Mike McDaniel

West Rumors: Pulley, 49ers, Broncos

The Chargers received upper-echelon production from Matt Slauson last season, with the veteran continuing to function well at center despite being a natural guard. Slauson being moved back to guard this offseason opens the door at center, and the Bolts have 2016 third-round pick Max Tuerk seemingly waiting in the wings after essentially redshirting as a rookie. But second-year UDFA Spencer Pulley is throwing off that natural succession plan presently. Pulley is currently the Bolts’ starting center, Eric Williams of ESPN.com notes, while pointing out that it’s still May and Tuerk will have a chance to compete.

I have a great comfort level with Spencer,” Philip Rivers said, via Williams. “That’s what he played in college his whole time there at Vandy. Slauson was great there last year, and Spencer played some there in that Cleveland game and a few other times, so I have a good feel with him. He’s had a heck of an offseason, so he’s in there right now with the first group and we’ll see how it goes.”

Pulley being ahead of Tuerk, who started at USC before catching the Mike McCoy-led Chargers’ eye last April, complicates matters for the former Trojan. Because the Chargers used their most recent third-round pick on Indiana interior lineman Dan Feeney, who joins second-round pick Forrest Lamp in the interior-line mix for Los Angeles. Williams doesn’t mention Feeney as a prime candidate here, so the Bolts could work him in at guard for now. Feeney did take reps at center earlier this offseason. Regardless of how this situation works out, the Chargers will have a remade interior line after relocating Slauson and cutting D.J. Fluker and Orlando Franklin.

Here are some more Western-division notes.

  • Kyle Shanahan plans to divide offense-management responsibilities based on how the ball travels. The new 49ers coach did not hire an offensive coordinator, as he’ll function in that role after serving as an OC for three different teams since 2013, but he assigned two assistants jobs. Mike McDaniel will be in charge of the ground game, and Mike LaFleur will oversee the passing attack, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports. Bobby Turner, who worked with both in Atlanta after many seasons on Mike Shanahan‘s staffs in Denver and Washington, is the team’s running backs coach. So, it looks like he and McDaniel will be working together for a 49ers team that saw Tom Rathman move on after many years of being involved with the team’s rushing attack.
  • Carlos Henderson rated as Broncos wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert‘s No. 5 wide receiver prospect, according to Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. The Louisiana Tech prospect went to the Broncos in the third round and was the 10th wide receiver off the board. Wolfe expects Henderson to challenge for a return job as well after taking back three kickoffs for scores in his three-year college career. He and fifth-round rookie Isaiah McKenzie (five punt-return TDs from 2014-16) figure to enhance a Denver return game that’s struggled since Trindon Holliday‘s short but explosive run ended after the 2013 season.
  • It is clear to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post that the Broncos want to give Paxton Lynch every chance to win the starting quarterback job over Trevor Siemian. Lynch is a high-risk, high-reward gunslinger, while Siemian is a no-nonsense game manager, but Kiszla points to the division rival Chiefs to explain why Denver wants Lynch to win the job. Kansas City’s Alex Smith, the definition of a solid, game-manager type quarterback, has been just good enough to get the Chiefs beaten in the playoffs, which prompted the team to jump through hoops to draft the immensely talented but erratic Patrick Mahomes in the first round of this year’s draft.
  • Derek Carr‘s extension talks with the Raiders are expected to ramp up, with the fourth-year passer believed to be in position to sign a deal that is a “strong step aboveAndrew Luck‘s five-year, $122.97MM deal.

Rory Parks contributed to this report.

49ers Won’t Hire Offensive Coordinator

New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan will likely call the offensive plays in San Francisco, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Additionally, Shanahan is expected to hire former Falcons assistant Mike McDaniel as a run game coordinator and Wagner College offensive coordinator (and former Falcons staffer) Rich Scangarello as quarterbacks coach, per Rapoport. Ex-Atlanta running backs coach Bobby Turner is also headed to San Francisco, tweets Gil Brandt of NFL.com.Kyle Shanahan (Vertical)

[RELATED: 49ers Could Have Interest In Jay Cutler]

Given that the 49ers aren’t expected to hire a formal offensive coordinator, San Francisco will head into the 2017 campaign with inexperience infecting many areas of the club’s structure. New general manger John Lynch has never worked in an NFL front office, while Shanahan is not only a first-time head coach, but will act as his own OC and lean on a QBs coach in Scangarello whose most recent coaching experience comes at an FCS school. In addition, Shanahan will oversee some of the club’s personnel aspects, as he’ll exert control over the 49ers’ 53-man roster.

As for the rest of San Francisco’s coaching staff, Shanahan is reportedly interested in hiring co-defensive coordinators, with Atlanta passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson and former Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh emerging as the most likely candidates for the positions. On offense, the 49ers still want to keep former RBs coach Tom Rathman on staff in some capacity even after adding Turner, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Hire Co-Defensive Coordinators?

Soon-to-be 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan‘s staff appears to be taking shape, as Sporting News’ Alex Marvez details (Twitter links here). Among the offensive-minded Shanahan’s most important calls will be deciding who will run the 49ers’ woeful defense, and he’s actually targeting two assistants – Falcons defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson and ex-Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh – to work as co-coordinators in San Francisco.

Kyle Shanahan (vertical)

Saleh’s candidacy is no surprise, as FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Sunday that he could land with the 49ers, but Henderson’s emergence is a new development. Henderson is fresh off his first season in Atlanta – where he worked with Shanahan, of course – and is only a year removed from interviewing for the Browns’ then-vacant head coaching job.

Along with potentially taking Henderson from Atlanta, Shanahan is likely to tab Falcons offensive assistant Mike McDaniel as his wide receivers coach in San Francisco. Falcons offensive assistant Mike LaFleur will also go with Shanahan, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter link).

Another NFC South assistant, Buccaneers tight ends coach Jon Embree, is poised to oversee the 49ers’ TEs and serve as an assistant head coach, per Marvez. And a pair of current 49ers assistants, linebackers coach Jason Tarver and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley, are good bets to stay on under Shanahan. Tarver nearly headed elsewhere last month, when he met with the Redskins about becoming their defensive coordinator (a job that ultimately went to onetime 49ers DC Greg Manusky) and discussed a role with the Saints.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chip Kelly Legit OC Candidate For Falcons

Just over a week after the Falcons expressed interest in having Chip Kelly become their next offensive coordinator, the former Eagles and 49ers head coach has emerged as a “legitimate candidate” to land the role, reports Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kelly would take over for Kyle Shanahan, who will replace Kelly as the 49ers’ head coach after the Falcons take on the Patriots in Super Bowl LI this Sunday.

Chip Kelly (vertical)

The fact that there aren’t any other proven offensive coordinator candidates on the market makes Kelly a viable option for Atlanta, Schultz notes. Long an offensive guru, the 53-year-old Kelly would inherit an enviable collection of talent in Atlanta, whose attack has laid waste to opposing defenses this season. The Matt Ryan-, Julio Jones– and Devonta Freeman-led unit topped the NFL in both scoring and DVOA during the regular season, and it has combined for 78 points in playoff wins over the Seahawks and Packers.

Kelly is known for running a fast-paced offense, which helped lead to his downfall in both Philadelphia and San Francisco, but the ex-Oregon head coach’s NFL failures have “humbled” him, according to Schultz. As a result, Kelly is willing to slow things down, which he’d have to do in order to accommodate the Falcons’ offensive weapons and make life easier on the team’s defense.

Shanahan, meanwhile, won’t be able to take any significant members of head coach Dan Quinn‘s staff with him to San Francisco. The Falcons will prevent him from pilfering the likes of assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Raheem Morris, running backs coach Bobby Turner and offensive line coach Chris Morgan, a source told Schultz. However, offensive assistants Mike McDaniel, Mike LaFleur and Matt LaFleur could end up with Shanahan’s 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coach/FO Notes: Caserio, Jets, Panthers

The 49ers‘ summit with Josh McDaniels occurred today, but the team did not meet with Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, whom it was curious about pairing with the 40-year-old coach. A Caserio/49ers summit — one the team requested — did not appear on the San Francisco brass’ docket, either because the Patriots denied an interview request or Caserio turned down the offer, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes.

A Patriots staffer since 2001, Caserio was a college teammate of McDaniels’ at John Carroll University. The longtime Patriots employee is signed through 2020 and interviewed for the Dolphins’ GM job in 2014. He makes approximately $2MM per year, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports, adding that a 49ers job could interest the 41-year-old personnel man.

Howe notes the 49ers are hoping to bring Caserio aboard as their GM, writing interview requests will continue to come his way due to the Patriots’ success and his current job title permitting those requests. ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Colts VP of football operations Jimmy Raye III, Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane, Packers director of football operations Elliot Wolf and Vikings assistant GM George Paton represent the other candiates for the 49ers’ GM position. Raye will interview with the team on Sunday.

Here’s more from the NFL hiring period as the playoffs commence.

  • Bears outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt agreed to a two-year deal with the Jets to lead their outside ‘backers, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports (on Twitter). A Bears staffer for three seasons, Hurtt declined a contract extension in Chicago this week. The Bears denied Hurtt permission to interview with the Dolphins last season.
  • The Panthers do not plan to make any coaching changes despite being the latest Super Bowl loser to miss the playoffs the following season. “This is a damn good coaching staff,” Dave Gettleman said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “We went 17-2 last year. We didn’t get stupid overnight.” Carolina could have to deal with at least one change if DC Sean McDermott lands a head coaching job. He’s booked a second interview with the Chargers. Secondary coach Steve Wilks also will interview with the Redskins for their DC job.
  • A Kyle Shanahan defection to become a head coach would leave the Falcons with an OC vacancy, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (on Twitter) quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur and offensive assistant Mike McDaniel are in-house candidates to ascend to that position. Of course, Shanahan could want to take a Falcons staffer with him, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets McDaniel would be a name to watch in that event. McDaniel has worked with Shanahan with three teams, joining him on the Redskins’ and Browns’ staffs before coming to Atlanta in 2015.

Coaching Notes: Bills, Bucs, Jags, Texans

The Bills have made a groundbreaking hire, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, as they’ve named Kathryn Smith a special teams quality control coach. Smith is the NFL’s first-ever full-time female assistant coach. She previously served in lesser roles under Rex Ryan with both the Jets and Bills.

Regarding Smith’s hiring, Ryan said, “She has proven that she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her” (Twitter link via The Buffalo News’ Tyler Dunne).

Other coaching news from around the NFL . . .

  • New Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter will call the team’s offensive plays, but he still plans to hire an O-coordinator (Twitter link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times).
  • The Jaguars expect to have a defensive coordinator in place by Monday, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. The front-runner for the job is defensive line coach Todd Wash, per O’Halloran (Twitter link). As PFR’s Coordinator Tracker shows, Jacksonville has also shown interest in some currently available outside candidates, having interviewed Jerome Henderson, Marquand Manuel and Lou Anarumo for the job.
  • In other Jaguars news, assistant coach coach Doug Marrone will return for a second season with the club, per O’Halloran. Marrone interviewed for four different head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, but those teams hired other candidates.
  • Paul Pasqualoni has stepped down as the Texans’ defensive line coach after just one season because of family reasons, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (on Twitter). Anthony Weaver, who coached Cleveland’s D-line the past two seasons, could take Pasqualoni’s spot.
  • The Colts have named Greg Williams their secondary coach, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Williams was San Diego’s assistant secondary coach the previous three seasons.
  • With Terry Robiskie on his way to Tennessee, the Falcons’ wide receivers coach position is open. Atlanta will likely promote offensive assistant Mike McDaniel to take Robiskie’s place, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. McDaniel previously coached wideouts in Washington (2013) and Cleveland (2014).
  • Changes are coming to the Lions’ strength and conditioning staff, as the club has fired coordinator of physical development Jason Arapoff and assistant strength coach Ted Rath, writes Tim Twentyman of the team’s website.

NFC South Notes: Benson, S-Jax, Falcons

A court in San Antonio ruled yesterday that Saints owner Tom Benson needs help in managing his assets in Texas, as Katherine Sayre of The Times-Picayune writes. Meanwhile, Benson’s daughter Renee is seeking to overthrow Tom as trustee in the Texas trust, arguing he has mismanaged assets and is in declining health.

Benson, who owns the NBA’s Pelicans in addition to the Saints, suffered another loss in court today, when a New Orleans judge ruled that the 87-year-old must undergo evaluations by three different doctors to determine whether he remains competent to control his NFL and NBA franchises. As Andy Grimm of the Times-Picayune details, one doctor will be appointed by Benson, one by his daughter Renee, and the third will be named by those first two physicians.

Here’s more on the Benson story, along with a couple other notes out of the NFC South:

  • Saints owner Tom Benson issued a statement regarding his current situation and it sounds like he has no intention of backing down. “I have instructed my attorneys to spare no effort in defending my rights and the decisions I have made. The decisions I have made are well within my rights to make at any point in my life, and rest assured that I am making sound decisions. I need not look any further than to read the allegations made against me in these multiple lawsuits to rest easy that I have made the correct decisions,” Benson said in the statement (via Saints VP of communications Greg Bensel on Twitter).
  • Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter) doesn’t expect Steven Jackson to be back with the Falcons next season. McClure notes that Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan declined to address Jackson’s future with the team, though that would ultimately be more in the court of head coach Dan Quinn.  Jackson, 32 in July, appeared in 15 games for the Falcons last season, running for 707 yards off of 190 carries with 6 TDs. Cutting Jackson would save Atlanta $3.75MM against the cap.
  • The Falcons officially announced the rest of their coaching staff for the upcoming season. Atlanta hired Keith Carter as assistant offensive line coach, Matt LaFleur as quarterbacks coach, Doug Mallory as defensive assistant/linebackers coach, Marquand Manuel as secondary coach/senior defensive assistant, Mike McDaniel as offensive assistant, Chris Morgan as offensive line coach, Jeff Ulbrich as linebackers coach, and Chad Walker as defensive assistant/defensive backs.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Falcons Notes: Weatherspoon, Coaching Staff

As the Browns face potential sanctions from the NFL regarding a violation of the league’s electronic use policy, the Falcons are under investigation for pumping in artificial crowd noise at their home games, as we heard over the weekend. Owner Arthur Blank essentially acknowledged the team’s guilt during his meeting with the media yesterday, as ESPN.com details.

“I think what we’ve done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong,” Blank said. “Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we’re opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It’s obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn’t represent our culture and what we’re about.”

Like the Browns, the Falcons face penalties that may include fines or the loss of a draft pick, and Blank confirmed that he expects to hear from the league regarding the matter within the next couple weeks.

Here are a few more Falcons-related items for Wednesday:

  • Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who missed the 2014 season with a ruptured Achilles, will be “an important part of building this defense and building this team,” Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said yesterday, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. That’s a strong endorsement for a player who doesn’t yet have a contract for the 2015 season, and suggests Atlanta is serious about bringing Weatherspoon back.
  • The Falcons received permission from the Seahawks to speak to Marquand Manuel, and will interview him Friday for their defensive backs coach job, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. McClure hears from a source that Seattle tried hard to keep Manuel, but it appears he’ll be joining former Seattle DC Dan Quinn in Atlanta — Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (TwitLonger link) says Manuel will be a senior defensive consultant for the Falcons, in addition to overseeing the secondary.
  • A pair of former Washington coaches are also set to join Quinn’s staff. Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated tweets that current Notre Dame QBs coach Matt LaFleur is expected to leave the Fighting Irish for the Falcons, while John Keim of ESPN.com says (via Twitter) that Atlanta will also likely hire Mike McDaniel in some capacity. LaFleur previously served as Washington’s QBs coach, while McDaniel was the club’s WRs coach.
  • Alex Marvez of Fox Sports has even more details on new hirings for the Falcons, writing that the team has hired former Syracuse director of football operations Steve Scarnecchia (assistant to the head coach) and former UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich (LBs coach).