Scottie Montgomery

NFC North Notes: Brissett, Bears, Lions

The Vikings will have a decision to make today. They have clawed their way from 0-3 to 4-4, sitting firmly in the NFC playoff race. But Kirk Cousinsinjury threatens to deal a death blow to Minnesota’s hopes of making a second consecutive postseason trip for the first time since the 2008-09 seasons. The Vikings attempted to add ex-Kevin O’Connell charge John Wolford, but the Buccaneers’ practice squad QB will instead be promoted in Tampa. However, Jacoby Brissett looms as a name floating around the league as a possible solution, Tony Pauline of notes. While it remains unclear if Minnesota is truly intent on pursuing a notable outside upgrade, some around the league have mentioned Brissett as a sensible option.

Brissestt signed a one-year, $8MM deal with the Commanders but saw Sam Howell constantly mentioned as an ascending player this offseason. Howell won the job easily and has shown flashes. Brissett, 30, also has extensive experience as an emergency QB option. He took the Colts’ 2017 reins shortly after a trade, needed to replace Andrew Luck again after a surprise 2019 retirement and was called upon for an 11-game starter run during Deshaun Watson‘s 2022 suspension.

  • One theory regarding the Bears allowing Jaylon Johnson to pursue a trade centers around Chicago seeing what kind of extension the contract-year cornerback can command, per the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs. Johnson, 24, does not have to be extended immediately if traded; an acquiring team would have exclusive negotiating rights until the 2024 legal tampering period. Said team could also use the franchise tag, though the cornerback tag price — expected to be around $19.5MM — may not be realistic here. As of now, the Bears have until March to re-sign Johnson. Though, extension talks breaking off obviously does not represent a good sign. The 49ers and Bills are in on Johnson; the Bears have until 3pm CT to make a trade.
  • Staying on the quarterback topic, the Bears will once again go with Tyson Bagent. The rookie UDFA will start in Week 9, Matt Eberflus announced, with Justin Fields needing more time to recover from his thumb injury. This will be Fields’ third missed start. While Fields remains week to week, no surgery has taken place. But a Bears season that hinged on Fields making progress — after the team passed on using the No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback, trading the selection away — has morphed into a rare backdrop for a Division II-produced arm seeing extensive time.
  • The Lions have made good on their offseason hype, starting 6-2. This will naturally lead to expectations their coordinators will be in demand come 2024. In the event the Lions see Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn become head coaches in 2024, after both interviewed for jobs this year, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that running backs coach Scottie Montgomery and Kelvin Sheppard are the most likely internal candidates to be promoted. Sheppard, 35, is in place as Detroit’s inside linebackers coach; he has been on Dan Campbell‘s staff for three years. The Lions added Montgomery, 45, this offseason, after he spent the past two years as the Colts’ running backs coach. Although continuity might be preferred, teams must interview at least one external minority candidate for coordinator jobs.
  • As trades dominate the news cycle ahead of the 3pm deadline, the Packers agreed to terms with Rashan Gary on a monster extension. The fifth-year defender is now the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid edge defender, signing a four-year, $96MM deal.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Bucs Interview Lions’ Scottie Montgomery For OC Job

Scottie Montgomery recently accepted a position as the Lions’ running backs coach, but teams are still considering the veteran assistant for higher-profile gigs.

The Buccaneers’ lengthy offensive coordinator search now includes a 10th interview; Montgomery met with the team about its play-calling post Monday. The Bucs have been looking for an OC since firing Byron Leftwich on Jan. 19.

This is not Montgomery’s first time on the NFL OC radar. He interviewed twice for the Panthers job last year, but the team hired Ben McAdoo. It would make sense if the Panthers circled back to Montgomery, now that Frank Reich is in place as head coach. Reich hired Montgomery to his Colts staff in 2021, and he stayed on through season’s end under Jeff Saturday. Thus far, the Panthers have not been connected to Montgomery.

A former head coach at East Carolina, Montgomery coached the Steelers’ wide receivers from 2010-12. That period produced the Antonio Brown breakout and Emmanuel Sanders‘ early emergence, and Montgomery oversaw Jonathan Taylor‘s runaway rushing title in 2021. The Colts offered Montgomery their play-calling role this past season, but like Scott Milanovich, the running backs coach turned Saturday down. That led to assistant QBs coach Parks Frazier calling Indianapolis’ plays for the second half of the season.

Montgomery, 44, has never been an NFL play-caller. Neither have five of the other coaches in the running for Tampa Bay’s OC position. The Bucs are still sorting through this process; second interviews have begun. Rams assistant Thomas Brown will interview for a second time Wednesday. Here is how the Bucs’ OC search looks as of Monday night:

Coaching Notes: Broncos, Montgomery, Robertson, Johnson

After the announcement that he would become the next head coach in Denver, Sean Payton‘s new coaching staff is beginning to take form. Recent reports have clued us in to expected hires for the offensive line and tight ends coaching positions and have revealed the fate of a holdover from last year.

At offensive line coach, the Broncos are expected to hire Zach Strief, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Strief is a former seventh-round draft pick for the Saints that spent five years on the bench before taking over at right tackle for the retiring Jon Stinchcomb. He would go on to start the next five seasons as the team’s right tackle. Strief spent all 12 years of his playing career in New Orleans before eventually retiring a Saint in 2019. Since then, Strief has been working towards a role in coaching, serving as the Saints assistant offensive line coach for the past two seasons. A role as the Broncos offensive line coach would be his first opportunity as the lead coach at that position.

Payton’s poaching of his former coaching staff may not stop there. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported today that Saints offensive assistant Declan Doyle is being considered for the Broncos tight ends coaching position. This would also be a first-time position coach hire. Doyle has spent four years in his current role with New Orleans. His only prior experience was as an offensive student assistant at the University of Iowa.

In the opposite direction, the Broncos’ inside linebackers coach from last season, Peter Hansen, is reportedly not going to be a part of the new staff, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. In his only year at the job, Hansen coached linebackers Alex Singleton and Josey Jewell to career highs in tackles and tackles for loss. Singleton’s 163 total tackles ranked fifth in the NFL this season. A likely outcome would see Hansen joining his former defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero in Carolina.

Here are a few more coaching notes from around the league:

  • The Lions added a strong piece to their coaching staff today, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, reportedly hiring Scottie Montgomery in the role of assistant head coach/running backs coach. Montgomery had spent the last two years as the running backs coach in Indianapolis coaching up young super star Jonathan Taylor. Despite a third-year slump devastated by injuries, Taylor’s sophomore season benefitted greatly from the addition of Montgomery to the staff as he would lead the NFL with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns in 2021. The respected veteran position coach was a popular candidate for many other jobs around the league. The hire is a big one for Detroit.
  • The Saints are on the lookout for a new defensive backs coach after dismissing co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach Kris Richard earlier this week. Anderson from CBS Sports reported that Cardinals defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson is being considered for a role that may be defined as secondary coach/passing game coordinator.
  • Former Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson was back in Texas this weekend as the Vikings assistant quarterbacks coach interviewed for a senior offensive assistant staff position with the Texans, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. The Houston-native worked closely with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins this season. He’s quickly becoming a hot name in coaching circles, earning an interview this offseason for the Chargers offensive coordinator position that went to Kellen Moore.

Jim Irsay Still Pushing For Jeff Saturday Hire; Eric Bieniemy, Raheem Morris In Mix

The Colts lost seven of their final eight games, finishing 4-12-1. The team had not lost seven games to close out a campaign since its inaugural season in 1953. But Jim Irsay still looks to be pushing to keep Jeff Saturday, the interim head coach he stunned the NFL by hiring in November.

Saturday is going through his second interview Wednesday, according to’s Adam Schefter, who adds as many as seven candidates will advance to the second round of interviews (Twitter link). That list includes Ejiro Evero, and’s Dan Graziano tweets Rams DC Raheem Morris will receive an in-person meeting. The Colts held virtual interviews with 13 candidates — the most of any HC-seeking team this year — but Irsay was not involved in those sessions. He will be there for the second interviews.

Irsay said in November he hoped Saturday would stay on as a full-time HC, and although no team has made an interim coach a full-time hire since the Jaguars removed Doug Marrone‘s interim tag in 2017, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson notes Irsay is still pushing for Saturday. More pushback has emerged, however. Just as Irsay confidants attempted to dissuade him from hiring Saturday two months ago, Anderson adds (via Twitter) those close to the owner are again attempting to convince him Saturday is the wrong choice.

Indianapolis should also be expected to meet with Eric Bieniemy and special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone for a second time. Each remains in the mix, Graziano adds, though no second interviews with either have been scheduled. Bieniemy has generated extensive OC interest around the league, being connected to open jobs and likely on the radar for some that will soon be available, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes the longtime Chiefs OC is focused on potential HC gigs. Only the Colts, however, have interviewed him for their job.

Some around the league believe this will come down to Bieniemy or Saturday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds. Considering the backlash both the Saturday hire and Bieniemy’s extended time on the HC carousel have each generated, the Colts choosing Saturday in that instance would create more controversy.

Andy Reid has been the Chiefs’ primary play-caller since 2013, and while Bieniemy has been labeled as a poor interviewer at points during his long run as Reid’s right-hand man, the fifth-year OC has been in place in this role throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ QB1 stay. Considering Mahomes is about to win a second MVP award and will do so after the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill, that should reflect well on Bieniemy. Judging by the Arizona, Carolina, Denver and Houston searches, however, teams are not closely connecting the Reid lieutenant to such success. Bieniemy and Colts GM Chris Ballard worked together during the latter’s time in the Chiefs’ front office, though Fowler adds the Saturday-Irsay relationship continues to loom over this process.

Ballard ran the first set of Colts HC interviews,’s Albert Breer notes, adding that Carlie Irsay-Gordon (Jim’s daughter) has played a key role throughout this process as well. Ballard attempted to talk Irsay out of the Saturday hire in November and admitted as much this month. It should be expected the seventh-year GM will keep pushing for a different hire, but Irsay obviously will make the final call. This process should drag into next week, Ian Rapoport of adds (video link).

Saturday promised extensive changes if he were to land the full-time job. He offered ex-Frank Reich staffers Scott Milanovich and Scottie Montgomery OC duties, but each turned down the job. That led to assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier receiving the opportunity. The Colts started three QBs during Saturday’s stay (Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Sam Ehlinger) but only won one game under interim coach. The team’s NFL-record collapse in Minnesota and other shaky performances did not exactly give Saturday momentum coming out of the season. If Irsay bucks staffers’ advice and goes in this direction again, it would make for one of the most interesting decisions in coaching history.

Colts Execs Attempted To Dissuade Jim Irsay From Jeff Saturday Hire

Of the 43 interim head coaches hired this century, the Colts’ Jeff Saturday move generated by far the most attention. Saturday’s inexperience headlined last week’s NFL news cycle, and high-ranking Colts staffers aimed to convince Jim Irsay to go in a different direction.

Both GM Chris Ballard and team president Pete Ward expressed reservations about Irsay’s plan to hire Saturday, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of Others joined Ballard, who is in his sixth year as GM, and Ward, who has been with the Colts since before their 1984 Indianapolis move, in advising against the decision. But Irsay steadfastly pulled the trigger on Saturday, who is now 1-0 as Colts HC.

Irsay called Saturday during the Colts’ Week 9 loss to the Patriots, discussing the team’s protections. That discussion led to an offer to become Indianapolis’ interim HC. Had Saturday not accepted the job, Irsay would not have fired Frank Reich, Zak Keefer of The Athletic notes (subscription required). That points to Irsay’s conviction on the inexperienced coach while also revealing an obvious lack of desire to promote one of Reich’s assistants to the post.

[RELATED: Irsay Reaffirms Commitment To Ballard For 2023]

Some of Reich’s assistants have expressed displeasure with Irsay’s call, and it is safe to say the Colts’ staff will look considerably different next season. Following last week’s report of quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich turning down the opportunity to call plays, Rapoport and Pelissero confirm as much and note the Colts’ play-calling offer did not include any adjustments to his current contract. Milanovich, a former Grey Cup-winning head coach, has been Indy’s QBs coach since 2021, when the team promoted Marcus Brady to replace Nick Sirianni. The Colts fired Brady earlier this season.

Milanovich and running backs coach Scottie Montgomery — each of whom having play-calling experience, though most of it coming outside the NFL — will play a big role in game-planning, Saturday said. But Parks Frazier has made the unusual leap from assistant QBs coach to play-caller.

Saturday also had the freedom to bench Sam Ehlinger and reinstall Matt Ryan as the starter, a choice Irsay does not appear to have made available for Reich. The five-year Colts HC did not back the Irsay-driven pivot to Ehlinger, and Keefer adds the players were not behind the Ryan benching as well. Despite Ryan’s nine interceptions and 11 fumbles through seven games, Keefer notes the Colts’ roster viewed the veteran as the player who gave the team its best chance to win. Recovered from his shoulder injury, Ryan received first-team reps during Colts practice last week, Keefer tweets.

The Colts did enjoy the opportunity of facing a Raiders defense that has slipped from below average — under current Colts DC Gus Bradley — in 2021 to one of the league’s worst units. Las Vegas ranks 28th in both points allowed and total defense. The Colts still entered Week 10 as underdogs, and their Saturday-Frazier-Ryan direction nevertheless led to a victory. Moving to 4-5-1, the Colts remain a fringe AFC contender — record-wise, at least — and outings like Sunday’s will provide ammunition for Irsay’s hope of Saturday sticking around beyond 2022.

No interim HC has been retained since Doug Marrone kept the Jaguars’ reins, after the team fired Bradley, in 2016. Saturday moving into position to buck this trend would add to the scrutiny engulfing the Colts, but it is safe to say traditional norms regarding interim HCs do not apply here. This is undoubtedly one of the most interesting interim stretches in modern NFL history.

Coaching Notes: Panthers, Browns, Chargers

Scottie Montgomery got a second interview with the Panthers. The Colts RBs coach spent today speaking with the organization, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). Montgomery previously met with the organization virtually.

Montgomery may now be best known for being Jonathan Taylor‘s position coach — a position that recently involved HBO screen time. The second-year back rocketed to an All-Pro perch in 2021, winning the rushing title by nearly 600 yards. Montgomery also has prior NFL experience, having coached an acclaimed group of Steelers wide receivers — Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders among them — from 2010-12.

The Panthers interviewed seven coaches for the job previous held by Joe Brady. Montgomery is in a group that includes Jay Gruden, Ben McAdoo, Luke Getsy, Tim Kelly, Mike Groh, and Klint Kubiak.

More coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Browns defensive line coach Chris Kiffin is leaving the organization. Per Bruce Feldman of (and passed along by Myles Simmons of, Kiffin is heading to Ole Miss to be the team’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Chris Kiffin is the younger brother of Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. The younger Kiffin spent the past two seasons in Cleveland.
  • The Chargers recently fired special teams coordinator Derius Swinton II, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). After spending the 2020 season as the Cardinals assistant ST coach, Swinton got the head gig in Los Angeles in 2021. The team has already started looking for a replacement, as they’ve interviewed Giants special teams coach Thomas McGaughey (via Josh Alper of
  • McGaughey also got an interview for the Panther ST coach vacancy, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Carolina is also interviewing former Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and former Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon (via Schefter on Twitter). Last week, the Panthers fired three assistant coaches, including special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn.

Panthers To Interview Colts’ Scottie Montgomery For OC Job

The Panthers’ offensive coordinator search initially centered on former head coaches, with Bill O’Brien and Jay Gruden first popping up to succeed Joe Brady. This process has moved to lower-profile coaches.

Colts running backs coach Scottie Montgomery will interview for the Carolina OC role, Albert Breer of tweets. Montgomery will follow former Eagles OC Mike Groh and Vikings OC Klint Kubiak in doing so. The Panthers also reached out to Texans QBs coach Pep Hamilton, a former OC.

Matt Rhule said recently he would like an experienced coordinator, preferably one who has done that job in the NFL. Montgomery is the only member of this group that has not yet risen to the OC level in the league, but the former Broncos wide receiver has extensive experience in college and in North Carolina. Montgomery, 43, served as East Carolina’s head coach from 2016-18 and also worked as Duke’s OC in the mid-2010s. Ahead of his 2021 move to Indianapolis, Montgomery spent two seasons as Maryland’s OC.

At the NFL level, Montgomery may now be best known for being Jonathan Taylor‘s position coach — a position that recently involved HBO screen time. The second-year back rocketed to an All-Pro perch in 2021, winning the rushing title by nearly 600 yards. That certainly stands to help those around him. Montgomery also has prior NFL experience, having coached an acclaimed group of Steelers wide receivers — Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders among them — from 2010-12.

Coaching Notes: Colts, Jets, Giants, Texans

Former East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery will return to the NFL as a running backs coach with the Colts. Montgomery, an NFL wideout in the early 2000s, was the Steelers’ wide receivers coach from 2010-12 — during which the receiver-developing franchise unearthed Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace — and East Carolina’s HC from 2016-18. Montgomery, 42, spent the past two years as Maryland’s offensive coordinator. The Colts also hired David Overstreet as assistant defensive backs coach.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • The Jets are bringing Leon Washington back into the fold. The former first-team All-Pro Jet return man will be back in New York as an assistant special teams coach under Robert Saleh. Washington, who operated as a Jets return man and running back from 2006-09, spent the past two seasons with the Lions.
  • A Packers assistant from 2004-18, James Campen will move to his fourth team in four seasons. The Texans are hiring Campen as their offensive line coach, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Campen spent the 2020 season with the Chargers and ’19 slate with the Browns, seeing both teams move in different directions after making HC changes. The Texans hired David Culley recently and are giving Campen a three-year deal.
  • The Giants intend to hire Rob Sale to be their next offensive line coach, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Sale spent the past three seasons as Louisiana’s offensive coordinator. He has a history with Joe Judge. The two coached at Alabama together from 2009-11.
  • Sale will replace Dave DeGuglielmo, who will head to Louisiana himself. After 17 seasons in the NFL, DeGuglielmo agreed to become the offensive line coach at Louisiana Tech, Cory Diaz of the Monroe (La.) News-Star notes. DeGuglielmo, who collected a Super Bowl ring with the 2014 Patriots, was an emergency replacement for the Dolphins in 2019 and Giants in 2020. The Giants opted not to bring him back on a full-time basis.
  • Urban Meyer is adding veteran NFL running backs coach Bernie Parmalee to his Jaguars staff, according to Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter). The former NFL running back has coached a few different areas in his relatively short coaching career, having helmed running backs, tight ends and special teams units. Parmalee spent the past three seasons in Atlanta and served as the Falcons’ ST coordinator in 2020.
  • The Vikings will add an assistant from the top college football program, hiring ex-Alabama cornerbacks coach Karl Allen to be their defensive backs coach, Pete Thamel of tweets. Coaching a number of NFL-bound prospects, as Alabama staffers generally do, Allen spent three seasons with the Crimson Tide.