Joe Danna

South Rumors: Colts, Panthers, Bucs, Saints

The Colts parted ways with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo earlier this week, a move which raised eyebrows around the NFL given the excellent play of Indianapolis’ front five in 2018. Head coach Frank Reich is reportedly searching for his “own guy” to coach the position, while the Colts also want someone who is “stronger at teaching fundamentals,” according to Stephen Holder of The Athletic (Twitter link). DeGuglielmo is more of a motivator than an instructor, per Holder. Either way, the Colts’ 2018 results are hard to dispute, as they ranked as a top-five club in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate per Football Outsiders., while DeGuglielmo has historically performed well wherever he’s gone, according to research done by Justis Mosqueda of Optimum Scouting.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • The Panthers have hired Bills/Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell as their new defensive backs coach, the club announced. Fewell, who served as Buffalo’s interim head coach for seven games in 2009, worked with Carolina coach head coach Ron Rivera in Chicago in 2005. The Panthers still have Richard Rodgers in place as a secondary coach, but they’ve lost multiple defensive backs coach within the past year. Curtis Fuller resigned as the team’s secondary coach last summer, while assistant Jeff Imamura was fired as part of a housecleaning in early December.
  • Former Steelers wideout Antwaan Randle El will join the Buccaneers‘ coaching staff as an offensive assistant, the club announced today. New Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians coached Randle El — who is now embarking on his first NFL coaching gig — for one season (2010) with the Steelers. Kacy Rodgers, whose role with Tampa was up in the air, is officially the team’s defensive line coach, while former Browns special teams coordinator Amos Jones is in tow as assistant ST coach.
  • In addition to announcing the hiring of new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, the Jaguars have made a number of other coaching moves. Jason Rebrovich has been promoted to defensive line coach, Joe Danna is now Jacksonville’s safeties coach, and John Donovan was promoted to assistant running backs coach.
  • Before signing veteran defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker to help replace Sheldon Rankins, the Saints also worked out fellow DLs Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Okoye, and Sealver Siliga, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. The Colts also held a late season audition, taking a look at linebacker Richard Jarvis, per veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link).

Staff Notes: Cowboys, McClay, Saints, Welker

Several teams extended general manager interview requests to Cowboys executive Will McClay this offseason, but as he did last year, McClay resisted those overtures, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. In 2016, McClay — whose official title is senior director of college and pro personnel — turned down an invite from the Lions, who ultimately hired Bob Quinn as GM. McClay wields a strong amount of influence in Dallas, but hasn’t ruled out leaving the club for another vacancy at some point down the line, per Archer.

Here’s more on the 2017 hiring cycle:

  • The Saints were interested in hiring former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley as their linebackers coach if he didn’t secure a defensive coordinator job this year, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Bradley, one of the more respected defensive minds in the league, drew a wide swath of DC interest, as the Redskins, 49ers, and Chargers — who ultimately hired him — all interviewed him for their coordinator position. New Orleans, meanwhile, continues to interview candidates for its LBs coach vacancy.
  • Former NFL receiver Wes Welker is attending the Senior Bowl with the Texans‘ coaching staff, reports Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link), who adds that Welker is considering joining the coaching ranks. Welker, 35, last played in 2015 for the Rams. Last summer, Welker attended Dolphins’ practice sessions in a semi-coaching role, working with the club’s wideouts.
  • Longtime Pete Carroll confidant Rocky Seto is leaving the Seahawks in order to pursue a career in the ministry, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes. Seto, Seattle’s assistant head coach/defense, has coached alongside Carroll dating back to the early 2000s at USC.
  • Ex-Jets defensive backs coach Joe Danna is joining the Jaguars as the club’s assistant secondary coach, per Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Danna spent the past two seasons in New York.

Jets OC Chan Gailey Retires

The Jets announced that offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has retired. The Jets also announced that five coaches will not return: quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo, running backs coach Marcel Shipp, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, outside linebackers coach Mark Collins, and defensive backs coach Joe Danna. Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, apparently, will be retained. Chan Gailey (vertical)

I’m grateful to Chan for joining our coaching staff and enjoyed working with him,” coach Todd Bowles said in the statement. “The respect that I have for him as a person and a coach only increased during our time together.”

It seems possible that Gailey would have been forced out even if he did not retire this offseason. The soon-t0-be 65-year-old oversaw an offense that had the second-worst offensive DVOA in the NFL this year. However, in 2015, Gailey’s offense that amassed a franchise-record 5,925 yards and scored 387 points, the most in a Jets season since 1998. There was lots of frustration over Gailey’s play-calling this year, but the team’s shortcomings under center probably played a bigger role.

The Jets are expected to target Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and former Chargers coach Mike McCoy as OC options, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com and Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter links).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Mayo, Van Pelt, Raiders

The NFL Players Association has formally filed a grievance against the league challenging the NFL’s new personal conduct policy, which was adopted in December despite the NFLPA’s objections, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The union contends that it didn’t have an opportunity to collectively bargain many key points of the new policy, arguing that the policy violates the CBA and that it was adopted “without the consent, and over the objections, of the NFLPA.”

While we wait to see what comes of the union’s grievance, let’s round up several items from across the NFL….

  • Injured Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has been prioritizing his rehabilitation after a season-ending knee injury, and fully intends to get back on the field in 2015, but he has also developed an interest in coaching during his time spent on injured reserve, writes Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I’m just trying to learn as much as I can,” Mayo said. “If I do choose to go down that road, hopefully I can apply some of these principles that I’ve learned from coach [Bill] Belichick in my coaching career.”
  • While a previous report revealed the Packers turned down the Rams’ request to speak to Alex Van Pelt about their offensive coordinator job, St. Louis wasn’t the only team rebuffed by Green Bay. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the Jaguars and Bears were also denied permission to interview Van Pelt.
  • The Raiders have officially confirmed a handful of new additions to Jack Del Rio’s staff, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Todd Downing (QB coach), Marcus Robertson (DB coach), Sal Sunseri (LB coach), and Mike Tice (OL coach).
  • The Jets also announced several new assistants in addition to their new coordinators. According to the team, Mike Caldwell (assistant HC/ILB coach), Mark Collins (OLB coach), Joe Danna (DB/S coach), and Karl Dorrell (WR coach) are among the new arrivals.
  • Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey isn’t phased by the fact that 2015 could be a make-or-break season for him and head coach Joe Philbin, suggesting that he approaches every season as if it’s make-or-break, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
  • The Texans have made some front office changes, promoting Jon Carr to director of college scouting and hiring Matt Jansen to the new position of college scouting coordinator, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links).
  • We learned yesterday that Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett met with the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl, but Miami is far from the only team to interview Lockett. The wideout, who is generating plenty of buzz in Mobile, tells James Walker of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he spoke to 28 NFL teams this week.