Tem Lukabu

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

The offensive and defensive coordinator carousels are in winding down. Here is how the OC and DC searches look:

Updated 2-14-24 (5:50pm 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)

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

Patriots To Interview Panthers’ Tem Lukabu For DC Job

Tem Lukabu joins Ejiro Evero in receiving outside attention for a promotion in the wake of a dismal Panthers season. The one-year Carolina assistant is on the radar for a defensive coordinator job.

As Jerod Mayo goes to work assembling his first coaching staff as Patriots HC, Lukabu is on his radar. The Patriots are preparing to interview the Panthers’ outside linebackers coach for their DC gig, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

Lukabu, 42, has been an NFL coach for four seasons while also accumulating more than 10 years of experience at the college level. While Lukabu has logged time on the 49ers and Bengals’ staffs as well, he has not spent consecutive years with one NFL team since serving as a San Francisco quality control coach from 2016-17. Prior to this season, Lukabu spent three years as Boston College’s DC. This is believed to be Lukabu’s first request to interview for an NFL DC post.

Carolina’s defense did not come under fire like the team’s offense, the catalyst for the team’s descent to the NFL’s basement. But it did not exactly stand out, either. The Panthers ranked 29th in points allowed, and while they were fourth in total defense — a number likely spurring the Evero interest and this Lukabu meeting — DVOA slotted Carolina’s defense 25th. Top Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns also failed to match his numbers from last season, finishing with eight sacks and 18 QB hits (down from 12.5 and 22 in 2022).

The Falcons requested an Evero HC interview, joining the Panthers in that regard, while Carolina blocked Jacksonville from meeting with its one-year DC. The Panthers cannot block Lukabu from this meeting, as it is for a promotion.

The Patriots have not used a traditional defensive coordinator title since Matt Patricia left for the Lions’ HC job following the 2017 season. Brian Flores and Mayo, however, have parlayed the role of Bill Belichick‘s right-hand man on defense into HC gigs. Mayo could become the Pats’ play-caller on that side of the ball, but he appears to be planning to employ a traditional DC in his first year.

Lukabu worked as the Bengals’ linebackers coach in Zac Taylor‘s first year, 2019, and has coached linebackers at Rutgers and Mississippi State, along with defensive linemen at Florida International. Mayo would satisfy the Rooney Rule coordinator guidelines by interviewing Lukabu, who is Black, but it should probably be expected the new New England HC meets with others for the post as well.

Panthers Add DeAngelo Hall, Todd Wash, Others To Staff

Many have praised the recent makeover of the Panthers’ coaching staff including the main additions of head coach Frank Reich, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, and offensive coordinator Thomas Brown. Having those three major positions filled, Carolina has been able to explore filling other, less major position coaching roles.

Firstly, following the suggestions of general manager Scott Fitterer and owner David Tepper, Reich made the decision to retain offensive line coach James Campen, assistant offensive line coach Robert Kugler, and special teams coach Chris Tabor from last year’s staff, according to Panthers staff writer Darin Gantt. The Panthers made massive strides in offensive line play last season thanks not only to the additions of rookie tackle Ikem Ekwonu, guard Austin Corbett, and center Bradley Bozeman but to the influence of Campen and Kugler, as well. Similarly, Carolina’s special teams unit excelled during Tabor’s first year in the position.

The team also made a key addition to the offensive staff, bringing in former Cardinals associate head coach and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson to fill their new wide receivers coach role, according to Gantt. Jefferson adds to the growing group of Panthers coaches with past experience playing in the NFL, having spent 13 seasons as a wide receiver in the league. After bouncing around five other franchises as an assistant coach, Jefferson has become well-respected in coaching circles. Along with other teams, the Jets reportedly had interest in bringing him back to their staff after his stint in New York from 2019-2020, according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers have brought in an exciting trio of position coaches. Gantt reports that the assistant coach leading Carolina’s defensive line next season will be former Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash. Wash was leading the Jacksonville defense back when they last advanced to the AFC championship game on the backs of a defense that earned the nickname “Sacksonville.” He’s a distinguished veteran who has been coaching in Detroit the past two seasons.

Joining Wash in rushing the quarterback will be new outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu, according to Gantt. Lukabu has previously coached linebackers at the NFL-level in Cincinnati but has spent the past three years as the defensive coordinator at Boston College.

If Lukabu needs any tips on coaching his position, he will have the benefit of assistance from the team’s new safeties coach, Bert Watts, who did an admirable job coaching an injured outside linebackers group in Denver last year. Watts is a valuable addition from Ejiro’s staff last season as many in coaching circles view him as a future defensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Additionally, Gantt reports that the Panthers have agreed to terms with former NFL cornerback DeAngelo Hall to become their new assistant defensive backs coach and former Cardinals assistant special teams coach Devin Fitzsimmons to serve in the same position in Carolina. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds that, despite his insistence on remaining at ESPN, the Panthers joined the Colts in pursuing former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky for “prominent offensive coaching roles.”

Despite missing out on Orlovsky, the Panthers are building a strong, experienced staff. Not only are they rich in years of coaching experience, but most of their new staff holds experience playing in the NFL, as well.

Bengals Hire Ex-Bucs DC Mark Duffner

The Bengals have hired former Buccaneers interim defensive coordinator Mark Duffner as a senior defensive assistant, tweets Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. 

Duffner, 65, has worked in Cincinnati before, serving as the club’s linebackers coach from 1997-2000 before taking over as defensive coordinator from 2001-02. After coaching LBs in Green Bay, Jacksonville, and Miami in the following years, Duffner joined Tampa Bay as linebackers coach in 2016. He was promoted to interim DC in October after the Bucs fired incumbent Mike Smith. For what it’s worth, Tampa Bay’s defense finished dead last in Football Outsiders’ DVOA but 29th in weighted DVOA, meaning the unit improved as the season progressed.

Duffner will fill two voids on the Bengals’ defensive staff. The first is familiarity, as Duffner worked with both new head coach Zac Taylor and new defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo on the 2014-15 Dolphins staff. Second, Duffner is now the most experienced coach on Cincinnati’s staff, on either side of the ball. Aside from quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, Duffner is the only coach on the team that has been a full-time (non-interim) coordinator.

In addition to hiring Duffner, the Bengals also finalized their roster by hiring four other coaches: Nick Eason (defensive line), Tem Lukabu (linebackers), Brad Kragthorpe (offensive assistant), Jordan Kovacs (defensive quality control).