Matt Eberflus

Coaching Rumors: Cowboys, Falcons, Jets

Former Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus will reportedly become the Colts’ next defensive coordinator under presumptive head coach Josh McDaniels, but Dallas was willing to promote Eberflus to DC in order to retain him, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. The Cowboys would have named current defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli assistant head coach, paving the way for Ebeflus to become the club’s new defensive play-caller. But Eberflus “did not want to step on the toes” of Marinelli, per Archer, and therefore decided to head to Indianapolis.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • The Falcons are interviewing former UCLA offensive coordinator/interim head coach Jedd Fisch and longtime NFL coach Greg Knapp for their quarterback coach position, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) and Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link). Fisch, 41, has served in both the collegiate and pro ranks over the past 20 years. In the NFL, Fisch was the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator from 2013-14, and has also worked for the Texans, Ravens, Broncos, and Seahawks, mostly as a quarterbacks or wide receivers coach. Knapp, meanwhile, has coordinated offenses for the 49ers, Falcons, Raiders (two stints), and Seahawks, but was most recently the Broncos’ QBs coach from 2013-16.
  • Now that he’s been passed over for a promotion to Packers defensive coordinator, cornerbacks coach Darren Perry is interviewing to become the Texans‘ secondary coach, according to Marvez (Twitter link). Perry, who’s worked in Green Bay since 2009, would replace John Butler, who was fired by Houston earlier this month. One of three internal candidates to replace former Packers DC Dom Capers, Perry could now leave Green Bay given that Mike Pettine is leading the club’s defense. However, Perry isn’t a lock to defect from the Packers, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, while Texans assistant defensive backs coach Anthony Midget is also in the running for Houston’s secondary coach job, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Buccaneers have exercised their 2018 club options for each of their assistant coaches, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). That should come as no surprise, given that Tampa Bay made the relatively surprising decision to retain head coach Dirk Koetter. However, there could be several “tweaks” to the Buccaneers’ coaching staff, per Stroud, although it’s unclear what those changes might entail. Koetter is signed through the 2020 campaign, while general manager Jason Licht recently had his 2018 option picked up.
  • Assistant defensive backs coach Daylon McCutcheon will not return to the Jets in 2018, sources tell Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. McCutcheon, who worked in New York for the past two seasons, will leave the club in order to move closer to his family on the West Coast, per Mehta.

Colts Expected To Hire Matt Eberflus As DC

After seven seasons as the Cowboys’ linebackers coach, Matt Eberflus is set to receive his first coordinator opportunity.

Once Josh McDaniels officially takes the Colts’ reins, he’s expected to bring Eberflus with him as his defensive coordinator, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Eberflus is a coaching free agent, so the Cowboys won’t be able to block this hire.

Eberflus also spent two seasons coaching the Browns’ linebackers. He’ll ascend to a DC position under McDaniels. SI.com’s Albert Breer reported this likely chain of events last week.

While the coaches have not worked together on an NFL staff, they are both Ohio natives, with Eberflus hailing from Toledo and McDaniels (son of a high school coach) growing up around the Cleveland area. Working under Rod Marinelli in recent years, Eberflus has coached Sean Lee for most of his career.

He’ll have a chance to oversee the development of a young Colts linebacking contingent. The Cowboys have run a 4-3 scheme under Marinelli, while the Colts have used a 3-4 look for the past several seasons. It will be interesting to see if they convert back to a 4-3 look under Eberflus.

Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk writes Eberflus, who took on the responsibility of passing-game coordinator in 2016, looked to be in line to succeed Marinelli in running Dallas’ defense. The Cowboys have lost several assistants this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Josh McDaniels Expected To Become Colts’ HC

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link) that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is expected to become the Colts’ next head coach. McDaniels has reportedly told his potential assistants to wait for him, and Rapoport’s sources believe McDaniels is Indianapolis-bound once New England’s season is over.

Josh McDaniels (Vertical)

Just yesterday, we learned that McDaniels and former Patriots linebacker (and current Texans DC) Mike Vrabel were the finalists for the Colts’ head coaching job. But McDaniels has seemed like the favorite for awhile now, especially given ownership’s desire for something of a splashy hire.

McDaniels compiled an underwhelming 11-17 record during his two-year stint as head coach of the Broncos, but he has more than restored his viability as a head coach since returning to New England. The Patriots’ offense has ranked in the top-10 in points scored during each of his nine years as the Pats’ OC, and McDaniels’ unit put up yet another impressive showing in the team’s divisional round win over Tennessee last night.

McDaniels, of course, has had the privilege of working with Tom Brady during his New England career, and he will inherit another excellent signal-caller in Andrew Luck should he take the Colts’ job. Luck’s health, though, will continue to be a major topic of discussion this offseason, and it was rumored that his shoulder injury may scare off top head coaching candidates. Luckily for Indianapolis, that does not appear to be the case.

As we learned several days ago, Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus — who is currently a free agent — is McDaniels’ top choice for defensive coordinator, per Rapoport (via Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: DeFilippo, Chiefs, Raiders

John DeFilippo interviewed for the Cardinals’ HC job, but if the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach does not land it, he could be an offensive coordinator option elsewhere. DeFilippo’s contract expires at season’s end, Albert Breer of SI.com reports. The second-year Eagles QBs coach looks to have caught the eye of Steve Wilks, who has interviewed for two HC jobs. Breer notes Wilks would want DeFilippo to run his offense if he lands an HC job. Interestingly, Wilks’ best path to said job looks to be with the Cardinals. The Bears met with DeFilippo as well but have already selected their next HC.

Here’s the latest from the coaching ranks.

  • While Wilks and DeFilippo could be connected, Josh McDaniels and Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus may be a possible pairing as well. Breer notes the Patriots’ OC accepting a head-coaching job could lead to Eberflus becoming McDaniels’ DC. Eberflus has coached Dallas’ linebackers since the 2011 season. Prior to that, he served as the Browns’ LBs coach.
  • The Chiefs made quick work of replacing since-promoted Eric Bieniemy as their running backs coach. They interviewed USC running backs coach Deland McCullough for the position on Thursday and will hire him, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports. McCullough, 45, played for the Bengals and Eagles in the late 1990s and coached the likes of Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard at Indiana during a six-year stay as the Hoosiers’ RBs boss. He coached at USC for one season.
  • Bobby Johnson received a Raiders HC interview that is being scrutinized by the NFL, since it may have happened after a Mark Davis/Jon Gruden agreement, but Johnson won’t be a part of Gruden’s 2018 staff. The Raiders are firing their tight ends coach and are expected to hire Bears tight ends coach Frank Smith, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). A previous contender for the Oakland offensive line coaching job, Smith coached the Bears’ tight ends for three years.
  • The Raiders are casting a wide net for their next O-line coach. Former Patriots and Dolphins OL boss Dave DeGuglielmo is in the mix and will interview Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Dolphins, who hired DeGuglielmo to replace the fired Chris Foerster in October, granted permission for this meeting. Miami hired Jeremiah Washburn to coach its O-line, so this would seemingly pave a path out of south Florida for DeGuglielmo.
  • New Packers DC Mike Pettine hired former Giants and Patriots defensive assistant Patrick Graham, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. A Patriots staffer from 2009-15, coaching both New England’s defensive line and linebackers, the 38-year-old Graham is expected to be in charge of Packers ‘backers in some capacity, per Silverstein. Green Bay’s ILBs job is available, and Graham prefers to coach linebackers rather than D-linemen, Silverstein notes.
  • The Bears are interested in Texans offensive assistant Pat O’Hara to become their quarterbacks coach, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. O’Hara and Matt Nagy were both Arena League quarterbacks in the 2000s, although O’Hara is 10 years older than Nagy. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets an O’Hara hire doesn’t mean incumbent QBs coach Dave Ragone will be dismissed. Ragone, a former wideouts coach with the Titans, was a possible candidate to stay despite a new HC’s hire.