Lions Rumors

Lions Hire Darrell Bevell As OC

The Lions have hired Darrell Bevell as their new offensive coordinator, the team announced on Wednesday. Bevell guided the Seahawks’ offense for seven seasons and oversaw the Vikings’ attack from 2006-10. 

[RELATED: PFR’s Offensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

Bevell did not coach in 2018, but took part in some interviews during the last cycle, which included his Seattle ouster. It has been Bevell’s plan to coach in 2019, and he’s accomplished that by joining the Lions.

Bevell wasn’t necessarily known to be a leading candidate for the Lions’ job, but he either outshined other candidates or simply hung around long enough to watch the other ones sign elsewhere. Nathaniel Hackett and Todd Monken were both in the running for the job, but they’ve since hooked on with the Packers and Browns, respectively.

With Jim Bob Cooter at the helm in 2017, Matthew Stafford played some of his best football and the Lions finished out with the No. 7 scoring offense in the NFL. Last year, however, Stafford regressed hard. The Lions are hoping that Bevell will be the answer after the QB managed just 3,777 passing yards in 2018.

The Falcons and Jaguars also spoke with Bevell about their respective OC vacancies.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2019 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Tracker

While eight NFL teams are making a head coaching change this offseason, the number of clubs replacing offensive and/or defensive coordinators figures to be much higher than that. In addition to all those teams hiring new head coaches, who may want to bring in their own assistants, several clubs also figure to make changes on one side of the ball or the other after getting disappointing results in 2018. And, of course, the teams whose coordinators landed head coaching jobs will need to replace them.

With reports circulating on potential candidates, interview requests, and actual meetings, we’ll use the space below to keep tabs on all the latest updates on teams hiring new offensive and/or defensive coordinators. This post, which will be updated daily, can be found under the “PFR Features” menu on the right-hand side of the site.

[Updated: 1/16/19, 7:54pm CT]

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Steve Sarkisian)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Marty Mornhinweg)

  • Greg Roman, assistant head coach/tight ends (Ravens): Promoted

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Bill Lazor)

Cleveland Browns (Out: Freddie Kitchens)

  • Todd Monken, former offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Hired
    • Head coach Freddie Kitchens will call plays.
  • Jim Bob Cooter, former offensive coordinator (Lions): Interviewed

Denver Broncos (Out: Bill Musgrave)

  • Rich Scangarello, quarterbacks coach (49ers): Hired
  • Gary Kubiak, former head coach (Broncos): Will not be hired

Detroit Lions (Out: Jim Bob Cooter)

  • Darrell Bevell, former offensive coordinator (Seahawks): Hired
  • Nathaniel Hackett, former offensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Todd Monken, former offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Steve Sarkisian, former offensive coordinator (Falcons): Mentioned as candidate

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Philbin)

  • Nathaniel Hackett, former offensive coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
    • Head coach Matt LaFleur will call plays.
  • Mike McDaniel, run game coordinator (49ers): Mentioned as candidate
  • Todd Monken, former offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Scott Milanovich)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Dowell Loggains)

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets (Out: Jeremy Bates)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Todd Monken)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Matt LaFleur)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Al Holcomb)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Marquand Manuel)

Chicago Bears (Out: Vic Fangio)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Marvin Lewis)

Cleveland Browns (Out: Gregg Williams)

Denver Broncos (Out: Joe Woods)

  • Ed Donatell, secondary coach (Bears): Hired

Miami Dolphins (Out: Matt Burke)

New York Jets (Out: Kacy Rodgers)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Mark Duffner)

  • Todd Bowles, former head coach (Jets): Hired

Joe Woods Deciding Between Cards, Redskins

Former Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods will interview for the Redskins’ defensive backs coach job, and then decide between joining Washington or the Cardinals in the same role, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link).

Woods, who succeeded Wade Phillips as Denver’s defensive coordinator in 2017, doesn’t appear to be generating any DC interest around the NFL despite leading a defense that’s ranked top-10 in DVOA in each of the past two seasons (including fifth in 2018). Arizona would seem to be a natural destination for Woods, as he’d once again be working under ex-Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, who was recently hired as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator.

Meanwhile in Denver, co-defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson is not expected to return as a member of new head coach Vic Fangio‘s staff, and he’s also drawing interest from the Cardinals, tweets Klis. The Broncos’ other secondary coach — Greg Williams — won’t be back either, and he’s been linked to the Panthers and the Lions, per Klis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Packers, Lions To Interview Todd Monken

Both the Packers and Lions intend to interview former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken in the coming days, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Monken is also scheduled to meet with the Browns this weekend.

Monken generated head coaching interest in the past few weeks, and even interviewed for the Green Bay position before Matt LaFleur was hired. Monken’s meeting with the Packers was said to have gone especially well, so it’s perhaps no surprise that they’ve asked him back. While he presumably wouldn’t call plays in Green Bay, Monken would have the opportunity work with future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.

In Detroit, meanwhile, Monken would have the opportunity to call offensive plays. Head coach Matt Patricia comes from a defensive background, and the Lions are searching for a new OC after firing Jim Bob Cooter earlier this week. Monken, who runs an Air Raid scheme, would offer a stark contrast to Cooter’s run-oriented offense.

Monken, a former collegiate head coach at Southern Miss, joined Tampa Bay in 2016 but wasn’t named OC until last season. The Buccaneers proceeded to rank third in total yardage, third in yards per play, and 12th in points and DVOA despite flip-flopping between Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nathaniel Hackett Meeting With Packers

Former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is in Green Bay interviewing for a top offensive job on the Packers‘ staff, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He previously interviewed with the Lions for their OC job, Rapoport adds.

It’s not immediately clear whether Hackett is up for Green Bay’s OC job, but he’s presumably in the mix to be Matt LaFleur‘s top offensive lieutenant. The Lions job is still open, meanwhile, so Hackett could land on his feet after his November dismissal from Jacksonville.

Hackett joined the Jaguars as their quarterbacks coach in 2015 and took over as offensive coordinator midway through the 2016 season. The Jaguars finished sixth in total offense and first in rushing offense last year, but they were unable to reprise that performance in 2018 under Hackett.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Interview Jim Bob Cooter

Former Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is slated to interview for the Browns’ offensive coordinator job, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Cooter’s contract was not renewed by Detroit at the end of the season, making him a free agent. 

Cooter’s work with Matthew Stafford during the 2017 season should be a strong selling point for him, but he’ll have to answer for the Lions’ disappointing 2018 season. But, in theory, Cooter could be the creative and energetic offensive coordinator that Baker Mayfield needs to thrive.

Of course, Cooter can’t expect total freedom if he signs on in Cleveland. By all accounts, new head coach Freddie Kitchens is intent on continuing to call the plays.

The Lions promoted Cooter to offensive coordinator midway through the 2015 season, and the young coach helped elevate Stafford’s game. This topped out when Detroit finished as the NFL’s No. 7 scoring offense in 2017, doing so without much of a running game. But this season, Stafford’s numbers regressed, down by more than 600 passing yards and going from 7.9 yards per attempt in 207 to 6.8 this season, as did the Lions’ offense in a 6-10 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Jets, Gase, Cardinals, Lions

The Jets likely preferred Baylor’s Matt Rhule to Adam Gase, but as previously reported, things fell apart when Rhule refused to allow the Jets to pick his staff for him. The Jets especially wanted to choose his offensive coordinator and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears the Jets floated Todd Monken to him as an option.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Cardinals asked, but were denied, permission to interview 49ers run game coordinator Mike McDaniel for their offensive coordinator position, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. McDaniel is tight with head coach Kyle Shanahan and the team was not prepared to lose him, especially to a divisional rival.
  • “It appears” that Steve Sarkisian and Nathaniel Hackett are in the mix for the Lions‘ offensive coordinator vacancy, Alex Marvez of SiriusXM tweets. The Lions have been looking for a new OC ever since Jan. 1 when they announced that Jim Bob Cooter‘s contract would not be renewed.
  • Sarkisian has also spoken with the Cardinals about their OC job, Marvez tweets. Sarkisian has been on the market since Dec. 31 when he was fired by Atlanta.
  • Both the Cardinals and Browns have sought permission to interview Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell, a source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The position(s) he’ll be discussing with those teams are unclear, however.

Bob Quinn Provides Update On OC Opening

  • Lions general manager Bob Quinn made it clear that he isn’t in any rush to find a replacement for former offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. “There’s no timetable,” Quinn said (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “We’re just going to get this right. There’s no rush. The way this works in the NFL is you can’t talk to people that are employed by other teams, so there’s a waiting period if teams are still playing. So our candidate pool is pretty wide right now, so we’re going to keep it wide until it narrows down and then we’ll go hire the right guy.” Quinn also noted that the decision will “primarily” be made by head coach Matt Patricia.

    [SOURCE LINK]

NFL Workout Updates: 1/3/19

Today’s workout updates, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter):

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • WR Jordan Williams-Lambert

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks