Cowboys To Interview Jets’ Marquand Manuel

The Cowboys added another name to their list of defensive coordinator candidates today, scheduling an interview with Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the meeting will take place tomorrow.

Manuel started coaching in Seattle in 2012, a few years after concluding his playing career, as an assistant special teams coach. He would climb the ladder for the Seahawks becoming a defensive assistant and an assistant secondary coach over the next two years. He took his first position coaching gig as the secondary coach for the Falcons in 2015 and was promoted to defensive coordinator two years later.

When his contract in Atlanta expired, Manuel was hired as the defensive backs coach in Philadelphia for a year before taking the safeties coach position in New York. Manuel was a candidate for the Texans defensive coordinator job last offseason. He also interviewed for the same job with the Panthers last year, as well.

Manuel would be an interesting choice to replace former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, having worked for two years as Quinn’s defensive coordinator in Atlanta. He faces some stiff competition for the job as the list of candidates includes a number or current Cowboys assistants and multiple former NFL head coaches:

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:

Raiders Interview Pep Hamilton For OC

After being mentioned as someone who spoke with the Raiders in the aftermath of Kliff Kingsbury backing out of the offensive coordinator job, it has been confirmed that Pep Hamilton did, in fact, interview as an offensive coordinator candidate, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Initial thoughts were that the former Texans assistant coach was in the running for a position coaching job, but after allowing more information to come out, it appears Hamilton is in consideration for the play-calling role.

Hamilton was out of the NFL in 2022, after failing to be retained following the firing of Lovie Smith in Houston. Before that, Hamilton earned his first NFL coordinator job with the Colts back in 2013, following quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford to Indianapolis as his offensive coordinator. Despite being considered for the Raiders’ head coaching vacancy in 2014, Hamilton was fired midway through the following season.

The next several years would be eventful for Hamilton, seeing him spend a year in Cleveland, serving two years of a four-year contract with the University of Michigan, sitting out the 2019 season, and getting hired as the head coach and general manager of the DC Defenders of the XFL. Following his short XFL stint, Hamilton was hired by the Chargers, where, as quarterbacks coach, he would help Justin Herbert to the offensive rookie of the year award. His success with Herbert led to his next opportunity under David Culley in Houston as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Hamilton earned his promotion under Smith the following year.

In Vegas, Hamilton would be tasked with helping to determine the team’s currently uncertain future at quarterback. With veteran Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell on the roster, it doesn’t feel like the position is secure for the Raiders. This is what Hamilton’s competition for the job currently looks like:

Mike Zimmer To Interview For Cowboys’ DC Position

After being mentioned as a potential name to watch for the Cowboys defensive coordinator position, former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is now set to meet with the team in regard to the position, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Having not coached in the NFL over the past two seasons, Zimmer could return to a coordinator position for the first time in 11 years and could reunite with the Cowboys for the first time in 18 years.

Zimmer, 67, has a storied history as one of the NFL’s better defensive minds. Starting in the college ranks, worked his way into his first coordinator job with Washington State after stints at Missouri and Weber State. After five years with the Cougars, Zimmer made the jump to the NFL, joining the Cowboys as a defensive assistant focusing on coaching nickel cornerbacks.

It took only a year for Zimmer to get promoted to defensive backs coach in Dallas, and after another five years, Zimmer became an NFL coordinator for the first time in his career, taking over play-calling duties for the Cowboys defense. After holding the position in Dallas for seven years, Zimmer decided to join Bobby Petrino in the same position during Petrino’s only NFL head coaching stint in Atlanta. Petrino famously left the Falcons after only 13 games to become the head coach at the University of Arkansas, drawing much ire from Zimmer who would be left without a job as he refused to follow to the college coaching ranks.

As a result, Zimmer took his next coordinator job with the Bengals. With five years of coaching consistently good defensive in Cincinnati under his belt, the league began to try out Zimmer’s name for head coaching interviews. After seven years with the Bengals, Zimmer would finally get his first head coaching opportunity with the Vikings.

Zimmer’s tenure in Minnesota would widely be deemed as successful, but a failure to stay consistently in contention and a to reach the Super Bowl ultimately led to his departure. Over his eight years as head coach, the Vikings went 72-56-1, never winning fewer than seven games. The Vikings twice won the NFC North under Zimmer and even reached the NFC Championship game in 2017. In 2021, Zimmer missed the playoffs for the second straight year after seeing the postseason in three of his first six seasons. Despite his ability to keep his team competitive, Zimmer was let go.

Since then, Zimmer has been away from the NFL, spending the 2022 season as an analyst/consultant under Deion Sanders at Jackson State. A return to the NFL has long been expected and would return one of the league’s better coordinators to the professional ranks.

Zimmer would have the luxury of taking over a top-five defense from the Commanders new head coach, Dan Quinn. Reuniting Zimmer with a Cowboys defense that now contains such stars as Micah Parsons and DaRon Bland seems like a no-brainer. His main competition seems to be Cowboys defensive backs coach Joe Whitt and perhaps former Commanders head coach Ron Rivera. Cowboys cornerbacks coach Al Harris and defensive line coach Aden Durde have been considered as possibilities for a promotion, as well.

A date has not yet been set for Zimmer’s meeting with the Cowboys, but an interview seems imminent. Seeing Zimmer return not only to the NFL but to the Cowboys, as well, could be just what Dallas needs to take that next step in the NFL.

Buccaneers QBs Coach Thad Lewis Receiving Interest For OC; Bills, Raiders First To Reach Out

TODAY, 8:40pm: Lewis has secured an interview, as the former QB met with the Titans today about their offensive coordinator vacancy, according to ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin.

SATURDAY, 3:35pm: The Buccaneers made the playoffs this year partially thanks to some improvements to a re-tooled offense with a new starting quarterback in Baker Mayfield getting coached up by a new offensive coordinator in Dave Canales and quarterbacks coach in Thad Lewis. The success seen in Tampa Bay will result in the team having to re-tool once more. With Canales departing to become head coach of the Panthers, Lewis will see opportunities for offensive coordinator jobs moving forward.

The first of those opportunities will come in the form of an interview with the Bills, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Bills are looking to replace Ken Dorsey after firing the play-caller midseason this year. After firing Dorsey, the team went on to win six of their final seven games under the play-calls of quarterbacks coach Joe Brady, with their only loss coming in overtime to the Eagles. After failing to win the race for the Falcons’ head job, Brady will interview for the Bills’ full-time offensive coordinator gig, competing with Lewis.

Lewis has also had an interview requested by the Raiders to be the new coordinator under new head coach Antonio Pierce, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. If Lewis were to interview, he would join a field of five candidates that has been reduced from seven due to recent hires. There have also been rumors that Lewis could follow Canales to Carolina.

Lewis has risen quickly in NFL circles. After spending two years as an offensive analyst at UCLA, Lewis joined the Buccaneers as an intern in 2020. He was promoted to assistant wide receivers coach before earning his current position. After only four years in the NFL, Lewis is on the cusp of reaching one of the heights of offensive coaching.

Giants Interview Chiefs LBs Coach Brendan Daly For DC Job

It’s taken long enough, but after 26 years of coaching at the college and NFL level, Chiefs linebackers coach Brendan Daly has finally gotten an interview for a coordinator position. According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Daly interviewed with the Giants to potentially replace Don “Wink” Martindale as defensive coordinator.

Despite only being 48 years old, it’s been a long road for Daly to get this opportunity. After taking his first coaching job for a Florida high school in 1997, Daly spent eight years coaching at Drake, Villanova, Maryland, Oklahoma State, and Illinois State, coaching tight ends and defensive line. He got his first NFL opportunity as an assistant defensive line coach for the Vikings in 2006. Over the next 16 years, Daly worked as a defensive line coach for the Vikings, Rams, Patriots, and Chiefs, earning the run game coordinator title with the Chiefs for three years.

As a linebackers coach for the past two years, Daly has coached a group of underrated linebackers to help anchor a defensive unit that finished second in the NFL for both points allowed and yards allowed. He joins this pool of five other candidates as he endeavors to earn his first coordinator job:

Dolphins Request To Interview Bills LBs Coach Bobby Babich For DC Position

A new, rising name in defensive coaching circles, Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich has been requested to interview for the Dolphins open defensive coordinator position, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. With Vic Fangio expected to be departing for the Eagles defensive coordinator position, Miami will look at the possibility of bringing in a promising, young coach to replace him.

Babich started his NFL coaching career with the Panthers in 2011 after five years of coaching at the collegiate level for Kent State and Eastern Illinois. He later had a stint with the Browns as an assistant position coach before spending a single season at FIU as secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator.

Babich has spent the past seven seasons in Buffalo under head coach Sean McDermott, starting as an assistant defensive backs coach before earning a promotion to safeties coach in 2018. After four years in that role, Babich replaced his father, Bob Babich, as the Bills’ linebackers coach in 2022. During his first season as Buffalo’s LBs coach, Babich helped guide Matt Milano to his first All-Pro season. In the years before coaching up this year’s linebackers, Babich coached what many thought to be the league’s best safety tandem in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.

If all requests are granted, this will be three interviews for Babich for defensive coordinator positions. He’s scheduled to interview with the Packers and has been requested to interview for the Giants’ job, as well. So far, he is only the second candidate mentioned for the job in Miami, joining former Chargers head coach Brandon Staley in contention.

Panthers Request OC Interview With Eagles’ Marcus Brady

It was already thought to be the case as he interviews for other head coaching and offensive coordinator positions, but it seems Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown is officially not expected to return to Carolina in his previous role. There’s a chance that Brown is a candidate and wins over new head coach Dave Canales, but for now, the team will move on with interviewing new candidates, starting with a request to interview Eagles senior offensive assistant Marcus Brady, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Since the focus in Carolina has been bringing in a new head coach, Brady is actually the team’s first offensive coordinator interview since their season ended. In 2023, former head coach Frank Reich called plays for most of the season for the Panthers offense, ceding play calling duties for a short time to Brown before eventually losing his job. Now, with the offensive-minded Canales in the house, a changing of the guard is expected in Carolina.

Brady’s name picked up traction in the Canadian Football League. Shortly after his seven-year playing career ended as a CFL quarterback, Brady jumped to the coaching side of football, accepting a wide receivers coaching job with the team he ended his playing career with, the Montreal Alouettes. Eventually, Brady would get a promotion to become Montreal’s offensive coordinator, leaving a year later to accept the same position with the Toronto Argonauts.

After six years of calling plays in the CFL, Brady finally made the jump to the NFL in 2018 when he accepted the assistant quarterbacks coaching job under Reich in Indianapolis. A year later, Brady was promoted to quarterbacks coach and became the heir apparent behind then-offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. When Sirianni departed to coach the Eagles, Brady was, naturally, promoted to fill his shoes in 2021. Halfway through the 2022 season, though, Brady was fired by a 3-4-1, turnover-prone Colts team. Brady called up his old buddy Sirianni in Philadelphia and was hired as an offensive consultant for the Eagles three weeks later, before getting promoted to his current position in 2023.

Brady’s name has been thrown around a couple different times in the past two years for offensive coordinator jobs. Last year saw Brady interview for the Rams and Jets open coordinator jobs. So far this year, he was requested to interview for the open offensive coordinator job in Chicago before it was awarded to Shane Waldron from Seattle.

With the job in Carolina now openly being advertised, Brady enters as the Panthers’ first potential candidate to serve as offensive coordinator under Canales. Canales is expected to call plays for the Panthers offensive after having done so in Tampa Bay last year, so it will be interesting to see exactly what the team is looking for in a new offensive coordinator under the first-time head coach. Brady is our first clue to figuring that out.

Bears Request DC Interview With Bills’ Eric Washington

The Bears continue on in their efforts to add a new defensive coordinator for 2024. As they attempt to replace the former coordinator, Alan Williams, Chicago has requested an interview with Bills assistant head coach and defensive line coach Eric Washington to potentially fill their role at defensive coordinator, according to Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS.

Washington has a history in Chicago. After several years coaching at the college level, Washington broke into coaching at the NFL level as a defensive assistant for the Bears in 2008. After only two years in the role, Washington was promoted to defensive line coach for Chicago. He only held the job with the Bears for one year before taking the same role for the Panthers from 2011-17.

After those seven years as a position coach, Washington was granted another promotion, allowing him to serve as a defensive coordinator for the first time. Under Washington’s first year, the Panthers defense delivered middling results. In Year 2, things took a turn for the worse as the team finished 31st in points allowed and 23rd in yards allowed.

Following his time in Carolina, Washington reunited with his former defensive coordinator, Sean McDermott, in Buffalo as a defensive line coach, once again. In his four years with the Bills, Washington added senior defensive assistant to his title before landing on his current role for this year. The Bills ranked fourth in the league in sack this year with 54, and the team has consistently had a strong pass rush under Washington.

So far, the Bears have already interviewed Titans secondary coach Chris Harris and Titans assistant head coach and defensive line coach Terrell Williams for the open position. Whoever gets the job will have a bit of a safety net. Since head coach Matt Eberflus just spent the season calling defensive plays following the surprise departure of Williams, the Bears know they have a functional play-caller for the defense if the new coordinator struggles.

If permitted, Washington will be the third to interview for the job. Should it pan out, it would result in a nice return for Washington to Chicago, where his NFL coaching career began.

Titans Request Interview With Ravens’ Dennard Wilson For DC Job

Ravens defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson continues to receive interest in defensive coordinator positions around the NFL. Once rumored to be the heir apparent for the job in Philadelphia and having already interviewed for a coordinator position in New York this month, Wilson will add the Titans to his list of teams with interest as, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Tennessee is the latest team to request an interview with Wilson for a defensive coordinator job.

A Maryland native, Wilson had a short stint as a player in nearby Washington, D.C., after going undrafted as a defensive back out of Maryland. It didn’t take long for him to turn to the non-playing side of football, taking a job as a pro scout for the Bears in 2008. Wilson found his way to coaching in 2012 when he joined the Rams as a defensive quality control coach, only taking three years to get promoted to defensive backs coach.

Since then, Wilson has widely been regarded as one of the league’s better defensive backs coaches, spending time with the Jets and Eagles before his role in Baltimore. In both previous locations, he even eventually added the role of passing game coordinator to his title. During his time with the Eagles, Wilson’s unit helped lead the league’s top pass defense and second-overall defense in total yards allowed. First-team All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry, Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, and converted safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson all flourished in Wilson’s room, with Gardner-Johnson even leading the league in interceptions following the position change from slot cornerback.

For a time, it was thought that Wilson was the clear choice to take over at defensive coordinator for the Eagles whenever Jonathan Gannon moved on to a head coaching job. Unfortunately, the team ended up hiring Sean Desai instead, a decision that reflects poorly a year later. After getting passed up for the gig, Wilson found his way to Baltimore where he has helped yet another defensive unit reach elite status. This year Wilson has guided the blossoming of second-year safety Kyle Hamilton, watched converted cornerback Brandon Stephens take over as a full-time starter after switching from safety, and coached backup safety Geno Stone as he went toe-to-toe with Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland for the interception title.

Now, Wilson will get a chance to interview for the Titans’ job. He will, in fact, be the first to interview for the Titans’ job, just as he was the first to interview with the Giants. This wasn’t technically a job we knew to be open. Technically, Shane Bowen still resides as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, but with head coach Mike Vrabel no longer employed, Bowen and the rest of his staff have been actively interviewing for open positions elsewhere.

Bowen may still get an opportunity to keep his job under new head coach Brian Callahan, but the fact that Wilson has been invited to interview suggests that the position is open. If Bowen is still a candidate, his first competition will be with the position coach coaching in the AFC Championship game this weekend.