Greg Scruggs

Jets To Interview Darrell Bevell, Nick Caley For OC Position

Not long after being mentioned as a key component of the Jets’ offensive coordinator search, Darrell Bevell is indeed in line to interview for the job. The Jets are planning to speak with the Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

In addition to Bevell, the team is planning to meet with Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley, Albert Breer of tweets. The Caley interview will take place Tuesday. The Jets are looking to replace Mike LaFleur, whom the team parted ways with after two seasons last week. LaFleur is expected to join Sean McVay‘s Rams staff.

Bevell, 53, has been an NFL OC dating back to the 2000s. Prior to the rare feat of Bevell becoming the interim HC for separate teams (the Lions and Jaguars) in back-to-back years, he enjoyed more memorable OC tenures with the Vikings (2006-10) and Seahawks (2011-17). Brett Favre‘s former QBs coach was on board as Seattle’s OC during the Russell WilsonMarshawn Lynch partnership’s run, which featured the team’s consecutive Super Bowl berths. The Seahawks fired Bevell following the 2017 season, but he has remained a sought-after staffer. Bevell and Robert Saleh were each on the Seahawks’ staff from 2011-13.

Bevell’s most recent work may be why he is viewed by some as the early favorite for Gang Green’s play-calling gig. Tua Tagovailoa took a substantial leap this season under Mike McDaniel, finishing a concussion-marred campaign third in the NFL in QBR. Tagovailoa threw 25 touchdown passes despite finishing only 12 games. McDaniel calls the Dolphins’ plays, but Bevell provided the rookie HC and first-time OC Frank Smith with considerable experience.

Caley does not bring close to Bevell’s experience, but the Patriots assistant saw a responsibility bump during the team’s unusual post-Josh McDaniels season. Caley, 39, has been New England’s tight ends coach since 2017 and is on the radar for the Pats’ OC role. Though, Bill O’Brien looks like the frontrunner here. Although the Pats may not be wild about Caley joining the Jets, teams can no longer block position coaches from interviewing for coordinator roles.

The Jets also have interviewed former Colts OC Marcus Brady and Eagles passing-game coordinator Kevin Patullo. The Brady interview satisfies the Rooney Rule requirement that the team interview at least one external minority candidate.

Gang Green moved on from LaFleur but is believed to be planning to retain quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. The team did, however, dismiss offensive line coach John Benton. An NFL O-line coach since 2003, Benton has served in this capacity for five teams. He worked with LaFleur on Kyle Shanahan‘s 49ers staff for four seasons prior to joining the Jets. The Jets are also looking to replace Miles Austin, who is appealing an NFL suspension for gambling, and assistant D-line coach Greg Scruggs. The latter joined Wisconsin’s staff as defensive line coach last week.

AFC Coaching Notes: Allen, Jaguars, More

Ricardo Allen didn’t waste much time jumping from his first football career to his second. As D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, the former safety has joined the Dolphins’ coaching staff as special teams assistant.

Allen, 30, retired not long after playing in the Super Bowl for the Bengals. He played one season in Cincinnati, following six with the Falcons, including another campaign in which he reached – but didn’t win – the Super Bowl. When announcing his decision, Allen made it clear he would transition to coaching.

A native of Daytona Beach, Allen will be working with a familiar face in new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel. McDaniel was an offensive assistant during part of Allen’s playing days in Atlanta, and the latter actually sat in on offensive meetings during that time, Ledbetter notes. Despite playing as a safety, Allen has stated a desire to climb the coaching ladder on the offensive side of the ball, and ultimately become an OC – a process which will begin in 2022.

Here are some other coaching notes from around the AFC:

  • Ryan Paganetti is joining Doug Pederson in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are hiring him under the title of director of coaching analytics, per ESPN’s Seth Walder (Twitter link). Paganetti had worked with Pederson before, serving on the Eagles’ staff from 2017-2020. Most recently, he had been an assistant linebackers coach, while also having ‘game management’ a part of his title.
  • Allen isn’t the only 30-something former player making his first foray onto the NFL sidelines. The Jets have hired Greg Scruggs as an assistant defensive line coach (Twitter link via ESPN’s Pete Thamel). The 31-year-old won two Super Bowls during a playing career that spanned five seasons across Seattle, Chicago and New England. He spent the past two campaigns coaching the defensive line at the University of Cincinnati.
  • The Broncos are adding Zack Grossi as an offensive quality control coach (Twitter link via Thamel). He held a number of titles during a five-year stint with the Buccaneers, including the same position he is taking in Denver. He then moved to the college ranks, working as Hampton University’s QBs coach. Mostly recently, he has been the OC and QBs coach at Southern University.
  • Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network tweets that the Raiders are hiring Matt Feeney as a defensive assistant. The 30-year-old has been a college coach for the past eight years, most recently serving as the defensive coordinator for Akron.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/27/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • LSs Andrew East and Anthony Kukwa (link)

Washington Redskins

Patriots Place Jonathan Freeny On IR

A starter in four of the Patriots’ five games thus far this season, Jonathan Freeny may not return to the field in 2016. The Patriots placed the fifth-year outside linebacker on IR, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Afflicted with a shoulder injury, Freeny played in all five of the Pats’ games and was the recipient of a two-year, $4.1MM extension in August. He will now be out until at least December. New England could activate Freeny after eight weeks, and the second-year starter could return to practice after six, but can only select one player from its IR list to return to action.

The Pats also placed recently added tight end Greg Scruggs on IR. To replace the duo on the 53-man roster, the Patriots signed defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and defensive end Geneo Grissom from their practice squad, Florio reports.

Freeny recorded 10 tackles and forced a fumble this season. He started seven games in 2015 after playing the previous three years with the Dolphins.

Scruggs, who has a knee injury, played in three games with the Bears this season but had yet to see action for his current team. He’s in his first season as a tight end after previously serving as a defensive lineman. However, with Freeny now on IR, Scruggs’ chances of playing again this season are remote.

Patriots Sign Greg Scruggs, Cut John Hughes

The Patriots exchanged one fifth-year player for another on the day before their Week 4 clash against the Bills. New England signed Greg Scruggs and cut John Hughes, Field Yates of tweets.

Both have spent the majority of their careers as defensive linemen, but Scruggs could be tapped to play tight end for the Patriots. He played four seasons as a reserve defensive lineman, seeing action for the Seahawks in 2012, ’13 and ’15, before moving to tight end with the Bears. The Pats worked out Scruggs on Friday.

Chicago waived Scruggs earlier this week. The 6-foot-3 former defensive end did see time in all three of Chicago’s games thus far this season but hasn’t made a catch at his new position yet. The Patriots listed Rob Gronkowski as questionable again this week. If he’s unable to go, Scruggs could have a route to being a game-day active in a Martellus Bennett-fronted group.

However, the Pats already have two other tight ends on their roster in Clay Harbor and A.J. Derby, and Doug Kyed of (Twitter link) points out the team might want Scruggs to work at his former position.

Hughes signed with the Patriots on Monday after the Browns cut him last week to create a spot for Charlie Whitehurst. Cleveland signed the defensive lineman to a four-year, $14.4MM extension in March of 2015, but the franchise’s new regime evidently didn’t think as highly of him as the Ray Farmer– and Mike Pettine-led operation did.

The 28-year-old Hughes has played in 53 games (10 starts) since coming into the league as a third-round pick in 2012. He played in one game for the Browns this season after suiting up for all 16 in 2015. Hughes has 5.5 career sacks to his credit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Audition Marcel Reece, Four Others

The Patriots brought in former Raiders fullback Marcel Reece for a workout today, according to Mike Reiss of Oakland released Reece earlier this week.Marcel Reece (vertical)

[RELATED: Latest On Patriots’ QBs]

Reece, 31, had been with Oakland since since 2009. He violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs last December, and the ensuing multi-game ban cost him a trip to the Pro Bowl and, apparently, led the Raiders to finding his full-time replacement. Reece was scheduled to play out the 2016 season at a cap number of $3.53MM, but Oakland has opted against taking on that cap hit.

In 2015, Reece caught 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns and also added 36 rushing yards. A versatile back who can play a variety of roles, Reece averaged 34 receptions per season from 2010-15, and he’d likely assume the role of pass-catching back in New England if signed. With Dion Lewis sidelined through at least Week 6, James White has been absorbing most of the running back looks in the Patriots’ passing game.

As Reiss notes, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been extremely complementary of Reece in the past. “You put a big guy on him, he’s probably going to have a hard time matching up with Reece’s speed and quickness,” Belichick said in 2014. “Put a smaller guy on him, he might match up with his speed and quickness, but it would be hard to match up with his size. I’d say that’s a dilemma. Who do you have that has the same skill set as Reece?”

In addition to Reece, the Patriots also worked out guards Jake Bernstein and Chase Farris, center Robert Kugler, and tight end Greg Scruggs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Sign DL C.J. Wilson

7:10pm: The Bears have officially announced the moves listed below.

5:52pm: The Bears have agreed to terms with defensive lineman C.J. Wilson, according to his agents at SportsTrust Advisors (Twitter link). Terms of the deal haven’t been announced, but it’s likely a one-year contract at minimum salary.C.J. Wilson (DL) (Featured)

[RELATED: Bears Sign Joique Bell]

Wilson, 29, has 78 career games under his belt, with most of that time coming as a rotational option with Packers from 2010-2013. He played in 12 contests in 2015 (eight with the Lions, four with the Raiders), and picked up nine total tackles to go along with one sack. Wilson bounced and off the Saints’ roster this offseason, and was ultimately cut when final rosters were set.

Chicago didn’t stop with the Wilson signing, however, as the club has made several other transactions today. The Bears have waived tight end Greg Scruggs and linebacker Jonathan Anderson, creating roster spots for Wilson and linebacker John Timu, who is being promoted from the practice squad, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter links).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Put Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Goldman On IR

The Bears have placed a pair of starting players on injured reserve, officially ruling them out for Week 17. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive lineman Eddie Goldman have landed on IR, according to the team (Twitter link). To fill the openings on the 53-man roster, Chicago has signed defensive linemen Greg Scruggs and Terry Williams.

Jeffery, in the final year of his rookie contract, was slowed by injuries, which prevented him from putting up the type of numbers he had in past seasons. After averaging about 87 receptions, 1,277 yards, and eight touchdowns in 2013 and 2014, the 25-year-old recorded just 54 catches for 807 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Of course, Jeffery’s numbers don’t look too bad when taking into account that he only played nine games this season for the Bears — he actually established a new career-high in yards per game (89.7). As he approaches possible free agency, the Bears will have a tough decision to make, as they consider whether to use the franchise tag on the standout receiver to keep him from hitting the open market.

As for Goldman, the rookie defender, selected in the second round of this year’s draft out of Florida, had a solid first season in Chicago, logging 22 tackles to go along with 4.5 sacks. His ankle injury isn’t expected to require surgery.

Workout Notes: 12/16/15

It’s been a busy last couple of days around the NFL, with teams still looking to fill up their squads for the rest of the season. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweeted a whole bunch of workout notes this afternoon, which we’ve compiled for you below…

Arizona Cardinals

  • CB Mitchell White (link)

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Read more

Workout Notes: Hunter, Housler, Mitchell

Running back Kendall Hunter has been a busy man as of late and his most recent audition came with the Jets on Tuesday, as Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. Hunter has also worked out for the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Patriots within the last month. Hunter, who has seen his NFL career derailed by injuries in recent years, was removed from San Francisco’s injured reserve list in September with a settlement, making him a free agent.

Here’s a rundown of the rest of Tuesday’s auditions:

  • Tight end Rob Housler and defensive lineman Tim Jamison also worked out for the Jets, per Costello.
  • The Bills tried out defensive tackles Kelcy Quarles and Toby Johnson on Tuesday, as Mike Rodak of tweets.
  • The Packers worked out cornerback Terrance Mitchell, a source tells Rob Demovsky of (on Twitter). The ex-Oregon player was on the Bears’ practice squad prior to his release last week.
  • The Chiefs worked out former Pats defensive back Dewey McDonald over the weekend, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Raiders worked out defensive end Glenn Foster, defensive end Gerald Rivers, defensive lineman Greg Scruggs, defensive lineman Davon Walls, and linebacker Tony Washington, Wilson tweets.