Anthony Blevins

NFC Coaching Notes: Giants, Seahawks, Bears

Brian Daboll is naturally making some changes to the Giants coaching staff. Per Aaron Wilson on Twitter (detailed in four tweets), the Giants have hired Drew Wilkins as linebackers coach, Christian Jones as an offensive assistant, Laura Young as director of coaching operations, Bobby Johnson as offensive line coach, Shea Tierney as quarterbacks coach, DeAndre Smith as running backs coach, Mike Groh as wide receivers coach, Andy Bischoff as tight ends coach, Tony Sparano Jr. as assistant offensive line coach, and Andre Patterson as defensive line coach.

Daboll also retained a handful of holdovers from Joe Judge’s staff. That grouping includes Jerome Henderson (defensive backs coach), Mike Treier (assistant defensive backs coach), Anthony Blevins (special teams assistant), and Nick Williams (special teams quality control coach).

Finally, the Giants shifted Ryan Hollern to college scouting coordinator and named Mark Loecher as assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Some more coaching notes out of the NFC…

  • The Seahawks will promote Andy Dickerson to their offensive line coach, per ESPN’s Brady Henderson (via Twitter). Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron recruited Dickerson from the Rams last offseason, with Dickerson earning the role of run-game coordinator. Now, he’ll earn the (apparent) promotion to OL coach. The Seahawks fired former offensive line coach Mike Solari last week, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). This was the 67-year-old’s second stint with the organization, and he had served as the team’s OL coach since 2018.
  • The Bears announced last week that they hired Carlos Polk as their assistant special teams coach. The 44-year-old coach has served in the same role with a handful of teams, including the Chargers, Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Jaguars. He spent the 2021 campaign in Jacksonville.
  • The Cardinals have hired Matt Burke as their defensive line coach, reports Pelissero (on Twitter). The 45-year-old was the Dolphins defensive coordinator between 2017 and 2018, and he most recently worked for the Jets as a “game management coach.” Burke has also had coaching stints with the Eagles, Bengals, Lions, and Titans.
  • The Vikings have hired Brian Angelichio as their pass game coordinator/tight ends coach, reports ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter). Angelichio spent the past two years as the Panthers tight ends coach, so he’s getting a slight promotion in Minnesota. Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Vikings are hiring Jerrod Johnson as an offensive assistant. Johnson is expected to work with the QBs. The coach was a two-time participant in the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, and he spent last season as the Colts quality control coach.
  • Matt Rhule has made some changes to his staff. The Panthers announced that they’ve hired Joe Dailey as wide receivers coach. Dailey has spent the past two seasons as Boston College’s offensive coordinator. Meanwhile, Robert Kugler was hired as assistant offensive line coach while defensive analyst Kevin Gilbride Jr. was promoted to TE coach (replacing Angelichio).

AFC Rumors: Jackson, Ravens, Jaguars, Chargers

The Patriots’ defense struggled in their Wild Card loss to the division rival Bills. That struggle could perhaps have a noticeable effect on cornerback J.C. Jackson‘s future. An undrafted free agent in 2018, Jackson was on a one-year extension this season, meaning last week’s loss is the last game he will have played before potentially hitting the free agent market.

The game was possibly Jackson’s worst in his four-year career, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, who called out Jackson’s technique playing the ball, coverage breakdowns, and overall effort. Reiss went on to deliberate on the odds of New England tagging the second-team All-Pro, which currently projects as a $17.28MM tag. Reiss believes that Jackson’s playoff performance could prevent New England from using their franchise tag on him at all. The Patriots could always agree on an extension with Jackson, but after an impressive, healthy season, the 26-year old will likely want to test the free agency waters.

Here are a few more notes from the AFC, starting with an item out of the North:

  • We got a bit of peek behind the scenes from Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager who tweeted out that, after some debate on who to take with their first of two third-round picks, the Rams got intel that Baltimore planned to draft Cooper Kupp at 74th overall. The Rams selected the now first-team All-Pro and Baltimore used their pick on current Steeler Chris Wormley.
  • Jalen Ramsey spoke recently with Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic about the events that lead to his exit from Jacksonville. Rodrigue did a deep-dive on Ramsey’s journey and the three-time All-Pro expanded on how undervalued he felt by the Jaguars’ staff and detailed an explosive meeting with the team’s top brass that lead to his eventual trade request.
  • In a tweet earlier this week, LA Daily News reporter Gilbert Manzano gave an account from Chargers’ general manager Tom Telesco on the pending free agency of wide receiver Mike Williams. Telesco praised Williams, who topped 1,000 yards receiving for the second time in his career this season, calling him a big part of the team but didn’t discuss how he planned to move forward on contract talks with the fifth-year Charger.
  • Also, in Chargers’ news, Giants’ assistant linebackers and special teams coach Anthony Blevins was interviewed to become Los Angeles’s new special teams coordinator, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN. Giants’ special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey also met with Los Angeles and is being considered for the position.

Giants ST Coordinator Thomas McGaughey Undergoing Cancer Treatment

Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey revealed Thursday he’s undergoing chemotherapy treatments to address a form of cancer with which he was recently diagnosed.

While undergoing a procedure for a cancerous growth in his bowel duct during the offseason, the 45-year-old McGaughey said doctors discovered cancer in his lymph nodes. He received a periampullary diagnosis, a form of cancer affecting the liver and pancreas.

He’s been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for the past two months and has more scheduled. However, McGaughey remains a member of the Giants’ staff and continues to perform his duties as ST coordinator after his morning chemo sessions.

I’m not going to let chemotherapy or cancer get in the way of what I do,” McGaughey said, via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. “I’m a father and I’m a football coach. That’s what I do. It’s get up, go to work and earn your paycheck. … (Missing the start of the season) was never a thought in mind. I’m sure it was in my doctors’ mind and my families mind. My wife, I’m sure. In my mind, I never even thought of it that way.”

An assistant special teams coordinator with the Giants from 2007-10, McGaughey is in his first season back with the franchise. He worked with the Panthers under Dave Gettleman previously, while spending seasons in between Giants tenures with other teams as well. Gettleman underwent chemo treatments over the summer for a cancer that is now in remission.

The Giants rehired Tom Quinn, their ST coordinator from 2007-10, to serve as one of two assistants to McGaughey, per Dunleavy, who adds Anthony Blevins is now aboard as the other aid.

Giants Rumors: Shurmur, Callahan, Staff

Pat Shurmur will be calling plays for the Giants in his first season as head coach, Dave Gettleman said this week from the Senior Bowl (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, on Twitter). This will mark the second time Shumur’s gone this route. He called plays for the 2011 Browns, but the offense ranked 29th. Additionally, Shurmur is not guaranteed to hire an offensive coordinator, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com notes. While Shurmur did not hire a non-play-calling OC in his first year with the Browns, he did bring Brad Childress aboard in 2012. Shurmur also functioned as a game plan-centric OC with the Eagles under Chip Kelly from 2013-15, indicating he may value the job.

Here’s the latest from Giants headquarters:

  • While he might not hire an OC, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes Shurmur could opt to give an assistant a dual role of OC and quarterbacks coach. The Giants have recently dismissed Lions QBs coach Brian Callahan on their radar for this potential position, Vacchiano reports. Callahan is an in-demand name, however. He interviewed for the Titans’ OC job and is slated to meet with the Raiders and Jets about the respective teams’ QBs-coaching jobs.
  • Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski is set to interview for Shurmur’s old post next week, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes rumblings emerged of Shurmur bringing Stefanski to New York with him. Breer tabs Stefanski as a rising star, and the 35-year-old Vikings staffer worked as their assistant QBs coach from 2009-13 before taking over as head QBs instructor this past season. He may have a decision to make soon since the Vikings’ offensive staff has splintered following their NFC title game loss.
  • Harold Goodwin looks set to lose his Cardinals OC job. Reports circulated indicating Mike McCoy will join Steve Wilks‘ staff, but Goodwin could have a landing spot in New York. Vacchiano notes Goodwin could be a candidate for both the Giants’ or Jets‘ offensive line coaching jobs, illustrating the Todd Bowles/Goodwin Arizona connection as a possible Jets pipeline. With Gettleman pointing out how far Big Blue has to go to repair its front, this will be a pivotal hire.
  • The Giants did make some additional assistant hires on Thursday, organizing their defensive position groups’ hierarchies. Gary Emanuel will preside over the Giants’ defensive line, Bill McGovern will stay on to coach linebackers and Lou Anarumo will oversee the defensive backs, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. Anthony Blevins will also become the Giants’ assistant special teams coach after serving in that role with the Cardinals last season, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). McGovern coached Big Blue’s ‘backers under Ben McAdoo for the past two years. Emanuel coached the Colts’ D-line during all six of Chuck Pagano‘s years in Indianapolis, and Anarumo instructed the Dolphins’ DBs during the same time period. Anarumo also served as Miami’s interim defensive coordinator for part of 2015.
  • James Bettcher has only worked with 3-4 defenses, and the Giants have played a 4-3 look for ages. But Vacchiano doesn’t think it would mark that big of an adjustment. He writes that Olivier Vernon may be a good fit as a stand-up outside rusher. Damon Harrison would make sense as a 3-4 nose, given that he played there with the Jets. Vacchiano adds that the Giants may have to overhaul their linebacking corps to make that switch — which isn’t certain yet — work.

Coaching Rumors: Vikings, Giants, Cowboys

As had been expected, Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski will garner an interview for the club’s vacant offensive coordinator position. Stefanski, who’s coached tight ends, running backs, and quarterbacks for Minnesota, will meet with head coach Mike Zimmer this weekend, reports Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Meanwhile, former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell‘s interview with Zimmer will take place on Friday, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Ex-Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and former Broncos play-caller Mike McCoy have also speculatively been mentioned as candidates for the Vikings’ OC role, but neither has yet been asked to interview.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • The Giants have officially hired former Panthers special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey for the same role in New York, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. This had been the expected outcome, but the Giants waited until they’d officially named Pat Shurmur as their new head coach before making any other staff additions. McGaughey, who’s also led special teams units with the 49ers and Jets, coached Carolina to a No. 6 ranking in ST DVOA in 2017. The Giants, meanwhile, ranked dead in the same metric last a season ago. Ex-Cardinals assistant special teams coach Anthony Blevins could also be joining New York’s special teams staff in the near future, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert will join the Giants under new head coach Pat Shurmur, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Tolbert, who led the Broncos’ wideouts from 2011-17, was fired earlier this month as part of a staff shakeup. However, he reportedly drew a good deal of interest around the NFL before deciding on the Giants, per Klis. That comes as no surprise, as Tolbert nearly left Denver last offseason when the Titans expressed interest.
  • The Cowboys interviewed assistant offensive line coach Marc Colombo for their vacant tight ends coach job today, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Colombo, who played for Dallas from 2005-10, was reportedly “in the mix” to become the Cowboys’ full-time offensive line coach earlier this year after Dallas fired Frank Pollack. However, the Cowboys ultimately selected former Bengals OL coach Paul Alexander for the job. Colombo, for his part, joined Dallas’ staff in 2015.
  • The Packers formally announced their 2018 coaching staff today, and the club noted a few new additions that we haven’t yet noted here at PFR. While previous reports had indicated Jim Hostler would be Green Bay’s wide receivers coach, he’ll actually take the title of offensive passing game coordinator, with David Raih — formerly the Packers’ “offensive perimeter” coach — is handling wideouts. Meanwhile, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery will stay with Green Bay after previously having accepted a job as Texas A&M’s associate head coach/defensive line, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.