Clint Hurtt as their defensive line coach, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. This wraps up an interesting odyssey for the former Bears’ outside linebackers coach. A previous report linked Hurtt to the Jets as their OLBs coach, with that coming after the position instructor turned down an extension with the Bears. Hurtt coached Chicago’s defensive line in 2014.
  • Broncos assistant defensive backs coach Samson Brown will follow Wade Phillips to and become part of the Rams‘ defensive staff, Marvez tweets. The Broncos are bringing Johnnie Lynn aboard to replace him, per Marvez. Lynn worked with new Denver DBs coach Marcus Robertson with the Raiders.
  • Speaking of the Bears, they hired three new assistants: Jeremiah Washburn (offensive line), Curtis Modkins (running backs) and Roy Anderson (assistant secondary). Washburn worked as the Dolphins’ O-line coach in 2016 and oversaw the Lions’ offensive front for the previous three seasons. Modkins served as the 49ers’ OC under Chip Kelly last season and previously as the Bills’ OC.
  • The Bears might lose assistant special teams coach Richard Hightower to the 49ers, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes (on Twitter). He previously worked with Shanahan, doing so in Washington from 2010-13 and in Cleveland in ’14.
  • Vikings assistant Kevin Stefanski will slide from running backs coach to quarterbacks coach, Caplan reports (on Twitter). Although the Vikings promoted Pat Shurmur to full-time OC, they fired QBs coach Scott Turner earlier this month. Stefanski has coached the running backs and tight ends the past three seasons but served as Minnesota’s assistant QBs coach from 2009-13. He’s been with the organization since 2006.

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.

Coach/FO Notes: Caserio, Jets, Panthers

The 49ers‘ summit with Josh McDaniels occurred today, but the team did not meet with Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, whom it was curious about pairing with the 40-year-old coach. A Caserio/49ers summit — one the team requested — did not appear on the San Francisco brass’ docket, either because the Patriots denied an interview request or Caserio turned down the offer, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes.

A Patriots staffer since 2001, Caserio was a college teammate of McDaniels’ at John Carroll University. The longtime Patriots employee is signed through 2020 and interviewed for the Dolphins’ GM job in 2014. He makes approximately $2MM per year, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports, adding that a 49ers job could interest the 41-year-old personnel man.

Howe notes the 49ers are hoping to bring Caserio aboard as their GM, writing interview requests will continue to come his way due to the Patriots’ success and his current job title permitting those requests. ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Colts VP of football operations Jimmy Raye III, Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane, Packers director of football operations Elliot Wolf and Vikings assistant GM George Paton represent the other candiates for the 49ers’ GM position. Raye will interview with the team on Sunday.

Here’s more from the NFL hiring period as the playoffs commence.

  • Bears outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt agreed to a two-year deal with the Jets to lead their outside ‘backers, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports (on Twitter). A Bears staffer for three seasons, Hurtt declined a contract extension in Chicago this week. The Bears denied Hurtt permission to interview with the Dolphins last season.
  • The Panthers do not plan to make any coaching changes despite being the latest Super Bowl loser to miss the playoffs the following season. “This is a damn good coaching staff,” Dave Gettleman said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “We went 17-2 last year. We didn’t get stupid overnight.” Carolina could have to deal with at least one change if DC Sean McDermott lands a head coaching job. He’s booked a second interview with the Chargers. Secondary coach Steve Wilks also will interview with the Redskins for their DC job.
  • A Kyle Shanahan defection to become a head coach would leave the Falcons with an OC vacancy, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (on Twitter) quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur and offensive assistant Mike McDaniel are in-house candidates to ascend to that position. Of course, Shanahan could want to take a Falcons staffer with him, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets McDaniel would be a name to watch in that event. McDaniel has worked with Shanahan with three teams, joining him on the Redskins’ and Browns’ staffs before coming to Atlanta in 2015.

Extra Points: Bears, Colts, Dolphins

As we await the start of playoff football, let’s check out some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • Bears coach John Fox has another hole to fill on his coaching staff. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt recently declined a contract extension. The former Louisville coach is leaving the organization to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Hurtt previously coached the Bears’ defensive line during Marc Trestman‘s tenure in Chicago.
  • 35-year-old Trent Cole recently indicated on Twitter that he wants to play in 2017. The veteran was solid in his seven games with the Colts this season, compiling 17 tackles and two sacks. The long-time Eagles standout is set to be a free agent this winter, and Kevin Bowen of Colts.com says the team’s desire to get younger may prevent Cole from returning to Indy.
  • Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan announced that he is declaring for the NFL Draft, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The junior finished the 2016 campaign with 102 tackles, two sacks, and five passes defended. A recent mock draft by Yahoo’s Eric Edholm had McMillan going 56th overall to the Raiders.
  • Players who are signed to reserve/future contracts rarely get any guaranteed money, but Deon Lacey is apparently an exception. ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that the Dolphins linebacker received a $200K signing bonus when inking his contract.

AFC East Notes: Tannehill, Campbell, Whaley

With the Senior Bowl wrapped up and all four AFC East teams in offseason mode as Super Bowl 50 nears, let’s look at the latest news coming out of the division, starting with the Dolphins.

  • Ryan Tannehill‘s inconsistency notwithstanding, Mike Tannenbaum‘s seen enough from the fifth-year quarterback to avoid spending a draft pick or signing a free agent for legitimate competition, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. This isn’t too surprising. Miami gave Tannehill $77MM in new money last May to be their franchise quarterback, and ending a year that began with playoff expectations at 6-10, the team has other pressing needs.
  • The Dolphins have quite a few issues to sort out over the coming offseason, but chief among them will be overhauling their linebacking unit, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Kelvin Sheppard proved enough at middle linebacker, but per Salguero, the club is aware that it needs an upgrade at that spot. Further, Miami is likely to replace one of its two outside linebackers, with Koa Misi being the most obvious candidate to be cut given his 2016 cap charge of roughly $4.88MM (the Dolphins could save $4.3MM by making him a post-June 1 release). For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus graded Misi as the highest of Miami’s three ‘backers (No. 21), while Jelani Jenkins and Sheppard rated Nos. 38 and 84, respectively, among 97 qualifiers.
  • Although interim coach Dan Campbell reportedly did not take losing out to Adam Gase with the Dolphins well, the team’s interim coach last season still could have joined Gase’s staff but instead chose to join the Saints’ staff as assistant head coach/tight ends coach, Jackson writes. The Dolphins, however, prevented multiple teams from hiring special teams coach Darren Rizzi.
  • The Bears denied outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt to speak with Gase about becoming the Dolphins’ defensive line coach, Jackson reports, but Hurtt coming to Miami once his contract expires after this season could still be on the table. A former Miami Hurricanes assistant, Hurtt would be an attractive option, per Jackson, if the Fins’ front falters under Terrell Williams, who got the job after Chicago chose to block Hurtt’s path.
  • One GM told Lisa Wilson of the Buffalo News the Bills are trapped in “8-8 limbo” without certainty at quarterback and little money to spend this offseason. Another informed the reporter he applauded the team’s patience regarding Doug Whaley and resisting the urge to start over as many teams do in the Bills’ situation. Owners of the longest NFL playoff drought, the Bills are currently $3.4MM over the salary cap, per OverTheCap, but have strung together their most wins in a two-year span (17) since 1999-2000, the former season representing Buffalo’s last playoff advancement. Tyrod Taylor will also only count $3.13MM against the Bills’ cap next season.
  • Whaley also justified bringing in embattled veteran DC Rob Ryan as an assistant to help enhance Rex Ryan‘s productivity while helping unite the brothers against their critics. “If you look at it, Rob and Rex, they’ve had some troubles,” Whaley told media, including Wilson. “Their name is kind of like, ‘Hey, they’re the Ryans, what happened to their defense?’ So why not bring in your brother and try to reclaim that name? That’s the way I look at it. And who’s going to have your back more than your brother? I think it’s a positive. I know it’s a positive. Everybody in the building feels it’s a positive. It’s a positive for Rex, too. It can help him expand his horizons as the head coach and get into some other things.”

Dallas Robinson contributed to this report

Staff Updates: Giants, 49ers, Bills, Bears, Fins

The latest coaching staff-related news from around the NFL:

  • The Giants have hired Frank Cignetti as their quarterbacks coach, according to Newsday’s Tom Rock, and Dwayne Stukes as their assistant special teams coach (Twitter link via Alex Marvez of Fox Sports). Marvez reported Monday that Cignetti was a candidate to join Ben McAdoo‘s staff as the QBs coach, which has now come to fruition. Cignetti held the position in St. Louis from 2012-14 before a promotion to offensive coordinator last year. That didn’t work out, though, as the Rams fired him during the season.
  • In other Giants news, their offensive line coach, Pat Flaherty, is interviewing for the same position with the 49ers, Marvez tweets. The Giants seem set to part ways with Flaherty, so it would obviously be in his best interest to land the 49ers job.
  • The Bears have blocked outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt from becoming the Dolphins’ defensive line coach, reports Thayer Evans of SI.com. Hurtt, who has one year left on his contract with Chicago, is rising up the assistant coaching ranks in the NFL and has drawn interest at both the pro and college levels, according to Thayer.
  • Bills assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn is a candidate to become the 49ers’ offensive coordinator. If he does, the Bills could replace him with Wilbert Montgomery, according to ESPN’s Mike Rodak (Twitter link). Montgomery – who has spent the past two seasons coaching Cleveland’s running backs – is familiar with Bills head coach Rex Ryan. Both were on the Ravens’ coaching staff in 2008.

Bengals’ Vance Joseph To Miami: ‘Done Deal’

Adam Gase‘s new staff in Miami is already taking shape, with Bengals secondary coach Vance Joseph set to come aboard as the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator, Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com tweets.

Marvez notes the second-year Bengals DBs coach will become the Dolphins’ new DC once the Bengals are eliminated from postseason play.

Marvez’s report comes on the heels of NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeting Joseph will have options after the Bengals’ season is over, but the Dolphins would definitely be targeting him. Joseph is in the final year of his contract, although other outlets say he’ll wait to see where Bengals OC Hue Jackson lands before deciding on his own future.

Joseph has extensive seasoning as a secondary coach, presiding over the 49ers and Texans DBs from 2006-10 (in San Francisco) and 2011-13 (in Houston).

The Broncos attempted to interview the 43-year-old Joseph for their defensive coordinator position last season, but the Bengals didn’t permit the meeting, leading Denver to go with Wade Phillips.

Marvez also reports (on Twitter) Joseph’s staff in Miami’s forming swiftly, with Bengals linebackers coach Matt Burke, Bears defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and Cowboys defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson set to come to Miami in those same positions under Gase and Joseph.

Henderson already interviewed for the Browns’ head-coaching job, so a report linking him to another position coach job may be premature. He’s been the Cowboys’ secondary coach since 2012.

Burke finished his seventh season as a linebackers coach. He taught the Lions’ backers for five seasons before coming to Cincinnati.

Hurtt doesn’t have as much NFL experience, with 2015 representing his first season as a position coach. He was the Bears’ assistant defensive line coach in 2014.

Although Reggie Nelson‘s eight interceptions finished the 2015 season tied for the league lead, the Bengals enter their wild-card game with the 20th-ranked pass defense.

The Dolphins fired their defensive coordinator, Kevin Coyle, in October.

Photo courtesy USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Chargers, Lynch, Lions

When reports came out earlier today regarding Adam Gase being hired as the Dolphins head coach, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that Bengals defensive back’s coach Vance Joseph was expected to join the staff as Miami’s new defensive coordinator. However, Rapoport later clarified (via Twitter) that Joseph will be a target, but no deal has been finalized. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets that Joseph has had zero discussions with the Dolphins regarding the position.

If Joseph does end up joining Gase’s staff, he’s expected to hire several notable names. Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez tweets that Bengals linebackers coach Matt Burke, Bears defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, and Cowboys defensive back’s coach Jerome Henderson would presumably join Joseph’s staff.

Meanwhile, Albert Breer tweets that Hue Jackson is scheduled to have his interviews with the 49ers and Browns tomorrow. If he secures any of those head coaching jobs, Breer believes Joseph will be a target to become defensive coordinator (with Mike Solari an option at offensive coordinator).

Let’s take a look at some more assorted notes from around the league…

  • The Chargers request to interview Buccaneers defensive line coach Joe Cullen was denied, tweets Fox Sports’ Mike Garafalo.
  • Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times gives a list of reasons why it’d be in the Seahawks best interest to move on from Marshawn Lynch (via Twitter): they’d save $6.5MM against the cap, he’s 30-years-old, and he only appeared in seven games this season.
  • The Jets, Browns, Texans and Rams are among the teams scouting North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz at today’s FCS title game, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (via Twitter).
  • Count Gil Brandt among those who are big fans of new Lions general manager Bob Quinn“He’s not one of these guys that’s known because he doesn’t seek out jobs,” Brandt told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “But he knows the personnel part of it, he knows the cap part of it. He knows how to make people better at the job they do. You’ll like this guy because … he’s a hustler, and he’s very low-key.”

NFC Notes: Packers, Bears, Cruz, Falcons

As 2015’s Super Bowl Media Day rolls on, let’s round up a few Tuesday notes from across the NFC….

  • Only four of 11 Packers players who had per-game roster bonuses in their contracts failed to collect all their money, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, breaking down the players who did and didn’t receive their bonuses.
  • The Bears announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve reached an agreement with Clint Hurtt to become their outside linebackers coach. The fact that the team is distinguishing between outside and inside linebackers coaches now suggests a transition to a 3-4 defense under new DC Vic Fangio.
  • Victor Cruz‘s $8.125MM cap number will be the second-highest on the Giants‘ books in 2015, prompting Dan Graziano of ESPN.com to explore whether the team will need to address Cruz’s contract this offseason.
  • A pair of Falcons assistant coaches recently interviewed for other jobs, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com, who tweets that Glenn Thomas talked to the Browns about their quarterbacks coach position, while Gerald Brown met with the Raiders about their running backs coach job.
  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Mike Sando takes a detailed look at how the Seahawks built the team that’s looking for its second consecutive Super Bowl win this Sunday.
  • Seahawks defensive tackle Kevin Williams is happy with the choice he made in free agency last offseason, but considering he narrowed his options down to Seattle and New England, he admitted this week that he “couldn’t have gone wrong,” writes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
  • Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News expects the Cowboys to target a pass rusher with their first-round pick this April, or at least to nab a defender if there are no ideal pass-rushing fits at No. 27.