Keith Carter

Coaching Rumors: Lions, Titans, Tice, Cards

New Lions hire Paul Pasqualoni is expected to take on a “prominent role” on the club’s coaching staff, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Previous reports have indicated that Pasqualoni, who had been working as Boston College’s defensive line coach, could take over as Detroit’s defensive coordinator under Patricia (who figures to call his own defensive plays). The Lions are in need of a new DC after Teryl Austin, the team’s defensive play-caller for the past four seasons, took the same job with Cincinnati. However, Pasqualoni could instead receive an assistant head coach title, per Yates.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • Like Patricia, new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel continues to fill out his staff, as Tennessee announced today that it has hired Keith Carter to coach the club’s offensive line and Tony Dews to lead the team’s running backs. Carter, who spent the past three seasons with Atlanta, will now be in charge of a Titans front five that ranked among the league’s best in 2016 but took a significant step backwards a year ago. Dews, meanwhile, has never coached in the pro ranks, but does offer 20 years of collegiate experience, including stops at Arizona, Pitt, Michigan, and — most recently — West Virginia. Tennessee has also retained assistant offensive line coach Mike Sullivan, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News.
  • Mike Tice sounds like’s ready to call it a career. The former Vikings head coach recently told Dan Barrerio of KFAN (Twitter link) that he’s considering retirement because players “no longer want to be coached.” Whether that’s a serious threat or instead indicative of Tice’s inability to connect with today’s millennial players is unclear, but the 59-year-old Tice would be giving up a coaching career that began in 1996. Tice served as Minnesota’s head coach from 2002-05, and had spent the past three seasons as Oakland’s offensive line coach.
  • The Cardinals have hired former Titans quarterbacks coach Jason Michael as their new tight ends coach, as Marvez reports. The Cowboys also had interest in adding Michael to fill their vacant tight ends coach job, but Michael instead chose to head to the desert. Michael was previously Tennessee’s offensive coordinator from 2014-15, but was demoted when Mike Mularkey took over the Titans’ full-time head coach in 2016.
  • The Panthers had become something of a family business after hiring Norv and Scott Turner earlier this year, as the club subsequently boasted four Turners on its staff. However, Norv and Scott are the only members of the family staying on board in Carolina for the 2018 campaign, however, according to Bill Voth of Panthers.com (Twitter link). Assistant quarterbacks coach Cameron Turner is joining the University of Arizona staff, while offensive consultant Ron Turner won’t be with the club (though it’s presently unclear why).
  • The Steelers announced that they’ve hired Blaine Stewart as an offensive assistant. Stewart is the son of former West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, who gave Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin his first coaching assignment at VMI in 1995.

Extra Points: Broncos, Jags, 49ers, Falcons

The Broncos have been connected to quarterback Tony Romo, whom they could pursue in free agency if the Cowboys cut him, but head coach Vance Joseph insisted Tuesday that Denver’s 2017 starter is already on its roster. On whether he’s committed to Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, Joseph said (via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com): “Absolutely, I am. They’re both smart guys. Obviously different skill sets, but I’m committed to both of those kids. They’re good football players and we’ve got to build around those guys.” Joseph’s offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, echoed his boss, saying he’s “happy with the guys we have.”

After the Broncos hired Joseph and McCoy last month, Mike Klis of 9News reported that the club would rather start Lynch than Siemian next season. As a first-round rookie last year, Lynch sat behind Siemian – who fared OK in his first season as a No. 1 – but did see action in three games and pick up two starts.

More from around the NFL:

  • Browns linebacker Jamie Collins and cornerback Joe Haden; Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and punter Marquette King; and Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David each saw portions of their contracts become fully guaranteed Wednesday. The details can be found here, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry.
  • Of Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas‘ $7MM salary in 2017, $3MM will become fully guaranteed Friday, per Corry, but Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union disputes that. Thomas isn’t due to receive the $3MM until March 9, the first day of the league year, a source told O’Halloran (Twitter link).
  • The Kyle Shanahan-led 49ers will hire longtime NFL defensive lineman Jeff Zgonina as their D-line coach, reports Sporting News’ Alex Marvez. Zgonina, who played in the league from 1993-2005, spent last season assisting along the Giants’ defensive line.
  • Shanahan could bring former Falcons colleague Eric Sutulovich with him to the 49ers, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Sutulovich, who’s the Falcons’ assistant special teams coach, will likely interview to become the 49ers’ ST coordinator, relays Caplan.
  • One assistant the Falcons won’t lose is Keith Carter, whom they promoted to running backs coach Wednesday. Carter worked as Atlanta’s assistant offensive line coach over the previous two seasons. The club is also likely to hire Bryant Young to replace the fired Bryan Cox as its defensive line coach, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Young, a four-time Pro Bowl D-lineman who accumulated 89.5 sacks as a careerlong 49er from 1994-2007, played under Falcons head coach Dan Quinn in San Francisco (2001-04) and coached alongside him at Florida (2011-12).

NFC South Notes: Benson, S-Jax, Falcons

A court in San Antonio ruled yesterday that Saints owner Tom Benson needs help in managing his assets in Texas, as Katherine Sayre of The Times-Picayune writes. Meanwhile, Benson’s daughter Renee is seeking to overthrow Tom as trustee in the Texas trust, arguing he has mismanaged assets and is in declining health.

Benson, who owns the NBA’s Pelicans in addition to the Saints, suffered another loss in court today, when a New Orleans judge ruled that the 87-year-old must undergo evaluations by three different doctors to determine whether he remains competent to control his NFL and NBA franchises. As Andy Grimm of the Times-Picayune details, one doctor will be appointed by Benson, one by his daughter Renee, and the third will be named by those first two physicians.

Here’s more on the Benson story, along with a couple other notes out of the NFC South:

  • Saints owner Tom Benson issued a statement regarding his current situation and it sounds like he has no intention of backing down. “I have instructed my attorneys to spare no effort in defending my rights and the decisions I have made. The decisions I have made are well within my rights to make at any point in my life, and rest assured that I am making sound decisions. I need not look any further than to read the allegations made against me in these multiple lawsuits to rest easy that I have made the correct decisions,” Benson said in the statement (via Saints VP of communications Greg Bensel on Twitter).
  • Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter) doesn’t expect Steven Jackson to be back with the Falcons next season. McClure notes that Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan declined to address Jackson’s future with the team, though that would ultimately be more in the court of head coach Dan Quinn.  Jackson, 32 in July, appeared in 15 games for the Falcons last season, running for 707 yards off of 190 carries with 6 TDs. Cutting Jackson would save Atlanta $3.75MM against the cap.
  • The Falcons officially announced the rest of their coaching staff for the upcoming season. Atlanta hired Keith Carter as assistant offensive line coach, Matt LaFleur as quarterbacks coach, Doug Mallory as defensive assistant/linebackers coach, Marquand Manuel as secondary coach/senior defensive assistant, Mike McDaniel as offensive assistant, Chris Morgan as offensive line coach, Jeff Ulbrich as linebackers coach, and Chad Walker as defensive assistant/defensive backs.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.