Mike Sullivan (QBs coach)

Lions To Hire Mark Brunell As QBs Coach

4:40pm: A reality in which the top quarterback in Jaguars history mentors the passer the franchise hopes will surpass him in that regard will not come to pass. Brunell’s interview with the Lions is expected to him signing on as their QBs coach, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Rather than coaching Lawrence, Jacksonville’s presumptive first-round pick, Brunell may well be in line to work with a first-round passer in Detroit. The Lions, who hold the No. 7 overall pick, are expected to move on from Matthew Stafford soon.

4:29pm: Former Pro Bowl quarterback Mark Brunell is back on the NFL radar, this time as a coach. Despite Brunell having worked in the media industry in recent years, he is on multiple teams’ radars as a prospective quarterbacks coach.

Both the Jaguars and Lions are interested in Brunell for that job, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter links). Brunell is interviewing for Detroit’s QBs coach position Thursday, Rapoport notes.

New Jaguars coach Urban Meyer is interested in Brunell, former Chargers HC Mike McCoy and former Buccaneers and Giants OC Mike Sullivan for the job, per Wilson. Jacksonville’s next QBs coach will work under OC Darrell Bevell and will hold one of the NFL’s higher-profile position coach gigs, with Trevor Lawrence likely ticketed for Jacksonville.

Sullivan was most recently Denver’s QBs coach in 2018, but the veteran assistant began his NFL career in Jacksonville in 2002. The Steelers, however, have discussed their QBs coach position with Sullivan recently, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets.

While McCoy was the Broncos’ play-caller during Peyton Manning‘s first season in Denver (2012) and led the Chargers to the playoffs in 2013, he has experienced a rocky path in recent years. The Chargers ended his four-year stay as head coach after the 2016 season, and both the Broncos and Cardinals fired him as OC in-season in 2017 and ’18, respectively.

Brunell, 50, is the top quarterback in Jaguars history. He led the team to four straight playoff berths in his first four years as the team’s full-time starter, 1996-99, and twice guided the Jags to AFC championship games. Brunell was an NFL starter until 2006, his third season with Washington, and played in the league until age 41 before retiring in 2012. Brunell finished his career with the Jets, his multiyear stay overlapping with Anthony Lynn‘s time as Gang Green’s running backs coach. The Lions hired Lynn as their new offensive coordinator this week.

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Broncos Hire Ex-Giants OC Mike Sullivan

The Broncos have hired former Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan as their new quarterbacks coach, reports Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). The club has also hired former Bears running backs coach Curtis Modkins to the same role in Denver, per Klis.Mike Sullivan (Vertical)

Sullivan is technically still under contract in New York, but given that Big Blue is overhauling its coaching staff, Giants assistants are free to explore other roles. Now hired in Denver, Sullivan would work under Bill Musgrave, who will return as the Broncos’ offensive play-caller after taking over for Mike McCoy at midseason.

Interim Broncos quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak is expected to shift to a new position with the team, and head coach Vance Joseph & Co. also reportedly considered former Bengals OC Ken Zampese as a staff addition. Sullivan, 50, sandwiched a stint as the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator from 2012-13 between two tenures with the Giants.

Modkins, meanwhile, has served as an NFL coach since 2008 and enjoyed offensive coordinator titles with the Bills (2010-12) and 49ers (2016). He’ll replace former assistant head coach/running backs Eric Studesville, who was fired earlier this week, but he wasn’t the only candidate for the position. The Broncos also interviewed Raiders running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, per Klis (Twitter link).

One other Broncos staff housekeeping note: assistant to to the head coach Phil Rauscher is interviewing to become the Redskins’ assistant offensive line coach, tweets Klis.

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Jim Schwartz On Giants’ HC Radar?

Having moved rather quickly to replace Jerry Reese with former Reese lieutenant Dave Gettleman, the Giants now are focused on filling their HC vacancy.

Ernie Accorsi will not “officially” be part of this search for their next head coach, John Mara said (via James Kratch of NJ.com, on Twitter). Accorsi won’t sit in on interviews, but the ex-Big Blue GM will be a resource in the process, per Mara. The Gettleman hire occurring — after myriad reports of the former Panthers GM being the favorite — leads some around the league to believe they have a coaching candidate ready to pair with Gettleman, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk hears.

Florio writes Eagles DC Jim Schwartz is the name that’s been most connected with this vacancy and floated an interesting reason for this buzz. Accorsi is believed to lean heavily on Bill Belichick‘s advice and Florio’s heard the Patriots HC has suggested Accorsi recommend Schwartz’s hire to Gettleman.

This would make for an interesting route, and Florio adds some in the league regard this recommendation as a way for Belichick to keep Josh McDaniels in the fold for another season. However, McDaniels has been connected to an HC avenues alongside New England VP of player personnel Nick Caserio as GM. A previous GM candidate, Caserio looks to be out of the picture for the Giants after Gettleman’s hire.

Mara said he would prefer an experienced head coach to take over, per Kratch (Twitter link). This would match up with Schwartz, who has extensive experience as a defensive coordinator and served as the Lions’ HC for five years. Schwartz has also had supporters within the Giants organization for years, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes, adding some sources believe Gettleman is high on the HC candidate as well.

Steve Spagnuolo will interview, but Mara is unsure OC Mike Sullivan will. Mara opened Gettleman’s presser today by saying he sought an exec with GM experience, so it would stand to reason the traditional organization wants a more seasoned HC. Mara’s Ben McAdoo hire — after only two years of coordinator experience — did not work out, so he’s planning to take a different route this time.

The Giants could interview Schwartz next week since the Eagles have booked a bye. The Ringer’s Mike Lombardi tweets the Giants wanted their GM search to conclude before the season ended in order to be ready to “act quickly” on a coaching search by the time interviews could be scheduled.

There’s certainly some unique reasoning associated with it, but Schwartz — who runs a 4-3 defense like the Giants do and has long been regarded as an upper-echelon DC — looks to be firmly on New York’s radar.

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Giants Could Fire Ben McAdoo After Today’s Game

The Giants could fire head coach Ben McAdoo within 24 hours of the team’s game against the Raiders today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

Ben McAdoo (Vertical)

Less than a month ago, we heard that New York would at least give McAdoo the opportunity to finish out the season, his second as the Giants’ head coach. And that made sense, given the number of injuries the Giants have dealt with this year and the fact that they did make the playoffs in 2016.

But that was before the now infamous benching of Eli Manning. Schefter and Mortensen report that the decision to sit the Giants’ longtime signal-caller could be the “final straw” for McAdoo, which is interesting because team owner John Mara admitted earlier this week that he was the one that suggested to GM Jerry Reese that it could be time to evaluate other quarterbacks. However, per ESPN, it does not sound as if Mara is displeased with the benching itself; he just did not like how McAdoo presented the plan to Manning, whom Mara adores. That underscores McAdoo’s perceived lack of communication skills, which has also manifested itself in his interactions with players like Dominiqiue Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins this year (to say nothing of the team’s lack of offensive creativity in its efforts to overcome its myriad injuries).

Schefter and Mortensen report that Reese’s job security is also quite tenuous (although it seems unlikely that Reese would be fired before the end of the season). If McAdoo is indeed fired, he would be the first Giants coach to be let go before two full seasons since 1930, as James Kratch of NJ.com tweets (Ray Handley was handed a pink slip after he led Big Blue to a 14-18 record in 1991-92, but he at least got to the end of the 1992 season). He would also be the first domino to fall in what is expected to be a busy firing/hiring season, as eight to 10 head coaching jobs could become available.

The Giants have not offered a comment on the ESPN report. Kratch says if McAdoo is fired, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan is the most likely interim candidate (Twitter link).

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NFC East Notes: Giants, Eli, Redskins, Eagles

Although the Jaguars have been speculatively mentioned as a trade destination for Giants quarterback Eli Manning given the presence of executive VP Tom Coughlin, Manning has no interest in being dealt, as Bob Glauber of Newsday writes. “I’ve not heard [the Jacksonville speculation], I’ve not felt it, not thinking about it,”Manning said. “I don’t want to play anywhere else. I love this team, love this organization, and I want to be here.” New York, of course, won its first game of the season on Sunday night, while Jacksonville fell to 3-3 with a loss to the Rams. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles‘ role in the team’s offense has been severely reduced, but general manager David Caldwell & Co. will likely finish out the campaign with Bortles under center before targeting signal-caller upgrades in the offseason, as Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com writes.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • On the heels of their dominant first win of the season over the Broncos on Sunday night, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY pointed out (Twitter link) that Giants coach Ben McAdoo gave play-calling responsibilities to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan for the team’s Week 6 affair. McAdoo had been a subject of criticism given the Giants nightmarish start to the season, but it looked like the change may have things turned around, at least for the time being, as New York avoided many big mistakes with the offense going to a more run-oriented approach. The team rushed for a total of 148 yards on the game, with starter Orleans Darkwa accounting for 117 of those yards on 21 carries.
  • In another Giants twist, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is scheduled to report to the team’s facility tomorrow morning for a meeting/update on his status, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com. The 10-year cornerback was suspended indefinitely last week for a number of events, which included walking out on a team meeting as well as storming off the field after the Giants lost to the Chargers two weeks ago. Rodgers-Cromartie was one of the best nickelbacks in football last season with him being voted to a second team All-pro by Pro Football Focus and the Associated Press in 2016-17. However, New York’s defense didn’t seem to miss the veteran defensive back all too much as the team picked off Trevor Siemian twice and held the Broncos out of the endzone for much of the game last night.
  • The Redskins will likely work out free agent kickers this week as incumbent Dustin Hopkins battles a hip injury, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters, including Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Hopkins — who is dealing with a partially torn hip and will miss Week 7, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com — converted both of his field goal attempts on Sunday, but missed an extra point that nearly proved crucial in a tight victory over the 49ers. On the season, Hopkins has been successful on 81.8% of field goals, and both of his misses were on 50+ yard attempts.
  • The Eagles worked out linebackers Donald Butler, Sean Spence and Jelani Jenkins today, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. After starter Jordan Hicks suffered a foot injury this past Thursday night, it looks like Philadelphia is on the hunt for a potential replacement. Hicks, 25, does not yet have a timetable of when he’s likely to return, and with Joe Walker being the only other middle linebacker currently on the roster, if Philadelphia was to sign a free agent, the player would stand to have a legitimate chance of getting meaningful playing time.

Giants, Ben McAdoo Finalize Coaching Staff

New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo has officially finalized the team’s new coaching staff, which features 20 assistants, the club announced today in a press release. There are no real surprises on the staff, which features 12 coaches from Tom Coughlin‘s staff, though McAdoo stressed that “this is a new staff.”Ben McAdoo

“Nobody was retained, there were no holdovers; everyone was hired,” McAdoo said. “When I sat down with everybody on the staff, that was one thing I wanted to make clear. No one was retained, no one was a holdover. Everyone was hired here as part of a new staff.”

Although one could make the case that assistants like defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and special teams coordinator Tom Quinn are technically holdovers from last year’s staff, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News suggests (via Twitter) that McAdoo probably means those coaches – and others – had to re-interview for their positions.

One of the 12 assistants who will return to the Giants this year is Mike Sullivan, who received a promotion from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, as previously reported. Sullivan, of course, steps in for McAdoo, who was elevated from OC to head coach after Coughlin resigned.

Quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti and offensive line coach Mike Solari are among the new additions to McAdoo’s staff whose hirings were previously reported. Adam Henry (WRs coach), Patrick Graham (DL coach), Jeff Zgonina (assistant DL coach), Bill McGovern (LBs coach), Dwayne Stukes (assistant special teams coach), and Aaron Wellman (strength and conditioning) round out the group of new coaches.

For the full list, be sure to check out the Giants’ press release.

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Coach Rumors: Giants, Jags, Titans, Marrone

As the divisional round of the NFL postseason inches closer, the coaching carousel continues to spin for many of the clubs that have been eliminated from Super Bowl contention. Here are the latest coaching-related updates from around the NFL:

  • While there probably won’t be an official announcement until Friday at the earliest, sources expect the Giants to head into 2016 with Mike Sullivan at offensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo at defensive coordinator, and Joe Philbin coming aboard the assistant head coach and QBs coach, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
  • The Jaguars are interviewing Lou Anarumo, who finished 2015 as the Dolphins’ interim defensive coordinator, for their defensive coordinator opening, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets. Jacksonville is taking its time identifying a replacement for Bob Babich, having interviewed Falcons secondary coach Marquand Manuel earlier this week.
  • Doug Marrone completed his interview for the Titans‘ head coaching position today, and Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com (Twitter link) hears that the former Bills head coach made a good impression.
  • The Chargers have hired former Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson for the same position in San Diego, the team announced today in a press release.
  • In addition to confirming their previously-reported hiring of linebackers coach Jim Herrmann, the Colts have announced that they’ve fired offensive line coach Hal Hunter, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com.

Giants Expected To Promote QB Coach Mike Sullivan To OC

The Giants are expected to promote quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan to offensive coordinator, sources tell Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Joe Philbin, who was previously rumored to be in line for the job, will be given a different title, perhaps assistant head coach. Mike Sullivan (vertical)

[RELATED: Giants hire Ben McAdoo as head coach]

Sullivan was the Giants’ quarterbacks coach in 2010 and 2011 and they circled back to him prior to the 2015 season to hire him in the same capacity. In between those two stints with Big Blue, Sullivan served as the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013. When head coach Greg Schiano was shown the door, so was Sullivan.

The Dolphins were 1-3 and lost back-to-back games by a combined score of 68-28 when Philbin was axed in October. Philbin is generally regarded as one of the kinder coaches in the game, but his agreeable demeanor did not save his job in Miami as the team entered the season with very high hopes for 2015.

While Sullivan is expected to get the offensive coordinator title, new head coach Ben McAdoo figures to continue calling plays, per Jordan Raanan of NJ.com.

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Coach Notes: Kubiak, Raiders, Giants, Sumlin

Already cited as a candidate for multiple head coaching jobs, Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak told reporters today that he isn’t currently thinking about those opportunities (link via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). According to Kubiak, his entire focus is on winning this Saturday’s game against the Steelers.

“I told you guys before that I’m consumed with what I’m doing,” Kubiak said. “It’s not time for stuff like that. It’s always flattering as a coach to be mentioned by any organization in football. My total focus is on our football game and trying to enjoy what I’m doing right now.”

As our head coaching search tracker shows, the Bears and Jets have requested an interview with Kubiak, so perhaps if the Ravens lose this weekend, those two clubs will have a chance to speak to him next week.

Here are a few more coaching-related updates, as we get ready to turn the page on 2014:

  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll revealed that his offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, has already interviewed for the Raiders‘ head coaching position.
  • Following the departure of quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf for Nebraska, the Giants have re-hired a familiar face for the position, bringing back Mike Sullivan, the team announced today in a press release. Sullivan was the club’s quarterbacks coach in 2010 and 2011.
  • Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has informed multiple NFL teams with interest in his services that he’ll remain with the Aggies, sources tell ESPN.com. Will Carroll of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) hears from a source that Sumlin’s agent was contacted by three NFL clubs.
  • Speaking of Texas A&M, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets that Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver was on the school’s radar for the same position with the Aggies. As ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson writes, Tarver’s contract with Oakland is set to expire, so there’s a good chance he’ll be on the move this offseason, especially if the team doesn’t make Tony Sparano its permanent head coach.