Greg Roman

Ravens To Retain Greg Roman

The contract for Ravens assistant Greg Roman expired at the end of the season, leading to speculation that he could hook on with another team as an offensive coordinator. That won’t be the case, however, as Roman has been re-signed to a new deal that will give him the designation of assistant head coach, Alex Marvez of The Sporting News hears. Greg Roman (vertical)

Previously, Roman was with the club as the senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach. Before joining the Ravens in 2017, he served as the offensive coordinator of the 49ers and Bills. With six years of OC experience, he could have waited for play-calling opportunities to arise elsewhere once teams filled their head coaching vacancies. Instead, he’ll stay put, even though OC Marty Mornhinweg will be brought back for 2018.

If the Ravens’ offense sputters in the fall and Mornhinweg gets the axe, Roman will be the leading candidate to put on that headset.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Bears, Packers, Ravens, Browns

The Bears have concluded their head coaching interview with Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, the club announced today. Chicago is able to interview Edwards given that Minnesota secured a first-round playoff bye, and he’s one of seven candidates to be linked to the Bears’ vacancy. Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, and Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks are all being considered for the job alongside Edwards.

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

  • Incumbent cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt is considered the favorite to become the Packers‘ next defensive coordinator, reports Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Green Bay will start its DC search by interviewing three internal candidates: Whitt, safeties coach Darren Perry, and assistant head coach/linebackers Winston Moss. While all three coaches are currently under contract with the Packers, there’s no guarantee that any or all of them will return in 2018, as Demovsky writes in a separate piece. If Green Bay hires an outside candidate to replace Dom Capers, that new coach could aim to bring in his own assistants.
  • The Ravens will bring back offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinwheg in 2018, but it’s unclear if senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach Greg Roman will return given that his contract has expired, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Roman, a former play-caller for the 49ers and Bills, could potentially draw interest as an offensive coordinator once head coaching vacancies are filled around the league. Meanwhile, Baltimore may potentially hire a quarterbacks coach to work on Joe Flacco‘s mechanics, head coach John Harbaugh told reporters today, including Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Mornhinwheg currently holds the QBs coach title in addition to offensive coordinator.
  • Reports earlier this week indicated the Browns are interested in former Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, and Cleveland will in fact interview him for their open offensive coordinator position, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who calls his own offensive plays, had not employed an OC during his first two years in Cleveland. Zampese, the Bengals’ quarterbacks coach from 2003-16, lasted only two touchdown-less games as the club’s offensive play-caller in 2017. The Browns are also set to interview Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan for offensive coordinator in the near future.
  • Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley suffered a shattered pelvis during an incident at a bar on New Year’s Eve, but the injury is not expected to affect Haley’s ability to coach during the Divisional Round, reports Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. While there certainly could be more to the story, Haley was reportedly shoved while out to dinner with his wife in the Pittsburgh area.

Extra Points: Giants, Cowboys, Seahawks

Inside the NFL, former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is perceived as the most likely candidate to take over the same job with the Giants, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. While that’s far from naming Gettleman as an official candidate for New York position, it’s a sign that the early link established between Gettleman and Big Blue wasn’t misconceived. Former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi — whose New York career overlapped with Gettleman’s for a decade — is consulting the club on its GM hunt.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Filling in the for the suspended Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys running back Alfred Morris could now see an increased market next spring thanks to his production through four games as a starter, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. Morris has certainly impressed — as Archer notes, Morris 307 yards in four contests would put him on pace for a 1,200+ yard campaign. However, Morris turns 29 years old next week, which will theoretically limit his market. A reunion between Morris and Dallas could make sense, opines Archer, as the Cowboys would be wise to protect themselves against another Elliott off-field incident/ban.
  • Before hiring Herm Edwards as their new head coach, Arizona State reached out to Ravens senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach Greg Roman, tweets Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Roman, who has previously served as an offensive coordinator for both the 49ers and Bills, doesn’t have any collegiate coaching experience and has no known ties to the Arizona area, but given that Edwards was their final choice, the Sun Devils clearly didn’t weight either of those factors heavily. Baltimore currently ranks 26th in offensive DVOA, but that’s certainly not an indictment on Roman, who has crafted excellent offensive schemes in his past stops.
  • If Pete Carroll‘s eternal optimism is to be believed, the Seahawks could soon witness the return of two key contributors, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Defensive back DeShawn Shead — currently on the physically unable to perform list — is “really close” to practicing, per Carroll, and may even participate this week. Meanwhile, running back Chris Carson is “unbelievably ahead of schedule” as he returns from a broken leg, Carroll tells Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link), and he could also come back to practice in the next several weeks.
  • Shead’s return could help a secondary that’s already lost cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor for the remainder of the season. Chancellor, though, hasn’t officially been placed on injured reserve yet, and that’s because of the Seahawks‘ dire salary cap situation, tweets Condotta. Seattle has only ~$165K in cap space, per Over the Cap, meaning it doesn’t have the money to pay a player who’d replace Chancellor on the 53-man roster. It’s almost inconceivable that the Seahawks will use a 52-man roster for the rest of the year, so the club will likely attempt to restructure a contract to create more space.

Coaching Notes: Redskins, Rams, Ravens

The Redskins announced that they interviewed Gus Bradley for the defensive coordinator position on Wednesday. The former Jaguars head coach is reportedly Washington’s prime target to take over for the fired Joe Barry. Bradley was a successful D-coordinator in Seattle from 2009-12, during which time he became familiar with then-Seahawks executive and now-Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan.

As is the case with their defensive staff, changes might be on the horizon for the Redskins’ offensive coaches. With coordinator Sean McVay emerging as a serious candidate to grab the reins as Los Angeles’ head coach, the Redskins could turn to ex-Chargers HC Mike McCoy as his replacement, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. McCoy is also a candidate in Denver (where he served as an O-coordinator from 2010-12) and Buffalo, both of which named head coaches Wednesday.

More of the latest coaching-related info:

  • A potential head coaching interview between Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and the Rams is “in limbo,” per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. With the Falcons preparing for a Saturday playoff game against the Seahawks, Shanahan might not have time to meet with the Rams this week, La Canfora adds (Twitter link).
  • Former Buffalo offensive coordinator Greg Roman will sign on with the Ravens‘ coaching staff, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets. The Ravens are sticking with Marty Mornhinweg as OC, so Roman will be there in some kind of assistant role. Cabot notes that the Browns were eying him for an assistant gig.
  • The Jets will hire Dennard Wilson to succeed the fired Joe Danna as their defensive backs coach, according to Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday. Wilson had been with the Rams since 2012, when they hired him as their defensive quality control coach. He became the team’s defensive backs coach in 2015.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Coaching Rumors: Bills, Jags, Raiders, Ravens

Although Anthony Lynn has long been viewed as the favorite to take over as the Bills‘ head coach, team ownership has been extremely impressed by Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Indeed, Buffalo is now in something of a “holding pattern” as Lynn and McDermott interview elsewhere, tweets Vic Carrucci of the Buffalo News. Lynn has been linked to every head coaching job that remains open, while McDermott has drawn interest from the Chargers and 49ers in addition to the Bills, as PFR’s 2017 Head Coaching Search Tracker shows.

Here’s more on the 2017 hiring cycle:

  • The Jaguars will retain defensive coordinator Todd Wash under new head coach Doug Marrone, but nearly every other member of the defensive staff is being let go, reports Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. Defensive assistant Mike Rutenberg is the only other defensive coach who will remain on board. Jacksonville had 24 coaches on staff at the end of the regular season, and that number figures to be reduced, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
  • Ken Norton Jr. will remain the Raiders‘ defensive coordinator, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Head coach Jack Del Rio assumed play-calling duties midway through the 2016 season, and Oakland ultimately finished 23rd in defensive DVOA. While Norton Jr. will stick around, defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson has been fired, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link).
  • Former Buffalo offensive coordinator Greg Roman could potentially join the Ravens staff in some undefined role, per La Canfora (all Twitter links). Baltimore recently announced that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return for the 2017 campaign, so Roman — who has remained in contact with head coach John Harbaugh — could join the Ravens in a run-game director capacity.
  • The Eagles have fired wide receivers coach Greg Lewis, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Lewis spent just one season as a coach with Philadelphia (after having spent the 2003-08 seasons with the club as a player). Current Bills WRs coach Sanjay Lal is of “strong interest” to the Eagles, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The Browns announced that they’ve begun to restructure their defensive staff under new coordinator Gregg Williams, parting ways with defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi, inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland, assistant defensive backs coach Cannon Matthews, and outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik. Cleveland also fired offensive line coach Hal Hunter.

Pep Hamilton Leaving Browns, Joining Michigan

The Browns now have another vacancy on their coaching staff. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that associate head coach Pep Hamilton has accepted a job with Michigan to become their assistant head coach/passing coordinator. Reports from this weekend indicated that Hamilton was considering the role, although head coach Hue Jackson expressed optimism that Hamilton would be sticking around Cleveland.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Michigan was actually eying Greg Roman for the vacancy. Ironically, Rapoport notes that the coach now may be a contender for the vacancy on the Browns staff. Roman started the season as the Bills offensive coordinator, but he was fired in late September following a loss to the Jets.

Pep Hamilton (vertical)Hamilton joined the Browns last offseason following a three-year stint with the Colts. Despite the presence of quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts offense only had one top-10 season during Hamilton’s tenure. The 42-year-old’s offense predictably struggled during his first season in Cleveland, as the team was forced to rely on five different quarterbacks. Besides his duties as associate head coach, Hamilton also served as the Browns quarterbacks coach.

This will be a reunion of sorts for Hamilton and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Hamilton previously served as Harbaugh’s wide receivers coach while the duo was at Stanford. As Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com writes, the Michigan coaching staff had an opening after passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch left to become UCLA’s offensive coordinator. While there are no reports regarding the length or value of Hamilton’s new contract, Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com notes that Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown recently earned a five-year contract worth $1.4MM annually.

The Browns filled one hole on their coaching staff yesterday, as the team hired Gregg Williams as their new defensive coordinator.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching/GM Notes, Pt. 2: Arians, Gase, Wolf

Here is Part 2 of our coaching/GM rumors post. Part 1 can be found here.

  • Despite his health concerns, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians expects to return in 2017, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Schefter tweets that one of Arians’ top assistants, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, is expected to interview for a head coaching job with the Rams, Jaguars, and Bills.
  • As the 49ers get prepared to search for a new head coach and GM, a ghost from the past has reared its ugly head. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Twitter), San Francisco was prepared to hire current Dolphins head coach Adam Gase two years ago. The team informed Gase that he was the choice, but GM Trent Baalke intervened at the last moment and convinced ownership not to hire Gase. The 49ers chose Jim Tomsula instead, and it has been all downhill from there.
  • The Packers are not expected to make major coaching changes–although offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett could get head coaching interviews–but GM Ted Thompson could step aside and become a senior scouting adviser, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. One reason, according to Rapoport, is that Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf is a highly-coveted football mind, and if he’s not promoted soon, Green Bay could lose him.
  • The Bengals are not expected to fire Marvin Lewis, who is signed through 2017, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. However, Lewis is not expected to get another one-year extension this offseason, which means that another disappointing campaign in 2017 could spell the end of his tenure as Cincinnati’s head coach.
  • Jets head coach Todd Bowles will likely be back for a third season, but offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is expected to be fired, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.
  • The Ravens are expected to part ways with OC Marty Mornhinweg, and assuming they do, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Greg Roman is someone to “keep an eye on.”
  • Browns coaches have “deep concerns” with the direction of the team’s personnel department and are expected to push owner Jimmy Haslam for changes in that regard, according to La Canfora. While head coach Hue Jackson is not planning to request the removal of top football man Sashi Brown, the coaching staff would like a proven, old-school talent evaluator involved in player selection to provide something of a checks-and-balance system to Brown’s analytics-based approach.
  • La Canfora suggests that, if the Lions miss the playoffs this season, GM Bob Quinn could at least think about a coaching change, and his Patriots ties could lead him to consider Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, with whom he established strong relationships during his time in New England. While I personally could imagine Quinn’s being interested in McDaniels, I cannot see Patricia as a legitimate head coaching candidate at this point.

Bills Notes: McCoy, Roman, Ryan

Did Bills players help influence the team’s decision to push out former offensive coordinator Greg Roman? LeSean McCoy seemed to be hinting at that yesterday. “They actually listen to the players. The whole thing with [Roman], they were very involved, which was cool,” McCoy said (Twitter link via Tom Martin of News 4).

Here’s more from Buffalo:

  • People within the Bills front office feel it’s unfair that Rex Ryan is on the hot seat while GM Doug Whaley is reportedly safe this offseason, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). The Bills’ aggressive trade up for Sammy Watkins, the ill-advised extension for Marcell Dareus, and the team’s failure to identify a franchise quarterback have left the Bills with significant holes, they argue. Ryan is in his second season in Buffalo.
  • Will the Bills renegotiate Tyrod Taylor‘s contract this year to keep him? Mike Rodak of ESPN.com explains that Taylor would have leverage against such a move and wouldn’t be inclined to go along with it. If he reaches free agency, there will be multiple teams searching for a quarterback and it would probably behoove him to explore those options instead of returning to Buffalo on a discount.
  • Over the weekend, one report indicated that the Bills are preparing to move on from Ryan.

Breer’s Latest: Kaep, Tannehill, Ravens, Bills

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is set to return to the 49ers’ starting lineup this week, but his NFL future was in doubt as recently as last year. At least two teams that looked into Kaepernick as a potential trade acquisition had questions about whether he wanted to continue playing, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB. Kaepernick ended up staying in San Francisco, of course, and will now take over head coach Chip Kelly‘s offense. If Kaepernick fails under Kelly, the league might not regard the 28-year-old as a viable option anymore, writes Breer, who notes that his career hangs in the balance. “This offense gives him the best chance, no doubt,” one 49ers source said of the mobile Kaepernick, who could become a free agent at season’s end.

More from Breer:

  • After last season, when it looked as if the 49ers would trade Kaepernick, the relationship between him and general manager Trent Baalke “couldn’t have been worse,” a source told Breer. Kaepernick has never trusted Baalke and views himself as a Jim Harbaugh draft pick, relays Breer. Baalke and Kaepernick went months without speaking to one another amid trade rumors last offseason and then met during the summer to clear the air. It doesn’t seem their meeting was productive, however, as sources close to Kaepernick see his relationship with Baalke as “irreparable,” per Breer.
  • Considering all the problems on their roster, the Dolphins aren’t sure if they can properly evaluate fifth-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill this season, Breer suggests. As a result, Breer doesn’t expect the Dolphins to move on from Tannehill during the offseason. Releasing the 2012 first-round pick before March would save Miami all but $3.5MM of his $17.98MM salary for 2017. The 28-year-old is under team control through 2020 on the six-year, $96MM extension he signed in May 2015.
  • Marc Trestman‘s pass-first philosophy helped bring an end to his tenure as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, according to Breer. Baltimore fell from eighth in rushing under previous O-coordinator Gary Kubiak in 2014 to 26th last season with Trestman. Those ground woes have continued early this year for the Ravens, who rank 28th in rushing, though Terrance West has averaged an outstanding 5.0 yards per carry on 65 attempts. West picked up 95 yards in the Ravens’ 16-10 loss to the Redskins last Sunday, but he only amassed 11 carries in Trestman’s final game at the helm. “The players lost faith in [Trestman] last year, and he never got it back,” a Baltimore source said.
  • Trestman wasn’t the first offensive coordinator to lose his job this year. That description belongs to Greg Roman, whom the Bills ousted after Week 2. Buffalo has won three straight since replacing Roman with Anthony Lynn, though the Bills’ defense has played a larger role in the turnaround than their offense. Still, one Bills veteran explained to Breer the key difference in the offense since Lynn took the reins, saying, “We’re running the same plays that we did under G-Ro. It’s just that with Roman, we had a huge playbook and we could run absolutely anything from week-to-week. Anthony’s all about matchups… He played [in the NFL], so he knows matchups are huge.”

AFC East Notes: Bills, Roman, Jets, Patriots

Here’s the latest from the AFC East:

  • A recent report indicated that former Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has hard feelings towards Rex Ryan and felt that being associated with the outspoken coach would be damaging to his career. For what it’s worth, Roman went on the record with Alex Marvez of The Sporting News and denied any issues with Ryan. “I have nothing but respect for coach Ryan and I thought we had a great working relationship,” Roman said. “We met and he informed me of his decision. I thought it was handled very professionally. We then discussed how we could best make this work for everybody moving forward.”
  • After Brandon Marshall landed awkwardly on Thursday night, Jets coach Todd Bowles told reporters that the wide receiver was “fine.” Apparently, that’s not entirely the case. Marshall suffered an MCL injury and while the team believes that he’ll be ready to go against the Chiefs, it’s not a guarantee, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. It’s an injury worth keeping an eye on as Marshall is arguably Gang Green’s greatest weapon. Through two games this year, Marshall has nine catches for 133 yards. In 2015, Marshall had 109 receptions for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns – arguably his strongest season to date.
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has once again established himself as a hot head coaching candidate, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano writes. The Pats have now gone 2-0 without Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski and they even survived on Sunday afternoon without Jimmy Garoppolo for much of the game. “I was more so worried if (Garoppolo) was going to be OK or not,” running back LeGarrette Blount said. “As far as how we were going to do as an offense, I wasn’t worried about that.” McDaniels went 11-17 as the head coach of the Broncos before he was fired late in the 2010 season.
  • Speaking of Garoppolo, he’ll likely miss New England’s game against the Texans on Thursday because of a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. That would open the door for third-round rookie Jacoby Brissett to make his first NFL start.