Mick Lombardi

49ers Makes Additions, Promotions To Coaching Staff

The 49ers were spared much of the poaching that occurred to other coaching staffs around the league this offseason, but that doesn’t mean there were no changes to be made in San Francisco. Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area noted some changes to the team’s coaching staff this week.

In 2023, the offensive line was guided by offensive line coach and run game coordinator Chris Foerster and assistant offensive line coaches James Cregg and Joe Graves. While Foerster and Graves remain in their roles from last season, Cregg departed to take the offensive line coaching job in Las Vegas. Filling Cregg’s role as the second assistant offensive line coach in 2024 will be Cameron Clemmons. Clemmons most recently served as assistant offensive line coach for the Raiders, so he’ll be swapping places with Cregg.

Another staffer who departed this offseason was offensive passing game specialist Klint Kubiak, who accepted the new offensive coordinator gig in New Orleans. Taking Klint’s spot as offensive passing game specialist will be his younger brother, Klay Kubiak. Klay joined the 49ers staff in 2021 as a defensive quality control coach before spending the past two seasons as assistant quarterbacks coach. The two brothers are sons to former NFL head coach Gary Kubiak, who has three sons working in the NFL today. Kubiak’s third son, Klein Kubiak, is a national scout for the Cowboys.

Lastly on offense, we had reported the team’s addition of former Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi back in March. While a title at the time had not been divulged, Maiocco now informs us that Lombardi will serve as senior offensive assistant in 2024.

On defense, the only update provided by Maiocco concerned K.J. Wright, who was announced to be joining the 49ers staff for his first coaching gig after serving as a member of the rival Seahawks defense for 10 years as a linebacker. The initial report listed Wright as the team’s new assistant linebackers coach. Instead, it appears that Wright’s title will officially be defensive quality control coach, though he will almost certainly be focused on San Francisco’s linebacking corps.

Coaching Notes: Lombardi, 49ers, Shula, Bills, Broncos, Titans, Saints, Wilkins

Mick Lombardi will resurface in San Francisco. The 49ers are hiring the former Raiders offensive coordinator, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. This marks a return trip for the second-generation NFL staffer. Lombardi worked on the 49ers’ staff from 2013-16, rising up to the quality control level during his first NFL gig. This came before Kyle Shanahan‘s arrival. Lombardi, 35, worked under Josh McDaniels in New England before being brought to Las Vegas as OC. Hours after the Raiders fired McDaniels, they canned Lombardi at the midseason point. Lombardi, who coached wide receivers and QBs in New England, does not have a specific title yet in San Francisco.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • The Bills are not retaining Mike Shula for their 2024 staff. The veteran coach’s contract expired, per WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio, who adds the Bills will not renew the deal. Shula had served as a senior offensive assistant on the past two Buffalo staffs. Shula, 58, had previously served as OC for the Panthers and Giants. The Carolina OC years overlapped with Cam Newton‘s MVP season and the team’s Super Bowl 50 trek. Son of Don Shula, Mike has been an NFL assistant since 1988. Prior to coming to Buffalo, he was in Denver for two seasons as QBs coach under Pat Shurmur.
  • On the subject of the Broncos, they will replace defensive line coach Marcus Dixon with an in-house promotion. Denver will bump Jamar Cain up to D-line coach. A former college and high school staffer, Cain worked as a pass rush specialist last season, joining the team shortly after the Sean Payton trade.
  • The Titans have a special teams coordinator in place now. Colt Anderson is in place here. A former Eagles, Colts and Bills special-teamer in the 2010s, Anderson previously coached with Brian Callahan in Cincinnati, serving most recently as the Bengals’ assistant ST coach. The Titans also hired Scott Fuchs as assistant O-line coach and Steve Donatell as a defensive assistant. Donatell spent last season in Miami under Vic Fangio, who had worked with Steve’s father (Ed) for many years. Fuchs comes up from the college ranks, having spent 31 seasons at that level. He spent the past three years at Kansas, serving as the Jayhawks’ O-line coach.
  • The Saints promoted Jordan Traylor to assistant quarterbacks coach and have hired Keith Williams to coach wide receivers. Despite the Saints hiring Klint Kubiak as OC, they will retain a previous staffer in Traylor for this role. Traylor, 30, was a Payton hire who has been with the team five years. Williams spent the past three seasons with the Ravens, his first NFL gig.
  • Kevin Wilkins, whom the Giants fired just before the simmering Don Martindale-Brian Daboll feud boiled over, is following the former New York DC to Michigan, 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz tweets. Brothers Kevin and Drew Wilkins each worked under Martindale with the Giants and Ravens. Drew landed a job with the Patriots last month; Kevin will work as a defensive analyst at Michigan.

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

Raiders To Fire OC Mick Lombardi, Promote Bo Hardegree

9:51am: Rather than Turner, the Raiders are promoting quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree to OC, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. McDaniels also hired Hardegree in 2022, while he and Kelly were both with the Broncos (2014) and Bears (2015). Unlike Turner, Hardegree does not have play-calling experience. He joined the Raiders after stints as an offensive assistant with the Jefs (2019-20) and Patriots (2021). That said, Hardegree, 39, did coach the Dolphins’ quarterbacks for three seasons under Adam Gase prior to following Gase to New York.

9:45am: Coming out of the overnight firing of Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler, the Raiders are also moving on from their offensive coordinator. They are firing Mick Lombardi, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer.

Lombardi, 35, operated as a non-play-calling OC during his two seasons in Las Vegas. While Lombardi was not a longtime Patriots staffer like McDaniels and Ziegler, he did come over from New England in 2022. The Raiders hired Lombardi after he spent the previous three seasons in Foxborough.

Lombardi’s name did not come up much during McDaniels’ tenure, but the two’s ties did not leave the young assistant on steady terrain. Mick Lombardi is the son of former NFL GM Michael Lombardi; Matt Lombardi also joined the Raiders’ staff as assistant wide receivers coach this offseason. This marked Mick’s first shot as an offensive coordinator.

Mick Lombardi served as the Patriots’ assistant quarterbacks coach in 2019 and the team’s wide receivers coach from 2020-21. While Jakobi Meyers — a Lombardi charge in New England — has played well since signing a three-year, $33MM deal, the Raiders’ offense exited Week 8 ranked 30th in DVOA and in points scored. The team has not scored more than 20 points on offense all season, with Maxx Crosby‘s safety being the only time the team broke out of the teens — in a Week 6 win over the Patriots.

In quickly moving on from their second-year power brokers, the Raiders made assistant GM Champ Kelly their interim general manager and bumped linebackers coach Antonio Pierce — a first-time NFL staffer — to interim HC. The team is now considering pass-game coordinator Scott Turner for the OC role, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets. Turner would be likely thrust into a play-calling OC post, with Pierce not a realistic candidate to call offensive plays. Turner served in that role for the past three seasons, in Washington, but Ron Rivera fired him following the 2022 campaign.

Prior to joining McDaniels and Bill Belichick, who also employed Michael Lombardi during two different stints (in Cleveland and New England), Mick Lombardi worked as a lower-level staffer with the Jets and 49ers. He has been an NFL staffer since 2013, breaking into the league on Jim Harbaugh‘s third 49ers staff. Turner, 42, is also a second-generation NFL staffer. Scott’s father, Norv, coached the Raiders from 2004-05.

Raiders Hire Mick Lombardi As OC

The Raiders have hired Mick Lombardi as their new offensive coordinator, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Lombardi, who spent the 2019 season as the Patriots’ assistant quarterbacks coach and the past two years as New England’s wide receivers coach, will join Josh McDaniels on the trek from Foxborough to Las Vegas.

McDaniels, the longtime Patriots OC who was hired as the Raiders’ new head coach at the end of January, is expected to serve as the team’s offensive play-caller. Still, this represents quite a promotion for Lombardi, the 33-year-old son of former NFL exec Michael Lombardi. As Schefter writes, the younger Lombardi handled the Pats’ red zone game plan in 2021, and he and McDaniels are aligned in their offensive philosophies.

Lombardi will replace Greg Olson, who worked as the Raiders’ OC from 2018-21 (we recently heard that Olson is expected to rejoin the Rams’ staff in some capacity in 2022). He will inherit a unit that finished 11th in the league in total offense last season and that features a quality starting QB in Derek Carr (assuming, of course, that Las Vegas elects to retain Carr, who is entering a contract year).

Schefter adds that Patriots offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo will join the Raiders in the same capacity. With the departures of McDaniels, Lombardi, Bricillo, and Bo Hardegree — who was recently hired as Las Vegas’ new QB coach — New England is experiencing quite a brain drain on the offensive side of the ball. That is to say nothing of the expected retirement of RB coach Ivan Fears, who has been in his post since 2002. Of course, the club did recently reunite with Joe Judge, who is returning as an offensive assistant.

In related news, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Raiders are adding longtime NFL scout Andy Dengler to their college scouting department. Dengler had served as the Jaguars’ assistant director of player personnel from 2013-20. As part of the continuing transition under new GM Dave Ziegler, the Raiders are also parting ways with assistant director of player personnel Trey Scott, who had been with the team for a decade (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network).

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network offers more details on Las Vegas’ front office overhaul.

Staff Notes: Rams, Cards, Bengals, Pats

The Rams will bring in Wade Phillips‘ son to be part of their offensive staff. Wes Phillips will move from the nation’s capital to Los Angeles, with Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio reporting (on Twitter) the former Redskins tight ends coach will take over that position with the Rams. This move was rumored prior to Super Bowl LIII, and it will come to fruition. The father-son tandem has not been on the same staff since Wade’s days as Cowboys head coach. Wes Phillips’ move west will likely coincide with Rams tight ends coach Shane Waldron focusing on his duties as passing game coordinator and Jedd Fisch shifting to quarterbacks coach.

Here is the latest from the coaching carousel:

  • Elsewhere in the NFC West, the Cardinals continued to add new assistants. Kliff Kingsbury‘s staff will include Charlie Bullen as assistant linebackers coach and Peter Badovinac, Bob McManamon of the Arizona Republic notes. Bullen spent the past seven seasons with the Dolphins, serving as a defensive assistant throughout the Joe Philbin and Adam Gase tenures. Bullen and new Cardinals DC Vance Joseph worked together in 2016. Badnovinac will follow Kingsbury from the college ranks, moving to Arizona after stays at Missouri State and Ohio State. Badnovinac accepted a graduate assistant position at Oklahoma recently but will begin his first NFL job instead. The Cardinals also hired Spencer Whipple and Rob Grosso as quality control coaches.
  • While the Rams are hiring their defensive coordinator’s son, the Patriots are expected to add the son of former executive Mike Lombardi. Mick Lombardi is expected to be one of Bill Belichick‘s new hires, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter). The Patriots employed the younger Lombardi from 2011-12; he served as the Jets’ assistant quarterbacks coach the past two seasons. New England just lost assistant QBs coach Jerry Schuplinski to Miami.
  • Steve Wilks received interest from teams aside from the Browns but scheduled the Cleveland summit first because that was his top choice, according to McManaman. The one-and-done Cardinals coach is now the Browns‘ DC, coming to Cleveland after receiving a substantial buyout from his four-year Cards contract.
  • The Bengals looked to the local high school ranks for a staffer, hiring Cincinnati Moeller head coach Doug Rosfield to become the assistant to Zac Taylor, per Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Rosfield spent 11 total seasons at Moeller. In between those stays, he worked as the University of Cincinnati’s director of player development for three years.

QB Jay Cutler A “Possibility” For Jets

The Jets have hired Jeremy Bates as their new quarterbacks coach, the club announced today. While Bates’ addition seems fairly innocuous, the fact that he previously served as QBs coach in Denver with Jay Cutler, who is expected to become a free agent soon, has already provided a possible link between Cutler and Gang Green. Indeed, Cutler is considered a “possibility” for New York, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), who notes that any union would be dependent on an appropriate price tag.Jay Cutler (Vertical)

[RELATED: Jets Have Interest In Deshaun Watson]

Cutler is expected to be released by the Bears in the coming weeks, and he could make for an interesting bounceback candidate under Bates and new New York offensive coordinator John Morton. With Bates’ assistance, Cutler posted perhaps the best season of his career in 2008, passing for more than 4,500 yards and 25 touchdowns while managing a Total Quarterback Rating of 67.09. Those numbers are a far cry from Cutler’s disastrous 2016 campaign, when mounting injuries limited him to five starts.

The 33-year-old Cutler is just the latest quarterback to be linked to the Jets this offseason, as the club has also been tied to draft prospects Deshaun Watson and Mitch Trubisky and pending free agent Mike Glennon. New York has two signal-callers already on its roster, but the team’s front office reportedly has doubts that either Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg will develop into more than a backup-caliber passer.

In addition to Bates, the Jets announced the hiring of three other coaches: offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks coach Mick Lombardi, offensive assistant Jason Vrable, and assistant strength coach Joe Giacobbe.