John Bonamego

NFC North Notes: Packers, Lions, Vikings

The Packers tried to hire Ravens scout Milt Hendrickson last year, but then-GM Ozzie Newsome blocked the move. Last month, Green Bay was rumored to have a more successful approach lined up. On Tuesday, Hendrickson and the Packers reached an agreement that will bring him to Wisconsin with a promotion. A Ravens scout for 14 years, Hendrickson will become the Packers’ director of football operations, Michael Cohen of The Athletic tweets. This was Eliot Wolf‘s title before he relocated to Cleveland. Hendrickson and Packers GM Brian Gutekunst have been friends for more than 20 years, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who adds it is believed Hendrickson allowed his Ravens contract to expire so he could join Gutekunst with the Packers. Prior to Newsome hiring Hendrickson in 2005, Gutekunst helped him land a scouting internship with the Packers. Hendrickson served as a regional and national scout with the Ravens. He will join co-directors of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowski as top Gutekunst assistants in the Green Bay front office.

Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • Six-season Jaguars special teams staffer Mike Mallory interviewed for ST positions with the Packers, Silverstein notes, adding the Packers are talking to two other candidates as well — possibly to fill two ST positions. Mallory served as Jacksonville’s head ST coach from 2013-16 before the team hired Joe DeCamillis to serve in that role. The Jags kept Mallory on as DeCamillis’ assistant the past two years.
  • On the subject of this division’s special teams leaders, the Lions announced they are bringing back John Bonamego as their ST coordinator. Bonamego left the Lions after the 2014 season to take over as head coach of his alma mater, Central Michigan. However, the Chippewas fired him after the 2018 campaign. He was previously Detroit’s ST boss from 2013-14. Interestingly, he was Mallory’s predecessor as Jaguars ST coordinator. He also served in this role for the Packers, Saints and Dolphins since 2003. The Lions fired Joe Marciano as their ST coordinator midseason.
  • While the Vikings again selected a cornerback in the first round last year in Mike Hughes, perhaps their offensive line needs should have won out. In an ESPN.com redraft, Courtney Cronin wrote Bears interior lineman James Daniels would have been the better choice (ESPN+ link). Daniels became a full-time starter with the Bears as a second-round rookie, being a first-string presence in Chicago’s final 10 regular-season games. ESPN also gave the Lions a different offensive lineman with their first pick, Michael Rothstein pulling the trigger on Giants guard Will Hernandez instead of Frank Ragnow.

Lions Hire Special Teams Coach Joe Marciano

The Lions have hired Joe Marciano to be their special teams coach, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, per Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). Marciano served as the Vikings interim special teams coordinator last year, and spent 11 seasons previously with the Houston Texans (Twitter link).

He replaces John Bonamego, who accepted the head coaching position at Central Michigan University.

 

Coaching Notes: Steelers, Falcons, Raiders

Former Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler is now the club’s defensive coordinator, so a pair of assistants have received promotions to fill the hole on the staff. The Steelers announced today that Jerry Olsavsky will coach the team’s inside linebackers, while Joey Porter will coach the outside linebackers, according to Steelers.com. Both coaches played linebacker for the Steelers before coming back to coach with the organization.

Here are some other coaching notes from around the NFL:

  • We heard earlier this week that Seahawks assistant Marquand Manuel was expected to follow Dan Quinn to Atlanta, and Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com confirms that news today, tweeting that Manuel signed his two-year deal to join the Falcons. He’ll serve as the club’s defensive backs coach and senior defensive consultant. McClure gives credit to his colleague Josina Anderson for the report.
  • After announcing earlier today that Ken Norton Jr. would be their new defensive coordinator, the Raiders are filling out the defensive staff under Norton. University of Miami defensive line coach Jethro Franklin will be headed to Oakland to accept the same job with the Raiders, reports Thayer Evans of SI.com (via Twitter).
  • Central Michigan University has hired Lions special teams coach John Bonamego to be their new head coach, reports Hondo Carter of SpartanNation.com (via Twitter). It will be Bonamego’s first head coaching opportunity.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.