Mark Koncz

Giants Reshuffle Front Office

Six months into the Dave Gettleman regime, the Giants reorganized their front office on Wednesday. The headline move involved longtime Giants exec Kevin Abrams moving from the assistant GM title to the VP of football operations. But Big Blue made many other moves as well.

Former Panthers exec Mark Koncz joined his former boss as a consultant this offseason, but Gettleman established the longtime Carolina staffer as the Giants’ new director of player personnel, the team announced. Additionally, Chris Pettit is now the Giants’ director of college scouting, moving to that role after spending 13 years as an area scout.

Koncz worked for the Panthers from 1994, a year before their first season, until he was fired one week after Gettleman’s ouster last summer. Koncz served as Carolina’s director of player personnel during Gettleman’s tenure and spent nearly 15 years as the franchise’s director of pro scouting. Pettit’s worked in a full-time role with the franchise since 2005 but began his run with the Giants as an intern in 1998.

Former Giants linebacker Jessie Armstead will serve as special assistant to Gettleman, Patrick Hanscomb will shift from a role in the pro personnel department to a job as an area scout, specializing in the Mid-Atlantic region, and the Giants hired Marcus Cooper over from the Bills. He’ll serve as an area scout as well, working in the southeast. Cooper worked with the Bills for seven years, most recently serving as Buffalo’s Combine scout.

Ed Triggs will work as the Giants’ football operations coordinator, with Ty Siam assigned to football ops/data analytics. Charles Tisch will be a football operations assistant.

With Gettleman being diagnosed with lymphoma, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post anticipates Abrams’ role increasing and sees the team’s cap expert and chief negotiator looming as a logical successor to the current GM at some point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Owens, Giants

Terrell Owens will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, but he announced on Thursday that he won’t be attending his own induction ceremony. Not one to follow convention, Owens also insists that he can still play in the NFL at the age of 44. In an appearance on FS1, Owens said that he could be a contributor for the Cowboys this year, if called upon.

Yeah,” Owens said when asked if he could catch 30-40 passes for Dallas (transcription via the Dallas News). “And put them in a situation to get into the playoffs and the opportunity to win a championship? Absolutely.”

Ten years ago, the Cowboys rewarded Owens with a four-year, $34MM extension. It’s unlikely that Dallas will give him a call this offseason, though questions persist about their wide receiver group following the departure of Dez Bryant.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • The Redskins‘ wide receiver is very fluid behind starters Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, and Paul Richardson, as Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington writes. Maurice Harris, rookie Trey Quinn, Robert Davis, or Brian Quick could end up as the team’s No. 4 receiver and none of them are assured a place on the final 53-man roster. The Redskins are expected to keep six wide receivers in total, so at least one of those players will miss the cut on Sept. 1.
  • There’s a chance the Redskins will employ a fullback this season, coach Jay Gruden says (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com). So far in practice, Elijah Wellman has been operating as the team’s top FB. Niles Paul previously saw reps at fullback, but he is now with the Jaguars.
  • The Giants have hired Mark Koncz as their director of player personnel, a source tells Darin Gantt of PFT. Koncz, who previously served as the pro personnel director in Carolina under Dave Gettleman, was hired on a temporary basis earlier this year. Now, he has a permanent role in the front office.

Coaching/FO Notes: Colts, Giants, Broncos, Texans

The Colts may not have a head coach, but they certainly aren’t lacking a defensive scheme. As Stephen Holder of IndyStar.com writes, general manager Chris Ballard has stated that he intends to keep Matt Eberflus as the team’s defensive coordinator next season.

“I got to know Matt Eberflus a few years ago and was blown away by Matt,” Ballard said. “Matt was a coveted coach. He’s a very talented defensive coordinator. I feel very lucky to have Matt Eberflus in the building running a scheme that I think fits our team that we can scout for.”

What scheme will the defense be learning in 2018? As Holder writes, the team is planning to replicate the “Tampa 2-style defense” that the Colts and Bears used throughout the early-2000s. The system also “will be a speed-based, 4-3 scheme that relies heavily on the defensive front to create pressure on quarterbacks,” similar to what the Cowboys have been running in recent seasons.

“We’re playing on an indoor surface,” Ballard said. “We’re going to be playing in ideal weather eight to 12 games a year (and) that’s going to be based on athletic ability and speed. That’s how this defense is built. It’s easy for young players to play because it’s simple and it allows them to play fast and physical and that’s what we want to be.”

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Giants GM Dave Gettleman has brought in former Panthers director of player personnel Mark Koncz as a consultant, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. The two worked together with the Panthers, but Koncz was let go last year after Gettleman was fired and Marty Hurney took over as interim GM. Koncz will work with the scouting department as they prepare for the draft in April.
  • Rob Grosso has been named as an assistant to Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, reports Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post (via Twitter). Grosso served as an operations intern with the organization in 2017. Previous coaching assistant Phil Rauscher joined the Redskins staff as their assistant offensive-line coach.
  • The Texans parted ways with several members of their staff yesterday, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Among those who were let go include assistant director of pro personnel Larry Wright, senior director of player engagement Sean Washington, director of sports science Erik Korem and pro scout Tolu Lasaki.

Panthers Fire Executive Mark Koncz

After the Panthers fired GM Dave Gettleman, there was speculation that longtime pro personnel director Mark Koncz could be the man to take over. Now, Koncz also finds himself out of work after being fired by interim GM Marty Hurney, sources tell Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Jerry RichardsonKoncz, 50, started with the Panthers as an intern in the ticket office in 1994. He became the team’s pro scouting director in 2000 and he was just promoted to his latest role in May. Besides Gettleman, Koncz joins a list of executives who have departed the organization this offseason. Former president Danny Morrison left the team back in February, and Brandon Beane later went to Buffalo to become the Bills general manager. Despite all of the turnover, a report from earlier this month indicated that owner Jerry Richardson remains high on coach Ron Rivera.

If Gettleman lands a GM job in the next offseason cycle, it’s a good bet that Koncz could follow him. In the meantime, Koncz finds himself on the unemployment line at an awkward time on the NFL calendar.

Potential Candidates For Panthers GM Job

To the surprise of many, the Panthers are in search of a new general manager. It’s too early to know who will be in the mix for the job, but speculation is already rampant among those in the know. Here are the early potential candidates for Carolina:

  • Seahawks executive Trent Kirchner spent eight years in Carolina as a scout and could be among those considered, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets. Kirchner interviewed for the Colts and 49ers GM positions earlier this offseason before they went to Chris Ballard and John Lynch, respectively.
  • Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden and Panthers director of player personnel Don Gregory are two names to watch, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Cowden was among those to interview for the Chiefs vacancy this summer and spent 16 years working for the Panthers before joining Tennessee.
  • The Panthers’ highest ranking personnel executive left in the building Mark Koncz, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes. He was promoted to personnel director in May from pro director.
  • It’s “just a hunch,” but Alex Marvez of The Sporting News (on Twitter) wouldn’t be surprised if former Chiefs GM John Dorsey ultimately becomes the Panthers’ next GM.
  • The Panthers likely going to go with an interim GM rather than rush to a decision one month before the season starts, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets. With that in mind, former GM Marty Hurney makes some sense. Hurney, who was relieved of his post as GM during the 2012 season, currently works for ESPN Radio in Charlotte. Under his watch, the Panthers drafted some of the team’s biggest stars, including Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and Thomas Davis.

Extra Points: Pats, Packers, Vikes, Panthers

NFL owners passed a resolution today that will no longer allow clubs to block prospective general manager candidates from interviewing elsewhere simply because the new role doesn’t come with final 53-man roster authority, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Earlier today, the league’s owners also voted to eliminate the 75-man roster cutdown and allow teams to bring two players — instead of only one — off the injured reserve list during the season. One rule change that wasn’t voted on: granting clubs a roster exemption for players who’ve suffered a concussion, per Ben Volin of Boston Globe (Twitter link), who adds that proposal could be reintroduced next year.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Packers are working out former Texas Southern wide receiver Derrick Griffin today, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26. Griffin was a two-sport athlete during his collegiate days, but was dismissed from the football team and left the basketball in order to prepare for the NFL draft, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this year. Griffin, who stands 6’6″, 240 pounds, auditioned for the Texans during their local prospect day and also landed a tryout at the Vikings’ rookie minicamp. Green Bay drafted two wideouts — Purdue’s DeAngelo Yancey and LSU’s Malachi Dupre — and also added two undrafted pass-catchers.
  • Offensive lineman David Andrews‘ three-year, $9MM extension with the Patriots contains $2.1MM ($700K annually) in playing time incentives) that can bring the maximum value of the deal to $11.1MM, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap. The pact also contains a $1.6MM signing bonus — the only fully guaranteed portion of the contract — plus per-game roster bonuses of $300K in 2017 and $400K in 2018-2020. Andrews’ extension places him within the top half of the league’s highest-paid centers.
  • The NFLPA is advising members of the Vikings‘ rookie class to not sign their contract until certain procedural language is cleared up, reports Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. While Minnesota maintains that it’s offering standard rookie deals with no changes from years prior, the players’ union is concerned with language dealing with offsets and anti-tampering. None of the 11-member Vikings class is under contract, but they’re each participating in offseason activities after signing protective waivers.
  • Now that former assistant general manager Brandon Beane has taken the reins in Buffalo, the Panthers have restructured their scouting staff, as the club announced Monday. Mark Koncz is Carolina’s new director player personnel, Jeff Morrow is the new director of college scouting, and Matt Allen has been named the team’s new director of pro personnel. Meanwhile, Don Gregory, who was reportedly on the Bills’ general manager candidate list, is now a senior executive scout who will work in both the pro and college arenas.