Former NFL wide receiver Miles Austin is joining the 49ers as an offensive quality control coach, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Austin, 34, spent the majority of his playing career with the Cowboys and then joined the Dallas scouting staff after announcing his retirement in 2016. The Cowboys interviewed Austin for their vacant wide receivers job last offseason, but that gig ultimately went to Sanjay Lal. Austin will join recent retirees Wes Welker (receivers) and DeMeco Ryans (inside linebackers) on the San Francisco staff.
Here’s more from the NFL’s coaching carousel:
- The Chiefs have hired Dave Merritt as their new defensive backs coach, per Yates (Twitter link). Merritt was actually hired as the Jaguars’ assistant defensive line coach earlier this offseason, but Jacksonville has apparently let him out his contract in order to pursue a better opportunity. The 47-year-old Merritt worked under new Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in New York, working as the Giants’ defensive backs coach alongside Spags from 2007-08. The Chiefs haven’t announced whether incumbent secondary coaches Emmitt Thomas and Al Harris will be retained.
- Alabama running backs coach Joe Pannunzio will leave Tuscaloosa in order to take an undisclosed role with the Eagles, reports Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network (Twitter link). The 59-year-old Pannunzio, who previously served as the head coach at Murray State, worked in Philadelphia’s personnel department under former head coach Chip Kelly from 2015-16. The Eagles already have a running backs coach in place in Duce Staley (who also holds the title of assistant head coach), so it’s unclear if Pannunzio will join the club’s on-field staff or instead head to the front office.
- The Packers announced that they’ve hired Luke Butkus as assistant offensive line coach and Rayna Stewart as a special teams quality control coach. Butkus, the nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, will work under new Green Bay OL coach Adam Stenavich, while Stewart will advise new ST coordinator Shawn Mennenga.