Skip Peete

Coaching Notes: Giants, Kitchens, Cowboys

The Giants have interviewed both former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and incumbent offensive coordinator Mike Shula for their vacant OC position, but new head coach Joe Judge may have a few other names in mind, as well. Judge is interested in speaking to ex-Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and former Dolphins OC Chad O’Shea about positions on his staff, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Kitchens served as the Browns’ offensive play-caller during the latter portion of the 2018 campaign before becoming head coach in 2019, while O’Shea lasted only one year in Miami. Both could presumably also be considered as position coaches on Judge’s staff.

Here’s more from the coaching circuit:

  • The Broncos have formally announced the addition of former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur as their new offensive coordinator, and Shurmur will receive a two-year contract, tweets Mike Klis of 9 News. Shurmur reportedly had other offers on the table, but chose the opportunity in Denver after the Broncos surprisingly fired first-year play-caller Rich Scangarello earlier this week. A longtime NFL OC, Shurmur will bring in his own quarterbacks coach, as incumbent T.C. McCartney has been fired, per Benjamin Allbright (Twitter link).
  • Former Maryland interim head coach Matt Canada has been hired as the Steelers‘ new quarterbacks coach, the club announced. Pittsburgh did not have a formal QBs coach in 2019, as offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner held the role. Canada, who has a long history of coaching in the collegiate ranks, took over as the Terrapins’ interim coach in 2018 after D.J. Durkin was placed on administrative leave.
  • New Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has hired Skip Peete as running backs coach, reports Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Peete, who previously coached in Dallas from 2007-12, spent the last four seasons with the Rams, and also has experience with the Raiders and Bears. He’ll be replacing Gary Brown, who had taken over for Peete in 2013.
  • The Panthers requested permission to interview Saints assistant offensive line coach Brendan Nugent, but New Orleans rejected the ask because Carolina is a division rival, according to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic (Twitter link), who adds Nugent is a longtime friend of new Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Nugent previously spent time with the Bears as well as in the collegiate ranks.
  • Michigan linebackers coach Anthony Campanile is joining the Dolphins‘ staff in an as-yet unspecified role, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Campanile recently turned down an opportunity to become the defensive coordinator at Rutgets, per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link).

NFC Notes: Rams, Gurley, Panthers, Bears

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will implement his famed 3-4 scheme with the Rams in 2017, as Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com writes in an excellent piece describing the planned transition. Robert Quinn will likely see the most change as a result of the switch, as the longtime defensive end will shift to outside linebacker. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, however, will continue on as a three-technique, while the defense as a whole figures to feature more man coverage, per Gonzalez.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Rams running back Todd Gurley lobbied for new head coach Sean McVay to retain RBs coach Skip Peete, and Los Angeles will do just that, according to Gonzalez. “When you’ve got a key player like that, you want to try to demonstrate that you’re going to listen,” said McVay. “Their opinion matters.” Gurley, of course, struggled in 2016 after a dynamic rookie campaign, averaging only 3.2 yards per carry last season, a 50% reduction from the year prior. Peete, meanwhile, will return for a second season with the Rams, working under McVay and new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.
  • Entering the final year of his rookie contract, and coming off his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance, Panthers guard Trai Turner has signed with Rosenhaus Sports for representation, per Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter link). Turner’s previous agent was Ron Butler, whom Turner had just hired in May 2016. The 23-year-old Turner will earn ~$1.8MM in 2017 thanks to the proven performance escalator, which rewards mid-round picks based on playing time.
  • Bears wide receiver Daniel Braverman has signed Jason Katz of CSE Talent as his new agent, tweets Mullen, who adds Braverman was previously represented by Rosenhaus Sports. Braverman, a 2016 seventh-round pick, was active for three games during his rookie season but didn’t record a reception.

Coaching Notes: Groh, Peete, Koetter

Most of the league’s head coaching and coordinator vacancies have been filled, but teams are still making important coaching decisions. Let’s round up a few of the latest coaching-related notes:

  • The Eagles hired Mike Groh as their wide receivers coach, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Groh served as the Rams’ wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator in 2016, and he also worked as the Bears’ wide receivers coach from 2013-2015. Alshon Jeffery‘s best seasons came with Groh as his position coach, and in his one season with the Rams, Groh oversaw Kenny Britt‘s first 1,000-yard season (both Britt and Jeffery are eligible for unrestricted free agency this year, and Philadelphia needs wide receiver help in a big way). The 45-year-old Groh has an extensive college coaching resume, working as the quarterbacks coach for Louisville, the wide receivers coach for Alabama, and the wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, and offensive coordinator for Virginia.
  • Skip Peete will remain the Rams‘ running backs coach, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Peete was hired as the team’s running backs coach last year after serving in that same capacity for the Raiders, Cowboys, and Bears.
  • We heard on Friday that Jim Tomsula interviewed for the Saints‘ open defensive line coach job earlier this week, though ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that Tomsula will interview with New Orleans during this week’s Senior Bowl. Whether it will simply be a second interview or whether the two sides have actually met at all at this point is unclear. Before his disastrous stint as the 49ers’ head coach, Tomsula was a successful D-line coach with the franchise from 2007-14.
  • Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter is likely to retain his offensive play-calling duties, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Koetter said at his season-ending news conference that he was considering giving up his role as play-caller, but he appears to have thought better of it.

NFC Coaching Notes: McVay, Vikings, Eagles

Sean McVay becoming the first 30-year-old ever hired to coach an NFL team will come with the expected responsibility of calling plays. The new Rams coach will take on that task presumably since he made himself an attractive candidate by doing so in Washington.

There is not a chance I would let anyone call the plays, at least at first,” McVay told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “It’s something I really want to do and feel comfortable doing.”

King described the Redskins’ setup as McVay calling the plays but Jay Gruden having final say over the game plan. In Los Angeles, McVay will take on both responsibilities for an offense coming off a season during which it averaged just 262.7 yards per game — more than 40 fewer than every other team. The McVay-led Washington attack finished third at 403.4 per game.

Here’s more from the NFC coaching circuit.

  • The Vikings hired UCLA offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu as their running backs coach, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. The 53-year-old uncle of Troy Polamalu, Kennedy served as OC for both USC and UCLA during this decade but previously worked as an NFL running backs instructor. He coached the Browns’ and Jaguars’ backs from 2004-09. Minnesota also interviewed running backs coaches Marcel Shipp and Skip Peete for this position, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Caplan adds previous Vikings RBs coach Kevin Stefanski will likely transition to another coaching position with the team next season. A Vikings coach since 2006, Stefanski served as the team’s tight ends coach during the 2013 and ’14 seasons.
  • Former Rams wide receivers coach Mike Groh is expected to interview with the Eagles to coach their wideouts, Tim McManus of ESPN.com reports. The 45-year-old Groh also served as Los Angeles’ passing-game coordinator. The son of former Jets coach Al Groh, Mike Groh spent the previous three seasons instructing the Bears’ wide receivers.
  • Former 49ers special teams coach Derius Swinton is expected to log another interview this week, doing so with the Saints. After meeting with the Broncos, Swinton will likely meet with the Saints this week, Nick Underhill of The Advocate reports. Just 31, Swinton served as an assistant special teams coach for the Rams, Chiefs, Broncos and Bears from 2009-15 prior to taking over San Francisco’s specialty units.

West Notes: Chargers, Kaepernick, Manning

Those familiar with the proposal put on the table in Houston earlier this month for a Rams/Chargers partnership tell Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times that it makes more sense for the second team – the Chargers – to be a tenant instead of a co-owner for the Rams’ stadium project. As such, if the Chargers end up moving to Los Angeles, it will probably be as Stan Kroenke‘s tenant.

As Farmer and Fenno explain, the proposal that surfaced in Houston has remained relatively unchanged for the last two and a half weeks, so the current situation is viewed as “less of a back-and-forth negotiation than a choice confronting the Chargers.”

As we wait to find out what the Chargers decide, let’s check in on some items from around the NFL’s West divisions…

  • Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, 49ers CEO Jed York pointed to the team’s salary cap room as one reason why it’s viable for Colin Kaepernick to remain in San Francisco in 2016. “This is a fresh start for everybody,” York said, per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “Colin needs to get back healthy, be ready to come in and compete, and we’ll see where it goes.”
  • Joel Corry of CBSSports.com examines Peyton Manning‘s options if the future Hall-of-Famer decides to continue his career in 2016. Corry believes the Rams look like a logical suitor for Manning if the Broncos decided they didn’t want to keep him.
  • Chip Kelly has added another assistant to his coaching staff, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that the 49ers have hired Colts safeties coach Roy Anderson as their defensive backs coach.
  • Former Bears assistant Skip Peete is joining the Rams as the team’s new running backs coach, a source tells Thayer Evans of SI.com. Peete has previously served as the RBs coach in Oakland, Dallas, and Chicago.
  • After undergoing surgery for Papillary Type 2 last spring, Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams, who spent the 2015 season on the non-football illness list, tweets that he has been cleared to return to action. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times provides some details on Williams, who is eligible for exclusive rights free agency.