Renaldo Hill

West Notes: Broncos, Cardinals, 49ers

Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and the rest of the Broncos‘ pass rushers will have a new coach in 2019, as Denver has announced Brandon Staley as its new outside linebackers coach. Staley had worked in the same role with the Bears for the past two years, and he’ll follow ex-Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the Mile High City. After leading Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd in Chicago, Staley will now be tasked with taking over a Denver pass rush that ranked ninth in adjusted sack rate a season ago. The Packers also had interest in interviewing Staley, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, but the Bears evidently didn’t want him to remain in the NFC North, so they blocked the request.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Staley isn’t the only coach headed to Denver, as the Broncos have also hired Wade Harman as their new tight ends coach, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Harman was Atlanta’s offensive line coach in 2014, but switched to tight ends in 2015 and remained in that role through last season. He played a role in the development of Austin Hooper, who posted career-highs in receptions (71), yards (660), and touchdowns (four) last year. Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman is a pending free agent, but even if he doesn’t return, Harman will work with young options such as Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli, each of whom ended the 2018 campaign on injured reserve.
  • The Broncos are interviewing former guard Chris Kuper for their assistant offensive line coach job, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Kuper, who spent his entire playing career (2006-13) in Denver, coached in Miami for the past three seasons. He’d be working under one of the NFL’s best offensive line coaches in Mike Munchak, who was hired earlier this week. In 2018, the Broncos ranked as a top-11 club in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, according to Football Outsiders.
  • Former Broncos safety Renaldo Hill is back with the club as secondary coach, tweets Klis. Hill’s playing career actually ended after general manager John Elway cut him following the 2010 season, but he’s gone on to an impressive coaching career since, and Klis notes Hill is considered a “rising star” in the coaching ranks. After six years in the college ranks, Hill acted as the Dolphins’ assistant defensive backs coach in 2018.
  • The Denver-to-Arizona connection is still going strong: the Cardinals have hired ex-Broncos coaches Marcus Robertson (defensive backs) and Greg Williams (assistant DBs), per Rapoport and Klis (Twitter links). Robertson and Williams will continue to work under new Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who helmed the Broncos from 2017-18. In addition to Joseph, Robertson, and Williams, the Cards also brought former Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler aboard.
  • After hiring a new defensive line coach in Kris Kocurek, the 49ers will retain pass-rushing specialist Chris Kiffin, reports Matt Barrows of The Athletic. The son of Monte Kiffin and brother of Lane Kiffin, Chris Kiffin joined San Francisco in 2018 after previously serving in the college ranks.

Coaching Rumors: Judge, Lions, Fins, Eagles

Other teams besides the Colts were interested in adding Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports, but Judge and the Pats are finalizing a deal that will keep him in New England. The 36-year-old assistant will be the team’s special teams coordinator for a fourth season. The sides are ironing out minor details, but Reiss reports the deal to retain Judge is imminent, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported earlier this week. Judge was a possible defection candidate if McDaniels had followed through on taking the Colts’ HC job.

Here’s the latest from the coaching circuit as we head into the offseason’s first official weekend.

  • Staying with special teams, the Lions are not going to overhaul their ST staff as they did their defensive coaching contingent. ST coordinator Joe Marciano and assistant ST coach Devin Fitzimmons will return next season, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports. An NFL special teams coach since 1986, Marciano has been with the Lions since 2015.
  • Detroit continued to configure its defensive staff on Thursday, hiring Bo Davis to instruct its defensive linemen, the team announced. Davis will join the Lions after spending most of the past two decades on Nick Saban‘s staffs at LSU, the Dolphins and Alabama. However, Davis’ Crimson Tide tenure — one that included coaching current Lions lineman A’Shawn Robinson, ended in 2016 when he resigned from Alabama due to NCAA violations. Davis, however, resurfaced at Texas-San Antonio last season and coached first-round defensive end hopeful Marcus Davenport.
  • The Eagles have lost their quarterbacks coach, but they are prepared to fill the void internally. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer expects the team to move receivers coach Mike Groh to quarterbacks coach and assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to WRs coach (Twitter link).
  • Former Dolphins safety Renaldo Hill will now work with the team as a coach, being hired as Miami’s assistant defensive backs coach. The team notes this is the 10th former Dolphins player to serve as a Fins coach. Hill, who played 10 NFL seasons and spent three seasons (2006-08) in Miami, has coached at Wyoming and the University of Pittsburgh since 2012. This will be his first NFL coaching gig.
  • Prior to hiring Tom Bradley to be their new defensive backs coach, the Steelers interviewed South Florida DBs coach Blue Adams, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. Mike Tomlin coached Adams while he was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Despite the Texans blocking the Broncos from interviewing Wes Welker, the Broncos will see their six-year strength and conditioning coach depart for Houston. Luke Richesson will become the Texans’ strength coach, 9News’ Mike Klis reports, with the team set to give him a bigger role than he had in Denver.

Zach Links contributed to this report.