Mike McCarthy

NFC Coaching Turner, Peetz, Linguist, Harris,Whitted

Norv Turner will not be returning to the Panthers coaching staff, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. Turner had served as a special assistant to former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera, of course, was recently replaced by Matt Rhule and has since taken over in Washington. While nothing has been reported, it would not be a surprise to see Turner follow Rivera to the nation’s capital to work with young quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

At the same time, Carolina blocked running backs coach Jake Peetz from interviewing for other positions, per Albert Breer of SI.com. Breer adds that Rivera wanted to take Peetz with him, but Carolina general manager Marty Hurney valued Peetz and the team decided to reward him with a promotion to quarterbacks coach.

Here’s some more notes from coaching staff’s around the NFC:

  • The Cowboys hired Texas A&M cornerbacks coach Maurice Linguist to serve as the team’s defensive backs coach alongside Al Harris. Linguist did not have a history with either head coach Mike McCarthy or defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, but his personality impressed the pair so much that they offered him the job on the same day of his interview, according to Dallas Cowboys reporter Lindsay Cash Draper. Harris had been an assistant with Kansas City, but more notably, played under McCarthy during his tenure in Green Bay at cornerback.
  • Harris’ former team will be making a change at wide receivers coach. According Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Packers have let Alvis Whitted go and have begun the process of searching for his replacement. Whitted was hired just a year ago to join Matt LaFleur’s staff, but it appears LaFleur will be going in a different direction.

Cowboys Hire Scott McCurley As LBs Coach

The new Cowboys full coaching staff under Mike McCarthy was announced earlier this week. While our Pro Football Rumors reported the majority of the hirings earlier this week, we realized we had forgotten to mention that Scott McCurley had become the teams new linebackers coach, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic.

McCurley worked under McCarthy during his Green Bay tenure, serving as a defensive quality control coach from 2009-2014, then as the assistant linebackers coach from 2014-2017, and as a defensive assistant from 2017-2019.

The Cowboys roster will likely take a significantly different form given the impending free agencies of Dak Prescott, Byron Jones, and Amari Cooper. McCurley fills out a very experienced coaching staff assigned with bringing a Dallas roster full of elite talent, especially on the offensive end, to the next level. While McCurley will get to work with a group headlined by the talented duo of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch and veteran Sean Lee.

NFC East Rumors: Cowboys, Giants, Barwin

Mike McCarthy being hired so soon points to the Cowboys being confident he will coax more from their talented roster than Jason Garrett did, and ownership looks set to give its new HC more power. McCarthy will not only have greater input on roster decisions than he did in Green Bay but will hold as much influence in this area as Bill Parcells did three coaches ago in Dallas, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News and Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter links). It was not a secret McCarthy and ex-Packers GM Ted Thompson did not see eye to eye on the latter’s aversion to free agency additions, so it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys proceed now that McCarthy will possess greater influence than Jason Garrett or Wade Phillips did on this front.

Here is the latest from Dallas and other NFC East cities:

  • Jerry and Stephen Jones kept Garrett in the loop on their plans, notifying the since-displaced head coach they planned to interview McCarthy. “[Jason] said, ‘You’re not going to meet anybody more special than Mike. I love his story, I love him. he’s great,’” Jones said. Attempting to explain the delay in parting ways with Garrett, Jerry Jones said he sought a “soft landing” for his 10-season HC. Stephen Jones said the Cowboys’ deliberate actions were “in line with what Jason wanted.”
  • The Cowboys only interviewed McCarthy and Marvin Lewis for their coaching job. No other interviews were scheduled, Werder tweets.
  • Bret Bielema is expected to be in the mix for the Giants‘ defensive coordinator role under Joe Judge, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. Judge is believed to have most of his staff selected, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, who notes said staff will likely include several coaches with more NFL experience than the 38-year-old HC. The former Wisconsin head coach, Bielema spent 2018 as a Patriots consultant and coached the Pats’ defensive line this season.
  • Not long after Connor Barwin announced his retirement, the pass rusher may be set to transition into a staff role. The Eagles may be in the process of bringing Barwin in for a personnel role, per Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio (Twitter link). This may mean a scouting job for the 33-year-old ex-Eagles linebacker. Barwin played four seasons with the Eagles, from 2013-16, arriving early in Howie Roseman‘s GM stay.

Cowboys Could Keep Kellen Moore

New Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is a fan of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (on Twitter). McCarthy hasn’t made any firm decisions on his staff, but it seems like McCarthy is more than open to keeping Moore in his current role. 

[RELATED: Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy]

Moore, 31 this summer, took over for Scott Linehan prior to the 2019 season. The Cowboys’ offense lacked consistency throughout the year, but McCarthy isn’t necessarily placing the blame at Moore’s feet.

Marvin Lewis – the other only known candidate for the Cowboys head coaching vacancy – was reportedly eyeing Hue Jackson as his OC. The hiring of McCarthy means that Moore will have a chance to stay in Dallas, despite the departure of Jason Garrett.

Speaking of McCarthy – Rapoport hears that he has landed a five-year pact with the Cowboys. The financial terms of the deal are not yet known.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy

The Cowboys have hired Mike McCarthy as their new head coach, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (on Twitter). A formal announcement and press conference will come later this week. 

The Cowboys dragged their feet on letting Jason Garrett go, but, at long last, they finalized his dismissal over the weekend. They also kicked off their head coaching search by interviewing McCarthy and former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. It didn’t take long for them to find their man.

As our head coaching tracker shows, McCarthy was one of the more popular names on the interview circuit. Before meeting with the Cowboys, McCarthy also interviewed for the Panthers, Browns, and Giants vacancies. The longtime Packers HC was out of the NFL for the entire 2019 campaign, but he spent the season studying film and designing plays in preparation for his next opportunity. That’s a plus, since McCarthy has been criticized for his play calling in the past.

McCarthy was fired by the Packers in December 2018, ending a 13-year run with the franchise. Over the years, he amassed a 135-85-2 record, including a 10-8 mark in the playoffs. Most notably, he led the Packers to the Super Bowl XLV title.

In the Cowboys’ last external head coaching search, they cast a wide net before settling on Wade Phillips. This time around, they quickly locked in on a short list of candidates before hiring McCarthy. This search also included a sleepover at JJ’s place, according t ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

Once you stay at Jerrry’s house, he doesn’t lose his guy,” the source told Schefter.

McCarthy is expected to install a totally new offensive scheme in Dallas. Since 2007, the offense has been anchored by Garrett and the aid of three different play-callers. It remains to be seen whether current OC Kellen Moore will return under McCarthy’s staff, even though he’s still under contract. On the other side of the ball, DC Rod Marinelli is out of contract, along with passing game coordinator Kris Richard.

The Cowboys believe that McCarthy – who helped groom Aaron Rodgers into one of the league’s top quarterbacks – will pair well with star Dak Prescott. Even though the Cowboys finished .500 this year, Prescott had a strong individual season on the whole as he set new career-highs in passing yards (4,902) and touchdowns (30) with eleven interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Notes: GM Search, DePodesta, McCarthy, Saleh, Daboll

While the primary focus in Cleveland remains on their search for a new head coach, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Browns could have their eyes on a pair of front-office employees with the Seahawks for their general managerial opening. Via Garafolo’s report, Seattle’s co-directors of player personnel, Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, are two well-respected executives that could emerge as leading candidates.

Here’s more notes from the Browns organization:

  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport noted that two head coaching candidates in the Browns search that align with Kirchner and Fitterer are former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. McCarthy’s connection to the two Seattle executives is unclear, but Saleh started his coaching career in Seattle and has built his defensive scheme upon the Seahawks 4-3 at the peak of the “Legion of Boom.”
  • The Browns pushed back their interview with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for Cleveland’s head coaching position, according to Ian Rapaport of NFL.com. Daboll remains a candidate, but since the Bills were eliminated from the playoffs in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Texans, the team decided to delay his interview to this week so he could meet more of the team’s current front office staff.
  • Browns chief strategist Paul DePodesta has been the center of a lot of coverage surrounding the power struggle in Cleveland. The onetime assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics is spearheading the Browns head coach search, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, but is not under contract with the team beyond next week. With that said, DePodesta is still wanted in Cleveland and the team may want to extend the executive at the same time of the team’s general manager and head coaching hires to put the organization on the same page.

Cowboys Officially Part With Jason Garrett

The Cowboys have officially announced that Jason Garrett will not return as the team’s head coach next season. While the news does not come as a surprise, the team had yet to make an official announcement. The announcement confirms an earlier report from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that Dallas had informed Garrett of the decision.

Garrett’s status had been under question for much of the season and when the Cowboys were officially eliminated from the playoffs his fate seemed sealed. While nothing was officially announced, Dallas began interviewing other head coaching candidates, including former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy earlier this week.

The team’s statement refuses to call the move a firing, but rather says “the team would not seek a new agreement [with Garrett].” Garrett has long been held by Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in high regard dating back to his days as a backup quarterback, but his inability to take Dallas deep into the playoffs forced Jones to make a move. In the end, Garrett finished his 10-year tenure as Cowboys head coach with an 85-67 regular season record and 2-3 postseason record.

 

Latest On Cowboys’ Coaching Search

Jason Garrett is still technically the coach of the Cowboys, but everything continues to indicate they’ll be moving on with the team already scheduling interviews with Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy. Here’s the latest on everything pertaining to Dallas’ search:

  • The Cowboys were conspicuously quiet for a while, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t working behind the scenes. The McCarthy interview news just leaked Friday morning but the former Packers coach was apparently originally scheduled to interview on Thursday before rescheduling to accommodate his Browns interview, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). That proves owner Jerry Jones hasn’t just been sitting on his hands after the season ended.
  • Garrett, meanwhile, is continuing to lobby Jones for another chance, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported in Sunday’s FOX pregame show. Jones has been steadfast in his decision to move on from Garrett, but Garrett is doing everything he can to keep his post. Meanwhile, the team’s interview with McCarthy went so well that McCarthy stayed an extra day in Dallas.
  • Baylor coach Matt Rhule and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley have also been connected to the Cowboys’ job. The Jones family should have a good read on their potential interest in the job since they have the same agent as McCarthy, tweets Albert Breer of SI.com. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says that Jones will gauge Riley’s interest, but Riley is unlikely to leave Oklahoma at this point (video link).
  • The Lewis interview caught a lot of people by surprise, but there is one interesting link between the two sides. Jones is very good friends with Bengals owner Mike Brown, tweets Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic. Dehner writes that the two men “hold very similar view[s]” on handling their teams. Lewis, of course, was Cincinnati’s coach for 16 seasons and Brown was very reluctant to let him go. It’s possible that Brown recommended Lewis to Jones.
  • Speaking of Lewis, Rapoport says the former Bengals HC would require that the Cowboys — or any club — hire Hue Jackson as his OC (video link). That could be a deal-breaker for the Cowboys given the presence of Kellen Moore.
  • Garrett had told his assistants on expiring deals they were free to start looking for other work. Most assistants were on expiring deals like Garrett, but that notably excluded Moore and offensive line coach Marc Colombo, Breer tweets. The organization thinks very highly of Moore and he generally received positive reviews in his first year calling plays. Since both are still under contract, it’s quite possible the Jones’ will retain them even when they hire a new coach. Breer adds that Garrett hasn’t spoken to any of his staff since Monday.

Mike McCarthy To Meet With Cowboys

While the Cowboys haven’t said anything official about the status of head coach Jason Garrett, it sounds like the organization is preparing to meet with candidates. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is traveling to Dallas to meet with the Cowboys. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the interview will take place today.

Rapoport adds that the organization is “laying the groundwork” for an inevitable head coaching search, with a particular focus on former NFL head coaches. To that end, Rapoport hints that Marvin Lewis could also be a candidate for the gig, with the former Bengals head coach receiving interest from some within the organization.

As our head coaching tracker shows, McCarthy has been one of the more popular names on the interview circuit, as he’s already interviewed for the Panthers, Browns, and Giants vacancies. McCarthy was out of the NFL for the entire 2019 campaign, but he spent the season studying film and designing plays in preparation for his next opportunity.

Now, the former Super Bowl winner becomes the first known candidate to (presumably) replace Garrett in Dallas. The former Packers head coach did have a pair of Hall of Famers (Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers) for nearly the entirety of his Green Bay stint, but he’d be inheriting an offense that has plenty of weapons of their own. His play-calling was also called into question towards the latter stages of his tenure, but it sounds like he was focused on improving that aspect of his coaching throughout the past year.

We heard yesterday that Garrett and the Cowboys were likely heading towards a divorce. The Cowboys were scheduled to meet with Garrett on Thursday, but that meeting was scrapped. Before the 86’d sit-down, the Cowboys were rumored to be considering a middle-ground scenario in which Garrett would remain with the organization in a different role. At this moment, a clean break seems more likely.

Earlier today, Rapoport reported (via Twitter) that the Cowboys aren’t expected to make any definitive announcement about Garrett until at least Monday. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Ed Werder tweets that the Cowboys head coach has been campaigning to keep his gig. Garrett’s contract is set to expire on January 14th.

NFC East Rumors: Giants, Cooper, Jenkins

Baylor’s Matt Rhule is rumored to the be the Giantspreferred candidate, and although he turned down the Jets last year, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes the native New Yorker is expected to consider leaving the college ranks to coach the Giants. This and the soon-to-be-available Cowboys job might be the only ones Rhule would presently consider, per Vacchiano. Rhule, who spent 2012 as the Giants’ assistant offensive line coach, has drawn interest from the Panthers and Browns as well. The 44-year-old college coach plans to go on vacation soon after Wednesday night’s Sugar Bowl, but Vacchiano adds the Giants are expected to meet with him before he departs for said trip.

Mike McCarthy, however, may have the best shot at competing with Rhule for the job, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. The former Super Bowl-winning Packers coach is believed to have gained steam, per Vacchiano. McCarthy is scheduled to meet with the Giants on Friday. He’s set to interview with the Browns on Thursday and has already met with the Panthers twice.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • In Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, the Cowboys have two of the league’s top free agents. Prescott is certainly not going anywhere and, despite the prospect of the team using its franchise tag on its quarterback, Cooper is not expected to reach the market, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Cooper continues to indicate Dallas is where he wants to be. The lack of a new collective bargaining agreement helps the Cowboys on this front, as they could use both their franchise and transition tags if no CBA is in place by March 10. However, to fully avoid the risk of losing one of these key players, the Cowboys would need to reach an extension with one of them before the March 10 franchise tag deadline. A wide receiver franchise tag is expected to cost just more than $18MM; a transition tag would come in at nearly $16MM.
  • Leonard Williams told Dave Gettleman he wants to stay with the Giants, according to the GM (via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post). (Williams, however, has said he will hit free agency if the Giants don’t give him “top-tier money.”) The Giants made the strange move of trading two mid-round draft picks for the contract-year defensive end, and Gettleman said he wanted to get an up-close look at Williams in the Giants’ system. Of course, the Giants will likely have a new defensive system soon once a new head coach arrives.
  • Giants center Jon Halapio suffered another severe injury this season — a torn Achilles in Week 17 — but the team is expected to tender him in restricted free agency, per Dunleavy. Halapio suffered a broken leg in September 2018 but returned to start a career-high 15 games this season. The 28-year-old snapper is not expected to be ready until at least training camp. He underwent surgery Tuesday.
  • The Eagles‘ longtime safety tandem of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod may break up in March, with the latter a free agent. But Jenkins is a rumored extension candidate, and Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com expects a re-up that would make Jenkins one of the NFL’s highest-paid safeties to occur soon (Twitter link). Jenkins, 32, would be a 2021 free agent. The Eagles have been busy with major extensions lately, coming to terms with Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson during the season.