Kris Richard

Cowboys Looking To Extend HC Jason Garrett

The Cowboys are focused on tonight’s playoff matchup against the Rams, but they’ll shift their focus to extending their head coach whenever their season ends. Appearing on Good Morning Football, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport said that the Cowboys intend to begin negotiating a long-term contract with Jason Garrett during the offseason (Twitter link).

Following the Cowboys lackluster start, there were whispers that the organization could look to move on from Garrett. Furthermore, we heard that the team hadn’t considered extending the 52-year-old. However, the Cowboys finished the regular season with a 7-1 record, and they won last week’s playoff matchup against the Seahawks.

The recent run apparently convinced the organization that Garrett was “their coach of the future.” The head coach’s contract is set to expire at the end 2019 campaign, but the team is hoping to extend him before that time. After having previously signed a five-year, $30MM contract, Rapoport expects Garrett’s next contract to be among the most lucrative in the entire game.

Garrett has been with the organization since 2007, and he took over head coaching duties in 2010 after the team fired Wade Phillips. Garrett has put together a 77-59 record during his tenure as head coach, leading the Cowboys to three playoff appearances.

Meanwhile, defensive backs coach and passing-game coordinator Kris Richard wasn’t able to get a head-coaching gig this offseason (although Rapoport notes that he was a finalist for the Dolphins gig). However, based on his quick ascension through the organization, many believe the Cowboys will make Richard their full-time defensive coordinator in 2019. Rod Marinelli is the Cowboys current defensive coordinator, but Rapoport could envision a scenario where the 69-year-old transitions to a senior defensive assistant role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kris Richard In Lead For Dolphins Job?

The Jets don’t have Kris Richard high on their list, but the rival Dolphins might. League sources believe that the Cowboys defensive backs coach will come away with the top job in Miami, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (on Twitter). 

This is far from definitive word on the matter, but it sounds like Richard at least has a real shot at being the ‘Fins next head coach. For now, he’s in a fairly limited candidate pool that includes Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Patriots DC Brian Flores, in-house assistant head coach Darren Rizzi, and possibly Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, assuming that he does not sign an extension with Baltimore.

Speaking of Rizzi, his interview is scheduled to take place on Friday, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). So, barring something unexpected, we won’t see the Dolphins hire Richard or anyone else before the end of the week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Not Considering Kris Richard?

Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard is not believed to be a serious candidate for the Jets’ head coaching vacancy, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Richard interviewed with the Jets over the weekend, but it sounds like Gang Green will focus on their other six candidates

Richard, as far as we know, is still in play for the Dolphins’ vacancy. And, for what it’s worth, he has the full endorsement of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that clubs have the interest that they have in him,” Jones said“There are no secrets in the NFL when it comes to people that can help you win football games. And he’s a winner.”

The Jets lost one potential candidate this week when the Cardinals hired former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury to run the team. However, the Jets already knew that Kingsbury was Arizona-bound when they interviewed him on Monday, sources tell Manish Mehta of the Daily News. The meeting, Mehta hears, was more about picking Kingsbury’s brain, but they also made their own pitch to him in case he had second thoughts about the Cardinals.

AFC Coaching Notes: Bengals, Dolphins, Jets

The Bengals have already interviewed eight candidates (and attempted to meet with a ninth) for their head coaching position, but their search could expand in the coming days, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cincinnati has interest in assistants who were coaching during Wild Card weekend, but preferred not to disturb those coaches in advance of such critical games. While no new names have yet surfaced, potential candidates who coached this weekend Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Here’s more from the AFC coaching carousel:

  • As had been expected, Richard will interview with the Dolphins and Jets today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “It doesn’t surprise me at all that clubs have the interest that they have in him,” said Jones. “There are no secrets in the NFL when it comes to people that can help you win football games. And he’s a winner.” Assistants preparing for a Wild Card playoff matchup aren’t allowed to interview in the week preceding said game, so Richard had to wait until Dallas completed its victory over Seattle on Saturday night. Richard is also meeting with the Buccaneers on Sunday.
  • In a bit of record-keeping, the Dolphins announced that they completed their head coaching interview with Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen on Saturday, while the Browns did the same with Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Allen, 46, flopped as the Raiders’ head coach earlier this decade, but has transformed New Orleans’ defense from a laughingstock to a respectable unit over the past four seasons. Flores, meanwhile, interviewed for only one head coaching job in 2018 (Cardinals), but has lined up four sit-downs in the 2019 cycle (Broncos, Packers, and Dolphins in addition to Browns).
  • Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler and linebackers coach Reggie Herring are drawing interest from around the league, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. However, both assistants are still under contract with Denver, and the Broncos presumably won’t let either leave until their new head coach decides if he wants to retain them. Kugler, previously the head coach at UTEP, joined Denver in 2018 and guided a Broncos front five which ranked as a top-12 unit in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate. Herring came to Denver in 2015 after having coached with Houston, Dallas, and Chicago.

Latest On Buccaneers’ Coaching Search

The Buccaneers will interview Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard for their head coaching vacancy today, per Albert Breer of SI.com. We already heard that Richard would also be interviewing with the Dolphins and Jets today, so his Sunday will be pretty full.

But if Richard is going to land a head coaching gig in 2019, it does not appear that it will be with Tampa Bay. Just yesterday, the team interviewed former Colts and Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, and reports suggested that momentum was building towards a Arians-Bucs union.

Today, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) reports that Arians’ summit with the Buccaneers went very well, and that the 66-year-old could be announced as the team’s next head coach within the next few days. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times posits that no candidate for the Bucs’ job checks as many boxes as Arians, who has something of a reputation as a quarterback whisperer and who may be able to get the most out of Jameis Winston.

Arians stepped down from his Cardinals post after last season, having guided the club to two playoff berths and three 10-win campaigns. He spent the 2018 season working as a broadcaster with CBS.

If the Bucs do end up hiring Arians, they will not owe the Cardinals any compensation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching/FO Rumors: Browns, Fins, Packers

The Browns were originally scheduled to meet with Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski on Monday, but they’ve moved that interview to today, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Stefanski, who was elevated to offensive coordinator in Minnesota following John DeFilippo‘s firing, is in consideration for Cleveland’s head coaching job. While the Vikings are still interested in retaining Stefanski, he’s no longer under contract. Meanwhile, the Giants — who attempted to lure Stefanski to New York last offseason — won’t pursue Stefanski this year, as head coach Pat Shurmur told Mike Francesa of WFAN (Twitter link via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com).

Here’s more from the coaching/front office carousel:

  • Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores has a busy week lined up, as he’s drawn interest from not only the Broncos, Browns, Dolphins, and Packers. It’s still unclear if/when Flores will interview with Cleveland, but he’ll meet with Green Bay on Friday, tweets Demovsky. Packers management is scheduled to fly to the New England area that day to sit down with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, so they’ll stick around to meet with Flores. Flores is also scheduled to interview for the Miami gig on Thursday and Friday, while Mike Klis of 9News reports (via Twitter) the Broncos will fly to New England to sit down with Flores on Saturday (previous reports had indicated Denver would meet with Flores on Monday).
  • Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard is expected to interview with the Jets and Dolphins on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Assistants preparing for a Wild Card playoff matchup aren’t allowed to interview in the week preceding said game, so Richard will have to wait until Dallas completes its contest against Seattle on Saturday night. Richard is also a candidate for the Buccaneers’ head coaching job, although it’s unclear when that interview will take place.
  • General manager Reggie McKenzie isn’t the only Raiders executive without a job at season’s end, as Oakland has also fired director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales, tweets Jim Trotter of NFL.com. Clinkscales, a high school and college teammate of McKenzie’s, was the ex-Raiders GM’s top assistant, so it’s perhaps unsurprising Oakland made the decision to ax him, as well. A former scout with the Steelers and executive with the Jets, Clinkscales was named on the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s list of recommended minority GM candidates last month.

Buccaneers To Meet With Kris Richard

At least one team has scheduled a meeting with Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard. The Buccaneers have planned an interview with Richard, according to the NFL network (via the Tampa Bay Times).

Teams are not allowed to meet with assistants whose teams are preparing for first-round games, but the Bucs have scheduled a summit with Richard for after the Cowboys’ wild-card game.

Both the Dolphins and Jets submitted interview requests to Richard, but it’s not known if any meetings are scheduled yet. The Bucs interviewed Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy in Kansas City on Wednesday.

Richard, 39, was viewed as a possible HC candidate last year. He oversaw the 2015 Seahawks’ No. 1 scoring defense and was the Legion of Boom’s position coach the previous three seasons, which also featured Seattle housing No. 1 scoring defenses. The Seahawks fired Richard after the 2017 campaign, leading him to Dallas.

Richard took over play-calling duties from Dallas DC Rod Marinelli this season. The Cowboys’ defense improved slightly, ranking sixth in points allowed. Tampa Bay’s defense struggled again, allowing the second-most points in the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins, Jets Seek Kris Richard Meeting

The two AFC East teams with head coaching vacancies have contacted a popular NFC East assistant.

Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard received interview requests from the Jets and Dolphins on Monday, NJ.com’s Darryl Slater and ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter report (Twitter links).

During the 2018 hiring period, the Seahawks fired Richard after he’d spent three years as their defensive coordinator. A year later, it looks like he will have an opportunity to make a big move. The Jets and Dolphins, though, must wait to meet with the Dallas assistant. The Cowboys’ first-round playoff game prevents teams from meeting with Richard this week.

Previously the Legion of Boom’s position coach from 2012-14, Richard played a key role in Seattle’s rare run of defensive dominance. He has since overseen Byron Jones‘ breakout season and helped a Dallas secondary seeking safety help for months manage its current situation. Also serving as the Cowboys’ defensive passing game coordinator, the 39-year-old assistant has improved Dallas’ pass-defense DVOA mark as well.

The Jets choosing a defensive coach would continue a long trend. The franchise has not hired an offensively oriented leader since the mid-1990s.

Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends HC Candidates

Every year, the Fritz Pollard Alliance releases a list of recommended minority head coaching candidates. This year’s edition is nearly double in size and features the likes of Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores and Cowboys defensive backs coach/defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard, as Mike Jones of USA Today writes. 

Here’s the complete list of suggested candidates:

  • Keith Armstrong (Falcons special teams coordinator)
  • Teryl Austin (Former Bengals defensive coordinator)
  • Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs offensive coordinator)
  • Jim Caldwell (former Lions and Colts head coach)
  • George Edwards (Vikings defensive coordinator)
  • Brian Flores (Patriots linebackers coach)
  • Leslie Frazier (Bills defensive coordinator)
  • Raheem Morris (Falcons assistant head coach/wide receivers coach)
  • Hue Jackson (special assistant to the head coach of the Bengals; former Browns head coach)
  • Kris Richard (Cowboys defensive backs coach/defensive passing game coordinator)
  • Duce Staley (Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach)

Flores, the de facto defensive coordinator of the Patriots, figures to be a hot coaching candidate this year. The same goes for Bieniemy, who is helping to guide one of the league’s most dangerous offenses.

Others on this list, such as Jackson and Austin, seem unlikely to garner real consideration for head coaching positions this offseason. The Browns turned the corner after dumping Jackson and appointing Gregg Williams as the team’s interim head coach, which isn’t a great endorsement for the offensive guru. Meanwhile, the Bengals hired Austin in January but fired him earlier this month as his defense was one of the lowest ranked in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Patriots, Brady, Giants, Cowboys

Tom Brady recently told Oprah that he’ll retire sooner rather than later, but he may still be on course for his original plan. In a reply to a post on Instagram regarding Brady’s long-term plans, the Patriots quarterback replied “cuarenta y cinco” – Spanish for 45.

Brady turns 41 on Aug. 3, so he still has a ways to go before hitting that mark. Still, after another masterful season, it’s hard to doubt him.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • New Cowboys assistant Kris Richard is drawing rave reviews in Dallas and he could become one of the league’s hottest head coaching candidates next year. “No question,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said when asked if the 38-year-old could coach his own team in 2019 (via Charean Williams of PFT). “He’ll be like a Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, guys I’ve been around who became head coaches. He’s got the right stuff.”
  • Giants executive Kevin Abrams, a member of the organization since 1999 and the assistant GM for the last 16 years, has been promoted to the team’s vice president of football operations. Abrams was considered as an internal candidate for GM before the hiring of Dave Gettleman.
  • Free agent wide receiver Eric Decker feels that he would be a good fit for the Patriots.