Greg Roman

Browns To Interview Greg Roman

The Browns will interview Greg Roman on Thursday night, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The Ravens offensive coordinator is one of the hottest coaching candidates out there and would be a logical fit for the playing style of quarterback Baker Mayfield

[RELATED: Browns To Interview Mike McCarthy]

Under Roman’s tutelage in 2019, Lamar Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and a league-leading 36 touchdowns against just six interceptions. He also rushed for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns – all inside of just 15 games.

The Ravens dominated the AFC North in 2019 even though many expected this to be a breakthrough year for the Browns. That didn’t come to fruition, thanks in large part to their dysfunctional offense. Mayfield’s production fell off of a cliff under Freddie Kitchens – he completed just 59.4% of this throws with 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

The Browns have made a point to utilize Mayfield more as a pocket passer than a runner, but Roman could flip the script, somewhat. Even though he has never served as a head coach at any level, he could be an appealing option for Cleveland. He’ll be the second candidate to interview for the HC post, following Mike McCarthy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Eyeing Greg Roman?

Some Cowboys officials have Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman in mind for the head coaching position, if it comes available (Twitter link via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports). As of this writing, the Cowboys still have Jason Garrett as their head coach, so they have not requested an interview with Roman. 

Roman’s stock has skyrocketed this year along with the play of quarterback Lamar Jackson. While Dak Prescott is a different type of player, the pro-Roman crowd in Dallas believes that the Baltimore OC can jumpstart the offense with his run-dominant concepts.

Under Roman’s tutelage in 2019, Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and a league-leading 36 touchdowns against just six interceptions. He also rushed for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns – all in just 15 games, since he was rested in Week 17.

Since breaking into the NFL in 2011, Roman has served as the OC of the 49ers, Bills, and the Ravens. He has never served as a head coach at the collegiate or professional level.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Black Monday Rumors: McDaniels, Bieniemy, Browns

The Giants have fired head coach Pat Shumur, the Browns have fired head coach Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland GM John Dorsey‘s fate is up in the air, Bruce Allen is out with the Redskins, Ron Rivera looks like he’s in, and we have a lot more to pass along:

  • The Giants are rumored to be targeting Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, but they have requested an interview with Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (via Twitter) that the Panthers have also requested a summit with Bieniemy, a branch of the fruitful Andy Reid coaching tree whom Reid feels is ready for an HC job.
  • We heard this morning that the Browns have requested an interview with Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, and they also want to interview Ravens OC Greg Roman, per Schefter (via Twitter). Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets that Cleveland is expected to interview Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski again. Stefanski was a finalist for the Browns’ HC job last year before they elected to hire Kitchens.
  • Schefter says the Browns have asked permission to interview 49ers DC Robert Saleh (Twitter link), and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says the team plans to interview Mike McCarthy as well (Twitter link). Cleveland had an interview scheduled with McCarthy last year, but by that time, the club had already zeroed in on Kitchens, so the interview never happened. McCarthy and Dorsey worked together in Green Bay, so Dorsey may be rooting for a McCarthy hire.
  • In addition to the Browns, the Giants and Panthers have also requested interviews with McDaniels, as Schefter tweets.
  • Despite recent reports indicating that he wants to stay in Baltimore, Ravens DC Don “Wink” Martindale is generating a great deal of HC buzz, as Rapoport tweets. If he is hired, Martindale would want to pluck LSU passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Joe Brady from the collegiate ranks to be his OC. If you’ve watched college football this year, you can’t blame Martindale for that choice.
  • Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone will meet with owner Shad Khan tomorrow to discuss his fate, as NFL insider Adam Caplan tweets.

North Notes: OBJ, Meyer, Roman

Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. recently shot down rumors of a trade demand, but the team never had any intention of trading him anyway, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Cleveland gave up a great deal to acquire OBJ last offseason, and the club fully intends to keep the mercurial wideout on board for what it hopes will be a rebound campaign in 2020.

With respect to Beckham’s potential sports hernia surgery, he has scheduled a January 13 consultation with a core specialist, and that is one of several opinions he’ll gather before deciding whether to go under the knife (Twitter link via ESPN’s Josina Anderson).

Now for more from the leagues’ north divisions:

  • Urban Meyer has been connected to the Cowboys’ and Redskins’ head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, and you can add the Browns to that list. It’s still unclear whether Cleveland will part with first-year HC Freddie Kitchens, but if it does, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports expects Meyer to get heavy consideration. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Meyer enjoy a strong relationship, and despite what he has said publicly, Meyer is reportedly interested in returning to the sidelines.
  • Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman has engineered one of the league’s best and most exciting offenses around MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, and La Canfora says Roman is, unsurprisingly, expected to have several head coaching interviews. Though Jackson is a transcendent talent, teams will be looking to replicate Baltimore’s approach, and Roman’s success with Jackson and other athletic QBs like Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor will have him in high demand.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press takes a look at each of the Lions‘ 16 pending UFAs and offers his take as to whether Detroit will attempt to retain them. He believes wide receiver Danny Amendola is a near-lock to return, and he thinks OL Graham Glasgow may prefer to go elsewhere.
  • We took another swing around the north yesterday, including a look at Mitchell Trubisky‘s future with the Bears.

Panthers Notes: Newton, HC Candidates, Bradberry

Panthers QB Cam Newton will undergo foot surgery, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, Newton is expected to be fully ready and able by March. Rapoport says Carolina has not ruled out retaining Newton — not that the team would publicly say anything different — but the expectation remains that the Panthers will look to trade the former No. 1 overall pick,

The QB market may be unusually robust in 2020, and Newton may be the most desirable piece. The Panthers will not give Newton away, but if they “get a large deal to make it worth their while,” they will pull the trigger.

Now for more out of Charlotte:

  • Of course, what the Panthers do with Newton may depend on who they hire as their permanent head coach. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reiterates his view that the Panthers will seek an offensive-minded or QB-driven coach, and what that person thinks of Newton, Kyle Allen, and Will Grier could impact the club’s offseason plans in a big way.
  • In the same piece linked above, Rapoport suggests that owner David Tepper will of course be on the lookout for a top-flight coordinator and someone who is unafraid to embrace analytics, but he suggests that Tepper’s top priority will be a strong manager of people. RapSheet names ex-Packers coach Mike McCarthy, 49ers DC Robert Saleh, and Ravens OC Greg Roman as just a few of the possibilities.
  • Even if the Panthers retain GM Marty Hurney — which is not a guarantee — Adam Schefter of ESPN.com says Tepper, the former minority owner of the Steelers, could look to bring familiar faces from Pittsburgh to Carolina. Tepper plans to name an assistant general manager to focus on pro personnel evaluation and a vice president of football operations, and sources say he could be eyeing Steelers GM Kevin Colbert — whose contract is up at the end of the season — and/or vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan.
  • The Panthers have 28 players eligible for free agency this offseason, and Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic examines the decisions that the team will have to make with respect to a few of those players. The club just signed LB Shaq Thompson to a four-year extension, and Rodrigue’s source says the Panthers have made CB James Bradberry their next top priority.

AFC Notes: Titans, Roman, Kingsbury

Matt LaFleur‘s defection to Green Bay leaves Tennessee without an offensive coordinator. They have not conducted any known interviews and are operating deliberately. GM Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel have met several times this week discussing what the best course of action should be, so interviews are likely coming soon. Whichever way the Titans go, they will be asking Marcus Mariota to learn a fourth offensive system in his five-year career. Ken Whisenhunt ran the Titans’ offense in 2015, before being fired, then Mike Mularkey took over before giving way to LaFleur. Robinson appears to want to retain some of LaFleur’s concepts, however.

I think if that can happen so that there is some carry-over, some familiarity there, so that not just Marcus but all of our players on offense, the less that we have to put on their plate to learn the different terminology, the different concepts, if there’s carry-over, then I think they can build upon what they’ve kind of gone through the last year,” Robinson said, via Eric Bacharach of The Tennesseean. “So we’ll do our best to try to keep as much continuity as possible carrying over into the offseason and certainly into next season.”

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Eric Berry, Spencer Ware and Malik Hooker are out for today’s ChiefsColts divisional-round game. Berry is still dealing with the heel trouble that has sidetracked his career, and Ware is out with a hamstring malady. Hooker started against the Texans but missed practice this week with a foot ailment.
  • The Ravens’ Greg Roman promotion partially stemmed from ensuring he would not accept another OC role in the AFC East. The Dolphins sought the former Bills offensive coordinator for their OC role, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. HC frontrunner Brian Flores had Roman on his staff list. Another name to pop up on Flores’ early list: Kliff Kingsbury. The now-Cardinals HC appears to have had a path to Miami as Flores’ play-caller, Breer adds (on Twitter). But despite his sub-.500 Texas Tech record, Kingsbury received a much bigger promotion than the Dolphins had in mind.
  • Jets staffer Tyler Tettleton will join the Browns as an offensive quality control coach, per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports (on Twitter). Tettleton was a graduate assistant at Oklahoma for two years during Baker Mayfield‘s tenure in Norman.

Ravens To Promote Greg Roman To OC

The Ravens will promote assistant head coach/tight ends coach Greg Roman to the role of offensive coordinator, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets. Coach John Harbaugh confirmed the change to Zrebiec, which will be the first of many on the offensive staff. 

Roman’s promotion takes Marty Mornhinweg out of his role as OC, but Mornhinweg has been asked to stay on board in a different capacity, Zrebiec tweets. More shuffling could take place in the coming days as running backs coach Thomas Hammock is said to be a top candidate for the head coaching job at Northern Illinois.

In 2018, the Ravens’ offensive staff had to reinvent everything on the fly as Lamar Jackson took over for Joe Flacco. Roman played a sizable role in getting the team to adjust and the Ravens believe he is the man to guide them into Jackson’s first full season as a starter.

Roman, who turns 47 this summer, served as the 49ers’ OC from 2011-2014 and the Bill’ OC from 2015-2016. He hooked on with the Ravens in 2017 and nabbed an AHC title before the 2018 season.

The staff’s reorganization and Harbaugh’s role in the shuffling may be a sign that he is staying put. There have been tons of trade rumors surrounding the coach, but the two sides have been discussing an extension over the last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Notes: 2019 QBs, Browns, Jackson

A possible dearth of quarterback talent in the 2019 draft class may have contributed the first-round aggressiveness of teams in recent years. The Bears, Chiefs, Texans, Jets, Bills and Cardinals traded up to land their hopeful quarterbacks of the future the past two drafts, and Albert Breer of SI.com notes some of the impetus behind these moves may be coming from issues teams have with the crop of passers likely set to populate 2019 big boards.

Not right now, there isn’t one (that would go in the first round as it stands),” an AFC college scouting director told Breer. “The kids at Auburn (Jarrett Stidham), Missouri (Drew Lock) and N.C. State (Ryan Finley), by the end of it, could work their way into the conversation. But on the surface, based on current performance, it’d be a no. Now, if they ascend, which they should, those three guys have a chance to get there.”

Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com (Insider link) has both Lock (No. 16) and Oregon’s Justin Herbert (No. 18) in his early top 25 for 2019. Issues with Lock’s completion percentage (57.8 percent is the senior-to-be’s career high) and Herbert’s toughness, per Breer, are early concerns for respective first-round hopefuls. While events of recent years show it’s a good bet a quarterback will be taken in the 2019 first round, Breer compares this crop — at this early juncture — to the 2013 group that saw only E.J. Manuel chosen in Round 1 instead of other recent classes that saw the likes of Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston emerge as obvious down-the-line high draft choices in advance of their final college campaigns.

Here’s more on this year’s draft, courtesy of Breer:

  • Breer reports the Browns “loved both” of the Denzel Ward/Bradley Chubb duo, but the team felt the Ohio State cornerback possessed upside potential the N.C. State defensive end didn’t. Ward started just for one season but sat behind Buckeyes cornerbacks that are now in the NFL. Cleveland brass also didn’t view Chubb as a Myles Garrett– or Jadeveon Clowney-like athletic specimen. Plus, Gregg Williams said the team’s need at corner was greater than the one opposite Garrett. Also noting Ward, who went to Nordonia High School in the Cleveland area, pitched his local ties and desire to help a Browns resurgence, Breer writes the Browns did their homework on this difficult decision and did not make an impulse call on draft night.
  • If the Eagles did not trade their first-round pick to the Ravens, they were going to consider eventual Broncos wideout Courtland Sutton at No. 32, per Breer. Sutton visited the Eagles in early April. Philly has Alshon Jeffery, a player to whom Sutton’s been compared, signed long-term and has Nelson Agholor controlled through 2019. However, the defending Super Bowl champions still signed Mike Wallace and Markus Wheaton, the latter a post-draft addition.
  • Ravens brass needed to hear from John Harbaugh the coaching staff was confident the team could win with Lamar Jackson before trading up to take him, and Breer reports Harbaugh, OC Marty Morhinweg, senior offensive assistant Greg Roman and QBs coach James Urban all developed a plan for the rookie before Ozzie Newsome made the trade with the Eagles. Both Mornhinweg and Urban were in their same positions under Andy Reid on the 2010 Eagles, when Michael Vick resurfaced as a top-flight weapon after previously working intermittently in certain packages. Roman’s work adjusting the 2012 49ers’ offense for Colin Kaepernick also played a role here, Breer writes. The Ravens look to be preparing Jackson sets already.
  • The first four rookies to sign their deals all had offset language built into the contracts, Breer tweets. Da’Ron Payne, Josh Rosen, Marcus Davenport and Quenton Nelson saw their teams include offsets in their deals. Offset language provided one of the sticky points in Joey Bosa‘s 2016 holdout, and the Chargers won out. So far, teams are doing the same with their 2018 top picks.

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.