Daronte Jones

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

Giants Interview Vikings DBs Coach Daronte Jones For DC

A new name has emerged in defensive coordinator interviews. Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones has earned his first opportunity to interview for an NFL defensive coordinator position, meeting with the Giants last week, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The two parties conducted the interview in Mobile, AL, where Jones worked as the National team’s defensive coordinator.

Though Jones has been coaching in some capacity since 2001, he’s a relatively new name to the NFL. After time coaching at several high school and college institutions, as well as a one-year stay in the CFL, Jones earned his first NFL job as an assistant defensive backs coach for the Dolphins in 2016. He became the Bengals cornerbacks coach two years later.

Following his two years in Cincinnati, Jones started his first stint in Minnesota as a defensive backs coach. He only spent one year in that role before departing for the defensive coordinator job at LSU. He had been a defensive coordinator for Franklin HS and Bowie State, but this was his first D1 coordinator gig.

After not being retained following his lone season as the Tigers defensive coordinator, Jones returned to his previous role with the Vikings. This most recent year, he was promoted to defensive pass game coordinator. Minnesota would finish 24th in passing yards allowed.

Here is a list of Jones’ reported competition to replace Don “Wink” Martindale as defensive play-caller in New York:

Coaching Notes: June, Vikes, Saints, Bengals

The Colts are making an interesting hire. Gus Bradley‘s first Indianapolis defensive staff will include Cato June, a former Pro Bowl Colts linebacker in the 2000s. June will make a big jump, going from Bowling Green’s outside linebackers coach to the Colts’ assistant linebackers coach, Pete Thamel of Yahoo.com tweets. June made a name for himself in Indianapolis in the mid-2000s, climbing from 2003 sixth-round pick to 2005 Pro Bowler. June then started all four Colts playoff games during their 2006 Super Bowl-winning season. June played seven NFL seasons, before finishing his career in the United Football League, and has been coaching at the college level since 2015. Bradley coached June as the Buccaneers’ linebackers coach in the late 2000s.

Here is the latest from the league’s coaching staffs:

  • The Saints are also turning to the college ranks to fill one of their positional jobs. Kodi Burns will move from Tennessee’s wide receivers coach to the same position with the Saints, Thamel tweets. Burns is just 33 but has been a college position coach since 2014. He worked as Auburn’s passing-game coordinator in the two seasons prior to a 2021 move to Tennessee. Curtis Johnson, who interviewed for the Dolphins’ OC job, held this position last year. It is not yet certain if Johnson is part of new HC Dennis Allen‘s plans.
  • Veteran special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica will resurface in Minnesota. The Vikings hired Kotwica as their assistant ST coordinator. Formerly the ST coordinator with the Jets, Washington and Falcons, Kotwica sat out last season. The Falcons fired him midway through the 2020 campaign. The Vikings hired Matt Daniels as their ST coordinator.
  • Daronte Jones is also joining Kevin O’Connell‘s staff, doing so as the Vikes’ defensive backs coach. This will be a quick return for Jones, who served as Mike Zimmer‘s DBs coach for the 2020 Vikings. Jones became LSU’s defensive coordinator in 2021. Tuesday saw both ex-Tigers coordinators — Jones and OC Jake Peetz — land on their feet in the NFL. Peetz is now on the Rams’ staff. Jones, 43, previously worked with the Dolphins and Bengals’ secondaries. The Vikings also hired Mike Smith as outside linebackers coach. Not the ex-Falcons HC, Smith spent the past three seasons coaching the Packers’ outside linebackers. Smith had left the Packers to pursue other opportunities; this will now mean providing intel to an NFC North rival.
  • The Bengals‘ offensive line stands as one of the league’s top position groups to monitor. The unit will feature a new coach, with Cincinnati naming Derek Frazier as an assistant O-line coach. Frazier, who formerly worked as the Jets’ assistant O-line coach (2019-20), has extensive experience at the college level. He will share assistant O-line coaching duties with incumbent Ben Martin. Frank Pollack remains the Bengals’ top O-line coach. Cincinnati will also move Jordan Kovacs from defensive quality control coach to assistant inside linebackers coach. Kovacs, 31, has been with the Bengals since 2019.
  • The Bills are adding Jaylon Finner to their staff, per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com. Formerly the safeties coach at Division II Texas A&M Commerce, Finner will work as a defensive assistant in Buffalo.

Bengals Notes: Taylor, Turner, Casey, Martin

New Bengals head coach Zac Taylor will call his own offensive plays, as he told reporters at his introductory press conference on Tuesday (Twitter link via Richard Skinner of WKRC-TV). Taylor was hired on the strength of his offensive acumen, so it’s no surprise that he’ll direct Cincinnati’s offense, leaving new offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to serve in a game-planning role. Taylor, for what it’s worth, doesn’t boast much play-calling experience: he led the Dolphins’ offense for a half-season in 2015, and coordinated the University of Cincinnati’s offense the following year. Under former coordinator Bill Lazor, the Bengals’ offense ranked 17th in scoring, 19th in DVOA, and 26th in yardage in 2018.

Here’s more from the Queen City:

  • Taylor will hire Texas A&M offensive line coach Jim Turner for the same role, reports Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Turner has worked with Taylor at three different stops, so there’s obvious familiarity between the two. He’d be replacing Frank Pollack, with whom the Bengals parted ways despite his excellent efforts in 2018. Turner, notably, was Miami’s offensive line coach during the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito bullying scandal, and was eventually fired in 2014 after an independent report indicated he participated in harassment of players. He was also suspended by Texas A&M in 2016 after using sexually-charged presentation slides during a women’s football clinic.
  • Former Texans tight end and current University of Houston tight ends coach James Casey will join the Bengals in the same role, while Ben Martin — who had recently been hired as an assistant offensive line coach at Brown — will take over as Cincinnati’s assistant OL coach, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Casey is only 34 years old, and was still playing as recently as 2015. He joined Houston as an offensive assistant in 2016 and became tight ends coach the following year. Martin, meanwhile, worked at Texas A&M with Taylor.
  • Among the Bengals coaches who are expected to be retained under Taylor are Alex Van Pelt (quarterbacks), Dan Pitcher (assistant quarterbacks), Bob Bicknell (wide receivers), Robert Livingston (secondary), Daronte Jones (secondary), and Brayden Coombs (assistant secondary), per Dehner. Coombs, notably, was thought to be a candidate for the Packers’ special teams coordinator position, but he’ll instead remain in Cincinnati.

Bengals Hire Alex Van Pelt As QB Coach

Marvin Lewis continues to add new faces to his staff. The team has agreed to hire Alex Van Pelt to be their quarterbacks coach for next season, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Van Pelt worked most recently in the same position for the Packers, but was not retained after his contract expired this past season.

Alex Van Pelt (Vertical)

Schefter adds in the same tweet that the the Bengals have also brought on Daronte Jones to coach the secondary and Matt Raich as a defensive assistant.

We have also learned that the Bengals have decided to keep Dan Pitcher as an assistant QB coach, per Jim Owczarski of the Enquirer (Twitter link). He worked with the team’s wideouts last year. Owczarski also notes that Robert Couch is being retainted in his current role as the Bengals assistant offensive line coach.

Van Pelt is clearly the the most notable hire of this group as he’s worked in he NFL in a variety of capacities since 2006. He held his previous job in Green Bay for four seasons before the team opted to go in a different direction after they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

As the quarterbacks coach for the Packers, Van Pelt had the pleasure of working with Aaron Rodgers for many years, but will get a new challenge trying to help Bengals signal caller Andy Dalton elevate his play with the hopes of securing his first playoff victory in 2018.

Since surprisingly retaining Lewis as head coach after the regular season, the Bengals have shaken up their coaching staff by adding Teryl Austin as its new defensive coordinator and former Cowboys offensive line coach Frank Pollack to replace longtime Bengals staffer Paul Alexander.

 

Dolphins Notes: Front Office, Vernon, Wake

The Dolphins and assistant general manager Eric Stokes have mutually decided to part ways, the club announced today. Stoke, whose scouting career dates back to 2000, came to Miami from Tampa Bay, joining Dennis Hickey in making the leap from the Buccaneers to the Dolphins in 2014. Hickey, of course, was let go by Miami last month, and the team in turn promoted Chris Grier to take over as general manager.

Here’s more from South Beach:

  • The team also announced that it has hired former Wisconsin secondary coach Daronte Jones as its new assistant defensive backs coach. Prior to his coaching experience in Madison, Jones spent time with Hawaii, UCLA, and the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. He’ll be part of a revamped Miami coaching staff that includes new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and defensive backs coach (and former interim DC) Lou Anarumo.
  • The Dolphins have yet to enter into “serious negotiations” with pending free agent defensive end Olivier Vernon, according to James Walker of ESPN.com. Set to reach the open market next month, the 25-year-old Vernon would surely garner plenty of interest from suitors around the league if he doesn’t reach a deal with Miami. A report last month indicated that Vernon was the club’s No. 1 priority among internal free agents.
  • Miami is unlikely to be able to retain Vernon without first restructuring the contract of fellow defensive end Cameron Wake, but the team has not approached Wake about reworking his deal, per Walker. Wake, 34, is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury, and is due to count $9.8MM against the Dolphins’ cap, but the club could save $8.4MM by releasing him.
  • Given that former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase is head coach in Miami, it’s fair to wonder if running back Matt Forte — who was informed he won’t be re-signed in Chicago — might be a fit with the Dolphins. It’s an idea we explored today on the Pro Football Rumors Instagram account.

AFC East Notes: McCoy, Bills, Jets

Bills running back LeSean McCoy has hired noted Philly defensive attorney Jack McMahon to represent him, according to John Barr of ESPN.com (via Twitter link). Over the weekend, McCoy was accused of taking part in a brawl that involved the assault of two off-duty Philadelphia police officers. McCoy has yet to be arrested for the incident, but arrest warrants are expected to be issued in the coming days.

McCoy, 28 in July, was held back by injuries in his first season with the Bills. The tailback ran for 895 yards off of 203 carries, good for 4.4 yards per contest. He also had three rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores. However, he missed one-quarter of the regular season, breaking his two season streak of playing in all 16 regular season games.

Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • The police have completed their investigation into the McCoy case and turned it over to the district attorney’s office, which is reviewing it for potential charges against the Bills tailback, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Jets guard Brian Winters, who replaced the injured Willie Colon and wound up starting ten games last season, will get a nice raise in 2016 worth roughly $1MM, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. As part of the NFL’s rookie wage scale, Winters’ base salary (non-guaranteed) jumps to $1.696MM, the final year of his rookie contract. Previously, he was due to make $675K. The pay bump is thanks to the “proven performance escalator,” which allows mid- to late-round draft choices to make more money if they play a great deal. A player gets a raise if he was drafted in rounds three through seven and participated in at least 35% of the offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons.
  • Jets coach Todd Bowles filled three coaching vacancies, as Randy Lange of NewYorkJets.com writes. Bowles promoted John Scott Jr. from defensive quality control coach to assistant defensive line coach, hired David Diaz-Infante as assistant offensive line coach, and brought in Tim Atkins to fill Scott’s role as defensive quality control coach.
  • The Dolphins are adding Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones as an assistant defensive backs coach, a source told Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).