Harold Goodwin

Ex-Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin On Vikings’ Radar?

Former Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin could be a candidate to take over as the Vikings’ new offensive line coach, according to Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Twitter link). Minnesota, sadly, must search for a new line coach after incumbent Tony Sparano unexpectedly passed away on Sunday morning.

While the Vikings have yet to officially reach out to Goodwin, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and ex-Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians have both put in a good word on Goodwin’s behalf, per Goessling. Goodwin worked under Tomlin as Pittsburgh’s quality control coach from 2007-11, and served as Arizona’s offensive coordinator (but not play-caller) under Arians.

After Arians retired in January, Goodwin — unlike Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcherwasn’t offered a chance to interview for Arizona’s top job. Instead, he interviewed for offensive line jobs with the Bengals and Raiders, and was also mentioned as a possible candidate for the Giants’ offensive coordinator position, but did not land a new role. In recent seasons, Goodwin has interviewed for head coaching positions with the Rams, Bills, and Jaguars.

Following Sparano’s passing, assistant offensive line coach Andrew Janocko is leading the Vikings’ front five for the time being.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Rumors: Redskins, Brown, Giants

The Redskins‘ decision to re-sign Mason Foster to a two-year deal last week won’t preclude the club from pursuing a new contract with fellow linebacker Zach Brown, sources tell John Keim of ESPN.com, who recently reported Washington has opened negotiations with Brown. Indeed, despite reports that the Redskins had opened talks with a “lowball offer,” they’re still conversing with the 28-year-old Brown, tweets J.P. Finlay of NBC Washington. Per Keim, Brown could potentially looking for a top-of-the-market linebacker pact, which could require $10MM annually and nearly $20MM in guarantees. However, Brown was only able to garner a one-year, $2.5MM deal last season when he was younger and coming off an arguably more productive campaign.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • While the Redskins are engaged in talks to bring back Brown, the team may not be interested in a reunion with offensive lineman Spencer Long and Shawn Lauvao, according to Rich Tandler of NBC Washington. Long and Lauvao split time at guard in 2017, but neither earned positive grades from Pro Football Focus. If Washington does opt to re-sign one of its two free agent lineman, Long could speculatively have the advantage given that he’s three years younger than Lauvao. However, Tandler expects the Redskins to instead bring in a free agent or a draft pick to compete with former fourth-round pick Arie Kouandjio, who started six games a season ago.
  • The Giants are searching for a new offensive coordinator under new head coach Pat Shurmur, and while former Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin has been mentioned as a candidate for the position, there’s a possibility he could hired as a combination offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Goodwin held the same dual role in Arizona, and given that New York hasn’t yet hired an OL coach to replace Mike Solari, Goodwin could potentially join the G-Men in a similar capacity. Other contenders for the Giants’ offensive coordinator include Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski and Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley.
  • Although the Giants still need an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, the club’s coaching staff is mostly set, as Vacchanio writes. Shurmur has filled most of the team’s vacancies and retained a number of incumbent coaches, including coaching assistant Chris Pridy, reports Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com.

Coaching Rumors: Giants, Texans, Chiefs

New Giants head coach Pat Shurmur will call his own offensive plays in New York but still plans to hire an offensive coordinator, and Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski is a “strong candidate” for the position, sources tell Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Stefanski, of course, worked under Shurmur in Minnesota, and is now a candidate to take over Shurmur’s old role with the Vikings (where he’d presumably get the opportunity to call games). Minnesota, however, is also considering former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell and Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan for its coordinator job, so if Stefanski isn’t promoted, he could conceivably bolt for New York. Meanwhile, Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley is a “name to watch” for the Giants’ OC position, while ex-Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin could also “be in the mix,” per Vacchiano.

Here’s more on the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • Former Raiders and Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano will join the Texans as a linebackers coach, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Specifically, Pagano is now a senior defensive assistant who will coach outside linebackers, while Bobby King — already on Houston’s staff — will coach inside ‘backers, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link). Pagano, the brother of former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, spent five years as the Chargers’ DC before landing with the Raiders in 2017. When Oakland fired Ken Norton Jr. midway through last season, Pagano stepped in as the club’s defensive coordinator.
  • The Chiefs will promote offensive quality coach Mike Kafka to quarterbacks coach, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Kafka, 30, originally entered the league as a 2010 fourth-round of Andy Reid‘s Eagles and went to play for six other clubs before hanging up his cleats. He coached at Northwestern (his alma mater) before joining Kansas City’s staff in 2017. Reid’s coaching tree is obviously impressive, and the past two men to serve as quarterbacks coach under his employ — Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy — are now head coaches with the Eagles and Bears, respectively.
  • The Titans also have a new quarterbacks coach: former Texans offensive assistant Pat O’Hara, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, who adds ex-Texans defensive assistant Shane Bowen is now Tennessee’s outside linebackers coach. O’Hara interviewed for the Bears’ quarterbacks coach job earlier this year, but Chicago ended up retaining Dave Ragone for the role. Meanwhile, new Titans assistant coach Kerry Coombs will indeed lead defensive backs in Tennessee, meaning he’ll coach the same position group that he did at Ohio State, tweets Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel offered incumbent secondary coach Deshea Townsend a job as Coombs’ assistant (read: a demotion), but Townsend will instead leave the club.
  • The Panthers have hired Air Force defensive coordinator Steve Russ as their new linebackers coach, per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Russ will replace Al Holcomb, who followed Steve Wilks to Arizona earlier this week to become the Cardinals’ new defensive coordinator. Although he enjoyed a four-year pro career, the 45-year-old Russ has never coached at the NFL level. He’s been at Air Force since 2012, and previously spent time at Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Ohio. Carolina has also added former Seahawks assistant special teams coach Heath Farwell for the same role, reports Omar Ruiz of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Giants Rumors: Shurmur, Callahan, Staff

Pat Shurmur will be calling plays for the Giants in his first season as head coach, Dave Gettleman said this week from the Senior Bowl (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, on Twitter). This will mark the second time Shumur’s gone this route. He called plays for the 2011 Browns, but the offense ranked 29th. Additionally, Shurmur is not guaranteed to hire an offensive coordinator, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com notes. While Shurmur did not hire a non-play-calling OC in his first year with the Browns, he did bring Brad Childress aboard in 2012. Shurmur also functioned as a game plan-centric OC with the Eagles under Chip Kelly from 2013-15, indicating he may value the job.

Here’s the latest from Giants headquarters:

  • While he might not hire an OC, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes Shurmur could opt to give an assistant a dual role of OC and quarterbacks coach. The Giants have recently dismissed Lions QBs coach Brian Callahan on their radar for this potential position, Vacchiano reports. Callahan is an in-demand name, however. He interviewed for the Titans’ OC job and is slated to meet with the Raiders and Jets about the respective teams’ QBs-coaching jobs.
  • Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski is set to interview for Shurmur’s old post next week, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes rumblings emerged of Shurmur bringing Stefanski to New York with him. Breer tabs Stefanski as a rising star, and the 35-year-old Vikings staffer worked as their assistant QBs coach from 2009-13 before taking over as head QBs instructor this past season. He may have a decision to make soon since the Vikings’ offensive staff has splintered following their NFC title game loss.
  • Harold Goodwin looks set to lose his Cardinals OC job. Reports circulated indicating Mike McCoy will join Steve Wilks‘ staff, but Goodwin could have a landing spot in New York. Vacchiano notes Goodwin could be a candidate for both the Giants’ or Jets‘ offensive line coaching jobs, illustrating the Todd Bowles/Goodwin Arizona connection as a possible Jets pipeline. With Gettleman pointing out how far Big Blue has to go to repair its front, this will be a pivotal hire.
  • The Giants did make some additional assistant hires on Thursday, organizing their defensive position groups’ hierarchies. Gary Emanuel will preside over the Giants’ defensive line, Bill McGovern will stay on to coach linebackers and Lou Anarumo will oversee the defensive backs, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. Anthony Blevins will also become the Giants’ assistant special teams coach after serving in that role with the Cardinals last season, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). McGovern coached Big Blue’s ‘backers under Ben McAdoo for the past two years. Emanuel coached the Colts’ D-line during all six of Chuck Pagano‘s years in Indianapolis, and Anarumo instructed the Dolphins’ DBs during the same time period. Anarumo also served as Miami’s interim defensive coordinator for part of 2015.
  • James Bettcher has only worked with 3-4 defenses, and the Giants have played a 4-3 look for ages. But Vacchiano doesn’t think it would mark that big of an adjustment. He writes that Olivier Vernon may be a good fit as a stand-up outside rusher. Damon Harrison would make sense as a 3-4 nose, given that he played there with the Jets. Vacchiano adds that the Giants may have to overhaul their linebacking corps to make that switch — which isn’t certain yet — work.

Coaching Rumors: Colts, Nagy, Packers

The latest coaching rumors from around the NFL:

  • The Colts never offered their head coaching job to Matt Nagy, Mike Wells of ESPN.com tweets. This week, the former Chiefs OC accepted the Bears’ HC position. There were some rumblings that he also had an offer on the table from Indy, but that is apparently not the case.
  • The Packers hired Frank Cignetti as their new quarterbacks coach, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentintel (on Twitter). The well-traveled Cignetti spent the last two years as the Giants’ QBs coach. Before that, he served as the Rams’ QBs coach for two years and as the Rams’ offensive coordinator for one year.
  • Cardinals offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Harold Goodwin has interviewed recently with the Bengals and Raiders for their OL coach positions, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets. It seems unlikely that Goodwin will return to Arizona in his current role following the retirement of head coach Bruce Arians.
  • To keep up with the latest on every head coaching search, consult PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker. For the latest on offensive and defensive coordinators, check out PFR’s Coordinator Tracker.

Coaching Rumors: Fangio, Rams, Broncos

Free agent coach Vic Fangio is an extremely popular man at the moment — as PFR’s 2018 Coordinator Tracker indicates, Fangio is a candidate to return to the Bears or join the division rival Packers, and he could certainly be linked to more jobs as other head coaching vacancies are filled. But hiring Fangio won’t come cheap, as he was reportedly among the NFL’s highest-paid defensive coordinators last season with a salary in excess of $2MM, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The average DC, per Biggs, earns closer to $1.5MM annually, so any club that wants to add Fangio will likely need to pony up.

Here’s more from the coaching front:

  • The Rams have promoted assistant wide receivers coach Zac Taylor to quarterbacks coach, the club announced today. Taylor will replace Greg Olson, who left Los Angeles to become the Raiders’ next offensive coordinator under new head coach Jon Gruden. Taylor has previous play-calling experience, having served as the OC for both the University of Cincinnati and the Dolphins. But he won’t be leading the offense with the Rams, who also employ head coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. Instead, Taylor will help guide former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff as he enters his third NFL campaign.
  • The Broncos have a new special teams coordinator in Tom McMahon, tweets former NFL punter Pat McAfee. McMahon, who’s coached in the NFL for more than a decade, comes to Denver from Indianapolis, where he helped the Colts rank eighth in special teams DVOA. The Broncos, on the other hand, ranked 30th in ST DVOA under former coordinator Brock Olivo.
  • Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin has set up assistant coaching interviews with multiple AFC teams, reports Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM (Twitter link). While Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher was given a head coaching interview after Bruce Arians retired, Goodwin wasn’t afforded the same opportunity. Goodwin has interviewed for four head coaching positions over the past two seasons.
  • While the final decision to fire former offensive coordinator Mike Shula was ultimately left to Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, Rivera “kept the lines of communication” open with interim general manager Marty Hurney during the process, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

NFC West Notes: Cards, Bettcher, Seahawks

While the Cardinals will interview incumbent defensive coordinator James Bettcher as they seek to replace head coach Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin is unlikely to be granted a meeting, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Unlike Bettcher, Goodwin has actually interviewed for other NFL vacancies in the past, as he met with the Buccaneers, Bills, Jaguars, and Rams since 2016. Bettcher, meanwhile, will meet with Arizona’s decision-makers on Wednesday, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • Veteran defensive lineman Michael Bennett said he is committed to continuing his career in 2018 and hopes he’ll remain with the Seahawks, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Bennett, 32, is signed for three more years at affordable rates, and Seattle would only create ~$2MM by releasing him this offseason. Additionally, Bennett graded as the No. 38 edge defender among 108 qualifiers a season ago, per Pro Football Focus, meaning he’s more than worth his salary. Seattle may be without Cliff Avril (retirement) and Sheldon Richardson (free agency) in 2018, making Bennett’s presence all the more crucial.
  • The Seahawks have already begun exploring kicker upgrades, and former Jaguar Jason Myers is among the options on Seattle’s radar, per Condotta (Twitter link). Given that the Seahawks are narrowing in on street free agents (players who were cut before the 2017 regular season concluded), their options are certainly limited. But Myers, who was released by Jacksonville in October, could represent improvement over incumbent Blair Walsh, who missed eight field goals last year. Myers, meanwhile, owns a career field goal percentage of 81%.
  • Tight end Jermaine Gresham suffered a torn Achilles in the Cardinals‘ regular season finale, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter link). Given the timeline of Gresham’s injury, he may not be ready to start the 2018 campaign. But Arizona would incur $2MM in dead money by releasing Gresham, who inked a four-year extension last spring. Gresham, 29, managed only 33 receptions and 322 yards last year, his third consecutive season with fewer than 400 yards receiving.

Coaching Rumors: Lynn, 49ers, McDaniels

The latest news on the league’s coaching vacancies:

  • For a complete rundown of every interview scheduled for the teams in search of a new coach, check out PFR’s 2017 NFL Head Coaching Tracker.
  • Anthony Lynn‘s interview with the 49ers will take place today (Wednesday), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will interview with the Rams, Jaguars, and 49ers all on the same day, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe writes. McDaniels will huddle up with all three teams on Saturday in separate rooms at a hotel near Gilette Stadium. Those three teams will be permitted to interview McDaniels again in the week after the AFC title game, if the Pats make it to the Super Bowl.
  • The Chargers won’t force assistants on a new head coach, but they value their offensive staff, Rapoport tweets. There’s a good chance offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and his fellow offensive coaches stay put.
  • The Broncos are expected to talk to Lynn at some point and will interview Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as soon as the rules allow, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin is scheduled to meet with the Rams on Thursday and the Bills on Saturday, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub will interview with the Broncos on Friday and then he has the Chargers on Sunday, Rapoport tweets.

Coaching Rumors: Shanahan, Rams, Broncos

It’s a New Year and a new start for many teams on the sidelines. With a zillion interviews being requested today, we’ll run down the latest coaching rumors and requests here:

  • The Rams and Broncos have requested permission to talk to Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, as Albert Breer of The MMQB tweets. GM John Elway says the team will consider “three or four” candidates for the job, which means that Shanahan is on the short list. It will be interesting to see if the rocky relationship between Elway and Shanahan’s father, Mike Shanahan, plays a role in his candidacy.
  • Cardinals coach Bruce Arians confirmed that the Bills and Rams have asked permission to interview offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin (Twitter link via Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic). As previously reported, the Jaguars will interview Goodwin today.
  • The Bills will make a push for former Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley as their defensive coordinator, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. La Canfora, like many, expects Anthony Lynn to shed the “interim” title this offseason and take over as head coach.
  • The Rams have requested interviews with Lynn and Matt Patricia (Patriots defensive coordinator), according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
  • The Jaguars will interview Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith for their head coaching vacancy, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said teams have contacted Miami about talking to Vance Joseph for head coaching jobs, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald tweets.

Jaguars To Interview Harold Goodwin

As they continue their search for to replace fired head coach Gus Bradley, the Jaguars will interview Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin during the upcoming week, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier Sunday that Jacksonville would likely interview Goodwin, though he didn’t offer a timeline.

Harold Goodwin

The 43-year-old Goodwin has been the Cardinals’ O-coordinator since 2013, but head coach Bruce Arians has called the plays during that four-season span. Arizona’s offense ranked just 22nd in the NFL in DVOA entering Sunday, but Goodwin is nonetheless drawing interest from multiple head coach-needy teams. Along with the Jaguars, he’s likely to interview with the Bills and Rams.

Before the Cardinals hired Goodwin, he worked as the Bears’ assistant offensive line coach from 2004-06 and then oversaw the O-lines of the Steelers and Colts. He’s now one of several known candidates for the Jaguars’ vacancy, joining interim head coach Doug Marrone, Tom Coughlin and Mike Smith, among others.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.