John Butler

East Rumors: Cowboys, Bills, Fins, Giants

The Cowboys are nearly finished revamping their coaching staff, as they’ve promoted Keith O’Quinn to special teams coordinator and promoted Ben Bloom as linebackers coach, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. O’Quinn, who was previously Dallas’ assistant ST coach, was widely expected to be promoted to the full-time role to replace Rich Bisaccia, who left to join Jon Gruden‘s Raiders. Bloom, meanwhile, joined the Cowboys’ staff in 2011 and had most recently been an assistant coach for special projects. He’s taking over for Matt Eberflus, who is expected to become the Colts’ new defensive coordinator under presumptive head coach Josh McDaniels. Dallas is still planning to fill more two roles, tweets David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, as the club wants to hire a new tight ends coach and an assistant special teams coach to work under O’Quinn.

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

  • While the Bills‘ pass defense finished 12th in DVOA thanks to solid performances from rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White and veteran safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, Buffalo has parted ways with defensive backs coach Gill Byrd, according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News (Twitter link). To replace Byrd, the Bills have hired former Texans secondary coach John Butler, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Butler had spent the past four seasons Houston after following Bill O’Brien from Penn State to the Texans.
  • The Dolphins have also found a new defensive backs coach, the club has hired Tony Oden to replace Lou Anarumo, per Marvez. Detroit parted ways with Oden last week as the team clears out its defensive staff prior to future head coach Matt Patricia‘s arrival. Oden had been with the Lions since 2014, but his tenure in the Motor City didn’t overlap with that of Miami defensive coordinator Matt Burke, who had left the club the year prior. Oden, who will now work with Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones, and T.J. McDonald, among others, has also coached with the Saints, Buccaneers, and Jaguars.
  • One of the least productive units in the NFL has a new position coach, as the Giants have hired Hal Hunter as their offensive line coach, reports Marvez. Hunter boasts a lengthy coaching history that dates back to 1984, but he only first entered the NFL in 2006. He coached the Chargers’ offensive line and subsequently became San Diego’s offensive coordinator, and also had stops in Indianapolis and Cleveland.

Coaching Rumors: Cardinals, Bears, Giants

Pat Shurmur will be a busy man this week. The Vikings offensive coordinator has four interviews lined up in the coming days, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com: in addition to his previously reported Thursday meeting with the Lions, Shurmur will interview with the Cardinals (Thursday), Bears (Friday), and Giants (Saturday). Shurmur is currently linked to four vacancies in the NFL, tied with Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks for tops among candidates. Given that Minnesota has secured a first-round playoff bye, Shurmur is free to interview as he chooses this week.

Here’s more from the 2018 hiring cycle:

  • Although Redskins quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell was reportedly UCLA head coach Chip Kelly‘s “top target” to become the Bruins’ offensive coordinator, he won’t be going anywhere just yet. O’Connell has agreed to become Washington’s passing game coordinator, an elevated title that represents a promotion, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. O’Connell, who enjoyed a five-year playing career, has also coached for the Browns and 49ers.
  • The Texans have fired special teams coordinator Larry Izzo, assistant special teams coordinator Doug Colman, and secondary coach John Butler, while running backs coach Charles London is leaving the club of his own volition, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. Izzo’s departure shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially since Houston’s special teams have ranked in the bottom-seven of DVOA in each of Izzo’s two seasons in charge.
  • ESPN analyst Jon Gruden appears set to become the next Raiders head coach, and he’s reportedly been contacting potential staff members for weeks. Two of those coaches may be Rams quarterbacks coach Greg Olson and Bears offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn, per Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter links). Gruden is also reportedly interested in Jets OC John Morton and Bengals DC Paul Guenther.

Coach Notes: 49ers, Butler, Giants, Chargers

Adam Gase‘s coaching staff in Miami initially wasn’t expected to include more than a couple of the assistants who finished the 2015 season under Dan Campbell. However, the new Dolphins head coach ultimately decided to keep nine members of the team’s old coaching staff on board, as Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. According to Dolphins football czar Mike Tannenbaum, it was Gase – not Tannenbaum or GM Chris Grier – that made the decision to retain those coaches.

“The coaching staff in particular reports to Adam and certainly Chris and I made some suggestions, but they [all] went through and were vetted through a pretty rigorous process,” Tannenbaum said. “They wouldn’t be on our staff if Adam didn’t feel good about them.”

Here are a few more coaching notes from around the NFL:

  • Mike Vrabel wasn’t the only Texans assistant to interview for the 49ers‘ defensive coordinator job before Chip Kelly ultimately decided on Jim O’Neil. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco also spoke to Texans secondary coach John Butler about the position. “The 49ers like our coaching staff; we’ve got a really strong staff,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “John Butler is another guy that was sought after. Our staff is held in pretty high regard. I think that’s a credit to those guys and a credit to our players.”
  • The Giants interviewed former Chargers assistant Don Johnson for their defensive line coach job, according to James Kratch of NJ Advance Media. Former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni also met with the Giants recently about that role.
  • In addition to hiring a defensive line coach, the Giants may also add an assistant defensive line coach to their staff, a league source tells Kratch. Tom Coughlin didn’t have that position on his staff, but it appears Ben McAdoo is considering it.
  • Former Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who was not retained by Bill Belichick after New England’s elimination from the postseason, is meeting with the Chargers about their assistant offensive line coach job, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.