Jay Rodgers

Coaching Notes: Bieniemy, Texans, Falcons

With the Eagles requesting an interview with Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator is now 7-for-7 in meeting requests during this hiring period. However, the third-year OC has again run into issues on the interview circuit. Despite being Andy Reid‘s right-hand man during the most successful period in Chiefs history, Bieniemy may go a third cycle without landing a coaching job. It is trending in that direction, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets. Bieniemy did not interview well on the whole last year and has encountered similar issues during this cycle, according to Tony Pauline and Benjamin Allbright of ProFootballNetwork.com.

Although the Texans changed course and submitted a request to speak with Bieniemy, as they deal with a disgruntled Deshaun WatsonCBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora notes that interview is doubtful to commence. With the Chiefs’ bye week over, any team wishing to meet with Bieniemy going forward must wait until Kansas City’s season ends. If the No. 1-seeded Chiefs make it back to the Super Bowl, the remaining jobs may be filled by then. Three teams have filled their positions; the Lions are soon expected to hire Saints assistant Dan Campbell; the Chargers may be zeroing in on Bills third-year OC Brian Daboll. This would leave only the Houston and Philadelphia jobs available. Though Bieniemy not being his team’s primary play-caller makes him an atypical HC candidate from the offensive side of the ball, it would certainly be strange if he exited another offseason without landing a coaching gig.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • Staying with the Texans, they will interview another Bills coordinator this weekend. They will speak with Buffalo DC Leslie Frazier on Sunday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Frazier, who has been Buffalo’s defensive play-caller, has re-emerged on the HC radar after four seasons as Buffalo’s DC under Sean McDermott. Support is building for Frazier with the Texans, La Canfora notes. Since the Vikings ended Frazier’s three-plus-year run as their head coach after the 2013 season, he has been a coordinator for two teams (the Bucs and Bills) and coached the Ravens secondary in between.
  • In hiring Arthur Smith, the Falcons almost certainly have their offensive play-caller in place. But they have identified a Smith right-hand man in Bears passing-game coordinator Dave Ragone. The Chicago assistant has emerged as an early favorite to become Atlanta’s OC, with ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweeting a Smith-Ragone partnership running the Falcons’ offense has a “good chance” of happening. Ragone has been with the Bears since 2016.
  • Now that Chuck Pagano has retired, the Bears are on the lookout for a new defensive coordinator. Defensive line coach Jay Rodgers and safeties coach Sean Desai stand to be the top internal candidates to succeed Pagano, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Rodgers served as D-line coach under John Fox in Denver and followed him to Chicago in 2015. Rodgers’ contract expires next week, and Rapoport notes he is expected to be a DC candidate for other teams as well in the coming days.
  • Marion Hobby will make a move to another AFC team’s defensive staff. The Bengals are hiring the veteran assistant as their D-line coach, Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets. Hobby, who spent six seasons as Clemson’s co-defensive coordinator under Dabo Swinney, coached the Dolphins and Jaguars’ D-lines in the four seasons since. Hobby was with Jacksonville when the team’s “Sacksonville” D-line drove a run to the AFC title game.

North Rumors: Ryan, Lions, Newman, Bears

The coaching carousel brought plenty of rumors Tuesday. Here is the latest from the North divisions on that front:

  • Sean Ryan was connected to multiple North-division offensive coordinator openings last year, but both the Browns and Vikings went in different directions. A year later, though, the Lions will bring the Texans’ quarterbacks coach north. Ryan will replace George Godsey as Detroit’s QBs coach, the team announced. Godsey will join Brian Flores‘ staff in Miami. This will be Ryan’s third gig instructing QBs. He first held that post with the Giants from 2012-13. The past two years, he worked with Deshaun Watson in Houston.
  • Following changes at OC and quarterbacks coach, more turnover will occur in Detroit. Lions running backs coach David Walker will step away from coaching. He coached the Lions’ running backs for the past three seasons. Walker coached at the college and pro levels for 22 years. This will be another place Patricia makes a hire. Only wide receivers coach Robert Prince remains as an offensive position coach from the Jim Caldwell era.
  • Terence Newman transitioned from the NFL’s oldest active defensive player to a Vikings coach at this season’s outset. The Vikings want him back for another year, but Newman is not certain to keep coaching, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP.com (via Twitter). The 40-year-old coach is no longer listed among Minnesota’s coaches on the team website.
  • One of Bob Sutton‘s Chiefs staffers will migrate to Chicago. Matt Nagy will hire Mark DeLeone to coach the Bears‘ inside linebackers, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. DeLeone and Nagy worked together in Kansas City from 2013-17, and DeLeone stayed on with the Chiefs this season. Sutton’s firing, though, figures to force relocations from some of his position coaches. Vic Fangio‘s departure is having the same effect in Chicago, with only defensive line coach Jay Rodgers expected to return under Chuck Pagano.
  • Deuce Schwartz will be part of Freddie KitchensBrowns staff as a defensive quality control coach, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Schwartz spent two seasons as an assistant in New Orleans, primarily working with the Saints’ specialty units.

Coaching Notes: Wilks, Bears, Chiefs, Cards

Steve Wilks has set up three interviews for this week. The Giants will receive the first opportunity to meet with the Panthers’ DC, with ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson reporting (on Twitter) Wilks will trek to New Jersey to meet with the Dave Gettleman-led group on Tuesday before flying to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals on Wednesday. Following those meetings, the Colts will host Wilks on Thursday, Mike Wells of ESPN.com tweets. These aren’t the only teams interested in securing a sitdown with Wilks. The Lions remain interested in doing so as well, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

The Giants will complete both Wilks’ and Eric Studesville‘s interviews by Wednesday, with the former Broncos running backs coach set for a Wednesday powwow, per ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (Twitter link). This duo will mark the fifth and sixth interviews the Giants will have conducted. After these summits, Big Blue management could be ready to make a decision. With the Eagles still in the playoffs and no Jim Schwartz interview conducted, it could put the Giants to a decision: wait on Schwartz and risk losing some of these aforementioned candidates or hire one of them instead.

Here’s the latest from the coaching circuit.

  • A possible favorite has already emerged to replace Matt Nagy as the Chiefs‘ OC. Running backs coach Eric Bieniemy will be “strongly considered,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 48-year-old Bienemy served as Colorado’s OC from 2011-12 and has coached the Chiefs’ running backs since Andy Reid‘s arrival in 2013. Bienemy could have a clearer path to this job with former K.C. OC Brad Childress planning to retire.
  • Nagy wants to retain Vic Fangio with the Bears, both Peter Schrager of NFL.com and the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs note (Twitter links). But Fangio has interest elsewhere — from the Bengals and Packers — and could opt to depart Chicago after being passed over for the HC job.
  • Chicago may also look to retain a few assistants who worked under John Fox. Quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone is a candidate to stay under Nagy despite the new HC making his NFL name by working with QBs. The Bears respected Ragone’s work with Trubisky, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets, and adds Nagy and Ragone share an agent. Biggs tweets tight ends coach Frank Smith and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers are candidates to stay put as well.
  • The Browns‘ interviews with OC candidates Ken Zampese and Sean Ryan will take place this week. Rapoport reports (via Twitter) Zampese will receive the first meeting, which will occur today, with Ryan’s interview scheduled for Wednesday. A second-generation NFL assistant, Zampese spent the past 15 seasons with the Bengals before his second year as OC ended after just two games. A nine-year Giants staffer who is currently the Texans’ QBs coach, Ryan does not have any history with Hue Jackson like Zampese does.
  • Ron Rivera does not anticipate the Panthers making any staff changes beyond possibly replacing Wilks, David Newton of ESPN.com notes. This would mean OC Mike Shula is in line to return for a sixth season.
  • Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong‘s Cardinals interview is set for Monday in Atlanta, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Armstrong is allowed to interview under NFL rules despite the Falcons winning in the wild-card round.

Coaching Notes: LeBeau, Bills, Raiders, Bears

Former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is no longer in the running to join the staff of the Cardinals, reports Kent Somers of AZCentral.com. Since he resigned from his long time post with the Steelers, the Cardinals seemed like a logical option for the 77-year old Hall of Fame coach. While it was thought that LeBeau would only be interested in coordinator positions, he was reportedly set to be a senior assistant and serve as the Cardinals linebacker coach.

With the Cardinals out of the mix for his services, the only other organization with which he has been linked is the Titans, where he could also serve as a senior assistant in some capacity.

The Cardinals are expected to promote from within to fill their defensive coordinator role vacated when Todd Bowles was hired as head coach of the Jets.

Here are some other coaching notes from around the NFL, with more recent news added to the top:

  • The Bills are expected to hire Chris Palmer to their coaching staff as a senior offensive assistant, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). Palmer’s long career most recently brought him to the Titans, where he served as offensive coordinator from 2011-2012.
  • The Raiders have also added former Lions assistant offensive line coach Bobby Johnson to their staff, reports Thayer Evans of SI.com (via Twitter). Johnson will be the Raiders tight ends coach.
  • The Bears have brought Jay Rodgers onto the staff to coach the defensive line, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). Rodgers is the older brother of special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Broncos have not tried to hide the fact that they would like to hire Bengals secondary coach Vance Joseph as their defensive coordinator, but they may not get a chance until after the Bengals are able to secure another coach, writes Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. The Bengals reportedly have their eye on former Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, and would likely allow Joseph out of his contract if they are able to hire Fewell. The Broncos are willing to wait to see if Fewell is hired by the Bengals before moving on to their next option.
  • While there have been no official announcements made, the Raiders have reportedly added Bernie Parmalee as their running backs coach and Rob Moore as their wide receivers coach, reports Jerry McDonald of InsideBayArea.com (via Twitter). He also notes that defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson is the only member of the staff set to return so far.
  • The Falcons are planning on hiring Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their head coach after the Super Bowl, and reports have it that Quinn will be targeting former Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris as part of his staff. However, Mike Jones of the Washington Post writes that Morris is being considered for an assistant head coach/passing game coordinator position, and not defensive coordinaor (via Twitter). Jones reports that the deal is not finished, but it is close (via Twitter).