Frisman Jackson

Coaching Notes: Daboll, Chargers, Bears, Falcons

Before the Chargers surprisingly hired Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley to be their new head coach last night, Bills OC Brian Daboll was widely considered the favorite for that job. After missing out on the opportunity to coach Justin Herbert, it sounds like Daboll is going to ride things out in Buffalo and wait until next year for a head coaching gig. A source close to Daboll said he’ll “be the big name for head coach next year,” per Dianna Russini of ESPN (Twitter link).

That would seem to indicate that Daboll isn’t a serious candidate for, or isn’t interested in, the Texans and Eagles jobs, which are the only two real openings left with the Lions expected to hire Dan Campbell. Russini also notes that agents and other candidates around the league viewed the Staley hire as a surprise as well. Daboll also interviewed with the Jets before they hired Robert Saleh. Widely praised for his work in developing Josh Allen into a top-tier quarterback, it looks like the Allen/Daboll partnership in Buffalo will live on for at least another year, which is music to the ears of Bills fans. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle later confirmed in a tweet that Daboll will in fact return on Sean McDermott’s staff in 2021.

Here’s more from the coaching ranks:

  • Speaking of the Chargers, since they just hired a defensive mind, finding someone to run the offense is the new top priority. To that end, Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is a possibility for the Chargers’ OC gig, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets. Pelissero notes that he’s become very close with Staley during their time together on Sean McVay’s staff. He also points out that since it would technically be a lateral move for O’Connell, he’d need McVay’s blessing to leave. Obviously since he would get to call the plays with the Chargers it would still be a pretty big step up, and McVay previously let his old OC Matt LaFleur make a lateral move to the Titans since it came with play-calling responsibilities, so presumably he’d do the same here. O’Connell is a former third-round pick QB of the Patriots, who spent 2019 as Washington’s offensive coordinator. We’ve heard that Herbert “loves” his current offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, and Pelissero again reiterates it’s possible he’s held over from Anthony Lynn’s staff.
  • The Bears need a new defensive coordinator with Chuck Pagano retiring, and obviously with Matt Nagy being an offensive mind it’s a crucial role for Chicago. They’re starting to sift through candidates, and the team has put in a request to interview Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon for the job, Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic tweets. Gannon isn’t the highest profile candidate, as he was a quality control coach as recently as 2017 until he was hired to be DBs coach on Frank Reich’s inaugural Colts staff in 2018. We’ve also heard that current defensive line coach Jay Rodgers and safeties coach Sean Desai are internal candidates to succeed Pagano.
  • New Falcons coach Arthur Smith will surely be running the team’s offense, but it sounds like he’s planning on hiring an offensive coordinator still. We also heard over the weekend that Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone was an early favorite for the OC role, but he’s apparently not the only contender. Atlanta has interviewed Panthers receivers coach Frisman Jackson for the job, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Jackson spent five years with the Browns as a player in the early 2000s, and was the Titans’ receivers coach in 2017 when Smith was coaching tight ends there, so he’s got that connection working for him. He then went to Baylor before following Matt Rhule from there to Carolina.

Panthers Add Several To Coaching Staff

As could be expected given Matt Rhule‘s hiring, the 2020 Panthers will feature a heavy Baylor feel on their coaching staff. In addition to Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow, several more Baylor assistants will make the jump to the pros.

The Panthers announced additional hires to their staff Friday. Among them are assistant head coach Jeff Nixon, wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson, tight ends coach Brian Angelichio, assistant offensive line coach Marcus Satterfield, assistant D-line coach Frank Okam, cornerbacks coach Evan Cooper and assistant special teams coach Ed Foley.

Nixon and Jackson played key roles under Rhule at Baylor, but both are ex-NFL assistants. Nixon, who will coach Carolina’s running backs, led the Dolphins’ running backs for five years before working on Chip Kelly‘s 49ers staff in 2016. He was Rhule’s co-offensive coordinator at Baylor from 2017-19. Most of Jackson’s work has come at the college level, but he spent 2017 as the Titans’ wideouts coach.

Angelichio has more experience at the NFL level, coaching tight ends previously for the Redskins in 2019. Instead of working for former Panthers coach Ron Rivera, he will trek to Charlotte for a role with Rivera’s old team. Previously, Angelichio was tight ends coach with the Buccaneers, Browns and Packers since 2012.

Rhule’s former Temple OC, Satterfield was Baylor’s tight ends coach last season. He is an NFL first-timer. A former NFL lineman, Okam is as well. He spent the past two seasons as Baylor’s assistant D-line coach. Also set to become an NFL rookie staffer, Cooper will move from Baylor’s assistant cornerbacks coach to running that position in Carolina. On Rhule’s Temple and Baylor staffs, Foley headed up the Owls’ special teams and was their interim HC after Rhule took the Baylor job. He is also set for his first NFL coaching gig.

The Panthers also hired E.J. Barthel, Grant Udinksi and Cedric Whitaker as coaching assistants. Barthel and Whitaker will make major jumps to the NFL after respectively spending 2019 at Houston Baptist and William & Mary, respectively. Udinski will make the Baylor-to-Carolina transition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: Falcons, McDaniels, Titans

The Falcons were set to add Darrell Bevell and Ken Dorsey to their quarterbacks coach interview list, but they might not have gotten around to it by the time they arrived at their decision. Greg Knapp will replace Bush Hamdan as Atlanta’s QBs coach, Alex Marvez of Sporting News reports. The 54-year-old Knapp did not coach in the NFL last season and spent the previous four years coaching the Broncos’ quarterbacks.

Knapp will return to Atlanta in a different capacity; he was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator from 2004-06. Running the most successful of the Michael Vick offenses, Knapp also was OC with the 49ers, Raiders (two stints) and Seahawks. The one-season stay in Seattle (2009) overlapped with Dan Quinn, who was the Seahawks’ defensive line coach from 2009-10. Knapp’s Broncos work may look a bit better now considering how far their quarterback play fell this season, and the Falcons are hoping he can help return Matt Ryan to top-tier status after a down year.

Here’s the latest from the coaching circuit.

  • Mike Vrabel‘s Titans deal is a five-year agreement, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). This is a noticeably bigger commitment to a first-time HC than the franchise made to Mike Mularkey, who was then set for his third go-round as a head coach. Mularkey received a three-year commitment in 2016.
  • Josh McDaniels was only seriously interested in the Colts and Giants‘ jobs, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes, adding that the Titans could have had a shot at the Patriots’ OC had they fired Mularkey late in what was an inconsistent regular season. McDaniels and Jon Robinson worked together in New England.
  • Volin adds McDaniels is not scared off by Andrew Luck‘s recent health history despite the Colts having redshirted their cornerstone performer this season. Luck still doesn’t have a firm timetable to return, but McDaniels signing on points to confidence he will be back come 2018.
  • Matt Patricia is not certain to hire a defensive coordinator with the Lions, Volin notes. Patricia will run the Lions’ defense regardless. This was the job he was connected to throughout the offseason, and despite reports emerging the Giants had him among their finalists, Volin notes that wasn’t the case. McDaniels and Pat Shurmur are believed to be the only HC candidates the Giants were considering, per Volin.
  • Paul Guenther‘s deal as Raiders DC is a four-year pact, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. The Bengals made a “lucrative” offer to try to keep Guenther in his previous position after his contract expired, but after 15 seasons in Cincinnati, the veteran assistant wanted to work with Jon Gruden. Guenther said the Raiders will be running “80 to 90 percent” of what the Vikings run under Mike Zimmer, so the Raiders will have a firmer commitment to the 4-3 than in years past.
  • Josh McDaniels may well look to bring his younger brother with him to Indianapolis, Volin writes. The 37-year-old Ben McDaniels worked as a Bears offensive assistant for the past two seasons. He also served in that role for the 2009 Broncos before Josh McDaniels promoted him to quarterbacks coach in 2010, so it appears likely the brothers will reunite with the Colts soon.
  • The Titans will lose wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson to the college ranks. Jackson served as Tennessee’s wideouts coach for just one season, and he’ll take over the same job at Baylor, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports. The former NFL wideout was a college receivers coach from 2008-16.

Coaching Notes: Bradley, Kelly, Bears, Titans

The Chargers and new head coach Anthony Lynn want Gus Bradley to be their defensive coordinator, reports Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). It was reported last week that the new Los Angeles franchise was looking at Bradley for the gig, and that interest made more sense following reports that former defensive coordinator John Pagano wouldn’t be returning.

However, Bradley isn’t in a rush to sign a deal. The former Jaguars coach is waiting to see whether the 49ers will hire Seahawks offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable as their head coach. The duo coached together in Seattle from 2011 through 2012, and we can assume that Bradley would be interested in joining Cable’s 49ers staff. Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports (via Twitter) that Bradley is a “top choice” for Cable’s hypothetical staff.

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Chip Kelly headed into his interview with the Jaguars believing he’d get offered the offensive coordinator position, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). In fact, the former Eagles and 49ers head coach already has some “assistant hires” ready to go. Rapoport notes that there’s a good chance Kelly gets the gig.
  • The Bears have hired Jeremiah Washburn to be their offensive line coach, reports Marvez (via Twitter). Washburn spent last season as the Dolphins assistant offensive line coach, and he also spent time coaching with the Lions and Ravens.
  • The Titans have added a pair of coaches to their staff. Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com reports that the team has added former Temple passing game coordinator Frisman Jackson as their new wide receivers coach. The team has also hired Craig Aukerman to be an assistant special teams coach. Aukerman served as the Chargers special teams coordinator last season.
  • The Browns hired Blake Williams as their linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as an assistant defensive backs coach, reports Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com (via Twitter). Williams, the son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, spent last season working under his dad in Los Angeles.
  • The Broncos have added John Benton to their coaching staff as an assistant offensive line coach, reports Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post. Benton has coached in the NFL for 13 years, and he spent last season working for the Jaguars.