Marty Mornhinweg

AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Bengals

Pending free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has told his representation he wants to stay with the Browns, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Browns management is reportedly “redoubling efforts” to re-sign Pryor, and the club is set to meet with Pryor’s agent this week. Cleveland, of course, holds the franchise tag as an option, but is loathe to go down that avenue unless a long-term deal cannot be reached. Pryor has spoken highly of the Browns and head coach Hue Jackson in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s willing to take a hometown discount to remain Cleveland.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Veteran offensive tackle Eric Winston says he’s “hopeful” about a return to the Bengals, and noted a new deal “looks promising,” per SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Thought to be buried on Cincinnati’s depth chart, Winston ended up rotating right tackle snaps with former first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi, and ultimately played on roughly a quarter of the Bengals’ offensive snaps. Winston, 33, signed a minimum salary benefit contract with Cincinnati in 2016, and would likely be forced to accept a similar deal this year.
  • If the Viking release running back Adrian Peterson (or ask him to take a paycut), the Steelers could confidently argue that Peterson’s $14MM annual salary was an anomaly, and pressure pending free agent Le’Veon Bell to accept something closer to LeSean McCoy‘s $8MM per year, opines Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Pittsburgh is likely to franchise Bell at a cost north of $12MM for 2017, and would probably be willing to go near $10MM annually on a long-term extension, per Fowler. Approaching, or exceeding, Peterson’s $14MM figure would represent a problem, however.
  • The Ravens will not hire a formal quarterbacks coach for the 2017 season, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will lead the QBs room, while Craig Ver Steeg — whom previous reports had indicated would become Baltimore’s new quarterbacks coach — will remain an offensive assistant.
  • In his latest chat at ESPN.com, Tony Grossi covers which quarterbacks the Browns may target if they strike out on Jimmy Garoppolo, the likelihood of Tyrod Taylor — who is said to be on Cleveland’s radar — heading to northern Ohio, and other position groups the Browns may target in free agency.

Ravens To Keep OC Marty Mornhinweg

Contrary to speculation around the league, Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh announced that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return in 2017. Same goes for defensive coordinator Dean Pees and special teams coordinator Jerry RosburgMarty Mornhinweg (vertical)

[RELATED: Ravens Sign Six To Reserve/Futures Contracts]

Baltimore promoted Mornhinweg from quarterbacks coach to OC after firing Marc Trestman in October. Since then, however, the Ravens haven’t seen much in the way of improvement. On the whole, the Ravens finished 17th in total yards gained and 24th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric this season. A new hire would have made six OCs in six years for the Ravens.

While the coordinators will be staying on board, Harbaugh indicated that there could be other changes elsewhere on the staff.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Fire Marty Mornhinweg?

Fishing up their third season in four years without a playoff berth, the Ravens are likely to part ways with another offensive coordinator.

Baltimore promoted Marty Mornhinweg from quarterbacks coach to OC after firing Marc Trestman in October, but Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun writes the team will likely begin searching for his replacement after the season.

A new hire would make six OCs in six years for the Ravens, who previously moved from Cam Cameron to Jim Caldwell to Gary Kubiak to Trestman to Mornhinweg between 2012 and 2016. While both Caldwell and Kubiak guided the offense to perches that garnered them second head-coaching opportunities, the franchise will have experienced significant upheaval here after possessing stability in the position during its half-decade playoff streak. Cameron served as John Harbaugh‘s OC for the first four-plus seasons of his tenure.

Zreibec notes the switch from Trestman to Mornhinweg hasn’t resulted in a major improvement, with the Ravens’ ground game not particularly effective and a lack of big plays occurring. Baltimore ranks 18th offensively a year after Trestman’s offense — which was missing several pieces as injuries ravaged the ’15 Ravens — finished as the league’s 14th-ranked unit. Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric places the Baltimore offense at 23rd.

Despite the Ravens being 31-32 since their second Super Bowl title, Zreibec does not anticipate Harbaugh’s job being jeopardy. Having guided the Ravens to six playoff appearances in his nine years, Harbaugh signed an extension last offseason through 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Coaches

Head coach Marvin Lewis revealed earlier this month he’d return to the Bengals’ sideline in 2017 “if asked,” though ex-NFL tight end and current ESPN Radio 980 host Chris Cooley reported Sunday that the 58-year-old was going to retire. However, Lewis isn’t going to walk away, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. Thus, unless Cincinnati unexpectedly fires Lewis, he’ll remain the league’s second-longest-tenured head coach (behind New England’s Bill Belichick). The Bengals have gone just 5-9-1 this year under Lewis, who previously helped them to five straight playoff berths. Cincy hasn’t won a postseason game in any of Lewis’ 14 years at the helm, though, having posted an ugly 0-7 mark.

More on Cincinnati and one of its AFC North rivals:

  • While it’s unclear when exactly Ravens head coach John Harbaugh‘s contract expires, it runs through at least the 2018 campaign, a team source told Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com on Tuesday. At 8-7, the Harbaugh-led Ravens will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, but his nine-year tenure has nonetheless been a resounding success. Overall, Baltimore has gone 85-58 in the regular season under Harbaugh, made six playoff trips and won a Super Bowl.
  • Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, an impending free agent, said last week that he’d be open to playing guard going forward, but the 35-year-old walked back those comments to a degree on Tuesday. “My first choice is to play left tackle in 2017 somewhere,” Whitworth told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “Hopefully here. My No. 1 choice is here.” Whitworth shifted to left guard last Saturday in the Bengals’ 12-10 loss to Houston, thereby enabling second-year man Cedric Ogbuehi to protect Andy Dalton‘s blind side. But Whitworth regards his own pass-blocking talent as “rare” for a left tackle and aims to man that spot in 2017, which will be his 12th season.
  • The Ravens should fire Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, Mike Preston of The Baltimore Sun opines. The Ravens installed Mornhinweg as the interim coordinator to replace Marc Trestman in the middle of this season, but the results haven’t been much different. Preston says the Ravens need someone who is more than an X’s-and-O’s guy and has a dominant personality. In his view, quarterback Joe Flacco doesn’t have that type of personality and that leaves the offense without a clear leader.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Ravens Fire OC Marc Trestman

The Ravens are firing offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, league sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Baltimore is replacing him with Marty Mornhinweg. The team has since confirmed the move via press release.Marc Trestman (vertical)

Trestman’s firing comes one day after the Ravens suffered a 16-10 loss at home against the Redskins. After the game, quarterback Joe Flacco described the offense as “embarrassing” and said that the struggles so far this year have been “frustrating.” Apparently, team brass agreed and Trestman has been sacked five games into the season.

Trestman previously served as the Bears’ head coach from 2013 through 2014. After the Bears finished 8-8 in Trestman’s first year, they took a step back in 2014 with a 5-win season. Trestman was canned after the season, but the Ravens quickly scooped him up as their offensive coordinator.

Last year, the Ravens finished 14th in the NFL in total yards but placed in the bottom third of the league in points scored. Through five games this year, they’re roughly in the same position and the Ravens have opted to make a change. Mornhinweg, who previously served as Baltimore’s quarterbacks coach, will now get bumped up to OC. Mornhinweg has served as an offensive coordinator for three different teams (Jets, Eagles, and 49ers) in his career and is best known for his time as the head coach of the Lions, although that is a period he’d probably like to forget.

The Ravens will put a strong emphasis on maintaining balance on offense and sticking with the run game while reinforcing the downfield passing game, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. The Ravens can be expected to lean on Terrance West and they could also get Kenneth Dixon more involved as they look to spark their run game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coach Updates: Chudzinski, Ravens, Raiders

We rounded up one set of coaching updates and rumors this morning, but several more have trickled in since then, so we’re due for another recap. Here’s the latest:

  • The Colts are blocking offensive assistant Rob Chudzinski from interviewing for any teams’ offensive coordinator jobs, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The Bears, 49ers, and Rams are among the teams that have been linked to Chudzinski and will have to look elsewhere.
  • A day after being officially replaced as the Jets’ offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg has found a new job, according to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who announced today that Mornhinweg had joined his staff in Baltimore as the team’s quarterbacks coach (Twitter link). Mornhinweg replaces Rick Dennison, who left the Ravens to become Denver’s offensive coordinator.
  • During Harbaugh’s conversation with reporters, the Ravens head coach added that he was very impressed with Adam Gase‘s interview for the club’s offensive coordinator job, but that he viewed Marc Trestman as a better fit (Twitter link via Clifton Brown of CSNBaltimore.com).
  • Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) provides an update on the Raiders‘ defensive coordinator hunt, writing that Jack Del Rio has been talking to Mike Smith about the position for about a week, Eric Mangini is interviewing today, and Mel Tucker is also on the team’s radar.
  • The 49ers are interested in former Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, who says San Francisco would likely want Sparano as a tight ends coach.
  • Rumors about Dick LeBeau closing in on a deal to become the Cardinals‘ linebackers coach are a surprise to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who tweets that as of a couple days ago, LeBeau was only interested in becoming a defensive coordinator, not a position coach.

Coach Notes: Browns, Ravens, Rams, Austin

Six of the seven teams changing head coaches this offseason have officially hired replacements, and the Falcons appear fully prepared to wait for Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. However, while there may not be much drama left among the league’s head coaching searches, there’s still plenty of intrigue in the coordinator searches, as a number of noteworthy coaches continue to look for jobs. Here’s a round-up of the latest updates:

  • The Browns have canceled their offensive coordinator interview with Raiders senior offensive assistant Al Saunders, a league source tells Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (on Twitter). The meeting hasn’t been rescheduled, and no reason was given for the cancellation, so it’s not clear why it will no longer happen.
  • In addition to not interviewing Saunders, the Browns also won’t speak to former Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). A Tuesday report had suggested Mornhinweg was expected to talk to the club about the job.
  • While Mornhinweg apparently won’t interview with the Browns, he has drawn interest from the Ravens, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Baltimore hired Marc Trestman as its new offensive coordinator yesterday, so Mornhinweg would be a candidate for the team’s quarterbacks coach job.
  • The Rams have been denied permission to speak to two of their offensive coordinator candidates, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who reports that the Colts blocked the Rams from talking to Rob Chudzinski, while the Packers thwarted St. Louis’ efforts to talk to Alex Van Pelt. The Rams still hope to interview Adam Gase, who is in Chicago today to speak to the Bears.
  • While Teryl Austin could still technically end up becoming the Falcons‘ new head coach, it sure looks like the Lions defensive coordinator will be returning to Detroit, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press details.
  • The Broncos will hope for a change of heart from the Bengals on secondary coach Vance Joseph, whom Denver targeted as its top defensive coordinator target, but with Cincinnati refusing to release Joseph from his contract, the Broncos are moving forward on other candidates, tweets Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com.
  • Mike Smith has been the Raiders‘ top target for defensive coordinator since Jack Del Rio was named head coach, tweets Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune. If an established coach like Smith lands Oakland’s DC job, he’ll have more autonomy than a younger coach would — Del Rio would be more involved on D in that case, says McDonald.

Coach Notes: Weis, Gase, Bears, Mornhinweg

The Bears are considering a handful of offensive coordinator candidates, including Charlie Weis, Geep Chryst (49ers), Jim Bob Cooter (Lions), and Adam Gase (Broncos), according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Weis, the former head coach of Notre Dame and Kansas, has been linked to the Browns’ offensive coordinator vacancy in the past. More coaching news..

  • Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie will be back with Atlanta after getting strong overtures from multiple teams in recent weeks, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals are looking to finalize a deal that would make former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau the team’s new linebackers coach, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Browns interviewed Rams quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti for their offensive coordinator vacancy, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • Gase is flying to Chicago to meet with the Bears about their offensive coordinator opening, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday and things could move very quickly.
  • The 49ers are considering Eric Mangini for their defensive coordinator opening, according to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. Mangini served as the team’s tight ends coach last season and was an offensive consultant with the 49ers the year before that.
  • The Browns are expected to interview former Jets and Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg this week at the Senior Bowl, a source tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • A source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that the Bengals will not allow defensive backs coach Vance Joseph to leave his contract. Joseph was previously linked to the Broncos’ defensive coordinator vacancy.
  • Washington was interested in Vic Fangio, who ultimately landed in Chicago as the Bears’ defensive coordinator, but never made a formal offer to him. As head coach Jay Gruden explained today, that was because the club felt like Fangio’s mind was already made up on choosing the Bears (Twitter link via Mike Jones of the Washington Post).
  • Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter) speculated earlier today that – if Chan Gailey‘s deal fell through – former Packers coach Mike Sherman would have been interested in the Jets‘ offensive coordinator job, though the interest might not have been mutual. Sherman has a relationship with GM Mike Maccagnan dating back to his time in Houston. Hours later, the Jets finalized their deal with Gailey.

Coach Updates: Raiders, Ryan, 49ers, Bucs

As they search for a new head coach, the Raiders have requested permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, reports Josina Anderson of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Anderson (via Twitter), the Raiders are genuinely intrigued by Hamilton, having heard good things about him. Because Indianapolis has a game this weekend, Hamilton won’t be able to speak to Oakland until next week at the earliest, assuming he has interest in the job.

Here are a few more coaching-related notes from around the NFL:

  • Reports have suggested that Rex Ryan has no interest in accepting a coordinator job this offseason, but that doesn’t mean that teams won’t try. According to Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post, the Dolphins made an offer to the former Jets head coach to become Miami’s next defensive coordinator. Per Fortenbaugh, the offer was for multiple years and was worth approximately $8MM in total.
  • A league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that “a perception exists that Rex has been politicking too aggressively” for the Falcons‘ head coaching vacancy, which could rub owner Arthur Blank the wrong way. Ryan is scheduled to interview for the position.
  • Multiple Shanahans appear to be in the mix for the 49ers‘ head coaching job — Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com indicated that Niners GM Trent Baalke spoke to Mike Shanahan on Tuesday, while Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweeted earlier this week that Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is a candidate for San Francisco. It’s not clear if the team has set up an interview with either coach yet.
  • The 49ers got their interview process underway yesterday, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was the first candidate to sit down with the team, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. As we heard last night, Seahawks DC Dan Quinn interviewed later in the day.
  • Rick Stroud of the Tampa Tribune identifies 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Jets OC Marty Mornhinweg as likely candidates for the Buccaneers‘ OC job, with the team expected to request interviews for both. Like Dirk Koetter of the Falcons, whose name surfaced yesterday, those coordinators work for teams that recently parted ways with their head coaches. According to Stroud, the Bucs may also pursue ex-Bears head coach Marc Trestman.

Coach Notes: Jets, Trestman, Coughlin

Jets coach Rex Ryan intended to talk to the media on Friday about this team’s matchup with the Vikings. Instead, he addressed rumors that he had considered firing offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

“I would deny that, 100 percent I’ll deny that, that I’m looking to fire Marty or anybody,” Ryan said (via Brian Costello of the New York Post). “You know we challenge each other all the time. … I don’t know where it’s coming from. So to me I think it’s a complete bogus deal. So, I’m not saying it wasn’t said by somebody, but it certainly wasn’t said by me or thought by me.”

Let’s take a look at some more rumblings out of the NFL front offices, including whispers about coaches potentially on the hot seat…

  • There has been plenty of finger-pointing in New York regarding the issues surrounding the Jets, and Ryan, Mornhinweg and general manager John Idzik have faced their fair share of criticism. Bart Hubbach of the New York Post believes one member of the organization has unfairly gone unscathed: owner Woody Johnson.
  • While the Bears‘ season certainly hasn’t gone as planned, it doesn’t look like the team will endure any drastic changes. John Mullin of CSNChicago.com appeared on ProFootballTalk Live and stated his belief that head coach Marc Trestman is safe (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com), noting that firing the coach would be an admission of failure by general manager Phil Emery.
  • Meanwhile, Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times believes the Bears need to make major changes. However, based on the team’s moves in previous years, the team will be apprehensive about making any drastic moves.
  • Dan Graziano is unsure what the Giants will do with head coach Tom Coughlin, but he believes there’s a chance that the team could be grooming offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo for the role.