Kevin Garver

Coaching Rumors: Panthers, Packers, Giants

Eric Washington will return as the Panthers‘ defensive coordinator in 2019, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. Head coach Ron Rivera took over defensive play-calling late last season and will continue with those responsibilities next year, but Washington will be back as DC. Carolina is interviewing former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and former Jaguars defensive backs coach Perry Fewell, but neither of those potential hire would affect Washington’s standing on the Panthers’ staff.

Here’s more from the 2019 hiring cycle:

  • The Cardinals will retain special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, tweets Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com. Kliff Kingsbury convinced Rodgers to stay even though he was fielding offers from other clubs, per Darlington. Meanwhile, the Cardinals received permission to interview Packers wide receivers coach David Raih for the same position, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Green Bay wasn’t planning to retain Raih, who coached alongside Kingsbury at Texas A&M in 2013.
  • Former Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers was thought to be following Todd Bowles to the Buccaneers, and while that union may still occur, Rodgers today interviewed for a senior defensive position with the Giants, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. If Rodgers does end up in Tampa Bay, he’ll be the club’s new defensive line coach, but it’s unclear what exactly his role would be with New York. Per RapSheet, the Giants would actually create a new position for Rodgers if he were to come on board.
  • Rodgers’ status with the Buccaneers is still up in the air, but Tampa Bay and new head coach Bruce Arians are well on their way to formulating a staff. In addition to a few hires which were reported yesterday, the Bucs will hire former NFL offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen as quarterbacks coach, reports Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Additionally, former Cardinals defensive backs coaches Kevin Ross and Nick Rapone will join Arians in Tampa Bay. Wide receivers coach Kevin Garver is also making the Arizona-to-Tampa trek, tweets Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com.
  • The Falcons have made of number of small changes to their coaching staff, tweets D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Dave Brock will move from running backs coach to assistant wide receivers coach, while Bernie Parmalee will switch from running backs coach to assistant special teams coach.

Coaching Rumors: Cowboys, Cards, Falcons

The Cowboys are expected to name Doug Nussmeier as tight ends coach, sources tell ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Nussmeier has a lengthy resume, including stints as the offensive coordinator for Florida, Michigan, and Alabama. The former NFL backup quarterback also served as the Rams’ quarterbacks coach under Scott Linehan, the Cowboys’ current OC.

More from the coaching ranks:

  • The Cardinals announced that they have promoted assistant receivers coach Kevin Garver to WR coach and inside linebackers coach Larry Foote to LB coach. The retention of Garver should be a plus for Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM tweets. The veteran is deliberating whether to play in 2018 or retire and the presence of Garver could push him towards continuing his career.
  • The Falcons announced three additions to their coaching staff: running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, offensive assistant Chad Walker, and assistant special teams coach Mayur Chaudhari. Parmalee served as the Raiders’ running backs coach from 2015-17. While the running game wasn’t always great in Oakland during that time, the Raiders did average 120.1 yards on the ground in 2016, the sixth-most in the league. Parmalee is best known for his days as an NFL running back for the Dolphins and Jets.
  • The Panthers hired former University of Michigan offensive graduate assistant coach Drew Terrell as an offensive quality control coach, per a team announcement. Terrell first made a name for himself as a wide receiver/punt returner at Stanford where he earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 as a returner three times.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers

Safety Earl Thomas had made waves with his perceived discontent with the Seahawks over the past month or so, and he now sounds serious about initiating a contract holdout, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com“I want to finish my career there,” Thomas said. “I definitely don’t see myself going out there not signed. But I’m going to continue to work my butt off and enjoy this process at the Pro Bowl. As far as my future in Seattle, I think if they want me, you know, money talks. We’ll get something accomplished. Other than that, I’m just taking it one day at a time.” Thomas, 28, is entering the final year of his current contract, and says Seattle has yet to initiate negotiation discussions. He’s currently earning $10MM annually, which ranks sixth among NFL safeties.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks has opted to retain incumbent quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Former Arizona head coach Bruce Arians has been especially vocal about Leftwich’s future prospects, noting last June that the former first-round pick would become “a head coach early and fast.” Elsewhere on staff, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver and tight ends coach Steve Heiden could stay on with the Cardinals, per Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link), while inside linebackers coach Larry Foote will return, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have also announced Jeff Rodgers — who’s coached with the Bears, Broncos, and Panthers — as their new special teams coordinator.
  • While the 49ers are confident that they’ll be able to extend quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, there is a chance San Francisco will be forced to use a franchise or transition tag, leading Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each tender. The transition tag is roughly $2MM cheaper than the non-exclusive franchise tag, but it also comes with the threat of another team snagging Garoppolo without the 49ers collecting draft pick compensation. However, general manager John Lynch & Co. lead the league in cap space, meaning they’d be able to match nearly any offer sheet Garoppolo receives from another club.
  • The 49ers are searching for an assistant defensive line coach to work under Jeff Zgonina, reports Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). USC defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze was in the 49ers’ facility on Thursday, so there’s a possibility he was interviewing for the position, per Maiocco. Vince Oghobaase held the title of assistant OL coach in 2017, but he’s since joined the UCLA staff.

Latest On Cardinals’ Coaching Staff

Now that the Cardinals have officially hired former Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as their new head coach, the club has begun to formulate its coaching staff. First, Arizona has allowed the majority of its assistants out of their contracts in order to seek employment elsewhere, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.Steve Wilks (Vertical)

[RELATED: 2018 NFL Coordinator Tracker]

Wilks has already reportedly lured former Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb to the desert as Arizona’s next defensive coordinator (he’ll officially interview on Wednesday, reports Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer), but Wilks isn’t done poaching talent from his former employer. Panthers offensive line coach Ray Brown is expected to to accept the same job with the Cardinals, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. New Carolina offensive coordinator Norv Turner confirmed Brown’s new role earlier today, per Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

Elsewhere on their staff, the Cardinals plan to hire former Chargers defensive line coach Don Johnson for the same position, per Alex Marvez of the Sporting News, who notes Johnson worked with Wilks in San Diego. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have denied the division-rival Seahawks permission to interview assistant wide receivers coach Kevin Garver, according to Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.