T.C. McCartney

Staff Notes: Chargers, 49ers, Falcons, Colts

Former Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith is interviewing for the Chargers‘ linebackers coach position, according to Jack Wang of the Orange County Register. Smith was fired by Atlanta on Wednesday after leading a defense that finished just 27th in DVOA, but linebackers are his specialty, as he’s coached the position at four other NFL stops. Smith’s interview could mean Los Angeles expects Robert Saleh, the team’s other candidate for ‘backers coach, to land the 49ers DC gig.

Here’s more from the 2017 hiring cycle:

  • New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has lured yet another former Falcons staffer to San Francisco, as ex-Atlanta assistant Mike LaFleur will be the 49ers’ next wide receivers coach, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. LaFleur, who spent the previous two seasons with the Falcons after working in Cleveland during the 2014 campaign, is the brother of Matt LaFleur, who recently left Atlanta to become the Rams’ offensive coordinator. The 49ers also announced they’ve hired Nick Kray (administrative assistant to the head coach), T.C. McCartney (offensive assistant), and Ray Wright (strength and conditioning).
  • Although Chris Ballard left Kansas City to become the Colts‘ new general manager, Chiefs GM John Dorsey doesn’t expect Ballard to poach any KC staffers “right now,” tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Typically, an executive will try to bring at least a few low-level front office employees along to a new job, but it sounds like Ballard will be starting from scratch, and rolling with the incumbent Indianapolis staff for the time being.
  • The Falcons promoted Marquand Manuel to defensive coordinator earlier today, but that wasn’t the only change the club made to its defensive staff. As expected, Bryant Young has been named as Atlanta’s defensive line coach, replacing the fired Bryan Cox, while defensive assistant Doug Mallory has been promoted to secondary coach, taking over for Manuel, the club announced today.
  • Broncos assistant defensive backs backs coach Samson Brown had been set to join ex-Denver coordinator Wade Phillips on the Rams‘ coaching staff, but he’s experienced a last-minute change of heart and will be staying in Denver, per Marvez (Twitter link). It’s unclear how Brown’s decision will affect longtime NFL coach Johnnie Lynn, who was reportedly hired to replace Brown with the Broncos.
  • The Buccaneers have made a series of changes to their coaching staff and personnel department, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, who reports the Bucs have promoted Zack Grossi to offensive quality control coach, hired Anthony Perkins to replace Grossi as the club’s assistant to the head coach, and hired former NFL tight end Alex Smith as a pro scout. Tampa Bay has also hired Skyler Fulton as an offensive assistant, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
  • Vikings offensive assistant Drew Petzing could be a candidate for the club’s vacant wide receivers coach role, reports Andrew Kramer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link). Longtime Minnesota WRs coach George Stewart defected for the Chargers earlier this offseason.

49ers To Fire OC Geep Chryst

New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly hasn’t yet been introduced via press conference, but he’s already making changes to his staff. San Francisco is expected to fire offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, as well as the following eight assistant coaches:Geep Chryst (Vertical)

  • Scott Brown, defensive line
  • Ronald Curry, wide receivers
  • Ejiro Evero, defensive assistant
  • Aubrayo Franklin, defensive assistant
  • Tim Lewis, defensive backs
  • Steve Logan, quarterbacks
  • T.C. McCartney, offensive assistant
  • Joe Scola, offensive assistant

In addition to those coaches listed above, four other former 49ers assistants have found jobs elsewhere in the NFL/NCAA. Chris Foerster (OL) joined the Dolphins, Adam Henry (WRs) will head to the Giants, Clancy Pendergast (LBs) left to coordinate USC’s defense, and Tony Sparano (TEs) will coach the Vikings’ offensive line.

Chryst, who was promoted from QBs coach to offensive coordinator after Greg Roman left for the Bills, lasted just one season in the Bay Area. Under former head coach Jim Tomsula, Chryst led an offensive unit that ranked 31st in yards, 32nd in points, and 28th in DVOA. Granted, he didn’t have much to work with, as quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert were largely ineffective, while promising running back Carlos Hyde was injured for most of the year.

As Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes (Twitter link), the omission of certain coaches from that list above — RBs coach Tom Rathman and DC Eric Mangini among them — could indicate that they’ll be asked to remain on staff (reports earlier today indicated that Rathman and both Niners special teams coordinators would likely be retained). Mangini’s role, in particular, remains uncertain, especially given that San Francisco interviewed Mike Vrabel today for its defensive coordinator position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.