Matt O'Donnell

Coaching Rumors: Pats, Chargers, Texans

The Patriots are currently the only club without a defensive coordinator in place, and New England could follow in the footsteps of the Eagles — who may not hire an OC — and not officially name a new coordinator, as Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com speculates (via Twitter). Incumbent linebackers coach Brian Flores is viewed as the favorite to succeed Matt Patricia on the Patriots’ staff, but as Breer notes, Bill Belichick has given former assistants time to grow before placing them in coordinator roles. Patricia, for one, called New England’s defensive plays for two seasons before being given the DC title. Additionally, current offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called plays for the Patriots in 2005 despite not having the official coordinator moniker.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • Jerry Schuplinski had been expected to follow McDaniels to Indianapolis, but now that that ship has sailed, Schuplinski will return to the Patriots‘ staff as assistant quarterbacks coach, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Reports earlier this offseason indicated Schuplinski had an “outside chance” to succeed McDaniels as New England’s offensive play-caller, but a path to the Colts had seemed more likely as of last week. Now, Schuplinski — who has been with the Patriots since 2013 — will work with Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, and possibly another signal-caller if New England selects a passer in the upcoming draft.
  • The Chargers have announced several new hires, including the addition of former Bills wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan in the same role. McGeoghan, who spent only one season in Buffalo, will replace Nick Sirianni, who is now the Colts’ offensive coordinator. He’ll get to work with a receiving corps that includes Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Travis Benjamin. Additionally, Los Angeles has hired Keith Burns (assistant special teams) and Addison Lynch (defensive quality control).
  • Two AFC South clubs — the Titans and Texans — have finalized their 2018 coaching staffs and announced a few hires that hadn’t been previously reported. Tennessee has retained Luke Steckel (offensive assistant) and hired Matt Edwards (assistant special teams), Scott Booker (defensive assistant), Ryan Crow (defensive assistant) , while Houston had added Will Lawning (offensive assistant/offensive line) and Matt O’Donnell (defensive quality control).
  • The Cardinals have hired former University of Findlay offensive coordinator Troy Rothenbuhler as an offensive quality control coach, reports Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Rothenbuhler had spent his entire coaching career in the collegiate ranks, and spent the past seven years as Findlay’s play-caller.