Matt Eberflus

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

NFC North Notes: Lions, Bears, OTAs, Rookies, Packers, Vikings

The Lions recently detailed a number of updates to their front office. Included among them is new titles being given to members of both the player personnel and football operations departments.

Lance Newmark is now the team’s senior director of player personnel, a slightly different job title than the one he had held since 2017 as the head of that department. The veteran executive has spent all but two of his 26 years in the NFL with the Lions, and was a candidate for Detroit’s GM position, which ultimately went to Brad Holmes. He was also linked to the GM job with the Jets prior to that.

Another notable change is the promotion of Mike Disner to chief operating officer. He had previously served as the team’s VP of football and business administration, playing a key role across a number of departments in the organization. He has spent the past three years in Detroit, having been hired as the replacement for Matt Harriss after a stint in Arizona.

Here are a few other notes from around the NFC North:

  • The Bears forfeited one of their OTA practices earlier this month, as detailed by Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune (subscription required). The team held May practices which involved live contact, something prohibited by the CBA. Wiederer reports that the Bears were “requested to alter their practice activity,” but because the staff now led by Matt Eberflus didn’t do so, the team became subject to that minor penalty.
  • The Packers took not one, but two, former Georgia defenders in the first round of the draft in April. Their top selection, linebacker Quay Walker, has immediately seen practice time alongside starter De’Vondre Campbell. As noted by Rob Demovsky in an ESPN breakdown of first-rounders, Walker’s significant presence in both base and sub packages suggests he could start immediately.
  • In that same piece, Demovsky’s colleague Kevin Seifert writes that another former Bulldog, safety Lewis Cine, is pushing for a spot with the Vikings’ first-team defense. The No. 32 pick is in competition with Camryn Bynum for a starting role, but his ascension to that spot “appears inevitable” after his showing this spring.

NFC North Notes: Vikings Front Office Hire, Hundley, Jones, Alexander

New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made a noteworthy addition to his staff earlier this week. The team announced the hiring of Demitrius Washington as their new vice president of football operations.

Washington had spent seven years with the 49ers, a stretch which overlapped with Adofo-Mensah’s time in that organization. For the past two seasons, Washington served as San Francisco’s director of research and development, the same title Adofo-Mensah held with the Browns prior to his hire. The pair will now reunite and, along with new head coach Kevin O’Connell, oversee the franchise’s transition from the previous Rick Spielman-Mike Zimmer regime.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC North, starting with one more from Minnesota:

  • The Vikings brought in veteran backup quarterback Brett Hundley as a tryout during rookie minicamp, but they made it clear they would not be signing him, as noted by Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. The 28-year-old hasn’t made a regular season appearance since 2019, most recently spending time with the Colts. Minnesota’s QB room currently consists of Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond, Sean Mannion and Nate Stanley.
  • The Bears used one of their 11 picks in last month’s draft to add to its receiving corps, selecting Velus Jones in the third round. The team is high on his speed and versatility, leading to the new coaching staff having “big plans” for the 25-year-old. “Let’s start out at receiver and then let’s see what he can do, moving him around to different spots and getting him the ball, because he is an explosive athlete” head coach Matt Eberflus said, via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. After transferring from USC to Tennessee, Jones produced both on offense and special teams, recording 807 receiving yards and leading the SEC in both punt and kick return yardage in 2021.
  • An interesting note came out in the aftermath of Jaire Alexander‘s record-breaking extension with the Packers. USA Today’s Josina Anderson reports (on Twitter) that the Pro Bowler specifically wanted a four-year (rather than five-year) deal. He got just that, helping him to break the record briefly held by Denzel Ward for the highest annual average amongst cornerbacks at $21MM per season, and keeping him under contract through 2026.

AFC Coaching Notes: Colts, Bills, Jaguars, Ravens

Since Frank Reich was able to land defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to replace Bears’ head coach Matt Eberflus, Bradley has begun the process of putting his staff together. Today Bradley added longtime defensive backs coach Ron Milus to coach his secondary, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Milus first started coaching defensive backs at his alma mater, the University of Washington, about eight years after playing cornerback there. He held the college position for seven years before getting an NFL coaching opportunity in 2000. Since then, Milus hasn’t spent a season out of work with stints in Denver, Arizona, New York (Giants), St. Louis, Carolina, San Diego, and Las Vegas. His longest stint was with the Chargers, spending eight years in southern California and transitioning with the team to Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles that Milus was retained when Bradley joined the Chargers’ staff. He followed Bradley to Las Vegas and will join him once more in Indianapolis.

Here are a few other coaching notes from around the AFC starting with another bit from the Hoosier State:

  • In addition to Milus, Mike Chappell of Fox59 reports that Indianapolis is also in the process of hiring linebackers coach Richard Smith, who worked with Bradley and Milus in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Smith has coached in the NFL since he debuted for the Houston Oilers in 1988 coaching special teams and tight ends. He found his niche as a linebackers coach in 1997 for the 49ers and has had three short stints as a defensive coordinator in Miami, Houston, and Atlanta.
  • ESPN’s Yates also tweeted out a report that the Bills have added former QB Kyle Shurmur on staff in a defensive quality control position. After four years at Vanderbilt, Shurmur signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs, spending time on their practice squad as well as on the Bengals’ and Washington’s practice squads. He was released by Washington a little over a month ago and that appears to mark the end of his playing career. He seems to be following in the footsteps of his father, Pat Shurmur, and joining the coaching track.
  • A castaway from the Matt Nagy Bears’ staff, outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey will not be without work for long as Curtis Crabtree of NBC Sports reports that Shuey is joining Doug Pederson‘s staff in Jacksonville in the same role. Shuey and Pederson had two separate tenures together in Philadelphia.
  • Pederson also made a crucial move of retaining running backs coach Bernie Parmalee. Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network tells us that keeping Parmalee was a priority for Pederson, especially due to his strong relationship with star running back James Robinson.
  • Baltimore has hired Rob Leonard as outside linebackers coach, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley (Twitter). Leonard will replace Drew Wilkins who left to join Brian Daboll‘s staff in New York. Leonard spent the past three seasons in the same position with the Dolphins. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic adds that former Michigan analyst Ryan Osborn will follow Mike Macdonald to the Ravens for a quality control position. Osborn is credited with having a role in the development of Wolverines’ EDGE players like Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints created nine full-time vacancies available this year.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 2-7-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

NFC Coaching Notes: Eberflus, Bucs, Panthers, Giants, Packers

Although Matt Eberflus landed the Bears job because of the Colts’ defensive performance, Chicago’s new HC is planning more of a CEO-type role for himself. Eberflus is not planning to call defensive plays for the Bears this season, via The Athletic’s Adam Jahns (on Twitter). Instead, new Chicago DC Alan Williams will handle that responsibility. Williams, 52, has previous DC experience, working under Leslie Frazier in Minnesota in the early 2010s, and has enjoyed a few tours as a DBs coach. This will be an interesting transition for Eberflus, a first-time HC. It will not be a notable transition for the Bears, who spent much of the past two seasons with their head coach operating in a CEO-type capacity. Matt Nagy handed off play-calling duties to then-OC Bill Lazor in each of the past two seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC coaching carousel:

  • The Buccaneers are set to go through a major transition, with Tom Brady‘s retirement ending a brief but successful era that likely doubled as the second-highest peak in franchise history. But Bruce Arians is not eyeing a rebuild. The fourth-year Bucs HC denied a report that indicated the team would allow assistants to pursue other jobs even if the new positions were not promotions, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman (on Twitter). It looks like Arians will keep both coordinators — Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles — for the 2022 season, so Tampa Bay will still feature considerable continuity despite Brady’s departure and the presumptive exits of some key free agents.
  • Circling back to the Bears, the team made some additional hires in recent days. New OC Luke Getsy‘s right-hand man on the Justin Fields front will be Andrew Janocko, Chicago’s new quarterbacks coach. Janocko spent the past seven seasons with the Vikings, ending the run by serving as their QBs coach in 2021. He also worked as the Vikes’ receivers coach and assistant O-line coach at points during his long Minnesota tenure. The Bears also hired James Rowe as their secondary coach. Rowe will come over after serving as the Colts’ cornerbacks coach. David Overstreet, Indianapolis’ assistant DBs coach, will also follow Eberflus and fill the same position with the Bears. Overstreet moved up from the quality control level with Indy in 2021.
  • Former Packers offensive line coach James Campen landed a job as the Panthers‘ O-line coach, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Following a 12-year tenure in Green Bay, Campen will begin the 2022 season with a new team for the fourth straight year. He coached the Browns, Chargers and Texans’ O-lines from 2019-21.
  • Giants running backs coach Burton Burns is expected to retire, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post tweets. Burns, 69, began coaching in 1981 and spent the past two years as the Giants’ RBs coach — his only NFL position during his career. Fellow college-staff veteran Kevin Sherrer is expected to follow Burns on the way out, per Dunleavy. Sherrer served as the Giants’ linebackers coach last season and migrated to the NFL level, like Burns, for the first time in 2020.
  • To replace tight ends coach Justin Outten, who made a big leap to become the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, the Packers promoted John Dunn. Although this is a promotion, after Dunn spent the 2021 season as an offensive analyst in Green Bay, he coached Jets tight ends from 2019-20.

Packers Promoting Stenavich To OC

With former-offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett leaving to become the head coach of the Broncos and quarterbacks coach/passing-game coordinator Luke Getsy expected to join Matt Eberflus‘ new staff as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, the Packers needed to move quickly to start rebuilding their offensive staff. The first such move was reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport in a tweet this evening announcing that Green Bay will be promoting offensive line coach and running game coordinator Adam Stenavich to be the team’s new offensive coordinator.

Stenavich got his first NFL opportunity in 2017 as the 49ers assistant offensive line coach after some college coaching stints at Michigan, Northern Arizona, and San Jose State. After two seasons in San Francisco, Stenavich got hired in Green Bay at his most recent position before getting today’s promotion.

The Packers had previously denied the Broncos’ request to interview Stenavich and this most recent report confirms the suspicions that soon followed that denial. Stenavich will be shouldered with the burden of building a new offensive coaching staff. It is expected that, after being denied Stenavich, the Broncos will pursue Hackett’s former tight ends coach Justin Outten to become the offensive coordinator in Denver, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter).

In three seasons with Stenavich as the run game coordinator, the Packers have ranked 15th (2019), 8th (2020), and 18th (2021) in the NFL in total rushing yards. Combining the rushing offense’s inconsistency from year to year with questions in the air about quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ future, Stenavich could have a difficult task in front of him following a season where the Packers’ offense helped Green Bay to the NFC’s only first round bye.

Packers’ Getsy Expected To Become Bears’ OC

It looks like Matt Eberflus is getting the guy to run his offense as ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted out that Packers’ quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator Luke Getsy is expected to be hired as the Bears’ new offensive coordinator.

Getsy has spent his entire NFL coaching career in Green Bay joining the Packers as an offensive quality control coach in 2014. He worked his way up to wide receivers coach before taking a year away from the team to be the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State University. He returned to Green Bay in 2019 as the quarterbacks coach and added the passing-game coordinator title to his job for the following two seasons.

The Packers have been a top ten passing offense in each of Getsy’s two years as passing-game coordinator, helping them to earn the top-seed in the NFC and setting up quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a potential fourth MVP award.

Getsy’s departure leaves holes for Green Bay at two offensive positions. The Packers have lost former-offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who took the position of head coach for the Broncos and now are expected to be without their quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator.

It’s expected that Eberflus will consider Getsy’s input in putting together the rest of the offensive staff. We wrote earlier about the Bears’ interest in Browns’ offensive line coach Bill Callahan and a few other expected hires for Chicago. Eberflus’ first NFL staff is starting to come together nicely.

Bucs To Start Post-Brady Rebuild?

With three-time MVP quarterback Tom Brady announcing his retirement earlier today, speculation has already started on the future of the Buccaneers’ franchise. Brady’s retirement has experts wondering about the futures of tight end Rob Gronkowki and head coach Bruce Arians. Both have flirted with retirement before. 

Contributing to the postulation on Arians’ situation is head coaching interest in the Buccaneers’ coordinators on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich recently had his second interview for the Jaguars open coaching position. Reportedly, talks have stalled as Leftwich has expressed issues with current general manager Trent Baalke continuing in that position, with Leftwich preferring Cardinals’ vice president of pro scouting Adrian Wilson to replace the polarizing GM. The Saints have requested an interview with Leftwich, who previously received interest from the Bears before they hired Matt Eberflus. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has interviewed with the Bears, Jaguars, Raiders, and Vikings. With the Bears’ job taken, Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels being the presumed frontrunner in Las Vegas, and Jacksonville having conducted multiple second interviews Bowles’ opportunities for a head coaching job are starting to dwindle, as well.

More cause for speculation has risen from an article from Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. In the article Wilson reports that Arians has informed the entire coaching staff that they have permission to seek jobs around the league regardless of whether or not the new position would be a promotion. With the potential exit of the two New England-legends and the impactful group of Buccaneers heading into free agency, this permission could potentially be an opportunity to abandon ship before the start of a Tampa Bay rebuild.

In terms of those free agents, joining free-agent-to-be Gronkowski are three other significant role players: wide receiver Chris Godwin, center Ryan Jensen, and cornerback Carlton Davis. Godwin is expected to be the top free agent priority in Tampa Bay after he received the franchise tag for this past season. Jensen came over three years ago from the Ravens on what then made him the highest paid center in the NFL. Davis was a key contributor due for a big contract year on defense before being placed on IR after Week 4 of the season and missing eight weeks during a crucial year.

The domino-effect of Brady’s retirement is already looming large over the Buccaneers’ prospects for the 2022 NFL season. Tampa Bay has the entire offseason to navigate these obstacles and mitigate the potential fallout. After winning a Super Bowl just last year, the departure of Brady could be as game-changing to the Buccaneers as his arrival was nearly two years ago.

Updates To Eberflus’ New Bears’ Staff

New head coach Matt Eberflus has wasted no time in starting to piece together his new coaching staff in Chicago. 

The Colts’ former defensive coordinator will bring some familiar names with him from Indianapolis on the defensive side of the ball. According to Zak Keefer, of The Athletic, it’s been confirmed that linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi will follow Eberflus to Chicago to retain the same position. Borgonzi has played a crucial role in the development of players like Darius Leonard, Anthony Walker, and Bobby Okereke. Rumors have been circulating that cornerbacks coach James Rowe and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli could soon follow in Borgonzi’s footsteps.

On the offensive side of the ball, Eberflus will have to build a new system. We’ve already seen Eagles’ passing-game coordinator Kevin Patullo’s name surface as a potential coordinator, especially being a former coworker of the Bears’ new skipper in Indianapolis. We’ve also seen Packers’ quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy‘s name mentioned as the favorite candidate to land the coordinator job.

Still nothing has been announced, but Sanjay Lal, who has coached wide receivers for six different NFL teams, most recently in Jacksonville, is reportedly interviewing today for the offensive coordinator job, according to Jane Slater of NFL Network. A London-native, Lal started out coaching in a California high school for about six years before earning opportunities to coach at a few local colleges, culminating in a position as the quarterbacks coach at the University of California, Berkeley. Lal got his first NFL opportunity joining Lane Kiffin‘s Oakland Raiders staff in 2007 as a quality control coach, getting promoted to wide receivers coach in 2009. The journeyman coach then spent time as a wide receivers coach for the Jets, Bills, Colts, and Cowboys before not being retained in Dallas when Mike McCarthy took over. After spending a year as a senior offensive assistant in Seattle for a year, Lal got another chance to coach wide receivers for the Jaguars under Urban Meyer, where he spent the past season.

The only other offensive position we’ve heard about comes from Sports Mockery writer Erik Lambert who reports that Eberflus and the Bears will pursue Browns’ offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Callahan has coached a laundry list of Pro Bowl players over the years and has two connections to the Bears’ job. Firstly, he worked with Eberflus in Dallas for about three seasons, and, second, Callahan was born and raised in Chicago.

Two names have surfaced so far at the special teams coordinator position. Lambert mentions Raiders’ interim-head coach Rich Bisaccia as the favorite to take over the special teams unit in Chicago as it becomes less and less likely that he’ll be retained as the head ball coach in Las Vegas. The other name mentioned came from Jordan Raanan who covers the Giants for ESPN. Ranaan tweeted out that Giants’ special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey is scheduled to interview for the same position with the Bears tomorrow. McGaughey has already interviewed for the Chargers’ special teams coordinator job and has not ruled out remaining with the Giants.

It’s an impressive potential lineup for Eberflus as he attempts to put together his first full staff as a head coach. Updates should be expected shortly as all the names mentioned so far are no longer participating in the playoffs.