Tyrone Wheatley

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/16/22

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

  • Waived: CB Junior Faulk

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: LS Ross Reiter
  • Waived: DB Devin Hafford, QB/WR D’Eriq King

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

  • Claimed (from Broncos): T Drew Himmelman
  • Signed: CB Nijuel Hill, LB Bryce Notree
  • Waived: G Zack Bailey, LB Jordan Kunaszyk

AFC Coaching Notes: Bengals, Broncos, Texans, Jaguars

While Super Bowl LVI didn’t go the way the Bengals wanted, their 2021 postseason run demonstrated that they are set to be a force in the AFC for years to come. One of the results of their success is not only an expected contract extension for head coach Zac Taylor, but a number of assistants on his staff as well.

As Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network writes, the list of coaches receiving new deals includes at least five names. On the offensive side of the ball, wide receivers coach Troy Walters is listed; he jumped into coaching almost immediately after an eight-year playing career, and has worked with the Bengals’ wideouts since joining the team in 2020. The other offensive assistant is tight ends coach James Casey, who has coached that position (after playing it himself in the NFL) since 2017. He has been in Cincinnati for the past three seasons.

Defensively, new deals are forthcoming for linebackers coach Al Golden and defensive line coach Marion Hobby. The former has been coaching since 1993, between the college and NFL ranks, including the last two years with the Bengals. The latter is equally experienced, and coached the position in Cincinnati this year, after four seasons doing the same in Jacksonville and Miami. Wilson adds that strength and conditioning coach Joey Boese is the final name on the list.

Here are some other coaching notes from around the AFC:

  • Nathaniel Hackett‘s new staff continues to take shape in Denver. Wilson tweets that Tyrone Wheatley is the new running backs coach. He has previously coached the position at four colleges, including Michigan, as well as the Bills and Jaguars. He was most recently the head coach at Morgan State.
  • The other offensive addition in Denver is Jake Moreland, who is taking over as tight ends coach, according to 9News’ Mike Klis (Twitter link). The 45-year-old’s first NFL coaching gig came with the Jets this past season, serving as an assistant offensive line coach. Klis notes that his background is the same as fellow newcomer Ben Steele.
  • Defensively, the Broncos are adding Bert Watts to their staff. He was most recently the associate head coach at Auburn, but he also held the titles of special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach. The latter will be his purview in Denver, where he was an assistant in 2012 (Twitter link via ESPN’s Dan Graziano).
  • The Texans have made an interesting hire on their offensive staff. Wilson tweets that Ted White, who was a quarterback during the days of NFL Europe, and also in the CFL, has been hired as an offensive assistant. His coaching career includes stints at five college programs, and most recently in the XFL, with a background in working with QBs.
  • Graziano tweets that Jacques Cesaire is coming to Houston as their defensive line coach. The former Charger defensive end began coaching in San Diego in 2015, also spending two years with the Bills as an assistant at that same position.
  • Finally, Deshea Townsend is being hired by the Jaguars, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). This comes as a surprise, since he was expected to join the Vikings’ staff, but changed course due to a perceived sense he’ll get a “bigger role within the defense” in Jacksonville (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of The St. Paul Pioneer Press). He has previously worked with cornerbacks with five different teams, including four in the NFL, Chicago being the most recent.

Bears Finalize Roster

The Bears reduced their roster to 53 players today, making the following moves:

Released

Released from IR

Waived

Waived/Injured

AFC Coaching Rumors: Jets, Broncos, Jaguars, Dolphins, Browns

Two coaches fired after the 2017 season look to have secured additional interviews about possible 2019 top jobs. Jim Caldwell will interview with the Jets, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. Chuck Pagano is now expected to interview with the Broncos, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Caldwell has already met with the Packers and been connected to the Browns’ wide-ranging search as well.

Here’s the latest from the AFC’s side of the coaching carousel.

  • Another year, another issue with the Jets‘ OC. After John Morton‘s stay in New York featured conflict, apparently Jeremy Bates‘ did as well. A growing frustration sprouted about Bates’ play-calling, something Jets GM Mike Maccagnan became aware of, Vacchiano reports. Bates is now in limbo after Todd Bowles‘ firing, and one agent suggested the Jets would have had to fire their OC if they wanted to land impact free agents on offense. Jermaine Kearse was also not happy with Bates’ work, per Vacchiano. The Jets may have more than one major hire to make in the coming weeks. Bates spent 2017 as New York’s QBs coach before taking over for Morton.
  • The expansive Browns search thus far does not include Josh McDaniels, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com tweets. A Cleveland-area native, McDaniels was part of the Browns’ turbulent 2014 coaching search that ended with Mike Pettine. The Bengals have requested a meeting with McDaniels, but he has not yet accepted. McDaniels can interview this week because of the Patriots’ bye week.
  • The Broncos are monitoring Mike McCarthy, but no interview is as of yet scheduled, Klis tweets. McCarthy has been connected to just about every opening thus far. The 13-year Packers coach may sit this cycle out, unless he sees a perfect fit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link).
  • Rex Ryan contacting possible assistant coaches about the Dolphins‘ vacancy appears to have been premature. He is not in the running to land the Miami job, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). This would have been Ryan’s third AFC East job. The former Jets and Bills coach has not been mentioned on Black Monday as a candidate for any of the eight openings.
  • The latest Leonard Fournette incident appears to have cost a coach his job. The Jaguars fired running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley on Monday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Jacksonville is retaining Doug Marrone but is looking for a new offensive coordinator, so there will now be another position available. Wheatley just finished his second season as the Jags’ RBs coach.
  • In addition to Wheatley, the Jags are canning three other assistants — defensive backs coach Perry Fewell, offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and defensive line coach Marion Hobby, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio reports (on Twitter). Both Fewell and Flaherty spent extensive time with Tom Coughlin on Giants coaching staffs. This was Hobby’s first NFL job.

Coaching Rumors: Jets, Bills, Jaguars, Titans

Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville opted to stay in Denver rather than pursue the Jets‘ offensive coordinator vacancy, and New York’s hope to conduct a wide-ranging search for a new play-caller may have played a factor in Studesville declining to remain in contention, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, who adds that Studesville didn’t want to “lose a bird in the hand.” The Jets have “at least” three other candidates on their radar at the moment, per Cimini, and one name of interest could be Chiefs co-offensive coordinator Matt Nagy (though it’s not clear if the ESPN scribe is reporting or speculating). Kansas City would be able to block any interview request from New York, which could present a problem as Gang Green continues its hunt. The Jets also expressed interest in new Raiders OC Todd Downing before he was promoted from QBs coach, per Cimini.

Here’s more on the coaching front from around the NFL:

  • The Bills announced that they’ve hired Mike Waufle to serve as the club’s new defensive line coach. Under Waufle’s direction, the 2016 Rams defensive line ranked first against the run, according to Football Outsiders‘ adjusted line yards metric. Additionally, the Bills have released former DC Dennis Thurman and OL coach Aaron Kromer — both of whom were hired by ex-head coach Rex Ryan — from their respective contracts, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
  • Former Michigan running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley is joining the Jaguars staff, likely in the same capacity, tweets Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio. Jacksonville has already announced that several members of their offensive coaching staff — including play-caller Nathaniel Hackett — will remain in place under new head coach Doug Marrone, but the club has been silent of the fate of current RBs coach Kelly Skipper. Wheatley, who was under consideration for Western Michigan’s head coaching job, last coached in the NFL from 2013-14 with the Bills.
  • The Titans are not expected to hire any of the wide receivers coaches who have recently been fired around the league, according to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. Tennessee, seeking to replace Bob Bratkowski, has already offered the WR job to Denver’s Tyke Tolbert, who declined the offer in order to remain with the Broncos.

Coaching Notes: Raiders, Giants, Browns

Let’s check out some notable coaching rumors as we start off the weekend…

  • Raiders owner Mark Davis “loves” Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. However, it’s uncertain whether the organization is willing to wait for Del Rio to finish up his playoff run with Denver.
  • According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the Giants have requested permission to interview Bills defensive line coach Pepper Johnson for their defensive coordinator opening. Johnson has coached since 2000, but he has yet to hold a coordinator position.
  • The Browns have requested permission to interview a trio of NFL coaches for their offensive coordinator opening (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter): 49ers offensive coordinator Greg RomanRaiders offensive assistant Al Saunders and current Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. The organization is also set to interview former Bears head coach Marc Trestman,
  • Rapoport tweets that Roman’s interview with the Browns is on Monday, so a hiring shouldn’t be expected this weekend.
  • Bills running back coach Tyrone Wheatley will be joining Jim Harbaugh‘s staff at Michigan, tweets John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. Wheatley was previously a coach at Syracuse, Ohio Northern and Eastern Michigan.