Lou Anarumo

Bengals Sign CB Tony Lippett

The Bengals signed free agent cornerback Tony Lippett, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). To make room, they’ve waived linebacker Chris Worley.

For Lippett, a former second-round pick, it’s a new adventure in a familiar scheme. He spent time with defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo in Miami, so he may have a leg up on the competition as he guns for a spot on the 53-man roster.

Lippett, transformed from a collegiate wideout to an NFL corner and made 13 starts for the Fins in 2016. However, he missed the 2017 with a torn Achilles and missed the club’s final cutdowns in 2018. He bounced around a bit last year, including a three-game stint with the Giants.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Hire Lou Anarumo As DC

At long last, the Bengals’ defensive coordinator position has been filled. On Thursday, the Bengals hired Lou Anarumo to serve as the team’s new DC. 

I’ve always had great respect for Lou, and I know he is a tremendous defensive coach,” head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “He’s a great fit for what we want to build here in Cincinnati. Lou is an excellent communicator who the players will have great respect for, and he will get the best out of them.”

The Bengals have had quite the ordeal when it comes to their DC search. At various points, they thought they had deals with Jack Del RioDom Capers, and Florida DC Todd Grantham for the job. For one reason or another, none of those coaches put pen to paper. After exploring a wide range of other candidates, Anarumo came away with the job.

Anarumo served as the Giants’ defensive backs coach last year, a position he has held at multiple NFL stops. He doesn’t offer the same level of DC experience as Del Rio or Capers, but he did hold that job in an interim capacity with the Dolphins in 2015.

Anarumo will have to get up to speed quickly. Last year, the Bengals finished dead last in total defense with 413.6 yards allowed per game and ranked 32nd against the pass with 275.9 yards permitted per game. The Bengals have work to do on offense, as well, but they won’t get far if they have a repeat of 2018 when they allowed 28.4 points on average to opponents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Eyeing Lou Anarumo For DC

Giants defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo is set to interview with the Bengals on Thursday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears. At the moment, he is the frontrunner for their defensive coordinator job, according to Pelissero. 

Anarumo worked with new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor in Miami from 2012-15 and both men finished out the ’15 season as interim coordinators on opposite sides of the ball. After that, Anarumo reverted back to being Miami’s defensive backs coach under Adam Gase and hooked on with the Giants in January of 2018.

Outside of Anarumo’s interim DC stint in South Beach, he has exclusively served as a defensive backs coach for the last two decades. However, he’s a highly-respected coach and his history with Taylor may allow him to climb the ranks.

The Bengals have been left at the altar a few times in this cycle. Previously, they were close with coaches like Jack Del RioDom Capers, and Florida DC Todd Grantham, but they were unable to seal the deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Rumors: Shurmur, Callahan, Staff

Pat Shurmur will be calling plays for the Giants in his first season as head coach, Dave Gettleman said this week from the Senior Bowl (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, on Twitter). This will mark the second time Shumur’s gone this route. He called plays for the 2011 Browns, but the offense ranked 29th. Additionally, Shurmur is not guaranteed to hire an offensive coordinator, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com notes. While Shurmur did not hire a non-play-calling OC in his first year with the Browns, he did bring Brad Childress aboard in 2012. Shurmur also functioned as a game plan-centric OC with the Eagles under Chip Kelly from 2013-15, indicating he may value the job.

Here’s the latest from Giants headquarters:

  • While he might not hire an OC, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes Shurmur could opt to give an assistant a dual role of OC and quarterbacks coach. The Giants have recently dismissed Lions QBs coach Brian Callahan on their radar for this potential position, Vacchiano reports. Callahan is an in-demand name, however. He interviewed for the Titans’ OC job and is slated to meet with the Raiders and Jets about the respective teams’ QBs-coaching jobs.
  • Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski is set to interview for Shurmur’s old post next week, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes rumblings emerged of Shurmur bringing Stefanski to New York with him. Breer tabs Stefanski as a rising star, and the 35-year-old Vikings staffer worked as their assistant QBs coach from 2009-13 before taking over as head QBs instructor this past season. He may have a decision to make soon since the Vikings’ offensive staff has splintered following their NFC title game loss.
  • Harold Goodwin looks set to lose his Cardinals OC job. Reports circulated indicating Mike McCoy will join Steve Wilks‘ staff, but Goodwin could have a landing spot in New York. Vacchiano notes Goodwin could be a candidate for both the Giants’ or Jets‘ offensive line coaching jobs, illustrating the Todd Bowles/Goodwin Arizona connection as a possible Jets pipeline. With Gettleman pointing out how far Big Blue has to go to repair its front, this will be a pivotal hire.
  • The Giants did make some additional assistant hires on Thursday, organizing their defensive position groups’ hierarchies. Gary Emanuel will preside over the Giants’ defensive line, Bill McGovern will stay on to coach linebackers and Lou Anarumo will oversee the defensive backs, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. Anthony Blevins will also become the Giants’ assistant special teams coach after serving in that role with the Cardinals last season, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). McGovern coached Big Blue’s ‘backers under Ben McAdoo for the past two years. Emanuel coached the Colts’ D-line during all six of Chuck Pagano‘s years in Indianapolis, and Anarumo instructed the Dolphins’ DBs during the same time period. Anarumo also served as Miami’s interim defensive coordinator for part of 2015.
  • James Bettcher has only worked with 3-4 defenses, and the Giants have played a 4-3 look for ages. But Vacchiano doesn’t think it would mark that big of an adjustment. He writes that Olivier Vernon may be a good fit as a stand-up outside rusher. Damon Harrison would make sense as a 3-4 nose, given that he played there with the Jets. Vacchiano adds that the Giants may have to overhaul their linebacking corps to make that switch — which isn’t certain yet — work.

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.

Dolphins Finalize Coaching Staff

The Dolphins have finalized Adam Gase‘s coaching staff for the 2016 season, announcing today in a press release that a number of assistants have been added or retained. The team had previously confirmed the hires of Clyde Christensen as offensive coordinator and Vance Joseph as defensive coordinator, among others, so today’s announcement doesn’t feature any major changes, but a few key roles have been filled.Lou Anarumo

[RELATED: Dolphins hire Adam Gase as head coach]

Here’s a breakdown of some of the noteworthy additions, promotions, or assignments announced today:

  • Danny Barrett, running backs coach
  • Ben Johnson, assistant wide receivers coach
  • Chris Kuper, offensive quality control
  • Lou Anarumo, defensive backs coach
  • Terrell Williams, defensive line coach
  • Charlie Bullen, assistant linebackers coach
  • Rusty McKinney, defensive quality control
  • Darren Rizzi, assistant head coach/special teams
  • Marwan Maalouf, assistant special teams
  • Dave Puloka, head strength and conditioning coach

Anarumo is perhaps the most interesting name on the list, since he finished the season as the Dolphins’ interim defensive coordinator after taking over for Kevin Coyle last October. Anarumo interviewed for the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator job earlier this month, but ultimately returned to Miami in the same role that he held for the club prior to his promotion.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday Roundup: Manziel, Forsett, Jags

As the Panthers have their way with the Seahawks in the early going of this afternoon’s Divisional Round matchup, let’s take a look at some news and notes from around the league:

  • We heard just a few days ago that new Browns head coach Hue Jackson was prepared to move on from Johnny Manziel, and the comments he made during a Bleacher Report interview this morning reaffirmed that sentiment. Per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jackson told Bleacher Report that if Manziel was, in fact, in Las Vegas during the season finale, that would indicate to him that Manziel is not starter material. Jackson then went on to say, “I do believe that this team does need a quarterback.”
  • Although it’s certainly not a lock, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com believes the Ravens will bring back Justin Forsett next season. The team would gain only $900K of salary cap space by cutting Forsett, and although the other backs on the team’s depth chart have shown some promise, they have significant flaws and are largely unproven.
  • Packers WR Randall Cobb suffered a bruised lung in last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Jason Wilde of ESPN.com tweets that the team does not yet have an update on Cobb.
  • Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley has finally begun his search for a new defensive coordinator in earnest, bringing in Marquand Manuel and Lou Anarumo for interviews last week. Per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, Bradley hopes to have the search wrapped up by January 25, and Manuel and/or Anarumo could join the Jacksonville coaching staff even if they don’t land the coordinator position. O’Halloran adds that current defensive line coach Todd Wash could still be promoted to DC.
  • In a separate piece, O’Halloran looks at the issues facing the Jaguars‘ new DC, whoever it may be, including what to do with Jonathan Cyprien and whether the team should pursue an elite corner like Prince Amukamara or Greg Toler in free agency or if it can afford to look for a second-tier option.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com offers his breakdown of the Titans‘ cap situation and free agency outlook.
  • Mark Maske of the Washington Post observes that the teams looking for a new head coach this offseason were thinking offensively. Of the seven new hires, five were offensive coordinators, and the other two (Mike Mularkey and Chip Kelly) are of course offensive-minded.

Coach Rumors: Giants, Jags, Titans, Marrone

As the divisional round of the NFL postseason inches closer, the coaching carousel continues to spin for many of the clubs that have been eliminated from Super Bowl contention. Here are the latest coaching-related updates from around the NFL:

  • While there probably won’t be an official announcement until Friday at the earliest, sources expect the Giants to head into 2016 with Mike Sullivan at offensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo at defensive coordinator, and Joe Philbin coming aboard the assistant head coach and QBs coach, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
  • The Jaguars are interviewing Lou Anarumo, who finished 2015 as the Dolphins’ interim defensive coordinator, for their defensive coordinator opening, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets. Jacksonville is taking its time identifying a replacement for Bob Babich, having interviewed Falcons secondary coach Marquand Manuel earlier this week.
  • Doug Marrone completed his interview for the Titans‘ head coaching position today, and Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com (Twitter link) hears that the former Bills head coach made a good impression.
  • The Chargers have hired former Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson for the same position in San Diego, the team announced today in a press release.
  • In addition to confirming their previously-reported hiring of linebackers coach Jim Herrmann, the Colts have announced that they’ve fired offensive line coach Hal Hunter, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com.

Dolphins Fire DC Kevin Coyle, Promote Lou Anarumo

1:20pm: The Dolphins (via Twitter links) confirmed that Coyle is out and Anarumo is the team’s new defensive coordinator.

1:05pm: Dolphins defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo will be the new defensive coordinator, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter).

12:46pm: The Dolphins are firing defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, a source tells Albert Breer of NFL.com (via Twitter). Interim head coach Dan Campbell has made it clear all week long that Coyle’s fate was up in the air and, today, the ax has come down in Miami.

Coyle was hired by the Dolphins prior to the 2012 season. Before going to Miami, Coyle spent eight years as the defensive backs coach for the Bengals. The Dolphins came into the season with a very solid defense on paper. In practice, the Dolphins D has graded out as one of the very worst in the NFL. On top of that, Coyle has been said to be rather unpopular in the locker room and it’s not much of a surprise to see him go. This now marks the second major coaching change for the Dolphins in the last week after head coach Joe Philbin was fired.

Days ago the Dolphins touched base with former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz about the vacancy, but he declined the opportunity. At this time, it’s not immediately clear who will be taking over DC duties for the Dolphins.

Coyle was “as disliked by his players as any coach we’ve encountered [in Miami],” according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald who has covered the team for many years. The Dolphins are 1-3 heading into their bye week with very weak production out of their defense, even with the offseason addition of Ndamukong Suh.

Many speculated that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor would be on the hot seat after Philbin was fired, but for now it appears that he will remain in his position with longtime coach Al Saunders serving as a consultant.