Jack Del Rio

Latest On Bengals, Jack Del Rio

The Bengals and Jack Del Rio have been discussing the team’s defensive coordinator position, but it sounds like the two sides won’t be joining up, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). After further conversation, the two sides determined that it’s not a “perfect fit,” which indicates that JDR will not be the hire in Cincinnati. 

Del Rio was believed to be the Bengals’ top choice for DC, but both sides had reservations, according to Rapoport. Most of the team’s key staff is in place – Bill Callahan will be the OC and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons is staying put – but they’re putting a pin in the DC position for now.

As Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) notes, Del Rio is still getting paid by the Raiders for another two years, so he can afford to wait for the right job. His contract may or may not include offset language, which could be a factor in his decision.

Del Rio, 55, was either a head coach or defensive coordinator every season from 2002-17. Following his 2002 season as John Fox‘s DC in Carolina, Jacksonville hired Del Rio as HC. He caught on with Fox again as the Broncos’ DC from 2012-14 before the Raiders hired him in 2015. While his Broncos defenses (two top-five units) were better than his Raiders crews — 22nd, 20th and 20th in points allowed, respectively — Del Rio did guide the Silver and Black to their first playoff berth in 14 seasons.

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Bengals Eyeing Jack Del Rio For DC

Zac Taylor will have a late start assembling his first Bengals coaching staff, but some key decisions are being made.

Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, who interviewed for the job Taylor now has, will be retained, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Jack Del Rio is likely to interview for the defensive coordinator position, per Pelissero. The former Raiders and Jaguars head coach is believed to be the Bengals’ top DC choice, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Del Rio has been connected to Cincinnati for multiple weeks. After being fired to clear Jon Gruden‘s way back to Oakland, Del Rio did not coach during the 2018 season. Cincinnati was interested in Dennis Allen, but New Orleans retained him. Longtime Packers DC Dom Capers is also on the Bengals’ radar.

Del Rio, 55, was either a head coach or defensive coordinator every season from 2002-17. Following his 2002 season as John Fox‘s DC in Carolina, Jacksonville hired Del Rio as HC. He caught on with Fox again as the Broncos’ DC from 2012-14 before the Raiders hired him in 2015. While his Broncos defenses (two top-five units) were better than his Raiders crews — 22nd, 20th and 20th in points allowed, respectively — Del Rio did guide the Silver and Black to their first playoff berth in 14 seasons.

The Bengals fired DC Teryl Austin in November. He is now with the Steelers. If Del Rio is hired, he will be the franchise’s third defensive coordinator in three seasons. Austin replaced Paul Guenther, the Raiders’ current DC, last year.

Taylor has already named Gruden’s most recent quarterbacks coach, Brian Callahan, as his offensive coordinator. Del Rio did not work with Callahan, who was a Gruden hire. Simmons will move into his 17th season with the Bengals. A Marvin Lewis appointee during his first offseason in Cincinnati, Simmons coached the Bengals’ special teams units in all 16 Lewis seasons.

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Coaching Rumors: Cowboys, Gruden, Bengals

The Cowboys‘ offensive coordinator position is now vacant after the team parted ways with Scott Linehan several days ago, and we learned that tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier may be the favorite to replace Linehan. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com suggests that Dallas could look to promote quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore — whom Rapoport described as “fast-rising” and “impressive” — to the OC job (Twitter link). If that happens, RapSheet suggests that the team could add another one of its former QBs to the coaching staff by hiring Jon Kitna, most recently the offensive coordinator for the AAF’s San Diego Fleet, as the new quarterbacks coach.

As Jerry Jones mulls the coaching credentials of his former signal-callers, let’s take a look at other coaching rumors from around the league:

  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports believes that the Redskins‘ failed pursuit of Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams does not bode well for head coach Jay Gruden‘s future in Washington. La Canfora writes that owner Dan Snyder put the “full-court press” on Bowles, and if Bowles had said he would only join the Redskins as a head coach, Snyder may have gone for it. Gruden will return in 2019, but if he does not lead the Redskins to a playoff berth, La Canfora would not be surprised if Snyder reaches out to Bowles and Williams again, perhaps to discuss a head coaching position.
  • If the Patriots prevail in today’s AFC Championship Game, the Dolphins will meet with New England de facto defensive coordinator and future Miami head coach Brian Flores during the week before the Super Bowl to discuss staffing and other issues, per Rapoport (via Twitter). The Fins can formally commit to Flores as their next HC at that time.
  • The Bengals have been very hands-off with their presumptive new head coach, Zac Taylor, but Rapoport (video link) says that is only because the team is closely adhering to league rules regarding coaching hires (Taylor, of course, is the Rams’ quarterbacks coach, and the Rams’ season isn’t over yet). Rapoport says Cincinnati still fully intends to hire Taylor, and he names Jack Del Rio as a potential defensive coordinator on Taylor’s new staff. La Canfora agrees that Del Rio is a DC target, and he adds John Fox as another possibility. Both JLC and RapSheet say that Raiders QB coach Brian Callahan is a top choice for offensive coordinator.
  • Former Cardinals tight ends coach Jason Michael will join the Colts in the same capacity, a source tells Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). Michael served as the Titans’ offensive coordinator from 2014-15 and was the team’s QB coach from 2016-17.

Jack Del Rio Frontrunner For Giants’ DC Job?

Fired less than a year after signing a lengthy extension, Jack Del Rio looks to have an offer to get right back into high-profile coaching.

Pat Shurmur is interested in the former Raiders head coach to run his defense once he lands with the Giants, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports. Del Rio is a leading candidate for a position that, as of now, has no other known external candidates. Mortensen describes Shurmur as having Del Rio high on his prospective candidate list.

The Giants are expected to hire Shurmur as their next head coach but still plan to interview him a second time, Mortensen reports.

Any Del Rio deal would be offset against his Raiders contract, which will average $6MM annually for the next three years, per Mortensen.

While there are no known external candidates, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo interviewed for the Giants’ HC post and has worked with Shurmur in the past. Shurmur served as Spagnuolo’s offensive coordinator in St. Louis from 2009-10. The Giants and Shurmur both think highly of the longtime DC, Tom Rock of Newsday notes.

While the Giants have lost several of their assistants to jobs elsewhere, much of the team’s defensive staff remains on board. Although, Shurmur could certainly have names in mind to replace the incumbents.

Del Rio’s Raiders defenses weren’t particularly imposing, but he fielded multiple top-five units with the Broncos (in 2012 and ’14). And both of Del Rio’s playoff teams in Jacksonville (2005 and ’07) fielded top-10 scoring defenses before the Jags began to deteriorate in his later years.

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Jack Del Rio Out In Oakland

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was informed after the team’s Week 17 loss to the Chargers that he would not be retained, the coach told reporters including the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken (Twitter link). Jack Del Rio (vertical)

In his postgame press conference, the coach told reporters he was notified “two minutes ago” by Raiders owner Mark Davis of his decision. Del Rio said, “He told me he loved me and appreciated all that I did to get this program going to right direction, but that he felt he needed a change.” Del Rio expressed gratitude for the opportunity Davis gave him when he hired him in 2015.

Following a breakout 2016 campaign that saw the Raiders go 12-4, Oakland entered 2017 as potential Super Bowl contenders with a loaded offense and a solid defense. Things didn’t go according to plan and the Raiders scuffled to a 6-10 mark.

The firing comes on the heels of the Raiders’ reported pursuit of the team’s former head coach Jon Gruden. Reports claim the Raiders could offer the ESPN analyst an ownership stake in the team to take over as head coach.

In his three seasons as head coach, Del Rio amassed a 25-23 mark and advanced to the postseason in 2016 for the first time since the team lost the Super Bowl in 2002.

With young stars Derek Carr and Amari Cooper on offense and a game-changing talent on defense in Khalil Mack, the Raiders head-coaching job is arguably the top gig that will become available this offseason.

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Raiders To Pursue Jon Gruden

Now that the Buccaneers are expected to retain Dirk Koetter as their head coach in 2018 (though Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk thinks that Tampa Bay could easily reverse course in that regard), the Raiders are upping the ante in their pursuit of Jon Gruden. Gruden, of course, previously served as head coach of Tampa Bay and Oakland, though his name has been more heavily connected to the Buccaneers in recent weeks.

Jon Gruden (vertical)

But ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Raiders are preparing to pursue Gruden with an offer so strong that it could include an ownership stake in the team. Schefter adds that Gruden, currently an ESPN analyst, will be tempted to accept the offer, though he would prefer to wait until the regular season concludes and Oakland formally makes a decision on current head coach Jack Del Rio.

There are complications to a potential reunion. For instance, if Raiders owner Mark Davis does indeed offer Gruden an ownership stake, the contract would need to be approved by all 32 owners and the league finance committee, and such approval could be difficult to attain, as ownership would not want to set a precedent. Furthermore, Del Rio and Gruden are represented by the same agent, Bob LaMonte.

Nonetheless, one has to figure that if the Raiders want Gruden, and Gruden wants them, the two sides will find a way to make it happen. After all, Gruden never wanted to leave the Raiders to begin with, and though Oakland has struggled this season, there are a lot of factors that make its head coaching job an enviable one. Plus, although Gruden has been frequently discussed as a highly-coveted head coaching candidate in past years, this is the first year that he has made calls around the league in an effort to piece together a potential staff.

Interestingly, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) names current CBS analyst (and former Raiders QB) Rich Gannon as someone that Gruden has contacted as a potential quarterbacks coach.

Gruden declined to specifically comment on the Raiders’ position.

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Breer’s Latest: Black Monday Preview

With the final week of the NFL’s regular season approaching, that only means two things; 12 teams will soon be focusing on reaching the Super Bowl, while the rest will start to look ahead to next season. One major part of looking forward is addressing who on the coaching staff will be returning in 2018. Many of these coaching questions are answered on the day following Week’s 17 conclusion, conveniently called “Black Monday”.

Veteran reporter Albert of Breer of Sports Illustrated, gave a preview of the coaches he expects to stay and the ones that will likely be shown the door in his most recent column. Breer ranked the potential firings as “Likely/Done”, “We’ll See”, and “It’s Complicated”. In total, there were 15 head coaches mentioned who could see their situations change starting next week.

Here’s a quick look at Breer’s takes on some of the league’s hottest coaching questions:

  • There were five head coaches included in the “likely/done” category including: BearsJohn Fox, BengalsMarvin Lewis, LionsJim Caldwell, ColtsChuck Pagano and and the Giants‘ interim coach Steve Spagnuolo. The four full-time head coaches on this list have all had their fair share of success in the league. In fact, three of them led their current teams to multiple playoff appearances during their tenure. However, Caldwell and Lewis have been unable to win a postseason game with Pagano and Fox having failed at continuing the past success they have shown during their careers in football. Breer notes that while the “expectation is that Fox will be gone”, the decision on the fate of general manager Ryan Pace is true question facing the franchise this offseason. There’s been rapid speculation about Lewis, Caldwell and Pagano throughout the year, so their inclusion on this list is no surprise. Finally, the Giants are currently interviewing general manager candidates who will almost certainly be looking to lead their own head coaching search once hired.
  • Breer puts six current head coaches in the ‘we’ll see” part of the list. This portion mentions the CardinalsBruce Arians, BroncosVance Joseph, RaidersJack Del Rio, BuccaneersDirk Koetter, TitansMike Mularkey and the RedskinsJay Gruden. There’s a variety of situations going on here with Breer noting that Arizona could see Arians retire, which could lead them to other current NFL head coaches: Todd Bowles and Bill O’Brien. Del Rio and Gruden have had their fair share of success because of quality quarterback play, but both have managed to decrease confidence because of an inconsistent 2017 season. However, Breer points out that both are signed long-term so their owners would have to eat the remaining years of their current deals. Mularkey and Koetter were rewarded for the relationships they formed with their QB’s, but there’s been disappointment with how this season has unfolded for their teams. Breer notes that should Mularkey lose this Sunday, he could be on the chopping block come Monday morning with the team looking to hire an offensive-minded coach like Josh McDaniels. Finally, Joseph has forced himself to the hot seat even in his first year of coaching the Broncos, though Breer says himself that this situation is “unpredictable” given that team president John Elway is just “not pleased with how the season’s gone”.
  • Browns head coach Hue Jackson, and the two previously mentioned O’Brien and Bowles of the Texans and Jets, find themselves on the “it’s complicated” section of Breer’s roundup largely because of just the many factors are at play in regards to their situations. Jackson got a vote of confidence from owner Jimmy Haslam himself, but new general manager John Dorsey could have his sights on implementing his own guy after a winless season. O’Brien has made the playoffs before, but has struggled committing to a QB even after the team selected Deshaun Watson in the first round. Bowles has done a lot with a little in New York this season, but ownership could go in a different direction with a new starting signal caller likely walking into the building next year. Also, there is the potential that all three coaches could move onto new head coaching gigs with the number of openings that could be available this offseason. The final and definitely most surprising inclusion on this list was Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who Breer mentions could retire at age 66 with a roster about to see major turnover in the next few years. Although, I would venture that nothing he’s said this season would indicate that being the case.

50/50 Chance Of Raiders Firing Jack Del Rio

Could the Raiders move on from Jack Del Rio this offseason? There’s a 50/50 chance that he’ll return in 2018, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. Jack Del Rio (vertical)

[RELATED: Raiders Expected To Fire OC Todd Downing]

Del Rio and the Raiders inked a four-year extension back in January, but he might not get to serve out the deal. Typically, head coaching contracts are guaranteed for a fair amount, so the money committed to Del Rio could dissuade Oakland from making a change. But, at minimum, the 6-8 Raiders are giving it some serious thought.

Last year, Del Rio won 12 games for the second time in his career and brought the Raiders to playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Still, the Raiders are loaded with talent and Del Rio has yet to win a division title in his 10+ years as a head coach. There will be plenty of intriguing candidates available this winter and a few of those names could hold interest for the Raiders.

The Raiders face extremely long odds of making the playoffs, but they could still finish .500 with wins over the Eagles and Chargers in the next two weeks.

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Extra Points: Anthem, Raiders, Bengals, Jets

Discussion about who stands and who sits for the national anthem could come to an end next season if the owners have their way, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske hears. Maske reports that some NFL owners think there is a “strong possibility” they could enact a change to the league’s policy next season that could keep players off the field during the playing of the national anthem.

Maske quoted one person familiar with the owners’ deliberations saying, “I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen.” He continued with the source, who said, “I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season.”

The thought this action could quell attention from the league’s anthem issues is a naive one. Players in favor of demonstrating their right to protest are sure to feel disrespected, while having no one standing for the flag is certain to draw ire from a wide range of fans. Whatever the decision, the NFL isn’t likely to escape the spotlight anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Raiders  head coach Jack Del Rio issued a statement on Wednesday stating “nobody should feel comfortable” following the team’s firing of defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., NBC Sports’ Scott Blair reports. Del Rio continued, saying, “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. So I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing and make sure…what I’m looking for at the end of the day is for us to play fast on defense. We weren’t playing fast enough. We weren’t playing confident enough.” After starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations, the Raiders are holding out hope for a second-half revival to contend for a wildcard spot.
  • Former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey sat down with ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his Know Them From Adam Podcast to give his first interview since being fired in June. In the interview, which the Kansas City Star’s Blair Kerkhoff recapped, Dorsey didn’t address his departure much outside of saying he’s had better days. He did claim he wanted to make a return to football, however. “I know I can do my job with the best with my peers in the National Football League,” Dorsey said. “I’m very proud of being able to help an organization re-establish their winning ways, and I think that’s important.”
  • When asked if the team was committed to kicker Randy Bullock for the remainder of the season, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said they were committed to him “for the week.,” ESPN’s Katherine Terrell reports. Bullock has connected on 8-of-10 field goals on the season but has missed an extra point in each of his last two games.
  • It’s getting close to time for the Jets to see what they have in Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes. Though Josh McCown has played well, Mehta claims it is time to call the kids up from “Triple-A” to see what they can do.

Raiders Sign Jack Del Rio To Four-Year Deal

The Raiders have signed head coach Jack Del Rio to a new four-year contract that locks him up through the 2020 campaign, the club announced today.Jack Del Rio (Vertical)

[RELATED: Top 3 Offseason Needs — Oakland Raiders]

“The Raiders have torn up Jack Del Rio’s original contract and rewarded him with a new four-year deal,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis in a written statement. “We are excited to continue building on the strong foundation that has been established and this is a significant step in achieving that goal.”

As Davis notes, this is a completely new contract for Del Rio, who was already signed through the 2018 season. Reports last month indicated Oakland intended to start negotiations with Del Rio, who just completed his second season as head coach, soon. Del Rio led the Raiders to a four-win improvement during his first go-round as coach in 2015, then took the Raiders back to the postseason for the first time in 14 years this January.

The 53-year-old Del Rio won 12 games for the second time in his career, and although he has yet to win a division title in 10 years as a head coach, the Raiders came close to accomplishing that this season after failing to sniff such a perch in years.

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