Frank Smith

Assessing NFL’s OC Landscape

This offseason showed the turnover that can take place at the offensive coordinator position. As a result of several decisions in January and February, the NFL no longer has an OC who has been in his current role for more than two seasons. Various firings and defections now have the 2022 batch of hires stationed as the longest-tenured OCs.

One of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, Pete Carmichael is no longer with the Saints. The team moved on after 15 seasons, a stay that featured part-time play-calling duties. The Browns canned their four-year non-play-calling OC, Alex Van Pelt, while three-year play-callers Arthur Smith and Shane Waldron are relocating this winter. Brian Callahan‘s five-year gig as the Bengals’ non-play-calling OC booked him a top job.

The recent lean toward offense-oriented HCs took a bit of a hit of a hit this offseason, with five of the eight jobs going to defense-oriented leaders. Callahan, Dave Canales and Jim Harbaugh were the only offense-geared candidates hired during this cycle. But half the NFL will go into this season with a new OC. Following the Seahawks’ decision to hire ex-Washington (and, briefly, Alabama) staffer Ryan Grubb, here is how the NFL’s OC landscape looks:

2022 OC hires

  • Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions*
  • Mike Kafka, New York Giants*
  • Wes Phillips, Minnesota Vikings
  • Frank Smith, Miami Dolphins
  • Adam Stenavich, Green Bay Packers
  • Press Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars*

Although this sextet now comprises the senior wing of offensive coordinators, this still marks each’s first gig as an NFL OC. Three of the six received HC interest this offseason.

Johnson’s status back in Detroit has been one of the offseason’s top storylines and a development the Commanders have not taken especially well. The two-year Lions OC was viewed as the frontrunner for the Washington job for weeks this offseason, and when team brass did not receive word about Johnson’s intent to stay in Detroit (thus, waiting until at least 2025 to make his long-expected HC move) until a Commanders contingent was en route to Detroit for a second interview, a back-and-forth about what exactly broke down took place. Johnson should be expected to remain a high-end HC candidate next year, but Dan Campbell will still have his services for 2024.

Kafka interviewed for the Seahawks’ HC job, and the Giants then blocked him from meeting with the NFC West team about its OC position. Rumblings about Kafka and Brian Daboll no longer being on great terms surfaced this year, with the latter yanking away play-calling duties — given to Kafka ahead of the 2022 season — at points in 2023. Taylor may also be on the hot seat with his team. Doug Pederson gave Taylor the call sheet last season, and Trevor Lawrence did not make the leap many expected. After a collapse left the Jaguars out of the playoffs, the team had begun to look into its offensive situation.

2023 OC hires

  • Jim Bob Cooter, Indianapolis Colts
  • Nathaniel Hackett, New York Jets*
  • Mike LaFleur, Los Angeles Rams
  • Joe Lombardi, Denver Broncos
  • Todd Monken, Baltimore Ravens*
  • Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Drew Petzing, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Brian Schottenheimer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans*

Only nine of the 15 OCs hired in 2023 are still with their teams. One (Canales) moved up the ladder, while others were shown the door following that organization canning its head coach. The Eagles were the only team who hired an offensive coordinator last year to fire that staffer (Brian Johnson) after one season. Nick Sirianni fired both his coordinators following a wildly disappointing conclusion.

Hackett may also be drifting into deep water, given what transpired last year in New York. Rumblings of Robert Saleh — who is on the hottest seat among HCs — stripping some of his offensive play-caller’s responsibilities surfaced recently. This marks Hackett’s fourth chance to call plays in the NFL; the second-generation staffer did so for the Bills, Jaguars and Broncos prior to coming to New York. After the 2022 Broncos ranked last in scoring, the ’23 Jets ranked 31st in total offense. Hackett’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers has largely kept him in place, but 2024 may represent a last chance for the embattled coach.

Of this crop, Monken and Slowik were the only ones to receive HC interest. Neither emerged as a frontrunner for a position, though Slowik met with the Commanders twice. The Texans then gave their first-time play-caller a raise to stick around for C.J. Stroud‘s second season. Stroud’s remarkable progress figures to keep Slowik on the HC radar. Monken, who is in his third try as an NFL OC (after gigs in Tampa and Cleveland), just helped Lamar Jackson to his second MVP award. The former national championship-winning OC did not stick the landing — as Jackson struggled against the Chiefs — but he fared well on the whole last season.

Schottenheimer is on his fourth go-round as an OC, while Lombardi is on team No. 3. The latter’s job figures to be more secure, being tied to Sean Payton, compared to what is transpiring in Dallas. With the Cowboys having Mike McCarthy as the rare lame-duck HC, his coordinators probably should not get too comfortable.

2024 OC hires

  • Joe Brady, Buffalo Bills*
  • Liam Coen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
  • Ken Dorsey, Cleveland Browns
  • Luke Getsy, Las Vegas Raiders*
  • Ryan Grubb, Seattle Seahawks*
  • Nick Holz, Tennessee Titans
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Washington Commanders*
  • Klint Kubiak, New Orleans Saints*
  • Brad Idzik, Carolina Panthers
  • Kellen Moore, Philadelphia Eagles*
  • Dan Pitcher, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Zac Robinson, Atlanta Falcons*
  • Greg Roman, Los Angeles Chargers*
  • Arthur Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers*
  • Alex Van Pelt, New England Patriots*
  • Shane Waldron, Chicago Bears*

The 49ers do not employ a traditional OC; 16 of the 31 teams that do recently made a change. Most of the teams to add OCs this year, however, did so without employing play-calling coaches. This naturally raises the stakes for this year’s batch of hires.

Retreads became rather popular. Dorsey, Getsy, Moore, Van Pelt and Waldron were all OCs elsewhere (Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle) last season. Smith will shift from calling the Falcons’ plays to running the show for the Steelers. Dorsey, Getsy and Van Pelt were fired; Moore and Waldron moved on after the Chargers and Seahawks respectively changed HCs. Moore and Smith will be calling plays for a third team; for Moore, this is three OC jobs in three years.

Coen, Kingsbury and Roman are back after a year away. Kingsbury became a popular name on the OC carousel, having coached Caleb Williams last season. This will be his second crack at an NFL play-calling gig, having been the Cardinals’ conductor throughout his HC tenure. This will be Coen’s first shot at calling plays in the pros; he was Sean McVay‘s non-play-calling assistant in 2022. Likely to become the Chargers’ play-caller, Roman will have a rare fourth chance to call plays in the NFL. He held that responsibility under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco; following Harbaugh’s explosive 2015 49ers split, Roman moved to Buffalo and Baltimore to work under non-offense-oriented leaders.

Grubb, Holz, Idzik, Pitcher and Robinson represent this year’s first-timer contingent. Grubb has, however, called plays at the college level. Robinson is the latest McVay staffer to move into a play-calling post; he was a Rams assistant for five years. A host of teams had Robinson on their OC radar, but Raheem Morris brought his former L.A. coworker to Atlanta. Pitcher appeared in a few searches as well, but the Bengals made the expected move — after extending him last year — to give him Callahan’s old job.

* = denotes play-calling coordinator

2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

The Commanders’ hire has wrapped this year’s cycle. Barring a team making an 11th-hour change, the 2024 HC carousel has come to a stop. The final breakdown produced five defensive coaches being hired compared to three with backgrounds on offense. Many teams are still searching for offensive and defensive coordinators, however.

Updated 2-1-24 (10:37am CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Jerod Mayo, linebackers coach (Patriots): Hired

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Seahawks Request HC Interviews With Dan Quinn, Frank Smith, Ejiro Evero, Raheem Morris

Dan Quinn came up as the first known candidate to replace Pete Carroll in Seattle. The ex-Carroll lieutenant will indeed land on the Seahawks’ request list.

The Seahawks sent out a slip to the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Quinn, 53, enjoyed multiple stints in Seattle, the second of which coming when he spent both Super Bowl seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator in the 2010s. While Quinn’s Dallas defense disappointed Sunday, he is now likely to conduct HC interviews with at least five teams.

[RELATED: 2024 Head Coaching Search Tracker]

The former Falcons HC has been a popular name on the interview circuit for three years now. After Quinn bowed out of the 2023 interview process early, he appears set to stay on this year’s carousel longer. Quinn has been Dallas’ DC for three seasons, though it will be interesting to see how the organization handles the Mike McCarthy situation following the Packers’ runaway win.

Dolphins OC Frank Smith and Panthers DC Ejiro Evero have also received an interview request from the Seahawks, Pelissero adds. Smith has been Mike McDaniel‘s OC in Miami for the past two seasons. McDaniel and Smith’s offense fared miserably Saturday night in frigid Kansas City, but the team turned a corner under McDaniel. The Seahawks join the Panthers in showing interest in McDaniel’s right-hand man on offense.

Evero has been a coveted HC candidate despite spending his two DC years on bad teams. Evero’s defenses outshined the offenses in Denver last season and in Carolina recently, and he has now secured interview requests from the Falcons and Seahawks — in addition to his Panthers meeting.

This fast-moving process also includes Raheem Morris, Adam Schefter of tweets. Morris has spent the past three seasons in the NFC West, working as the Rams’ DC. He joins Quinn in bringing HC experience to the table, having coached the Buccaneers for three seasons and having served as the Falcons’ interim coach following Quinn’s 2020 ouster. Morris spent six seasons on Quinn’s Atlanta staff, serving in myriad capacities.

A usual-suspects list thus far, the Seahawks are jumping onto the HC carousel a bit later. They reassigned Carroll to an undetermined role, in what amounts to a firing due to the 14-year HC making a case to keep his job, and it is unknown if the longtime leader, who is 72, will coach again. But longtime Carroll leadership partner John Schneider is steering the ship right now; the GM will be likely to explore a reunion with Quinn, who helmed the Seahawks to back-to-back first-place finishes in scoring defense from 2013-14. He parlayed that into a Falcons HC gig, which started to go south following the Super Bowl LI collapse. Quinn has rebuilt his stock in Dallas, though it will be interesting to see how Sunday’s shocking loss affects his chances of securing a second HC position. Quinn initially worked in Seattle from 2009-10, being hired by Jim Mora Jr. and then retained by Carroll as D-line coach.

Evero, 43, worked with Morris in 2021 while also working alongside OC Shane Waldron with the Rams in prior years. Waldron, however, is far from guaranteed to stay. The Seahawks have greenlit a Waldron Bears OC interview. As for Evero, he has garnered respect for his work to keep the 2022 Broncos in games — during their mess of a season under Nathaniel Hackett — and his Panthers defense ranked fourth in yards allowed. DVOA was less kind to Evero’s defense (25th), but eight teams over the past two years have sought HC interviews.

Miami’s offense ranked second in scoring and first in yardage, but the frontrunning label and the team’s struggles against quality opposition will be inescapable after the egg the team laid against the Chiefs. It will be interesting to see if Smith, 42, garners serious consideration in the wake of Miami’s inconsistent season. Morris, 47, is 21-38 as a head coach. But he was just 32 when he landed the Bucs’ top job in 2009. Morris is now best known for collecting a Super Bowl ring as the Rams’ DC. He did well to develop some Aaron Donald pass-rushing sidekicks this year, in third-round picks Byron Young and Kobie Turner.

It should be expected Ravens DC Mike Macdonald will receive a request; the two-year Baltimore defensive boss joined Quinn in early rumors pertaining to the Seahawks’ HC gig. Teams are already interviewing candidates virtually, and Quinn has four Zoom meetings scheduled for this week. No in-person interviews can occur until the divisional round concludes, marking a delay from the NFL’s usual schedule.

Panthers Request HC Interviews With Mike Macdonald, Raheem Morris, Dan Quinn, Frank Smith

We’ve got four more candidates to add to the Panthers head coaching search. The Panthers have announced that they’ve requested interviews with nine head coaching candidates, with four new names joining our list:

  • Mike Macdonald, Ravens defensive coordinator
  • Raheem Morris, Rams defensive coordinator
  • Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator
  • Frank Smith, Dolphins offensive coordinator

These four coaches join a growing list of candidates, a grouping that also includes Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales, and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.

Macdonald joins his offensive counterpart in Baltimore in interviewing for the open Carolina gig. The second-year Ravens DC helped guide the NFL’s top-scoring defense in 2023. Macdonald also managed to squeeze unexpected production from his pass rushers; despite Kyle Van Noy signing in September and Jadeveon Clowney catching on late in the summer, the duo combined for 18.5 sacks this past season. The Commanders have already requested an interview with Macdonald for their head coaching vacancy.

Morris also got an interview from the Commanders, the organization in which he served as the secondary coach between 2012 and 2014. Morris has spent the past three seasons as the Rams defensive coordinator, and he’s been a popular name on the interview circuit in recent years. He interviewed twice for the Vikings job in 2022, and he was linked to the Broncos and Colts gigs in 2023. Morris is seeking his second head coaching job after leading the way in Tampa Bay between 2009 and 2011.

After withdrawing from head coaching interest in each of the past two offseasons, we heard recently that Quinn is now believed to be “more receptive to the right offer.”After a hot start to his Falcons head coaching tenure, Quinn was fired in 2020 following two-straight 7-9 campaigns and an 0-5 start to the 2020 season. He’s spent the past three seasons as the Cowboys defensive coordinator, overseeing a unit that’s finished top-five in points allowed and top-10 in yards allowed each season.

This is the first job that Smith has been connected to, although we previously heard that the Dolphins offensive coordinator was expected to generate some head coaching interest. Smith and head coach Mike McDaniel finally saw their offensive vision come to fruition in 2023, with the unit finishing second in points scored and first in yards. Both the passing offense and rushing offense have taken off this season, making Smith an intriguing candidate regardless of personnel.

Dolphins OC Frank Smith Expected To Receive HC Interest

Frank Smith did not join Mike McDaniel under Kyle Shanahan, but McDaniel hired him as a right-hand man last year. The results over the past two seasons will point Smith to the HC carousel.

Although Smith is a non-play-calling OC,’s Jeremy Fowler notes he is likely to generate interest on the market. Seeing how eager teams have been to hire offense-oriented HCs and pretty much any coordinator from the Shanahan and Sean McVay trees, Smith receiving interview requests next month should be expected.

Tua Tagovailoa showing signs of a turnaround in 2022 did not garner Smith any HC interviews this year. With the former top-five pick’s ’22 season marred by concussions, the Dolphins finished just 9-8 and needed to start three quarterbacks. Tagovailoa staying healthy this season has increased the appeal of McDaniel’s offense. The unit ranks second in scoring, first in total offense and second in DVOA. Tyreek Hill is also on pace to break Calvin Johnson‘s single-season receiving yardage record, albeit in one extra game, while Raheem Mostert leads the NFL with 18 touchdowns.

Smith, 42, came to Miami after a season as the Chargers’ offensive line coach and run-game coordinator under Brandon Staley and Joe Lombardi. McDaniel held the job of run-game coordinator for four seasons in San Francisco. As far as position groups go, Smith has coached the offensive line and tight ends — at stops with the Saints, Bears, Raiders and Chargers — prior to the Miami move. While Smith did not study under the trendy offensive HCs of the moment, he spent five years under Sean Payton and has now worked well with a Shanahan disciple. He profiles as the first prospective McDaniel tree branch.

Teams cannot interview coaches employed elsewhere until after the divisional round this year; the NFL made that change recently to help allow coaches to focus on their teams’ playoff assignments. The Dolphins have not lost a coordinator to a head coaching job since the Broncos hired Vance Joseph over Shanahan in 2017. Barring a Dolphins freefall to close out the season, McDaniel’s right-hand man on offense stands to join other assistants in receiving interview summons.

Panthers’ Post-Rhule Fallout: Termination, Replacement, Trades

The NFL news circuit was set ablaze today when news broke of the firings of Panthers head coach Matt Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow. The termination of Rhule was not necessarily a surprise, as he’s been firmly on the hot seat all year and the possibility of firing Rhule had been discussed “well before” today, according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, but it did create a newsworthy fallout of information that is of interest to those who follow the sport.

Many have talked about the contract implications of Rhule’s termination, alluding to the millions of dollars still remaining on his contract. While it’s completely applicable to Rhule’s situation, it doesn’t sound like it is a concern to Carolina. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted out that “Carolina is on the hook for this season, but the salaries for the ensuing seasons are offset by what his future college job pays him.” Essentially, Rhule will absolutely get his guaranteed money, but the onus won’t be on Carolina to pay it. Whenever Rhule, who is presumed to be a top college coaching candidate for next year, gets another job, his salary from the new school will offset the amount the Panthers owe him.

It was also announced that Panthers defensive passing game coordinator & secondary coach Steve Wilks will sub in as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The defensive-minded former head coach of the Cardinals has apparently already begun to make the team his own. When Panthers owner David Tepper was asked why Snow was fired, he reportedly pointed the finger at Wilks, telling reporters to direct that question to the interim head coach, according to ESPN’s David Newton.

Here are a few more fallout items from today, starting with some ideas on Rhule’s replacement:

  • The biggest nugget to come out of today concerning Carolina is that, as most NFL executives expected Rhule to lose his job, many in league circles are expecting the Panthers to start dealing veteran assets in an attempt to accrue draft capital that might make the head coaching position more attractive, according to Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post. The Panthers currently only hold four draft picks for 2023: first-, second-, fourth-, and fifth-round picks, supporting the idea that trading away veterans could improve their current situation. Trading away veterans with expensive contracts, such as star running back Christian McCaffrey or wide receiver Robbie Anderson, could prove troublesome, according to La Canfora, so the Panthers are reportedly willing to eat some of those salaries in order to facilitate moving those assets. Early reports claimed that the Bills have reached out about McCaffrey and that they did in the offseason, as well, according to Person, but Tom Pelissero of NFL Network clarified that, while every team will be calling about McCaffrey, the Panthers haven’t engaged in any trade talks yet. In addition to McCaffrey and Anderson, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports expects wide receiver D.J. Moore, defensive end Brian Burns, and defensive tackle Derrick Brown to be on the table.
  • Jeff Howe of The Athletic posed the question today of who might replace Rhule and offered quite a few suggestions. Howe started the list with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn who took the Falcons to the Super Bowl as head coach in 2016. Next, he mentioned 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Ryans interviewed for the Vikings’ job this offseason and was expected to interview for the Raiders’, as well. The 38-year-old has rocketed up coaching boards since retiring as a player in 2015. Another name mentioned was Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon who also interviewed for the Vikings last year, in addition to the Texans and Broncos. Howe went into great detail on every candidate, seeming to list anybody who may be up for a head coaching job in the next few seasons. His list included former NFL head coaches including the retired Sean Payton, Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, as well as the current interim head coach, Wilks. Other serious candidates Howe mentioned were Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, and Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. The list essentially devolved into an article about anybody who may make the jump to NFL head coach in the next few seasons, pointing out “wait and see” candidates such as Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, and Giants defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.
  • One interesting name that came out of today’s rumors was former Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly. Joe Person of The Athletic advised that an eye be kept on Kuechly, who remains close with Wilks and new defensive coordinator Al Holcomb, to come back in some capacity. After retiring from a pro scout position last year, Kuechly has been working as an analyst on Panthers radio broadcasts.

Dolphins Hire Frank Smith As OC

Not long after interviewing Frank Smith for the biggest remaining role on Mike McDaniel’s new staff in Miami, the team has hired him. As Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports (via Twitter), Smith is the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator.

[Related: Dolphins To Interview Frank Smith For OC]

Smith, 40, began his NFL coaching career with the Saints in 2010, following six seasons in the college ranks. He then spent three years as the tight ends coach of the Bears, which is the same title he held with the Raiders. From 2018 to 2020, Smith oversaw the unit that includes Darren Waller, who has evolved from a castaway to one of the league’s best at the position. Last season, he worked as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach of the Chargers.

With a strong background in developing both TEs and o-linemen, Smith represents an intriguing addition to the Dolphins’ staff. The team has plenty of room for improvement in the run game, as they ranked 30th in the league with just over 92 yards per game on the ground in 2021. He would also play a much-needed role in the TE department, regardless of if free agent Mike Gesicki is brought back or not.

As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald tweets, McDaniel will call plays on offense, but Smith “will be very involved” in forming game plans. If he is able to replicate his success elsewhere, the Dolphins may have just taken an important step towards the offensive turnaround they need.

Dolphins To Interview Frank Smith For OC Job

Mike McDaniel continues to look for an offensive coordinator. The Dolphins will interview Chargers run game coordinator/OL coach Frank Smith for their OC job, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

[RELATED: Dolphins Retain Josh Boyer As DC]

Smith joined the Chargers just last offseason. He spent the previous three years with the Raiders as their tight ends coach, overseeing the development of Darren Waller. The veteran coach also served as the Bears tight ends coach for three years, and he had a five-year stint as the Saints assistant offensive line coach (during which time the Saints had four OLs earn Pro Bowl nods: Jermon Bushrod, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, and Carl Nicks).

We previously heard that Curtis Johnson was a candidate for the OC job in Miami. The Dolphins were set to interview the long-time Saints coach for the vacancy.

Elsewhere on the Dolphins staff, McDaniel will be retaining a handful of coaches. In addition to defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, the Dolphins will also be keeping linebackers coach Anthony Campanile, cornerbacks coach Charles Burks, and defensive line coach Austin Clark on the staff (per Barry Jackson of Miami Herald on Twitter).

Coaching Notes: O’Connell, Raiders, Saints

The Rams just lost their DC Brandon Staley when he took the Chargers’ head coaching job, but it doesn’t sound like they’re about to let their OC follow him out the door. We heard yesterday that Staley was interested in bringing Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell with him, but Sean McVay has other ideas. The Rams have blocked him from interviewing with the Chargers, sources told Albert Breer of (Twitter link), which they can do since it’s a lateral move.

O’Connell doesn’t call the plays with the Rams, McVay does, and he presumably would’ve been able to with the Chargers. McVay had previously let his former OC Matt LaFleur leave to go become the Titans’ OC when it came with play-calling responsibilities, but it sounds like he’s tired of getting his assistants poached. Breer adds the Rams “really value” O’Connell. Breer does note that things could change, but that’s the Rams’ current position. O’Connell was the OC for Washington in 2019 before he was swept out with the rest of Jay Gruden’s staff.

Here’s more from the coaching ranks:

  • Speaking of the Chargers, Staley is at least getting who he wants for one position. Los Angeles is hiring Raiders tight ends coach Frank Smith away to be their new offensive line coach and run game coordinator, Paul Gutierrez of tweets. Smith and Staley previously served on Vic Fangio’s Bears staff together, so there’s a connection there. As Gutierrez points out, Smith did a great job in helping Darren Waller blossom into one of the league’s best tight ends.
  • Smith isn’t the only assistant coach shuffling the Raiders are doing. New DC Gus Bradley is starting to flesh out his staff, and he’s hired Richard Smith and Ron Milus as his linebackers and defensive backs coaches respectively, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets. Smith and Milus held those same roles under Bradley with the Chargers previously.
  • The Lions are by all accounts planning on hiring Saints assistant Dan Campbell to be their new head coach, although notably no deal has been announced even though it’s been a couple of days now since New Orleans was bounced from the playoffs. Interim coach Darrell Bevell “earned serious consideration for the position,” and it’s possible he could get the job if talks with Campbell fell through, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Bevell was Detroit’s OC before taking over for a fired Matt Patricia. Bevell was 1-4 as interim coach, and was the Seahawks’ OC from 2011-17.
  • LSU was finalizing a deal to make Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen their new defensive coordinator, Jane Slater of NFL Network tweets. However, that hit a snag as it was reported New Orleans was blocking him from getting out of his contract. Things were resolved this morning with Nielsen being given a new three-year contract and the added title of assistant head coach to stay with the Saints, a source told Mike Triplett of (Twitter link). With Dennis Allen getting a head coaching interview with the Eagles, Nielsen could be a candidate to eventually take over as DC as he’s apparently very highly regarded within the building.

Coaching Rumors: DeFilippo, Chiefs, Raiders

John DeFilippo interviewed for the Cardinals’ HC job, but if the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach does not land it, he could be an offensive coordinator option elsewhere. DeFilippo’s contract expires at season’s end, Albert Breer of reports. The second-year Eagles QBs coach looks to have caught the eye of Steve Wilks, who has interviewed for two HC jobs. Breer notes Wilks would want DeFilippo to run his offense if he lands an HC job. Interestingly, Wilks’ best path to said job looks to be with the Cardinals. The Bears met with DeFilippo as well but have already selected their next HC.

Here’s the latest from the coaching ranks.

  • While Wilks and DeFilippo could be connected, Josh McDaniels and Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus may be a possible pairing as well. Breer notes the Patriots’ OC accepting a head-coaching job could lead to Eberflus becoming McDaniels’ DC. Eberflus has coached Dallas’ linebackers since the 2011 season. Prior to that, he served as the Browns’ LBs coach.
  • The Chiefs made quick work of replacing since-promoted Eric Bieniemy as their running backs coach. They interviewed USC running backs coach Deland McCullough for the position on Thursday and will hire him, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports. McCullough, 45, played for the Bengals and Eagles in the late 1990s and coached the likes of Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard at Indiana during a six-year stay as the Hoosiers’ RBs boss. He coached at USC for one season.
  • Bobby Johnson received a Raiders HC interview that is being scrutinized by the NFL, since it may have happened after a Mark Davis/Jon Gruden agreement, but Johnson won’t be a part of Gruden’s 2018 staff. The Raiders are firing their tight ends coach and are expected to hire Bears tight ends coach Frank Smith, Adam Caplan of reports (on Twitter). A previous contender for the Oakland offensive line coaching job, Smith coached the Bears’ tight ends for three years.
  • The Raiders are casting a wide net for their next O-line coach. Former Patriots and Dolphins OL boss Dave DeGuglielmo is in the mix and will interview Monday, Ian Rapoport of tweets. The Dolphins, who hired DeGuglielmo to replace the fired Chris Foerster in October, granted permission for this meeting. Miami hired Jeremiah Washburn to coach its O-line, so this would seemingly pave a path out of south Florida for DeGuglielmo.
  • New Packers DC Mike Pettine hired former Giants and Patriots defensive assistant Patrick Graham, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. A Patriots staffer from 2009-15, coaching both New England’s defensive line and linebackers, the 38-year-old Graham is expected to be in charge of Packers ‘backers in some capacity, per Silverstein. Green Bay’s ILBs job is available, and Graham prefers to coach linebackers rather than D-linemen, Silverstein notes.
  • The Bears are interested in Texans offensive assistant Pat O’Hara to become their quarterbacks coach, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. O’Hara and Matt Nagy were both Arena League quarterbacks in the 2000s, although O’Hara is 10 years older than Nagy. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets an O’Hara hire doesn’t mean incumbent QBs coach Dave Ragone will be dismissed. Ragone, a former wideouts coach with the Titans, was a possible candidate to stay despite a new HC’s hire.