Shawn Mennenga

Coaching Rumors: Ravens, Lions, Steelers

Dean Pees‘ retirement from the Ravens didn’t last long as he became the Titans’ defensive coordinator less than a month later. The about-face took Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti by surprise.

I’m a little shocked,” Bisciotti said (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). “He’s 68 years old. It’s hard to give it up, I guess.”

Bisciotti didn’t come right out and say it, but it sounds like Pees went to the Titans in part because they were willing to employ his son, Matt Pees, as a quality control coach.

I wish Dean all the luck,” Bisciotti said. “I understand he got his son in; I think that was a big point of his. We have a nepotism rule that may have prohibited that from happening in the last few years.”

Here’s more from the coaching world:

  • Following Carnell Lake‘s resignation from the position of Steelers secondary coach, Pittsburgh’s brass reached into the college ranks to fill the post. UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will leave Los Angeles to become the Steelers’ new DBs boss, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Bradley is a Pennsylvania native who spent 33 seasons on Joe Paterno’s staff — from 1979-2011. He coached the Bruins’ defense for the past three years. The 61-year-old Bradley will be on an NFL sideline for the first time come 2018.
  • In addition to formally announcing former Boston College defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni as their new defensive coordinator and keeping Jim Bob Cooter on as offensive coordinator, the Lions have also named several other members of new head coach Matt Patricia‘s staff. Chris White has been hired as Detroit’s tight ends coach, while former Miami head coach Al Golden will remain on staff as the club’s linebackers coach (he’d previously coached tight ends). Most of White’s experience has come at the collegiate level, but he did serve as the Vikings’ assistant special teams coach from 2009-12. The Lions also officially announced several other coaching hires that had been previously reported, including George Godsey (quarterbacks), Jeff Davidson (offensive line), and Brian Stewart (defensive backs), plus one that hadn’t in David Corrao (director of football research).
  • A 49ers defensive assistant for the past three years, former NFL DC Jason Tarver will become a coach outside of California for the first time in his 20-plus-year career. Tarver agreed to take the defensive coordinator job at Vanderbilt, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. The Raiders’ DC from 2012-14, Tarver enjoyed two stints with the 49ers — the first from 2001-10. He coached alongside current Vanderbilt HC Derek Mason in 2011 at Stanford.
  • Speaking of the Commodores, the SEC program also announced former Browns assistant Shawn Mennenga will oversee Vandy’s special teams units in 2018 (Twitter link). The Browns let Menneaga walk after he served seven seasons under previous ST coordinator Chris Tabor.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report.

Coaching Rumors: Browns, Raiders, Bears

Even though new Browns lead football man John Dorsey is keeping current head coach Hue Jackson, he has just gotten started in reshaping the team’s coaching staff. Apart from hiring Ken Zampese and Adam Henry as the organization’s quarterbacks and wide receivers coaches earlier this week, the team has let go of five staff members from this past season, according to Tony Grossi of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Grossi reports that the team has moved on from former QB’s coach David Lee, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, running back coordinator Kirby Wilson, special teams assistant Shawn Mennenga and special teams quality control coach Stan Watson. Dorsey has brought a new look to the Browns front office and he’ll now remake the team’s coaching staff given this new coaching news.

Here’s more coaching news from around the league:

  • Raiders new head coach Jon Gruden has brought in a number of new coaches to join his staff for the 2018 season. But there is one coach that is definitely being retained from Jack Del Rio’s previous coaching crew. Assistant wide receivers coach Nick Holz is being retained, per Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link). While Holz is the only holdover as of now, Caplan does note that many other Del Rio staffers are currently being reviewed by the organization.
  • Matt Nagy has began filling out the Bears coaching staff for next season. The team announced that they have hired former NFL receiver Mike Furrey to coach their wideout group. Furrey was recently the head coach at Limestone College and played with Nagy in the AFL back in 2002. Furrey will likely inherit a much different group of receivers than the team had in 2017.
  • Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown is expected to return to the team in 2018, sources tell Todd Archer of ESPN.com. It was previously reported that while Dallas had wanted to retain him, he had also drawn interest from the Raiders and Texans.
  • While many hires are being reported, the Chargers are losing their tight ends coach John McNulty to the college ranks. McNulty will join Rutgers as their offensive coordinator for the next season, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). McNulty previously worked as an assistant coach for the Scarlet Knights from 2004-2008.