Ken Dorsey

Falcons To Interview Bevell, Dorsey

The Falcons are interviewing multiple free agent coaches for their vacant quarterbacks coach position. Recently fired assistants Darrell Bevell and Ken Dorsey are set to interview for the post, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Bevell has spent the past 12 seasons as an offensive coordinator, with the Vikings from 2006-10 and Seahawks from 2011-17. He will interview for this lower-level perch nonetheless. Mike Shula won’t, however, with Ledbetter reporting the ex-Panthers offensive coordinator wants to catch on as an OC somewhere else.

The Falcons also interviewed Greg Knapp and Jedd Fisch for this job, one that’s becoming quite the competition. The Falcons already announced Steve Sarkisian will return for a second season as OC, and the team looks set to add a big name to work under him.

These coaches are vying to replace Bush Hamdan, who left at season’s end to become OC at the University of Washington.

Bevell last worked as a QBs coach from 2003-05, when he oversaw Brett Favre‘s work with the Packers. Dorsey coached Panthers passers from 2013-17. Bevell and Quinn worked together as coordinators in Seattle from 2013-14.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Fire OC Mike Shula

The Panthers announced that offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey have been fired. Mike Shula (vertical)

Shula spent the past seven seasons with the team, working as quarterbacks coach for two seasons before becoming offensive coordinator in 2013. Last year, Carolina finished 19th in total offense (323.7), 17th in offensive DVOA, fourth in rushing offense (131.4), 28th in passing (192.3), and 12th in points (22.7). Ultimately, it wasn’t good enough as the Panthers were eliminated in the first stage of the playoffs.

Dorsey has been the Panthers’ QBs coach for the last five seasons. Although he has groomed Cam Newton into one of the league’s finest quarterbacks, the Panthers believe that they can do better.

The staff shakeup comes just days after a multi-year extension for head coach Ron Rivera. Between the firing of Shula and Dorsey and the likely departure of Steve Wilks, the Panthers will see serious turnover in 2018.

The Panthers join the Bears, Browns, Packers, and Giants as teams in search of a new offensive coordinator.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Broncos, Giants, Cowboys

The Broncos have made an interesting set of choices in replacing fired offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, as the club announced that Sean Kugler has been hired as offensive line coach-guards/centers, while Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports that Chris Strausser — who spent the 2017 campaign as Denver’s assistant OL coach — will tutor the Broncos’ tackles (Twitter link). It’s a compelling set of hires, as hiring a combination of coaches to lead separate parts of one position unit is something that usually occurs on the defensive side of the ball (safeties/cornerbacks, outside/inside linebackers). Elsewhere on the Denver staff, former interim quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak is considered a candidate to become the the Broncos’ next wide receivers coach, tweets Mike Klis of 9News.

Here’s more on the 2018 hiring cycle:

  • Former Broncos assistant head coach/running backs Eric Studesville was scheduled to interview for the Giants‘ head coaching vacancy over the weekend, but weather-related concerns forced that meeting to be pushed back. Instead, New York will interview Studesville on Tuesday, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Studesville, who had been employed in Denver since 2010, was fired earlier this week. While he’s never been a head coach, the 50-year-old Studesville did serve as an interim HC during the 2010 campaign.
  • While the Raiders reportedly have interest in adding Cowboys running backs Gary Brown to Jon Gruden‘s staff, Dallas wants to keep Brown — who is a coaching free agent — as well, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Brown, who enjoyed a nine-year career as an NFL running back, first entered the coaching ranks with Cleveland in 2009. Oakland has been aggressive in hiring staffers under Gruden, as it’s agreed to bring in Greg Olson as offensive coordinator and Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator.
  • If Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur lands a head coaching gig in the coming weeks, he’s expected to bring Panthers quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey along with him, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Dorsey, 36, has spent his entire post-playing career in Carolina, first as a pro scout and now as QBs coach. He interviewed for the Bills’ offensive coordinator position in 2017, but Buffalo ultimately hired Rick Dennison.
  • The Bengals will interview Baylor wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell for the same position in Cincinnati, according to Marvez (Twitter link). Bicknell coached in the NFL from 2008-16, most recently with the 49ers, and interviewed with Chicago last offseason. Cincinnati, meanwhile, lost WRs coach James Urban to the division-rival Ravens.

Bills Interview Ken Dorsey For OC

New Bills head coach Sean McDermott is continuing his search for an offensive coordinator by interviewing Panthers quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey for the position on Wednesday, a source tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.Ken Dorsey (Vertical)

[RELATED: 2017 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

Buffalo has already struck out on several offensive coordinator candidates, with the latest being former Jaguars play-caller Greg Olson, who spurned the Bills in order to become the Rams’ quarterback coach. McDermott & Co. was also thought to have interest in Chiefs co-offensive coordinator Brad Childress, but a recent report indicated that Childress is no longer in contention for the position. Former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was also considered a candidate, but he’s already been hired by Denver.

Dorsey, 35, has worked with McDermott in Carolina for the past several years — the former Miami Hurricane quarterback was initially hired as a pro scout before the Panthers named him their QBs coach in 2013. Dorsey, who carved out a six-year NFL as a backup signal-caller, helped lead Cam Newton to his MVP season in 2015 and has long been thought of as a future offensive coordinator.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: Panthers, Bears, 49ers, Jets

After going 15-1 and losing the Super Bowl last season, the Panthers have taken a huge step back in 2016. The team enters the final week of the season with a 6-9 record, and both the offense and the defense rank towards the bottom half of the league in several team stats.

Despite the struggles, coach Ron Rivera indicated that he isn’t anticipating any changes to his coaching staff…as long as it’s his decision.

“Remember, it’s the same group that was 15-1, same group that led the league in scoring,” Rivera told Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “And in the last five years, we’ve had a top-10 defense. So as I look it and break things down, yeah, there’s some things that we have to work on and change. You guys heard me talk about evolving. We have to.”

As Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com points out, Rivera hasn’t stuck to similar promises in the past. For instance, the team relieved special teams coach Richard Rodgers of his duties following the 2014 campaign. Gantt believes that offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey could find themselves on the hot seat.

Let’s take a look at some other coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Things haven’t gone as planned during John Fox‘s second season with the Bears. The team is looking to avoid their worst 16-game record in franchise history, and blame will naturally lie on the head coach. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes that chairman George McCaskey will likely wait until the end of the season to make any decisions on his coaching staff’s fate. Campbell notes that the organization waited until the 2014 offseason to fire general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman.
  • Eric Branch of SFGate.com wonders if head coach Chip Kelly‘s unwillingness to adjust his fast-paced gameplan could ultimately lead to his demise with the 49ers. As the writer notes, the coach wasn’t necessarily put in a position to succeed with a lack of talent on the roster. However, Campbell believes the coach’s devotion to his gameplan could come up during offseason discussions with CEO Jed York and a new general manager (assuming Trent Baalke is fired). For what it’s worth, Kelly hasn’t indicated that he’s willing to change his ways. “I think we always look at everything on a weekly basis trying to see how we can improve,” Kelly said following his team’s overtime loss to the Jets in early December. “You look at the game yesterday: It’s about making one more play than the other team. It’s not like we’re getting taken to the woodshed and don’t have an opportunity to compete and play.”
  • Jets head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan are expected to receive a “mulligan” from owner Woody Johnson for the team’s subpar performance this season, writes ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. The writer acknowledges that it’s been a tough year for the organization, but he also notes that it’d be a knee-jerk reaction to fire the tandem after only two seasons.