Jeff Hafley

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

After a crowded carousel previously stopped, the 49ers opened their defensive coordinator position. Here is how the NFC champions’ search looks:

Updated 3-2-24 (10:00am 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)

  • Gerald Alexander, safeties coach (Raiders): Interviewed 3/1
  • Daniel Bullocks, defensive backs coach (49ers): Interviewed 2/28
  • David Merritt, defensive backs coach (Chiefs): To interview
  • Nick Sorensen, defensive passing game specialist (49ers): Promoted
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed

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

New Ravens DC Zach Orr Chose Baltimore Over Green Bay?

The Ravens secured what they hope will be the next in a line of mostly outstanding defensive coordinators in their 28-year history when the team promoted inside linebackers coach Zach Orr yesterday. Orr staying in Baltimore, a city in which he’s spent nine years as both a player and coach, seems like a no-brainer, but according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, the team’s new coordinator had another offer: the Packers.

This report comes with a bit of speculation as it stems from an unnamed “league source,” but the timeline holds up. The Packers’ hire of former Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley as their newest defensive coordinator came as a bit of a surprise with no reports of an interview taking place before his sudden appointment. There are perhaps two reasons for this.

The first would be that Hafley is a college football coach who must deal with the trials of the recruiting trail. If Hafley were reported to be interviewing for NFL jobs, any recruits the Eagles were hoping to land may think twice about committing to a coach who isn’t himself committed to the school. If news of an interview surfaced and Hafley returned to Boston College for the 2024 NCAA season, he would likely face innumerable questions concerning the plans for his future in Chestnut Hill.

The second reason pertains to his existing relationship with Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. The two are reportedly close friends. This could mean that, due to their friendly nature, the two had off-the-record conversations toying with the idea of a team-up. The theory would then become that Hafley was available as a backup option should LaFleur and company fail to land their preferred option, which was reportedly Orr.

Here’s where the other part of the timeline comes into play. Hafley was hired on January 31, the same day as Orr’s interview for the defensive coordinator job in Green Bay. In theory, Orr was offered the job on the spot, Green Bay having waited patiently for the Ravens to be eliminated from the playoffs. Orr, anticipating the likelihood of a promotion within his current organization, would’ve then turned the Packers down, prompting LaFleur to reach out and hire his good buddy later that day.

This theory makes sense when you consider Baltimore’s history of internal hires for defensive coordinator. After hiring Marvin Lewis in the Ravens’ inaugural season, Mike Nolan, Rex Ryan, Greg Mattison, Chuck Pagano, Dean Pees, and Don “Wink” Martindale were all promoted from internally to defensive coordinator. Mike Macdonald was technically the team’s first external hire for the position, coming from the University of Michigan, but that’s only if you discount the seven years he spent on-staff in Baltimore before his single year in Ann Arbor.

Orr had to have a good idea that he or Ravens associate head coach and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver stood the best chance of succeeding Macdonald as coordinator. If he felt particularly good about his prospects for the promotion, it makes sense that he would turn the Packers down just to be hired into the Ravens’ position the next day. In fact, Orr could’ve taken that Packers’ offer to leverage a similar advancement in Baltimore then informed Green Bay of his decision later that day.

If this report proves to be accurate, it paints an interesting picture for both teams. In Green Bay, it tells the story of a swing and a miss on one of the league’s up-and-coming, young coaches. In Baltimore, it shows how badly the Ravens wanted to hold on to Orr, who coached inside linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen to first- and second-team All-Pro honors, respectively, this season.

The Ravens knew that, in addition to losing Macdonald, they were likely to see whomever they didn’t promote between Orr and Weaver walk, as well. Head coach John Harbaugh and company claim that they’re really trying to hold onto to Weaver after passing him up for the coordinator position, but he seems destined for that promotion elsewhere as the current frontrunner for the Dolphins’ coordinator job. The 31-year-old Orr was the choice for Baltimore, though he was reportedly the choice in Green Bay first.

Packers Hire Jeff Hafley As DC

Green Bay has landed on a defensive coordinator hire. The Packers are set to bring in Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley as their new DC, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports.

Hafley took his first NFL coaching gig in 2012 when he became an assistant defensive backs coach with the Buccaneers. He took charge of Tampa’s DBs the following season, later doing the same with the Browns and 49ers. Hafley returned to the college ranks in 2019, serving as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator. That led him to Boston College’s head coaching role, which he held from 2020-23.

The 44-year-old did not have a known connection to an NFL DC posting since 2019. That includes being off the radar, in terms of known interviews, of the Packers through this year’s search. In a move which came as little surprise, Green Bay elected to fire Joe Barry after the team’s divisional round elimination. A long list of candidates emerged to fill the opening, but the team has gone in a different direction.

The Packers conducted at least three interviews for their Barry replacement, and another was lined up. Other staffers, including sought-after Panthers DC Ejiro Evero, were named as potential Green Bay targets. None of them have landed the position, though, one which will come with serious expectations given the highly-drafted players present on the Packers’ defense and the unit’s shortcomings under Barry.

Green Bay posted finishes of 13th, 17th and 10th in terms of points allowed over the past three seasons. Struggles against the run in particular were present for much of Barry’s tenure, and improvement in that regard will no doubt be a priority for Hafley. The latter led the Eagles to a 22-26 record during his time in charge, earning bowl eligibility for the school three times.

Boston College allowed an average of 28.3 points and just under 384 yards per game in 2023 while generating 1.3 takeaways per contest. Green Bay posted only seven interceptions in 2023, and better production in the secondary would go a long way toward overall improvement on defense moving forward. Hafley’s background working with defensive backs could help in that regard.

As Thamel notes, Hafley and head coach Matt LaFleur are close friends. Their relationship will now continue at the NFL level, with the former becoming the third DC in the latter’s time at the helm in Green Bay. The Packers’ defense will be worth watching closely as Haley makes a long-awaited return to the pro game and takes on his first career NFL coordinator gig.

Bengals Requested Interview With Ohio State DC Jeff Hafley

The Bengals have struck out on yet another name in their seemingly never-ending search for a defensive coordinator. The team wanted to interview Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley for the position but Hafley turned them down, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Hafley is currently the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, a job he took just last month. Sources told Garafolo that Hafley didn’t want to “renege on his commitment” to the Buckeyes. Before joining Ohio State, Hafley had been a defensive assistant in the NFL since 2012, most recently serving as the 49ers’ secondary coach for the past three seasons.

It’s yet another blow to Cincinnati as new head coach Zac Taylor looks to fill out his inaugural staff. Just yesterday they were blocked from interviewing Saints assistant Aaron Glenn. Earlier yesterday they were shot down by Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who had initially appeared very likely to take the job. They had previously offered the job to and been turned down by former Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

The Bengals are likely looking at a rebuild, which could be scaring off veteran coaches. They do have some talent on defense, and it’s pretty surprising that they haven’t found somebody yet. They were granted permission to talk to Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant earlier this week, so perhaps they circle back to him.

Staff Notes: Bills, Taylor, 49ers, Ryan, Eagles

Another former Panthers assistant will land a job on the Bills‘ coaching staff. Buffalo hired Ken Dorsey to be its quarterbacks coach. A former Miami Hurricane standout, prior to his days with the 49ers and Browns, Dorsey spent five seasons as the Panthers’ QBs coach. In 2018, the 37-year-old coach was on Appalachian State’s staff. Dorsey will take over for David Culley, who is now on Baltimore’s staff. The Bills also promoted Chad Hall to wide receivers coach. The 32-year-old former NFLer spent his first two seasons in coaching as a Bills offensive assistant. Another hire the Bills announced this week: bringing in Terry Heffernan to be their assistant offensive line coach. Heffernan has NFL coaching experience, being a Lions staffer earlier this decade, but spent the past three years at Division I-FCS Eastern Kentucky. Heffernan coached under new Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson in Detroit.

None of the offensive coaches who have been hired or promoted have a direct tie to second-year OC Brian Daboll, Mike Rodak of tweets. Here is the latest from the coaching carousel:

  • Two teams have yet to hire their head coaches, but the Bengals will look to finalize their agreement with Zac Taylor soon after Super Bowl LIII. The Rams’ quarterbacks coach will travel to Cincinnati on Monday, with’s Tom Pelissero tweeting the parties will make their pending partnership official.
  • Rob Ryan initiated the process that ended with him becoming the Redskins‘ new inside linebackers coach. The former defensive coordinator said Kirk Olivadotti‘s decision to take a job with the Packers prompted him to reach out to the Redskins about a job, Ryan said on NBC Sports Washington‘s Redskins Talk podcast. Ryan interviewed with the Redskins twice in the past but has never worked with the franchise.
  • Kyle Shanahan was a bit surprised teams aggressively pursued members of his coaching staff, considering the 49ers went 4-12 this season. “It was a little unexpected,” Shanahan said during an interview with KNBR (via NBC Sports Bay Area). “I didn’t think our staff was going to get raided after a 4-12 year, so that caught me off a little bit.” The Broncos did the main raiding, hiring Rich Scangarello and T.C. McCartney. The Packers also hired Adam Stenavich to become their offensive line coach. Shanahan also denied permission for the Vikings and Packers to interview Mike LaFleur and did not allow Mike McDaniel to speak with the Cardinals, citing neither offensive assistant being up for a play-calling role with one of those teams.
  • San Francisco also lost another assistant, but this time to the college ranks. Defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley will become the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
  • The Eagles will swap out assistant offensive line coaches. After Eugene Chung‘s contract expired, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro notes the Eagles will hire Roy Istvan to replace him. Istvan will come all the way up from the NAIA level, having coached most recently at Florida’s Keiser University. However, he spent time with Philadelphia offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland in the distant past, playing for Stoutland at Southern Connecticut in the 1980s and then breaking into coaching during Stoutland’s stay as that program’s OC. This will be Istvan’s first NFL job.

West Notes: Broncos, 49ers, Raiders, Vegas

The Broncos could express interest in left tackle Branden Albert and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, each of whom played for the Dolphins in 2016, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter links). Mitchell was released on Thursday and could be a fit with Denver thanks to his relationship with Broncos head coach Vance Joseph and defensive line coach Bill Kollar. Albert was also thought to have been released, but Miami is now close to trading the 32-year-old to Jacksonville. It’s unclear if Denver would still be interested in Albert if forced to sacrifice draft compensation.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • In addition to confirming several previously-reported hires, the 49ers announced another wave of coaching staff additions tonight. The list of new coaches includes Jeff Hafley (defensive backs), Johnny Holland (linebackers), Jason Tarver (senior defensive assistant) and Bobby Slowik (defensive quality control). Tarver, a former coordinator at the NFL level, is a holdover but is shifting away from LBs coach in order for San Francisco to add Holland, a former Cleveland coach.
  • The Broncos have granted the 49ers permission to interview John Benton for their vacant offensive line position, as Klis reports in a separate piece. Denver hired Benton as its assistant offensive line coach last month, but obviously he hasn’t actually worked with any Broncos players as of yet. Benton has worked with new San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan in the past, as the pair was employed by Houston from 2006-09.
  • Although previous reports have indicated the Raiders‘ plan to relocate to Las Vegas is “dead,” Oakland executive Mark Badain recently told the NFL the club has financial backing from two banks willing to loan the Raiders money for their move, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. The Raiders last month lost the support of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who was planning to put $650MM towards a Vegas stadium, but reportedly still had “high hopes” of moving to Nevada.

49ers To Hire Co-Defensive Coordinators?

Soon-to-be 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan‘s staff appears to be taking shape, as Sporting News’ Alex Marvez details (Twitter links here). Among the offensive-minded Shanahan’s most important calls will be deciding who will run the 49ers’ woeful defense, and he’s actually targeting two assistants – Falcons defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson and ex-Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh – to work as co-coordinators in San Francisco.

Kyle Shanahan (vertical)

Saleh’s candidacy is no surprise, as FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Sunday that he could land with the 49ers, but Henderson’s emergence is a new development. Henderson is fresh off his first season in Atlanta – where he worked with Shanahan, of course – and is only a year removed from interviewing for the Browns’ then-vacant head coaching job.

Along with potentially taking Henderson from Atlanta, Shanahan is likely to tab Falcons offensive assistant Mike McDaniel as his wide receivers coach in San Francisco. Falcons offensive assistant Mike LaFleur will also go with Shanahan, reports Matt Maiocco of (Twitter link).

Another NFC South assistant, Buccaneers tight ends coach Jon Embree, is poised to oversee the 49ers’ TEs and serve as an assistant head coach, per Marvez. And a pair of current 49ers assistants, linebackers coach Jason Tarver and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley, are good bets to stay on under Shanahan. Tarver nearly headed elsewhere last month, when he met with the Redskins about becoming their defensive coordinator (a job that ultimately went to onetime 49ers DC Greg Manusky) and discussed a role with the Saints.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: 49ers, Pats, Cowboys, Jags

The latest from around the NFL as the countdown to a Super Bowl 50 matchup between the Panthers and Broncos begins:

  • After appearing in and starting in 71 games from 2010-14, 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis decided last June to take a hiatus from football, announcing that he’d “be back in a year or so.” Earlier this month, the 26-year-old added fuel to the fire when he tweeted an intention to return to the 49ers. However, Davis – who’s under 49ers control through 2019 – hasn’t yet set the wheels fully in motion on a comeback. “As of right now, I’ve got no notification from the league to say that he has [filed for reinstatement],” general manager Trent Baalke told 95.7 The Game, per “But that period is still open.”
  • In other 49ers news, they’ve hired Jeff Hafley to coach their defensive backs, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports (on Twitter). Hafley was in charge of Cleveland’s secondary the past two seasons.
  • The Patriots need to invest significant resources this offseason in the offensive line – whether through free agency, the draft or both – in order to keep Tom Brady playing at a high level, writes Christopher Price of Given the beating Brady took Sunday in the Pats’ 20-18 AFC championship game loss in Denver, Price’s suggestion comes as no surprise. The Broncos hit Brady 20 times, four of which were sacks, and kept him under extreme duress throughout the game.
  • The Cowboys will need a new defensive backs coach to replace Jerome Henderson, who took a job in Atlanta. A successor to Henderson in Dallas is unlikely to come from within the organization, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer (via Twitter). That runs contrary to Ian Rapoport’s declaration (via Twitter) earlier Sunday that Cowboys safeties coach Jim Baker will take over for Henderson.
  • Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley has promoted three members of his staff, according to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union: Tony Sorrentino has gone from offensive quality control coach to assistant receivers coach; Aaron Whitecotton, who was assistant to the defense, is now the assistant D-line coach; and Mike Rutenberg has shifted from assistant defensive backs coach to defensive assistant.