Paul Pasqualoni

Paul Pasqualoni To Call Lions’ Defensive Plays

Matt Patricia has called defensive plays for the past eight years, doing so in New England during two seasons before he became the Patriots’ DC. But he will cede that responsibility in his first season with the Lions.

Detroit’s new head coach will delegate play-calling duties to new Lions DC Paul Pasqualoni, Patricia said (via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com).

While Patricia will still weigh in on defensive and offensive plays at times, the primary responsibilities for defensive calls will go to Pasqualoni. An on-and-off NFL assistant over the past 13 years whose primary connection to Patricia was at Syracuse in the early 2000s, Pasqualoni initially hired Patricia as a graduate assistant when he was the program’s head coach. He’ll now receive his biggest NFL assignment since 2010.

Coach Pasqualoni will be calling the defense, and he’ll be running it from that standpoint,” Patricia said this week. “In general, I’ll call whatever I need to offensively, defensively or special teams. But yeah, he’ll be in charge.”

The 68-year-old assistant coached Boston College’s defensive line over the past two seasons and served as an NFL DC from 2008-10, with the Dolphins and Cowboys. The Lions ranked 19th in defensive DVOA in Teryl Austin‘s final season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Hire Paul Pasqualoni As Defensive Coordinator

The Lions have named Paul Pasqualoni as their new defensive coordinator. The team announced the hire in a press release on Wednesday morning. Paul Pasqualoni (vertical)

Recently, it was reported that Pasqualoni was in line for a prominent job on the Lions’ staff, but no one knew what his position would be. As it turns out, he’ll be the DC under new head coach Matt Patricia. Of course, given Patricia’s background as the Patriots’ DC, Pasqualoni is unlikely to be the one calling plays.

Pasqualoni, 68, has moved between the NFL and NCAA during his coaching career. In the NFL, he served as defensive coordinator of the Dolphins and Cowboys and he was the head coach at Syracuse for more than a decade. In fact, Patricia coached under Pasqualoni at Syracuse during the early 2000s. Most recently, Pasqualoni spent the last two seasons serving as the defensive line coach at Boston College.

The Lions’ DC job became available when Teryl Austin left to join up with the Bengals earlier this winter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Lions, Titans, Tice, Cards

New Lions hire Paul Pasqualoni is expected to take on a “prominent role” on the club’s coaching staff, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Previous reports have indicated that Pasqualoni, who had been working as Boston College’s defensive line coach, could take over as Detroit’s defensive coordinator under Patricia (who figures to call his own defensive plays). The Lions are in need of a new DC after Teryl Austin, the team’s defensive play-caller for the past four seasons, took the same job with Cincinnati. However, Pasqualoni could instead receive an assistant head coach title, per Yates.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • Like Patricia, new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel continues to fill out his staff, as Tennessee announced today that it has hired Keith Carter to coach the club’s offensive line and Tony Dews to lead the team’s running backs. Carter, who spent the past three seasons with Atlanta, will now be in charge of a Titans front five that ranked among the league’s best in 2016 but took a significant step backwards a year ago. Dews, meanwhile, has never coached in the pro ranks, but does offer 20 years of collegiate experience, including stops at Arizona, Pitt, Michigan, and — most recently — West Virginia. Tennessee has also retained assistant offensive line coach Mike Sullivan, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News.
  • Mike Tice sounds like’s ready to call it a career. The former Vikings head coach recently told Dan Barrerio of KFAN (Twitter link) that he’s considering retirement because players “no longer want to be coached.” Whether that’s a serious threat or instead indicative of Tice’s inability to connect with today’s millennial players is unclear, but the 59-year-old Tice would be giving up a coaching career that began in 1996. Tice served as Minnesota’s head coach from 2002-05, and had spent the past three seasons as Oakland’s offensive line coach.
  • The Cardinals have hired former Titans quarterbacks coach Jason Michael as their new tight ends coach, as Marvez reports. The Cowboys also had interest in adding Michael to fill their vacant tight ends coach job, but Michael instead chose to head to the desert. Michael was previously Tennessee’s offensive coordinator from 2014-15, but was demoted when Mike Mularkey took over the Titans’ full-time head coach in 2016.
  • The Panthers had become something of a family business after hiring Norv and Scott Turner earlier this year, as the club subsequently boasted four Turners on its staff. However, Norv and Scott are the only members of the family staying on board in Carolina for the 2018 campaign, however, according to Bill Voth of Panthers.com (Twitter link). Assistant quarterbacks coach Cameron Turner is joining the University of Arizona staff, while offensive consultant Ron Turner won’t be with the club (though it’s presently unclear why).
  • The Steelers announced that they’ve hired Blaine Stewart as an offensive assistant. Stewart is the son of former West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, who gave Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin his first coaching assignment at VMI in 1995.

Coaching Notes: Lions, Cardinals, Bears

Matt Patricia is already adding to his new coaching staff. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Lions have hired Paul Pasqualoni. The coach’s role in Detroit is unclear, although Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com wonders if he could be the team’s new defensive coordinator.

Pasqualoni, 68, has bounced between the NFL and NCAA during his long coaching career. In the NFL, he served as defensive coordinator of the Dolphins and Cowboys, and he was head coach at Syracuse for more than a decade. In fact, Patricia coached under Pasqualoni with the Orange during the early 2000s. Pasqualoni spent the past two seasons serving as the defensive line coach at Boston College.

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • The Cardinals have hired a college coach to fill out their staff. Sporting News’ Alex Marvez reports that the team has hired Charlie Harbison as their new cornerbacks coach. The 59-year-old last served as the co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach for the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. The Cardinals have also hired Kirby Wilson as their new running backs coach. Wilson spent the past two seasons in the same role with the Browns.
  • Former Steelers great Hines Ward was hoping to be considered for the team’s wide receivers coach job before it went to Darryl DrakeMarvez writes. Ward, who currently works as a contributor for CNN Sports, remains interested in coaching. “There was some interest, but I can’t hire myself,” Ward said. “If the opportunity presents itself, it’s something where I’d have to sit down and seriously think about it.
  • Following news that Bears coach Matt Nagy had added Brad Childress to his staff as an offensive consultant, it sounds like the coach isn’t finished with his hires. Adam Caplan tweets that the Bears are also expected to hire Brian Ginn as an offensive assistant. Ginn was at Delaware for almost two decades, where he served as offensive coordinator (among many other roles).
  • The Bears are also expected to hire Bill Shuey as a defensive assistant, reports Caplan (via Twitter). Shuey previously served as the Eagles linebackers coach, where he coached alongside Nagy. Shuey also had a stint as defensive coordinator at Division III Widener for a handful of seasons.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Lions May Target Paul Pasqualoni

Boston College defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni could be a candidate for the Lions’ staff and possibly their defensive coordinator vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Pasqualoni has been a mentor to new head coach Matt Patricia, making him a natural fit. Paul Pasqualoni (vertical)

After Patricia was hired, DC Teryl Austin left to join up with the Bengals, leaving the position vacant. While Austin had most of the control over Detroit’s D under the previous administration, the next hire might not have the same level of autonomy. As a longtime DC himself, it’s possible that Patricia will be the one calling plays.

Pasqualoni, 68, previously served as the DC of the Dolphins and Cowboys. He joined the Texans’ staff in 2015 as their defensive line coach, but stepped down after just one season, citing family reasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: Pats, Browns, Giants, Lions

The latest NFL coaching updates:

  • One day after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady absorbed 20-plus hits in a 20-18 AFC title game loss to Denver, the Pats are parting ways with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). DeGuglielmo, who had been New England’s O-line coach since 2014, was aware he was on the hot seat, adds Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (Twitter link).
  • Former NFL running back Rock Cartwright is the newest addition to the Browns’ Hue Jackson-led coaching staff. Cartwright will work as an offensive quality control coach, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
  • The Giants have interviewed Paul Pasqualoni about their defensive line coach vacancy, per Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez (Twitter link). Pasqualoni held the same position with the Texans last season.
  • Marvez reported Saturday that David Walker was set to become the Lions’ running backs coach. That hiring is now official, writes Tim Twentyman of the team’s website. Walker coached Indy’s RBs from 2011-14, including one season under Jim Caldwell.

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.

South Notes: Falcons, Colts, Saints, Texans

In addition to announcing Dan Quinn as their new head coach today, the Falcons confirmed several other members of their coaching staff, via a team release. As previously reported, Kyle Shanahan will serve as the offensive coordinator in Atlanta, while Richard Smith will be the defensive coordinator and Raheem Morris will hold the title of assistant head coach and defensive passing game coordinator.

Other members of Quinn’s staff include Bobby Turner (RBs coach), Mike LaFleur (offensive assistant), Keith Armstrong (ST coordinator), Bryan Cox (DL coach), Wade Harman (TEs coach), Terry Robiskie (WRs coach), and Eric Sutulovich (assistant ST coach).

Here’s more on the Falcons and a few other teams from the NFC South and AFC South:

  • Perhaps more interesting than any of the Falcons‘ assistant coach announcements was the revelation that Quinn will indeed have control of the 53-man roster, as had been speculated (Twitter link via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution). As Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets, GM Thomas Dimitroff still has final say over the draft and free agency, so it’s a setup similar to the one in Seattle.
  • Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will get paid, but Stephen Holder of the Indy Star doesn’t necessarily see it happening this offseason. When Luck does get that fat contract, likely worth $20-$25MM annually, it won’t leave the Colts completely thin across the board as the team has been anticipating this for quite some time. The Colts currently rank in the bottom half of the league in current spending, giving them significant flexibility both this year and in years to come.
  • Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune writes that the Saints will still have to do some serious financial maneuvering this offseason beyond turning roster bonuses into signing bonuses. That maneuvering, while keeping the Saints “legal” for the start of the new league year on March 10, would leave no room for signing new players or improving the roster. Many have said that the Saints will be impeded by their big spending, but Woodbery notes that they have found themselves in this spot before. Last offseason, they didn’t find themselves with a lot of breathing room, but they still found a way to sign safety Jairus Byrd to a large multi-year deal.
  • The Texans have hired Mike Devlin (OL coach), Pat O’Hara (offensive assistant), and Paul Pasqualoni (DL coach), and promoted Anthony Pleasant to a defensive assistant role, the team announced today in a press release.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Coach/Front Office Notes: Texans, Broncos, Jets

It’s already been a busy day in the coaching rumor mill. The Jets hired Pepper Johnson as their defensive line coach, the Falcons were granted permission to interview Raheem Morris, and the Bears added former Broncos coach Bo Hardegree. Let’s check out a couple more coaching and front office notes, including more moves by the Jets:

  • The Texans have hired Paul Pasqualoni as their defensive line coach, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The former Dolphins and Cowboys defensive coordinator spent 2014 as the Bears d-line coach.
  • The man that Pasqualoni will be replacing, Bill Kollar, was recently hired as the Broncos new defensive line coach. One of his former players, J.J. Watt, supports his former coach’s new gig. “He’s always going to shoot you straight,” Watt told Mike Klis of The Denver Post. “He’s going to coach you hard and tell you like it is. Kubiak, Kollar, everybody, yeah, you guys (in Denver) have got a great staff.”
  • The Raiders will interview Bills wide receivers coach Rob Moore on Sunday, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. If everything goes well, the 46-year-old will get the job, sources tell Caplan.
  • The Jets will hire former Bears scout Rex Hogan as their college scouting director, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network. It was thought that recently hired Brian Heimerdinger would take over the role, but Breer notes that the former Rams executive will instead be taking over a “prominent front office role.”