Joe Barry

NFC Notes: Oher, Peppers, Redskins, Rams

Ron Rivera said earlier this month he expects Michael Oher to be back with the Panthers next season, but the recently re-signed left tackle has not yet been completely cleared from the concussion that sidelined him for most of the 2016 season, Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Oberserver reports. Oher missed 13 games last season and has dealt with concussion trouble for more than four months.

Rivera did not know when Oher suffered the concussion, but Jones reports the setback likely occurred before the Panthers’ Week 3 Vikings tilt — the most recent game in which Oher played. GM Dave Gettleman said recently he had not spoken to Oher in a bit and was going to give him some time. The Panthers’ left tackle signed a three-year extension last summer, but Gettleman said he plans to investigate the position this offseason. Mike Remmers is a free agent as well, and Carolina doesn’t have any much depth here, so an Oher return is crucial. He will turn 31 in May.

Here’s more from the NFC.

  • A Julius Peppers-Panthers reunion makes sense for the 37-year-old North Carolinian as his career winds down, Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer writes. The outside linebacker who played as a 4-3 end in Carolina is a UFA. He spent four seasons with the Bears and three with the Packers, initially going to Chicago after the Panthers offered to make him the league’s highest-paid defender in 2010. The Panthers have ends Mario Addison and Charles Johnson looming as UFAs.
  • The Redskins‘ promotion of Aubrey Pleasant from assistant secondary coach to secondary coach has yet to be completed, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union notes. Washington’s talks with Pleasant are “at a standstill” after the team offered him the position, in a somewhat strange status for a defensive backs job. The Redskins still want to make Pleaseant its DBs boss after firing Perry Fewell. However, the Rams remain interested in Pleasant as well. Los Angeles already hired Samson Brown from the Broncos, but the former assistant secondary coach under Wade Phillips in Denver doesn’t appear to have a definitive role yet.
  • Regarding the top of the Redskins’ defensive hierarchy, one reason Joe Barry may have been ousted was due to some in the organization preferring he operate a more aggressive defense, John Keim of ESPN.com writes. However, a source told Keim he doesn’t consider new Washington DC Greg Manusky to be particularly aggressive. The newly promoted assistant promised to use an attacking style, though. Manusky’s Colts defenses did average more blitzes per season than Barry’s two in Washington did, Keim notes.
  • Should Pleasant join the Rams, he would be working with Don Shula’s grandson. The Rams plan to hire Chris Shula to work on Phillips’ defensive staff in Los Angeles, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. Chris Shula worked as a Chargers quality control coach the past two seasons. Prior to that, he served as a college defensive assistant. Shula played college football with Sean McVay.

Coaching Notes: Rams, Broncos, Browns

The Rams introduced former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay as their head coach yesterday. COO Kevin Demoff, who led the search for a new coach, admitted that he wasn’t initially sure what to make of the 30-year-old.

“When you’re meeting someone who is 30 years old, your natural reaction is that you want to believe, but you’re searching for the reasons why,” Demoff said (via ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez). “Sean kept knocking those down at every turn, to the point where ‘why’ changed to, ‘Why not?’

“The terms you saw were ‘brilliant,’ ‘genius,’ ‘star.’ Jon Gruden suggested he was special. Those are amazing adjectives when you talk about describing someone. When you ask people for the negatives, they always say, ‘He’s young.’ We always looked at that as just another descriptive word. To me, the age factor, when you look at what the players said, this is about leading players, and their devotion to Sean, the way they feel, what you read about him, is to us what negated the age factor. They could believe in Sean as a leader.”

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • McVay is adding former Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry to his coaching staff in the role of assistant head coach/linebackers coach, reports FoxSports.com’s Peter Schrager (via Twitter). Barry was fired by Washington in early January following two seasons with the organization. The 46-year-old also served as the defensive coordinator for the Lions from 2007 through 2008. ESPN.com’s John Keim tweets that Barry had interviewed for the Jaguars linebackers coach gig, and he also had plans to meet with the Saints.
  • Vance Joseph has made another addition to his staff. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos have hired Jeff Davidson to be their offensive line coach. Davidson spent the 2016 season as the Chargers offensive line coach, where he worked under Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. The two also worked together in Carolina when Davidson served as the offensive coordinator for the Panthers.
  • The Browns have hired Bob Wylie as their new offensive line coach, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (via Twitter). The 65-year-old has been coaching for more than three decades, and he spent the past three seasons coaching the offensive line for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. His last NFL gig came in 2011, when he coached the Raiders’ offensive line.

Redskins To Fire DC Joe Barry

DC Joe Barry is out in D.C. The Redskins are firing their defensive coordinator along with the rest of their defensive staff, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweetsJoe Barry (vertical)

Barry has had only two years in Washington, but in that time the Redskins have finished near the bottom of the league in yards allowed. Prior to joining the Redskins in 2015, Barry’s only previous experience as a DC came with the Lions in 2007 and 2008. With Detroit, his defenses finished dead last in yards allowed. In between the two jobs, he had stints as a linebackers coach for the Buccaneers, USC, and the Chargers.

Two years ago, head coach Jay Gruden chose Barry over Wade Phillips. Now that the Broncos and Phillips could be parting ways, Gruden could take this opportunity to reverse that decision. Whether it’s Phillips or someone else, the next DC will have intriguing pieces to work with, including cornerback Josh Norman, linebacker Mason Foster, and utility man Su’a Cravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Romo, Sproles, Redskins

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will likely make his season debut this weekend against the Eagles, reports ESPN’s Todd Archer and Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The veteran signal-caller hasn’t taken the field since Thanksgiving of 2015.

According to Archer and Schefter, the 36-year-old will see the field for only a series or two before handing off to Mark Sanchez. The Cowboys are presumably hoping to limit the chance of an injury as they look to shop the veteran quarterback this offseason.

Romo missed the first several months of the season as he recovered from a back injury. By the time he returned, rookie Dak Prescott was in complete control of the Cowboys’ starting quarterback gig. The last time the veteran played in at least 15 games was 2014, when he threw for 3,705 yards, 34 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of the NFC East…

  • Veteran running back Darren Sproles announced that the 2017-2018 campaign will likely be his final season in the NFL, writes ESPN.com’s Tim McManus. While the 33-year-old would prefer to end his career with the Eagles, he understands that it’s not necessarily his decision. “That’s not up to me. That’s up to the people upstairs. I’ve got nothing to do with that,” Sproles said. “But that’s the plan.” Over the offseason, Sproles inked a one-year extension with Philly that would keep him on the team through next season. Sproles hasn’t done anything to prove that he couldn’t be productive next season, as the 12-year veteran has compiled 406 rushing yards (the second-highest total of his career) and 423 receiving yards in 15 games this season.
  • This weekend could be the final time defensive tackle Bennie Logan takes the field as a member of the Eagles, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com. The 27-year-old has averaged more than 12 starts a season for Philly since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2013. For what it’s worth, the impending free agent would like to stick around. “Trying to start over and do something new, is something I’m not looking forward to,” the defensive tackle said. “Because I enjoy being here, the city and everything. This is where I see myself at.”
  • The Redskins defense has underperformed this season, and the team ranks towards the bottom of the league in many defensive metrics. As a result, defensive coordinator Joe Barry has naturally found himself on the hot seat. Despite his lack of job security, the coach isn’t thinking about whether he’ll be out of a job. “That’s a good question,” he told Mike Jones of the Washington Post. “Those are things that we will obviously address, but right now, I’m just 1,000 percent on the Giants, and I’m not even thinking a day past that right now.”

Bears Hire Vic Fangio As DC

4:30pm: The Bears (on Twitter) announced the hiring of Fangio.

10:01am: After mulling over his decision for several days, Vic Fangio has decided to join John Fox‘s staff with the Bears, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). According to La Canfora, the former 49ers defensive coordinator drew significant interest from both Chicago and Washington, and finally made his decision this morning.

Fangio had been considered a candidate for the 49ers’ head coaching opening, but was passed over in favor of fellow Niners assistant Jim Tomsula. At that point, the team agreed to release the defensive coordinator from his contract to pursue other opportunities. Fangio interviewed for the DC jobs in Chicago and Washington, and according to La Canfora, both teams “wanted him badly.”

After ranking 13th in DVOA in 2013, Fangio’s defense in San Francisco improved in Football Outsiders’ rankings in 2014, placing fifth overall. The Niners became a top-five defense despite being without suspended linebacker Aldon Smith for much of the season, and injured linebacker NaVorro Bowman for the entire season. Patrick Willis and first-round rookie Jimmie Ward also finished the year on injured reserve.

Having landed Fangio, the Bears figure to turn their attention to locking up an offensive coordinator. The team has reportedly been denied permission to speak to Mike Mularkey of the Titans and Jim Bob Cooter of the Lions, and has also been linked to Colts assistant Rob Chudzinski.

La Canfora adds (via Twitter) that former 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell will also likely be joining Fangio in Chicago in the same role. Donatell was released from his Niners contract at the same time as Fangio, and the duo was viewed as a potential package deal.

As for Washington, the team appeared set to hire Chargers assistant Joe Barry as its defensive coordinator before Fangio became available, so it would make sense to revisit that possibility. John Keim of ESPN.com tweets as much, suggesting that – based on conversations he has had – Barry “has to be at the top of the list now” for Washington.

Washington Hires Joe Barry As DC

4:15pm: Washington made it official with an announcement, according to Chargers PR director Bill Johnston (on Twitter).

11:21am: Just over an hour after reports indicated that Vic Fangio would be joining the Bears as their new defensive coordinator, Washington has decided on a DC of its own, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport, who reported last Wednesday that the club planned to hire Joe Barry, tweets that Barry is indeed back on track to become the team’s new defensive coordinator — “for real this time.”

As I noted when Rapoport’s initial report surfaced, Barry has one previous stint as a defensive coordinator under his belt, with the Lions from 2007 to 2008. Of course, Barry left that position at a low point, following the club’s 0-16 campaign in ’08. Barry’s run in Detroit is perhaps best remembered for prompting one reporter to ask his father-in-law, head coach Rod Marinelli, if he wished his daughter had “married a better defensive coordinator.”

Since leaving the Lions, Barry has worked as an assistant for the Buccaneers, USC, and the Chargers, holding the position of linebackers coach at each one of those stops. As Washington’s new defensive coordinator, Barry will be tasked with turning around a unit that finished 27th in DVOA in 2014, including 32nd against the pass. The team also allowed 27.4 points per game this season, tied for the third-worst mark in the NFL.

While Barry’s hiring has yet to be officially announced, it would be a surprise at this point if it was derailed again. It seems that Washington’s plan to hire Barry only got delayed when Fangio became available — according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), Washington badly wanted to hire the former 49ers defensive coordinator, who ultimately chose the Bears instead.

During the club’s search to identify a replacement for Jim Haslett, Washington also reportedly interviewed Raheem Morris, Eric Mangini, Ed Donatell, Clancy Pendergast, and Wade Phillips.

Latest On Washington’s DC Search

After being released from his contract in San Francisco to pursue other opportunities, former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will interview with Washington for the club’s defensive coordinator job, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, who tweets that a meeting could happen on Saturday.

A report earlier this week suggested that Washington intended to hire Chargers linebackers coach Joe Barry as its new defensive coordinator. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who originally reported that Barry would likely be hired after Raheem Morris was eliminated from contention, suggests things changed when Fangio became available. Per Rapoport, Fangio’s biggest advocate in Washington is new general manager Scot McCloughan (Twitter links).

As Rapoport points out, Fangio has no ties to either head coach Jay Gruden or GM Bruce Allen, whereas Barry worked with both men years ago in Tampa Bay. So if the team were to hire Fangio, it would be a departure of sorts from the usual operating procedure.

Fangio should have several potential suitors, with a report yesterday indicating that every team with an opening at defensive coordinator had expressed interest in the veteran coach. Still, as we saw yesterday when Washington moved quickly to hire Bill Callahan away from the Cowboys, the team appears ready and willing to shell out the money required for top-notch assistants. Fangio had been one of the league’s highest-paid defensive coordinators in San Francisco, so he likely won’t come cheap.

NFC East Notes: Washington, Linehan, Giants

There’s still no action on Washington‘s defensive coordinator hunt, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post (all Twitter links), who hears that the team does indeed have interest in Vic Fangio, though it remains unclear if an interview is being scheduled. As Jones notes, Washington could still end up hiring Joe Barry, as had been previously reported, but it appears the team has pumped the brakes a little on making a final decision — as more candidates become available, the process of making a hire is perhaps lasting a little longer than expected.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the NFC East….

  • As I speculated earlier today, Scott Linehan‘s new deal with the Cowboys will indeed include the official offensive coordinator title, since Bill Callahan is expected to leave the team, tweets Ed Werder of ESPN.com. Linehan, who is signing a three-year contract, essentially played the role of OC in 2014, since he called the club’s plays while Callahan primarily worked with the offensive line.
  • Owner Jerry Jones believes the Cowboys are capable of being major players in free agency, but isn’t sure exactly how active they’ll be, writes Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “I’d love to have the opportunity to improve that pass rush in the range of something that we could afford and make sense logically,” Jones told reporters.
  • The Giants have informed Bills defensive line coach Pepper Johnson that they’re going a different direction with their defensive coordinator hire, a source tells Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (Twitter link).
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap previews the Giants‘ offseason, examining the team’s cap situation and potential approach to free agency.

Washington Plans To Hire Joe Barry As DC?

THURSDAY, 8:15am: Former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who isn’t returning to San Francisco, is a late entry being considered for Washington’s defensive coordinator position, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. While there’s no indication of how serious Washington’s interest is, or whether it’s mutual, the fact that Fangio could be in the mix suggests the team still has yet to make its final decision.

WEDNESDAY, 1:33pm: Echoing what Keim, Jones, and Boyer reported earlier, Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 tweets that Washington hasn’t hired Barry yet, and goes a step further, calling the initial report “false,” even though Rapoport didn’t say a deal had been completed. There’s still no indication that Washington is leaning toward another candidate, and Keim tweets that a number of the team’s assistants expect Barry to land the job. However, it definitely doesn’t seem to be a sure thing at this point.

8:53am: Three Washington beat reporters – ESPN’s John Keim, Mike Jones of the Washington Post, and Zac Boyer of the Washington Times – have all tweeted that there’s no agreement in place yet between Barry and the team. However, Rapoport’s report didn’t explicitly say that the two sides had agreed to terms — just that Washington intends to hire Barry. None of the Washington writers have indicated that the team is leaning in any other direction, so it still looks as if Barry will ultimately land the job, even if nothing’s official yet.

8:41am: Washington has decided on a replacement for recently dismissed defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the club will hire Chargers linebackers coach Joe Barry to fill the position. Rapoport had indicated yesterday that either Barry or Raheem Morris appeared likely to land Washington’s DC job.

Barry has one previous stint as a defensive coordinator under his belt, with the Lions from 2007 to 2008. Of course, Barry left that position at a low point, following the club’s 0-16 campaign in ’08. Barry’s run in Detroit is perhaps best remembered for prompting one reporter to ask his father-in-law, head coach Rod Marinelli, if he wished his daughter had “married a better defensive coordinator.”

Since leaving the Lions, Barry has worked as an assistant for the Buccaneers, USC, and the Chargers, holding the position of linebackers coach at each one of those stops. His hiring in Washington comes after the team also reportedly interviewed candidates like Morris, Eric Mangini, Ed Donatell, and Wade Phillips. According to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 in Washington (Twitter link), Morris’ interview with the club was “just okay,” which presumably opened the door for Barry to land the job.

As Washington’s new defensive coordinator, Barry will be tasked with turning around a unit that finished 27th in DVOA in 2014, including 32nd against the pass. The team also allowed 27.4 points per game this season, tied for the third-worst mark in the NFL.

Coach Notes: Meyer, Browns, Fangio, Raiders

Wins over Alabama and Oregon in the NCAA’s first College Football Playoff created plenty of buzz for Urban Meyer, but the Buckeyes head coach quickly dismissed any speculation that his success at Ohio State would result in a jump to the NFL this offseason. “Not right now. I have a commitment to Ohio State and these players,” Meyer said when asked about the possibility of an NFL job, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

Let’s check in on several coaching situations from around the league, as a handful of teams look to hire new head coaches and/or coordinators….

  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links) provide an update on the Browns‘ hunt for an offensive coordinator, with Rapoport noting that Marc Trestman interviews tomorrow and Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo meets with the team on Friday. Per Schefter, the Browns have also requested permission to talk to Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn about the position.
  • Raheem Morris‘ meeting with Washington about the team’s defensive coordinator vacancy is expected to be the last of the club’s interviews, tweets Rapoport, who believes either Morris or Joe Barry will land the job.
  • Michael Silver of NFL Network (Twitter links) hears that the word in coaching circles is that 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio may want to leave the team unless he (or Mike Shanahan) is hired as the head coach. In that case, writes Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, the Raiders should kick the tires on Fangio as a potential head coaching candidate.
  • Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who is working on a new deal of his own, says defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has told him he wants to stay with the team, tweets Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. Per Archer, talks on new contracts for the team’s coaches are ongoing.
  • In a tweet, Kawakami also suggests keeping an eye on Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, who has multiple options, and would likely be Jim Tomsula‘s top choice for defensive coordinator if he lands the 49ers‘ head coaching job.
  • If Todd Bowles is hired as a head coach, he’d like to take Cardinals linebackers coach Mike Caldwell with him as a defensive coordinator, tweets Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910.
  • The Giants are interested in talking to former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen about their defensive coordinator position, says Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, adding that it’s not clear whether an interview has been scheduled yet.