Scott McCurley

NFC North Rumors: Bears, Vikings, Packers

The Bears have agreed to hire former Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino as a defensive assistant, according to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times. Monachino served as Indy’s DC from 2016-17 when Chuck Pagano — who’s since been hired as Chicago’s defensive play-caller — was head coach, so the connection makes sense. A former linebackers and defensive line coach in Baltimore and Jacksonville, respectively, Monachino spent the 2018 season as a defensive analyst at the University of Missouri. He’d recently agreed to become the defensive coordinator at Kansas State, but he’ll back out of that commitment to join Pagano and the Bears. While there’s no official word as to what title Monachino will hold in Chicago, he’s likely coming aboard as linebackers coach.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Tight ends coach Todd Downing is not expected to return to the Vikings in 2019, reports Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Downing still has a year remaining on his contract and was offered two new roles on offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski‘s staff, but it sounds like Downing turned down both opportunities. He’s now looking for other jobs elsewhere, and while there is a small chance he could eventually come back to Minnesota, a reunion is not considered likely, per Cronin. Downing, 38, was a rising star as recently as 2017, when the Raiders pushed out Bill Musgrave in order to make Downing offensive coordinator.
  • The Packers are expected to interview former Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack for the same role, per Jim Owczarski of PackersNews.com. Pollack was let go by Cincinnati despite excellent 2018 results, as new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is reportedly eyeing Bill Callahan for his club’s OL coach gig. Green Bay, meanwhile, is on the hunt for a new offensive line coach after James Campen departed for Cleveland. 49ers assistant OL coach Adam Stenavich is already on the Packers’ radar, as San Francisco granted Green Bay interview permission on Wednesday.
  • Defensive assistant Scott McCurley won’t be retained as part of new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur‘s staff, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. McCurley was Green Bay’s assistant linebackers coach from 2014-17, but moved into a generic defensive assistant role prior to last season. Per Demovsky, McCurely should be a popular name around the league given his experience under multiple defensive coordinators in Green Bay.
  • Luke Getsy — who served as the Packers‘ wide receivers coach from 2016-17 — is a candidate to return to that position in Green Bay, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gestsy, 34, spent the 2018 season as the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. The Packers sound as though they are simply waiting on an answer from Getsy, per Silverstein, who notes Getsy’s addition would give quarterback Aaron Rodgers a coach with whom he’s familiar.

Coaching Rumors: Patriots, Falcons, Raiders

Both Patriots coordinators — Josh McDaniels (offense) and Matt Patricia (defense) — are expected to accept head coaching jobs this offseason, but they may not be the only top assistants to leave New England in the coming weeks. Special teams coordinator Joe Judge is also working on an expiring contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who adds Judge could follow either McDaniels or Patricia to Indianapolis or Detroit, respectively. The Patriots have finished as a top-eight special teams unit in DVOA in each of Judge’s seven seasons at the helm.

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • If former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard doesn’t land another DC job, it “wouldn’t be a surprise” to see him land with the Falcons, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com opines. The connection makes sense, as Richard preceded Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn as Seattle’s defensive play-caller, and also played alongside current Falcons DC Marquand Manuel. Richard likely wouldn’t become defensive coordinator in Atlanta, so he could hypothetically wait to see if he garners interest around the league before taking a lesser position with the Falcons.
  • Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day is reportedly new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel‘s top choice to become Tennessee’s next OC, but Vrabel also has interest in Lions quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan, tweets Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com. Callahan has drawn coordinator interest around the league before, and could also be on the Jets’ radar as they seek to fill their OC vacancy. However, Detroit and new head coach Matt Patricia want to keep Callahan in place with the Lions.
  • The Raiders interviewed former Texas A&M (and current Arizona) head coach Kevin Sumlin, but it’s unclear which role Jon Gruden had in mind for the longtime NCAA coach. While Alex Marvez of the Sporting News recently reported Oakland met with Sumlin regarding its wide receivers coach job, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com indicates (via Twitter) Sumlin interviewed for offensive coordinator. The Raiders ultimately hired Edgar Bennett and Greg Olson for those respective gigs.
  • Before accepting a new position with the Giants, special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey interviewed with the Browns, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Cleveland ultimately selected former Cardinals ST coach Amos Jones over McGaughey, who’s also coordinated special teams units for the Jets and 49ers.
  • Scott McCurley — who coached inside linebackers for the Packers in 2017 but was fired at season’s end — is now back with Green Bay, but could possibly be working under a new title, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Additionally, the Packers have reassigned special teams assistant Jason Simmons to a defensive position, while former Colts staffer Maurice Drayton will replace Simmons’ ST duties.

Packers Shake Up Coaching Staff

The Packers have decided to make dramatic changes in their coaching staff, the team has announced. Among the bigger news released today was that defensive coordinator Dom Capers officially been fired. It was already reported that the longtime coach was going to be let go a few days ago, but the news just confirmed by team officials today. Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and linebackers coach Scott McCurley were also officially relieved of their duties.

“I want to thank each of these men and their families for all that they gave to the Packers during their time here,” head coach Mike McCarthy added. “We enjoyed a lot of success together and they directly contributed to our accomplishments. These are difficult personal decisions and we hope for the best for their families moving forward.”

Tom Pellisero of NFL.com has also reported that current offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett will be reassigned to another post and that the Packers will allow quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt‘s contract to expire this offseason (Twitter link). It should be noted that both of these reported decisions are still awaiting confirmation from the team.

Edgar Bennett (Vertical)

Bennett had been on the Packers staff for awhile, serving in many roles, including the team’s player development, running backs, wide receivers coach since he joined the organization in 2001. He had been promoted to offensive coordinator at the start of the 2015 season. His role change will allow the team to hire an offensive coordinator from outside the organization.

Van Pelt was hired as the team’s running backs coach in 2012 was promoted to handle the team’s quarterbacks in 2014.

Both coaches have had the benefit of working with All-pro signal caller Aaron Rodgers over the past few years. But the offense showed significant flaws when Rodgers went down with injuries for a much of the 2017 season. Today’s news essentially confirms the speculation that the Packers could drastically alter their coaching staff in the weeks ahead since they missed the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.