George Godsey

Coaching Notes: Monken, Chiefs, Lions, Bills

Todd Monken became the Buccaneers‘ offensive coordinator once Dirk Koetter rose to the HC spot, but he will now have more time to concentrate on the offense from a macro sense. The Bucs announced the promotion of Skyler Fulton to the role of wide receivers coach. Monken had served in a dual capacity of overseeing Tampa Bay’s wideouts and running the offense the past two years. This staff adjustment, however, won’t result in Monken calling plays, with Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk noting Koetter will still do that next season.

Fulton joined the Bucs’ staff during the 2016 preseason as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. The 35-year-old assistant played wide receiver under Koetter at Arizona State before a short NFL career. He received his first assistant-coaching opportunity in instructing running backs at Grossmont College, a community college in California, in 2015.

More coaching carousel happenings took place on Monday. Here’s the latest:

  • The Lions will move George Godsey to the side of the ball with which he’s most familiar, shifting him from a defensive assistant/special projects to their quarterbacks coach, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. OC for the Texans from 2015-16, Godsey will replace Brian Callahan — whom the Lions let go last week. While the rest of the defensive staff Godsey was working with was dismissed as Matt Patricia is slated to take over, the team will be making an exception by transitioning Godsey — who worked with the Patriots as an offensive assistant (2011) and tight ends coach (2012-13) during Patricia’s stay in New England — back to offense.
  • In addition, the Lions added former coordinators Jeff Davidson to coach their offensive line and Brian Stewart to head up their secondary, Marvez reports. A former Panthers OC and five-year Vikings offensive line boss, Davidson will coach a third O-line in the past three seasons after leading the Chargers’ group in 2016 and the Broncos’ front last season. Stewart, the Cowboys’ DC from 2007-08 under Wade Phillips, will leave his post as Rice’s DC to jump back to the NFL. Coaching at Houston, Nebraska and Rice during the 2010s, Stewart hasn’t coached in the NFL since that ’08 season in Dallas.
  • An NFL defensive line coach for the past 20 seasons, Mike Waufle will retire after spending the 2017 campaign with the Bills, he told the Evening Tribune (N.Y.). Position coach of the famed 2007 Giants’ Super Bowl champion defensive front, Waufle said various injuries have him in constant pain and will induce a retirement — one he informed Sean McDermott of shortly after Buffalo’s first-round loss in Jacksonville. As a result, the Bills will bring on Bill Teerlinck as their D-line coach, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Teerlinck spent last season as Waufle’s assistant. Teerlinck’s assistant DL coach will be Aaron Whitecotton, who spent 2017 as an assistant to McDermott.
  • The Chiefs announced a slew of hirings and transitions. Most notably, Gary Gibbs will no longer serve as Kansas City’s linebackers coach. Gibbs served on staff for nine seasons, hired as part of Todd Haley‘s first group. The Chiefs will divvy up Gibbs’ responsibilities by placing previous assistant defensive line coach Mike Smith in charge of the outside linebackers and previous assistant linebackers coach Mark DeLeone in command of the inside ‘backers. Corey Matthaei is now K.C.’s assistant O-line coach, while Joe Bleymaier will become assistant quarterbacks coach under new QBs instructor Mike Kafka. Terry Bradden and David Girardi will take quality control positions, on defense and offense, respectively.

AFC South Notes: Albert, O’Brien, Hooker

Doug Marrone was emphatic today when declaring he still hasn’t heard from recently acquired left tackle Branden Albert, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. The new full-time Jaguars coach seemed to indicate Tom Coughlin and Dave Caldwell have checked in with him about the situation involving the AWOL trade acquisition.

I just want to know so when you ask me, I can answer it or when [Coughlin or Caldwell] asks, I can answer them,” Marrone said, via O’Halloran. “They ask me, ‘Have you talked to him? Is he going to come? Is he going to play?’ I don’t know. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had a player on the [franchise] tag and they would say, ‘Hey, I’m not signing the tag, I’m not going to [show up], but I’m going to be working out and training.’ … You just want to know where everyone is at and that’s all I was expecting [from Albert].”

Albert cannot be fined until June 13, when the Jags convene for their mandatory minicamp. O’Halloran reports that when Albert came to Jacksonville for a post-trade press conference in March, a source indicated a new contract wasn’t coming for the 32-year-old blocker. The tackle market then exploded, with less proven players like Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff and Russell Okung all signing for at least $11MM per year and each receiving at least $24MM in guarantees. This leads O’Halloran to believe Albert had a change of heart about playing on his Dolphins-constructed contract this season. Albert is now the 15th-highest-paid left tackle, in terms of AAV. The two-time Pro Bowler’s deal has no guaranteed money remaining.

Here’s the latest from the AFC South.

  • The Jaguars are lining up Cam Robinson exclusively at left tackle, O’Halloran tweets. Arriving as a second-round pick from Alabama, Robinson was believed to be viewed as either a tackle or guard. The Jags have some uncertainty at left guard despite re-signing Patrick Omameh, so an ideal setup may be Albert at left tackle and Robinson at left guard. With Albert’s status unknown, the franchise is not arranging its pieces this way.
  • After the Texans again sputtered on offense in 2016, the team parted ways with OC George Godsey without bringing in a new coordinator. Bill O’Brien confirmed he’s running the offense and will continue to do so. “I’ve been probably doing more coaching myself in the last four or five weeks than I’ve done in the three years that I’ve been here,” O’Brien said, via Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. “I’m really involved in the offense and I’m having a lot of fun.” O’Brien categorized last season’s stretch-run arrangement as he and Godsey splitting up the play-calling duties. Barshop notes O’Brien will call plays this season.
  • Malik Hooker will not participate in the Colts‘ rookie minicamp this weekend and will likely be held out until training camp, according to Kevin Bowen of Colts.com. The first-round safety underwent surgeries in January to repair a torn labrum and address a hernia issue.
  • The Jaguars are expected to give Leonard Fournette a fully guaranteed contract like the Panthers did for Christian McCaffrey, O’Halloran notes. McCaffrey’s $17.24MM deal as the No. 8 overall pick will be well shy of what O’Halloran expects to be a fully guaranteed pact for the No. 4 overall choice, who would earn $27.15MM. That amount would exceed the league’s top guarantee for a running back. Ezekiel Elliott‘s $24.97MM guarantee leads this position by a healthy margin presently, with LeSean McCoy having the top veteran-contract guarantee at $18.25MM.

Lions Hire Ex-Texans OC George Godsey

The Lions have hired former Texans offensive coordinator George Godsey as a defensive assistant/special projects, the club announced today.George Godsey (vertical)

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The Detroit title means Godsey will be coaching/analyzing from a different side of the ball given that he’s spent the entirety of his career on offense, but he won’t be the first coach to switch his specific focus. Longtime NFL offensive coach Juan Castillo, for one, spent two years as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator (with admittedly poor results), while current Falcons wide receivers coach Raheem Morris came up through the defensive ranks.

While the Lions didn’t announce Godsey’s exact duties, he’ll likely have a role similar to that of Randy Edsall, the current UConn head coach who spent the 2016 campaign as Detroit’s director of football research/special projects. Edsall assisted in gameday preparation (scouting future opponents, searching for tendencies), and also aided in draft and free agency work. Given that Godsey is an offensive mind, he’ll presumably help the Lions’ defensive staff see the game from a different point of view.

Godsey, 38, first entered the NFL with the Patriots in 2011, and had spent the past three seasons with the Texans, serving as offensive coordinator from 2015-16. After being let go by Houston earlier this year, Godsey was a candidate for the Jets’ OC vacancy, and was also linked to the University of Alabama.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Patriots, Texans, Steelers, Jags

The University of Alabama is hiring Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll as its new offensive coordinator, according to Chris Low of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Daboll, who has led offenses at the NFL level for the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs, was first linked to the Crimson Tide earlier this week by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports. Former Texans play-caller George Godsey was also in consideration for the vacancy in Tuscaloosa, per Feldman.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Veteran safety Quintin Demps hasn’t engaged in contract negotiations with the Texans as of yet, and although the pending free agent would prefer to return to Houston in 2017, he’s not interested in offering the club any sort of hometown discount, Demps told SiriusXM NFL Radio today (Twitter links). Demps is entering his age-32 campaign, which could depress his value, but he’s started 26 games over the past two years and is coming off a season in which he graded as the league’s No. 12 safety, according to Pro Football Focus. After earning only $1.5MM in 2016, Demps should be in a for raise, but he’s not going to break the bank in a safety market that also includes Eric Berry, Tony Jefferson, and T.J. McDonald.
  • Tight end Ladarius Green is expected to be healthy enough to play in 2017, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert yesterday told reporters, including Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times (Twitter link). Green only appeared in six games during his first campaign with Pittsburgh, as concussion issues limited his ability to get on the field. Although he provided 16.9 yards per reception when he was on the field, Green could represent too large a risk for the Steelers to undertake, especially given that his post-June 1 release would clear $5MM in cap space.
  • Defensive tackle Abry Jones‘ four-year, $16MM deal with the Jaguars contains $6.5MM in guarantees, which are comprised of a $2.5MM 2017 base salary, a $1MM roster bonus due next March, and $3MM 2018 base salary, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Chad Henne‘s new one-year contract is worth $3.5MM, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link), and contains a $500K signing bonus, a $750K roster bonus due on September 7, and $2.5MM available via incentives.
  • Steelers linebacker Steven Johnson‘s new deal is a one-year, minimum salary benefit contract that comes with $80K in guaranteed money, per Caplan (Twitter link). Under the terms of the MSB, Johnson will only count for $615K on Pittsburgh’s salary cap.

Jets Notes: QBs, Godsey, Staff, Enunwa

While the Jets finished in third place in terms of impact hires today, naming Saints wide receivers coach John Morton as their new OC, here’s the latest coming out of their headquarters.

  • Former Texans OC George Godsey is not expected to be a candidate to fill the Jets’ quarterback coach position, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports. Godsey was on Bill O’Brien‘s Penn State staff before following the coach to Houston, initially helping recruit Christian Hackenberg to Happy Valley, Pa. But the Jets will not be following the Broncos’ lead by hiring the second-place finisher in their OC derby to instruct the QBs. The Broncos hired Bill Musgrave to coach its quarterbacks just after naming Mike McCoy OC.
  • The hiring of Morton will likely be the signal the Jets’ 2017 starting quarterback isn’t on the roster yet, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes. The 47-year-old assistant has never called plays in his six years in the NFL, the first four coming as Jim Harbaugh‘s receivers coach in San Francisco before relocating to New Orleans. Sources told Vacchiano the Jets aren’t expected to go into the 2017 season with Bryce Petty or Hackenberg as the Week 1 starter, and the writer notes Morton having to install a new scheme while getting one of the prospects ready for immediate game action could be too much for a first-time OC.
  • Gang Green hired former Browns defensive line coach Robert Nunn to work in the same capacity, Mehta reports. Nunn comprised part of since-fired DC Ray Horton‘s staff in Cleveland. He will replace Pepper Johnson with the Jets. Nunn coached the Giants’ defensive line under Perry Fewell, being in charge of the group that deployed the NASCAR package en route to the Super Bowl XLVI title.
  • Quincy Enunwa missed out on a $1.2MM bonus due to a technicality, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. The NFL released the Proven Performance Escalator figures last week, only the Jets’ slot target was not included even though he met the requirements on the surface. These bonuses are for players drafted in Rounds 3- 7 who played in at least 35 percent of a team’s snaps. Enunwa, a sixth-round pick in 2014, surpassed that threshold but didn’t collect his bonus due to the fact the Jets cut him in 2014 only to re-sign him at the end of that season. Enunwa being on his second contract negated this substantial bonus. Enunwa will enter a contract year in 2017.

AFC Notes: Colts, Bills, Jets, Jones

While the Colts are set for a front-office transition, they are set to return most of their offensive coaching staff, with one exception. The Bills’ previous wide receivers coach, Sanjay Lal, will make the move to Indianapolis to work in the same capacity, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Lal coached Buffalo’s wideouts for two seasons. Between 2009-14, he worked with the Raiders’ and Jets’ receiving corps. Lal replaces Lee Hull, whom the team dismissed.

Aside from that switch, the Colts will return OC Rob Chudzinski‘s staff. Former Dolphins HC Joe Philbin will remain in charge of Indianapolis’ offensive line, Quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer will return as well. Although, no such assurances are made to this staff beyond the 2017 season, and per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, the assistants are exhibiting a sense of relief at the Senior Bowl that Ryan Grigson‘s firing did not come with a sizable staff shakeup.

Here’s more from the AFC.

  • Jim Irsay continues to consult with former Colts GM Bill Polian, per Holder, about the search to replace Grigson. Holder isn’t certain the Hall of Fame executive will sit in on the interviews, but it’s clear he’s functioning as a sounding board for his former boss.
  • When Doug Whaley listed some of the Bills‘ free agents, he categorized three players (Stephon Gilmore, Robert Woods and RFA punter Colton Schmidt) as starters before pointing to the other 25 players in that grouping as performers brought in for depth purposes. “The rest of those guys, we brought in for backup depth purposes and they’ve played extremely well, and that’s a compliment to our pro personnel department,” Whaley said, via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “But we feel we have confidence that we can get a lot of those guys back on extended contracts.” Mike Rodak of ESPN.com points out UFAs like Lorenzo Alexander, right tackle Jordan Mills and Zach Brown enhanced their value this season (Twitter links) and won’t likely be regarded as depth players once they hit free agency. Rodak (via Twitter) also doesn’t see Alexander, used as an outside linebacker in Rex Ryan‘s 3-4 scheme, as a fit in Doug McDermott‘s 4-3.
  • The Jets are almost certainly set for some type of negotiation with Darrelle Revis about reducing his contract, but should he return in 2017, a transition to safety is in play. New Jets secondary coach Dennard Wilson said he “wouldn’t think it would be a problem” for Revis to take up playing on the back line, per Connor Hughes of NJ.com. Wilson demurred when asked whether he wants Revis on the 2017 team. The Jets can save $9MM by cutting Revis before the second day of the new league year but will incur a $6MM dead-money hit — one that would be alleviated, due to offset language, if Revis lands elsewhere.
  • Gang Green has done “extensive homework” on former Texans OC George Godsey, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Rapoport views Godsey, who mutually parted ways with the Texans after the team’s divisional-round loss to the Patriots, as a strong candidate to succeed Chan Gailey.
  • One of the Jets’ considerations with their No. 6 overall pick will be North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com notes. However, Pauline said upon discussions at the Senior Bowl that labeling the Jets as being infatuated with the early-entry Tar Heels talent may be a bit overblown, noting the Jets are part of a “pack of teams” at the top of the draft considering Trubisky.
  • Adam Jones could face a suspension next season after his profanity-laced tirade against police officers was captured on video. The Bengals cornerback issued an apology statement, via the Associated Press, following the franchise’s apology. Jones will be set for his age-34 season next year, which doubles as the second year of his latest Bengals contract.

Jets Interested In George Godsey, John Morton

Just over a week after he and the Texans parted ways, offensive coordinator George Godsey is drawing interest from the Jets, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. New York, which is looking for a successor to retired O-coordinator Chan Gailey, could interview Godsey at the Senior Bowl as early as Tuesday, per Cimini. The club also has Saints wide receivers coach John Morton on its radar.

George Godsey (vertical)

It has been exactly three weeks since the embattled Gailey stepped down, but the Jets haven’t made much progress in finding a replacement. They previously targeted Mike McCoy, but he took Denver’s coordinator job, as well as Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and Broncos running backs Eric Studesville. Those two aren’t leaving their current organizations, however, and the same seems likely for another coach the Jets have eyed, Chiefs co-OC Matt Nagy.

Godsey, meanwhile, is looking for work and would bring two years’ experience as a coordinator to the Jets. The 38-year-old had little to work with under center in Houston, whose offense struggled on his watch, and lost play-calling duties last September to head coach Bill O’Brien. As he did with the Texans, Godsey would have to deal with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation if he were to end up with the Jets. The team’s only options heading into the offseason are Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. That means the Jets will have to hit the jackpot on a signal-caller either through free agency or the draft, in which they’ll pick sixth.

Unlike Godsey, Morton has no play-calling experience at the NFL level, but he was USC’s offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll in 2009 and Lane Kiffin from 2010-11. He then jumped to the pros, where he has coached wideouts with the 49ers and Saints over the past six seasons. Under Morton’s stewardship in 2016, the Saints had three receivers finish with at least 70 catches and 895 yards. One of those players, Michael Thomas, piled up 92 receptions, 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns as a second-round rookie.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans, OC George Godsey Agree To Part Ways

Following the team’s season-ending loss to the Patriots this weekend, the Texans are starting to make some changes. According to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (via Twitter), the organization and offensive coordinator George Godsey have “mutually agreed to part ways.”

George Godsey (vertical)“I’m grateful for the tireless work ethic and contributions George has made to our team over the last three years,” head coach Bill O’Brien said in a statement (via Berman on Twitter). “I wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

After starting his career with Central Florida and the Patriots, the 38-year-old spent that past three seasons in the Texans’ organization, and he spent the past two years as the team’s offensive coordinator. The Texans offense was average in 2015, but that wasn’t necessarily a reflection on Godsey. The coordinator was forced to use four different starting quarterbacks during that campaign, including Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates, and Brandon Weeden. Despite the inconsistency at quarterback, the squad still managed to finish 19th in the league in total offensive yards and 21st for offensive points.

Following the offseason signing of quarterback Brock Osweiler, there was optimism that the Texans offense would take another step forward in 2016. That wasn’t the case. The offense finished with the fourth-fewest yards in the league, and most of the blame could be attributed to the performance of the quarterback. Osweiler finished the season with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. His 2,957 passing yards was the fewest in the NFL among quarterback’s with at least 500 attempts, and the 26-year-old was benched for Tom Savage late in the season. As a result of the Texans weak passing game, the team’s wideouts predictably suffered. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins ultimately finished the season with 78 receptions, 954 yards, and four scores – his lowest totals since his rookie season.

Of course, there was some positive to take out of the Texans 2016 offensive performance. The team finished with 1,859 rushing yards, the eighth-best mark in the league (although they did finish 19th in yards-per-carry). Lamar Miller also had a bounce-back season in Houston, rushing for 1,073 yards and five touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Take Play Calling Duties From Godsey

The Texans have taken play-calling duties away from offensive coordinator George Godsey, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets. Head coach Bill O’Brien will now call the plays. George Godsey (vertical)

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O’Brien called the Texans’ plays when he joined the team in 2014. Last year, he handed those responsibilities to Godsey when he was bumped up from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator.

Godsey remains on staff, but this probably doesn’t bode well for his long-term job security in Houston. The Texans are understandably frustrated with their offensive production, especially considering the money spent on new quarterback Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller. Big things were expected from the Texans’ offense this year but, through three weeks, they have looked pretty flat. The 27-0 shutout at the hands of the Patriots last Thursday likely spurred this week’s big change.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Stewart, Panthers, Texans

When the Panthers released their all-time leading rusher DeAngelo Williams, it paved the way for Jonathan Stewart to become the team’s undisputed featured running back for the first time in eight years, as Steve Reed of The Associated Press writes. His teammates believe that he’s up for the task.

We saw last year that as he got more and more reps, the better he got,” tight end Greg Olsen said. “He’s so talented. You forget that he’s just unbelievable. When he gets rolling he’s as good as there is in the league. He’s so big and strong.”

Here’s more from the AFC and NFC South..

  • The Texans have reached out to former center Chris Myers about returning to the team, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Myers will consider multiple options before deciding, however.
  • Olsen says that playing with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been “great for his career,” as David Newton of ESPN.com writes. Last week, Newton signed a five-year extension that will make him a member of the Panthers through 2020.
  • Texans head coach Bill O’Brien announced that the team’s promotion of George Godsey to offensive coordinator is now official, Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com tweets. Godsey was previously slotted in as the team’s quarterbacks coach.
  • When asked about whether tackle David Quessenberry could play this year, O’Brien said, “This season is a possibility. I would not rule it out,” according to Ganguli (on Twitter). the former sixth-rounder has been battling with lymphoma and, fortunately, appears to have made a great recovery. The Texans lineman announced in February that he was in remission.
  • The Saints have added former Jets director of pro personnel Brendan Prophett to their scouting staff, a source tells Nick Underhill of The Advocate. Prophett has not yet been assigned an area that he will scout.