Tony Oden

Extra Points: Dolphins, Tua, 49ers, Vikings

There’s been a lot of buzz about former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa going to the Dolphins in the draft. We heard recently that the southpaw’s family wanted Miami to nab him, and there’s been a connection there for a while. Tagovailoa is obviously dealing with a serious hip injury, and it’s clearly a concern for the Dolphins. Miami’s owner Stephen Ross spoke to reporters earlier today and said “he’s a great player. I just worry about his health,” per Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That would seem to indicate Tagovailoa to the ‘Phins is far from a done deal. We heard a couple of weeks ago that Miami wanted Joe Burrow, and that they were willing trade up to go get him. Of course, this all could be some gamesmanship from Ross to throw other teams off the scent. Despite the injury, Tagovailoa will reportedly throw for scouts in a private workout at some point before the draft. That workout will go a long way toward determining where he goes in the draft.

Here’s more from the football world as the Super Bowl approaches:

  • We heard earlier today that the 49ers were considering former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard to fill the secondary coach role that is about to become vacant when Joe Woods officially becomes Cleveland’s next defensive coordinator. Richard apparently isn’t the only candidate though, and San Francisco is also considering former Miami secondary coach Tony Oden for the position, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Oden has also coached DBs for the Saints, Jaguars, Buccaneers, and Lions in recent years.
  • Vikings guard Pat Elflein is getting a big raise. His base salary for 2020 was set to be $960K, but that will be bumped all the way up to $2.147MM now due to the NFL’s proven performance escalator, per Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). The program is for players drafted in the 3rd-7th round that are headed into the final year of their rookie contracts, who have received a lot of playing time during their first three years. That certainly is the case for Elflein, who has started at least 13 games in each of his first three seasons. A third-round pick from Ohio State, he was Minnesota’s starting center in 2017-18 before kicking over to left guard last year after the team drafted Garrett Bradbury.
  • In case you missed it, Sammy Watkins isn’t ruling out taking a pay-cut.

Coaching Notes: Giants, Rhule, Redskins, Dolphins

We heard rumblings that Baylor head coach Matt Rhule will be the Giants’ top choice to replace Pat Shurmur, who was canned as head coach earlier today. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson tweets that the organization is “motivated and borderline excited” to hear of Rhule’s various requests, and “they’ll be ears” if the coach asks to revamp any areas of the organization. This was a topic of contention last year when Rhule interviewed with the Jets.

Meanwhile, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo clarifies (on Twitter) that while Rhule would have the “leeway to make big decisions throughout the building,” the coach doesn’t necessarily want full personnel control.

Speaking of, Executive Vice President (and co-owner) Steve Tisch said he plans to take on a bigger role with the organization in 2020.

“I am involved. I would like to be more involved. I will become more involved,” he said (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan on Twitter).

Let’s check out some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Those waiting for Ron Rivera‘s impending hiring by the Redskins will have to wait a bit longer. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport said negotiations between the organization and their presumed next coach good drag into Tuesday (Twitter link). However, the two sides are still expected to come to agreement on a deal.
  • The Dolphins let go of offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea earlier today, but the organization doesn’t doubt his ability to coach receivers. Sources told Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network (Twitter link) that the 47-year-old is viewed as a great wide receivers coach, but “people inside the building didn’t view him as a good coordinator.” The longtime assistant spent 10 years with the Patriots as the club’s WRs coach and joined former New England DC Brian Flores in South Beach when Flores became the ‘Fins head coach this year.
  • O’Shea wasn’t the only member of the Dolphins who won’t be back next season. Veteran offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo told NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo that he and the organization have decided to part ways (Twitter link). Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets that the Dolphins have also let go of safeties coach Tony Oden.

Dolphins To Hire 4 Assistants, Part Ways With Darren Rizzi

One of the other candidates for the position Brian Flores will soon take, Darren Rizzi‘s near-decade-long stay with the Dolphins will come to an end.

The Dolphins will not retain their longtime special teams coordinator, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami will instead hire former Buffalo ST coordinator Danny Crossman to take over in that role, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Additionally, former Texans OC (and 2018 Lions quarterbacks coach) George Godsey will be the Dolphins’ new tight ends coach, and former Fins wideouts coach Karl Dorrell will be back for a second stay in this job, Yates adds. Pat Flaherty will join the staff as offensive line coach, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter).

Flores wanted to move in another direction for his new team’s ST coach, per Jackson, who adds Rizzi also did not want to come back after being bypassed for the HC post. Rizzi, who has received significant interest on the market this offseason, may have a new gig soon. He is in advanced stages of negotiations with another team, Jackson notes.

While Flores’ arrival will mean most of Miami’s assistants will be new hires, running backs coach Eric Studesville will be back, per Marvez (on Twitter). So will defensive backs coach Tony Oden, Jackson adds.

In the event of a Rizzi exit, the Dolphins placed Crossman on their radar weeks ago, Marvez tweets. The Bills fired him after a six-year tenure as their ST coordinator. The Dolphins have been Rizzi’s only NFL employer, hiring him in 2010 and promoting him to ST boss a year later. Miami led the NFL with 11 punts blocked in that span.

Matt Patricia‘s continued overhaul of the Lions’ staff meant more Jim Caldwell-era holdovers were out. Godsey stayed on during Patricia’s first season, moving to quarterbacks coach in 2018. Flaherty had worked with Tom Coughlin in 14 of the past 15 years, mentoring the Giants’ O-line for 12 seasons and spending the past two slates working with the Jaguars’ blockers.

Dorrell was Miami’s receivers coach from 2008-10. Conversely to how things have been moving this offseason, with Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains going from the Dolphins to the Jets, Dorrell will head from the Big Apple to south Florida. He coached New York’s wideouts during each of Todd Bowles‘ four seasons. The Packers interviewed Dorrell for their WRs job, which remains vacant.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Cowboys, Bills, Fins, Giants

The Cowboys are nearly finished revamping their coaching staff, as they’ve promoted Keith O’Quinn to special teams coordinator and promoted Ben Bloom as linebackers coach, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. O’Quinn, who was previously Dallas’ assistant ST coach, was widely expected to be promoted to the full-time role to replace Rich Bisaccia, who left to join Jon Gruden‘s Raiders. Bloom, meanwhile, joined the Cowboys’ staff in 2011 and had most recently been an assistant coach for special projects. He’s taking over for Matt Eberflus, who is expected to become the Colts’ new defensive coordinator under presumptive head coach Josh McDaniels. Dallas is still planning to fill more two roles, tweets David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, as the club wants to hire a new tight ends coach and an assistant special teams coach to work under O’Quinn.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • While the Bills‘ pass defense finished 12th in DVOA thanks to solid performances from rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White and veteran safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, Buffalo has parted ways with defensive backs coach Gill Byrd, according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News (Twitter link). To replace Byrd, the Bills have hired former Texans secondary coach John Butler, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Butler had spent the past four seasons Houston after following Bill O’Brien from Penn State to the Texans.
  • The Dolphins have also found a new defensive backs coach, the club has hired Tony Oden to replace Lou Anarumo, per Marvez. Detroit parted ways with Oden last week as the team clears out its defensive staff prior to future head coach Matt Patricia‘s arrival. Oden had been with the Lions since 2014, but his tenure in the Motor City didn’t overlap with that of Miami defensive coordinator Matt Burke, who had left the club the year prior. Oden, who will now work with Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones, and T.J. McDonald, among others, has also coached with the Saints, Buccaneers, and Jaguars.
  • One of the least productive units in the NFL has a new position coach, as the Giants have hired Hal Hunter as their offensive line coach, reports Marvez. Hunter boasts a lengthy coaching history that dates back to 1984, but he only first entered the NFL in 2006. He coached the Chargers’ offensive line and subsequently became San Diego’s offensive coordinator, and also had stops in Indianapolis and Cleveland.

North Notes: Bengals, Packers, Vikes, Lions

While Bengals center Russell Bodine hasn’t been all that effective during his four years as the club’s starting center, he’s been durable enough to the point where Cincinnati would to like to re-sign him, as head coach Marvin Lewis explained to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer“Russell’s been, physically, mentally a tough football player for us,” Lewis said. “He was installed there as a rookie and he’s done nothing but continue to grow and get better and frankly grow into a guy you can count on to help lead the football team. I feel really good about him. So hopefully we’ll be able to get that done.” Bodine, 25, has started all 64 possible games since entering the league as a fourth-round pick in 2014, but he graded as a bottom-10 center in 2017, per Pro Football Focus.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Although the Vikings waived tight end Kyle Carter in order to create a roster spot for quarterback Sam Bradford earlier this month, the club intended to re-sign him when it was first eligible to do so after the Super Bowl, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes. Even earlier this week, Carter’s belongings were still in his Minnesota locker, so the Vikings clearly had a reserve/futures deal in mind. Instead, the Giants — who now employ former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as head coach — claimed Carter off waivers, meaning they’ll control his rights for the remainder of the offseason.
  • New Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst intends to make changes to Green Bay’s front office, but not until after the 2018 draft, he told Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Packers have already experienced a good deal of turnover this offseason, as former GM Ted Thompson was reassigned to an adviser role, while Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith both defected for Cleveland. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported earlier this year that both college scouting director Jon-Eric Sullivan and pro personnel director John Wojciechowski could be candidates for promotion.
  • The Lions have parted ways with defensive backs coach Tony Oden in what is just the latest move in a complete defensive staff overhaul, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Detroit has already let nearly every one of its defensive assistants out of their respective contracts, and the majority have landed elsewhere. While presumptive head coach Matt Patricia hasn’t yet officially made any hires, the Lions are reportedly interested in Boston College defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni for defensive coordinator.