Joe Pannunzio

Eagles Make Staff Changes

The Eagles are bringing on more staffers and reshuffling assignments for some holdover coaches. Two new coaches are joining Philadelphia’s staff, and three others will receive promotions.

Phillip Daniels will move from assistant defensive line coach to overseeing that position group. The 15-year NFL defensive end joined the Eagles when Doug Pederson was hired in 2016. A seventh-year Eagles staffer, Matthew Harper will make a more notable shift, transitioning from assistant special teams coach to assistant wide receivers coach. T.J. Paganetti will move from assistant offensive line coach/offense quality control to assistant running backs coach.

The new coaches joining Philly’s staff will be Mike Bartrum (assistant tight ends coach) and Luke Thompson (assistant special teams). An NFL long snapper from 1993-2006, Bartrum comes to the Eagles after being a head high school football coach in Ohio. He finished his career with seven seasons in Philadelphia. Thompson will also make a big level jump, joining Pederson’s staff from Lafayette (Pa.) College. His most recent role was serving as Lafayette’s defensive coordinator. Thompson, however, has been a college coach for 20 years.

Joe Pannunzio was already reported to be joining the Eagles’ front office, but the team revealed his role will be to director of team development. This marks a return to the front office for Pannunzio, who served as an Eagles exec from 2015-16. He was an Alabama assistant in 2017 and Murray State’s head coach in 2018.

Additionally, the team tinkered with its front office. Patrick Dolan will move to the role of VP of football technology. Dolan is a 30-year NFL staffer and is in his seventh year with the Eagles. Jon Ferrari‘s title is now VP of football operations and compliance. Ferrari was an NFL league office staffer from 2007-16. Former Browns exec Andrew Berry is now the Eagles’ VP of football operations.

Staff Notes: 49ers, Chiefs, Eagles, Packers

Former NFL wide receiver Miles Austin is joining the 49ers as an offensive quality control coach, tweets Field Yates of Austin, 34, spent the majority of his playing career with the Cowboys and then joined the Dallas scouting staff after announcing his retirement in 2016. The Cowboys interviewed Austin for their vacant wide receivers job last offseason, but that gig ultimately went to Sanjay Lal. Austin will join recent retirees Wes Welker (receivers) and DeMeco Ryans (inside linebackers) on the San Francisco staff.

Here’s more from the NFL’s coaching carousel:

  • The Chiefs have hired Dave Merritt as their new defensive backs coach, per Yates (Twitter link). Merritt was actually hired as the Jaguars’ assistant defensive line coach earlier this offseason, but Jacksonville has apparently let him out his contract in order to pursue a better opportunity. The 47-year-old Merritt worked under new Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in New York, working as the Giants’ defensive backs coach alongside Spags from 2007-08. The Chiefs haven’t announced whether incumbent secondary coaches Emmitt Thomas and Al Harris will be retained.
  • Alabama running backs coach Joe Pannunzio will leave Tuscaloosa in order to take an undisclosed role with the Eagles, reports Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network (Twitter link). The 59-year-old Pannunzio, who previously served as the head coach at Murray State, worked in Philadelphia’s personnel department under former head coach Chip Kelly from 2015-16. The Eagles already have a running backs coach in place in Duce Staley (who also holds the title of assistant head coach), so it’s unclear if Pannunzio will join the club’s on-field staff or instead head to the front office.
  • The Packers announced that they’ve hired Luke Butkus as assistant offensive line coach and Rayna Stewart as a special teams quality control coach. Butkus, the nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, will work under new Green Bay OL coach Adam Stenavich, while Stewart will advise new ST coordinator Shawn Mennenga.

Extra Points: Tannehill, Foles, Bryant

Former Creative Artists Agency employee Ben Dogra is now the co-CEO of the football division at Relativity Sports, as Darren Heitner of writes. As of September 26, Dogra was on record as representing 39 players signed to NFL deals, but it’s not clear how many he’ll be taking over with him. Dogra will share duties with contract advisor Eugene Parker, an interesting twist since the two men were bitter rivals for nearly two decades in the business. More from around the NFL..

  • There is a lot of work for the Dolphins to do this offseason, but their biggest decision might be how to handle the contract situation of starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, James Walker of writes. Miami could trigger Tannehill’s expensive fifth-year team option at $15MM, work out a long-term extension, or roll the dice and wait it out with the QB. The $15MM option is obviously steep, but Miami could theoretically justify it by contrasting it to Tannehill’s $2.117MM salary for 2015. Averaged out, that’s just $8.5MM per year.
  • Sheil Kapadia of Philadelphia Magazine looked at the Eagles‘ quarterback spot. There has been buzz that the Eagles will replace quarterback Nick Foles with Marcus Mariota, but it seems like a longshot that they can move up to No. 1 to grab the Oregon product. Instead, Kapadia sees Foles staying while the Eagles bring in a new backup to replace Mark Sanchez and a developmental prospect to replace Matt Barkley.
  • Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News is optimistic when it comes to the Cowboys‘ chances of keeping their two star free agents. He’s about 100% certain that Dez Bryant will be back in Dallas and 70-75% on DeMarco Murray.
  • The Patriots announced that special teams coordinator Scott O’Brien is retiring and assistant coach Joe Judge has been elevated to his role, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (on Twitter).
  • The Eagles announced (on Twitter) that Matthew Harper will be the team’s new assistant defensive backs coach while Michael Clay will be the new assistant special teams coach. The Eagles (link) also hired Princeton’s inside linebackers coach Stephen Thomas to be the team’s defensive quality control coach.
  • Alabama Director of Football Operations, Joe Pannunzio, is also headed to the Eagles, according to Aaron Suttles of The Tuscaloosa News (on Twitter).