Fred Pagac

Coaching News: Packers, Cowboys, Giants

Earlier in the day, the Packers fired defensive coordinator Dom Capers. They continued to clean house on the defensive side of the ball later in the day, letting go of inside linebackers coach Scott McCurley and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports.

McCurley joined the Packers in 2006 as an intern but quickly moved his way up the ladder. For the last four years, he served as assistant linebackers coach and helped oversee the transition to young linebackers like Blake Martinez. An NFL coach since 1995, Trgovac had been with the Packers since 2009 following an extended stay as the defensive coordinator in Carolina.

Here is more from around the league on the coaching front:

  • The Broncos fired outside linebackers coach Fred Pagac on Monday, reports NBC 9 in Denver’s Mike Klis (Twitter link). Klis cites the lack of a pass rush following the departure of DeMarcus Ware as grounds for the dismissal. Shane Ray provided just one sack on the opposite side of Von Miller. The team also let go of defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn.
  • New Giants general manager Dave Gettleman told the team’s assistant coaches they are free to look for other jobs without the Giants blocking the search, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (Twitter link). Among the names expected to draw interest from other teams includes interim head coach and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
  • Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson is expected to be let go, sources tell the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez (Twitter link). Marvez notes that more changes to the team’s offensive coaching staff are expected to come, one of which could be wide receivers coach Derek Dooley, who is reported to not being returning to Dallas by’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Dooley denied the report, saying he has yet to meet with head coach Jason Garrett, Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams writes. The coaches have been with the team since 2007 and 2013, respectively.
  • After firing head coach Jim Caldwell, the Lions continued to overhaul its coaching staff by letting go of assistant head coach and offensive line coach Ron Prince, the team announced. Prince had been with the team since 2014.

AFC West Notes: Manning, Raiders, Broncos

The Broncos have made changes at head coach and offensive coordinator since the end of their season, and their star quarterback has considered retirement, but Las Vegas still likes the team’s chances for 2015. Betting site gives Denver 10/1 odds to win next year’s Super Bowl, with only the Seahawks, Patriots, and Packers ahead of the Broncos. On the other end of the spectrum, no club has longer odds at a championship than the Raiders, who are tied with the Jaguars at 200/1 odds.

Here’s the latest out of the AFC West:

  • Gil Brandt of is the latest to report that Peyton Manning is likely to return for another season in 2015, indicating in a tweet that he’s hearing the Broncos quarterback will “almost certainly” be back. Chris Mortensen of wrote yesterday that Manning could announce his return at some point this week, after Woody Paige of the Denver Post reported a couple weeks ago that the veteran signal-caller was leaning toward continuing his career.
  • Providing an update on the Raiders‘ hunt for a defensive coordinator, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle says that it still doesn’t seem as if the team is any rush to make a decision. According to Tafur (all Twitter links), Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. remains a candidate, and Oakland could also dip into the college ranks — with National Signing Day coming up this week, a coach could wait until after that to take the Raiders job. As for Mike Smith, who has been considered Jack Del Rio‘s top choice all along, the former Falcons head coach would like to take a year off, and hasn’t changed his mind on that yet, per Tafur.
  • The Broncos have hired Fred Pagac as their outside linebackers coach, a source tells Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (Twitter link). Pagac, a former defensive coordinator for the Vikings, worked with the Bills’ linebackers in 2014.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Saints, Bills, Roster Rankings

Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was sentenced to just 180 days in jail after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter, and Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News believes the team will try to bring him back for the 2014 season. The team will push for a ruling from commissioner Roger Goodell regarding a league suspension before the draft, in the hopes that their areas of need will be more clarified. Regardless of Brent’s fate, the Cowboys will need to boost their defensive line this offseason. For his part, Gosselin opines that Brent should move on to a different team, and open a new chapter in his life.

Some more notes from around the league:

  • The Saints need to get younger at receiver, writes Mike Triplett of Marques Colston may only have a few years left as a productive player, and Robert Meachem and Lance Moore might not return to New Orleans next season. Adding big names to the receiving core via free agency is unlikely, as the Saints have proven they can succeed by pairing lightly-regarded players with quarterback Drew Brees.
  • The Bills have added Pepper Johnson as defensive line coach and Fred Pagac as linebackers coach, according to a team statement. Johnson was on the Patriots coaching staff for the past 12 seasons, while Pagac spent the past seven years with the Vikings.
  • Evan Silva of Rotoworld ranks each franchise by roster strength and identifies the top needs of each team. The Super Bowl participant Seahawks and Broncos come in at numbers one and three, respectively, while the 49ers, Patriots, and Saints round out the top five.
  • Teams like the Chiefs, who will pick near the end of the first round in the upcoming draft, may benefit from the ever-rising number of declaring underclassmen, writes Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.