Frank Cignetti

Coaching Rumors: Colts, Nagy, Packers

The latest coaching rumors from around the NFL:

  • The Colts never offered their head coaching job to Matt Nagy, Mike Wells of tweets. This week, the former Chiefs OC accepted the Bears’ HC position. There were some rumblings that he also had an offer on the table from Indy, but that is apparently not the case.
  • The Packers hired Frank Cignetti as their new quarterbacks coach, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentintel (on Twitter). The well-traveled Cignetti spent the last two years as the Giants’ QBs coach. Before that, he served as the Rams’ QBs coach for two years and as the Rams’ offensive coordinator for one year.
  • Cardinals offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Harold Goodwin has interviewed recently with the Bengals and Raiders for their OL coach positions, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets. It seems unlikely that Goodwin will return to Arizona in his current role following the retirement of head coach Bruce Arians.
  • To keep up with the latest on every head coaching search, consult PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker. For the latest on offensive and defensive coordinators, check out PFR’s Coordinator Tracker.

Giants, Ben McAdoo Finalize Coaching Staff

New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo has officially finalized the team’s new coaching staff, which features 20 assistants, the club announced today in a press release. There are no real surprises on the staff, which features 12 coaches from Tom Coughlin‘s staff, though McAdoo stressed that “this is a new staff.”Ben McAdoo

“Nobody was retained, there were no holdovers; everyone was hired,” McAdoo said. “When I sat down with everybody on the staff, that was one thing I wanted to make clear. No one was retained, no one was a holdover. Everyone was hired here as part of a new staff.”

Although one could make the case that assistants like defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and special teams coordinator Tom Quinn are technically holdovers from last year’s staff, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News suggests (via Twitter) that McAdoo probably means those coaches – and others – had to re-interview for their positions.

One of the 12 assistants who will return to the Giants this year is Mike Sullivan, who received a promotion from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, as previously reported. Sullivan, of course, steps in for McAdoo, who was elevated from OC to head coach after Coughlin resigned.

Quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti and offensive line coach Mike Solari are among the new additions to McAdoo’s staff whose hirings were previously reported. Adam Henry (WRs coach), Patrick Graham (DL coach), Jeff Zgonina (assistant DL coach), Bill McGovern (LBs coach), Dwayne Stukes (assistant special teams coach), and Aaron Wellman (strength and conditioning) round out the group of new coaches.

For the full list, be sure to check out the Giants’ press release.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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 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.

Coach Rumors: 49ers, Mangini, Giants, Titans

New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly hasn’t been formally introduced by the team yet, and hasn’t made any announcements on his coaching staff, but it appears a handful of Eagles assistant coaches will be following him to San Francisco, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

As Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets, the Eagles assistants remain under contract through 2016, so Philadelphia could block some of them from heading to the Niners if Doug Pederson wants to keep them, but the Eagles’ new head coach is likely to hire many of his own assistants as well.

One notable Niners assistant who may end up remaining in San Francisco is defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. Marvez tweets that there’s a “strong possibility” of Mangini, who met with Kelly on Friday, returning to head the 49ers’ defense in 2016.

As we wait to see how Kelly’s staff shakes out, here are a few more coaching-related updates from around the NFL:

  • The Giants appear set to move on from offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and defensive line coach Robert Nunn, per reports by Jordan Raanan of and Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Nunn will interview for the Titans‘ DL coach job, says Garafolo.
  • Meanwhile, Marvez has a note on a potential incoming coach for the Giants, tweeting that ex-Rams offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti is in the mix for New York’s quarterbacks coach job.
  • The Titans have put in a request to interview Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie for their offensive coordinator job, sources tell Marvez and Garafolo (Twitter link).
  • Doug Pederson‘s biggest decision as he takes over the Eagles‘ head coaching job will be naming his defensive coordinator, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who writes that Pederson “can’t just blindly go with one of the big-name coordinators who are available.”

Rams Fire OC Frank Cignetti

The Rams have become the latest team to fire an offensive coordinator, announcing today that they’ve parted ways with OC Frank Cignetti (Twitter link via Myles Simmons of St. Louis is the fourth NFL club to fire its offensive coordinator this season, joining the Colts, Dolphins, and Lions.

According to the team, assistant head coach and tight ends coach Rob Boras will take over as offensive coordinator for the rest of the season. Boras received consideration for the job before Cingetti was promoted last winter, but ultimately lost the competition — however, he received a new assistant head coach title at the time, and was in charge of the running game in addition to coaching the team’s tight ends.

Cignetti, who replaced former Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, only lasted 12 regular season games in the role. However, the move doesn’t come as a real surprise. St. Louis has arguably had the league’s worst offense this season, even with Todd Gurley enjoying a handful of big games. Football Outsiders ranks the club dead last in offensive DVOA, with the passing offense – led by Nick Foles and Case Keenum – grading well below that of any other team in he league.

After Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, head coach Jeff Fisher admitted that he was “almost out of answers” for how to solve the Rams’ offensive problems. Boras will be tasked with providing some answers in the next four weeks, but if the unit doesn’t show any improvement, both he and Fisher may be at risk of losing their jobs in January.

Rams Notes: Gurley, Cignetti, Ross, Fairley

As the St. Louis Rams look to compete in the NFC West and make the playoffs for the first time since 2003, here are a few notes from around the team heading into the summer months:

  • While the Rams hope first-round pick Todd Gurley will be ready to play this season, his contract has language that protects both the player and team in case he is unable to recover from the torn ACL he suffered at Georgia, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Even if Gurley is unable to be a part of the active roster in his first two seasons, he will still receive his full salary for both years, but the Rams will be able to get out of the deal if he is unable to recover from his college injury.
  • The Rams will be making changes to the offense this year without Brian Schottenheimer, but they won’t be reinventing the wheel in St. Louis with quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti as the new offensive coordinator, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch“It’s like this: Coach Schottenheimer put a tremendous foundation in place here,” said Cignetti. “It’s like buying a house. The foundation’s there. What do you do? ‘Let’s remodel a couple rooms.’ So really that’s what we’ve done.”
  • The Rams have brought in cornerback Aaron Ross for a workout, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Ross spent 2014 on injured reserve with the Ravens, but won two Super Bowl rings with the Giants and also spent time with the Jaguars during his NFL career.
  • New addition Nick Fairley is excited for his first season in St. Louis, writes Mark Inabinett of“I feel good being part of their defense,” said Fairley. “Just the style that they play – attack. It fits my skills, especially the D-line that they have is going to be amazing this year.” He also mentioned that he was planning on bulking up to 290 pounds in order to retain his quickness but still anchor the defensive line against the run.

West Notes: Bowlen, L.A., Kaepernick, Seahawks

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen‘s son John Bowlen Jr. was released on a $1,000 bond after being arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault and harassment stemming from a domestic violence incident Wednesday night, reports Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Bowlen Jr. allegedly pushed his girlfriend against a wall as she was trying to call the police as a result of his “erratic behavior,” per Jhabvala. She told police he was under the influence of nitrous oxide and alcohol.

This is the owner of the Denver Broncos. I am sorry. Nothing is wrong,” Bowlen Jr., 29, said when he picked up the phone, according to the police report.

The Broncos placed him on an indefinite leave of absence. Bowlen Jr. works as an administrative employee with the team but is a candidate to take over when Pat Bowlen, 71 and stricken with Alzheimer’s, decides to cede ownership to one of his seven children. Per Jhabvala, Bowlen Jr. had drug charges dismissed and was arrested under suspicion of alcohol-induced driving in 2003 and 2005, respectively.

Here are some (lighter) notes from the Western divisions.

  • The Rams may have adjusted contracts with seasonal contractors to coincide with the NFL’s February 2016 deadline for relocation bid submissions, reports Brian Feldt of the St. Louis Business Journal. According to Feldt, these contracts typically run from May to May, but with owner Stan Kroenke securing land in Inglewood, Calif., for a possible $2 billion stadium, he likely plans on posting a bid between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15, 2016. Two Rams contractors told Feldt their contracts were changed, with the Rams saying telling one it’s to coincide with the end of the season.
  • The NFL will hold a special owners meeting Aug. 11 in Chicago on the topic of the three-team Los Angeles relocation derby, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (via Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Miklasz notes this date is important for St. Louis in its effort to securing a site and funding for a new stadium on the north Mississippi riverfront. The Post-Dispatch columnist also notes the NFL is expected to let teams apply for relocation starting this fall.
  • League executive Eric Grubman, who’s serving as the NFL’s point man on the Los Angeles efforts, told reporters the special meeting will determine if the NFL needs to provide an “expedited timetable” for teams looking to move, meaning the Feb. 16 deadline could indeed be moved up, according to Eric D. Williams of For San Diego’s prospects, Williams reports Chargers and NFL officials think the $1.1 billion proposal put forth by a local advisory group for a stadium in Mission Valley, Calif., is “nowhere near enough” to bring about an actionable plan to keep the Chargers in the city they’ve played in since 1961.
  • The Rams appear to have more zone-blocking concepts in store this season under new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr., reports Nick Wagoner of And though Todd Gurley remains a ways away from full practices, the rookie runner worked on some straight-line speed with Rams trainer Byron Cunningham and caught passes from rookie quarterback Sean Mannion, although those weren’t at full speed.
  • After working at EXOS training facility in Phoenix from January to April, Colin Kaepernick appears to have a quicker release, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Entering his third full season as the 49ers QB, Kaepernick is expected to return to the facility to finish up his offseason work in July.
  • Albert Wilson joined Dontari Poe in leaving early from Chiefs OTA practice, exiting Thursday’s workout due to a hamstring injury. Poe departed Wednesday’s workout with a back ailment, reports Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • Speaking at a town hall meeting with fans, Pete Carroll noted this team’s depth may be the best it’s been in his tenure. Of course, town hall addresses aren’t exactly hard-hitting reports, but offensive line coach Tom Cable said the competition to replace Max Unger could soon be down to two or three players, according to the Seattle Times’ Bob CondottaLemuel Jeanpierre is leading that competition — or at least receiving the first opportunity to do so by trotting out with the starters in OTAs.

Rams Promote Frank Cignetti To OC

FEBRUARY 12: The Rams have finally made it official, announcing today in a press release that Cignetti will be the team’s new offensive coordinator and play-caller. Boras will lead the running game, in addition to coaching the tight ends, and receives a new assistant head coach title.

FEBRUARY 5: The Rams are expected to promote quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti to offensive coordinator, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). A formal announcement should come sometime next week.

The Rams have been searching for a new offensive coordinator ever since Brian Schottenheimer left the team to work at the University of Georgia. The Rams looked at out-of-house candidates for some time, but they ultimately circled back to Cignetti. St. Louis had interest in candidates such as Adam Gase and Rob Chudzinski and they appeared to be closing in on former Bills OC Nathaniel Hackett before he landed with the Jaguars.

Cignetti’s first NFL experience came in 1999 when he served as a quality control coach for the Chiefs. Since then, he has held several offensive coordinator positions at the collegiate level and jobs as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL. The Rams officially hired Cignetti to be their quarterbacks coach almost three years ago to this date.

The Rams also considered tight ends coach Rob Boras as an internal candidate for the opening.

NFC Notes: Saints, Benson, Rams, Eagles

Saints officials say that owner Tom Benson has maintained an active role in running the team, Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune writes.

I talk to him every day, just as I have for 15 years,” GM Mickey Loomis said. “He talks to me about the same subject matter: The status of the team. And after the season: What are the issues? How are we going to fix the issues? Nothing’s changed here.”

Benson’s involvement with the team, as well as his overall health, came into question after the latest claims made by his ousted granddaughter. Here’s more on the Saints’ ownership situation, as well as a few more notes from across the NFC:

  • Team officials told Duncan that an anecdote in which Benson could not identify the president of the United States was misrepresented by his estranged relatives. The Saints owner was given a concussion protocol test after he fell and hit his head at the NFL owners meetings last May in Atlanta. However, daughter Renee Benson and grandchildren Rita Benson LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc tried to portray the incident as something different. Benson’s relatives want the owner to undergo a psychological evaluation, as Andy Grimm of The Times-Picayune details. The would-be heirs are challenging the 87-year-old’s mental fitness.
  • With Nathaniel Hackett no longer in the running for the Rams‘ offensive coordinator position, an in-house candidate landing the job is “all but a certainty” at this point, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Tight ends coach Rob Boras and quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti are the top contenders, and Thomas thinks Boras probably has the edge.
  • Running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin were the Eagles‘ two most effective offensive weapons in 2014, but it remains to be seen whether the team will be able to bring both players back for the 2015 season, says Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Washington has announced the hiring of Matt Cavanaugh as quarterbacks coach (via Twitter). Cavanaugh, who served in the same position for Chicago the last two seasons, will be charged with jump-starting Washington’s troubled quarterback situation.
  • If he were running the Cowboys, Bob Sturm of the Dallas Morning News would make it a top priority to retain DeMarco Murray this offseason.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Nathaniel Hackett To Join Jags, Not Rams

Former Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett had been viewed as one of the top candidates for the Rams’ offensive coordinator opening, if only by default — with several of St. Louis’ other potential targets having found other jobs or having decided to remain with their current teams, Hackett and current Rams assistants Rob Boras and Frank Cignetti were the only known candidates still in the mix.

However, having been scheduled to interview with the Rams for a second time, Hackett has decided to withdraw from consideration for the OC job, reports Jason La Canfora of (via Twitter). According to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), Hackett is instead heading to Jacksonville, where it is believed he’ll become the Jaguars’ new quarterbacks coach. Frank Scelfo, the team’s current QBs coach, is expected to remain on the staff, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

The Jags have made an interesting series of coaching hires on the offensive side of the ball in the last month. After parting ways with former offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, the club brought in ex-Raiders OC Greg Olson to replace Fisch, and now has also added a pair of Buffalo coaches — Hackett and former Bills head coach Doug Marrone

With Hackett no longer in the mix, the path looks clear for either Boras or Cignetti to be promoted to offensive coordinator in St. Louis, though there’s been no indication yet which way the team is leaning, and it’s possible that there are candidates who have yet to be reported. The Rams may also choose to bring in a new outside candidate, but that doesn’t seem likely this far into the process unless they’re waiting on a Patriots or Seahawks assistant.