Joe DeCamillis

AFC Coaching Notes: Jaguars, Broncos, Jets, Raiders

It hasn’t been the best two-to-three weeks for the Bills organization. The team fired Rex Ryan in late December, and general manager Doug Whaley held a subsequent news conference that left some questioning his competence. Then there’s the whole Tyrod Taylor fiasco, as the organization could potentially be stuck with the quarterback’s $27.5MM salary.

Following the hiring of Sean McDermott as their new head coach, Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula made it clear that their organization is not dysfunctional.

“I know how I run my life, run our business,” Terry Pegula told Tim Graham of The Buffalo News. “I know how we treat people, and I know the people we have in our organization. You can’t pin 17 years [out of the playoffs] on the Pegulas. We’ve been around for X-number of years.

“There’s no foundation, no truth to this dysfunctional talk. I consider it an insult to our organization and the Bills and the good people with the Sabres. They can’t be real happy to hear that.”

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes coming out of the AFC…

  • The Jaguars have hired Joe DeCamillis as their new special teams coordinator, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). DeCamillis, 51, spent the past two seasons serving in the same role with the Broncos, and he previously served as coordinator for the Bears and Cowboys. This will be a reunion of sorts for DeCamillis, who served as a special teams coach with the Jaguars from 2007 through 2008.
  • With all of the changes to the Broncos coaching staff, there will be at least one member sticking around. Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post reports (via Twitter) that Tyke Tolbert will continue on as the team’s wide receivers coach. Tolbert reportedly turned down an offer from the Titans for the same role.
  • Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville has already interviewed for the Jets offensive coordinator vacancy, reports ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini (via Twitter). The writer notes that the organization has “strong interest” in the long-time coach.
  • League sources tell Brian Costello of the New York Post that the Jets will have a tough time convincing “any candidate with options” to take their offensive coordinator gig. The writer notes that Todd Bowles‘ lack of job security and the Jets’ questionable quarterback depth may scare some potential candidates away.
  • The Raiders are making some coaching changes under new offensive coordinator Todd Downing. Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports (via Twitter) that the team will be promoting senior offensive assistant Jake Peetz to quarterbacks coach. Peetz has spent seven years coaching in the NFL.

Broncos Won’t Consider Assistants For HC Job

No one currently on the Broncos’ coaching staff will be considered for the newly-opened head coaching job, GM John Elway told reporters today. The Broncos are looking for a new head coach after Gary Kubiak announced that he’ll be stepping away from the positionJohn Elway (vertical)

Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis served as interim coach when Kubiak was forced to miss a game in October, but he apparently won’t be getting an interview. Same goes for offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, even though Phillips has previous head coaching experience with Dallas. Elway says that he hopes to retain the team’s assistants, though Phillips’ contract is set to expire. It’s also not a given that the next head coach will want to keep the current staff in tact. Without naming names, Elway said are three or four candidates that the team is “excited about.”

Meanwhile, Kubiak confirmed that he is retiring from coaching – not just stepping down from his current job. An emotional Kubiak said he’ll find other ways to spend his time and also said that he’ll be “okay” despite speculation about his health situation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos HC Gary Kubiak Likely To Step Down

Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak is likely to step down, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, largely due to health concerns. Troy E. Renck of Denver7 confirms the report.

Gary Kubiak (Vertical)

Kubiak, the long-time Texans head coach, was fired by Houston towards the end of the 2013 season, and he enjoyed a successful one-year stint as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator in 2014 before his dream job became available. In January 2015, Kubiak signed a four-year contract to become head coach of the Broncos, and his first year at the helm ended in Super Bowl triumph.

This year, of course, has not gone as well, as Denver’s offense sputtered under the inexperienced hands of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch and the team gradually fell out of playoff contention. But Kubiak’s job was certainly not in jeopardy, even if, as Mike Klis of 9News tweets, several of the Broncos’ offensive coaches were likely to be dismissed.

However, as Schefter writes, the demands of the job have become too risky for Kubiak. The 55-year-old left the Broncos for a week in October and missed a Thursday night game in San Diego for what the team called a “complex migraine condition.” And in his last season as Houston’s head coach, he suffered a mini-stroke during a game and had to be rushed to the hospital.

It remains unclear whether Kubiak’s decision to step down means that he is also retiring for good. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Kubiak is “heavily weighing” retirement, and Schefter’s report concludes by saying that Kubiak’s family wants him to leave coaching and move to their retirement ranch in Texas. But Albert Breer of The MMQB says that Kubiak had “found contentment” as Baltimore’s offensive coordinator in 2014 and was unsure that he wanted the stress of being a head coach again, but he was unable to resist the pull of the Denver job (Twitter links). That suggests, perhaps, that Kubiak would consider returning to the NFL in some other capacity down the road, although the fact that his legacy is now secure as a Super Bowl-winning head coach could make such a return less plausible (for what it’s worth, Klis tweets that Kubiak did not appear to suffer a recent setback and could simply need a “break” from the job).

Klis (Twitter links) names Broncos special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis as a logical choice to replace Kubiak, along with Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. But the Denver job is arguably the most desirable one available this offseason, so GM John Elway should have plenty of options.

Kubiak has an 81-75 regular season record as a head coach, a 5-2 postseason record, and one Super Bowl win.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Jets, Kubiak, Broncos, Las Vegas

Some assorted notes from around the league…

  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com sees similarities between this year’s Jets team and the 2007 squad, with Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan playing the roles of Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum. Both squads were tentative about going all-in as they looked towards the future, although Fitzgerald believes that 2007 squad did a better job of evaluating prospects. The big X-factor is quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who the writer compares to 2006 draftee Kellen Clemens.
  • Fortunately for the JetsMuhammad Wilkerson is the only player whose “roster status is “relatively firm.” The team is still a “massive rebuilding project,” according to Fitzgerald, and the writer believes the team could ultimately look to deal some of their veteran talent for future assets.
  • The Broncos are serious about Gary Kubiak‘s recovery. How serious? ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports (via Twitter) that the team doesn’t want anyone to talk to their head coach about football while he’s recuperating. Meanwhile, Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post wonders if interim coach Joe DeCamillis could become a “viable” head coach.
  • On Tuesday, the Nevada State senate approved a bill that would “potentially pave the way for an expanded convention center and an NFL-ready stadium” in Las Vegas, writes Jeff Gillan of News3LV.com. The bill will now head to the general assembly, who could deny the plan to fit a new stadium under the boosted “room tax.”

Gary Kubiak Won’t Coach Broncos Thursday

After being hospitalized on Sunday night with a complex migraine, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak won’t lead the club on Thursday night against the Chargers, Denver announced today. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis will serve as the Broncos’ interim head coach for that contest.Gary Kubiak (Vertical)

[RELATED: Trevor Siemian Expected To Start Week 6]

“We’re really kind of leaving [the timeline] up to the doctors,” general manager John Elway said. “The process for Gary is to worry about Gary this week, so he’s got some different appointments set up, and we want to make sure that Gary takes care of himself.

“He’s going to take this week and take care of some of those issues, and find out if there are some different triggers, or what-not,” Elway said. “But when it comes down to Gary’s health, everybody’s excited about what the prognosis is.”

According to the Broncos, doctors want Kubiak to recuperate through next Monday, meaning he wouldn’t have been in a position to coach even if Denver was playing a typical Sunday game. Kubiak has already gone through one health scare during his coaching career, as he suffered a “transient ischemic attack” and collapsed during halftime in a 2013 contest.

PFR extends its best wishes to Coach Kubiak as he recovers, and hopes to see him back on the field very soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Transactions: McCray, Swaim, Baggs

The Cowboys signed safety Danny McCray to a one-year deal, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. McCray spent the first four years of his career with the Cowboys before joining the Bears last year to follow special teams coach Joe DeCamillis. The former Cowboys UDFA signing played in 15 games last season and had 10 special teams tackles. Here’s a look at the rest of the moves the Cowboys made today..

  • The Cowboys signed seventh-round draft pick Geoff Swaim to a four-year deal, as Rainer Sabin of The Dallas Morning News writes. Swaim’s maximum allowable cap figure in 2015 will be $448K. According to Sabin, the University of Texas product is expected to serve as a blocking tight end. The 6’4″ tight end played in 26 career games for UT, including 22 starts, after transferring from Butte College in California.
  • More from Sabin, who writes that the Cowboys also signed UDFA linebacker Donnie Baggs. Baggs, from Texas A&M, was a tryout player last weekend during the team’s rookie minicamp.
  • To make room for McCray and Baggs, the Cowboys waived linebackers Keith Smith and Will Smith. Keith Smith appeared in ten games last season while Will Smith had several stints on the practice squad.

West Notes: 49ers, Chargers, Broncos

Broncos GM John Elway has high expectations for new head coach Gary Kubiak, but that’s alright with him, as Mike Klis of The Denver Post writes. “He is the boss,” Kubiak said. “Believe me, he’s the boss. That’s all right. I want to coach. He’s the boss.” More out of the AFC and NFC West..

  • Former 49ers personnel executive Tom Gamble, who was recently let go by the Eagles, had a “long talk” with Niners GM Trent Baalke today, tweets Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. While that doesn’t necessarily mean a return to San Francisco for Gamble is imminent, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News notes (via Twitter) that the club’s director of player personnel position is open at the moment.
  • Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego spoke with The Mighty 1090 Sports Radio (audio link) about the Chargers replacing Joe Barry and their biggest priorities in free agency.
  • Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego graded the Raiders‘ hire of new head coach Jack Del Rio.
  • Former Bears special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis has been hired by the Broncos, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
  • The Raiders announced that they have hired Brad Seely (formerly with the 49ers) to be their special teams coordinator.
  • Jets special teams coach Thomas McGaughey will likely take Seely’s old job with the 49ers, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Coach Updates: Texans, Tomsula, Bears

The case of Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn exhibits a need for the NFL to change its rules when it comes to head coaching hires, writes Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Because Seattle is playing in the Super Bowl, no team can officially hire Quinn as a head coach until February, at which point most top assistants will have found other jobs. The Falcons still appear willing to wait on Quinn, but it would’ve been much more of a sure thing if Quinn were available immediately.

Here’s the latest on a few more coaching openings around the league:

  • Within La Canfora’s piece, the CBSSports.com scribe notes that the Texans could be in the market for an offensive coordinator since the team didn’t have one under Bill O’Brien in 2014. Doug Marrone is a good bet to resurface in Houston, according to La Canfora.
  • Jim Tomsula‘s salary as the 49ers‘ head coach is believed to be about $3.5MM per year, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). That would put Tomsula amongst the bottom five head coaches in the league in terms of annual salary, which isn’t a huge surprise since he wasn’t a high-profile candidate.
  • The Bears have put in an interview request with the Colts in the hopes of speaking to assistant Rob Chudzinski about their offensive coordinator opening, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link).
  • Bears general manager Ryan Pace said today that the team has not made a contract offer to defensive coordinator candidate Vic Fangio, but that doesn’t mean Chicago isn’t interested, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Fangio is also considered a strong contender for the same job in Washington.
  • Former Bears special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis is interviewing with the Raiders today and has two other stops lined up after Oakland, per ESPN.com’s Michael C. Wright (via Twitter).
  • The Browns‘ offensive coordinator interviews for Anthony Lynn and Al Saunders are expected to take place this week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.