Reggie Herring

Coaching Rumors: Pack, Vikes, Jets, Cards

Incumbent special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi was a strong candidate to take over as the Dolphins‘ head coach, but now that he appears to have lost out to Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores, Rizzi is being allowed to take interviews with other clubs, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). While Miami would prefer to retain him, Rizzi has already been contacted by by the Vikings and Packers, per Pelissero. Rizzi, who’s been with the Dolphins in 2010, would replace Ron Zook (fired) in Green Bay or Mike Priefer (hired by the Browns) in Minnesota.

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • The Jets have signed special teams coordinator Brant Boyer to an extension, a source tells Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Boyer had been signed only through 2019, and rival NFL teams had already begun to express interest in case Boyer wasn’t retained by new head coach Adam Gase. A longtime NFL linebacker, Boyer joined Gang Green in 2016, and last season coached a unit which ranked first in Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA. Return man Andre Roberts earned first-team All-Pro honors under Boyer’s direction, while kicker Jason Myers received a Pro Bowl nod.
  • Former Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler drew plenty of interest around the NFL after being released from his contract, but the Cardinals were able to lock him down. Arizona announced that’s it hired Kugler as OL coach, Brian Natkin as his assistant, David Raih as receivers coach, and retained Steve Heiden as tight ends coach. Kugler received an early look from the Buccaneers (and early reports even indicated he joined Tampa’s staff), while the Bills, Vikings, Browns, and Jets also checked in, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
  • The Buccaneers have hired Todd McNair as their new running backs coach, reports Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. McNair hadn’t coached since 2010, when USC opted not to renew his contract, perhaps due to his involvement in the Reggie Bush scandal. He nearly became the Cardinals’ RBs coach under Bruce Arians in 2013, and he’ll now have the chance to work under Arians in Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Bucs named ex-Cardinals linebackers coach Larry Foote to the same position, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).
  • George Warhop has joined the Jaguars‘ staff as the club’s new offensive line coach, while Tim Walton will coach Jacksonville’s defensive backs, tweets Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio. Warhop has coached NFL front fives since 1996, and spent the past five seasons in Jacksonville. Walton, meanwhile, served as the Rams’ defensive coordinator in 2013 before moving on to the Giants’ DBs gig.
  • The Broncos and new head coach Vic Fangio are expected to retain linebackers coach Reggie Herring and defensive line coach Bill Kollar, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). Additionally, Denver has been denying interview requests for running backs Curtis Modkins, an indication that he’ll also return in 2019.

AFC Coaching Notes: Bengals, Dolphins, Jets

The Bengals have already interviewed eight candidates (and attempted to meet with a ninth) for their head coaching position, but their search could expand in the coming days, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cincinnati has interest in assistants who were coaching during Wild Card weekend, but preferred not to disturb those coaches in advance of such critical games. While no new names have yet surfaced, potential candidates who coached this weekend Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Here’s more from the AFC coaching carousel:

  • As had been expected, Richard will interview with the Dolphins and Jets today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “It doesn’t surprise me at all that clubs have the interest that they have in him,” said Jones. “There are no secrets in the NFL when it comes to people that can help you win football games. And he’s a winner.” Assistants preparing for a Wild Card playoff matchup aren’t allowed to interview in the week preceding said game, so Richard had to wait until Dallas completed its victory over Seattle on Saturday night. Richard is also meeting with the Buccaneers on Sunday.
  • In a bit of record-keeping, the Dolphins announced that they completed their head coaching interview with Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen on Saturday, while the Browns did the same with Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Allen, 46, flopped as the Raiders’ head coach earlier this decade, but has transformed New Orleans’ defense from a laughingstock to a respectable unit over the past four seasons. Flores, meanwhile, interviewed for only one head coaching job in 2018 (Cardinals), but has lined up four sit-downs in the 2019 cycle (Broncos, Packers, and Dolphins in addition to Browns).
  • Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler and linebackers coach Reggie Herring are drawing interest from around the league, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. However, both assistants are still under contract with Denver, and the Broncos presumably won’t let either leave until their new head coach decides if he wants to retain them. Kugler, previously the head coach at UTEP, joined Denver in 2018 and guided a Broncos front five which ranked as a top-12 unit in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate. Herring came to Denver in 2015 after having coached with Houston, Dallas, and Chicago.

AFC West Notes: Chiefs, Jones, Broncos Staff

Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones suffered a torn MCL in last Saturday’s playoff defeat and will be sidelined for eight-to-ten weeks, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Now that Kansas City has been eliminated from the postseason, Jones won’t be forced to miss any game action, and his recovery timeline means he’ll be ready to go well ahead of organized team activities. Jones, the 37th overall selection in the 2016 draft, has been force during his two years with the Chiefs, and last season graded as the NFL’s No. 11 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus. He’s under contract through 2019.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Zach Azzanni has been named the Broncos‘ new wide receivers coach, reports Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter link). A longtime collegiate wideouts coach, Azzanni began his NFL career with the Titans in 2013 before leading the Bears’ pass-cathcers last season. Chicago’s wide receivers didn’t offer much production in 2017, but the club also boasted one of the league’s worst wide receiving corps, so it’s difficult to assign Azzanni much credit or blame. In Denver, he’ll work with a unit that includes veteran such as Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and younger players like 2017 rookie Carlos Henderson.
  • The Broncos have also hired a new defensive backs coach in Greg Williams (not to be confused with the Browns defensive coordinator), as Mike Klis of 9News writes. Williams, who has also coached with the Chargers, spent the past two seasons as the Colts’ defensive backs coach, where, as Klis notes, he helped turned former journeyman Rashean Mathis into something of a shutdown corner. Williams will work alongside Marcus Robertson, who will return as Denver’s primary secondary coach.
  • Fred Pagac won’t return to Denver next season, but the Broncos don’t intend to hire another outside linebackers coach to fill his job, per Klis (Twitter link). Instead, the Broncos intend to bring in a dedicated “pass rush” coach who will operate with Denver’s defensive lineman and linebackers. Incumbent LBs coach Reggie Herring will now lead both inside and outside ‘backers.

Latest On Broncos Coaching Staff

The Broncos coaching staff looks a whole lot different than it did 48 hours ago. On Wednesday, the organization announced that they had hired former Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as their new head coach. Last night saw two more changes. Former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips joined the Rams while the Broncos were finalizing a deal with new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Defensive backs coach Joe Woods is considered the favorite to be promoted to the defensive coordinator position, although he still has some competition for the gig. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos will also be interviewing Reggie Herring for the opening. Herring spent the past two seasons as the team’s linebackers coach, and he handled some defensive play-calling duties earlier this season. Herring has also served as the linebackers coach for the Texans, Cowboys, and Bears.

As we wrap our head around all of these coaching moves, let’s take a look at some additional changes in Denver…

  • While McCoy seems to be in the driver’s seat for the offensive coordinator gig, Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post notes (via Twitter) that the organization still plans on interviewing Bill Musgrave today. The long-time coach spent the past two seasons as the Raiders offensive coordinator.
  • The Broncos have parted ways with tight ends coach Brian Pariani, according to Troy Renck of ABC Denver7 (via Twitter). Meanwhile, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports that offensive line coach Clancy Barone also won’t be back. Finally, Klis reports (via Twitter) that Joseph notified special teams assistant Tony Coaxum and offensive line assistant Jim Cregg that they also wouldn’t be retained for next season.
  • Joseph acknowledged that Phillips is “one of [his] football dads,” but he also admitted that Woods was “ready to be a coordinator,” as ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold passes along (via Twitter). Wolfe tweets that the Broncos loved Phillips, but the organization saw higher potential in Woods.
  • Jason La Canfora tweets that general manager John Elway was in favor of changes to the Broncos coaching staff even if former head coach Gary Kubiak stuck around. Klis adds (via Twitter) that Joseph wanted “sweeping changes” when it came to his new staff.

West Notes: Joseph, Houston, Chiefs

A look at the AFC and NFC West..

  • The Broncos hope to have a resolution early this week as to whether they can interview Vance Joseph for their defensive coordinator position, writes Mike Klis of The Denver Post. Joseph just finished his first season as the defensive backs coach for the Bengals, who refuse to let him out of his contract one year early. If the Bengals won’t budge, the Broncos are expected to fill their defensive coordinator position this week with either former defensive coordinator and head coach Wade Phillips or former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith.
  • A league source told Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) that Justin Houston‘s agent Joel Segal and Chiefs GM John Dorsey were spotted meeting at the Senior Bowl. A recent report indicated that there have been “zero talks” between the Chiefs and the outside linebacker, but it appears that things are now in motion. If the two sides can’t hammer out a long-term deal, the NFL’s sack leader will likely be hit with the franchise tag by KC.
  • The Broncos agreed to terms with Reggie Herring to be their new linebackers coach and named Clancy Barone as their new offensive line coach, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is on the verge of becoming the next head coach of the Falcons but Seattle players say that hasn’t distracted him during Super Bowl week, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “I think he’s done a great job of focusing on the task at hand which is to win the Super Bowl,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said on Monday. “I know that he’s got bigger endeavors on down the line, but he’s approached it like we need to win this game.”

Coach Notes: Joseph, Broncos, Falcons, Bears

It’s been a busy day so far for coaching movement around the NFL, as a pair of 2014 head coaches – Doug Marrone and Dennis Allen – found new assistant roles. Two NFC teams also reached agreements with new defensive coordinators, with the Bears landing Vic Fangio and Washington hiring Joe Barry.

There are still several notable openings around the league, and a handful of coaching-related updates to pass along this afternoon, so let’s dive right in…

  • Buzz around the league still suggests that Bengals secondary coach Vance Joseph is a favorite for the Broncos‘ defensive coordinator vacancy, tweets Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. However, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports that the Bengals would still need to grant Joseph permission to leave his position in Cincinnati, which the team has yet to do.
  • While there’s some work to be done on the defensive side of the ball, Gary Kubiak and the Broncos have finalized their offensive staff, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, who passes along the details in his latest piece.
  • Multiple sources tell Marvez that presumed Falcons head coach Dan Quinn will retain Atlanta’s defensive line coach Bryan Cox and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. It’s not clear if Cox will hold the same title under Quinn, but the plan is for him to work with the Falcons’ front seven, writes Marvez.
  • In addition to reaching an agreement with Fangio today, the Bears also parted ways with several assistants, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. Jahns tweets that linebackers coach Reggie Herring, tight ends coach Andy Bischoff, and special teams assistant Dwayne Stukes won’t return to the club.
  • Appearing on The John Murphy Show (audio link via BuffaloBills.com), Bills co-owner Kim Pegula admitted that the team didn’t have Rex Ryan on its short list heading into the head coaching interview process, but loved the impression he made in his interview (hat tip to Pro Football Talk). “Rex almost was a candidate we put in there because obviously his name was all around as a candidate that was open and we really didn’t give much thought to him,” Pegula said. “We had obviously interviewed a lot of people before him. And he came in and I think we were just very pleasantly surprised at how very down to earth he really was in person and his love of the game and some of the things that he said on what he really wanted to do with his life and where he wanted to help us as being part of the team.”