Jim Hostler

Panthers Notes: Newton, Hostler, Obada

Cam Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Thursday, the Panthers announced. While Carolina did say Newton will immediately begin his rehabilitation process, the team did not provide a timeline for his recovery. However, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears the signal-caller’s procedure was not of the “major reconstructive” variety, while Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets the operation was relatively minor. Indeed, Newton is expected to resume throwing by the time organized team activities begin in May, per Breer.

Here’s more from Carolina:

  • The Panthers — who currently run a 4-3 defense — may implement more 3-4 looks in 2019, according to Joseph Person of The Athletic. While it doesn’t appear Carolina will make a full-fledged change to a 3-4 front, the club does plan on deploying multiple defensive schemes. Dontari Poe would become a natural nose tackle (a role he played in Kansas City), while Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson would handle middle linebacker. The real issue, however, would be finding edge rushers that could fit into a 3-4 scheme. The Panthers’ potential shift isn’t necessarily being driven by change in personnel or coaching, as defensive coordinator Eric Washington is remaining in place while head coach Ron Rivera will continue to call defensive plays.
  • Former Packers passing game coordinator Jim Hostler has been hired as the Panthers’ new wide receivers coach, the club recently announced. Hostler, 52, is a long-time NFL coach with experience dating back to 2000. He spent only one season in Green Bay working with the team’s offense, and wasn’t retained when the Packers hired new head coach Matt LaFleur. Hostler, who is replacing Lance Taylor on Carolina’s staff, will work with a wideout group that currently includes D.J. Moore, Torrey Smith, Curtis Samuel, and Jarius Wright (plus pending free agent Devin Funchess).
  • Defensive end Efe Obada‘s one year-deal with the Panthers is worth $570K, tweets David Newton of ESPN.com. The minimum salary for a player with one year of NFL experience (like Obada) will be $555K in 2019, so Carolina is giving the 27-year-old a slight pay bump. Obada was scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he wouldn’t have hit the open market unless the Panthers opted to non-tender him.

Coaching Rumors: Vikings, Giants, Cowboys

As had been expected, Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski will garner an interview for the club’s vacant offensive coordinator position. Stefanski, who’s coached tight ends, running backs, and quarterbacks for Minnesota, will meet with head coach Mike Zimmer this weekend, reports Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Meanwhile, former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell‘s interview with Zimmer will take place on Friday, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Ex-Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and former Broncos play-caller Mike McCoy have also speculatively been mentioned as candidates for the Vikings’ OC role, but neither has yet been asked to interview.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • The Giants have officially hired former Panthers special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey for the same role in New York, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. This had been the expected outcome, but the Giants waited until they’d officially named Pat Shurmur as their new head coach before making any other staff additions. McGaughey, who’s also led special teams units with the 49ers and Jets, coached Carolina to a No. 6 ranking in ST DVOA in 2017. The Giants, meanwhile, ranked dead in the same metric last a season ago. Ex-Cardinals assistant special teams coach Anthony Blevins could also be joining New York’s special teams staff in the near future, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert will join the Giants under new head coach Pat Shurmur, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Tolbert, who led the Broncos’ wideouts from 2011-17, was fired earlier this month as part of a staff shakeup. However, he reportedly drew a good deal of interest around the NFL before deciding on the Giants, per Klis. That comes as no surprise, as Tolbert nearly left Denver last offseason when the Titans expressed interest.
  • The Cowboys interviewed assistant offensive line coach Marc Colombo for their vacant tight ends coach job today, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Colombo, who played for Dallas from 2005-10, was reportedly “in the mix” to become the Cowboys’ full-time offensive line coach earlier this year after Dallas fired Frank Pollack. However, the Cowboys ultimately selected former Bengals OL coach Paul Alexander for the job. Colombo, for his part, joined Dallas’ staff in 2015.
  • The Packers formally announced their 2018 coaching staff today, and the club noted a few new additions that we haven’t yet noted here at PFR. While previous reports had indicated Jim Hostler would be Green Bay’s wide receivers coach, he’ll actually take the title of offensive passing game coordinator, with David Raih — formerly the Packers’ “offensive perimeter” coach — is handling wideouts. Meanwhile, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery will stay with Green Bay after previously having accepted a job as Texas A&M’s associate head coach/defensive line, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

NFC Coaching Notes: Nagy, Cowboys, Cards

As the wild-card round looms, here’s the latest from the NFC side of the coaching carousel.

  • Chiefs OC Matt Nagy will have a quick turnaround after Saturday’s first-round game. He’s set for interviews with the Bears and Colts on Sunday for those franchises’ respective HC jobs, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. These are the only two teams to which the 39-year-old OC has been connected. He’s finishing out his second season as Kansas City’s OC. Doug Pederson served in that role for three seasons prior to leaving for Philadelphia.
  • The Cardinals have cast a wide net in their search to replace Bruce Arians, and they are meeting with two members of the Patriots’ defensive staff today. DC Matt Patricia and linebackers coach Brian Flores are meeting with Cards representatives in New England, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). While Flores has only been linked to the Cardinals, Patricia is a candidate for the Giants’ and Lions’ HC jobs.
  • The Cowboys continue to make staff changes as the week winds down. After QBs coach Wade Wilson and secondary coach Joe Baker were dismissed earlier this week, Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News reports (on Twitter) the team is now moving on from wide receivers coach Derek Dooley and tight ends coach Steve Loney. While coordinators Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli are expected to be back in 2018, many position coaching vacancies exist in Dallas.
  • With Joe Philbin reported to be heading back to Green Bay, he will be set to oversee new Packers wide receivers coach Jim Hostler. Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets Hostler will move from the position of Colts wideouts coach to the same job with the Packers, and if the Philbin hire ends up happening, both coaches will be moving from Indianapolis to Green Bay. Hostler’s most notable NFL job came in 2007 when he was the 49ers’ OC.

Extra Points: Combine, Draft, Colts, Browns

The NFL announced the 332 participants who will perform at the NFL Scouting Combine, with potentially high-value quarterbacks Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch and Carson Wentz among the prospects invited.

These quarterbacks figure to be jostling for the right to either go No. 1 overall, in the event the Titans trade their pick, or be the first signal-caller off the board.

Despite coming from Division I-FCS North Dakota State, Wentz looks to be out front right now, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report hears (video link). The 6-foot-6 Wentz’s rise to this point comes from being the only quarterback scouts have seen throw since the season ended, Cole notes, with Wentz impressing the scouting armada at last month’s Senior Bowl.

Sources told Cole, however, younger QBs Goff and Lynch may have higher ceilings due to their age and potential for physical growth and calls this race a fluid situation.

Here’s more from Cole and others from around the league.

  • Although Ronnie Stanley rates as the top tackle prospect by many outlets, GMs and other NFL sources are questioning the Notre Dame lineman’s work ethic, Cole reports (video link). Stanley’s decision to train for the Combine in Las Vegas resides the crux of this concern, one GM told Cole.
  • The Colts rearranged their coaching staff, shifting multiple assistants to different position groups, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star tweets. Jim Hostler will shift from coaching the wide receivers to coaching the tight ends this coming season, and Tim Berbenich will transition to the assistant quarterbacks coach job after he served as a defensive assistant last season.
  • The Browns adjusted their analytics-geared front office again on Thursday, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Former director of football research Ken Kovash will now assist new player personnel VP Andrew Berry in running the scouting department. Kevin Meers, a source tells cleveland.com (via Ulrich), will now lead the research department. Meers and Berry will report to new football operations VP Sashi Brown, who has final say on the 53-man roster, Ulrich reports. Meers, Berry, Brown and new chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta are all Harvard graduates.

AFC Notes: Wilfork, Manning, Colts, Texans

At least one recent report has suggested that Vince Wilfork may decide to go out on top and call it a career after the Patriots‘ latest Super Bowl win. However, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, retirement isn’t in Wilfork’s plans, at least for now.

“There’s no way in the world this is my last season,” Wilfork said. “I doubt if this is my last one. I still have a lot of football in me.”

Wilfork certainly seemed to have plenty left in the tank in 2014, as he logged 818 defensive snaps, which was 300+ more than the next-closest Patriots defensive lineman Chris Jones (511). But whether or not Wilfork’s career will continue in New England remains to be seen. The defensive lineman’s cap number jumps to nearly $9MM for 2015, and there’s plenty of non-guaranteed money left on the deal, so the Pats will likely attempt to restructure the contract. If the two sides can’t work something out, Wilfork might be a candidate to be released this winter.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Peyton Manning has yet to announce whether or not he’ll return to the Broncos for another season, but recent reports have suggested he’ll likely be back, and teammate Von Miller is confident the veteran signal-caller will stick around, as Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post details.
  • Although wide receiver Duron Carter was the subject of plenty of fan interest and speculation as he visited potential suitors last month, the deal he signed with the Colts is a modest one. Per Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), $25K of Carter’s first-year salary is guaranteed, but he didn’t receive a signing bonus. Indianapolis’ other CFL signee, offensive lineman Ben Heenan, actually received more guaranteed money ($35K) than Carter, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Colts announced several changes to their coaching staff today, hiring Jim Hostler as their wide receivers coach for 2015 and moving a handful of assistants into new roles. According to the club, former running backs coach David Walker will be the only assistant not returning.
  • Addressing his team’s quarterback situation, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien suggested that “it will probably be a competition” for the starting job next season, writes Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com. While Ryan Fitzpatrick remains under contract with the club, Case Keenum and Ryan Mallett are both eligible for free agency, so Houston could be in the market for a QB next month, or during the draft.

Coach Updates: Fangio, Allen, Kromer, Tarver

The Bears have requested permission to interview ex-49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for the same position, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (via Twitter). Previous reports indicated Fangio was released from his San Francisco contract earlier today, so technically Chicago shouldn’t need to ask the Niners for approval. Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com “continues to hear” (Twitter link) that former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is the favorite for the Bears DC job.

Here’s the latest on the coaching front…

  • The Bills have hired former Bears assistant Aaron Kromer as their offensive line coach, per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter). FootballScoop.com was the first to hear the Kromer rumblings, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted the two sides were “closing in” on a deal. Additionally, Rapoport says (Twitter link) that Buffalo has also hired David Lee as its quarterbacks coach. Lee worked with new Bills coach Rex Ryan with the Jets from 2013-14.
  • After hiring his defensive coordinator earlier today, new Jets head coach Todd Bowles has added another staff member, ex-Cardinals linebackers coach Mike Caldwell (Twitter link via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic). Per Somers, Caldwell will be named an assistant head coach in New York after the Cards let him out of his contract.
  • It’s been speculated that former Raiders DC Jason Tarver could have a role on Jim Tomsula’s 49ers staff, and today Tarver interviewed for a position with San Francisco, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Tarver previously spent ten years with the Niners, beginning in 2001.
  • The 49ers will not retain special teams coordinator Brad Seely, reports Maiocco. Seely, a 22-year NFL coaching veteran, had been with SF since 2011. Meanwhile, Maiocco adds that the Bills have requested an interview with Niners offensive assistant Ronald Curry, who has not been fired by San Francisco.
  • The Browns continue to interview candidates for their vacant offensive coordinator position, and met with Jim Hostler today, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. Hostler, currently a senior offensive assistant with the Bills, was the 49ers’ play-caller during the 2007 season.

AFC Notes: Rice, Browns, Knighton, Jets

A hearing had been scheduled for today for Ray Rice‘s grievance against the Ravens, which alleged that the club owed him $3.5MM for cutting him hours after in-elevator footage of him striking his then-fiancée surfaced in September. However, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the two sides have reached a settlement agreement. While the exact amount that the Ravens are paying Rice isn’t known, the settlement signals the formal end of Rice’s appeals processes and his relationship with the Ravens. The veteran running back has been paid and reinstated, so now it’s just a matter of waiting to see if any clubs will be willing to sign him to a new contract this offseason.

Here’s more from across the AFC:

  • Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter links) have a pair of updates on the Browns‘ offensive coordinator search, reporting that Raiders senior offensive assistant Al Saunders and Bills senior offensive assistant Jim Hostler will interview for the job. Saunders will speak to the team on Tuesday, according to Cabot, while Hostler’s interview will happen this week, per Ulrich.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio today (Twitter link), free-agent-to-be Terrance Knighton indicated that he hasn’t gotten from the feeling from the Broncos that they’ll bring him back for next season. With Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio becoming the new head coach in Oakland, the Raiders figure to be linked to the big defensive tackle as he nears free agency.
  • New Jets general manager Mike Maccaganan is “strongly considering” hiring ex-Jaguars GM Gene Smith to his front office staff, tweets ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Alex Marvez of Fox Sports has another Jets update, tweeting that Falcons defensive backs coach Joe Fanna will be joining Todd Bowles‘ staff in New York.
  • Longtime Jaguars fullback Greg Jones, who announced his retirement today, has interest in coaching and said he’d like to eventually become an offensive coordinator (Twitter link via Vito Stellino).
  • Bills president Russ Brandon spoke to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News about the Bills’ new front office structure, which will involve GM Doug Whaley having final say on the 53-man roster, while head coach Rex Ryan decides on the coaching staff and active gameday rosters.

Ravens Hire Gary Kubiak As OC

1:50pm: The Ravens have officially announced the hiring of Kubiak as the team’s offensive coordinator and Dennison as the QB coach.

12:19pm: The Ravens will officially announce their new offensive coordinator later this afternoon, according to the team (Twitter link). Wilson tweets that Dennison is expected to join the staff under Kubiak, though it’s not clear if any other additions will be announced today.

11:07am: While there are still some details to be ironed out, everything points to Kubiak becoming the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator, tweets Zrebiec.

According to Michael Preston of the Baltimore Sun, Kubiak is trying to put together an offensive staff before he officially accepts the job, meaning the team’s old coaches could be in trouble. Preston adds that Kubiak’s hiring has been pushed by Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome and owner Steve Bisciotti rather than Harbaugh (Twitter links).

MONDAY, 8:06am: The third candidate in the mix for the Ravens’ offensive coordinator job appears to be Gary Kubiak, who has emerged as the favorite for the position, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, former Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has also spoken with John Harbaugh over the last few days, though based on Schefter’s report, it sounds as if Dennison may be drawing Baltimore’s interest for another spot on the staff, rather than the OC vacancy.

SUNDAY, 10:53pm: The Ravens have recently interviewed a third candidate in their search to fill the offensive coordinator vacancy previously occupied by Jim Caldwell, according to Jeff Zrebiec and Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun. Until now, it was believed that former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and current Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler were the only remaining candidates.

Former Steelers running back coach Kirby Wilson, who appears poised to join the Vikings’ staff, had also been in the mix for the Ravens’ position, but was informed this weekend that Baltimore was going in a different direction.

Coaching Notes: Ravens, Cowboys, Browns

The Ravens are likely to decide on a new offensive coordinator by Monday, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The choice is expected to be either former Redskins offensive Kyle Shanahan or current Ravens receivers coach Jim Hostler. Shanahan, the son of former NFL head coach Mike Shanahan, also has play-calling experience with the Texans, while Hostler spent the 2007 season as offensive coordinator with the 49ers. Either candidate would be replacing Jim Caldwell, who left to become the head coach of the Lions.

  • Scott Linehan may be offered the title of Cowboys’ passing game coordinator, according to Ed Werder and Chris Mortensen of ESPN. In such an arrangement, Linehan would be installed as the primary play-caller, a responsibility that currently belongs to offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Linehan, the former head coach of the Rams, was most recently the offensive coordinator of the Lions.
  • If Linehan takes the Cowboys job, the Browns may look at Callahan as an offensive coordinator candidate under new head coach Mike Pettine, notes Albert Breer of NFL Network (via Twitter).
  • Breer also tweets that former Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is a possible choice as quarterbacks coach in Cleveland.

AFC North Rumors: Browns, Ravens, Jones

The Browns finally filled the last head coaching opening in the NFL yesterday, hiring Mike Pettine away from the Bills. Pettine indicated at yesterday’s press conference that if Cleveland’s search had lasted much longer, he would have withdrawn his name, so as not to leave the Bills hanging indefinitely. But now that he’s got the Browns job, Pettine will look to fill out his staff. Here’s the latest on that front, along with a couple other AFC North items:

  • The Browns have interest in former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak for their offensive coordinator position, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). However, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets that it’s unlikely Kubiak lands in Cleveland.
  • The Ravens are also in the market for an offensive coordinator, with their search in the final stages. The club interviewed internal candidate Jim Hostler and ex-Redskins coordinator Kyle Shanahan for the second time on Thursday, and will have a second interview with Kirby Wilson of the Steelers today, according to Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • Heading for unrestricted free agency, wide receiver Jacoby Jones says he’d love to return to the Ravens, as Ray Frager of CSNBaltimore.com writes.