George Warhop

Texans Expected To Hire Cory Undlin; Team Will Not Retain Pep Hamilton, Others

Former Lions defensive coordinator and two-year DeMeco Ryans lieutenant with the 49ers, Cory Undlin will come over from San Francisco to join Ryans’ staff in Houston. The Texans plan to hire the veteran NFL assistant, Aaron Wilson of KPRC reports.

Previous reports pegged the Texans as interested, and Wilson notes the team intends to hire Undlin as its secondary coach and defensive passing-game coordinator. Undlin spent the past two seasons as the 49ers’ secondary coach; his contract expired after the 2022 season. He is the latest 49ers assistant to join Ryans’ Texans staff.

That staff will not include Pep Hamilton or offensive line coach George Warhop, per Wilson. The Texans retained special teams coordinator Frank Ross, who was a David Culley hire and former Nick Caserio Patriots coworker, but they will have new coordinators (Bobby Slowik, Matt Burke). While Hamilton stayed on under Lovie Smith under a different position, moving from quarterbacks coach to OC, he is out in Houston after two seasons. Warhop joined the Texans last year.

A two-time NFL OC, Hamilton, 48, turned down the opportunity to interview for the Buccaneers’ play-calling post. It will be interesting to see where the ex-Colts play-caller lands. For a second straight season, the Texans finished 30th or worse in both scoring and total offense. While the Texans were not exactly equipped with many notable starters, the team’s struggles helped key another shakeup.

Warhop, 61, has been an offensive line coach in the NFL since 1996. The Texans are eyeing former Colts O-line coach Chris Strausser for the job, Wilson notes, adding the team is also eyeing current Browns defensive line coach Chris Kiffin as well. A Frank Reich hire in Indianapolis, Strausser coached the Colts’ O-line for the past four seasons. Although that unit produced three Pro Bowlers at various points, it regressed in 2022. Kiffin has been with the Browns since 2020 but has interest in joining the Texans. The second-generation NFL coach was on the 49ers’ staff from 2018-19, serving as San Francisco’s pass rush specialist.

Undlin, 51, checks both boxes for the current Texans, having worked with both Ryans and Caserio. Undlin collected a Super Bowl ring in his first NFL season, working as a low-level assistant in New England in 2004, and was the Eagles’ DBs coach during their Super Bowl LII-winning season. His Lions DC stay under Matt Patricia lasted one season (2020).

Ryans has now added Undlin, Slowik, Stephen Adegoke (safeties) and Nick Kray from the 49ers. An effort to poach defensive line coach Kris Kocurek failed. Ryans’ staff will also not include tight ends coach Tim Berbenich, assistant D-line coach Kenyon Jackson, quarterbacks coach Ted White, linebackers coach Miles Smith and select other staffers, Wilson adds. This is not exactly surprising, given the Texans’ struggles and six-year commitment to Ryans.

Texans Sign T Cedric Ogbuehi

The Houston Texans will reportedly sign offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to a one-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Ogbuehi has become a bit of journeyman over the past couple of years as he’s set to join his sixth NFL team. 

Ogbuehi was a first-round pick for the Bengals in the 2015 NFL Draft. After having his fifth-year option declined, Ogbuehi played a year each in Jacksonville and Seattle. He re-signed with the Seahawks for the 2021 season, but was placed on injured reserve before the season began and was released shortly after coming off IR. Ogbuehi signed with the Ravens, appearing in two games before getting released, and spent two days after that on the Titans’ practice squad.

Ogbuehi will find a familiar face in Houston, who just hired George Warhop a few weeks ago to coach their offensive line. Ogbuehi worked with Warhop when he played for the Jaguars in 2019.

Latest On Texans’ Coaching Staff

In 14 months, Lovie Smith has gone from being dismissed as the University of Illinois’ head coach to securing a third shot as an NFL HC. The Texans officially hired Smith on Monday, and the veteran defensive-minded coach will pull double duty in his next assignment.

Smith, 63, will retain defensive play-calling responsibilities, Field Yates of tweets. The former Bears and Buccaneers HC had been in the college ranks for five seasons prior to resurfacing as the Texans’ defensive coordinator last year. Now, he will wear two rather important hats for the rebuilding team.

GM Nick Caserio said Tuesday that Smith’s hire did not take place because of Brian Flores‘ lawsuit against the NFL, via the Houston Chronicle’s Brooks Kubena. Flores and Josh McCown were believed to be the final two in the running for the job. The longtime quarterback having never coached in the NFL likely played into Smith’s hire, but Caserio predictably indicated the team had not made a decision until it landed on Smith. Caserio did not deny McCown remained in play for another role with the team, though Smith already has his offensive coordinator in place.

Pep Hamilton is in line to call Houston’s offensive plays, being promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. While Hamilton’s rise was on the radar before Smith entered the equation, Smith said keeping the Texans’ QBs coach was “a must.” One of Smith’s first acts as Houston’s head coach was communicating to Hamilton his importance for developing Davis Mills. A year after overseeing Justin Herbert‘s rise to Offensive Rookie of the Year as Chargers QBs coach, Hamilton helped Mills show promise down the stretch.

Pep has an expertise when you look at his background,” Smith said Tuesday. “What he did in Los Angeles with Herbert to where he did with Davis here. He is a fundamental coach who has a defensive mentality on toughness. I am so excited about him being on our staff and to see what he is going to do.”

Smith is moving quickly on his assistants as well. The Texans are hiring George Warhop as their offensive line coach and Hal Hunter as his assistant,’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Warhop, 60, has now been employed as an O-line coach by a fourth of the NFL’s teams. From 1996 through last season, Warhop has been with the Rams, Cardinals, Cowboys, 49ers, Browns, Buccaneers and Jaguars. Warhop’s Tampa Bay stay began when Smith arrived in 2014. Warhop coached the Jags’ O-lines for the past three seasons.

Hunter, 62, has extensive experience as well, including at the coordinator level. He spent the 2012 season as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator, moving up to that post after coaching the previous six Bolts O-lines — groups that helped LaDainian Tomlinson secure first-ballot Hall of Fame entry. Hunter was last in the NFL as the Giants’ O-line coach from 2018-19.

Houston is also hiring Tim Berbenich as its tight ends coach, Fox 26’s Mark Berman tweets. This will be new territory for Berbenich, who spent last season as the Raiders’ running backs coach. In 19 seasons as an NFL assistant, Berbenich has primarily coached running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks. He was a Colts staffer during each of Hamilton’s three years as Indianapolis’ OC.

Coaching Rumors: Pack, Vikes, Jets, Cards

Incumbent special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi was a strong candidate to take over as the Dolphins‘ head coach, but now that he appears to have lost out to Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores, Rizzi is being allowed to take interviews with other clubs, according to Tom Pelissero of (Twitter link). While Miami would prefer to retain him, Rizzi has already been contacted by by the Vikings and Packers, per Pelissero. Rizzi, who’s been with the Dolphins in 2010, would replace Ron Zook (fired) in Green Bay or Mike Priefer (hired by the Browns) in Minnesota.

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • The Jets have signed special teams coordinator Brant Boyer to an extension, a source tells Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Boyer had been signed only through 2019, and rival NFL teams had already begun to express interest in case Boyer wasn’t retained by new head coach Adam Gase. A longtime NFL linebacker, Boyer joined Gang Green in 2016, and last season coached a unit which ranked first in Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA. Return man Andre Roberts earned first-team All-Pro honors under Boyer’s direction, while kicker Jason Myers received a Pro Bowl nod.
  • Former Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler drew plenty of interest around the NFL after being released from his contract, but the Cardinals were able to lock him down. Arizona announced that’s it hired Kugler as OL coach, Brian Natkin as his assistant, David Raih as receivers coach, and retained Steve Heiden as tight ends coach. Kugler received an early look from the Buccaneers (and early reports even indicated he joined Tampa’s staff), while the Bills, Vikings, Browns, and Jets also checked in, tweets Ian Rapoport of
  • The Buccaneers have hired Todd McNair as their new running backs coach, reports Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. McNair hadn’t coached since 2010, when USC opted not to renew his contract, perhaps due to his involvement in the Reggie Bush scandal. He nearly became the Cardinals’ RBs coach under Bruce Arians in 2013, and he’ll now have the chance to work under Arians in Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Bucs named ex-Cardinals linebackers coach Larry Foote to the same position, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).
  • George Warhop has joined the Jaguars‘ staff as the club’s new offensive line coach, while Tim Walton will coach Jacksonville’s defensive backs, tweets Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio. Warhop has coached NFL front fives since 1996, and spent the past five seasons in Jacksonville. Walton, meanwhile, served as the Rams’ defensive coordinator in 2013 before moving on to the Giants’ DBs gig.
  • The Broncos and new head coach Vic Fangio are expected to retain linebackers coach Reggie Herring and defensive line coach Bill Kollar, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). Additionally, Denver has been denying interview requests for running backs Curtis Modkins, an indication that he’ll also return in 2019.

Extra Points: Harrison, Replay, Bucs, Beasley

James Harrison‘s recent drug-testing mixup may have triggered more dissent between the NFL and NFLPA. The Steelers linebacker informed DeMaurice Smith of a drug-testing agent categorizing the taping of a test as an act that could ensure a positive result. The NFL’s explanation of the ban on taping drug tests was to maintain the process’ integrity, however, Smith’s response to Harrison — which he posted on his Instagram account (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk) — refutes that.

Despite what the player was told, and what has been reported, our drug policy regarding specimen collection rules does not specifically prohibit the video taping of a drug test,” Smith wrote. “There are rules in place, however, that prohibit a player from carrying any item other than his collection cup into the restroom when providing a specimen. Additionally, some states may have rules limiting a person’s ability to videotape another person without their consent. If drug collectors desire to change the collection rules, they may not do so on their own as happened in this case. They need to obtain approval from both the NFL and the NFLPA before making any such changes.”

The veteran linebacker appears to be at the center of another controversy and the latest source of conflict between the league and its players’ union.

  • The competition committee will consider a proposal that will expand the use of replay, Jarrett Bell of USA Today reports. Although penalties won’t be up for review, referees under this concept would be permitted to speak with league representatives in New York similar to last season’s playoffs format. The rule will need 24 approval votes at the owners’ meetings Tuesday in Charlotte.
  • Another proposal on the table for the most recent set of meetings comes from the Redskins, who would prefer a late-summer format where teams did not have to perform two stages of roster cuts. Washington’s proposal would allow all 90 players to stay on the roster until the early-September cutdown to 53 is required instead of the initial trim to 75, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports. That passing would flood the waiver wire and free agent market with more than 1,200 players in one weekend.
  • Although Vic Beasley will play a Bruce Irvin-like role with the Falcons after relocating from defensive end to linebacker, he’s still expected to return to a three-point stance on passing downs, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Atlanta’s coaches left the decision up to the 2015 first-rounder, though if it was their preference Beasley move to linebacker, this may have been a choice in name only.
  • Buccaneers offensive line coach George Warhop did not consider the team to have deployed a good offensive line last season. Although the Bucs employed now-retired Logan Mankins and potentially promising Day 2 pick Ali Marpet, the team allowed an NFL-high 124 quarterback hits. “Too many quarterback hits, regardless. I don’t care whose fault it is,” Warhop said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We all have a hand in that. It’s one of our points of emphasis this year. First meeting, ‘Hey, listen, guys. Everybody’s telling me what a great job you did. I thought we were just average, really.” Pro Football Focus graded tackles Donovan Smith and Gosder Cherilus as two bottom-tier performers at the position, but now-healthy Demar Dotson and newly signed J.R. Sweezy should bring some much-needed reinforcements to the group.
  • Robert MathisColts contract expires after this season, but’s Kevin Bowen expects that if the former All-Pro can perform like he did during his age-34 slate in 2015 and is willing to work with the Colts financially, there’s a path for another Mathis contract for 2017. Mathis, Trent Cole and Erik Walden‘s contracts expire after this season, leaving Indianapolis bereft of pass-rushers after 2016. As part of an extension signed during Mathis’ PED suspension in Sept. 2014, the 35-year-old outside linebacker is due a non-guaranteed $5MM this season.

Draft Rumors: Bosa, Jones, Elliott, Jack

About seven Cowboys coaches were in Columbus, Ohio, recently to work out top Buckeyes prospects, including Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and Cardale Jones,’s Adam Schefter tweets.

Owners of the fourth pick in the draft, the Cowboys’ selection window resides in the neighborhood where Bosa currently is expected to go off the board, with the team in need of running back help as well.

Here are some other draft items as we advance further into the month where prospects dominate the NFL news cycle.

  • Also involved in Ohio State scouting, the Ravens put a full-court press on Buckeyes talents Wednesday, assessing their stock in multiple cities. They visited with Bosa in Baltimore and worked out Braxton Miller and Michael Thomas in Columbus,’s Albert Breer tweets. The Ravens, who pick at No. 6, also interviewed Myles Jack and Vernon Hargreaves n Baltimore.
  • The Bengals recently worked out Jones, Rand Getlin of tweets. He’ll also visit with the Cardinals and Bills, per Schefter of (on Twitter).
  • The Texans are meeting with Illinois wide receiver Geronimo Allison in Florida today, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Packers are bringing in BYU wide receiver Mitch Mathews, according to Tony Pauline of (on Twitter). Mathews, he adds, is the type of receiver that the Packers like to target in the late rounds.
  • The Buccaneers worked out Southern Utah cornerback LeShaun Sims on campus last month, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop went to Nebraska to work out offensive tackle Alex Lewis last month, Auman tweets.
  • The Saints worked out Western Kentucky tight end Tyler Higbee this week, according to Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate (on Twitter).
  • Western Carolina wide receiver Karnorris Benson worked out for the Falcons on Wednesday, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report