Kris Richard

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.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Colts Request To Interview Hawks’ Richard

The Colts were busy adding names to their head-coaching wish list on Monday, the latest being Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (Twitter link). Kris Richard (vertical)

Richard joins a list of potential interviewees that so far includes Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy and Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. In 2017, Richard interviewed for the Bills opening but returned to Seattle.

Richard took over after the departure of Dan Quinn in 2015 and fielded back-to-back top-five scoring defenses in his first two seasons. The Seahawks had a down season in his third campaign, but were plagued by injuries to their secondary in Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. Richard has been with team as a defensive backs coach since 2011 and oversaw the team’s “Legion of Boom” secondary rise to prominence.

The Colts could use plenty of help on the defensive side of the ball. In 2017, the team finished 30th in both points and yards allowed.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Bills’ Head Coaching Search

The Bills will interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard for their open head coaching position tonight, reports Peter Schrager of NFL.com (Twitter link), who adds that Buffalo’s decision-makers are currently on their way to Seattle. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier today (Twitter link) that the Bills were likely to meet with Richard as soon as today. As PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker shows, Richard is part of a long list of candidates for Buffalo’s top job.

Sep 3, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard reacts on the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of those candidates, Anthony Lynn, who has been considered the Bills’ first choice, might not even want the job, as we learned last week. But according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), Bills ownership apologized to Lynn for telling him to bench quarterback Tyrod Taylor in Week 17. Lynn likes Taylor, so perhaps the apology was issued as an attempt to smooth over a source of resentment for Lynn and to convince him to stay in Buffalo (although the Bills, of course, do intend to move on from Taylor if they can).

But Schefter reports that whoever the new head coach is, he will have more power within the organization. Although ownership is apparently a fan of general manager Doug Whaley, the fact remains that the Bills’ next head coach will be the third during Whaley’s tenure, and his stint as GM has not been a successful one. So while Whaley will keep his job for at least one more season, he apparently will not have as much autonomy with respect to roster construction as he has enjoyed in the past.

In addition to Lynn, the Bills have already interviewed Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, both of whom are popular head coaching targets this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: Browns, Bills, Shanahan, Rex

The Browns’ firing of defensive coordinator Ray Horton is not yet official, but the team is leaning toward making a change, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was among those to report (Twitter link). Should Horton get the ax, Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams would be in prime position to succeed him in Cleveland. The Browns have given Williams until Monday to accept the job, according to Sporting News’ Alex Marvez (Twitter link).

More coaching-related info:

  • The Bills have requested an interview with Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Panthers D-coordinator Sean McDermott‘s Wednesday meeting with the Bills went very well, notes Garafolo (Twitter links).
  • Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan‘s head coaching interviews with the Jaguars and 49ers took place Friday, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. Shanahan will meet Saturday with the Broncos, relays Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post (Twitter link). The 37-year-old reportedly prefers the Broncos’ job to the other openings around the league.
  • The Redskins, in search of a defensive coordinator, have received the Panthers’ permission to interview assistant head coach/defensive backs coach Steve Wilks, writes Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Rapoport connected Wilks to the Redskins on Thursday, noting the coach’s relationship with ex-Panthers and now-Redskins cornerback Josh Norman.
  • Unsurprisingly, Rex Ryan won’t work anywhere as an assistant next season, reports Chick Hernandez of CSN Washington (Twitter link). The two-time head coach will wait for a third opportunity to come along in 2018; in the meantime, he’s likely to take a job as a television analyst.
  • Check out PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker to keep up with all the latest interviews.

Coaching Notes: Joseph, Bills, Rams

It’s been a busy day around the NFL, especially when it comes to coaching rumors. We’re keeping track of all of those interviews, and you can find our tracker here.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at some more coaching whispers from around the NFL…

  • The Rams, Bills, and Chargers are requesting permission to speak with Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). We learned earlier today that the 49ers have also expressed interest in Joseph.
  • If Joseph indeed gets a head coaching gig, linebackers coach Matt Burke is likely to replace him as the Dolphins defensive coordinator, Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com tweets. Burke joined the Dolphins last offseason after having previously served as the linebackers coach with the Bengals and Lions.
  • The Bills are expected to interview Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich for their head coaching opening, sources tell Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News (via Twitter). Prior to his time in Philly, Reich was the offensive coordinator for the Chargers.
  • The Bills have done some homework on Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard, Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports tweets. Richard just completed his second season in that role.
  • All Rams assistants have been told they are free to seek other employment, freelance NFL reporter Michael Silver tweets. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise since the next coach in L.A. will probably want to bring in a lot of his own guys. Even if the next head coach wants to keep some of the current assistants, it wouldn’t be fair to hamstring them while the search continues.
  • The Rams, Jaguars, Broncos, and 49ers will all interview Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan between Friday and Saturday, reports Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • The Rams are planning on interviewing Panthers secondary coach and assistant head coach Steve Wilks for their head coaching gig, reports Rapoport (via Twitter). The 47-year-old has been in the NFL since 2008, and he’s also coached for the Bears and Chargers.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Sunday Roundup: Richard, Sanchez, Sherman, L.A.

Earlier today Rory Parks rounded up a few stories to pass along that came across the ticker. Here are a few more Sunday stories that are worth checking out:

  • Sam Bradford has been anointed the presumed starter in Philadelphia, but his road to the job won’t come without competition. Mark Sanchez has made it clear that he wants to be the Eagles’ starter, and Phil Sheridan of ESPN believes he will have a chance to win it.
  • Kris Richard is settling into his new role as Seahawks defensive coordinator, and he has made it clear that he is taking over Dan Quinn’s defense with a “if it’s not broke. don’t fix it” approach, according to the team’s official website. Working under Quinn, Gus Bradley, and Pete Carroll has given him a unique perspective on how to run a defense.
  • Mike Sherman has left the NFL for the amatuer ranks, becoming the head coach at Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham, Massachusetts, reports Kevin Patra of NFL.com. Sherman, who has recently served as offensive coordinator for the Dolphins, and amassed a 59-37 record during his six years as head coach of the Packers from 2000 to 2005.
  • Gil Brandt of NFL.com has a note for any fans in Los Angeles hoping for an NFL team, the Hollywood Park grandstand was demolished today (via Twitter). The proposed NFL stadium is planned to take its place. Austin Knoblauch of the Los Angeles Times has the full story of the demolition.