Steve Jackson

Adam Gase Finalizes First Jets Staff

Adam Gase finalized his initial Jets coaching staff, and several new names will be added to the mix. In addition to the interesting setup reuniting ex-Saints staffers Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt, along with Blake Williams‘ arrival, the Jets announced five other new coaches will be joining their staff.

Longtime defensive end Andre Carter will come aboard as Gang Green’s defensive line coach. This will be Carter’s first chance at leading a position group. The 39-year-old former 13-year NFL veteran broke into coaching as the Dolphins’ assistant D-line instructor the past two seasons.

Gase hired John Dunn as tight ends coach. Dunn spent last season as the University of Connecticut’s assistant head coach. He’d previously worked with Jets OC Dowell Loggains in Chicago as an offensive assistant, his lone NFL experience to date.

Mentioned as another Miami-to-New York relocation candidate, Frank Bush will coach the Jets’ inside linebackers and carry an assistant HC title. Bo Hardegree will serve as an offensive assistant, and Eric Sanders will follow Gregg Williams from Cleveland to the Big Apple and work as a defensive assistant. The Browns jettisoned Sanders and the Williamses from their staff last month.

Gase will retain a few Todd Bowles-era coaches, most notably the special teams (Brant Boyer and Jeff Hammerschmidt) and defensive backs staffs (Dennard Wilson and Steve Jackson) will remain intact. Every other position group will have new leaders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Interested In Rick Dennison

The Jets announced today that they’ve fired offensive line coach Steve Marshall, and the club may already have a replacement lined up. New York has reached out to former Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison in relation to their offensive line coach/run game coordinator vacancy, according to Manish Mehtha of the New York Daily News.Rick Dennison (vertical)

Dennison, a longtime NFL coach and play-caller, was fired earlier this month after spending only a single season as Buffalo’s OC. He hasn’t generated any other known interest, but he’d add experience to a Jets coaching staff that will continue rebuilding a young roster in 2018. Dennison also enjoys a relationship with new New York offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, as the two overlapped with the Broncos from 2006-08.

If Dennison does land with the Jets, he’ll take over an offensive line that struggled immensely last season. New York’s front five ranked just 27th in adjusted sack rate and 29th in adjusted line yards a year ago, and could be playing a new center in 2018. Wesley Johnson, who started 15 games for Gang Green last season, will hit unrestricted free agency in March.

In other Jets staff news, New York is hiring former Titans coach Steve Jackson as their new assistant defensive backs coach, per Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Titans, Lions, Packers

Although at least one report indicated new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel would overhaul the majority of Tennessee’s coaching staff, that’s not necessarily the case, says Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com (all Twitter links). Tight ends coach Arthur Smith, assistant special teams coach Craig Aukerman, and assistant wide receivers coach Luke Steckel will join previously-reported defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend in interviewing with Vrabel during the Senior Bowl. Among the coaches who will part ways with the Titans include offensive line coach and NFL Hall of Famer Russ Grimm (who is retiring), quarterbacks coach Jason Michael, running backs coach Sylvester Croom, defensive assistant Brandon Blaney, and assistant defensive backs coach Steve Jackson.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • The Lions are expected to revamp their defensive coaching staff under new head coach Matt Patricia, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter links). That should come as no surprise given Patricia’s defensive background, and the current Patriots DC spoke with members of the Detroit staff last week to inform them they aren’t part of the club’s 2018 plans, per Birkett. Specifically, Lions linebackers coach Bill Sheridan and defensive backs coach Alan Williams have been fired, reports Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. The Lions, of course, have already lost a number of defensive staffers to other teams, as former defensive coordinator Teryl Austin joined the Bengals while ex-defensive line coach Kris Kocurek landed with the Dolphins.
  • The Packers will continue their staff overhaul under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine by hiring former Bowling Green safeties coach Ryan Downard, likely as a defensive quality control coach, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). Downard was an assistant under Pettine in Cleveland before heading to BGSU, so there is a level of familiarity between the two. Downard’s addition does not have an effect on the status of incumbent cornerbacks coach Darren Perry, per Silverstein. Meanwhile, La Canfora (via Twitter) has clarified Jason Simmonsrole change with Green Bay, noting that he’s been moved to secondary coach.
  • The Panthers are interviewing Seahawks assistant special teams coach Heath Farwell for the same position, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link). If hired, Farwell would work alongside former NFL linebacker Chase Blackburn, who was recently named Carolina’s new special teams coach. Farwell, an ex-NFL ‘backer in his own right, joined the coaching ranks in 2016.
  • The Seahawks have mutually parted ways with senior defensive assistant Travis Jones, the club announced today. Jones had served as Seattle’s defensive line coach from 2013-16 before being bumped to a new role last season. He’s just the latest coach to leave the Seahawks’ staff this month, adding to a growing list that includes OC Darrell Bevell and DC Kris Richard.