January 18th, 2021 at 10:15am CST by Zachary Links
The 49ers have officially promoted inside linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to defensive coordinator. On the other side of the ball, they’re bumping run game coordinator Mike McDaniel to offensive coordinator, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Ryans takes over for former DC Robert Saleh, who has agreed to become the Jets’ new head coach. Many believed that Saleh would try to take Ryans with him to the East Coast, but the 49ers didn’t want to let Ryans get away. Given the work he has done with LBs Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner, and Azeez Al-Shaair, the young assistant was a natural fit for the role.
McDaniel, meanwhile, takes over for Mike LaFleur, who will serve as Saleh’s OC in New York. McDaniel has worked with Kyle Shanahan at multiple stops and his profile has grown larger over the years. He was a candidate in the Browns’ most recent head coaching search and the Dolphins were also eyeing him as an OC candidate in this cycle.
The Dolphins are moving quickly on their third offensive coordinator search in three years. They have identified six candidates to succeed Chan Gailey, and some will be interviewing for the position.
Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada interviewed for the post Thursday, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The team has also identified Chargers QBs coach Pep Hamilton and 49ers run-game coordinator Mike McDaniel as OC options, according to ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe, who adds Dolphin position coaches Eric Studesville and George Godsey will be considered as well (Twitter link).
Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott also emerged on Miami’s radar, but veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson reports (via Twitter) the college assistant has opted against making a move to the pros at this time. The Titans also reached out to Elliott about their OC job, which Arthur Smith may well vacate soon given his interview frequency thus far, but Dabo Swinney‘s top offensive assistant will stay put in South Carolina.
Of this group, only Hamilton and Godsey have been NFL OCs previously. Hamilton spent three years in that role, serving as Colts OC from 2013-15. Godsey became the Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach during the season, Wolfe tweets. He served as Bill O’Brien‘s OC in Houston from 2015-16 but has been a position coach since. Hamilton is coming off a notable year, with Justin Herbert developing from a player expected to sit behind Tyrod Taylor for a while into an Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner.
McDaniel has worked with Kyle Shanahan with multiple teams; the 49ers assistant also popped up on the radar during the Browns’ most recent HC search. Studesville has been with the Dolphins in each of Brian Flores‘ two seasons at the helm. He served as Broncos interim HC in 2010 and was retained by multiple Denver HCs to stay on as running backs coach, a title he currently holds in Miami.
Canada spent more than two decades as a college coach before making the move to the Steelers last year. From 2003-18, Canada served as offensive coordinator at eight colleges — including LSU, Wisconsin and Maryland.
January 13th, 2021 at 9:54pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Eagles are a bit behind the curve after their late firing of Doug Pederson, so they don’t have any time to waste as they move forward in their unexpected coaching search. We’ve already heard they’re interested in luringLincoln Riley from the college ranks, they’ve requested interviews with Todd Bowles and Arthur Smith, and now we’ve got another candidate on their radar.
Philadelphia has requested an interview with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. After going through a second Jets interview Wednesday, Saleh is on his way to Philly and will begin interviewing with the team tonight, Ian Rapoport and Peter Schrager of the NFL Network note (Twitterlinks).
Saleh has been a hot name, getting linked to pretty much every open job. Eagles owner JeffreyLurie indicated at his press conference Monday that he usually prefers a quarterback guru as head coach, but he clearly isn’t married to that idea.
To that end, we also have some additional details on what a potential Saleh coaching staff would look like, via this tweet from Peter Schrager of NFL Network. Schrager writes that the belief around the league is that Saleh would bring a 49ers offensive assistant with him to be his OC wherever he goes, and that they would seek to implement a “Shanahan”-style offense.
That would mean a heavy run and play-action scheme. Schrager specifically highlights Mike LaFleur and Mike McDaniel as names to watch on that front. McDaniel is the 49ers’ run game coordinator who has coached under Kyle Shanahan for most of the past decade, while LaFleur is the passing game coordinator who has been with Shanahan since 2014 with the Browns when he was an offensive intern. He’s also the younger brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.
The Browns have hired former Dolphins OC Chad O’Shea as their new WR coach and passing game coordinator, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. O’Shea lasted one year in Miami and drew some criticism for installing an overly complex offense, and he was recently fired in favor of spread offense guru Chan Gailey.
But despite the talent limitations on Miami’s offense, the team did perform reasonably well down the stretch and actually ranked in the top-10 in passing offense and top-15 in scoring offense after Ryan Fitzpatrick reentered the starting lineup in Week 7. As such, O’Shea’s dismissal came as something of a surprise, though recent reports indicated that, while he is an excellent receivers coach, he is not a great coordinator.
O’Shea spent 10 years as the Patriots’ WR coach, so he comes to Cleveland with plenty of experience. He will also have a great deal of talent to work with, and he will be tasked with continuing to get the most out of Jarvis Landry while also helping Odell Beckham Jr. return to prominence. As passing game coordinator, he will also help develop game plans for Baker Mayfield, who struggled in his sophomore campaign but who still has plenty of potential.
As for the Browns’ vacant offensive coordinator post, Rapoport says the team has interest in 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur and run game coordinator Mike McDaniel. Cleveland had some interest in both men for their head coaching post but never requested interviews with them. The Browns may not request OC interviews either, because San Francisco is unlikely to grant such requests. The Browns may also go without an official OC given new head coach Kevin Stefanski‘s offensive prowess.
Unlike LaFleur and McDaniel, 49ers passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Joe Woods is not under contract through 2020, so he can join the Browns if he so chooses. We recently heard that Cleveland had narrowed its defensive coordinator search to Woods and incumbent Steve Wilks, though Rapoport says Wade Phillips remains a possibility as well.
Following their Thursday interview with Mike McCarthy, Browns brass will head to Santa Clara, Calif., to meet with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link).
Saleh’s interview has now been scheduled for Saturday. The third-year San Francisco DC has never interviewed for a head coaching post and is thus far not connected to the other two coaching vacancies. However, one way the Browns may be considering going is a staff featuring multiple 49ers assistants.
Cleveland is also interested in 49ers offensive assistants Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur, each a Kyle Shanahan lieutenant at multiple stops. Saleh appears to be the San Francisco candidate the Browns are zeroing in on, but if the team hires the fiery DC, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that either LaFleur or McDaniel would then be a candidate to become the Browns’ offensive coordinator. HC interviews with McDaniel and LaFleur are believed to be on the docket, though it’s not known yet when they will occur.
Both were with Shanahan in Cleveland in 2014. Shanahan spent one season as the Browns’ OC and since took LaFleur and McDaniel to Atlanta and San Francisco. They serve as the 49ers’ pass- and run-game coordinators, respectively.
Shanahan blocked Mike LaFleur from joining brother Matt in Green Bay last year but let assistant Rich Scangarello defect to Denver because the Broncos were offering play-calling responsibilities. With Saleh being a defensive-minded coach, the Browns would then hand over their play-calling reins to whomever they hire as OC.
49ers’ run game coordinator Mike McDaniel is likely to interview with the Browns, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). No date has been set yet, but McDaniel figures to be one of three SF coaches to get a look. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and passing-game coordinator Mike LaFleur will also reportedly be interviewed this weekend.
In addition to that Niners trio, the Browns have also requested an interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, as Schefter tweets. It’s shaping up to be a busy bye week for Bienemy, who has also drawn interest from the Panthers and Giants.
January 10th, 2019 at 8:55pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The Packers have inquired on 49ers run game coordinator Mike McDaniel in their search for a new offensive coordinator, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. However, San Francisco already denied permission for the Cardinals to interview McDaniel for their OC job, and it’s likely the Niners will do the same if Green Bay officially comes calling. McDaniel, who is extremely familiar with the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay offense, served as an offensive assistant for the Falcons from 2015-16 while new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was Atlanta’s quarterbacks coach.
Here’s more from Green Bay:
While McDaniel may not be an option for the Packers, he’s not the only option LaFleur are considering. Former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is also on Green Bay’s radar, per Tim Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). The Packers could have competition within the NFC North, as Hackett is reportedly also in the mix for the Lions’ open offensive coordinator position. Hackett called plays in Jacksonville for parts of three seasons before being fired in November.
The Packers will not retain special teams coordinator Ron Zook, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitterlinks). Zook, a former collegiate head coach at both Florida and Illinois, joined Green Bay in 2014 and took over as the club’s ST coach the following year. 2018 wasn’t a banner year for the Packers’ special teams crew, as the unit ranked 28th in Football Outsiders‘ special teams ratings, including dead last on punt returns. Bengals assistant special teams coach Brayden Coombs could potentially be a candidate to replace Zook, a source tells Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).
The Vikings have “vetted” Packers offensive line coach James Campen for the same position, according to Silverstein (Twitter link). Campen finished his playing career in Green Bay and has been a coach there since 2004. At this point, it’s unclear if LaFleur wants to retain Campen, but he’s expected to have offers if he’s not kept on the Packers’ staff. Minnesota also received permission to interview former Packers interim head coach Joe Philbin for their offensive line gig.
The Jets likely preferred Baylor’s Matt Rhule to Adam Gase, but as previously reported, things fell apart when Rhule refused to allow the Jets to pick his staff for him. The Jets especially wanted to choose his offensive coordinator and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears the Jets floated Todd Monken to him as an option.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
The Cardinals asked, but were denied, permission to interview 49ers run game coordinator Mike McDaniel for their offensive coordinator position, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. McDaniel is tight with head coach Kyle Shanahan and the team was not prepared to lose him, especially to a divisional rival.
“It appears” that Steve Sarkisian and Nathaniel Hackett are in the mix for the Lions‘ offensive coordinator vacancy, Alex Marvez of SiriusXM tweets. The Lions have been looking for a new OC ever since Jan. 1 when they announced that Jim Bob Cooter‘s contract would not be renewed.
Sarkisian has also spoken with the Cardinals about their OC job, Marvez tweets. Sarkisian has been on the market since Dec. 31 when he was fired by Atlanta.
Both the Cardinals and Browns have sought permission to interview Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell, a source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The position(s) he’ll be discussing with those teams are unclear, however.
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 above” Andrew Luck‘s five-year, $122.97MM deal.
February 8th, 2017 at 11:37am CST by Dallas Robinson
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.
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.