Adrian Klemm

Coaching Notes: Colts, Rams, Patriots

The Colts are moving on to second interviews with some head coaching candidates, but they’re still hoping to get one individual in the building for a first interview. According to Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press, the Colts still want to speak with 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.

The Colts have been trying to nail down an interview with Ryans for a few weeks. The organization was expected to finally speak with him on Sunday, but with the 49ers advancing to the NFC Championship Game, the coach once again put his interview on hold.

The coordinator already spoke with the Texans and Broncos about their HC jobs, and he also postponed an interview with the Cardinals. As Maaddi details, NFL rules allow Ryans to have second interviews with the Texans and Broncos next week, regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s game. However, the NFL’s “window for first interviews” has close, so he’ll have to wait until the end of the 49ers’ season to speak with the Colts and Cardinals.

We heard earlier today that Ejiro Evero will be getting a second interview with the Colts, and per Maaddi, the organization is expected to advance “six or seven other candidates” to the second round. Another name that should get a second meeting with the organization is interim head coach Jeff Saturday, according to Maaddi.

More coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Sean McVay continues to shake up his coaching staff, and that’s led him to an assistant coach in Chicago. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter), the Rams have requested permission to interview Bears assistant offensive line coach Austin King. The former NFL player would presumably be eyeing a promotion in Los Angeles, and he could fill multiple roles considering his experience coaching tight ends with the Raiders.
  • Former Patriots lineman Adrian Klemm previously interviewed for New England’s offensive coordinator job, a position that ultimately went to Bill O’Brien. However, it sounds like the Patriots are still considering recruiting Klemm to their staff. According to TheMMQB’s Albert Breer (on Twitter), another meeting is anticipated between the coach and the Patriots. Klemm spent the 2022 season as Oregon’s associate head coach, run game coordinator, and offensive line coach. He previously spent time on the Steelers staff, serving as assistant OL coach before earning a promotion to OL coach in 2021.
  • With O’Brien back in New England, focus turns to the status of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge after the duo led the Patriots‘ offense in 2022. ESPN’s Mike Reiss writes that Patricia should be able to carve out a role on New England’s staff in 2023 considering his familiarity with the organization and his relationship with Bill Belichick. However, since the Lions are no longer picking up the tab, it remains to be seen if the Patriots will be willing to compensate the coach accordingly. Meanwhile, Reiss could see see Judge sticking around New England, but the writer is skeptical about the coach returning to his natural ST role. Judge officially spent last season as the Patriots quarterbacks coach, a designation that “surprised people both inside and outside the organization,” according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
  • There’s still no clarity on what Jerod Mayo‘s new role will be in New England, but he could be facing a significant promotion. Some pundits have suggested that Belichick could be preparing the former linebacker to eventually take over as head coach, and Breer tweets that Mayo was alongside his boss for all of the organization’s offensive coordinator interviews last week.

Pats To Interview Nick Caley, Adrian Klemm For OC Role, Request Keenan McCardell Meeting

3:22pm: A fourth candidate is now in the picture. Adrian Klemm, a former Steelers O-line coach who spent the 2022 season at Oregon, will interview for the Pats’ OC job, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. Klemm has spent most of his career in the college ranks, having served as an O-line coach for SMU, UCLA and now Oregon, but was on Mike Tomlin‘s staff for three seasons.

The 45-year-old assistant has history with the Patriots, having been Belichick’s first draft choice (No. 46 overall) as New England’s HC back in 2000. A backup offensive lineman, Klemm played five of his six NFL seasons with the Pats.

10:02am: Nick Caley‘s docket now includes a second offensive coordinator interview. After he met with the Jets about their vacant play-calling role, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (via Twitter) the Patriots’ tight ends coach is interviewing for the New England gig.

Caley, who will meet with the Pats regarding a promotion Wednesday, has been with the team since 2015. In addition to their interest in promoting Caley, the Patriots also requested permission to interview Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Although Bill O’Brien is believed to be in the lead for the role, the Pats’ Caley interview will be their first for this position. After the team went through with one of the most surprising plans in modern offensive coordinator history this past season by having Matt Patricia serve as the primary play-caller, Bill Belichick is on board with making changes.

The Patriots moved Caley into their tight ends coach role back in 2017 but increased his role following Josh McDaniels‘ departure. While Caley served as a key assistant during a disappointing Pats season, the 39-year-old assistant has previously come up as a potential play-caller for the team. The Patriots have made a concerted effort to ensure Jerod Mayo does not depart. With the Jets now in the mix to poach Caley, will the Pats make a similar move to ensure he stays?

While McCardell is best known for his 17-year career as a wide receiver, he has been an assistant coach since 2010. Most of that work has come in the NFL. McCardell, 53, has served as a wide receivers coach in Washington, Jacksonville and Minnesota. Being the Jags’ wideouts coach from 2017-20, McCardell moved to the Vikings after the organization hired Urban Meyer last year. Despite the Vikings changing regimes this past offseason, Kevin O’Connell retained McCardell. The former Pro Bowler being Justin Jefferson‘s position coach will look pretty good on a resume, though ex-fifth-rounder K.J. Osborn posting 655- and 650-yard seasons over the past two years — after not catching a pass as a rookie in 2020 — also reflects well on McCardell.

McCardell also has a history with Belichick dating back to the latter’s Browns days. The Browns added McCardell in Belichick’s second season (1992) and rostered him for most of the next four seasons. McCardell used the 1995 season — Belichick’s Cleveland finale — as a springboard to a prominent Jaguars run.

Steelers OL Coach Leaving For Oregon Job

Three seasons into his Steelers tenure, Adrian Klemm will head back to the college ranks. The team’s offensive line coach will step aside to join Dan Lanning’s staff at Oregon, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com tweets.

Oregon pursued Klemm, who joined the Steelers after a decade at the college level, and will force the AFC North franchise to hire a third O-line coach in as many seasons. Klemm will leave Pittsburgh after this season concludes.

One year remained on the 44-year-old assistant’s Steelers deal, and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette adds the team was not prepared to move on from him (Twitter link). Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, Klemm broke into the coaching ranks at SMU and then spent five seasons at UCLA. The former Bruins associate head coach has been with the Steelers since 2019, rising from assistant O-line coach to overseeing that position group this season.

The Steelers promoted Klemm after axing previous O-line coach Shaun Sarrett in January. The team will continue in search of stability at this post. The Steelers had previously employed one of the league’s top O-line coaches, in Mike Munchak, from 2014-18; Munchak left to become the Broncos’ O-line coach in 2019.

AFC Notes: Henry, Mayfield, Jets, Steelers

Initially floated last month, the prospect of Derrick Henry coming back for the playoffs is moving closer to reality. Henry returning for the Titans‘ first postseason game is the plan, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes. Once thought to be out for the season, Henry has recovered well enough, per Rapoport, that the Titans would consider bringing him back for Week 18 — should the team need a win to reach the playoffs. Henry has been out since Week 8, when he suffered a Jones fracture in his foot. This would obviously be a tremendous development for the Titans, who have not been the same without the two-time reigning rushing champion. Henry’s 937 rushing yards still rank fifth in the NFL, despite the dominant back having missed the past six games. Henry underwent surgery Nov. 2.

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Although Baker Mayfield missed Monday’s game due to a positive COVID-19 test, the Browns quarterback has played through multiple injuries in the previous several weeks. The former No. 1 overall pick will, however, need offseason surgery and will be forced to wear a harness on his injured left shoulder the rest of this season, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. Mayfield suffered a fractured shoulder bone in October. While some of Mayfield’s other injuries — of the knee and heel variety — have improved, the shoulder problem is unlikely to be in the rear-view mirror until after his 2022 surgery.
  • The Jets may be without their head coach in Week 16. Robert Saleh tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Tight ends coach Ron Middleton would step in as acting head coach if Saleh remains sidelined on Sunday, when the Jets face the Jaguars.
  • Mekhi Becton has yet to resume practicing, with Saleh indicating earlier this week he had “no update” on his left tackle. Out with a dislocated kneecap he sustained in Week 1, Becton has yet to resume practicing. The Jets shutting down their left tackle would be wise here, Cimini writes. Two years remain on the 370-pound blocker’s contract, with a 2024 option included, but availability has become a concern for the 2020 first-rounder. Becton missed some time last season, and the Jets have previously levied discipline over his weight.
  • First-year Steelers offensive line coach Adrian Klemm has attracted interest from a high-profile college program. Oregon is pursuing the NFL assistant, ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg tweets. Promoted after two years as the Steelers’ assistant O-line coach, Klemm has only been an NFL assistant for three seasons. He worked as a college staffer previously, ending that run as a UCLA associate head coach. Oregon is assembling a new staff under recently hired HC Dan Lanning.

Coaching Notes: Steelers, Jags, Bruschi, Jets

Offensive line coach Mike Munchak left the Steelers for Denver after the 2018 season, and Pittsburgh’s O-line immediately declined. Shaun Sarrett initially replaced Munchak, but after two disappointing seasons he wasn’t retained this offseason. It was a big hire for Mike Tomlin that was talked about a lot, and in the end he opted to promote from within. The Steelers are promoting Adrian Klemm to the role, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Klemm had spent the past two seasons as an assistant offensive line coach. A second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2000, Klemm spent a handful of years in the league as a player. He then started coaching in the college ranks, and was the run game coordinator and associate head coach at UCLA for a while under Jim Mora.

Here are a few more coaching notes from the NFL universe:

  • Urban Meyer continues to build his inaugural Jaguars staff, and now he’s settled on a secondary coach. Chris Ash has agreed to fill that role, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Ash, the former head coach at Rutgers, is a pretty big name by secondary coach standards. Meyer continues to surround himself with guys who have coordinating and head coaching experience, most recently adding Brian Schottenheimer to the staff. Ash has an extensive college coaching history, but this will be his first NFL gig. He was Meyer’s co-defensive coordinator for a couple of years at Ohio State, so there’s plenty of familiarity here. He’ll work under new Jacksonville DC Joe Cullen.
  • Legendary Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi is getting into the college coaching game. He’ll serve as a senior adviser to new Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch, the university announced. Bruschi is an Arizona alum and Fisch served under Bill Belichick as the Patriots’ quarterbacks coach this past season, so this isn’t totally out of left field. Bruschi will apparently be staying on as an analyst at ESPN, so you’ll still be seeing him on your TV screens.
  • Robert Saleh is adding two people he’s familiar with to his new Jets staff. New York is hiring Marquand Manuel as safeties coach and Tony Oden as senior defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets. As Pelissero points out, Manuel and Saleh coached together in Seattle while Oden was DBs coach in San Francisco with him last year. Manuel was the Falcons’ defensive coordinator for two seasons from 2017-18, and spent last season coaching DBs in Philly.

North Notes: Steelers, Packers, Vikings

Details of Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown‘s January domestic dispute have been released via a police report, as Andy Slater of the 640 The Hurricane tweets. Per the report from the Hollywood, Florida police department, Brown allegedly pushed the mother of his daughter to the ground. The woman was reportedly dropping off Brown’s daughter and requested reimbursement for the child’s recent hair appointment. As she blocked Brown from closing his front door, Brown allegedly used both hands to push her down. No arrest was made following the incident, and Brown’s attorney has refuted any wrongdoing on the part of the star wideout, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The NFL is planning to investigate the episode, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Aaron Rodgers‘ 2020 $19.5MM roster bonus became fully guaranteed today, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link), virtually ensuring what we already knew: Rodgers will be the Packers‘ quarterback for at least two seasons. Rodgers, 35, inked a four-year, $134MM extension last August that made him the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback by a wide margin. He’s collecting $33.5MM annually, $3.5MM more per year than Matt Ryan. Rodgers finished in 10th in adjusted net yards per attempt (the passing stat which correlates most with winning) in 2018, but ranked just 20th in ESPN’s Total QBR, a metric based on expected points.
  • The Vikings already moved former tackle Mike Remmers to guard in 2018, and they may end up doing the same with their blindside protector. Minnesota is considering shifting left tackle Riley Reiff to guard, sources tell Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Reiff, 30, has played tackle in all 105 of his NFL appearances, and he’s played it quite well: in 2018, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 23rd-best tackle in the league. Per Goessling, the Vikings will take an “open approach” to rebuilding their offensive line, meaning they’ll search for new players in free agency and the draft before finalizing their front five configuration.
  • The structure of Everson Griffen‘s 2017 extension could end up making him a viable candidate for release as the Vikings enter the offseason, as Goessling writes in a separate piece. Per the terms of Griffen’s deal, he received nearly $19MM in new guarantees, but that money has already been paid out in his 2017-18 base salaries and roster bonuses. As Goessling notes, cutting Griffen after a year in which he dealt with mental health issues could seem cruel, but the club could save $10.7MM in cap space by doing so.
  • The Steelers have hired Adrian Klemm as assistant offensive line coach, the club announced this week. Pittsburgh lost offensive line coach Mike Munchak to the Broncos earlier this offseason, and replaced him by promoting Shaun Sarrett from within. Klemm, 41, enjoyed a six-year playing career with the Patriots and Packers before joining the collegiate coaching ranks in 2006. Most recently, Klemm was the offensive line coach/run game coordinator at UCLA from 2012-16.
  • Armed with the third-most cap space in the NFL, the Browns have begun to consider extensions for their current players. Cleveland has initiated talks with “most of” a group that includes linebacker Joe Schobert, safety Damarious Randall, tackle Greg Robinson, and receiver Rashard Higgins, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Schobert and Randall are still under contract through 2019, Higgins is scheduled to become a restricted free agent next month, and Robinson will be an unrestricted free agent.