Shawn Jefferson

Staff Notes: Redskins, 49ers, Packers, Jets

The Redskins have hired former Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton as their new defensive backs coach, according to John Keim of ESPN.com. Washington is retaining incumbent DC Greg Manusky, but the club has spent the offseason meeting with other defensive minds such as Gregg Williams, Steve Wilks, and Todd Bowles. Horton, unlike those three, doesn’t have prior head coaching experience, but he has been a defensive play-caller for the Cardinals, Titans, and Browns (two stints). Horton, who didn’t coach in the NFL in either of the past two seasons, is replacing Torrian Gray, who was let go earlier this month.

Let’s check in on the latest coaching and front office moves:

  • The 49ers have promoted Martin Mayhew to vice president of of player personnel, tweets Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Mayhew, whose previous title was “senior personnel executive,” will now share the VP role with Adam Peters. After serving as Detroit’s general manager from 2008-15, Mayhew was the Giants’ director of football operations/special projects in 2016 before he joined San Francisco the following year. He interviewed for the Panthers’ GM gig last February, but lost out to interim Marty Hurney.
  • Former Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn is a candidate for the same position with the Packers, reports Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), who adds Quinn has spoken with Green Bay. Quinn was New York’s coordinator from 2007-17 before being let go by Pat Shurmur last offseason. However, Quinn re-joined the Giants staff in September 2018 after new ST coordinator Thomas McGaughey began cancer treatments. The Packers were thought to be a serious contender to hire Dolphins’ special teams coach Darren Rizzi, but that union won’t be happening.
  • Adam Gase is bringing a familiar face to New York, as former Dolphins wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson has taken the same job with the Jets, per Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Jefferson, 49, started his coaching career in 2006 with the Lions before moving on to Tennessee in 2013 and Miami in 2016. He was reportedly a candidate to become the Packers’ new wide receivers coach, a role which still hasn’t been filled.
  • The Falcons have hired former Buccaneers tight ends coach Ben Steele as an offensive assistant, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Steele had worked under Dirk Koetter — Atlanta’s new offensive coordinator — in Tampa Bay for the past two years.

Packers Notes: Staff, Jefferson, Dennison

New Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is interested in Dolphins assistant head coach/offense Shawn Jefferson, reports Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). If hired, Jefferson would likely join Green Bay as receivers coach, a role for for which Jets WRs coach Karl Dorrell has already interviewed. The Packers allowed their former wideouts coach — David Raih — to join the Cardinals’ new staff earlier this offseason. Jefferson, meanwhile, started his coaching career in 2006 with the Lions before moving on to Tennessee in 2013 and Miami in 2016.

Here’s more from Green Bay:

  • The 49ers have granted the Packers permission to interview Adam Stenavich for their offensive line coach vacancy, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). Stenavich, currently San Francisco’s assistant OL coach, joined the 49ers in 2017 after spending time in the NCAA ranks with Michigan, Northern Arizona, and San Jose State. Green Bay is on the hunt for a new offensive line coach after allowing James Campen, who’d been with the franchise since 2007, to take an assistant head coach/OL job with the Browns.
  • In addition to Stenavich, Green Bay has interest in longtime NFL offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Rick Dennison, tweets Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Dennison has long been a Gary Kubiak disciple, but surprisingly hasn’t followed him to Minnesota, where Kubiak is now an offensive advisor. Indeed, Dennison’s presence may have been a primary reason for Kubiak not becoming the Broncos’ OC, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com indicated last week (via Twitter). Dennison spent 2017-18 with the Bills and Jets, respectively.
  • The Packers will also interview Redskins linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti for the same role, tweets Grant Paulsen of NBC Sports Washington. Olivadotti, 45, has essentially been a Redskins lifer: he joined the club in 2000 as a defensive quality control coach, and has worked for the team in various roles ever since, save for a 2011-13 stint at the University of Georgia. He’s familiar with LaFleur, as the two worked together in the nation’s capital in 2010 while LaFleur was Washington’s quarterbacks coach.
  • LaFleur will retain incumbent defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and running backs coach Ben Sirmans, per Demovsky. At present, it appears Montgomery, Sirmans, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and tight ends coach Brian Angelichio will be the only holdovers from previous head coach Mike McCarthy‘s staff. However, it’s unclear if Montgomery and Angelichio will remain in their current roles or take on new responsibilities.
  • Despite spending the 2018 campaign as the Titans’ offensive coordinator, LaFleur will not bring any members of the Tennessee staff to Green Bay, tweets Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com.

Coaching Rumors: Cardinals, McAdoo, Fins

The Cardinals interviewed two more head coach candidates today, but the search will continue into next week, according to Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports. The Cardinals have met with Steve Wilks and Keith Armstrong twice and will not need to interview current defensive coordinator James Bettcher another time because of his history with the organization. The team will also interview John DeFilippo and Brian Flores next week, per Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com (Twitter link).

In addition, Somer states that the team could look at giving Jim Schwartz a second interview, but Jurecki did not mention the Eagles defensive coordinator in his tweet. The search is mostly continuing because both the Eagles and Patriots will be playing in their respective conference championships, so depending on how the games shake out, Arizona could resolve their head coaching search by the end of next week.

Finally, Somers importantly notes that former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has recommended Bettcher and Armstrong among this pool of coaches the front office is considering.

Here are more a coaching notes from around the NFL:

  • In more Cardinals coaching staff news, now two former staffers have now left for new opportunities, reports Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). In addition to former special teams coordinator Amos Jones moving onto the same position with the Browns, former wide receiver coach Darryl Drake has been hired by the Steelers.
  • Hue Jackson is adding an offensive coordinator to his staff and have interviewed former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo for the job. He interviewed with the Browns three days ago and apparently “It went fine”, a Browns source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Anderson adds that the source mentioned that they are “Just not going to rush into anything” after speaking to two candidates as of right now. Cleveland is also interviewing a high profile college coach in LSU’s RB coach Tommy Robinson for the same position on their staff, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • The Dolphins announced a slew of coaching moves today. The biggest apart from Dowell Loggains being brought on as offensive coordinator is former OC Clyde Christensen being reassigned as the team’s new director of football and player development. Shawn Jefferson was wide receivers coach, but will now be an assistant head coach working with the offense. They are also are promoting Ben Johnson to WR coach. He got experience with this group of players as an assistant WR coach last season.
  • The Bears have named Brock Olivo as the team’s new assistant special teams coach, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Olivo was the Broncos’ special teams coordinator last year and was with Matt Nagy on the Chiefs’ staff from 2014-16 as an assistant to special teams coordinator Dave Toub. He previously was a former running back for the Lions back in his playing days.
  • The Texans have promoted Anthony Midget to the team’s secondary coach, according to Mark Berman of Fox26 (Twitter link). Berman also notes that they have also hired Danny Barrett as the RB coach and Tracy Smith as an assistant special teams coach.

Dolphins Hire Vance Joseph As DC

WEDNESDAY, 8:29am: The Dolphins have officially announced the hiring of Joseph, and have named four other assistant coaches to Gase’s staff as well. They are as follows:

  • Matt Burke, linebackers coach
  • Shane Day, tight ends coach
  • Chris Foerster, offensive line coach
  • Shawn Jefferson, wide receivers coach

TUESDAY, 4:28pm: The Dolphins have hired former Bengals assistant Vance Joseph as their new defensive coordinator, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Alex Marvez of FOX Sports first reported that the two sides were on the verge of a pact. Vance Joseph (featured)

[RELATED: Dolphins Hire Adam Gase As Head Coach]

Joseph has extensive seasoning as a secondary coach, presiding over the 49ers and Texans defensive backs from 2006-10 (in San Francisco) and 2011-13 (in Houston). The Broncos attempted to interview the 43-year-old Joseph for their defensive coordinator position last season, but the Bengals didn’t permit the meeting, leading Denver to go with Wade Phillips.

Marvez also reported that Joseph was set to bring Bengals linebackers coach Matt Burke, Bears defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, and Cowboys defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson with him to Miami. However, Henderson has also interviewed for more notable positions elsewhere, so it’s possible that he could hold off on taking another job as an assistant. He’s reportedly leaning toward staying in Dallas anyway.

Joseph will serve under new head coach Adam Gase. Gase, now the youngest head coach in the league, also interviewed with the Eagles, Browns, and Giants before agreeing to come to Miami. Gase was said to be a “unanimous decision” among Dolphins decision makers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coach Rumors: Coughlin, Eagles, Giants

The latest coaching news from around the NFL:

  • The Eagles have confirmed (via Twitter) that their interview with former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has concluded. Coughlin becomes the sixth candidate to sit down with Philadelphia, though one of those six – Adam Gase – has since been hired by another team. Be sure to check out our head coaching search tracker for the full breakdown.
  • Meanwhile, Coughlin’s old team in New York conducted a head coaching interview of its own today. The Giants announced in a press release that their meeting with ex-Falcons head coach Mike Smith has been completed. An interview with Bengals OC Hue Jackson will likely be next up for Big Blue.
  • The Browns are using Monday to take a step back and regroup on their head coaching search, tweets Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. There are plenty of options on the table for Cleveland, with the club having interviewed seven candidates to date and having been linked to others.
  • Veteran wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson is expected to interview for a wide receivers coaching job with the Rams and Dolphins, a source told Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).