Mike McCarthy

Cowboys Notes: Coaches, Knight, Martin

After getting blown out by the Cardinals last night and falling to 2-4, it sounds like some of the players are starting to point fingers at the coaching staff. Jane Slater of NFL Network tweets that “discontent is leaking out” of the Cowboys locker room, with one player stating that the coaches “just aren’t good at their jobs”

“Totally unprepared,” another player said of the coaching staff. “They don’t teach. They don’t have any sense of adjusting on the fly.”

Meanwhile, head coach Mike McCarthy indicated to reporters that instead of leaking these qualms to the media, he’d rather keep those types of conversations in house.

“I just really go back to my first meeting with the football team. I’ve always stated that…it’s important to handle things as men,” McCarthy said (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “I mean, if you do have something to say publicly that is of most important, I think it’s important to say it to the individual, or particularly in a group dynamic setting, especially in the game of football, especially for the Dallas Cowboys. I mean, that’s all part of the development our program, of the system that we’ve got going here. I think that’s just part of our flight right now. We don’t like the way we played last night. We had some areas that we struggled strong in. It’s definitely not what we’re looking for.”

Some more notes out of Dallas:

  • McCarthy also told reporters that left tackle Brandon Knight suffered a knee injury and underwent surgery (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News on Twitter). The lineman is expected to miss the next few games. Knight found himself with a starting gig following a season-ending injury to Tyron Smith, and he’s started four of the Cowboys’ six games. While a replacement hasn’t been named, Gehlken notes that Cameron Erving, who is sitting on IR, could be an option.
  • ESPN’s Todd Archer tweets that Zack Martin suffered a concussion and is questionable for Sunday. The team isn’t expected to receive any clarity on the veteran until the end of the week. Martin has only missed a pair of regular season games since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2014.
  • McCarthy doesn’t believe his team has improved much through the first six weeks of the season. “Have we improved?” McCarthy asked (via Gehlken on Twitter). “From an analytical standpoint, when I look at trend lines and some of the things that we’re focused on…. no, our trend line is not pointing in the right direction” Sorry, Cowboys fans.

Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy Doesn’t Want Earl Thomas?

Jerry Jones is still on board, but Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is less-than-enthusiastic about the prospect of signing Earl Thomas, Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears. McCarthy, who places a major emphasis on locker room culture, is concerned about the veteran safety’s fit in Dallas.

Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowler, left his past two clubs on bad terms. As one league source told Werder, “Contact anyone you know with the Ravens or the Seahawks and ask if the positives outweigh the negatives.” In Seattle, Thomas literally left the team with an extended middle finger as he was carted off of the field. In Baltimore, Thomas failed to grasp the playbook in his first year and wore out his welcome last week when he got into an altercation with a teammate.

Still, the final decision ultimately lies with Jones, who has made no secret of his fondness for the safety. Thomas has reciprocated, on several occasions through multiple channels. Thomas might not be the prototypical team player, but his potential as a game-changer is undeniable. Thomas has spent the bulk of his career as one of the NFL’s very best safeties, resulting in 713 tackles and 30 interceptions over the course of his career.

For now, the Cowboys are set to start the season with new addition Ha Ha Clinton-DixXavier Woods, and Darian Thompson as the leaders of the group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Longest-Tenured Head Coaches In The NFL

Things move fast in today’s NFL and the old adage of “coaches are hired to be fired” has seemingly never been more true. For the most part, teams change their coaches like they change their underwear. 

A head coach can take his team to the Super Bowl, or win the Super Bowl, or win multiple Super Bowls, but they’re never immune to scrutiny. Just ask Tom Coughlin, who captured his second ring with the Giants after the 2011 season, only to receive his pink slip after the 2015 campaign.

There are also exceptions. Just look at Bill Belichick, who just wrapped up his 20th season at the helm in New England. You’ll also see a few others on this list, but, for the most part, most of today’s NFL head coaches are relatively new to their respective clubs. And, history dictates that many of them will be elsewhere when we check in on this list in 2022.

Over one-third (12) of the NFL’s head coaches have coached no more than one season with their respective teams. Meanwhile, less than half (15) have been with their current clubs for more than three years. It seems like just yesterday that the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury, right? It sort of was – Kingsbury signed on with the Cardinals in January of 2019. Today, he’s practically a veteran.

Here’s the list of the current head coaches in the NFL, ordered by tenure, along with their respective start dates:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints): January 18, 2006
  3. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007
  4. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008
  5. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010
  6. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013
  7. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 2, 2014
  8. Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings): January 15, 2014
  9. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons): February 2, 2015
  10. Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles): January 18, 2016
  11. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017
  12. Doug Marrone (Jacksonville Jaguars): December 19, 2016 (interim; permanent since 2017)
  13. Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers): January 12, 2017
  14. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017
  15. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017
  16. Matt Nagy (Chicago Bears): January 7, 2018
  17. Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions): February 5, 2018
  18. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018
  19. Jon Gruden (Las Vegas Raiders): January 6, 2018
  20. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018
  21. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019
  22. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019
  23. Vic Fangio (Denver Broncos): January 10, 2019
  24. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  25. Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins): February 4, 2019
  26. Adam Gase (New York Jets): January 11, 2019
  27. Bruce Arians (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 8, 2019
  28. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020
  29. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  30. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  31. Joe Judge (New York Giants): January 8, 2020
  32. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jerry Jones, Mike McCarthy On Aldon Smith

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy spoke about new acquisition Aldon Smith today, and it’s no surprise to hear that both men are optimistic about where Smith is in his bid to be reinstated by the league.

Dallas, of course, shocked the football world when it agreed to sign Smith earlier this month. Though the move seemed to come from out of left field, we soon learned that Smith — who was in the process of applying for reinstatement in March — has been sober for nine months and that the Broncos were also interested in his services. The new CBA does not make reinstatement any easier for indefinitely suspended players like Smith, but Jones and McCarthy are clearly hopeful that the 30-year-old will be cleared to return in short order.

“I would say first-hand that I know that [Smith] is very diligent in his work to do the things the NFL looks at to reinstate,” Jones said (via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk). “I wouldn’t dare get into where the league is and how they will go about this process … [but] as a league, we really are bent toward the medical aspect of many of these problems or many of these things that have been in consideration when a player has to have some type of suspension. We’ve made it more medically oriented to where you can have good grades from doctors, and that weighs into being a player in the NFL.”

McCarthy, who first met Smith in December, talks about his initial impressions of the former 49ers star. “I was very impressed with everything that he’s done and his path,” McCarthy said. “I’ve always admired him from afar. Very impressive young man, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Smith’s contract represents a low-risk, high-reward gambit for the Cowboys. Though he has not played in an NFL game since the 2015 campaign, he recorded an incredible 42 sacks in his first 43 games in the league, and if he can earn reinstatement and work himself into game shape by the start of the regular season, he could become a key part of Dallas’ pass rush.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.