Joe Woods

Joe Woods To Join 49ers’ Staff

The Broncos’ recent revamp forced 2018 coordinators Joe Woods and Bill Musgrave to look for work elsewhere, and the former found it in the Bay Area.

Woods agreed to become the 49ers’ passing-game coordinator on defense, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The two-year Broncos defensive coordinator interviewed with the 49ers on Tuesday and drew interest from other teams.

Denver’s No-Fly Zone position coach from 2015-16, Woods replaced Wade Phillips as DC in 2017. The Broncos were not able to replicate the success they had under Phillips, particularly in defending air attacks, but Woods’ group remained an upper-echelon unit during his tenure.

Woods spent time in the Bay Area previously, serving as the 2014 Raiders’ defensive backs coach. He has been an NFL assistant since 2004, overseeing secondaries until his 2017 promotion.

The Cardinals and Redskins wanted Woods to coach their respective secondaries, but instead the 48-year-old assistant will join Kyle Shanahan‘s staff. Shanahan interviewed for the Broncos’ HC job that ultimately went to Vance Joseph in 2017. Woods also spent time as the Buccaneers’ secondary coach, which overlapped with Shanahan’s first NFL job — Tampa Bay’s offensive quality control coach from 2004-05.

The 49ers are retaining most of Robert Saleh‘s defensive staff but in recent days added Woods and defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, the latter replacing Jeff Zgonina.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Colts, 49ers, Dolphins

The Colts are letting offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo go elsewhere, sources tell Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Even though the Colts’ OL improved greatly in 2018, head coach Frank Reich wants to bring in his own guy, Garafolo hears. DeGuglielmo, who was originally selected by would-be coach Josh McDaniels, is being recommended by Reich to other coaches around the league.

The move comes as a surprise given the results that DeGuglielmo was able to get out of his group last season. However, Reich and DeGuglielmo were not on the same page. You can expect a healthy market for DeGuglielmo’s services and he shouldn’t be unemployed for long.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods will interview with the 49ers on Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Woods is not expected to return under new head coach Vic Fangio, but he’s not receiving DC interest from other teams either. In addition to the SF interview, Woods has also spoken with the Redskins and Cardinals about positions on their staff.
  • New Jets coach Adam Gase says he did not ask for control of the 53-man roster (via Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald). He also says that he never requested that power with the Dolphins; rather, it was something offered up to him during negotiations with Miami.
  • Terry Robiskie is expected to become the Jaguars‘ new running backs coach, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (on Twitter). Robiskie has played and coached the position before at the NFL level and the Jags apparently believe that he can get the most out of star rusher Leonard Fournette.

Joe Woods Deciding Between Cards, Redskins

Former Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods will interview for the Redskins’ defensive backs coach job, and then decide between joining Washington or the Cardinals in the same role, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link).

Woods, who succeeded Wade Phillips as Denver’s defensive coordinator in 2017, doesn’t appear to be generating any DC interest around the NFL despite leading a defense that’s ranked top-10 in DVOA in each of the past two seasons (including fifth in 2018). Arizona would seem to be a natural destination for Woods, as he’d once again be working under ex-Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, who was recently hired as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator.

Meanwhile in Denver, co-defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson is not expected to return as a member of new head coach Vic Fangio‘s staff, and he’s also drawing interest from the Cardinals, tweets Klis. The Broncos’ other secondary coach — Greg Williams — won’t be back either, and he’s been linked to the Panthers and the Lions, per Klis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Jets, Stefanski, Schiano

Former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph is a “strong candidate” to become the Jets‘ defensive coordinator under new head coach Adam Gase, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). While it doesn’t sound as though New York has officially reached out to Joseph yet, the connection makes sense, as Joseph served as Gase’s DC in 2016 before landing the top job in Denver. Joseph interviewed for the Bengals’ head coaching job and remains a candidate there, but the Jets clearly present something of a fallback plan.

On the offensive side of the ball, Dowell Loggains — who worked under Gase with both the Bears and Dolphins — is expected to be involved in Gase’s staff, tweets Jeff Darlington of NFL.com. However, Loggains is still technically Miami’s offensive coordinator and will need to get out of his contract, per Rapoport (Twitter link).

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods has drawn interest as a defensive backs coach from both the Redskins and Jaguars, and as many as three teams are eyeing Woods, possibly even as a coordinator, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Denver had not been allowing its assistant coaches take interviews with other teams, but that will change now that new head coach Vic Fangio is in place. Fangio is a defensive coach by trade, so he may take on play-calling now that he’s in Denver. Even if he doesn’t call plays himself, Fangio might want to bring in his own DC, so Woods is certainly in limbo. A longtime defensive backs coach, Woods took over the Broncos defense in 2017.
  • In returning as the Vikingsfull-time offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski inked a two-year deal, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link). Stefanski is now signed for longer than head coach Mike Zimmer, whose contract expires after the 2019 campaign. The 36-year-old Stefanski took over as Minnesota’s OC after John DeFilippo was fired, and lead the club’s offense for the final three games of the regular season. Despite that limited track record, Stefanski was a serious candidate for the Browns’ head coaching position, finishing second only to Freddie Kitchens.
  • New Packers head coach Matt LaFleur will likely implement much of his own staff, at least on the offensive side of the ball, but one incumbent Green Bay staffer has already received an offer to stick around. LaFleur wants tight ends coach Brian Angelichio to stay with the Packers, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Angelichio worked with Kyle Shanahan on the 2014 Browns’ staff, meaning he has experience with the Sean McVay/Shanahan/LaFleur offense. He’s been with Green Bay since 2016.
  • Klint Kubiak is receiving “strong consideration” for the Broncos‘ quarterbacks coach job, tweets Klis. Kubiak is the son of Gary Kubiak, the former Denver head coach who was today installed as the club’s offensive coordinator under new head coach Vic Fangio. Klint Kubiak, 31, began his coaching career at Texas A&M before moving to the Vikings in 2013. He joined the Broncos in 2016, serving as an offensive assistant focusing on quarterbacks.
  • In announcing defensive coordinator Greg Schiano‘s departure from Ohio State, head coach Ryan Day said Schiano would be pursuing “options in the NFL” (Twitter link). That’s certainly a vague statement, and doesn’t indicate Schiano has a specific job lined up, but he could be in consideration for DC or position coach gigs around the league. Head coach of the Buccaneers from 2012-13, Schiano was rumored to have generated NFL interest at this time last year, but he ultimately stayed at OSU.

East Rumors: Foles, Woods, Jets, Bills

Nick Foles played a major role in ensuring the Super Bowl champions could attempt to defend their title in this year’s playoffs, and the Eagles want to compensate him accordingly. The veteran quarterback came four plays short of a $1MM bonus in Week 17, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes the Eagles are trying to find a solution to pay him that bonus. The Eagles sweetened Foles’ deal this past offseason, after he’d led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title. One of these incentives would have triggered had the Eagles made the playoffs with Foles playing 33 percent of the snaps. With Carson Wentz‘s backup being required to start and finish the season, that became attainable. But Foles went down during the Eagles’ Week 17 win over the Redskins.

Here is the latest from the Eastern front:

  • Jay Gruden will remain in Washington, but one of his assistants will not. The Redskins are letting secondary coach Torrian Gray go, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Washington appears to have two-year Denver defensive coordinator Joe Woods in mind for this job, but the Jaguars are also eyeing Woods, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The Broncos’ hiring of Vic Fangio would appear to point to Woods being free to seek work elsewhere. Gray coached Washington’s DBs the past two years.
  • The Bills extended in-season quarterback acquisitions Derek Anderson and Matt Barkley recently, and the Buffalo backups’ salaries are now known. Barkley signed a two-year extension that will produce non-guaranteed base salaries of $1.25MM in 2019 and $1.5MM in 2020, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com notes, adding Barkley will receive a $600K signing bonus ($200K of which counts against Buffalo’s 2018 cap). Near-$1MM incentives exist in each season of this deal, too. Anderson signed a one-year extension for the veteran minimum ($1.03MM), per Rodak (on Twitter). He received a $90K signing bonus.
  • Jets tight end Chris Herndon pleaded guilty to a New Jersey DWI charge, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. This comes from a June 2018 arrest following a car accident. This will likely result in a 2019 suspension for the Jets’ top tight end.

Extra Points: Falcons, Giants, Eagles, Bucs

The 1-4 Falcons could face the Buccaneers without running back Devonta Freeman, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Freeman, who missed three games with an MCL sprain, is actually dealing with a new injury, as Rapoport indicates it’s a bone bruise that’s threatening to keep Freeman out of Sunday’s action. While Freeman didn’t practice today, he did work on the side, although his status for Week 6 is “in doubt, per Rapoport. Without Freeman, Atlanta would deploy a Tevin Coleman/Ito Smith combination that was used in Weeks 2-5.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Speaking of injury news, the Giants have already ruled out tight end Evan Engram for Thursday night’s game against the Eagles, meaning Rhett Ellison, who has shouldered the load since Week 3, will take over at tight end once again. Edge rusher Oliver Vernon, who’s missed the entire season to this point with an ankle issue, will make his 2018 debut. On the other side of the field, the Eagles have listed defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, safety Corey Graham, and running back Darren Sproles as out. The latter two are especially concerning, as Philadelphia recent placed defensive back Rodney McLeod and running back Jay Ajayi on injured reserve.
  • Although Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said he’d make changes following a loss to the Jets on Sunday, defensive coordinator Joe Woods will not be relieved of his play-calling duties, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). Denver gave up 512 yards of offense against New York, including a whopping 334 on the ground. Joseph, a former defensive coordinator himself, could potentially take over play-calling, but that’s not a move that will happen this week. Joseph also indicated that cornerback Bradley Roby, who was burned by Jets receiver Robby Anderson in Week 5, is still a starter “for now.” Adam Jones, who’s played on roughly a third of the Broncos’ defensive snaps thus far, could see more snaps if Roby is benched.
  • Under the terms of his five-year extension with the Buccaneers, guard Ali Marpet will earn $12.365MM through one year, $23.25MM through two years, and $33.5MM through three years, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Among left guards, Marpet’s $11MM annual average now ranks third, behind only Andrew Norwell and Kelechi Osemele, while his $27.125MM in guarantees ranks second. Marpet, who has started 44 games during his time in the NFL, has displayed exceptional versatility, as he’s played both guard spots and center in his career.
  • Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson pleaded guilty to simple possession and failure to exercise due care while driving but subsequently had a DUI charge against him dismissed, per a report from the Associated Press. Johnson’s original arrest occurred in the summer of 2017, more than a year before Denver gave him $50K in guaranteed money to sign as an undrafted free agent. A Tennessee product, Johnson hadn’t played football in more than four years before landing with the Broncos, in part due to a rape charge of which he was later acquitted. He’s been inactive for every game in 2018.

Broncos Shake Up Coaching Staff

Black Monday did not result in Vance Joseph‘s ouster, but his first staff is splintering as the Broncos begin an effort to re-emerge from a 5-11 season.

The Broncos are gutting their coaching staff, making decisions to fire wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, running backs coach Eric Studesville and special teams coordinator Brock Olivo, Mike Klis of 9News and Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post report (all Twitter links).

DC Joe Woods and OC Bill Musgrave are going to be back, Jhabvala and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport report (Twitter links). The Broncos, though, will be looking for a third ST coach in three years after Olivo’s units struggled with turnovers and the allowing of big plays this season.

Studesville was the Broncos’ longest-tenured assistant and was the team’s interim coach after Josh McDaniels‘ tenure ended late in the 2010 season. Tolbert served as wideouts coach since the ’11 campaign, joining when John Fox‘s tenure began. Studesville declined an interview for the Jets’ OC vacancy last year and was fired despite the Broncos’ rushing attack climbing from the No. 27 to No. 12 between 2016 and ’17. This season marked the first since 2011 the Broncos didn’t have a 1,000-yard receiver.

Rapoport notes (on Twitter) Gary Kubiak‘s expanded front office role likely has meant he’s been involved in the decisions, with John Elway‘s personnel department being one of the NFL’s smallest groups.

Latest On Broncos/Wade Phillips Split

The Broncos and Wade Phillips could not agree on terms to bring back the DC for a third season in Denver, re-routing the veteran assistant to his 10th NFL franchise. Conflicting reports have attempted to illuminate some reasons why the architect of the league’s top defense the past two years will be overseeing the Rams’ unit in 2017.

A report earlier this week indicated Phillips played a role in pitting the Broncos’ defense against their offense, dividing the locker room and alleging the DC was responsible for a similar situation on the 2013 Texans. Phillips himself shot back (Twitter link) and denied any such claim, something which All-Pro cornerback Chris Harris (via Twitter) backed up.

The somewhat surprising split after Phillips helped guide the Broncos to their third Super Bowl championship a year ago may have occurred for several reasons, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk describes it as an amicable breakup. Phillips’ daughter lives in Los Angeles, leading Phillips to the understandable desire to want to relocate there if given the opportunity. But 2016 negotiations for a second Phillips contract in Denver featured a chasm between the sides on terms.

Phillips, per Florio, wanted to be the highest-paid defensive coordinator in football after playing a key role in leading a defensively powered Super Bowl team. The Broncos, though, resisted, and NFL veteran of more than 30 years entered this season on an expiring contract. Denver’s pass defense finished with a top-10 all-time DVOA in 2016 en route to ending up as the top DVOA total defense for a second straight year, and the 69-year-old coach became a sought-after commodity on the open market. He drew interest from the Browns, Redskins and Rams before deciding to move west.

Denver’s new DC, Joe Woods, was also drawing interest as a possible coordinator candidate, Florio notes. The Broncos did not want to lose a potential rising talent to another team, so they promoted Woods to fill Phillips’ spot shortly after he left. The team could have blocked the 46-year-old Woods from interviewing elsewhere — something that wasn’t rumored prior to him being promoted — but chose to promote him instead of denying him an opportunity. Current Broncos HC Vance Joseph experienced this two years ago, when the Bengals denied their then-defensive backs coach permission to become the Denver DC in 2015, leading to Phillips’ return to Colorado.

Broncos To Promote Joe Woods To DC

The Broncos will promote defensive backs coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Woods will replace former DC Wade Phillips, who joined the Rams in the same capacity after his contract with the Broncos expired.Joe Woods (Vertical)

[RELATED: 2017 OC/DC Search Tracker]

New Denver head coach Vance Joseph has now locked up his playcallers on both sides of the ball, as Woods will join former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy as a Broncos coordinator. Woods had been viewed as the likely choice at DC since the moment Joseph was hired, and was one of only two known candidates for the position. Reggie Herring, Denver’s linebackers coach, was also set to interview for the job, but it’s unclear if he ever actually met with Joseph.

Had Woods not been the presumptive choice for DC, the Broncos and Joseph likely would have attempted to retain Phillips and sign him to a contract extension, per Troy Renck of Denver7 (Twitter links). However, an NFC club requested permission to interview Woods for its DC position, and Denver wasn’t inclined to risk losing him, per Renck.

Woods, 46, has 25 years of coaching experience under his belt, and has been coaching in the NFL ranks since 2004. Since joining the Broncos in 2015, Woods has led Denver to the No. 1 DVOA ranking against the pass in two consecutive seasons, while many of his pupils — including Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Bradley Roby, and T.J. Ward — have flourished.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Broncos Coaching Staff

The Broncos coaching staff looks a whole lot different than it did 48 hours ago. On Wednesday, the organization announced that they had hired former Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as their new head coach. Last night saw two more changes. Former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips joined the Rams while the Broncos were finalizing a deal with new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Defensive backs coach Joe Woods is considered the favorite to be promoted to the defensive coordinator position, although he still has some competition for the gig. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos will also be interviewing Reggie Herring for the opening. Herring spent the past two seasons as the team’s linebackers coach, and he handled some defensive play-calling duties earlier this season. Herring has also served as the linebackers coach for the Texans, Cowboys, and Bears.

As we wrap our head around all of these coaching moves, let’s take a look at some additional changes in Denver…

  • While McCoy seems to be in the driver’s seat for the offensive coordinator gig, Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post notes (via Twitter) that the organization still plans on interviewing Bill Musgrave today. The long-time coach spent the past two seasons as the Raiders offensive coordinator.
  • The Broncos have parted ways with tight ends coach Brian Pariani, according to Troy Renck of ABC Denver7 (via Twitter). Meanwhile, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports that offensive line coach Clancy Barone also won’t be back. Finally, Klis reports (via Twitter) that Joseph notified special teams assistant Tony Coaxum and offensive line assistant Jim Cregg that they also wouldn’t be retained for next season.
  • Joseph acknowledged that Phillips is “one of [his] football dads,” but he also admitted that Woods was “ready to be a coordinator,” as ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold passes along (via Twitter). Wolfe tweets that the Broncos loved Phillips, but the organization saw higher potential in Woods.
  • Jason La Canfora tweets that general manager John Elway was in favor of changes to the Broncos coaching staff even if former head coach Gary Kubiak stuck around. Klis adds (via Twitter) that Joseph wanted “sweeping changes” when it came to his new staff.