Larry Foote

Lions, Falcons Expected To Interview Todd Bowles For HC Vacancies

Todd Bowles will apparently be a popular name on the head-coach circuit. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the Lions requested an interview with the Buccaneers defensive coordinator. The interview hasn’t been scheduled as the two sides await the outcome of Tampa Bay’s playoff game tonight. Garafolo notes that Bowles is also expected to meet with the Falcons about their head coach opening.

Following his stint as HC of the NYJ, Bowles caught on as the defensive coordinator down in Tampa Bay in 2019. His first season in the role saw the unit rank sixth in defensive efficiency, and the team improved to fifth in the same metric in 2020. This year’s squad also ranked top-1o in takeaways, sacks, points allowed per game, and yards allowed per game (all despite having only one Pro Bowl defender in Jason Pierre-Paul). Of course, Bowles defensive prowess isn’t in question; he previously led stellar units in Arizona, and his Jets defenses weren’t all that bad. What was bad was his record as head coach; in four years with the Jets, Bowles had only 24 wins (and that included a 10-win campaign in 2015).

Both the Lions and Falcons are searching for new head coaches following in-season firings to Matt Patricia and Dan Quinn (respectively). Both teams have interviewed Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy and Titans OC Arthur Smith, and they’re both considering their interim coaches (Darrell Bevell and Raheem Morris, respectively). Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has also emerged as a candidate for both jobs.

For Tampa Bay, it’s sounding like the coaching staff could be seeking a new defensive coordinator once their season has come to an end. Greg Auman of The Athletic opines (on Twitter) that defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers or linebackers coach Larry Foote could take over in Bowles’ stead, although Auman also cautions that either of those coaches could join Bowles’ staff if he’s hired elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Pack, Vikes, Jets, Cards

Incumbent special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi was a strong candidate to take over as the Dolphins‘ head coach, but now that he appears to have lost out to Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores, Rizzi is being allowed to take interviews with other clubs, according to Tom Pelissero of (Twitter link). While Miami would prefer to retain him, Rizzi has already been contacted by by the Vikings and Packers, per Pelissero. Rizzi, who’s been with the Dolphins in 2010, would replace Ron Zook (fired) in Green Bay or Mike Priefer (hired by the Browns) in Minnesota.

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • The Jets have signed special teams coordinator Brant Boyer to an extension, a source tells Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Boyer had been signed only through 2019, and rival NFL teams had already begun to express interest in case Boyer wasn’t retained by new head coach Adam Gase. A longtime NFL linebacker, Boyer joined Gang Green in 2016, and last season coached a unit which ranked first in Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA. Return man Andre Roberts earned first-team All-Pro honors under Boyer’s direction, while kicker Jason Myers received a Pro Bowl nod.
  • Former Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler drew plenty of interest around the NFL after being released from his contract, but the Cardinals were able to lock him down. Arizona announced that’s it hired Kugler as OL coach, Brian Natkin as his assistant, David Raih as receivers coach, and retained Steve Heiden as tight ends coach. Kugler received an early look from the Buccaneers (and early reports even indicated he joined Tampa’s staff), while the Bills, Vikings, Browns, and Jets also checked in, tweets Ian Rapoport of
  • The Buccaneers have hired Todd McNair as their new running backs coach, reports Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. McNair hadn’t coached since 2010, when USC opted not to renew his contract, perhaps due to his involvement in the Reggie Bush scandal. He nearly became the Cardinals’ RBs coach under Bruce Arians in 2013, and he’ll now have the chance to work under Arians in Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Bucs named ex-Cardinals linebackers coach Larry Foote to the same position, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).
  • George Warhop has joined the Jaguars‘ staff as the club’s new offensive line coach, while Tim Walton will coach Jacksonville’s defensive backs, tweets Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio. Warhop has coached NFL front fives since 1996, and spent the past five seasons in Jacksonville. Walton, meanwhile, served as the Rams’ defensive coordinator in 2013 before moving on to the Giants’ DBs gig.
  • The Broncos and new head coach Vic Fangio are expected to retain linebackers coach Reggie Herring and defensive line coach Bill Kollar, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). Additionally, Denver has been denying interview requests for running backs Curtis Modkins, an indication that he’ll also return in 2019.

Coaching Rumors: Cowboys, Cards, Falcons

The Cowboys are expected to name Doug Nussmeier as tight ends coach, sources tell’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“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 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.

Extra Points: Hunter, Brady, Thomas

Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter‘s case was continued until Sept. 15 because a defense witness did not show up to court today, Terry McCormick of tweets. Just days ago, Hunter had his charge reduced to a misdemeanor. The 24-year-old was viewed as a potential breakout candidate last year, but battled injuries and complied just 498 yards and three touchdowns on 28 receptions.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Judge Richard Berman will issue his decision and order in the Tom Brady case by the end of the week, as Adam Schefter of tweets. As it stands, the Patriots QB is set to serve a four-game suspension.
  • Following his doctor’s visit, Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas has decided to have surgery on his injured finger on Wednesday, a source told Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Thomas could be out for a month, as previously estimated.
  • Larry Foote was coaching at Cardinals practice today, which is likely a sign that he’s not playing this season, Josh Weinfuss of tweets. Foote had to make a decision on his status by 1pm Arizona time, and that deadline has come and gone. The Cardinals added the 35-year-old to their coaching staff earlier in the offseason with the intent of signing him to the roster later in the summer if he decided to continue playing.
  • Rams coach Jeff Fisher made it clear that Case Keenum will be the team’s No. 2 quarterback, Nick Wagoner of tweets. That leaves Austin Davis and Sean Mannion to battle for the No. 3 job (link). Given that Mannion was a third-round pick this year, it seems unlikely that Davis will win that battle.

NFC Notes: Meachem, Lions, Boone

Former Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem will be working out for the Lions on Tuesday, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). As previously reported, Detroit will also host receiver Brad Smith and running back Ben Tate on Tuesday. Here’s more from the NFC..

  • 49ers lineman Alex Boone, who had not been part of the team’s offseason program to date, will be on hand for the veteran minicamp that runs Tuesday through Thursday, a league source tells Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. The Niners’ starting right guard was away from the team for the entire 2014 offseason while fishing for a better deal. He wound up settling for a two-year pact, a deal that he’s ostensibly trying to upgrade from now. The 49ers lost their other starting guard, Mike Iupati, in free agency and last week learned that starting right tackle Anthony Davis would retire.
  • Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote says the itch to play hasn’t hit him yet and he’s likely to coach this season, Kyle Odegard of tweets. The Cardinals added Foote to their coaching staff earlier in the offseason with the intent of signing him to the roster later in the summer if he decided to continue playing.
  • Todd Archer of wonders if the Cowboys should lock up Tyrone Crawford now or later. Crawford finished with just three sacks but he had 29 quarterback pressures and four tackles for loss as he learned the defensive tackle position on the fly. Set to make just $675K in the final year of his rookie deal, it could make sense for Dallas to lock Crawford down for multiple years beyond 2015. Still, he’s rather unproven as those three sacks are the only sacks of his career.
  • Rainer Sabin of The Dallas Morning News wonders if Darren McFadden can get his second wind with the Cowboys. Dallas has always been enamored with the former Raiders back, but he has lost much of his luster due to injury in recent years. “He was a guy that was interesting to us,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said of McFadden. “Obviously he has some skill sets with his explosiveness and his speed. He can take it to the house if he gets the right seam. He’s an interesting back for us. We think he can bring something to the table here.”

West Notes: D. Thomas, Cards, Foote, Floyd

Demaryius Thomas, like other franchised players who have yet to sign their one-year tenders, didn’t report to his team’s voluntary spring workout this week. That had been expected, but Broncos GM John Elway still didn’t sound all that thrilled about it when he spoke to reporters today.

We’d like to get [a long-term contract] done,” Elway said, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “But by him being away from here, there is zero value, not only to us, (but) to him. To me it makes no sense. That actually has no effect to anything we’re talking about, trying to get a contract done with him, because that’s ultimately what we’d like to do. But for him not to be here it has zero effect.”

As we wait to see whether Thomas and the Broncos can work out an agreement, here are a few more items from across the NFL’s two West divisions….

  • The Cardinals added Larry Foote to their coaching staff earlier in the offseason, intending to sign him to their roster later in the summer if he decides he wants to continue his playing career. So far, however, he remains undecided. According to Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals (via Twitter), the veteran linebacker said he’s 50/50 between playing and coaching — the draft, his health, and Daryl Washington‘s situation are among the factors Foote is considering.
  • The Cardinals haven’t yet decided whether to pick up the fifth-year option on receiver Michael Floyd, and figure to make that call after the draft, tweets Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910. Like fellow wideout Kendall Wright, whose 2016 option the Titans plan to exercise, Floyd would be in line for a salary of $7.32MM.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio today, Terrance Knighton, who ultimately signed with Washington, admitted he was surprised that the Raiders didn’t make a stronger push to sign him (Twitter link). New Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio had previously coached Pot Roast in both Denver and Jacksonville.
  • Sean McGrath, who is attempting an NFL comeback after retiring last summer, was cut by the Chiefs, but that had nothing to do with the tight end’s football ability, according to head coach Andy Reid. As Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star details, Reid and the Chiefs simply wanted to give McGrath the opportunity to get a fresh start elsewhere, if he so chooses.
  • The one-year deal that center Lemuel Jeanpierre signed with the Seahawks is a minimum salary benefit contract with an $80K signing bonus, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Rams, Cards

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, Rams coach Jeff Fisher, and Cardinals coach Bruce Arians all offered up a few notable comments today during their morning session with reporters in Phoenix at the owners’ meetings. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights from the breakfast discussions, starting with the reigning NFC champs….

Pete Carroll
(Twitter links via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times and’s Terry Blount)

  • Carroll reiterated what GM John Schneider said earlier this week, indicating that defensive end Michael Bennett has never said anything to him about wanting to be traded or wanting a new contract.
  • Carroll is optimistic about a number of the team’s free agents returning to the fold, indicating the club plans to re-sign center Stephen Schilling and defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs. The head coach is also confident that the Seahawks will work something out with backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who remains on the market. Jackson visited the Dolphins, but Miami ultimately brought back QB Matt Moore.
  • Caroll suggested that the Seahawks and Russell Wilson‘s camp have had “great talks” about a new contract for the young signal-caller. “It’s a long process with extraordinary ramifications,” according to Caroll, but he’s hopeful that the two sides can work something out.

Jeff Fisher
(Twitter links via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal, Mary Kay Cabot of, and Nick Wagoner of

  • According to Fisher, trade discussions with the Browns involving quarterback Sam Bradford happened on the weekend of March 7, before free agency opened. The Rams eventually announced their deal with the Eagles on Tuesday, March 10.
  • The Browns’ offer for Bradford featured the No. 19 overall pick and never the No. 12 pick. However, Fisher said today that it wouldn’t have made a difference if Cleveland offered the higher first-rounder, since St. Louis still wouldn’t have gotten a QB back in the deal — the Eagles’ willingness to part with Nick Foles gave the Rams a Bradford replacement.
  • The Rams remain active in their search for offensive linemen, with talks expected to pick up again following this week’s league meetings. Joe Barksdale, who played right tackle for the team last year, is still an option, and the Rams are in talks with him. According to Fisher, Barksdale’s initial asking price was a little surprising, but it’s in a more reasonable range now, and “it makes sense to get Joe back.”
  • The Rams have added Jeff Imamura to their staff as a defensive assistant, according to Fisher. Imamura previously worked for the Vikings.

Bruce Arians
(Twitter links via Josh Weinfuss of and Darren Urban of

  • The Cardinals cut center Lyle Sendlein earlier in the offseason, but would like to get him back on the roster at a reduced cap number.
  • Running back figures to be a spot the Cards will address in the draft, perhaps in the fourth or fifth round. The team is looking for a player with both size and speed.
  • The Cards also figure to look at cornerbacks in the draft. Arians said today that he wants to add a young, speedy corner, but doesn’t see a need to add a veteran to the roster.
  • Veteran linebacker Larry Foote is currently a member of the Cardinals’ coaching staff, but may still decide to play for the team in 2015. Arians is hopeful that Foote, who is recovering from knee surgery, will make that decision in time for training camp.

Minor Moves: Thursday

While most teams around the NFL are busy this week getting a look at this year’s draft prospects or finding out where they stand with their top free-agents-to-be, some clubs are still making minor roster moves. Here’s the latest from around the league, with any additional Thursday transactions added to the top of the list throughout the evening:

  • According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter), the Giants have re-signed offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds, who was on track to become a restricted free agent. Reynolds only played 32 offensive snaps in 2014, serving as a reserve on New York’s line. He’ll likely be in line for a minimum-salary deal.
  • With Chris Jones facing restricted free agency, the Cowboys have added another punter to their roster, according to Robert Klemko of, who reports (via Twitter) that Australian-born Tom Hornsey signed with the team.
  • As part of the process that saw him join the Cardinals‘ coaching staff, linebacker Larry Foote has been formally released by the team, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Foote, who had been set to hit the open market next month anyway, will have the opportunity to sign a new deal with Arizona this summer if he decides to continue his playing career.

Cards Add Larry Foote To Coaching Staff

Veteran linebacker Larry Foote was a key piece of the Cardinals’ defense in 2014, and while he’ll contribute to the unit again in 2015, it may be as a coach rather than as a player. According to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (via Twitter), Arizona is adding Foote to its coaching staff. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s officially retiring as a player — Marvez adds that Foote will have to decide before the 75-man roster cutdown in August whether or not he wants to play.

Foote, 34, spent all but one season of his NFL career with the Steelers prior to the 2014 campaign, having played briefly for the Lions in 2009. However, heading to Arizona to play for the Cardinals seemed like a natural fit for the Michigan product, since it reunited him with ex-Steelers assistant Bruce Arians. When injuries and a year-long suspension for Daryl Washington decimated the Cardinals’ linebacking corps, Foote gamely stepped up and played more than 1,000 snaps for the club, recording 88 tackles and a pair of sacks.

Still, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked Foote 56th out of 60 qualified inside linebackers, and the longtime Steeler will turn 35 in June, so he may decide he doesn’t have any more football left in him. If that’s the case, Foote will end an impressive career with 807 total tackles, 25 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles in 187 contests (134 starts).

If Foote decides to continue his career, he would have to sign a new contract with the Cards, since he’s currently set to become a free agent. Arians also notes that the former fourth-round pick would have to give up his role as a coach in that scenario, since the NFLPA wouldn’t allow him to be a player and coach (Twitter link via Josh Weinfuss of