Ronald Curry

Staff Notes: Raiders, Bears, Bucs, Dolphins

New Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing had a year remaining on his deal, but the contract allowed the ex-quarterbacks coach to interview for other clubs’ offensive coordinator vacancies, according to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune (Twitter link). Without naming any particular team, Downing confirmed previous reports that multiple clubs expressed interest in hiring him as OC. Instead, Oakland parted ways with former play-caller Bill Musgrave and installed Downing as coordinator.

Here’s more from the 201 hiring cycle:

  • The Bears have interviewed Bob Bicknell, Ronald Curry, and George McDonald as part of their effort to find a new wide receivers coach, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Bicknell has coached wideouts at the NFL level since 2012, spending time with Buffalo, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Curry, a former NFL wide receiver himself, has worked on the Raiders’ and 49ers’ staffs, while McDonald has spent the past several years in the coaching ranks.
  • Ex-Saints defensive assistant James Willis is a candidate for the Bears‘ assistant defensive line coach position and will interview this week, tweets Adam Caplan of New Orleans relieved Willis of his duties last month after he’d spent two years with the club. Willis previously coached in the NCAA with Alabama, Auburn, and Texas Tech.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they’ve hired Danny Breyer as a defensive assistant. Breyer spent the 2016 campaign as an analytics staffer in Tampa Bay, worked for the Dolphins year prior, and coached in the college ranks before heading to the NFL.
  • The Dolphins have hired Josh Grizzard as an offensive quality control coach, tweets Caplan. Grizzard previously worked as an assistant quarterbacks and quality control coach at Duke, where he’d spent the past four years.

49ers To Fire OC Geep Chryst

New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly hasn’t yet been introduced via press conference, but he’s already making changes to his staff. San Francisco is expected to fire offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, as well as the following eight assistant coaches:Geep Chryst (Vertical)

  • Scott Brown, defensive line
  • Ronald Curry, wide receivers
  • Ejiro Evero, defensive assistant
  • Aubrayo Franklin, defensive assistant
  • Tim Lewis, defensive backs
  • Steve Logan, quarterbacks
  • T.C. McCartney, offensive assistant
  • Joe Scola, offensive assistant

In addition to those coaches listed above, four other former 49ers assistants have found jobs elsewhere in the NFL/NCAA. Chris Foerster (OL) joined the Dolphins, Adam Henry (WRs) will head to the Giants, Clancy Pendergast (LBs) left to coordinate USC’s defense, and Tony Sparano (TEs) will coach the Vikings’ offensive line.

Chryst, who was promoted from QBs coach to offensive coordinator after Greg Roman left for the Bills, lasted just one season in the Bay Area. Under former head coach Jim Tomsula, Chryst led an offensive unit that ranked 31st in yards, 32nd in points, and 28th in DVOA. Granted, he didn’t have much to work with, as quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert were largely ineffective, while promising running back Carlos Hyde was injured for most of the year.

As Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes (Twitter link), the omission of certain coaches from that list above — RBs coach Tom Rathman and DC Eric Mangini among them — could indicate that they’ll be asked to remain on staff (reports earlier today indicated that Rathman and both Niners special teams coordinators would likely be retained). Mangini’s role, in particular, remains uncertain, especially given that San Francisco interviewed Mike Vrabel today for its defensive coordinator position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor Notes: Tomsula, Rivera, Ravens

New 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula will bring Adam Henry back to the Bay Area after he mentored two of the NFL’s most explosive rookies while at LSU the past three seasons, reports Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. Henry will coach the 49ers’ wide receivers alongside Ronald Curry after coaching Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in 2012 and 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Beckham earned offensive rookie of the year honors last season, and Landry came on strong late last season in Miami. Prior to re-entering the college ranks — Henry coached at Division I-FCS McNeese State for 10 years — Henry worked as a Raiders assistant from 2007-11, the last three as the tight ends coach. Curry, who the 49ers recently denied permission to follow former offensive coordinator Greg Roman to the Buffalo Bills, served as an offensive assistant the past two years under Jim Harbaugh. A former Raiders wide receiver, Curry’s final two years as an active player overlapped with Henry’s initial two seasons on the Raiders’ staff.

In other NFC coaching news…

  • The Panthers made a legacy choice as their latest assistant-coaching hire, bringing in Cam Turner as assistant wide receivers coach, the Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person notes. The nephew of Norv Turner, Cam Turner spent the past two seasons coaching at Florida International under his father, Ron Turner. Cam Turner will assist Ricky Proehl on Ron Rivera‘s staff.
  • The Ravens have formed an extensive pipeline into the small-school ranks and may continue to do so, writes Bo Smolka of CSN Baltimore. In addition to selecting Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco out of Division I-FCS Delaware in 2008, the Ravens drafted four small-school prospects in the 2013 draft — including defensive tackle Brandon Williams (Division II Missouri Southern, Round 3) and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard, Round 4). Last year, they nabbed backup running back Lorenzo Taliaferro in the fourth round from Delaware. Both Williams and Juszczyk played extensively in 2014.

    We’ve tried to find value by more closely looking at small-school players,” assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said to Smolka.

Coach Rumors: Gailey, Bills, 49ers, Cardinals

It has been presumed that the Jets would hire Chan Gailey to become the team’s offensive coordinator, but it may not be a done deal, writes Brian Costello of the New York Post. Costello writes that Gailey has drawn interest from three other teams, and that an agreement with the Jets is far from a lock.

  • As the Jets have cooled on Gailey, they have reached out to other potential candidates for their offensive coordinator opening, reports Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter).
  • The 49ers have denied the Bills permission to interview Ronald Curry for an opportunity to join Greg Roman’s staff in Buffalo, reports Matt Maiocco of (via Twitter).
  • The Bears wanted to consider Broncos wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert for the same position on their staff, but the Broncos have denied them permission, reports Michael C. Wright of (via Twitter).
  • The Cardinals have expressed interest in Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to replace Todd Bowles as their own defensive coordinator, reports Josh Weinfuss of Nolan’s defenses with the Falcons have been underwhelming, and his stint as 49ers head coach was equally unsuccessful.
  • With the Cardinals considering options at defensive coordinator, Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean notes that former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is in the mix as a senior assistant (via Twitter). Wyatt still believes LeBeau could land with the Titans (via Twitter).
  • 49ers assistant coach Eric Mangini will interview with the Raiders in pursuit of their defensive coordinator job, reports Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter).
  • While Mangini is moving closer to the Oakland, former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver is still expected to rejoin the 49ers, reports Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • Former Cardinals and Chiefs defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast interviewed to be the defensive coordinator in Washington, reports John Keim of
  • The Bears have hired former Broncos assistant coach Jeff Rodgers as their special teams coordinator, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).

Coach Updates: Spagnuolo, 49ers, Shanahan

New Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has a huge task ahead of him, writes Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. While Vacchiano believes that head coach Tom Coughlin made a great decision going into his past to hire his best defensive coordinator. The tough part is that Spagnuolo will have to match his past success without stars such as Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora.

  • There are a number of Giants players who could improve under Spagnuolo’s tutelage, writes Nick Powell of Howell picks out Johnathan Hankins, Antrel Rolle, Jason Pierre-Paul, Robert Ayers, and Jameel McClain as guys who may benefit.
  • The 49ers are looking for a new offensive coordinator after Greg Roman joined the Bills, and Colts offensive assistant Rob Chudzinski is well positioned to take over, writes Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter).
  • Other candidates for the offensive coordinator position with the 49ers include former head coaches Mike Shanahan and Lane Kiffin, reports Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. Shanhan was once thought of in the mix for head coaching jobs, and Kiffin would be coming from the University of Alabama.
  • 49ers offensive assistant Ronald Curry will have an opportunity to stay with the team as the wide receivers coach, reports Matt Maiocco of (via Twitter). Curry has not been given permission by the team to interview for the Bills, where he could have rejoined offensive coordinator Roman (via Twitter).
  • Former Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan almost was hired in Baltimore a year ago, and if Gary Kubiak leaves the Ravens to take the Broncos head coaching job, the team could revisit Shanahan, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The team is still impressed with his strong interview last year.

Coach Updates: Fangio, Allen, Kromer, Tarver

The Bears have requested permission to interview ex-49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for the same position, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (via Twitter). Previous reports indicated Fangio was released from his San Francisco contract earlier today, so technically Chicago shouldn’t need to ask the Niners for approval. Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora of “continues to hear” (Twitter link) that former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is the favorite for the Bears DC job.

Here’s the latest on the coaching front…

  • The Bills have hired former Bears assistant Aaron Kromer as their offensive line coach, per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter). was the first to hear the Kromer rumblings, and Ian Rapoport of tweeted the two sides were “closing in” on a deal. Additionally, Rapoport says (Twitter link) that Buffalo has also hired David Lee as its quarterbacks coach. Lee worked with new Bills coach Rex Ryan with the Jets from 2013-14.
  • After hiring his defensive coordinator earlier today, new Jets head coach Todd Bowles has added another staff member, ex-Cardinals linebackers coach Mike Caldwell (Twitter link via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic). Per Somers, Caldwell will be named an assistant head coach in New York after the Cards let him out of his contract.
  • It’s been speculated that former Raiders DC Jason Tarver could have a role on Jim Tomsula’s 49ers staff, and today Tarver interviewed for a position with San Francisco, according to Matt Maiocco of Tarver previously spent ten years with the Niners, beginning in 2001.
  • The 49ers will not retain special teams coordinator Brad Seely, reports Maiocco. Seely, a 22-year NFL coaching veteran, had been with SF since 2011. Meanwhile, Maiocco adds that the Bills have requested an interview with Niners offensive assistant Ronald Curry, who has not been fired by San Francisco.
  • The Browns continue to interview candidates for their vacant offensive coordinator position, and met with Jim Hostler today, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. Hostler, currently a senior offensive assistant with the Bills, was the 49ers’ play-caller during the 2007 season.