Dave DeGuglielmo

Colts To Keep Matt Eberflus

Josh McDaniels bailed on the Colts, but the Colts are not bailing on his would-be assistants. At least, not the ones that have already signed contracts. On Wednesday morning, GM Chris Ballard confirmed that defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and other coaches who inked deals with the team will be staying on board. Matt Eberflus (Vertical)

In addition to Eberflus, Dave DeGuglielmo (offensive line) and Mike Phair (defensive line) have also inked deals, so they’ll still have a place on the staff. That still leaves some key openings, like offensive coordinator, so the Colts’ next coach can at least choose some of his own assistants.

Prior to the McDaniels debacle, it was reported that the team was pushing for Darrell Bevell to be the new offensive coordinator while McDaniels was pushing for Raiders quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz. The Colts may still try to bring Bevell into the mix, but they may also leave it up to the next coach given that he’ll be made to work with McDaniels’ hires.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Josh McDaniels’ Rejection Of Colts HC Job

In a move not seen since Bill Belichick resigned as “HC of the NYJ” in 2000, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels decided not to accept the Colts’ head coaching position after the club had already formally announced his hire. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who originally reported the McDaniels story, has since offered more details on the New England play-caller’s decision:

  • While McDaniels’ decision to remain with the Patriots may lead many to speculate that Belichick is close to retirement, that may not be the case, per Schefter. In fact, had Belichick made it clear that he was about to leave New England, McDaniels would have been more inclined to accept a head coaching offer. As Schefter reported earlier, Patriots owner Robert Kraft “sweetened” McDaniels’ contract over the past few days — had that overture started sooner, McDaniels may not have taken any head coaching interviews, at all.
  • Although McDaniels ultimately decided to reject the Colts’ offer, his decision was not based on money, according to Schefter. Instead, McDaniels had concerns about moving his family away from the New England area (the same worries he reportedly had while considering the 49ers’ job a year ago). His unease with leaving the Patriots lead to the Colts having McDaniels in for a second interview. While Indy formally announced McDaniels as its new head coach earlier today, McDaniels had never officially signed a contract, per Schefter.
  • Despite rejecting this present opportunity, McDaniels would still like to become a head coach again, per Schefter. It seems incredibly unlikely that any team will trust McDaniels with a head coaching job in the near future given his decision to bail on the Colts, but — clearly — he does have some interest in becoming the next Patriots’ head coach when Belichick retires.
  • McDaniels was reportedly offering jobs to assistants earlier today, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Some coaches, such as Matt Eberflus (defensive coordinator), Dave DeGuglielmo (offensive line), and Mike Phair (defensive line) have already signed contracts with the Colts, and they’ll be offered roles under the new Indianapolis head coach, whomever that may be, per Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link).
  • Kraft’s decision to put the full-court press on McDaniels may have deeper roots, as one source texted Schefter (Twitter link): “That’s Kraft putting it to the Colts again. He will forever try and (expletive) that place ever since DeflateGate.”

Coaching Notes: Lions, Vikings, Colts, Titans

Dean Pees “retired” as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator earlier this year before joining the Titans in the same role on Monday, but Tennessee wasn’t the only club that expressed interest in the veteran coach over the past several weeks. The Lions, who are expected to formally hire Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia following the Super Bowl, also discussed a job offer with Pees, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Pees and Patricia have a working relationship, as they coached together in New England from 2004-09, so the connection makes sense. Detroit, which is expected to revamps its entire defensive staff once Patricia officially comes on board, is reportedly interested in hiring Boston College defensive line Paul Pasqualoni as its new defensive coordinator.

  • The Vikings are unlikely to announce their new offensive coordinator until after the Super Bowl, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell, Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell, and Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan are the known candidates to have interviewed to replace Pat Shurmur, who recently became the Giants’ head coach. Ben McAdoo has also been linked to Minnesota’s search but hasn’t been interviewed, while the Vikings also reportedly had interest in Mike McCoy before he signed on with the Cardinals.
  • Although the Colts don’t officially have a head coach, they do have a new offensive line coach, as the club has agreed to terms with Dave DeGuglielmo to lead their front five, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. DeGuglielmo coached the Patriots’ offensive line (with mixed results) from 2014-15, so he has a familiarity with presumptive Indy head coach Josh McDaniels. Last season, DeGuglielmo was hired as a Dolphins assistant after OL coach Chris Foerster was fired after an inappropriate video was published. DeGuglielmo also has experience with the Jets, Giants, and Chargers.
  • In addition to poaching offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, the Titans have also hired assistant special teams coach Tyrone McKenzie away from the Rams, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). McKenzie, 32, will coach inside linebackers for Tennessee. Like new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, McKenzie is a former Patriots linebacker, although the two never overlapped in New England, as Vrabel was traded prior to 2009, the season McKenzie joined the club. McKenzie, also a former Buccaneer and Viking, has only one season of coaching experience.

Coaching Rumors: DeFilippo, Chiefs, Raiders

John DeFilippo interviewed for the Cardinals’ HC job, but if the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach does not land it, he could be an offensive coordinator option elsewhere. DeFilippo’s contract expires at season’s end, Albert Breer of SI.com reports. The second-year Eagles QBs coach looks to have caught the eye of Steve Wilks, who has interviewed for two HC jobs. Breer notes Wilks would want DeFilippo to run his offense if he lands an HC job. Interestingly, Wilks’ best path to said job looks to be with the Cardinals. The Bears met with DeFilippo as well but have already selected their next HC.

Here’s the latest from the coaching ranks.

  • While Wilks and DeFilippo could be connected, Josh McDaniels and Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus may be a possible pairing as well. Breer notes the Patriots’ OC accepting a head-coaching job could lead to Eberflus becoming McDaniels’ DC. Eberflus has coached Dallas’ linebackers since the 2011 season. Prior to that, he served as the Browns’ LBs coach.
  • The Chiefs made quick work of replacing since-promoted Eric Bieniemy as their running backs coach. They interviewed USC running backs coach Deland McCullough for the position on Thursday and will hire him, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports. McCullough, 45, played for the Bengals and Eagles in the late 1990s and coached the likes of Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard at Indiana during a six-year stay as the Hoosiers’ RBs boss. He coached at USC for one season.
  • Bobby Johnson received a Raiders HC interview that is being scrutinized by the NFL, since it may have happened after a Mark Davis/Jon Gruden agreement, but Johnson won’t be a part of Gruden’s 2018 staff. The Raiders are firing their tight ends coach and are expected to hire Bears tight ends coach Frank Smith, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). A previous contender for the Oakland offensive line coaching job, Smith coached the Bears’ tight ends for three years.
  • The Raiders are casting a wide net for their next O-line coach. Former Patriots and Dolphins OL boss Dave DeGuglielmo is in the mix and will interview Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Dolphins, who hired DeGuglielmo to replace the fired Chris Foerster in October, granted permission for this meeting. Miami hired Jeremiah Washburn to coach its O-line, so this would seemingly pave a path out of south Florida for DeGuglielmo.
  • New Packers DC Mike Pettine hired former Giants and Patriots defensive assistant Patrick Graham, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. A Patriots staffer from 2009-15, coaching both New England’s defensive line and linebackers, the 38-year-old Graham is expected to be in charge of Packers ‘backers in some capacity, per Silverstein. Green Bay’s ILBs job is available, and Graham prefers to coach linebackers rather than D-linemen, Silverstein notes.
  • The Bears are interested in Texans offensive assistant Pat O’Hara to become their quarterbacks coach, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. O’Hara and Matt Nagy were both Arena League quarterbacks in the 2000s, although O’Hara is 10 years older than Nagy. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets an O’Hara hire doesn’t mean incumbent QBs coach Dave Ragone will be dismissed. Ragone, a former wideouts coach with the Titans, was a possible candidate to stay despite a new HC’s hire.

Coach Rumors: Raiders, Olson, Cards, Fins

If the Raiders (as expected) hire ESPN commentator Jon Gruden as their next head coach, they are expected to lure Rams quarterbacks coach Greg Olson to be their new offensive coordinator, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Marvez reported yesterday that Olson might be a candidate to join Gruden in Oakland, but now it sounds as though an Olson addition will be a foregone conclusion. Olson, 54, has served as the Raiders’ offensive play-caller before (2013-14), and has also been an OC at several other stops, including Detroit, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville, but Gruden is expected to run his own offense once he arrives in Oakland.

Here’s more on the 2018 hiring cycle:

  • The Raiders‘ apparent decision to bring in Gruden could have wide-ranging implications for the club’s coaching staff and front office, but general manager Reggie McKenzie is likely to stay in place for at least more season even if Gruden is hired, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. McKenzie, who is signed through the 2021 draft, may be in danger of losing final authority on personnel decisions, but Gruden is unlikely to take on a GM-type role in Oakland, per Florio. However, if the Raiders do hand over free agent and draft control to Gruden, McKenzie might be able to leave on his own, citing a breach of contract.
  • Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak will indeed interview for the vacant Cardinals head coaching position, and the meeting will take place this weekend, reports Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Arizona asked for permission to interview Munchak earlier this week, and that request has apparently been granted. Munchak has been a head coach before, as he posted a 22-26 record in three seasons with the Titans. He’s the eighth candidate to be linked to the Cardinals’ search.
  • Former Broncos assistant head coach/running backs Eric Studesville will have to wait for his interview with the Giants, as weather-related concerns have forced the summit to next week, per Dan Duggan of NJ.com (Twitter link). Studesville, who had been employed in Denver since 2010, was fired earlier this week. While he’s never been a head coach, the 50-year-old Studesville did serve as an interim HC during the 2010 campaign.
  • The Dolphins have hired a familiar face as their new offensive line coach, as they’ve agreed to terms with Jeremiah Washburn to take over the job, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Washburn served as an assistant OL coach in Miami in 2016 before accepting a promotion in Chicago. He’ll now replace staffer Dave DeGuglielmo, who was hired to replace Chris Foerster after the latter was caught using drugs on video.
  • Gruden and the Raiders are expected to target Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown for the same role in Oakland, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Brown, 48, is now a coaching free agent, as his contract in Dallas has expired. The Cowboys made several coaching changes earlier this week, but there’s no word as to whether they’ll pursue Brown again.

Dolphins Hire Dave DeGuglielmo As Asst.

The Dolphins have hired Dave DeGuglielmo as a senior offensive assistant, the club announced today. Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com first linked DeGuglielmo to Miami earlier this week. DeGuglielmo will replace Chris Foerster, who resigned on Monday after a video was posted showing Foerster snorting a white substance.Dave DeGuglielmo (Vertical)

Although DeGuglielmo will land in South Beach, it doesn’t appear that he’ll be formally taking over as the club’s offensive line coach. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald indicated on Tuesday that that could be the case, and assistant offensive line coach Chris Kuper will presumably take on a more prominent role in leading the Dolphins’ front five.

DeGuglielmo, 49, offers vast experience as an offensive line coach at both the collegiate and NFL level. He’s worked for Miami before, as he was the club’s line coach from 2009-11. Most recently, DeGuglielmo served as the Patriots’ offensive line coach from 2014-15 and as an assistant with the Chargers in 2016.

While Foerster clearly didn’t resign because of the Dolphins’ on-field performance, Miami’s offensive line has been nothing special this season. The unit is below average in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders, while none of the Dolphins’ linemen rank inside the top-20 at their respective positions, according to Pro Football Focus.

DeGuglielmo earned a job in Miami, but Dave Magazu — who worked under Dolphins head coach Adam Gase in both Denver and Chicago — was reportedly in consideration for a gig, as well.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Pats, Gronk, Brady, Dolphins

The Patriots‘ decision to deactivate Rob Gronkowski for Thursday night’s game could cost him major money at the end of the season, ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss points out. Gronkowski has played in 70.5% of the team’s snaps this season, which puts him on pace for the lowest possible incentives tier of $6.75MM. He can still reach the first ($10.75MM) and second tiers ($8.75MM) based on receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, or All-Pro selection, but those markers will also be hard to reach without a certain volume of snaps.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suffered what is thought to be an AC joint sprain in his left, non-throwing shoulder, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He says he’ll play on Sunday against the Jets.
  • The Dolphins are expected to bring back assistant Dave DeGuglielmo to take over as the team’s new offensive line coach, Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).
  • Despite some recent optimism, it’s premature to say that Chargers first-round pick Mike Williams will be ready to make his NFL debut next week, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Cody Latimer, one of the Broncos‘ top special teamers, underwent a blood injection procedure in his right knee and could be out for the next game or so, Mike Klis of 9 News writes. Latimer has excelled as a kick returner so far this year with an average of 28.4 per attempt. He’s also a gunner on punt and kickoff coverage.
  • Former NFL safety Taylor Mays has signed with the CFL’s Roughriders, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The former second-round pick was most recently with the Bengals.

Patriots Notes: Gronk, Jones, FAs, Staff

Ending their season after the AFC championship game for the third time in four seasons, the Patriots have experienced some staff turnover and now face decisions on who to prioritize in the long-term.

Here is the latest on how the Patriots plan to go about this.

  • Chandler Jones enters the final season of his rookie deal and stands to play out 2016 on his fifth-year option, which is worth $7.79MM. Although the Patriots could extend their explosive defensive end, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes the more likely scenario would be for the team to be cut, traded or play his season on this one-year extension of sorts rather than receive a lucrative long-term offer from the team. Jones led the Pats with 12.5 sacks this season, his second with double-digit sacks, but the troublesome incident involving police toward the end of the season could put the brakes on New England offering the 25-year-old a long-term deal soon. Volin views fellow 2012 first-rounder Dont’a Hightower as a likelier extension choice. Also set for a fifth-year option season, the inside linebacker is set to earn $7.75MM next season.
  • Danny Amendola and Sebastian Vollmer are players in danger of being released before the new league year begins, Volin writes. Both struggled in 2015 and can each create just more than $4MM in cap savings by being jettisoned.
  • The Patriots almost certainly will release the injury-prone Jerod Mayo rather than pay him the $4MM roster bonus he’s due March 9, Volin offers. A Mayo release saves the team $7MM on next year’s cap. The former first-team All-Pro missed 10 games in the 2013 and 2014 seasons before being used sparingly in 2015, his sixth with the Patriots. Mayo’s due to occupy the second-highest cap figure on the team next season at $11.4MM.
  • Rob Gronkowski‘s six-year, $54MM deal he signed in June 2012 includes a $10MM option bonus. The Patriots paid $4MM of that last year, Volin reports, and paying the additional $6MM of this bonus before March 9 will trigger the rest of Gronkowski’s extension, which has four more seasons and $34MM on it. The superstar tight end will only carry cap numbers worth $6.6MM and $7MM the next two seasons before those figures vault to $11MM and $12MM in 2018 and ’19.
  • Nate Ebner will be the likeliest of the Patriots’ expiring contracts to re-up with the team, Volin writes, with LeGarrette Blount potentially coming back but only on a near-league-minimum accord. The Patriots reporter expects Akiem Hicks, who will net the Pats a compensatory pick, to depart.
  • Of the Patriots’ RFAs, only fullback James Develin looks to receive a tender, Volin notes. Sealver Siliga, Brian Tyms and LaAdrian Waddle comprise the remainder of the Patriots’ restricted free agency contingent.
  • Lions GM Bob Quinn hired former co-worker Harold Nash to be the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Volin reports. Nash served in that capacity with the Patriots for five years. Assistant strength coach Moses Cabrera is ready to fill Nash’s post, team sources tell Volin. Nash’s contract wasn’t renewed with the expectation he’d receive a head strength job elsewhere.
  • The recent departures among Patriots staffers and front office personnel were more about greater opportunities elsewhere than the organization’s dissatisfaction, Volin reports. New Chargers offensive line assistant Dave DeGuglielmo was viewed internally as a short-term option rather than a cornerstone assistant, Volin reports, and new Giants defensive line coach Patrick Graham probably had more room for upward mobility in New York than in New England given Matt Patricia‘s entrenchment as the Pats’ DC.

AFC Notes: Browns, Raiders, Chargers, Manning

Although Hue Jackson‘s recent comments have seemingly indicated a preference the Browns move on from Johnny Manziel, Jimmy Haslam knows the sides can mend their damaged relationship, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

The Browns’ owner admitted both his regime and the team’s previous power structure have made critical misjudgments in the draft, he does not like the idea of moving on from a No. 1 pick that’s contributed so little to the franchise.

Oh, yeah, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Haslam told media about being able to go forward with Manziel. “We talked to Johnny before he left [for the offseason]. I know a big deal was made that Hue hasn’t called Johnny yet. Well, we’ve got 53 players on the active [roster] and 10 more [on reserve/futures deals], and there were a couple of other real prominent players that he just talked to in the last day or two. So I’m sure he’ll get around to talking to him.

Jackson hasn’t sounded too optimistic regarding Manziel, who entered rehab but endured several alcohol-related slip-ups during the season, with the new Cleveland coach saying Manziel’s alleged secret excursion to Las Vegas while in concussion protocol would have been a “non-starter” under his watch. In between, the 23-year-old Manziel started six games and completed 57% of his passes, throwing for seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

Here’s some more Browns- and AFC-related news.

  • Haslam said there is no awkwardness between him and newly rehired DC Ray Horton, Ulrich tweets. The owner told media, including Ulrich, Horton did a good job as the Browns’ DC in his one-and-done stint in 2013. The Browns ranked ninth defensively under Horton that season. The Browns ranked 27th in 2015 and 23rd in 2014 in total defense.
  • Should the Browns select Carson Wentz with their No. 2 overall pick, “they’ll be set for 15 years,” an NFL personnel man whose team does not need a quarterback told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s the best quarterback in the draft. If I were picking at No. 2, I’d take him. It will solve all of their problems and they’d get that team turned around,” the personnel man said. Sources told Cabot the Browns’ interest in Wentz is real, and although most mock drafts don’t have the North Dakota State fifth-year senior going off the board that soon, Jackson has experience coaching a Division I-FCS first-rounder. He helped guide Joe Flacco, chosen out of Delaware in 2008, previously.
  • New Dolphins DC Vance Joseph will allow Ndamukong Suh to provide input, and the new coach is trying to forge a relationship with the league’s highest-paid defender, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Suh, per a teammate, did not have much use for since-fired DC Kevin Coyle. Suh’s requested input regarding the Dolphins’ scheme, and Joseph said he’d listen.
  • Miami’s also open to giving former top-five pick Dion Jordan another chance despite his rampant trouble with the league, Jackson reports. Jordan hasn’t played since participating in 10 games in 2014. The league suspended the former No. 3 overall pick for the entire 2015 season for violations of its substance-abuse policy. The Dolphins would allow a potential Jordan return to the team, providing he’s clean and if the league reinstates him in April, Jackson writes.
  • With Raiders owner Mark Davis‘ planned trip to Las Vegas on Friday to possibly discuss the Raiders playing in a planned $1 billion domed stadium representing Thursday’s biggest news, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk cautions fans to slow down on any Las Vegas Raiders-themed discussions. Using Tony Romo‘s cancelled fantasy football convention at a Las Vegas Sands-owned, non-gambling facility last summer as an example, Florio does not believe the NFL will allow the Raiders to move to Vegas. The NFL previously said a Vegas-hosted Pro Bowl or merely a single game would not likely be sanctioned.
  • The Chargers hired recently fired Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo as an offensive line assistant, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter). DeGuglielmo will work alongside Jeff Davidson with the Bolts’ linemen.
  • Should Peyton Manning determine Super Bowl 50 isn’t his “last rodeo,” the Broncos would have a difficult choice on their hands, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com writes. Should Manning return, he’s due to occupy an untenable $21.5MM cap hold next season. If Manning helps Denver win the Super Bowl, John Elway could be faced with a choice akin to what Ted Thompson encountered in 2008, when Brett Favre‘s backtracking forced an awkward trade. But Aaron Rodgers being under contract and Brock Osweiler not differentiates the scenarios. Corry argues the cleanest solution, albeit one that would put Elway in a complicated spot in terms of PR, would be to release Manning, sign Osweiler to a long-term deal and free up $19MM in cap space. If Manning decided he wanted to play again despite this, Corry cites the Rams and Texans as teams that would fit the soon-to-be-40-year-old quarterback’s needs, with their strong defenses and warm-weather or climate-controlled settings.

Coach Notes: 49ers, Butler, Giants, Chargers

Adam Gase‘s coaching staff in Miami initially wasn’t expected to include more than a couple of the assistants who finished the 2015 season under Dan Campbell. However, the new Dolphins head coach ultimately decided to keep nine members of the team’s old coaching staff on board, as Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. According to Dolphins football czar Mike Tannenbaum, it was Gase – not Tannenbaum or GM Chris Grier – that made the decision to retain those coaches.

“The coaching staff in particular reports to Adam and certainly Chris and I made some suggestions, but they [all] went through and were vetted through a pretty rigorous process,” Tannenbaum said. “They wouldn’t be on our staff if Adam didn’t feel good about them.”

Here are a few more coaching notes from around the NFL:

  • Mike Vrabel wasn’t the only Texans assistant to interview for the 49ers‘ defensive coordinator job before Chip Kelly ultimately decided on Jim O’Neil. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco also spoke to Texans secondary coach John Butler about the position. “The 49ers like our coaching staff; we’ve got a really strong staff,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “John Butler is another guy that was sought after. Our staff is held in pretty high regard. I think that’s a credit to those guys and a credit to our players.”
  • The Giants interviewed former Chargers assistant Don Johnson for their defensive line coach job, according to James Kratch of NJ Advance Media. Former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni also met with the Giants recently about that role.
  • In addition to hiring a defensive line coach, the Giants may also add an assistant defensive line coach to their staff, a league source tells Kratch. Tom Coughlin didn’t have that position on his staff, but it appears Ben McAdoo is considering it.
  • Former Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who was not retained by Bill Belichick after New England’s elimination from the postseason, is meeting with the Chargers about their assistant offensive line coach job, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.