Andrew Janocko

Saints Hire Klint Kubiak As OC

FEBRUARY 12: With the Super Bowl now in the books, the agreement between Kubiak and the Saints has indeed been finalized, Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport notes. Kubiak’s second coordinator gig will take place in New Orleans in 2024 as part of a staff which has undergone a number of changes.

FEBRUARY 11: Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network confirms that Klint Kubiak’s deal with the Saints is expected to be finalized after today’s Super Bowl (via Kevin Patra of Kubiak reportedly plans to add former Bears quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko to his staff — Chicago dismissed Janocko at the end of the season — and longtime O-line coach John Benton is also likely to be hired, as previously reported.

FEBRUARY 2: Another Kyle Shanahan staffer is on track to move up the ladder. The Saints are working on a deal to hire Klint Kubiak as their next offensive coordinator, according to’s Adam Schefter.

No agreement between Kubiak and the Saints can be announced until after Super Bowl LVIII, with the current 49ers pass-game coordinator preparing for the game. Following the Super Bowl, the deal can go through. But it appears the Saints have decided on a name to conclude their long-running OC search.

This will bring a second chance for Kubiak, who spent the 2021 season as the Vikings’ OC. Succeeding his father (Gary) as Minnesota’s play-caller, Kubiak needed to look elsewhere after Mike Zimmer‘s firing. He landed in Denver, and while that brought a Colorado return for the second-generation coach, the Nathaniel Hackett-guided season produced disastrous results. Kubiak, 36, has managed to land on his feet, working alongside QBs coach Brian Griese as Shanahan’s top assistants on offense.

The Saints’ OC search produced some twists and turns. Four interviewees bowed out early or accepted jobs with other teams. Shane Waldron (Bears), Dan Pitcher (Bengals) and Zac Robinson (Falcons) landed OC gigs; Jerrod Johnson agreed to stay with the Texans. This led to a search that will end up taking more than five weeks to complete, with the Kubiak agreement not becoming official until after the 49ers’ eighth Super Bowl.

Kubiak will follow Matt LaFleur, Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur as Shanahan-tree coaches to have moved into HC or OC positions. The Saints also interviewed Griese, but they will go with the more experienced coach. Kubiak also barely qualifies as a Shanahan tree branch, though the younger Shanahan’s offense is derived from the attack Mike Shanahan and Kubiak’s father used with the Broncos in the 1990s and 2000s. The Shanahan-Sean McVay-based attack continues to succeed, and the Saints are the latest team to buy in.

With Zimmer a defense-based HC, the Kubiaks served as the Vikings’ play-callers in back-to-back seasons. Returning to the sideline in 2020 to replace Kevin Stefanski, Gary Kubiak spent one season as Minnesota’s OC. Klint took over a year later. The Vikings ranked 14th in scoring in 2021, an 8-9 campaign, and 12th in total offense. That year brought Justin Jefferson‘s first All-Pro nod, a 10-touchdown Adam Thielen slate and Dalvin Cook keeping his 1,100-yard rushing streak intact.

Nothing especially positive can be said about the 2022 Broncos’ offense, but Hackett did give Kubiak a play-calling shot — over OC Justin Outten — as that season went south. This season has obviously brought a Kubiak bounce-back effort. Brock Purdy has continued his stunning ascent from his Mr. Irrelevant status, becoming a Pro Bowler and helping the 49ers make up for their Trey Lance misstep. Purdy’s 9.6 yards per attempt is the best mark by a full-season starter since the 1950s, with Kurt Warner‘s 2000 number (9.9) coming in 11 games. The 49ers’ passing attack also nearly became the sixth team in NFL history to see three pass catchers eclipse 1,000 yards, seeing Deebo Samuel‘s October shoulder injury impede that path. Brandon Aiyuk reached a career-high 1,342 yards this season, while George Kittle surpassed 1,000 as well.

This offseason brought new territory for the Saints, who had not changed offensive coordinators since promoting Pete Carmichael in 2009. Carmichael served as one of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, but after two seasons calling the plays post-Sean Payton, Carmichael received his walking papers (Payton has since hired Carmichael in Denver). The Saints did rank ninth in scoring and 14th in total offense this season, but the unit submitted inconsistent work during a 7-10 campaign. Kubiak will be charged with elevating the Derek Carr-led attack in 2024.

Here is how the Saints’ OC search wrapped:

NFC South Notes: Panthers, Falcons, Saints

With their offensive and defensive coordinators in place, the Panthers shored up their final coordinator position under new head coach Dave Canales by hiring Seahawks assistant special teams coach Tracy Smith as their new special teams coordinator, according to Panthers staff writer Darin Gantt.

Like new offensive coordinator Brad Idzik, who coached with Canales in Tampa Bay and Seattle, Smith was on a staff with Canales and Idzik when the three were all coaching for the Seahawks. In his time with Seattle, Smith has been a part of a special teams group that has been among the league’s best in each of the last three seasons.

With Idzik and Smith taking over units that will play with a top-four defense led by Ejiro Evero, the Panthers are hoping their new coaching staff under Canales will deliver the desired results in 2024.

Here are a few more staff updates coming out of the NFC South:

  • The Panthers were also able to add a new mentor for second-year quarterback Bryce Young today. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Will Harriger has been hired as Carolina’s new quarterbacks coach. Harriger, who comes out of Dallas as a quality control coach and offensive assistant, has experience with Canales from their time in Seattle.
  • Carolina wasn’t the only NFC South team to add a new quarterbacks coach recently as both the Saints and Falcons found new passing mentors, as well. Atlanta is bringing in Saints offensive assistant D.J. Williams to coach their passers as assistant quarterback coach, per Rod Walker of The Times-Picayune. Williams is the son of former NFL quarterback and current Commanders personnel senior advisor Doug Williams. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tells us that New Orleans will hire Andrew Janocko as quarterbacks coach. Janocko most recently served the same role in Chicago and has worked with the Vikings, as well.
  • Finally, the Panthers will part ways with senior director of football strategy and analytics Taylor Rajack, according to Seth Walder of ESPN. A former Eagles staffer, Rajack has been with Carolina since 2019.

Bears Fire OC Luke Getsy, Four Assistants; Matt Eberflus To Stay

Ahead of the Bears’ seminal quarterback decision, they will have a new play-caller. The team is firing two-year offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, according to’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. The Bears are also moving on from quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko, per Pelissero.

It does indeed appear Matt Eberflus will be back. After Ryan Poles praised the job Eberflus did in his second season,’s Adam Schefter reports the defensive-oriented HC is set to stay for a third year. The former Colts DC is expected to remain the Bears’ defensive play-caller, per Rapoport, though the early expectation is Eberflus hiring a DC to at least be a key voice in game-planning.

He was steady at the wheel,” Poles said of the 53-year-old HC, via the Chicago Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley. “He fought to get back above water and get things the way they were. His ability to adapt and adjust, really take input from the players, to get this thing on the right path was incredible. I think a lot of people would have been in really bad shape and crumbled to the pressure. He got better with the pressure, and so did our football team.”

The Bears evaluated their staff over the past two days, and although Eberflus hovered on a hot seat early this season, the Bears rallying to finish 7-10 represented progress after a lengthy losing streak spanned from the second half of last season through October 2023. As the calendar turned to 2024, Eberflus was not expected to be fired. This news assuredly points to Poles staying on for a third year; the GM was viewed as a better candidate to stick than Eberflus coming into 2024.

Chicago improved from 29th to 12th in total defense from 2022-23 and from 32nd to 20th in points allowed in Eberflus’ second season. The Bears hired Eberflus with the intention he would be a CEO coach, rather than the play-caller,’s Albert Breer tweets. Wearing both hats this season following DC Alan Williams‘ September exit, Eberflus did make strides. It will be interesting, then, to see if the Bears stick with Eberflus as their defensive play-caller. Despite a 3-14 debut season and a 1-5 start to the ’23 campaign, the veteran defensive coach has survived.

In addition to Getsy and Janocko, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert and running backs coach Omar Young, per’s Courtney Cronin and CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, will not join Poles and Eberflus next season. Despite improvement from Justin Fields and a career-best season from trade acquisition D.J. Moore, the Bears are removing the top pieces from their offensive staff. They have been viewed as a bit more likely to trade Fields and use the No. 1 overall pick on USC’s Caleb Williams, though definitive traction in either direction remains elusive. But Fields is close to becoming a more expensive commodity, with his fifth-year option decision on the horizon come May, while Williams would be tethered to a rookie contract for at least three years.

Chicago’s offense improved from 28th to 20th in yardage and from 23rd to 18th in scoring over Getsy’s two seasons, though the ex-Packers assistant remained in the crosshairs. A change at this juncture would point to the Bears leaning toward making the long-rumored move to trade Fields and start over with a higher-ceiling rookie. This was the 39-year-old Getsy’s first OC gig; he had previously served as Aaron Rodgers‘ QBs coach.

Thanks largely to Fields’ gifts as a runner, the Bears led the NFL in rushing in 2022 and finished second this season. The latter ranking came despite the Ohio State alum missing four games due to injury. No single Bears rusher totaled more than 700 yards, however, and only Khalil Herbert topped 500 among the team’s three-headed running back setup. WR2 Darnell Mooney (414 yards) also did not make much of an impact in his fourth season, despite the former fifth-round pick being a previous 1,000-yard receiver. Chicago finished 27th in passing yards, inviting more speculation about Fields’ Windy City future.

Janocko, 35, came to Chicago after seven seasons in Minnesota. While Janocko spent his entire NFL career with the Vikings, he only coached quarterbacks in one of those seasons (2021). Tolbert, conversely, has been a specialist throughout his career. The 56-year-old assistant has coached wide receivers for six teams since 2003. On the Cardinals’ staff when Anquan Boldin broke through as a rookie, Tolbert later coached Demaryius Thomas for seven seasons in Denver, collecting a Super Bowl ring for the latter stay. The Bears hired him after four seasons with the Giants. Young came to Chicago from the college ranks in 2022; the team promoted him from the quality control level to RBs coach last year. Assistant tight ends coach Tim Zetts has also been let go, the team announced.

It seems unlikely Eberflus will sign an extension, as his four-year deal runs through 2025, but the Bears showing faith in their coach to keep him in place despite the likelihood of a No. 1 overall QB investment coming in. Should that happen, the team’s next OC hire will obviously become quite important.

NFC Coaching Notes: Eberflus, Bucs, Panthers, Giants, Packers

Although Matt Eberflus landed the Bears job because of the Colts’ defensive performance, Chicago’s new HC is planning more of a CEO-type role for himself. Eberflus is not planning to call defensive plays for the Bears this season, via The Athletic’s Adam Jahns (on Twitter). Instead, new Chicago DC Alan Williams will handle that responsibility. Williams, 52, has previous DC experience, working under Leslie Frazier in Minnesota in the early 2010s, and has enjoyed a few tours as a DBs coach. This will be an interesting transition for Eberflus, a first-time HC. It will not be a notable transition for the Bears, who spent much of the past two seasons with their head coach operating in a CEO-type capacity. Matt Nagy handed off play-calling duties to then-OC Bill Lazor in each of the past two seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC coaching carousel:

  • The Buccaneers are set to go through a major transition, with Tom Brady‘s retirement ending a brief but successful era that likely doubled as the second-highest peak in franchise history. But Bruce Arians is not eyeing a rebuild. The fourth-year Bucs HC denied a report that indicated the team would allow assistants to pursue other jobs even if the new positions were not promotions, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman (on Twitter). It looks like Arians will keep both coordinators — Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles — for the 2022 season, so Tampa Bay will still feature considerable continuity despite Brady’s departure and the presumptive exits of some key free agents.
  • Circling back to the Bears, the team made some additional hires in recent days. New OC Luke Getsy‘s right-hand man on the Justin Fields front will be Andrew Janocko, Chicago’s new quarterbacks coach. Janocko spent the past seven seasons with the Vikings, ending the run by serving as their QBs coach in 2021. He also worked as the Vikes’ receivers coach and assistant O-line coach at points during his long Minnesota tenure. The Bears also hired James Rowe as their secondary coach. Rowe will come over after serving as the Colts’ cornerbacks coach. David Overstreet, Indianapolis’ assistant DBs coach, will also follow Eberflus and fill the same position with the Bears. Overstreet moved up from the quality control level with Indy in 2021.
  • Former Packers offensive line coach James Campen landed a job as the Panthers‘ O-line coach, Field Yates of tweets. Following a 12-year tenure in Green Bay, Campen will begin the 2022 season with a new team for the fourth straight year. He coached the Browns, Chargers and Texans’ O-lines from 2019-21.
  • Giants running backs coach Burton Burns is expected to retire, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post tweets. Burns, 69, began coaching in 1981 and spent the past two years as the Giants’ RBs coach — his only NFL position during his career. Fellow college-staff veteran Kevin Sherrer is expected to follow Burns on the way out, per Dunleavy. Sherrer served as the Giants’ linebackers coach last season and migrated to the NFL level, like Burns, for the first time in 2020.
  • To replace tight ends coach Justin Outten, who made a big leap to become the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, the Packers promoted John Dunn. Although this is a promotion, after Dunn spent the 2021 season as an offensive analyst in Green Bay, he coached Jets tight ends from 2019-20.

Extra Points: Shazier, Vikings, Staff, Cards

From 2017-20, the Vikings will have featured four different play-callers. But the procession from Pat Shurmur to John DeFilippo to Kevin Stefanski to now Gary Kubiak found the former Super Bowl-winning HC a bit hesitant. Kubiak stepped way from the Broncos after the 2016 season, because of health issues, and has not called plays since. But after briefly debating the move from offensive advisor to OC, the 58-year-old assistant accepted the offer to replace Stefanski, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. Kubiak has removed himself from the head-coaching market but never ruled out returning to a play-calling role. He was nearly set to resume that responsibility with the Broncos last year, but staffing issues led him to Minnesota.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Kubiak’s latest offensive staff will see more changes this year. The Vikings are bringing in Phil Rauscher to be their new assistant offensive line coach, Goessling adds. Although Rauscher spent the past two years in Washington, he worked under Kubiak for each of his two seasons as Denver’s HC. Rauscher will replace Andrew Janocko, but the Vikings’ previous assistant O-line coach will remain on staff. Janocko will become Minnesota’s new wide receivers coach. This marks Janocko’s sixth season on Mike Zimmer‘s staff.
  • The Steelers have kept Ryan Shazier on their roster for each of the past two years. That may well be the plan for 2020 as well. Owner Art Rooney II confirmed (via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) the Steelers “would love” to have Shazier back. The injured linebacker has worked as a mentor of sorts to the team’s young players the past two years. The Steelers have kept Shazier, 27, on their roster despite his inability to play; a league-minimum salary of $820K would likely come his way if the team uses the same arrangement in 2020. Shazier, whom GM Kevin Colbert confirmed has shown “significant improvement” in his workouts since the 2019 offseason, is not expected to be ready to play in 2020.
  • The Cardinals will add a former NFL and AAF quarterback to their staff. Mike Bercovici will join Kliff Kingsbury‘s staff as an entry-level assistant, per the Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman. Bercovici, 27, spent time with the Cards’ practice squad in 2017. The ex-Arizona State quarterback was on Herm Edwards‘ Sun Devils staff last season.
  • A key CBA-related meeting will be pushed back. The NFLPA meeting where a potential vote on the owners’ CBA proposal will now occur Friday instead of Thursday, Josina Anderson of tweets. The Washington D.C. summit represents a step toward a potential CBA ratification, but a few substantial hurdles remain — such as the players accepting the owners’ 17-game schedule proposal.

Vikings Hire Rick Dennison

Previously rumored to be following Gary Kubiak to Minnesota, Rick Dennison made it official. After a lengthy delay, the Vikings announced Dennison will serve as their offensive line coach.

Dennison became connected to this role when Kubiak accepted an assistant head coach position with the Vikings, but the Jets and Packers expressed interest in Dennison. The former Texans, Broncos and Bills OC coached the Jets’ offensive linemen last season.

The 2019 season will mark Dennison’s 18th season on staff with Kubiak, whose return as the Broncos’ OC was scuttled due to wanting to bring former Denver assistants Dennison and Brian Pariani — now the Vikings’ tight ends coach — back to Denver as part of his offensive staff. The Broncos preferred Mike Munchak be their offensive line coach instead and ended up going in that direction, severing ties with Kubiak.

Dennison, who will also serve as Minnesota’s run game coordinator, worked with the Broncos from 1995-2009 and again from 2015-16. The Bills fired him as OC after the 2017 season. This will be a key position gig for the 60-year-old coach, with the Vikings’ struggles up front playing a key role in the team missing the playoffs after it entered last season as a Super Bowl contender.

Previous Vikings offensive line coach Andrew Janocko will stay on staff. He will now work under Dennison as assistant O-line coach, the Vikings announced. Janocko served as Minnesota’s assistant O-line coach in 2017, serving under Tony Sparano. After Sparano’s 2018 death, the Vikings promoted Janocko.

The team also announced Drew Petzing will have a new title, rising from assistant quarterbacks coach to head wideouts coach. Petzing served as Minnesota’s assistant receivers coach from 2016-17.

NFC Notes: Vikings, Panthers, Jones, Tate, Boston

Following the tragic and unexpected death of offensive line coach Tony Sparano this week, the Vikings have made some adjustments to their coaching staff. Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune reports (via Twitter) that the team will names Clancy Barone and Andrew Janocko co-coaches for the offensive line.

Barone, who’s been working in the NFL since 2004, was the Vikings tight ends coach last season. With the reorganization of the coaching staff, senior offensive assistant (and former Raiders offensive coordinator) Todd Downing will take on the tight ends gig. Meanwhile, Janocko had previously served as the team’s assistant offensive line coach.’s Ian Rapoport notes (via Twitter) that the team had also pursued former Vikings head coach Mike Tice for the offensive line job. We heard back in February that the 59-year-old was eyeing retirement.

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

  • Panthers right tackle Daryl Williams appeared to suffer a serious knee injury during practice today, writes Bryan Strickland of the team’s website. The 25-year-old reportedly went down following a “non-contact injury,” and he was later carted off the field. “He’s being evaluated,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “They’ll send him up to Charlotte where he can be closely looked at, and we’ll go from there. I’m not sure. I just know they’re going to take him up and evaluate him later today…Daryl is a solid young man, and he’s a big part of what we do. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.” If the 2017 second-team All-Pro ends up missing time, Rivera said 2017 second-round pick Taylor Moton will be given the chance to earn the starting gig.
  • Julio Jones saw several adjustments to his contract before reporting to Falcons training camp, writes Michael Davis Smith of The star wideout will now earn a $4.4MM signing bonus thanks to his revised deal, while his 2018 and 2019 base salaries were reduced to $1.5MM and $2.9MM, respectively.
  • Lions wideout Golden Tate is entering the final season of his five-year, $31MM deal that was signed back in 2014. While the 29-year-old shouldn’t anticipate a similar payday as Brandin Cooks or Sammy Watkins, he’s still hoping the organization has some leftover money to keep him around. “I hope there’s some (money) left,” Tate told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press“Congratulations to all those guys who’ve gotten big deals. They definitely deserve it. I mean, all those players like Cooks and Sammy, they’re all hell of players. Who else? The guy who used to be in Chicago? Alshon (Jeffery). He got a payday, too. So congratulations to all those guys. I hope everyone who plays this game has an opportunity to earn a big payday. I’m happy for them.” Tate had another productive season in 2017, hauling in 92 receptions for 1,003 yards and five touchdowns.
  • We heard earlier this week that Tre Boston‘s deal with the Cardinals was worth $1.5MM (although this could be increased to $3MM). However, Pro Football Talk reports that the safety’s deal only contains $800K in guaranteed money. The deal also includes a number of incentives, including per-game bonuses, playing time bonuses, and Pro Bowl/statistical bonuses. The 26-year-old had a productive season for the Chargers last season, compiling 79 tackles, eight passes defended, and five interceptions in 16 games (15 starts).