Christian Parker

NFC Coaching Notes: Eagles, Clay, Pettine, Vikings, Panthers, Giants, Lions, Rams

The Eagleschanges at offensive and defensive coordinator show how quickly job security can evaporate in the NFL, and Nick Sirianni‘s seat has heated up as a result. But the Eagles are not changing out all their coordinators. They will extend special teams boss Michael Clay, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. This marks the second straight year in which the Eagles have extended Clay, who is going into his fourth season as their ST coordinator. Just 32, Clay has been a special teams coach in the NFL since 2015, serving as the 49ers’ assistant ST coach for five years. Clay debuted with the Eagles, however, joining Chip Kelly‘s staff in 2014. The Eagles vaulted from 31st to 10th on Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings in 2023.

Philly is adding former Titans inside linebackers coach Bobby King to their staff, ESPN.com’s Tim McManus tweets. While Brian Callahan kept a handful of Mike Vrabel assistants, he did not retain King. Under King’s guidance last season, Titans free agency pickup Azeez Al-Shaair tallied 163 tackles — the most by anyone during the franchise’s 25-season Titans period.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • Fired as the Jaguars’ defensive pass-game coordinator last month, Deshea Townsend has another gig lined up. The Lions are hiring the former NFL cornerback in the same capacity, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Townsend, who won two Super Bowls during his 12-year Steelers run as a player, has been in coaching since his 2011 retirement. Prior to his two-year Jacksonville stay, Townsend coached DBs with the Bears, Giants and Titans and Cardinals. The Lions recently lost DBs coach Brian Duker to the Dolphins.
  • After working as a Vikings senior defensive assistant over the past two years, Mike Pettine will have a more defined role this year in Minnesota. The Vikings announced the veteran DC and ex-Browns HC will be their outside linebackers coach in 2024. Still carrying an assistant HC title, Pettine worked with the Vikes’ OLBs under Brian Flores last season. This will be the 57-year-old coach’s 22nd season in the NFL.
  • The Vikings also hired Marcus Dixon to be their defensive line coach. Brought over from the Broncos, Dixon was a Nathaniel Hackett hire in Denver. Ejiro Evero took Dixon with him from the Rams in 2022; he served as the Broncos’ D-line coach for two years. The Broncos are losing their only two pre-Sean Payton defensive assistants this offseason, seeing DBs coach Christian Parker rejoin Vic Fangio in Philadelphia. Evero tried to take both Parker and Dixon with him to the Panthers last year, per 9News’ Mike Klis, but the Broncos blocked the effort and kept them around to work under Vance Joseph.
  • The Giants are doling out some new titles. QBs coach Shea Tierney and DBs coach Jerome Henderson will respectively serve as the team’s offensive and defensive pass-game coordinators. Henderson has been with the Giants since 2020, while Tierney came over from the Bills with Brian Daboll. The Giants also moved former safety Mike Adams from assistant secondary coach to assistant DBs coach.
  • Additionally, Big Blue hired Charlie Bullen to replace Drew Wilkins as outside linebackers coach. Daboll fired Wilkins, a longtime Don Martindale right-hand man, and that choice keyed an explosive conclusion to the Daboll-Martindale relationship. Wilkins is now with the Patriots. Bullen spent last season as Illinois’ OLBs coach; he spent the previous four years coaching linebackers with the Cardinals. The veteran assistant previously worked with Dolphins LBs under Joe Philbin and Adam Gase.
  • The Rams recently interviewed former Packers pass-game coordinator Greg Williams for their inside linebackers coach gig, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones notes. This is not the ex-St. Louis Rams DC better known for Bountygate; the two-G Greg Williams spent time with the Broncos and Cardinals prior to spending last season in Green Bay.

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

The offensive and defensive coordinator carousels are in winding down. Here is how the OC and DC searches look:

Updated 2-14-24 (5:50pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Eagles To Add Doug Nussmeier To Staff; Team Expected To Hire Broncos’ Christian Parker

Kellen Moore and Vic Fangio are bringing some familiar staffers to Philadelphia. One of those will be Doug Nussmeier, who has worked with Moore in Dallas and Los Angeles.

Nussmeier will join the Eagles as quarterbacks coach, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. Additionally, the Eagles are expected to hire Christian Parker from the Broncos’ staff, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano tweets. Parker loomed as a DC candidate during this year’s cycle. The young assistant will rejoin Fangio, who hired him in Denver.

Moore and Nussmeier coached together in Dallas from 2018-22, with the latter moving from tight ends coach to QBs coach during that span. Moore brought Nussmeier with him to Los Angeles when he took over as Chargers OC last year. That stint did not go especially well, but the Eagles will give Moore leeway to bring his longtime coworker with him to coach Jalen Hurts.

Seeing as both staffers were tied to the Cowboys for years, the Eagles certainly have a degree of familiarity with Moore and Nussmeier. The latter also served as an offensive coordinator for five college programs — including Alabama, Michigan and Florida — from 2008-17. This will be the second former Gators OC the Eagles will have hired as QBs coach under Nick Sirianni. The Eagles brought Brian Johnson from Gainesville to coach Hurts, whom the assistant had known for years, in 2021. The Eagles have since fired Johnson after one season as OC; no team has hired the young staffer yet.

Johnson and Nussmeier did not coach together at Florida; the latter was in Dallas by the time Johnson got to Gainesville. The Ravens interviewed Nussmeier, 53, for their OC job in 2023 but hired Todd Monken. Philly will now entrust additional Hurts development to two former Cowboys staffers. With Jim Harbaugh now running the Chargers, Nussmeier needed to make new plans.

Parker, 32, interviewed for the Patriots and Packers’ DC jobs this offseason. He has been valued in Denver, working as the team’s DBs coach under Fangio, Nathaniel Hackett and Sean Payton. Residing as the last Fangio assistant coach left this past season, Parker has overseen the likes of Justin Simmons and Patrick Surtain. Parker has coached the latter, now a two-time Pro Bowler, throughout his career. He also mentored rookie UDFA slot cornerback Ja’Quan McMillian in 2023. Parker was under contract, per Denver7’s Troy Renck, who notes the team gave the Eagles permission to make this hire.

Additionally, the Eagles are hiring Dolphins assistant Joe Kasper to be their safeties coach, NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe tweets. Fangio targeted Kasper, per Wolfe, and the Eagles sent him an interview slip last week. Despite Fangio’s Dolphins fit not proving ideal, the veteran defensive coach’s time in Miami will lead at least one staffer to follow him. This is a return trip for Kasper, who was a quality control assistant with the Eagles from 2021-22. Fangio’s consulting season helped lead Kasper to Miami, where he served as safeties coach.

One of the staffers who worked under Jonathan Gannon and Sean Desai in Philly, DBs coach D.K. McDonald, is departing to become the co-defensive coordinator at Kansas, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. This proves interesting due to he and Fangio overlapping in 2022; McDonald was on Sirianni’s staff from 2021-23. The ex-Gannon assistant began his Philly tenure as assistant DBs coach, moving up to secondary coach in 2023.

Packers Request DC Meetings With Bobby Babich, Aden Durde; Team Interviews Christian Parker

The coordinator carousel is now in full swing, and the Packers are adding names to their search to replace Joe Barry. While a few former Rams staffers have come up, Green Bay is now targeting two voices without backgrounds under Sean McVay.

Matt LaFleur‘s team has requested permission to meet with Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich and Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde for their DC role, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo and ESPN.com’s Todd Archer report. Additionally, NFL.com’s James Palmer reports the Packers have interviewed Broncos DBs coach Christian Parker for the gig Thursday.

The Babich meeting will come to pass, per Garafolo, and it would surprise if Durde did not interview for the job as well. Teams cannot block this type of elevation, with the Packers’ DC holding play-calling responsibilities due to LaFleur’s status as an offense-oriented HC. After Barry served in the role for three years, the Packers are set to hire the third DC of the LaFleur era.

Babich, 40, has been on Sean McDermott‘s staff from the beginning. After coaching the Bills’ Micah HydeJordan Poyer tandem for four seasons, Bobby Babich took over for his father, Bob, as linebackers coach. The Bills dealt with a few injuries at that position this season, most notably Matt Milano‘s October season-ender, but Milano earned All-Pro honors in the younger Babich’s first year in charge. The Packers join the Giants in targeting him for a promotion.

Turning up on Hard Knocks in 2021, Durde became known to viewers as the British coach on Dallas’ staff. Dan Quinn brought Durde over from Atlanta in 2021, and he has coached the Cowboys’ D-line since. Durde, 44, has coached Micah Parsons — well, sort of, with Dallas refusing to label the superstar defender as a pure defensive lineman — throughout his career while overseeing one of the league’s better D-lines. This marks Durde’s first connection to a DC opportunity.

Just 32, Parker is viewed as a rising talent. The Patriots are also targeting the Broncos assistant for their DC post. Both Nathaniel Hackett and Sean Payton retained Parker despite neither having hired him. The Vic Fangio hire has coached Patrick Surtain and Justin Simmons in Denver, helping both to All-Pro honors. The Broncos also unearthed a potential long-term slot corner, in Ja’Quan McMillian, as a rookie UDFA this season.

Courtesy of PFR’s Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker, here is how the Pack’s DC search shapes up so far:

Patriots To Interview Broncos’ Christian Parker, Saints’ Michael Hodges For DC

Two coaches on Sean Payton‘s staffs will meet with the Patriots about their defensive coordinator position. Broncos DBs coach Christian Parker and Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges will meet about the gig, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport note.

Often reluctant to hand out titles during Bill Belichick‘s run, the Patriots have not gone into a season with a pure DC on their staff since Matt Patricia‘s initial departure following Super Bowl LII. Brian Flores and Jerod Mayo have operated as de facto Pats DCs, with an obvious assist from Belichick, since Patricia left for Detroit’s HC job. Mayo appears ready to change the team’s policy regarding the position.

Parker, 32, is among the few coaches held over from previous Broncos staffs. Payton thought enough of the Vic Fangio-era hire to interview him for the DC job that ended up going to Vance Joseph last year. This will, then, mark Parker’s second meeting about an NFL DC post. That meeting will occur today, per Pelissero.

The only Broncos assistant kept from the Fangio staff, Parker has been the Broncos’ DBs coach for the past three seasons. That tenure overlaps with Patrick Surtain‘s three-year career. Both Surtain and Justin Simmons have earned All-Pro recognition under Parker, who came over from Green Bay in 2021. Denver also coaxed production from new starters P.J. Locke and Ja’Quan McMillian, the latter a rookie UDFA slot corner, this season.

This does mark Hodges’ first DC interview. A Payton hire back in 2018, Hodges, 37, has been in place as New Orleans’ linebackers coach since 2020. The Saints have deployed Demario Davis as one of the NFL’s most versatile linebackers during Hodges’ span as the position coach. Davis has earned first- or second-team All-Pro acclaim in five straight seasons, totaling at least 105 tackles and 20 combined sacks during Hodges’ four years leading the position group. As a whole, the Saints have ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense during each of Hodges’ seasons in his current role.

Parker and Hodges accompany Panthers outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu as candidates for this position. Parker’s Broncos interview represents this trio’s only previous meeting about a DC post, with Mayo opting for up-and-coming candidates thus far. Patriots defensive reliability has been one of this century’s NFL hallmarks. The Belichick-led unit ranked as a top-15 scoring defense 21 times in his 24-season tenure, finishing as a top-10 unit in 18 of those years.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Latest On Broncos’ Coaching Staff; Matt Patricia Still On Radar For Assistant Job?

1:13pm: If Patricia is part of Payton’s plans, it will not be as linebackers coach. The Broncos are hiring Michael Wilhoite for that position, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Recently dismissed by the Chargers, Wilhoite worked with the Saints from 2019-20. The former NFL linebacker was on Payton’s staffs then as a lower-level assistant; this job represents a title bump.

12:20pm: The Broncos’ Vance Joseph defensive coordinator hire removes some of their candidates from the equation, but it might not scrap partnerships will all of them. Matt Patricia may still be on the radar for a role in Denver.

The former Lions HC and longtime Bill Belichick assistant has been connected to joining the Broncos as linebackers coach, Troy Renck of Denver7 notes. Sean Payton responded to a tweet questioning his methodical pace at filling out Denver’s staff, indicating he had 16 coaches in place. It would appear more names will surface soon. The team is still looking for an offensive coordinator.

Patricia, 48, interviewed Wednesday for the job Joseph just accepted. Although he worked with the Patriots’ offensive line last season — one that became a controversial campaign due to the longtime defensive staffer being the team’s de facto OC — the former head coach and longtime defensive coordinator has not held a position coach title since 2011, when he was the Pats’ safeties coach. Patricia has only worked for the Patriots and Lions during his lengthy NFL stay; the Pats brought him back shortly after his Lions firing.

Patricia is no longer under contract with the Patriots, and while it is believed he should still have a job under Belichick, the Lions no longer paying him a head coach salary would require the Pats to handle the entire compensation going forward. That should not be a major issue, given assistants’ salaries, but it certainly would be interesting if Patricia left New England for a non-coordinator job. His contract expiring would mean the Pats cannot block such a move, however.

The Broncos are also retaining two of their holdover defensive assistants. They will keep both defensive line coach Marcus Dixon and defensive backs coach Christian Parker, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. Parker, 31, interviewed for the DC job, providing an illustration of the team’s view of the young staffer, and will enter his third season with the team. He joined the Broncos during Vic Fangio‘s tenure; Dixon, 38, signed on under Ejiro Evero last year. This is Parker’s first job coaching a position, while Dixon — a former NFL D-lineman — coached on the Rams’ staff in 2021.

Although Mike Zimmer also interviewed for a separate staff position and would make sense in a senior defensive assistant-type role alongside Payton, his Cowboys coworker in the 2000s, the linebackers position is the top box for the Broncos now to check on defense. On offense, the team is replacing five-year wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni with ex-NFLer Keary Colbert, Matt Zenitz of On3Sports.com tweets. Colbert, who played an auxiliary role for the Broncos’ receiving corps from 2008-09, spent last season as Florida’s receivers coach. He also mentored Drake London at USC. Colbert, 40, began coaching immediately after his playing career wrapped. Azzanni joined the Jets as their receivers coach recently.

Broncos To Hire Vance Joseph As DC

Vance Joseph is coming back to Denver. The former Broncos head coach will make a quick return, agreeing to join Sean Payton‘s staff as defensive coordinator, Peter Schrager of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

This hire will come barely four years after the Broncos fired Joseph following a two-year HC run. While unusual, a coach coming back so soon is not unprecedented. Joseph beat out the likes of Rex Ryan, Matt Patricia and Sean Desai for the job. Joseph will again play the lead role in helming Denver’s defense, doing so under Payton this time around.

Joseph, 50, received extensive interest from the Eagles as well. He went through a two-day interview with Philly brass; that wrapped Wednesday. Despite a rocky history with the Broncos, Joseph kept the door open for a return. The University of Colorado alum has not worked with Payton previously, but these two will be the top coaches in the Broncos’ organization going forward. Payton will call plays offensively, and Joseph will now step into Denver’s defensive play-calling role.

The Broncos went 9-7 under Gary Kubiak in 2016; their decline began to hit under Joseph over the next two seasons. Denver went 5-11 and 6-10 in 2017 and ’18, respectively, though quarterback trouble did more to sink those teams than defensive issues. While the Broncos’ defense did dip from its Wade Phillips-overseen apex, Joseph immediately landed the Cardinals’ DC job upon being axed. It is not known if the Eagles offered Joseph their DC position, but the Broncos’ new ownership — as evidenced by the Payton hire — certainly would be in position to win a bidding war for a coach. Joseph left his Eagles interview believing he had a good chance at either that job or the Denver opening, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets.

The Cardinals interviewed Joseph for their HC position early in their lengthy search process but ended up preferring two other DCs — finalists Jonathan Gannon and Lou Anarumo. Gannon and Joseph soon came to an understanding, one that led the Cardinals to replace him with the NFL’s youngest active coordinator — 29-year-old Nick Rallis. The Cardinals took on water from all sides last season, with their defense ranking 24th in DVOA despite J.J. Watt‘s bounce-back finale. But Joseph’s unit played a major role in Arizona’s 2021 playoff voyage; DVOA ranked the 2021 Cardinals’ defense sixth. The metric placed Arizona’s 2020 defense, which did not have Chandler Jones for most of the season, 10th overall.

Joseph is the second former Broncos HC to return to the team as a defensive boss over the past 10 years. Phillips, Denver’s head coach from 1993-94, came back in 2015 and helped steer the Kubiak-led team to a Super Bowl win. This reminds more of the Chiefs rehiring Gunther Cunningham four years after firing him as head coach. Cunningham coached the Chiefs from 1999-2000, being promoted from DC, but he returned to his previous coordinator role under both Dick Vermeil and Herm Edwards. Unlike those circumstances, when the same GM was in place (Carl Peterson), the GM who fired Joseph — John Elway — is no longer in a regular role with the team. Payton and George Paton are running the show. New ownership is also in place, with the Rob Walton-led group taking over last year.

I’m over it. It was never a sore spot,” Joseph said (via Denver7’s Troy Renck) of being fired as Broncos HC in 2019. “That’s a great opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. It didn’t work out, but I wasn’t the first guy and I won’t be the last. There were never any ill feelings. It was just a job. It didn’t get done and you move on.”

Justin Simmons and Josey Jewell are the only Broncos cogs left from Joseph’s first run with the organization. The Broncos ranked 10th and fifth, respectively, in defensive DVOA under Joseph from 2017-18. His 11-21 HC record aside, Joseph has shown an ability to lead upper-echelon defenses. He will now bring four additional years of experience back to Denver. Joseph’s experience helped sell Payton, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Phillips also reached out to Joseph before his interview with Payton, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com notes.

Ryan obviously brings more experience than Joseph, but the ESPN analyst — reported as the favorite for this job days ago — has also been out of the league since the Bills fired him late in the 2016 season. Desai, who also interviewed for the Eagles’ DC job, has one season of coordinator experience. Joseph has been a head coach or D-coordinator for seven combined seasons. This will be his fourth opportunity to lead a defense.

Defensive backs coach Christian Parker also interviewed for the job, Legwold notes, adding Mike Zimmer interviewed for a separate position on staff. Kris Richard, whom Payton hired with the Saints in 2021, also interviewed for the gig. Parker would appear to be a candidate to stay, while Zimmer — previously mentioned as a candidate to team with Payton again — could be in play for a senior defensive assistant-type position. Joseph should still be expected to have input in how Denver’s defensive staff looks.

NFL Coaching Updates: Broncos, Brown, Cowboys, Jaguars

Following the departure of former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, there has been a litany of change to the coaching staff in Denver. A few of the updates and notes have flown a bit under the radar. For instance, in the midst of new head coach Sean Payton attempting to find his new defensive coordinator, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the team was interested in former Eagles linebackers coach Nick Rallis, who ended up getting hired for the same position in Arizona. Rapoport also avers that Philadelphia, knowing new Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon would be leaving their defensive coordinator position vacant, also had interest in retaining Rallis in an enhanced role as coordinator.

A rumor has also come to light that may explain a bit of why Payton and the Broncos have not yet filled the position. According to Mike Klis of 9NEWS, the Broncos are seeking to retain defensive line coach Marcus Dixon and secondary coach Christian Parker regardless of who they hire at the defensive coordinator position. While a flattering notion towards the two coaches, the move effectively handcuffs whoever accepts the position into working with the two, regardless of system fit. Many of former defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero‘s staff have departed to join him in Carolina, though, and this appears to be the dedication Denver must show in order to retain the remaining assistants.

Klis also tweeted of another departure from the Broncos staff. While not technically a coach, instructional designer John Viera will reportedly be following Hackett to New York. Klis describes Viera as the “coach to the coaches,” detailing that he would lead presentations to the coaching staff.

Here are a few other coaching rumors from around the league:

  • The Panthers hired one of the league’s up and coming coaches this past weekend, announcing the addition of Rams assistant head coach and tight ends coach Thomas Brown as their new offensive coordinator. Rams head coach Sean McVay reportedly didn’t want to lose Brown but didn’t feel he could block him from a great opportunity, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. McVay regarded Brown as one of the best teachers he has worked with, and he was not the only one who noticed. Brown interviewed for the open Dolphins’ head coaching position last offseason and interviewed for the Texans’ job this year, as well. He was also a candidate for several other offensive coordinator positions. Brown’s considered a rising offensive mind in the game brings some intrigue to Carolina as a new play caller.
  • The Cowboys have added two former NFL players to their coaching staff for 2023. Former Vikings first round pick Sharrif Floyd will be officially added to the staff as the assistant defensive line and defensive quality control coach, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. The former defensive tackle, who played under Dan Quinn at Florida, worked with the staff during training camp last year. Todd Archer of ESPN adds that the team is also bringing on former safety and special teams ace Darian Thompson to serve as assistant linebackers and quality control coach. After spending much of 2021 on the practice squad, Thompson did not appear on the field in 2022.
  • In a tweet this week, the Jaguars announced two minor additions to their 2023 coaching staff. Jacksonville has hired former Bills wide receivers coach Chad Hall to serve in the same role for the Jaguars. After coaching Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis for the past four seasons, Hall will join Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson to coach a wide receivers group that surpassed all expectations in 2022 and may benefit even more with the potential addition of suspended receiver Calvin Ridley. The team has also added Greg Austin in the position of offensive quality control coach.
  • After hiring Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator, the Vikings are parting ways with linebackers coach Greg Manusky, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Manusky has served as defensive coordinator for four different teams over the years. The veteran assistant should have plenty of options moving forward.
  • The Chargers announced a minor addition to their staff this week, according to Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports. Los Angeles will be bringing in former Georgia defensive analyst Robert Muschamp as a quality control coach. Muschamp is the nephew of Georgia co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Will Muschamp and joined his uncle in Athens after two years working in Tennessee.
  • The Texans have hired former Kent State director of football operations and Yale chief of staff Jake Olson to the coaching staff, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. It’s a bit unclear what his role will be, but he will don the title of assistant senior assistant.

AFC Coaching Notes: Broncos, Jaguars, Chiefs

As Nathaniel Hackett continues to build his staff with the Broncos, the new head coach interviewed many of the team’s holdover position coaches this week, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The majority of these coaches are “pretty much on hold,” but a handful of coaches are starting to get clarity on their job security.

As Klis notes, defensive backs coach Christian Parker is one of the coaches who will return next season. The 30-year-old has had a rapid rise through the coaching ranks. Prior to getting hired as the Broncos DBs coach in 2021, he spent time as the defensive quality control coach with the Packers. Of course, Hackett was on that Green Bay staff, so there’s already familiarity between the two.

Meanwhile, long-time coach Reggie Herring won’t be retained (per Klis on Twitter). The linebackers coach had been with the organization since their Super Bowl-winning 2015 campaign. He previously spent time as the linebackers coach with the Bears, Texans (two stints), and Cowboys.

More coaching notes out of the AFC:

  • The Jaguars won’t be retaining special teams coordinator Nick Sorensen, reports Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). The former player was added to Urban Meyer’s staff last offseason. The 43-year-old previously spent time with the Seahawks, serving as assistant ST coach, assistant defensive backs coach, and secondary coach.
  • SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan tweets that Andrew Breiner could be a candidate for Doug Pederson’s new Jaguars staff, potentially as quarterbacks coach. Breiner was last in the NFL in 2020 when he was the passing game analyst for the Eagles, and he spent the 2021 campaign in the college ranks as the offensive coordinator at FIU.
  • The Chiefs have hired Joe Cullen as their new defensive line coach, with former DL coach Brendan Daly moving to linebackers coach (per a team announcement on Twitter). Cullen spent last season as the Jaguars defensive coordinator, and he had talks with the Ravens and Colts about their DC vacancies. He was a DL coach for more than a decade during stints with the Lions, Jaguars, Browns, Buccaneers, and Ravens. Daley had spent the past three seasons as the Chiefs DL coach.
  • The Bills are expected to hire Vikings offensive line coach Phil Rauscher in the same role, reports ESPN’s Courtney Cronin (via Twitter). Rauscher was one of several Vikings coaches who were given permission to seek other coaching opportunities. The 36-year-old had previous NFL coaching gigs with the Broncos and Washington.
  • Former Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly is in talks to join the Titans staff, reports ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter). Only 35, Kelly had a quick rise through the Texans organization. After starting as an offensive quality control coach in 2014, Kelly was eventually promoted to assistant offensive line coach, tight ends coach, and (ultimately) OC. He was fired by the organization after the season. Kelly has ties to Titans coach Mike Vrabel stemming from their stints in Houston.