Matt House

Extra Points: Cowboys, Chiefs, Darkwa

Jerry Jones only helped add fuel to the fire today regarding Earl Thomas potentially joining the Cowboys. When asked if the organization would pursue some help at safety, the team’s owner made his answer pretty clear.

“Yes,” Jones told ESPN’s Todd Archer (Twitter link). “That’s about all I’ll say, but yes.”

Of course, it’s important to note that Jones never explicitly mentioned Thomas, but it’s pretty easy to assume that the organization will pursue the veteran defensive back. The mutual interest between the two sides has been covered extensively, although the NFL recently made it clear that the Cowboys didn’t tamper when it came to the 29-year-old.

Of course, Dallas ultimately may look to leverage Thomas’ interest in joining the Cowboys. The team is projected to have around $50MM in cap space, but a solid portion of that total will go towards a DeMarcus Lawrence franchise tag and other extensions. As a result, the team may not have a whole lot of money to give Thomas.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • The Chiefs have finalized their defensive coaching staff under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. As Brooke Pryor of KansasCity.com writes, the biggest addition was defensive line coach and run game coordinator Brendan Daly, who previously served in that role with the Patriots. The organization has also added linebackers coach Matt House, defensive backs coach Dave Merritt, defensive backs/cornerbacks coach Sam Madison, linebackers coach Britt Reid, defensive quality control coach Terry Bradden, and defensive assistant Alex Whittingham.
  • Steelers linebacker Jon Bostic may have appeared in all 16 games this season, but his role was reduced as the season went on. While the journeyman may be able to find a bigger role elsewhere, he’s still hoping to stay in Pittsburgh. “Obviously this is my first year here and whatnot; hopefully we can make this place a home,” Bostic told Chris Adamski of TribLive.com. “It’s been a fun year; definitely didn’t go the way we would have planned (missing the playoffs). But that’s football. You can’t plan everything out. But I do (feel like the Steelers’ organization can be home).” Bostic is set to earn $1.8MM next season, and the team would be left with only $700K in dead cap if they released the 27-year-old.
  • It sounds like we now have an explanation for why Orleans Darkwa never joined an NFL team last season. The veteran running back told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan that he tore the Achilles tendon in his right leg during an October audition with the Jaguars. The 26-year-old was coming off his most productive NFL season in 2017, rushing for 751 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 171 carries. The Giants had offered him a contract that would have kept him in New York, and he also received interest from the Redskins, Patriots, and Bills.

Staff Notes: Chiefs, 49ers, Falcons, Bears

The Chiefs will, in fact, be poaching an SEC defensive coordinator. Kentucky will let Matt House leave the school to take a job with the Chiefs, per Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star. This comes after a report indicated House would not be permitted to get out of his Kentucky contract to join Steve Spagnuolo‘s defensive staff. But the Chiefs will pay House’s $150K buyout in order for him to become their new linebackers coach. House previously worked with Spagnuolo, serving as an assistant linebackers coach with the Rams. Both of the Chiefs’ previous linebacker staffers — Mike Smith and Mark DeLeone — are now coaching in the NFC North. While Kentucky just lost its defensive boss, both Florida and Texas A&M’s DCs have been linked to the Bengals’ job.

Here is the coaching carousel’s latest:

  • An NHL assistant will make a move to the 49ers‘ staff. They are hiring Philadelphia Flyers sports science director Ben Peterson to oversee their medical and training staffs, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports (subscription required). This is a new position Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch conjured up, with Barrows noting the rash of injuries the 49ers endured the past two seasons prompted the unorthodox move. While Peterson’s position has not been announced, his primary role is to ensure better cohesion exists between the 49ers’ medical and training staffs, Barrows adds. The 49ers have been using sports science since the Chip Kelly regime, and Peterson’s arrival will surely increase the franchise’s investment in this area.
  • The Falcons will move one of their scouts to their coaching staff. After serving as a pro scout last year, Bob Kronenberg will become the team’s assistant offensive line coach, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A former offensive lineman at the pro level, Kronenberg has been with the Falcons for eight years.
  • Former NFL wide receiver Chris Jackson will join Matt Nagy‘s Bears staff as a defensive assistant, the team announced. Jackson initially caught on with the Bears during 2018 training camp via the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. He spent last season as a high school assistant in Peoria, Ariz.
  • More new Cardinals assistants are emerging. The team announced Rusty McKinney will join Kliff Kingsbury‘s staff as a defensive assistant. Like Charlie Bullen, McKinney spent the past three seasons on Adam Gase‘s Dolphins staffs. The former defensive quality control coach worked with new Cardinals DC Vance Joseph in 2016.

Expected Chiefs LB Coach Matt House To Stay At Kentucky

University of Kentucky defensive coordinator Matt House will remain with the Wildcats rather than join the Chiefs as the team’s linebackers coach, Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones tweets.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor [Twitter link], Kentucky decided to not let House out of his contract after originally agreeing to a buyout. Paylor notes that House wanted to be with the Chiefs.

Earlier in the week, it was reported that House was expected to join the Chiefs, reuniting him with new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who he previously worked with while serving as a quality control coach and assistant linebackers coach with the Rams.

House emerged as a hot name in 2018 after leading the Wildcats to the No. 6 scoring defense in the country. That unit was led by Josh Allen, a standout pass-rushing linebacker who is expected to be taken in the top 10 of the upcoming NFL Draft.

The search will continue for the Chiefs, who are looking for a replacement for Mike Smith, who joined the Packers in January in a similar role. The team’s inside linebackers coach, Mark Deleone, also left the team, joining the Bears in the same capacity.