Frank Smith

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.

Raiders Notes: Gannon, Fraley, Marynowitz

Rich Gannon will not be the next Raiders’ quarterbacks coach, as he explained to 95.7 The Game (Twitter link via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area). Gannon, now a commentator with CBS Sports, apparently had some level of interest in the position, but “came to his senses” on a flight to Oakland, realizing he couldn’t put in the required time commitment. Gannon, of course, has a long relationship with new Oakland head coach Jon Gruden, as he served as Gruden’s starting quarterback with the Raiders from 1999-2001. The 2002 MVP, Gannon lost to Gruden’s Buccaneers in that year’s Super Bowl. Without Gannon in tow, Oakland may simply choose not to hire a QBs coach, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Here’s more from Oakland:

  • The Raiders are hiring an offensive line coach to replace Mike Tice, and the club has no shortage of candidates. Incumbent Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin — who is also in the running for the Bengals OL job — has interviewed with Oakland. Meanwhile, former Eagles lineman Hank Fraley, former Dolphins coach Jim Turner, and longtime NFL stalwarts Hal Hunter and Frank Smith are also contenders for the position, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Cowboys running backs Gary Brown is interviewing for the same role with the Raiders today, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Gruden had been expected to target Brown ever since he was linked to the Oakland job, but Dallas reportedly isn’t giving him up without a fight. Whether or not Brown decides to defect to the Bay Area could depend on the content of today’s meeting. Brown, who enjoyed a nine-year career as an NFL running back, first entered the coaching ranks with Cleveland in 2009.
  • Alabama defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley is interviewing to become the Raiders’ new secondary coach, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). Ansley has never coached at the NFL level, but he does offer vast collegiate experience at stops such as Kentucky and Tennessee. Recent reports have indicated Ansley will be Colorado State’s next defensive coordinator, but he could hypothetically pass up that opportunity in order to join the NFL.
  • The Raiders are speaking to Alabama associate athletic director for football Ed Marynowitz about a role in their personnel department, reports Michael Lombardi of the Ringer (Twitter link). Marynowitz previously worked under Chip Kelly in the Eagles’ front office, but was fired along with Kelly in 2015.

Coaching Notes: Wilks, Bears, Chiefs, Cards

Steve Wilks has set up three interviews for this week. The Giants will receive the first opportunity to meet with the Panthers’ DC, with ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson reporting (on Twitter) Wilks will trek to New Jersey to meet with the Dave Gettleman-led group on Tuesday before flying to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals on Wednesday. Following those meetings, the Colts will host Wilks on Thursday, Mike Wells of ESPN.com tweets. These aren’t the only teams interested in securing a sitdown with Wilks. The Lions remain interested in doing so as well, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

The Giants will complete both Wilks’ and Eric Studesville‘s interviews by Wednesday, with the former Broncos running backs coach set for a Wednesday powwow, per ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (Twitter link). This duo will mark the fifth and sixth interviews the Giants will have conducted. After these summits, Big Blue management could be ready to make a decision. With the Eagles still in the playoffs and no Jim Schwartz interview conducted, it could put the Giants to a decision: wait on Schwartz and risk losing some of these aforementioned candidates or hire one of them instead.

Here’s the latest from the coaching circuit.

  • A possible favorite has already emerged to replace Matt Nagy as the Chiefs‘ OC. Running backs coach Eric Bieniemy will be “strongly considered,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 48-year-old Bienemy served as Colorado’s OC from 2011-12 and has coached the Chiefs’ running backs since Andy Reid‘s arrival in 2013. Bienemy could have a clearer path to this job with former K.C. OC Brad Childress planning to retire.
  • Nagy wants to retain Vic Fangio with the Bears, both Peter Schrager of NFL.com and the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs note (Twitter links). But Fangio has interest elsewhere — from the Bengals and Packers — and could opt to depart Chicago after being passed over for the HC job.
  • Chicago may also look to retain a few assistants who worked under John Fox. Quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone is a candidate to stay under Nagy despite the new HC making his NFL name by working with QBs. The Bears respected Ragone’s work with Trubisky, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets, and adds Nagy and Ragone share an agent. Biggs tweets tight ends coach Frank Smith and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers are candidates to stay put as well.
  • The Browns‘ interviews with OC candidates Ken Zampese and Sean Ryan will take place this week. Rapoport reports (via Twitter) Zampese will receive the first meeting, which will occur today, with Ryan’s interview scheduled for Wednesday. A second-generation NFL assistant, Zampese spent the past 15 seasons with the Bengals before his second year as OC ended after just two games. A nine-year Giants staffer who is currently the Texans’ QBs coach, Ryan does not have any history with Hue Jackson like Zampese does.
  • Ron Rivera does not anticipate the Panthers making any staff changes beyond possibly replacing Wilks, David Newton of ESPN.com notes. This would mean OC Mike Shula is in line to return for a sixth season.
  • Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong‘s Cardinals interview is set for Monday in Atlanta, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Armstrong is allowed to interview under NFL rules despite the Falcons winning in the wild-card round.

Extra Points: Broncos, Titans, 49ers, Bears

The Texans have released defensive line coach Bill Kollar from his contract in order for him to join ex-Houston coach Gary Kubiak and the Broncos, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link). Kollar had been the Texans’ DL coach since 2009. He has family in the Denver area, and he credited Bill O’Brien for being gracious enough to let him leave. Per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Kollar is “considered an elite coach by his peers.” Here’s more from around the league…

  • Linebacker Derrick Morgan told SiriusXM NFL Radio that the Titans want to re-sign him, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. The impending free agent has never lived up to his first-round billing, having posted just 23.5 sacks in five seasons as a pro.
  • The Eagles let executive Tom Gamble go earlier this year as part of a reported power struggle, but it appears that he’ll land on his feet. Per John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link), Gamble has discussed taking a role with the 49ers, and is expected to accept it. Gamble previously worked in San Francisco’s front office from 2005-13.
  • The Bears have found a new tight ends coach, hiring former Saints offensive assistant Frank Smith, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Former Saints executive Ryan Pace, now the general manager in Chicago, may have had some familiarity with Smith.
  • New Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has hired a new front office member, bringing in Rams scout Brian Heimerdinger to serve in a front office role, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Heimerdinger could be installed as the new college scouting director or be given a new title, but he won’t be replacing anyone already on staff, per Cimini.
  • The hiring of Adam Gase as offensive coordinator could be good news for Jay Cutler‘s future with the Bears, according to Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report (Twitter links). Per Pompei, Gase’s system has similarities to that of Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, who is known to get the most out of his quarterbacks.