Kris Richard

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.

Coaching/FO Notes: Jets, Texans, Ware

A week after the Texans made the move to bring Jets executive Matt Bazirgan into the fold as their director of player personnel, the Jets will hire one of the staffers the Texans axed after the draft. Former Houston college scouting director Jon Carr will assume the same position in New York, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Carr spent over a decade with the Texans, rising from the scouting level to his most recent post with the AFC South franchise. Carr has a history with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, with the two working together with the Texans for several years. Carr ended up replacing Maccagnan as the Texans’ director of college scouting in 2015 when the Jets named Maccagnan their GM.

Here’s the latest from the managerial side of the game, shifting back to Houston’s revamped scouting department.

  • The Texans hired Saints scout C.J. Leak to be their assistant director of pro scouting, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Leak spent two years as the Saints’ Combine scout and prior to that spent eight years with the Bills, working in their pro personnel department.
  • The NFL closed an investigation into former Bills president Russ Brandon, who resigned from his post recently, and the longtime executive can move forward without any punishment. Brandon was accused of having inappropriate relationships with female employees. “We are satisfied the club addressed the matter in a timely, thorough and appropriate manner,” the league’s statement read, via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). “There will be no further action by the league office.” Brandon worked for the Bills for more than 20 years.
  • After drafting Bradley Chubb to fill the void DeMarcus Ware‘s retirement created, the Broncos reached out to Ware in hopes of the future Hall of Famer helping out on a part-time basis this summer, Mike Klis of 9News reports. Denver also contacted other former NFLers, but Ware is the only known name the to whom the team has reached out. The Broncos’ goal appears to be for these retired players to work as consultants during some OTA sessions and a few additional training camp dates. Ware played the final three seasons of his career with the Broncos, his tenure obviously peaking with a 3.5-sack postseason en route to Denver’s Super Bowl 50 title. Klis writes that it can be safely assumed Chubb would be Ware’s primary project if he accepts.
  • Kris Richard oversaw the final years of the Seahawks‘ full defensive core, but the team fired him after last season. Now working as the Cowboys’ defensive backs coach, the 38-year-old assistant is grateful for the opportunity, even if it is not a coordinator role. “I love (Cowboys DC Rod) Marinelli. It will work because I think we’re cut from the same cloth,” Richard said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). “I’m truly grateful to be here. I’m truly grateful for him.” Richard’s spent his only seasons as an NFL staffer with the Seahawks, with the former NFL player entering his ninth season as a coach. Richard interviewed for the Colts’ HC job before signing on to work under Marinelli in Dallas.

Latest On Colts, Josh McDaniels

On Wednesday morning, GM Chris Ballard faced the media in the wake of Josh McDaniels‘ shocking decision to back out on becoming the team’s next head coach. Here’s a look at the highlights plus other news on McDaniels’ flip-flop:

  • McDaniels’ agent, Bob LaMonte, told him that he’s making perhaps the biggest professional mistake of his career by backing out of this Colts job at this point, according to sources who spoke with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). On Wednesday afternoon, LaMonte terminated his relationship with McDaniels, a source tells Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (on Twitter). LaMonte is forfeiting a potentially large commission down the road should McDaniels become a head coach again, but he is also protecting future business by distancing himself from the Patriots OC.
  • Colts were going to pay McDaniels “fabulously,” a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter), so money was not the issue in Indianapolis. Pelissero hears that the coach also wasn’t warded off by Andrew Luck’s injured shoulder, owner Jim Irsay, or Ballard. At the end of the day, the Patriots just convinced him to stay. There’s no new contract in place for McDaniels yet, but Pelissero expects that to happen soon.
  • Ballard says two doctors who looked at Luck after the season have determined that he does not need surgery (Twitter link via Pelissero). Luck’s arm strength is good, the GM says, but he is now working on motion and arm speed. He has yet to pick up a football, but the team will not rush him or skip any steps.
  • The GM confirmed that none of the coaches from the initial wave of interviews will be in the mix, meaning that Kris Richard and Matt Rhule will not be considered (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • There were other candidates the Colts wanted to interview, Ballard said, but the playoffs got in the way (Twitter link via Stephen Holder of ESPN.com). The Colts are expected to request an interview with Eagles OC Frank Reich and he fits the bill as a coach who was tied up during the playoffs. Of course, the same could be said of McDaniels and that did not stop Indy from interviewing him.
  • The Colts will honor the contract of defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and others who have already signed their deals. That’s not an issue for Ballard who explained that he knew Eberflus well through Rod Marinelli. The former Dallas assistant was already a guy he wanted to run his defense.
  • The Colts got an uneasy feeling a week ago that something could be stalling with McDaniels, despite moving forward with his contract (Twitter link via Jay Glazer of FOX Sports).
  • McDaniels arrived at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday with the intention of cleaning out his office, but Bill Belichick‘s willingness to take his mentorship to a higher level played a big part in McDaniels reversing course, sources tell ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. Belichick told McDaniels that he would spend more time with him on the inner workings of the team, including roster construction and salary-cap management, which was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. That could be part of a succession plan for Belichick in the future, but no assurances have been made to McDaniels.

Dallas Hires Kris Richard To Defensive Staff

The Seahawks moved on from former defensive coordinator Kris Richard after the team agreed to terms with former Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. However, the 38-year-old coach has found a rebound job now that the Cowboys have decided to hire him to be the team’s next secondary coach and defensive passing game coordinator, according to Gee Scott of 710ESPN Seattle (Twitter link). Richard met with the team on Sunday to discuss a potential role, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Kris Richard (vertical)

Richard coming to the Cowboys is a solid addition given the success he had in Seattle during his three-year tenure leading one of the best defenses in football. Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will continue in his current role, but adding a former defensive play caller should certainly help the staff continue to build Dallas’ defense next season.

Under Richard’s guidance, the Seahawks finished in the top five in total defense in 2015 and 2016, but dropped to number 11 this past year. However, Seattle did lose key starters in Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril and Richard Sherman. The Cowboys ranked as a top ten defense in 2017, but could always use more experienced voices in the locker room.

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Coaching Rumors: Patriots, Falcons, Raiders

Both Patriots coordinators — Josh McDaniels (offense) and Matt Patricia (defense) — are expected to accept head coaching jobs this offseason, but they may not be the only top assistants to leave New England in the coming weeks. Special teams coordinator Joe Judge is also working on an expiring contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who adds Judge could follow either McDaniels or Patricia to Indianapolis or Detroit, respectively. The Patriots have finished as a top-eight special teams unit in DVOA in each of Judge’s seven seasons at the helm.

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • If former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard doesn’t land another DC job, it “wouldn’t be a surprise” to see him land with the Falcons, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com opines. The connection makes sense, as Richard preceded Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn as Seattle’s defensive play-caller, and also played alongside current Falcons DC Marquand Manuel. Richard likely wouldn’t become defensive coordinator in Atlanta, so he could hypothetically wait to see if he garners interest around the league before taking a lesser position with the Falcons.
  • Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day is reportedly new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel‘s top choice to become Tennessee’s next OC, but Vrabel also has interest in Lions quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan, tweets Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com. Callahan has drawn coordinator interest around the league before, and could also be on the Jets’ radar as they seek to fill their OC vacancy. However, Detroit and new head coach Matt Patricia want to keep Callahan in place with the Lions.
  • The Raiders interviewed former Texas A&M (and current Arizona) head coach Kevin Sumlin, but it’s unclear which role Jon Gruden had in mind for the longtime NCAA coach. While Alex Marvez of the Sporting News recently reported Oakland met with Sumlin regarding its wide receivers coach job, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com indicates (via Twitter) Sumlin interviewed for offensive coordinator. The Raiders ultimately hired Edgar Bennett and Greg Olson for those respective gigs.
  • Before accepting a new position with the Giants, special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey interviewed with the Browns, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Cleveland ultimately selected former Cardinals ST coach Amos Jones over McGaughey, who’s also coordinated special teams units for the Jets and 49ers.
  • Scott McCurley — who coached inside linebackers for the Packers in 2017 but was fired at season’s end — is now back with Green Bay, but could possibly be working under a new title, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Additionally, the Packers have reassigned special teams assistant Jason Simmons to a defensive position, while former Colts staffer Maurice Drayton will replace Simmons’ ST duties.

Seahawks Fire DC Kris Richard

In a move that should come as no surprise given that the Seahawks hired a new defensive coordinator in Ken Norton Jr. on Monday, Seattle has fired ex-DC Kris Richard, the club announced today. The Seahawks also parted ways with assistant head coach/linebackers Michael Barrow.Kris Richard (vertical)

Reports last week indicated that Seattle was prepared to move on from Richard, with head coach Pete Carroll reportedly suggesting Richard should develop further as a coach elsewhere. Richard is clearly held in high regard throughout the NFL, as he garnered a head coaching interview with the Colts earlier this month. Indianapolis is closing in on Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as its next head coach, so Richard won’t have a viable opportunity with the Colts going forward.

Richard could conceivably receive further interest as a head coach from other clubs, but it seems unlikely that teams will add a new candidate to their respective searches at this late stage. More likely, Richard will have the chance to resurface as a defensive coordinator with another team. As PFR’s 2018 Coordinator Tracker shows, there are currently no DC vacancies around the league, but a few more spots should open as new head coaches are hired.

Richard, 38, was named Seattle’s defensive coordinator in 2015 after spending five years as a defensive assistant with the club. While directing the Legion of Boom, Richard helped the Seahawks finish fourth, fifth, and 13th in DVOA in his three years as play-caller. That dip in 2017 coincided with a number of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but may have also convinced Carroll & Co. to bring in a fresh voice.

Seattle has committed to a fresh start from a coaching standpoint, as the club has now fired its top four assistants, including two from each unit: Richard and Barrow on defense, plus offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Spagnuolo, Fins, Cowboys

While Giants interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo interviewed for the position, there is an upside for him in current Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur likely accepting the team’s offer to be their next head coach. With Shurmur on board, the veteran defensive coordinator is a more likely option to stay in the role he began the 2017 season in, opines Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com.

Back in 2008, Spagnuolo hired Shurmur as his offensive coordinator when he got the Rams head coaching job. The two also have history in the Andy Reid‘s coaching tree back when the now Chiefs head coach hired both coaches out of the college ranks.

Spagnuolo does have a track record of defensive success, and while this past season was more trying, the Giants unit was one of the best in football just two years ago. Based on the coaches’ history with one another, it appears that Spagnuolo has a good shot to retain his job. But if Shurmur does decide to go in a different direction, Dunleavy throws at names like Ohio State linebackers coach Bill Davis, Eagles linebackers coach Ken Flajole, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs that could make sense for the post.

Here’s more coaching news from around the league:

  • The Dolphins have let go of their secondary coach Lou Anarumo, per Barry Jackson the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Anarumo had been with the team since 2012. This is just one of a few changes Miami has made in regards to their coaching staff this offseason.
  • The Cowboys and Bengals have switched offensive line coaches this offseason. After Cincy hired former Dallas offensive line coach Frank Pollack to the same role, we learned today that the Cowboys have hired the guy who held that post for the Bengals in Paul Alexander, reports Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (Twitter link).
  • In other offensive line coach news, the Seahawks have brought in Mike Solari to replace Tom Cable as the primary guy handling the offensive front, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (Twitter link). Solari has a history in Seattle, he served as the team’s offensive line coach from 2008-09. The team also recently hired Ken Norton Jr. to replace Kris Richard as defensive coordinator earlier today.
  • Andy Reid is adding a new face to the Chiefs coaching staff for 2018. The team has hired Jay Valai as a defense quality control coach, reports Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Perez adds that Valai will also assist the either the Chief’s defensive back of linebacker group in addition to his primary duties.

Seahawks Hire Ken Norton Jr. As DC

The Seahawks have made another coaching change, but this time on the defensive side of the ball. The team has parted ways with current defensive coordinator Kris Richard in favor of bringing in the recently hired 49ers linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. to lead their defense next season, reports Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (Twitter link).

Ken Norton Jr. (Vertical)

It’s an odd turn of events because Richard had not been officially relieved of duties as of today, although there had been rumblings that the Seahawks were ready to move on from their once highly-touted defensive coordinator. Richard had been with Seattle since 2010, where he’s worked with the defense in a variety of roles. However, the 38-year-old coach had served as defensive coordinator for the past three years.

To add onto the twist, Norton Jr. comes over from San Francisco where he just agreed to become an assistant head coach/linebacker coach for Kyle Shanahan. Although, the move is reportedly in-play because there is an out in his deal that allows him to take this gig in Seattle, Garafolo adds. It’s an odd decision in a sense because Norton Jr. was fired as the Raiders defensive coordinator this past year because of the clear struggles that his defense had throughout the early portion of the season. In his favor, Norton Jr. does have familiarity with the Seahawks organization as he was the team’s linebackers coach from 2010-14.

The news does put Richard in limbo in terms of where he lands next season. He has clear credentials in the NFL community as he did land a head coach interview with the Colts last week, but being that Indy is expected to hire Josh McDaniels, Richard’s options seem somewhat limited. There’s currently no open defensive coordinator positions available, but a few should open up as new head coaches are officially brought in.

Coming off a year without a postseason appearance, head coach Pete Carroll has been aggressive in re-shaping his staff. They have already hired Brian Schottenheimer to replace Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator, so this move represents another decision to move away from the status quo that failed the franchise in 2017.

 

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Seahawks To Part Ways With Kris Richard?

Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard would be allowed out of his contract for another opportunity, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’s not immediately clear what that other opportunity might be or whether Richard is definitely leaving the team. Kris Richard (vertical)

[RELATED: Seahawks Fire OC Darrell Bevell]

Rapoport indicates that Pete Carroll is of the belief that Richard might be better off developing as a coach elsewhere. So far, Carroll’s system has been all that Richard has really known. Richard has spent the last eleven seasons with the Seahawks when counting his eight years as a coach and three years as a cornerback. He played his college ball at USC under Carroll, who later brought him on board as an assistant and promoted him to DC following the departure of Dan Quinn in 2015.

Richard is a candidate for the Colts’ head coaching vacancy and could pop up as a HC or DC candidate elsewhere.

This will be an offseason of major change in Seattle. On Wednesday morning, the team canned offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

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Colts To Interview Kris Richard On Friday

Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard will interview with the Colts for their head coaching job on Friday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Indianapolis first requested an interview with Richard on New Year’s Day. Kris Richard (vertical)

Richard has been in this position before, having interviewed for the Bills’ opening last year. Ultimately, that job went to former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. This time around, he’s going up against McDermott’s replacement in Steve Wilks. The other known candidates for the position are Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Chiefs OC Matt Nagy, and Texans DC Mike Vrabel.

The Seahawks defense didn’t exactly shine under Richard, but the team was also plagued injuries to several key players including Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. The Colts may be inclined to go with an offensive-minded coach to keep Andrew Luck on the right track (once he’s healthy), but they could also use some serious help on the other side of the ball. In 2017, the Colts finished near the bottom in points and yards allowed.

Richard spent the last eleven seasons with the Seahawks when counting his eight years as a coach and three years as a cornerback. He played his college ball at USC under Pete Carroll, who later brought him on board as an assistant and promoted him to DC following the departure of Dan Quinn in 2015. That’s about as strong of an endorsement as a head coaching hopeful could have.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.