Tony Sparano Jr.

Coaching Notes: Chiefs, Colts, Clay, Zampese

As Matt Nagy returns to the offensive coordinator post he held from 2016-17, the Chiefs are promoting his lieutenant. Former assistant quarterbacks coach David Girardi will replace Nagy as QBs coach, Andy Reid confirmed this week. Girardi has been the Chiefs’ assistant QBs coach for the past two years, working under Nagy and Mike Kafka. He previously served as a quality control assistant in Kansas City, moving to the NFL from Division I-FCS Lafayette College. Girardi will now move closer to a potential OC position, seeing as four Reid assistants have either become HCs or OCs elsewhere during his time in Missouri.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • Ken Zampese interviewed for the Commanders‘ OC job, and while the recent Washington QBs coach will be staying with the team, he will not remain in that position under Bieniemy . Zampese, a former Bengals OC, is moving to the role of senior offensive advisor/game management. He has been with the team throughout Ron Rivera‘s tenure. Bieniemy is bringing in Tavita Pritchard to become the Commanders’ next QBs coach. This previously rumored hire will take Pritchard from his longtime place on David Shaw‘s Stanford staff. Formerly an assistant under Shaw and Jim Harbaugh, Pritchard spent the past five seasons as the Pac-12 program’s OC.
  • Previously the QBs coach on Kliff Kingsbury‘s Cardinals staff, one that did not employ an OC, Cam Turner is joining the Colts. Shane Steichen is hiring Turner to be Indianapolis’ QBs coach, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Turner, 35, was previously with the Panthers prior to the four-year Arizona stay; he will replace Scott Milanovich in Indy. The Colts are also hiring Tony Sparano Jr. as their offensive line coach, Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record notes (on Twitter). The second-generation NFL coach spent last season as the Giants‘ assistant O-line coach; he had held that role with the Jaguars and Panthers previously. Sparano, 36, joins ex-Giants running backs coach DeAndre Smith as Steichen Colts hires.
  • Although the Eagles became the first team since the Bengals nine years ago to see both their OC and DC become head coaches in the same offseason, the NFC champs are retaining their third coordinator. ST boss Michael Clay will also receive a new contract. The Eagles are adding a year to Clay’s deal and giving him a raise, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. Clay, 31, has been with the team since 2021.
  • Sean Payton is hiring former Northwestern running backs coach Lou Ayeni to work in the same role for the Broncos, Jeremy Fowler of tweets. Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald has been on the NFL radar for a bit, and the Wildcats will lose their second assistant to the NFL this offseason. Ryan Smith is now the Cardinals’ DBs coach. Ayeni has worked mostly at the college level, being the run-game coordinator at Iowa State during David Montgomery‘s tenure.
  • Ravens outside linebackers coach Rob Leonard will join the Raiders‘ staff, per John Harbaugh. Leonard is joining Josh McDaniels‘ assistant cadre as linebackers coach. Leonard joined the Ravens in 2022, having spent the previous three seasons on Brian Flores‘ Dolphins staff. He spent the previous six years with the Giants. The Ravens are still searching for wide receivers and safeties coaches, The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec adds. Harbaugh said internal hires are possible there (Twitter link).
  • The Commanders are also reshuffling a bit on their defensive staff. Brent Vieselmeyer will rise to the role of secondary coach, with Christian Garcia set to be the team’s assistant DBs coach. Vieselmeyer will replace Chris Harris, who received DC interest this offseason before moving to Tennessee’s staff as the team’s cornerbacks coach.

NFC Coaching Notes: Giants, Seahawks, Bears

Brian Daboll is naturally making some changes to the Giants coaching staff. Per Aaron Wilson on Twitter (detailed in four tweets), the Giants have hired Drew Wilkins as linebackers coach, Christian Jones as an offensive assistant, Laura Young as director of coaching operations, Bobby Johnson as offensive line coach, Shea Tierney as quarterbacks coach, DeAndre Smith as running backs coach, Mike Groh as wide receivers coach, Andy Bischoff as tight ends coach, Tony Sparano Jr. as assistant offensive line coach, and Andre Patterson as defensive line coach.

Daboll also retained a handful of holdovers from Joe Judge’s staff. That grouping includes Jerome Henderson (defensive backs coach), Mike Treier (assistant defensive backs coach), Anthony Blevins (special teams assistant), and Nick Williams (special teams quality control coach).

Finally, the Giants shifted Ryan Hollern to college scouting coordinator and named Mark Loecher as assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Some more coaching notes out of the NFC…

  • The Seahawks will promote Andy Dickerson to their offensive line coach, per ESPN’s Brady Henderson (via Twitter). Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron recruited Dickerson from the Rams last offseason, with Dickerson earning the role of run-game coordinator. Now, he’ll earn the (apparent) promotion to OL coach. The Seahawks fired former offensive line coach Mike Solari last week, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). This was the 67-year-old’s second stint with the organization, and he had served as the team’s OL coach since 2018.
  • The Bears announced last week that they hired Carlos Polk as their assistant special teams coach. The 44-year-old coach has served in the same role with a handful of teams, including the Chargers, Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Jaguars. He spent the 2021 campaign in Jacksonville.
  • The Cardinals have hired Matt Burke as their defensive line coach, reports Pelissero (on Twitter). The 45-year-old was the Dolphins defensive coordinator between 2017 and 2018, and he most recently worked for the Jets as a “game management coach.” Burke has also had coaching stints with the Eagles, Bengals, Lions, and Titans.
  • The Vikings have hired Brian Angelichio as their pass game coordinator/tight ends coach, reports ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter). Angelichio spent the past two years as the Panthers tight ends coach, so he’s getting a slight promotion in Minnesota. Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Vikings are hiring Jerrod Johnson as an offensive assistant. Johnson is expected to work with the QBs. The coach was a two-time participant in the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, and he spent last season as the Colts quality control coach.
  • Matt Rhule has made some changes to his staff. The Panthers announced that they’ve hired Joe Dailey as wide receivers coach. Dailey has spent the past two seasons as Boston College’s offensive coordinator. Meanwhile, Robert Kugler was hired as assistant offensive line coach while defensive analyst Kevin Gilbride Jr. was promoted to TE coach (replacing Angelichio).

Position Coaching Notes: Giants, Broncos, Jaguars

As the days go by, more and more position coaches are finalizing jobs with new teams. One of the busiest clubs remains the Giants. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team is hiring former Vikings assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson as its defensive line coach (Twitter link). The 61-year-old has a wealth of coaching experience at the NCAA and NFL ranks. While he has a defensive background, Patterson also served as a head coach at two stops along the way to the pro level.

His first NFL coaching gig came in 1997 with the Patriots. After stints with the Vikings, Cowboys, Browns and Broncos, he returned to the college ranks. Following seven additional seasons, six of which were spread across three colleges, he came back to Minnesota in 2014. He remained there until now, serving as the team’s d-line coach, but also holding the co-DC title for the past two campaigns.

Here are some other updates to Brian Daboll‘s new staff, along with those of the Broncos and Jaguars:

  • According to Jonathan Alexander of The Observer, Tony Sparano Jr. is making a lateral move from the Panthers to the Giants as their new assistant offensive line coach (Twitter link). The 35-year old already has a decade of coaching experience in the NFL spent with five different teams.
  • One hire the Giants won’t be making is that of Adam Henry for the role of wide receivers coach. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets that the team will be heading “in another direction” after they interviewed Henry earlier. The 49-year old coached the position at LSU for three years, then at the NFL level with the 49ers, Giants, Browns and Cowboys. Many felt a reunion in East Rutherford was likely, but that won’t be the case.
  • As for the Broncos, they will be adding to their defensive staff from the college ranks. ESPN’s Pete Thamel tweets that Ola Adams is coming aboard as an assistant secondary coach. Adams spent spent seven seasons at Villanova, and his success there earned him a promotion to co-defensive coordinator at Temple recently. Now, he will be on the move again, but this time up to the NFL level.
  • Finally, the Jaguars are hiring Brentson Buckner as their d-line coach (Twitter link via Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson). It had been reported earlier this week that the 50-year-old was a candidate for the position, so the move is not a surprising one. Buckner has coached the position with three NFL teams previously, dating back to 2013.


Coaching Notes: Steelers, Cowboys, Giants

The Steelers made a key staff change last week, promoting Matt Canada to replace offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. But the team will not part ways with DC Keith Butler. The longtime Pittsburgh coordinator agreed to terms on a one-year extension Wednesday, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). Butler has overseen Pittsburgh’s defense since the franchise split with Dick LeBeau in 2015, and while Butler’s units as a whole have not measured up to his predecessor’s Super Bowl-winning crews, the Steelers have led the NFL in sacks in each of the past four seasons and have ranked in the top three in DVOA in each of the past two.

Here is the latest out on the Pittsburgh staff and other coaching groups around the league:

  • Although the Steelers are coming off another home playoff defeat, Mike Tomlin does not appear to have moved toward a hot seat. Steelers ownership is not believed to have any desire to move away from Tomlin, per The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette (subscription required). Tomlin had the Steelers at 11-0 this season and managed to have last year’s largely Ben Roethlisberger-less team at 8-8, leading to Coach of the Year consideration in both cases. However, the Steelers lost five of their final six games this year and have lost home playoff games three times since 2014. Tomlin is signed through the 2021 season.
  • The Giants became the second team in two years to call on Dave DeGuglielmo as a late replacement as an offensive line coach, but the arrangement looks to have been temporary. Like the Dolphins last year, the Giants will not look to retain DeGuglielmo for a second season. They are searching for a new O-line coach, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. DeGuglielmo came to New York on an interim basis to replace Marc Colombo, whom Joe Judge fired this season.
  • The Panthers will turn to a legacy name to help out their offensive line. Carolina intends to hire Tony Sparano Jr. as assistant O-line coach, according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The son of the late Tony Sparano, Sparano Jr. worked as the Jaguars’ assistant O-line coach for the past four seasons. Despite being 34, the second-generation coach has worked in the NFL since 2011.
  • Jim Harbaugh will poach one of his brother’s assistants. Ravens linebackers coach Mike MacDonald will become Michigan’s co-defensive coordinator, with’s Pete Thamel reporting former Cowboys defensive backs coach Maurice Linguist will move to Ann Arbor, Mich., to share in that responsibility (Twitter link). Macdonald, 33, was with the Ravens for seven seasons — the past three as linebackers coach. Linguist has spent much of his career in the college ranks but was on Nolan’s staff in Dallas this season.
  • Another of Quinn’s Cowboys staffers became known Wednesday. The Cowboys hired Aden Durde as defensive line coach. Durde will follow Quinn from Atlanta, where he was most recently the Falcons’ outside linebackers coach. Durde, who spent time with the Cowboys as part of the Minority Fellowship Program from 2014-15, will join Joe Whitt Jr. in following Quinn from Atlanta to Dallas.
  • Arthur Smith‘s first Falcons staff will not include offensive line coach Chris Morgan, according to’s Albert Breer (on Twitter). Morgan worked with the Falcons for six years, initially serving under OC Kyle Shanahan. Given that offensive scheme’s presence in a few NFL cities, Morgan profiles as an interesting coaching free agent.

Staff Notes: Bills, Saints, Jags, Broncos, Jets

The Bills’ hiring of offensive coordinator Rick Dennison on Thursday is “very good news” for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Ian Rapoport of said Friday on NFL Network (via Kevin Patra of While it previously appeared Taylor was on the outs in Buffalo, which faces a March 11 deadline to retain him for a guaranteed $30.75MM, it would “make no sense” for the team to change QBs after landing Dennison, per Rapoport. Dennison worked as Taylor’s position coach with the Ravens in 2014 and then served as the O-coordinator in Denver, which made a push to sign Taylor in free agency before he headed to the Bills in March 2015. With Dennison now in Buffalo, Rapoport expects the Bills to continue with Taylor, though he notes that they could first restructure his contract.

More coaching-related updates:

  • Ex-49ers head coach Jim Tomsula interviewed for the Saints’ open defensive line coach job earlier this week, multiple sources told Sporting News’ Alex Marvez. Tomsula was only at the helm in San Francisco for one year, a five-win 2015, but he was a successful D-line coach with the franchise from 2007-14.
  • Former Jaguars great Keenan McCardell will interview to become their wide receivers coach, according to Hays Carlyon of 1010XL. McCardell most recently coached the Redskins’ receivers from 2014-15, but he’s best known for his illustrious career as an NFL wideout from 1992-2007. Most of McCardell’s success came in Jacksonville, where he hauled in 499 passes and 30 touchdowns between 1996-2001. All told, McCardell combined for 883 catches and 63 scores with five teams.
  • The Broncos are set to name Geep Chryst their tight ends coach, reports Marvez (Twitter link). Chryst is familiar with Denver’s offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, as the two were together in Carolina from 2006-08. His highest-profile work came as San Francisco’s offensive coordinator in 2015 (under the aforementioned Tomsula).
  • The Jets have hired Robert Nunn as their defensive line coach, tweets Marvez. Nunn previously held the same position in Cleveland, which fired him Tuesday.
  • The Bills have tabbed Andrew Dees as their assistant offensive line coach, writes Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk. Dees also handled that role with the Bills in 2012 before serving on the Chargers’ staff from 2013-15. In his second stint in Buffalo, he’ll work under newly hired O-line coach Juan Castillo.
  • Dees is replacing Tony Sparano Jr., whom the Jaguars have hired as their assistant O-line coach, relays Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link).