Robert Kugler

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.

Patriots Audition Marcel Reece, Four Others

The Patriots brought in former Raiders fullback Marcel Reece for a workout today, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Oakland released Reece earlier this week.Marcel Reece (vertical)

[RELATED: Latest On Patriots’ QBs]

Reece, 31, had been with Oakland since since 2009. He violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs last December, and the ensuing multi-game ban cost him a trip to the Pro Bowl and, apparently, led the Raiders to finding his full-time replacement. Reece was scheduled to play out the 2016 season at a cap number of $3.53MM, but Oakland has opted against taking on that cap hit.

In 2015, Reece caught 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns and also added 36 rushing yards. A versatile back who can play a variety of roles, Reece averaged 34 receptions per season from 2010-15, and he’d likely assume the role of pass-catching back in New England if signed. With Dion Lewis sidelined through at least Week 6, James White has been absorbing most of the running back looks in the Patriots’ passing game.

As Reiss notes, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been extremely complementary of Reece in the past. “You put a big guy on him, he’s probably going to have a hard time matching up with Reece’s speed and quickness,” Belichick said in 2014. “Put a smaller guy on him, he might match up with his speed and quickness, but it would be hard to match up with his size. I’d say that’s a dilemma. Who do you have that has the same skill set as Reece?”

In addition to Reece, the Patriots also worked out guards Jake Bernstein and Chase Farris, center Robert Kugler, and tight end Greg Scruggs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Cut 9, Down To 75

The Bills released nine players on their way to the 75-man limit. Here’s the full rundown.

Released:

Reserve/PUP:

Waived/Injured:

Reserve/NFI:

  • WR Kolby Listenbee

Reserve/Injured:

  • LB Reggie Ragland

Bills Cut Jarius Wynn, Add 14 UDFAs

The Bills have fortified their rookie class, adding to their seven-man draft class by agreeing to terms with another 14 undrafted free agents, the team announced today. Here are the 14 undrafted rookies who have agreed to sign with Buffalo:

In addition to adding over a dozen rookies to their roster, the Bills also cut ties with some veteran players, per a press release. The most notable name in the trio of players released is edge defender Jarius Wynn, who perhaps became more expandable after Buffalo used its first-round pick on outside rusher Shaq Lawson. Wynn last played in 2014, recording 17 tackles and two sacks for the Bills.

The club also cut cornerback Merrill Noel and offensive lineman Ronald Patrick.