Dave Toub

Steve Wilks No Longer Scheduled To Interview With Colts

Steve Wilks‘ path could be clearing up, because reports have come out Thursday night distancing the Panthers’ DC from the Giants’ and Colts’ HC jobs.

Wilks’ Colts interview, initially scheduled to take place today, will no longer commence, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Rapoport reports Wilks has “no plans” to interview with the Colts presently, adding the team looks more focused on hiring an offensive-minded coach.

ESPN.com’s Mike Wells tweets this could have been more of a scheduling issue, although Wilks completed back-to-back interviews — with the Giants on Tuesday and the Cardinals on Wednesday — already this week. The Colts wanted an earlier summit, Wells reports.

The Colts’ search remains fluid. Matt Nagy took the Bears’ HC job after meeting with the Colts, who have interviewed DCs Kris Richard and Mike Vrabel. Josh McDaniels remains in contention for the Indianapolis job but is also a finalist for the Giants’ position, a race in which Wilks looks to have fallen out of contention, although the Patriots’ OC may loom larger on the Colts’ radar than on the Giants’.

This could point to a Wilks/Cardinals path. He interviewed in Arizona on Wednesday, and the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder posits (on Twitter) the first-year DC could be nearing a deal elsewhere. Rapoport adds (Twitter link) McDaniels could be a good spot when it comes to landing the Colts’ job. McDaniels and Chris Ballard have the same agent, Holder notes, in Bob LaMonte.

Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk also notes Chiefs ST coach Dave Toub is expected to draw interest from the Colts. No report has emerged linking Toub, who interviewed for HC jobs last season, to a Colts summit yet.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Joseph, Eagles, Colts

This offseason’s coaching carousel is expected to be one of the more exciting ones in recent history given all of the jobs that will become available, though that excitement is not limited to the head coaching gigs. It’s been a busy morning already, but let’s take a look at a few more head coach and coordinator rumors:

  • Broncos head coach Vance Joseph is facing increasingly longer odds of being retained for a second season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets.
  • Former Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, who is currently serving as a senior personnel executive for the team, has interest in returning to the sidelines as an offensive coordinator. However, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports that the Broncos are looking to keep Kubiak around and expand his role to include more front office responsibility and perhaps some coaching responsibilities as well.
  • The Eagles may lose their defensive coordinator this offseason, and ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports that Philadelphia could also lose several top position coaches (Twitter links). Caplan says Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo and WR coach Mike Groh could be targeted by other clubs, though Philadelphia could still block either man from accepting coordinator jobs elsewhere.
  • Colts GM Chris Ballard has strong ties to several members of the Chiefs‘ coaching staff — special teams coach Dave Toub and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy — and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that both men will get consideration for Indianapolis’ head coaching job. La Canfora points out, however, that Colts owner Jim Irsay may prefer to make a “splashier” hire if possible.
  • The Bengals have reached out to external candidates for their (expected) head coaching opening, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). This will be an open search for Cincinnati, which generally prefers to promote from within.
  • Saints head coach Sean Payton said that Darryl Tapp, who played in the league for 11 years (including four games with the Bucs this season), is now serving as a coaching intern for New Orleans. It would appear, then, that Tapp’s playing days are over and he is shifting his sights to the next stage of his career.

NFL Recommends Coaching Candidates

Each year, the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel releases a list of candidates for head coaching jobs. According to Mike Lombardi of The Ringer (Twitter link), that list includes: Josh McDaniels (Vertical)

  • Dan Campbell (Assistant Head Coach/TE coach, Saints)
  • Jim Bob Cooter (Offensive Coordinator, Lions)
  • John DeFilippo (Quarterbacks Coach, Eagles)
  • George Edwards (Defensive Coordinator, Vikings)
  • Josh McDaniels (Offensive Coordinator, Patriots)
  • Matt Nagy (Offensive Coordinator, Chiefs)
  • Matt Patricia (Defensive Coordinator, Patriots)
  • Jim Schwartz (Defensive Coordinator, Eagles)
  • Pat Shurmur (Offensive Coordinator, Vikings)
  • Dave Toub (Special Teams Coach, Chiefs)
  • Steve Wilks (Defensive Coordinator, Panthers)
  • Mike Vrabel (Defensive Coordinator, Texans)

McDaniels, of course, comes with previous head coaching experience. He was probably too young to handle those responsibilities in Denver, but he has reasserted himself as an offensive wunderkind. Both McDaniels and Patricia will be hot candidates for head coaching jobs this year, so the Patriots may have to make serious changes on the coaching staff.

There is some overlap with the list of minority candidates recommended by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, though Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie did not make the cut on this list. Austin received head coaching interviews in each of the last two offseasons, so he seems likely to garner some consideration this time around.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Considering Ballard/Toub Partnership?

While the Colts aren’t expected to rush in their pursuit to fill their GM position, positive reviews continue to surround one candidate. The Colts are “definitely intrigued by” Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. And that could be an interesting development because of Ballard’s ties to a recent head coaching candidate.

Ballard’s preferred choice as HC would be Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub, per La Canfora. That is a logical pairing, but the Colts are not currently in the market for a head coach. Jim Irsay reaffirmed his commitment to Chuck Pagano and is prepared to bring him back for a sixth season. Pagano’s seat, though, would be arguably the hottest in the NFL going into 2017 after consecutive 8-8 seasons helped end the Pagano/Ryan Grigson partnership.

Ballard and Packers player operations director Eliot Wolf are considered the favorites for the Indianapolis GM position, a status interim GM Jimmy Raye III occupied last weekend before the official interviews commenced. The Colts met with all six of the candidates between Wednesday and Friday.

Irsay’s been connected to multiple head coaches this offseason, and while the owner said his conversations with ESPN analyst Jon Gruden were merely about the stete of his team, Sean Payton trade rumors also surfaced recently. The Colts said the call came from a Payton associate rather than being an Irsay-initiated process. Hiring a GM who has a coach preference not currently employed by the franchise would add to the uncertainty surrounding Pagano. Recently, much of Pagano’s staff received word they are going to remain in their positions for at least one more year.

The 54-year-old Toub interviewed for the Chargers’ and Broncos’ HC positions, being one of just three coaches Denver considered for its since-filled vacancy. Ballard and Toub have worked in Kansas City since John Dorsey‘s hire in 2013.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Coaching Notes: Broncos, Browns, Jaguars

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is set to interview with the Broncos today, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Denver gig is the job that Shanahan “identifies with.” The reporter notes that the coordinator is also intrigued by the Jaguars head coaching position.

In a separate tweet, Rapoport notes that Shanahan will “be picky and patient” as he decides which opportunity he wants to pursue. As our head coaching tracker shows, the 37-year-old is also set to meet with the Rams and 49ers.

Let’s take a look at some other coaching notes coming out of the AFC…

  • Chiefs’ special teams coordinator Dave Toub interviewed for the Broncos head coaching gig this morning, and Mike Klis of Denver7 writes that the coach impressed the organization during the four-hour meeting.
  • Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is considered a favorite for the Broncos head coaching gig. If he ends up getting the position, Albert Breer of MMQB.com tweets that former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy could be an option as Denver’s new offensive coordinator.
  • After firing Ray Horton yesterday, the Browns have started searching for a new defensive coordinator. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets that the organization reached out to former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley regarding the opening. ESPN’s Pat McManamon writes that the team also approached Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
  • We learned yesterday that Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is in “prime position” to get the Browns defensive coordinator gig, and Toni Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com tweets that Williams would bring at least three additional Rams coaches to Cleveland (assuming he gets the job).
  • Fortunately for the Browns, it appears that at least one coach will be staying put. Cabot tweets that running backs coach Kirby Wilson isn’t expected to go elsewhere. The longtime coach is a “longtime friend” of Browns head coach Hue Jackson.


Coaching Rumors: Lynn, 49ers, McDaniels

The latest news on the league’s coaching vacancies:

  • For a complete rundown of every interview scheduled for the teams in search of a new coach, check out PFR’s 2017 NFL Head Coaching Tracker.
  • Anthony Lynn‘s interview with the 49ers will take place today (Wednesday), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will interview with the Rams, Jaguars, and 49ers all on the same day, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe writes. McDaniels will huddle up with all three teams on Saturday in separate rooms at a hotel near Gilette Stadium. Those three teams will be permitted to interview McDaniels again in the week after the AFC title game, if the Pats make it to the Super Bowl.
  • The Chargers won’t force assistants on a new head coach, but they value their offensive staff, Rapoport tweets. There’s a good chance offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and his fellow offensive coaches stay put.
  • The Broncos are expected to talk to Lynn at some point and will interview Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as soon as the rules allow, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin is scheduled to meet with the Rams on Thursday and the Bills on Saturday, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub will interview with the Broncos on Friday and then he has the Chargers on Sunday, Rapoport tweets.

Latest On Chargers’ Head Coaching Search

The Chargers’ list of candidates to take over for fired head coach Mike McCoy continues to grow. Former Falcons head coach and current Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith is likely to interview with the Chargers, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Meanwhile, Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub will meet with the Bolts this week, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, and FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager adds that San Diego has asked Carolina’s permission to interview defensive coordinator Sean McDermott (all Twitter links)

Mike Smith

The Chargers now have five potential successors to McCoy – and no offensive coordinators – on their radar, as PFR’s head coaching search tracker shows, though Smith is the only one with previous experience.

The 57-year-old was at the helm with the Falcons from 2008-14 in a stint that began swimmingly but ended poorly. Atlanta started Smith’s tenure with five straight above-.500 seasons, four of which resulted in double-digit-win campaigns and playoff berths, and then went a combined 10-22 during his final two years on the job. All told, the Falcons posted a 66-46 regular-season record and a disappointing 1-4 playoff mark under Smith. Of the other five teams in need of head coaches, only the Jaguars have shown interest in Smith to this point.

Toub, who’s on a bye with the AFC West champion Chiefs, will also meet with the Broncos this week, relays Biggs. McDermott has a Wednesday interview set up with the Bills.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Rams, Chargers, Patricia

We have six head coaching vacancies and it’s not easy to keep track of every candidate and development in each search. That’s why Pro Football Rumors rolled out the 2017 NFL Head Coaching Tracker this week. Bookmark the page and keep up with every bit of news out of Los Angeles, Buffalo, Denver, San Diego, San Francisco, and Jacksonville.

Here’s the latest coaching news from around the league:

  • The Rams‘ interview with Panthers assistant head coach Steve Wilks will take place today (Tuesday), a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). This marks the Rams’ first coach interview of this cycle.
  • The Chargers have requested to interview Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Broncos, he adds, are expected to do the same. Special teams coordinators are not often considered for head coaching jobs, but we have seen a few serve as interim head coaches. In the past, Toub has been an advocate for special teams coaches to get a chance at running the show.
  • Matt Patricia‘s interviews with the Rams and Chargers will go down this weekend, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Patricia, the defensive coordinator for the Patriots, must get his interviews out of the way before the Pats’ first playoff game.

More Leftovers On Eagles’ Firing Of Chip Kelly

In the wake of Chip Kelly‘s dismissal, multiple reports on Tuesday suggested that the Eagles wanted to strip Kelly of his personnel control, and then decided to fire him when he balked. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) has heard that scenario isn’t accurate.

According to both Rapoport and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter links), it doesn’t sound like there was any big event or dramatic moment that led to Kelly’s firing — owner Jeffrey Lurie simply called Kelly in and informed him of his decision.

While the build-up to Kelly’s firing may not have been dramatic, there has certainly been no shortage of reaction and follow-up to the move. We rounded several additional details and reactions to the story last night, but with many more surfacing since then, we’re doing it again. Let’s dive in….

  • Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link) gets the sense that Lurie parted ways with Kelly to get the Eagles’ building back. Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News hears something similar, with a source telling him that Lurie wanted to “take back the team.”
  • According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Kelly still had two years and $12.4MM left on his contract. If Kelly is hired by another team within the next two years, it would save the Eagles some money due to offset language in the deal.
  • One Eagles player tells Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter links) that Kelly is “definitely someone who doesn’t communicate,” adding that he “wouldn’t make a few changes here and there to make the players better.”
  • With Kelly gone, Sam Bradford‘s future in Philadelphia is up in the air, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com.
  • Alex Marvez of FOX Sports identifies interim Eagles coach Pat Shurmur, Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, and Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub as three possible candidates to replace Kelly.
  • What Lurie and the Eagles need more than a head coach is a smart, football-minded general manager who can fix the roster, says ESPN.com’s Ashley Fox. As David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News notes, Kelly may be gone, but the impact he had on the Eagles’ roster will linger.

NFC North Notes: Bears, Gaine, AP, Lions

As the last NFC North team left standing prepares to host its divisional playoff game this Sunday, let’s round up a few items on the Packers‘ division rivals….

  • A scouting director who has worked directly with Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard thinks Ballard should be “a lock” as the Bears‘ next general manager, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. That same source believes that if Ballard lands the Chicago job, he could look at ex-Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub as a head coaching candidate.
  • While Ballard may be the favorite for the Bears‘ job, multiple sources tell Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link) that Texans executive Brian Gaine is interviewing for the position today. A league source suggests to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link) that Gaine may be consultant Ernie Accorsi‘s top recommendation for the team.
  • The first court date in Adrian Peterson‘s legal case challenging his suspension will be February 6, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Vikings running back and the NFLPA will likely push to get resolution in time for the start of March’s free agent period, to allow Peterson the opportunity to reach the market along with everyone else, if Minnesota decides to cut him.
  • Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said on Monday that he has yet to decide whether to make changes to his coaching staff, and strongly defended the work of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Kyle Meinke of MLive.com has the details and the quotes from Caldwell.