Frank Pollack

East Notes: Jets, Cowboys, Dolphins, Bills

The Jets are expected to hire former Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack for the same position, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Pollack did a solid job with Cincinnati in 2018, but he was revered for his work with the Cowboys’ front five from 2013-17. He drew interest from the Packers after being fired by the Bengals, but will now head to New York, where the Jets ranked dead last in Football Outsiders‘ run-blocking metric and 18th in pass protection. Before hiring Pollack, the Jets also had interest in former 49ers assistant OL coach Adam Stenavich, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Stenavich has since joined the Packers’ staff as offensive line coach.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Dez Bryant regularly criticized the Cowboys‘ front office and coaching staff before and — especially — after being released, and now another Dallas receiver has taken the same tact. “Honestly, the front office pushes who they want to get the ball to,” Cole Beasley tweeted on Tuesday. “I haven’t been a huge priority in that regard. Maybe that will change but I’m not sure. More balls come my way in 2 minute drill where nothing is planned.” In 2018, the 29-year-old Beasley ranked second on the Cowboys in targets, receptions, and yardage, and tied for second with three touchdowns. His four-year, $13.6MM extension expires in March, at which point he’ll hit the free agent market.
  • NFL agent Damarius Bilbo was suspended for three months and fined $12,500 for violations of the NFLPA’s Regulations Governing Contract Advisors, as Darren Heitner tweets. Bilbo’s clients include Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry, Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, and Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard. Howard, notably, is entering the final year of his rookie deal and scheduled to hit free agency after the 2019 season, but Bilbo won’t be able to negotiate on his behalf for the time being. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald looked at Howard’s case for an extension earlier today.
  • Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams has no intention of reversing his decision to retire, as he tells Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “I make a decision, I’ve got to go with it…” said Williams. “You couldn’t dream about coming back and trying to replicate [my final game]. That was such a great day. It’s something I’ll remember forever.” Williams, 35, spent the entirety of his 13-year career in Buffalo, appearing in 178 games during that time.
  • The Senior Bowl will be an opportunity for the Jets to begin their offseason by speaking with other clubs, as Brian Costello of the New York Post. New York could potentially be a suitor for Steelers wideout Antonio Brown, and could begin putting out feelers this week. Meanwhile, rival teams could inquire on the availability of defensive tackle Leonard Williams, per Costello.

NFC North Rumors: Bears, Vikings, Packers

The Bears have agreed to hire former Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino as a defensive assistant, according to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times. Monachino served as Indy’s DC from 2016-17 when Chuck Pagano — who’s since been hired as Chicago’s defensive play-caller — was head coach, so the connection makes sense. A former linebackers and defensive line coach in Baltimore and Jacksonville, respectively, Monachino spent the 2018 season as a defensive analyst at the University of Missouri. He’d recently agreed to become the defensive coordinator at Kansas State, but he’ll back out of that commitment to join Pagano and the Bears. While there’s no official word as to what title Monachino will hold in Chicago, he’s likely coming aboard as linebackers coach.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Tight ends coach Todd Downing is not expected to return to the Vikings in 2019, reports Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Downing still has a year remaining on his contract and was offered two new roles on offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski‘s staff, but it sounds like Downing turned down both opportunities. He’s now looking for other jobs elsewhere, and while there is a small chance he could eventually come back to Minnesota, a reunion is not considered likely, per Cronin. Downing, 38, was a rising star as recently as 2017, when the Raiders pushed out Bill Musgrave in order to make Downing offensive coordinator.
  • The Packers are expected to interview former Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack for the same role, per Jim Owczarski of PackersNews.com. Pollack was let go by Cincinnati despite excellent 2018 results, as new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is reportedly eyeing Bill Callahan for his club’s OL coach gig. Green Bay, meanwhile, is on the hunt for a new offensive line coach after James Campen departed for Cleveland. 49ers assistant OL coach Adam Stenavich is already on the Packers’ radar, as San Francisco granted Green Bay interview permission on Wednesday.
  • Defensive assistant Scott McCurley won’t be retained as part of new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur‘s staff, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. McCurley was Green Bay’s assistant linebackers coach from 2014-17, but moved into a generic defensive assistant role prior to last season. Per Demovsky, McCurely should be a popular name around the league given his experience under multiple defensive coordinators in Green Bay.
  • Luke Getsy — who served as the Packers‘ wide receivers coach from 2016-17 — is a candidate to return to that position in Green Bay, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gestsy, 34, spent the 2018 season as the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. The Packers sound as though they are simply waiting on an answer from Getsy, per Silverstein, who notes Getsy’s addition would give quarterback Aaron Rodgers a coach with whom he’s familiar.

AFC Coaching Notes: Browns, Bengals, Bills

Freddie Kitchens‘ first Browns staff has some big names, and it will include a high-profile coach from north of the border. Sascatchewan Roughriders head coach Chris Jones will step down from that post and join the Browns’ defensive staff, according to CFL News (Twitter link). Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com confirmed (via Twitter) Jones will trek to Cleveland with the title of “senior defensive specialist.” An NFL out clause existed in Jones’ Roughriders contract. Jones has been part of four Grey Cup-winning staffs, including a 2015 championship as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos. He was also a graduate assistant under Gene Stallings at Alabama in 1997, when Kitchens was a Crimson Tide quarterback. Jones was the Roughriders’ coach for three seasons, completing two winning campaigns in his final two years there. He will join a Browns staff that now features coordinators Steve Wilks and Todd Monken.

More out of Cleveland and the latest from the AFC side of the coaching carousel:

  • The Browns also may be on the verge of reuniting Wilks and Al Holcomb, the Cardinals’ 2018 DC and former Panthers linebackers coach. Holcomb will interview for an unspecified role with the Browns on Wednesday, Joe Person of The Athletic notes (on Twitter). Multiple teams covet Holcomb, per Person. This marks the first known interview for Holcomb, who’s worked with Wilks for the past six seasons.
  • Ed Donatell and the Broncos are close on a deal that would bring the longtime Vic Fangio coworker to Denver as defensive coordinator, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. This deal figures to get done soon, with Mike Klis of 9News suggesting (via Twitter) this could be more of a formality. The Bears are trying to retain Donatell to coach their defensive backs, after giving Chuck Pagano Fangio’s old job, Klis adds. But with Donatell interviewing for a DC role — a job title he has not held in 11 years — with Fangio, it points to the Bears losing another key defensive staffer.
  • The Bills interviewed veteran offensive line coach Joe Philbin recently but will instead name Bobby Johnson as their new O-line coach, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter). This will be Johnson’s second stint in Buffalo, the first coming under Chan Gailey. Johnson’s last role in Buffalo was assistant O-line coach. In 2018, he served in that role under since-jettisoned Colts offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo. Johnson will relocate quickly. DeGuglielmo remains unattached.
  • A higher-profile Buffalo staff vacancy will be filled as well. The Bills are hiring former Panthers assistant Heath Farwell to run their special teams, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer tweets. The 10-year NFL veteran served as an assistant ST coach with Seattle and Carolina, his Panthers tenure coming after Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott had already departed for Buffalo.
  • After Paul Alexander‘s 20-plus-year run as Bengals offensive line coach, the franchise will soon have three O-line instructors in three years. Frank Pollack is out after one season, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Pollack was previously the Cowboys’ O-line coach, and under his stewardship, the Bengals made the biggest single-season improvement in yards per carry in franchise history. Cincinnati rushers collectively averaged 4.69 yards per carry last season.

Staff Notes: Fins, Cowboys, Texans, Chiefs

Having interviewed for the Giants’ HC position earlier this week, Eric Studesville will make a trip to Miami. With the Giants zeroing in others for their top coaching job, Studesville is set to interview with the Dolphins for a position on their offensive staff, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets.

This comes on the same day a running backs coach vacancy opened up with the Dolphins, who are relieving Danny Barrett of his duties overseeing the team’s backfield, per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). Salguero adds Studesville could be a candidate for the running backs job but possibly something else. Adam Gase tried to hire Studesville as RBs coach in 2016, but the Broncos blocked the move, Salguero reports.

Studesville coached the Broncos’ running backs for the past eight seasons and was listed as a Denver assistant head coach prior to being fired after this season. Studesville has coached NFL backfields since 1997 and instructed the Bears’, Giants’ and Bills’ running backs from 1997-2009. Barrett coached in college and in the CFL prior to leading the Fins’ backfield the past two seasons. Gase worked with Studesville for a longer period of time, however. The two spent five seasons together on Broncos staffs.

Here’s the latest from the assistant carousel.

  • Elsewhere in the RBs-coaching game, the Chiefs are interviewing USC running backs coach Deland McCullough for the job Eric Bieniemy vacated when he received a promotion to OC, per Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). McCullough has coached the Trojans’ backs for one season but is better known for helping Indiana ball-carriers from 2011-16. Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard thrived under McCullough’s tutelage in Bloomington.
  • Gary Brown‘s become a coveted assistant over the past two weeks. The Cowboys want to retain him, and the Raiders were interested prior to hiring their next RBs instructor as well. The Texans are now in the mix, with Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting Brown has offers to coach in Houston and Dallas. Brown is a coaching free agent; he led the Cowboys’ RBs from 2013-17. The Texans fired running backs coach Charles London last week.
  • Miles Austin interviewed for the Cowboys’ wide receivers coach position, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. The Cowboys saw previous WRs coach Derek Dooley join Missouri’s coaching staff as OC. Austin’s worked in Dallas’ scouting department the past two seasons since retiring.
  • The Browns hired a new wideouts coach in Adam Henry, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’s a three-year deal for Henry, who was previously the Giants’ receivers coach. Henry coached Big Blue’s wideouts the past two seasons.
  • The Bengals hired former Cowboys offensive line coach Frank Pollack, Hill reports. Pollack coached Dallas’ O-line from 2015-17. He’ll replace Paul Alexander, whom the Bengals fired after more than two decades on staff. Alexander could make this a swap, with Hill reporting he interviewed Thursday to become Cowboys offensive line coach.
  • Cowboys tight ends coach Steve Loney is retiring, Hill reports. The 65-year-old assistant worked with five NFL teams and served as OC for Iowa State and Minnesota during the late 1990s and early ’00s.

Coaching Rumors: Daboll, Bettcher, Bears

Several potential head coaching candidates have identified Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as a possible play-calling addition, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). The 42-year-old Daboll, fresh off a National Championship, has served as an NFL OC with the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs. He also spent two stints in New England, coaching wide receivers and tight ends under Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.

Here’s the latest on the 2018 hiring cycle:

  • In-limbo Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher could be in consideration for a role with the Bears, reports Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM (Twitter link), who reports Chicago’s brass would like to meet with Bettcher. One of nine candidates to replace Bruce Arians in Arizona, Bettcher could be without a job if the Cardinals go in a different direction. It’s unclear exactly what title Bettcher would hold with the Bears, especially since Chicago is expected to retain incumbent DC Vic Fangio.
  • The Bears are forging a reunion with Harry Hiestand, whom they’ve hired as their new offensive line coach, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Hiestand, 59, previously served as the Bears’ OL coach form 2005-09 before moving onto the Titans and Notre Dame, with whom he’s spent the past six seasons. Multiple teams were reportedly pursuing Hiestand, per Greg Gabriel of Pro Football Weekly (Twitter link), and the longtime coach had no intention of remaining in South Bend. In Chicago, Hiestand will work with an offensive line that ranked in the bottom half of the league in both adjusted sack rate and adjusted line yards.
  • Hiestand isn’t the only staff change the Bears made today, as they’ve also hired Charles London as their next running backs coach, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. London has spent time in Chicago before, as he was a offensive quality control coach for the club from 2007-09. After a brief stint with the Titans, London followed Bill O’Brien to Penn State and then to the Texans, where he coached for the past four years.
  • Offensive line coach Frank Pollack has been fired by the Cowboys, per Marvez (Twitter links). It’s a stunning move in some regard, especially since the Dallas offensive line was viewed as an especially dominant unit as recently as 2016. But injuries and ineffective play led to the club’s front five struggling last season, leading to Pollard’s dismissal. Elsewhere in Dallas, assistant special teams coach Keith O’Quinn is expected to be reassigned, either as the Cowboys’ primary ST coach or as the club’s tight ends coach, per Marvez.

Coach Notes: Broncos, Gase, Tarver, 49ers

While not all teams are overly transparent during the process of searching for a new head coach, the Broncos were willing to announce their first formal interview before it was even finished today, tweeting that offensive coordinator Adam Gase was interviewing for the position. Word of Gase’s afternoon meeting with the Broncos was first reported by Mike Klis of the Denver Post, who adds that the club will talk to Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Friday and still hopes to hear back from Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.

Here’s the rest of our latest round-up of coaching-related updates:

  • The Broncos will interview Bengals secondary coach Vance Joseph for their head coach opening, according to Mike Klis of The Denver Post. While most head coaching candidates make the step from the coordinator position, it is not unprecedented for position coaches to be hired as head coaches, as Klis notes. Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Andy Reid, and, most recently, Jim Tomsula, all got their first head coaching gigs directly from position coach.
  • There’s still a very good probability that Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell end up with Washington, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
  • Former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, whose contract expired this week, is expected to join Jim Tomsula‘s staff, though his role with the 49ers hasn’t been determined and nothing’s official yet, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
  • After losing Bill Callahan to Washington, the Cowboys named Frank Pollack their new offensive line coach, per Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com (Twitter link).
  • Meanwhile, the offensive line coach Callahan replaced in Washington, Chris Foerster, is headed to the 49ers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).