Mike McCoy

Bills Won’t Hire Mike McCoy As OC

Since learning that the Bills will be moving on from Rick Dennison as the team’s offensive coordinator, former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy had surfaced as a potential candidate to fill his shoes in 2018. However, McCoy will not be hired by Buffalo for the role, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).

Mike McCoy (vertical)

McCoy was once a hot NFL coaching candidate for his work with Denver as their offensive coordinator back in 2010-2012. The 45-year-old coach fell out of favor with the Chargers after another down year in 2016, which gave way for new head coach Anthony Lynn to be hired this past offseason. McCoy caught on this past year in his second stint as the Broncos offensive coordinator, but was let go during the season after the offense struggled with a rotation of quarterbacks.

With McCoy out of the picture, the only other candidate that has been mentioned thus far for the newly open position is current Colts offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski. Chudzinski will likely be moving on from Indianapolis with the team actively looking for a new head coach. More names will certainly surface as the Bills begin their search for the new leader of their offense. Buffalo is just one of three teams that have a vacancy at the offensive coordinator post at the moment. Make sure to stay up-to-date with all coordinator news with our 2018 Coordinator Tracker.

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Bills Fire OC Rick Dennison

The Bills announced that they have fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. The team has yet to hire a replacement for Dennison, making them one of several teams on the lookout for a new OC. Rick Dennison (vertical)

Dennison came to the Bills last year following the hire of Sean McDermott as head coach. The Bills managed to make the playoffs, but it was in spite of a poor passing game. The Bills placed 29th in total yards, 22nd in points, and averaged only 176.6 passing yards per game, though a Dennison defender would point out that he had to deal with the inconsistencies of Tyrod Taylor and the rawness of rookie Nathan Peterman at quarterback. Meanwhile, the team depleted itself of offensive weapons with the trade of Sammy Watkins and the loss of Robert Woods.

The Browns found their new OC on Friday morning and the Cardinals, Colts, and Giants may all be looking for a new play-caller once they hire head coaches. Already, we’ve seen six OCs replaced this offseason. When all is said and done, there will be no fewer than seven OC shakeups on the year and possibly eleven or more.

Former Chargers coach Mike McCoy could be a candidate for the opening in Buffalo, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (on Twitter) hears that McCoy and Colts OC Rob Chudzinski are the top two candidates for the job. Both men previously spent time with the Panthers, which helps their cause with McDermott.

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Raiders Expected To Fire Todd Downing After 2017

The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton earlier this week, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that offensive coordinator Todd Downing is coaching for his job. Per La Canfora, the Raiders are unlikely to bring Downing back for 2018, and while head coach Jack Del Rio — who received a lucrative extension prior to the season — is probably not going anywhere, it appears as if his staff will look quite different next year.

Todd Downing (vertical)

Downing was a hot offensive coordinator candidate last offseason and drew interest from multiple clubs. The Raiders ultimately decided to promote him after allowing former OC Bill Musgrave‘s contract to lapse, but their offense has taken a significant downturn with Downing at the helm.

Downing, 37, has had success as a quarterbacks coach in the past, serving in that capacity with the Lions from 2011-13, the Bills in 2014, and the Raiders from 2015-16. Under his tutelage, Derek Carr became one of the better quarterbacks in the league, but Carr has regressed this season and the offense is missing the big plays that it enjoyed under Musgrave. The offense ranks just 18th in offensive points scored, 21st in yards per game, 22nd in plays of 10 yards or more, 27th in rushing yards, and 21st in overall passing.La Canfora adds that Downing has not endeared himself to other coaches and front office members, which could help trigger his ouster.

If the team does look for a new OC in 2018, La Canfora names Mike McCoy as a potential candidate. Per La Canfora, McCoy has been approached by several teams who want him to work as a consultant for the duration of 2017, but he is unlikely to entertain any such advances. Instead, he will simply wait for the winter hiring period, when he will be one of the more coveted coordinators on the market.

Even if Del Rio does not hire McCoy, he is likely to seek someone with more experience in light of Downing’s disappointing first season.

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AFC Notes: Bills, Phins, Cutler, Broncos, Jets

Though there weren’t many positives to glean from a 54-24 drubbing by the Chargers, the Bills did receive one bit of good news on Monday. Newly acquired wideout Kelvin Benjamin did not tear his ACL in the loss, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (Twitter link).

Though the injury could force the physical receiver to miss a few games, he should be able to help the Bills, currently tied with Baltimore for the last playoff spot, contend for a wildcard berth down the stretch.

After letting Robert Woods walk and trading away Sammy Watkins in the offseason, Buffalo pulled off a deadline deal with Carolina for Benjamin, who was expected to serve as Tyrod Taylor‘s top target. That has yet to come to fruition with Benjamin catching four passes in two games and Taylor being benched for the first half vs. Los Angeles.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Dolphins QB Jay Cutler is officially in the NFL’s concussion protocol, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Dolphins are 4-6 and mired in a four-game losing streak, so their showdown with New England could be a make-or-break game for their slim playoff hopes. Matt Moore will assume the starting role should Cutler not be fit for the game.
  • After being placed on injured reserve earlier this month, Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley underwent surgery to repair his injured shin on Monday, NBC Sports’ Scott Blair reports. The cornerback suffered the injury in training camp and aggravated it in Week 3 vs. Washington.
  • The Jets are still holding out hope for the postseason. With that in mind, the team will roll with Josh McCown as the team’s starting quarterback unless injured, reports Newsday’s Calvin Watkins. McCown is on the same page as Bowles and appreciates the vote of confidence.
  • Following the firing of Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator, the Broncos promoted Bill Musgrave to the post and named Klint Kubiak quarterbacks coach, according to Schefter. The offensive coordinator in Oakland the last two seasons, Musgrave helped the Raiders produce one of the league’s most potent offenses in 2016. Kubiak, the son of former Broncos head coach and team senior personnel advisor Gary Kubiak, served as wide receivers coach at Kansas in 2015 before joining the Broncos as an assistant in 2016.
  • Remaining with the shakeup in Denver, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes that John Elway should also receive some blame for the team’s downward spiral in 2017. Florio writes: “Despite efforts to blame the players and, as of Monday morning, to blame offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and possibly to blame coach Vance Joseph, responsibility for the six-game losing goes to every layer and level of the organization, and the buck ultimately stops on Elway’s desk.”

Broncos Fire OC Mike McCoy

There’s a big change going down in Denver. The Broncos have fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). To fill his spot, the Broncos are promoting assistant Bill MusgraveMike McCoy (vertical)

The Broncos are now 3-7 following a tough loss to the Bengals on Sunday. Brock Osweiler, who recently took over as starting quarterback, threw for 254 yards with one touchdown and one interception while completing 23 of 42 passes. His so-so day wasn’t enough to power the offense, particularly since the run game never really got going. Devontae Booker finished out as the top rusher with 44 yards off of 14 carries followed by 37 yards from 13 attempts by C.J. Anderson. Their averages of 3.1 and 2.8 yards per carry, respectively, were the latest examples of offensive futility in Denver.

I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out because this is a special organization and a great place to be,” McCoy said in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank Vance [Joseph] for the opportunity he gave me and the entire organization from Mr. B all the way on down. I appreciate the hard work of our players and was proud to work with them along with the rest of our coaching staff. My family and I loved it here, and I’m very thankful for my time with the Denver Broncos.”

Musgrave spent the past two seasons as the Raiders’ offensive coordinator before the team opted against offering him a new contract in January. Under Musgrave’s command in 2016, the Raiders had the No. 6 ranked offense in the NFL. This offseason, he reportedly turned down offensive coordinator jobs elsewhere to join Denver as the quarterbacks coach. Today, his patience paid off.

As Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes (Twitter link), McCoy has been fired from NFL jobs twice inside of ten months.

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Broncos Hire Mike McCoy, Bill Musgrave

A day after the Broncos lost stalwart defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, they have finalized agreements to bring in two key offensive assistants. The Broncos have hired Mike McCoy, most recently the Chargers’ head coach, as their offensive coordinator. Bill Musgrave, previously the Raiders’ O-coordinator, will join McCoy’s staff as the quarterbacks coach.

McCoy will replace Rick Dennison, Denver’s OC in both Gary Kubiak seasons, and will be tasked with repairing an offense that has fallen off its previously prodigious pace. Denver plummeted to the 27th-ranked attack last season.

McCoy will also head back to Denver, where he morphed into a hot HC candidate years ago. The Broncos employed McCoy as their OC from 2009-12, and the offensive mind became a sought-after coach following his myriad adjustments with the team’s offense.

McCoy took over as the OC when the Broncos hired Josh McDaniels and soon helped Kyle Orton to a strong stretch before the Broncos pivoted to Tim Tebow midway through the 2011 season. The John Fox-led Broncos rebounded from a 1-4 start and into the playoffs, but McCoy helping rearrange the offense midseason into a zone-read-based attack for the unconventional passer earned him praise around the league. The 44-year-old coach then helped Peyton Manning begin his run in Denver the following year, one that resulted in the quarterback winning comeback player of the year honors and the Broncos going 13-3.

The Chargers struggled the past two years but were hit with numerous injuries in that span, one that followed 9-7 seasons in McCoy’s first two years. Philip Rivers became a more efficient passer under McCoy, turning in his top three completion-
percentage seasons from 2013-15. Rivers topped out at 69 percent, which coincided with the Bolts’ 2013 playoff run. San Diego ranked fifth in total offense that season. The Bolts deployed top-16 offenses in three of McCoy’s four years.

Bill MusgraveThe Broncos were also in the market for a quarterbacks coach following news that Greg Knapp wouldn’t be retained by Joseph (via Mike Klis of 9News, on Twitter). Musgrave will certainly be an interesting addition to the staff, as the longtime coach has led several high-powered offenses during his 20 years of coaching. Musgrave spent the past two seasons developing an intriguing young offense in Oakland. Prior to that, Musgrave served as the offensive coordinator for the Vikings and Jaguars, and he’s also been the quarterbacks coach for the Eagles, Falcons, and Redskins. Klis adds (on Twitter) that the Bills and Browns had expressed interest in Mugrave for their offensive coordinator vacancies.

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Latest On Broncos Coaching Staff

The Broncos coaching staff looks a whole lot different than it did 48 hours ago. On Wednesday, the organization announced that they had hired former Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as their new head coach. Last night saw two more changes. Former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips joined the Rams while the Broncos were finalizing a deal with new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Defensive backs coach Joe Woods is considered the favorite to be promoted to the defensive coordinator position, although he still has some competition for the gig. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos will also be interviewing Reggie Herring for the opening. Herring spent the past two seasons as the team’s linebackers coach, and he handled some defensive play-calling duties earlier this season. Herring has also served as the linebackers coach for the Texans, Cowboys, and Bears.

As we wrap our head around all of these coaching moves, let’s take a look at some additional changes in Denver…

  • While McCoy seems to be in the driver’s seat for the offensive coordinator gig, Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post notes (via Twitter) that the organization still plans on interviewing Bill Musgrave today. The long-time coach spent the past two seasons as the Raiders offensive coordinator.
  • The Broncos have parted ways with tight ends coach Brian Pariani, according to Troy Renck of ABC Denver7 (via Twitter). Meanwhile, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports that offensive line coach Clancy Barone also won’t be back. Finally, Klis reports (via Twitter) that Joseph notified special teams assistant Tony Coaxum and offensive line assistant Jim Cregg that they also wouldn’t be retained for next season.
  • Joseph acknowledged that Phillips is “one of [his] football dads,” but he also admitted that Woods was “ready to be a coordinator,” as ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold passes along (via Twitter). Wolfe tweets that the Broncos loved Phillips, but the organization saw higher potential in Woods.
  • Jason La Canfora tweets that general manager John Elway was in favor of changes to the Broncos coaching staff even if former head coach Gary Kubiak stuck around. Klis adds (via Twitter) that Joseph wanted “sweeping changes” when it came to his new staff.

Lynn Would Keep Whisenhunt If Hired By L.A.

Things are heating up between the Chargers and Anthony Lynn. Lynn could be the man to replace Mike McCoy as head coach and if that’s the case, he’ll keep offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Chargers brass likes the idea of keeping Whisenhunt on the staff and that is a plus in Lynn’s quest to become head coach, Rapoport adds. Ken Whisenhunt (Vertical)

[RELATED: Chargers Move To Los Angeles]

Whisenhunt, who is in the midst of his second stint as the Bolts’ play-caller, boasts seven-plus years of head coaching experience with the Cardinals and Titans. He was not given consideration for the head coaching vacancy, but the team has been intent on keeping him as OC regardless of the hire.

Quarterback Philip Rivers works well with Whisenhunt and he has been an advocate of continuity at a time when the Chargers are undergoing major changes. In 2017, he’ll be playing for the fourth head coach of his professional career in a brand new market. Amidst all the chaos, Rivers is hoping to have his plays called by the same OC as last year.

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Coaching Notes: Redskins, Rams, Ravens

The Redskins announced that they interviewed Gus Bradley for the defensive coordinator position on Wednesday. The former Jaguars head coach is reportedly Washington’s prime target to take over for the fired Joe Barry. Bradley was a successful D-coordinator in Seattle from 2009-12, during which time he became familiar with then-Seahawks executive and now-Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan.

As is the case with their defensive staff, changes might be on the horizon for the Redskins’ offensive coaches. With coordinator Sean McVay emerging as a serious candidate to grab the reins as Los Angeles’ head coach, the Redskins could turn to ex-Chargers HC Mike McCoy as his replacement, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. McCoy is also a candidate in Denver (where he served as an O-coordinator from 2010-12) and Buffalo, both of which named head coaches Wednesday.

More of the latest coaching-related info:

  • A potential head coaching interview between Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and the Rams is “in limbo,” per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. With the Falcons preparing for a Saturday playoff game against the Seahawks, Shanahan might not have time to meet with the Rams this week, La Canfora adds (Twitter link).
  • Former Buffalo offensive coordinator Greg Roman will sign on with the Ravens‘ coaching staff, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets. The Ravens are sticking with Marty Mornhinweg as OC, so Roman will be there in some kind of assistant role. Cabot notes that the Browns were eying him for an assistant gig.
  • The Jets will hire Dennard Wilson to succeed the fired Joe Danna as their defensive backs coach, according to Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday. Wilson had been with the Rams since 2012, when they hired him as their defensive quality control coach. He became the team’s defensive backs coach in 2015.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Bills To Hire Sean McDermott As Head Coach

It’s a done deal. The Bills are hiring Sean McDermott as their next head coach, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News (on Twitter) hears that McDermott will receive a five-year deal.Sean McDermott (vertical)

[RELATED: 2017 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Initially, interim head coach Anthony Lynn appeared to be a shoo-in for the job, but amidst Lynn’s own reported trepidation about the partnership, the Bills conducted a thorough coaching search. Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin and Seahawks DC Kris Richard interviewed for the job while new Broncos head coach Vance Joseph and Eagles OC Frank Reich were named as candidates.

McDermott, meanwhile, was also a candidate for the Niners and the Chargers were looking to bring him in for a second interview. The Bills are crushing hard on the defensive guru they did not want to risk losing him to another team.

Meanwhile, McDermott has a solid relationship with former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy and Carucci hears hears that he would hire him as his offensive coordinator. McDermott’s likely DC in Buffalo will be Carolina linebackers coach Al Holcomb, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

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