Zac Taylor

Bengals Likely To Hire Zac Taylor As HC

The Bengals’ “preferred choice” for head coach is Rams’ quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, according to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Taylor, who interviewed for the position last week, can’t be hired until Los Angeles is eliminated from the postseason. The Rams are preparing for a divisional round game against the Cowboys, and could potentially be tied up into February if they reach the Super Bowl. But Cincinnati’s head coaching job is reportedly Taylor’s to lose, per the ESPN scribes. As of yet, the Bengals have not held any negotiations with Taylor, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Given that he’s only 35 years old, Taylor would mark a departure for the Bengals, who had relied on veteran coach Marvin Lewis since 2003. But Cincinnati’s entire coaching search, which involved interviewing numerous young offensive minds such as the Chiefs’ Eric Bieniemy and Taylor’s Rams colleague Shane Waldron, represented a stark change for the club.

Taylor has only called offensive plays at the NFL level for a half-season: in 2015, he was promoted to offensive coordinator in Miami after the Dolphins fired Bill Lazor (who coincidentally is currently the Bengals OC). The following year, Taylor spent time in the Queen City, serving as offensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati before joining the Rams as QBs coach in 2016.

Taylor’s decision to take the Rams’ job proved to be fortuitous, as Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay‘s disciples are quickly claiming head jobs around the NFL. Matt LaFleur, who served as the Rams’ OC in 2016, just landed the Packers’ head coaching gig. And other young coaches with offensive backgrounds (Kliff Kingsbury, Freddie Kitchens) also received HC jobs.

In Cincinnati, Taylor will be tasked with improving an offense that ranked just 19th in DVOA a season ago. Andy Dalton is likely locked in as the Bengals’ starting quarterback for at least one more season, but Cincinnati could draft another signal-caller for Taylor to develop. Elsewhere on offense, the Bengals have a solid set of weapons that includes wide receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, plus running back Joe Mixon. 2017 first-round receiver John Ross, meanwhile, could represent something of a rehabilitation project for Taylor.

Reports earlier this evening indicated the Bengals were likely to hire an external candidate after interviewing a group of incumbent staffers that included Lazor, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, and special assistant Hue Jackson. Cincinnati also began dismissing some of its assistant coaches, which could be a sign Taylor has told the club which staffers he’d like to retain.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Raiders, Chargers, Broncos

The 49ers aren’t the only club with interest in former Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, as the Raiders also want to speak to the ex-Indy exec about a front office role, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Oakland is rebuilding its front office after firing general manager Reggie McKenzie and top lieutenant Joey Clinkscales. Grigson would join a front office that now includes first-time GM — and former NFL Network analyst — Mike Mayock, who was hired earlier this week. The 46-year-old Grigson was fired by the Colts in 2016 after a tumultuous five-year term as GM, and has since worked with the Browns and Seahawks’ front offices.

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

  • Two of Sean McVay‘s top assistants will take their interviews with the Bengals on Friday. Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor and pass game coordinator/tight ends coach Shane Waldron will meet with Cincinnati ownership tomorrow, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Nearly every candidate in which the Bengals have expressed interest thus far have come from the offensive side of the ball, with the only exception being former Broncos head coach (and ex-Cincy defensive backs coach) Vance Joseph. The Bengals were turned down by Josh McDaniels, but they’ve also asked to meet with Bucs OC Todd Monken and Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, among others. Bieniemy’s interview with the Bengals — originally scheduled for Friday — will now take place on Saturday, tweets Pelissero.
  • After being designated for return from injured reserve and participating in seven-on-seven drills at the end of December, Chargers tight end Hunter Henry took first-team snaps in practice this week, Los Angeles announced. However, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn still declined to commit to Henry playing against the Ravens in the first round of the NFL postseason, as Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com tweets. If Henry does play, he’ll be on a “pitch count,” meaning fellow tight ends Antonio Gates and Virgil Green will still see time. Henry tore his ACL in May, but Los Angeles held out hope he’d be available if the club made it to the playoffs.
  • Rams center John Sullivan collected a $1MM bonus by being active for at least 15 games and Los Angeles ranking as a top-five scoring offense and making the playoffs, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Sullivan, 33, actually started all 16 games for the Rams in 2018, and has started 31 contests since joining the club last offseason. LA’s line was elite in 2018, finishing No. 1 in adjusted line yards and No. 6 in adjusted sack rate, but Sullivan graded as just the NFL’s No. 32 center, per Pro Football Focus. The Rams hold a 2019 option on Sullivan which would pay him $1.75MM in base salary in addition to a $2.5MM roster bonus.
  • Currently being run by a trust headed by team president Joe Ellis, the Broncos are in need of a permanent owner. That’s likely to eventually be Pat Bowlen‘s youngest daughter, Brittany Bowlen, tweets James Palmer of ESPN.com, who notes Brittany will join the organization “at some point.” Bowlen, 28, could potentially take over in 2021 after a new collective bargaining agreement is put into place, speculates Mike Klis of 9News.
  • 49ers left guard Laken Tomlinson suffered a torn MCL on Sunday, according to a team announcement. That’s relatively good news since the longtime starter was carted off of the field, leading to fears that he had suffered a torn ACL. Tomlinson will not need surgery, so he should be good to go for offseason activities. Tomlinson is under contract with San Francisco through 2021 thanks to the three-year, $18MM extension he signed last summer.

Coaching Notes: Vikings, Fins, Bills, Broncos

When Mike Zimmer signed a Vikings extension in the 2016 offseason, the terms were not disclosed. But the sixth-year Minnesota coach revealed Thursday 2019 is the final year of his contract. While another extension could be on the way, Zimmer is, as of now, a lame-duck leader. The 62-year-old coach said he would not resign nor retire until his contract was up. It’s not unheard of for a coach to venture through a contract year, but it is obviously abnormal. The Vikings have qualified for the playoffs twice in Zimmer’s five years but were one of this season’s most disappointing teams, falling short of January football despite a roster full of extended veterans.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • Elsewhere on the Vikings’ staff, the team is working to re-sign special teams coordinator Mike Preifer, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio reports (on Twitter). Minnesota is, however, exploring alternatives in case a re-up is not finalized. Preifer has been Minnesota’s ST coordinator since 2011. Preifer did not sign the rollover option after last season, per ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin (Twitter link), making him a coaching free agent next week.
  • Brian Flores is set to meet with four teams in the coming days, and the Patriots linebackers coach’s first stop appears to be Miami. The Dolphins are making Flores their first interview, which Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets will begin Thursday night and last into Friday. Flores is slated to meet with the Browns, Broncos and Packers as well.
  • Another coach up for the Broncos‘ job, Zac Taylor is not the favorite going into the interview process, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. That could be expected of a 35-year-old position coach, and it could indicate the Broncos are serious about bringing Gary Kubiak back to the sideline as their OC. John Elway said a coaching role for Kubiak was being considered. A Taylor hire would seemingly impede this, but former Broncos running back C.J. Anderson said the similarities between the Rams’ offense and Kubiak’s Denver attack helped him assimilate quickly in Los Angeles. Mike Klis of 9News wonders if this could make a Taylor-Kubiak setup possible, with Klint Kubiak moving up to quarterbacks coach.
  • Flores’ Broncos interview will occur Monday. So will Vic Fangio‘s, per ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold. Taylor and Mike Munchak will interview for the job on Friday. The Broncos finished their Chuck Pagano meeting Wednesday.
  • The Bills are moving on from two assistants, including special teams coordinator Danny Crossman, per ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (on Twitter). As ESPN’s Seth Walder notes (via Twitter), Buffalo finished this season with the NFL’s worst special teams efficiency rating. Buffalo also fired wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie, Marvez tweets. Twice an interim head coach, with the Redskins and Browns, Robiskie just completed his 37th season as an NFL coach. He’s been a wideouts coach for five teams; Crossman was a pre-Sean McDermott-era holdover, joining the Bills’ staff as ST coordinator in 2013.
  • Detroit will move on from another offensive assistant, firing Derius Swinton, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). Just 33, Swinton has already been an NFL assistant for 10 seasons, serving as the 49ers’ ST coordinator in 2016. Although he helped in that area in Detroit following Joe Marciano‘s midseason firing, his primary role was on offense. The Lions and OC Jim Bob Cooter parted ways this week. Despite serving under Cooter, Swinton was a Matt Patricia hire.

Cards, Broncos To Interview Zac Taylor

Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor will interview for the Cardinals and Broncos head coaching positions on Saturday, Albert Breer of The MMQB hears (on Twitter). Taylor, 35, will also interview with the Bengals on Friday, so he may wind up as the latest 30-something assistant to ascend the ranks. 

Taylor moved up to QB coach under Sean McVay in 2018 after Matt LaFleur left for the Titans. The results, for the most part, have been outstanding. The Rams finished out 13-3 and will have an opportunity to rest before their first playoff game on Jan. 12 thanks to their bye.

Outside of the past year with the Rams, Taylor’s resume is not especially flashy. He was the Rams’ assistant wide receivers coach in 2017 and served as the University of Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator in 2016 before moving to sunny Los Angeles. However, young offensively-minded coaches are the in-thing, and Taylor is garnering serious interest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Broncos’ HC Search

The Broncos’ John Harbaugh interest appears to have cooled. A potential trade for the Ravens HC is not on the Broncos’ radar, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Neither is a once-discussed reunion with Mike Shanahan, per Denver7’s Troy Renck (Twitter link). Former Denver OC Adam Gase is also out of the picture.

One more candidate John Elway is hoping to meet with emerged Monday afternoon, however, in Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Both the Bengals and Cardinals have already sought summits with the 35-year-old Taylor. Taylor already has a meeting scheduled with the Broncos, per SNY.tv’s Ralph Vacchiano (Twitter link). The Rams’ bye allows for teams to interview Taylor this week.

Denver already sought an audience with New England linebackers coach Brian Flores and has secured meetings with Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak and Bears DC Vic Fangio. Denver’s last such hire, Vance Joseph, obviously didn’t work out. But offensive coaches are in high demand.

Additionally, Gary Kubiak is expected to stay in Denver, 9News’ Mike Klis notes (via Twitter). Kubiak has spent the past two years in Denver’s front office but has been connected to a possible return to offensive coordinating; that could help explain the Broncos’ interest in defensive-minded leaders. Elway confirmed (via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com) a Kubiak return to an offensive staff position is being considered.

Elway told Joseph’s assistants they are still under contract with the Broncos, but given the turnover that usually comes with new HC hires, these aids will be allowed to pursue other jobs, per Klis (on Twitter).

Elway considered a move to bring back Shanahan last year, but Broncos president Joe Ellis played the lead role in scuttling that. The Broncos had been connected to Harbaugh for a bit, even after it became known the Ravens were not going to fire him. He and Kubiak worked together in Baltimore.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Request Meeting With Rams’ Zac Taylor

Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor now has two interview requests. The Bengals are following the Cardinals in reaching out to Taylor about a head coach interview, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Taylor, 35, has served as Sean McVay‘s QBs coach this season. He moved up to that job after Matt LaFleur‘s defection to Tennessee. Taylor previously worked as the Rams’ assistant wide receivers coach in 2017.

He served as the University of Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator in 2016 before moving to Los Angeles but was previously a Dolphins assistant, briefly holding the title of offensive coordinator during the team’s tumultuous 2015 season that saw a few high-profile firings.

McVay’s Rams have become the envy of other organizations, with offensively oriented coaches being the ones most linked to HC jobs this offseason. Although some DCs are being contacted today, the interest in Taylor and other offensive coaches further confirms the offensively generated buzz.

Coaching Rumors: Gase, Broncos, Dolphins, Arians, Buccaneers, Jets, Cardinals

Adam Gase might’ve been the most surprising firing of Black Monday, and he likely won’t be out of a job too long. Gase has “heard from the majority of teams with an HC opening” within hours of being let go by the Dolphins, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link), who notes that Gase will begin taking head coaching interviews this week. While Gase has been linked to numerous jobs, including the Browns’ opening, don’t expect a reunion in Denver. Although he was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator during their peak with Peyton Manning, GM John Elway said at his press conference today Gase isn’t a candidate “at this time”, according to Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Gase got the Dolphins job because of his work with the Broncos, but there have long been rumors of bad blood between him and Elway. Elway reportedly told interested teams he didn’t think Gase was ready to be a head coach years ago, and Gase ran up the score on the Bronocs as revenge last year, kicking an onside kick while up 24 points late in the game. While it won’t be in Denver, at this point it would be a surprise if Gase isn’t a head coach somewhere next season.

Here’s more on the coaching carousel:

  • Speaking of Gase, the Dolphins will be undergoing a complete rebuild as they look for his replacement. They shook up their front office earlier today and are likely to move on from Ryan Tannehill this offseason. As for their next coach, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald “would be shocked” if Dan Campbell doesn’t get an interview (Twitter link). Campbell, the Saints’ assistant head coach, has already been requested by the Browns and is expected to be a hot candidate. He was the Dolphins’ interim coach in 2015 after they fired Joe Philbin four games into the season. Miami has also put in a request to interview Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, according to Schefter (Twitter link), adding to a long list of teams looking to talk to Flores.
  • While former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has repeatedly said the only job he would come out of retirement for would be the Browns’, he might be having a change of heart. The legendary offensive coach told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link), that he knows Buccaneers GM Jason Licht, and “would listen” if the Bucs came calling. Tampa is almost certainly looking for an offensive coach to revitalize Jameis Winston‘s career, and Arians would be a very intriguing option.
  • The Jets have made their first two interview requests as they look to replace Todd Bowles. The team is looking to talk to Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link), and also wants an interview with Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). Rapsheet also tweets the team requested an interview with Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell, but Campbell denied the request. Finally, Rapoport notes in a fourth tweet that the Jets are one of two new teams interested in former Lions coach Jim Caldwell, along with the Browns. All of these requests are in line with the thinking that the Jets are interested in bringing in an offensive coach to work with Sam Darnold.
  • The Jets aren’t the only team interested in Bieniemy, as Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Buccaneers and Dolphins have reached out as well. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network added in a tweet that the Cardinals have also requested an interview, bringing the number of teams interested in Bieniemy to four. Given the success that members of the Andy Reid coaching tree has had in recent years, it’s not surprising he’s a sought after name.
  • Speaking of the Cardinals, the team has requested Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, Rapoport tweets. The Cardinals are in desperate need of an offensive coach who can help Josh Rosen after Rosen’s woeful rookie campaign, and Taylor is very highly thought of in some circles. Rapoport notes the team has “been doing work on him”, so this seems like more than just a courtesy interview.

West Notes: Cardinals, Wilks, Taylor, Gordon

We learned at the end of November that Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks is very much on the hot seat less than one year after being one of the hottest head coaching candidates on the market. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirms as much today, reporting that Arizona will reassess its entire football operations and coaching staff at the end of the 2018 campaign (video link). Rapoport says all options are on the table, including dismissing both Wilks and GM Steve Keim, keeping both, or keeping one and not the other. Wilks’ fate will depend in large part on whether the 2-9 Cards continue to play hard for him down the stretch.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • If Wilks does get the boot, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that current Jets head coach Todd Bowles could return to the Cardinals as their HC. Bowles served as Arizona’s defensive coordinator from 2013-14 before accepting the head coaching job with Gang Green, and he remains a beloved figure in the desert. He enjoyed his time with the Cardinals, has strong ties with many prominent figures in the organization, and has a good relationship with some of the existing assistant coaches, so the Cardinals could turn to Bowles if they want to replace Wilks but avoid a complete overhaul. Bowles is expected to be fired by the Jets at the end of the 2018 season.
  • The Rams‘ success under head coach Sean McVay is having a trickle-down effect on his coaching staff. La Canfora writes that Los Angeles’ quarterbacks coach, Zac Taylor, is drawing plenty of buzz as a head coaching candidate and is expected to receive significant interest from clubs looking for a new HC this year. Taylor served as Miami’s offensive coordinator during the second half of the 2015 season and earned rave reviews for his work, and teams would love to bring the 35-yard-old aboard as a coordinator. But the relatively shallow pool of top HC candidates expected to be available in 2019 suggests that Taylor could make a McVay-like leap to the head coaching ranks next year.
  • Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who is currently sidelined with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, could be back as soon as next week, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Gordon will miss tonight’s game against Pittsburgh but has a chance to return for the team’s December 9 matchup with the Bengals or the December 13 game in Arrowhead.
  • Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who returned to practice this week, is not expected to play today, per Rapoport (Twitter link). However, Berry has not suffered any setbacks, so he could be ready to go when Kansas City hosts the Ravens next week.
  • More troubling news has emerged regarding former Chiefs star Kareem Hunt, which we detailed this morning.

Rams HC Sean McVay Discusses Offseason, Cooks, Talib

The Rams are going to have plenty of pressure on them heading into next season. Following a 2017 campaign that saw them win 11 games and earn their first playoff appearance in more than a decade, the franchise loaded up this offseason.

While the team let go of players like Sammy Watkins, Trumaine JohnsonAlec Ogletree and Robert Quinn, they seemingly found upgrades in Brandin Cooks, Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Ndamukong Suh . Clearly, there will be a lot of pressure on this talented squad, but it sounds like Sean McVay is ready for the challenge.

The Rams head coach recently sat down with Myles Simmons of TheRams.com to discuss his offseason additions and the team’s expectations in 2018. The whole interview is worth checking out, but we’ve compiled some of the notable soundbites below:

How OTAs have been going, especially when it comes to adding new players into the system:

“I think it’s been really good. There’s been a lot of good competition, guys getting familiar with our systems, continuing to learn each other — how to compete but be smart doing it. And I think we’re just starting to see guys just continue to make improvements one day at a time. Our coaches are doing a great job. So want to wrap up OTAs the right way next week.”

On the acquistion of wideout Brandin Cooks, and how his addition will help quarterback Jared Goff:

“Yeah, I think with Brandin, and then being able to play alongside such a great receiving corps that we have in place, he’s been a nice addition. Feel really good watching the way he’s been able to implement himself into our offense by the way he’s learned, how conscientious he is in meetings. And he’s a guy — if you just look at, really, his career — he is a really fast player, but he can do everything. He plays big for a smaller-stature guy. But he’s strong. He can win short, he can win intermediate, he can go down the field. So I think you’re really not limited in any way that you can utilize him. And there’s a reason why he’s had over 1,000 yards and [at least] seven touchdowns each of the last three years. And he’s a special player for sure.”

On the addition of cornerback Aqib Talib, and how his veteran presence will help the defense:

“Well I think like anybody else, he’s had a lot of success in this league. But I think he leads by being able to connect with the players, and then going out and doing things the right way with the way he practices, the way he is in meetings. I’ve been extremely impressed watching him from afar. I was with him in Tampa his rookie year, and now just getting a chance to reconnect with him — smart player, cerebral. Seen a lot of different things, understands concepts. And then he’s also got the athleticism to match up with it. And he’s very comfortable having played in this system with coach Phillips in Denver. So, it’s been a seamless transition for him so far. And we feel really good about having Aqib with us.”

On how much Talib’s relationship with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips influenced the acquisition:

“Oh, it’s huge. I think that’s one of the things you feel so good about, is that a lot of the players that we’ve acquired from outside the organization have been people that have worked with some members of our coaching staff. And Wade in particular with the knowledge and experience that he has, he’s got a great feel for personnel around this league. And having worked with some great players, you hear guys want to come play for him because of the way he works with those guys, the way he puts them in position to have success. And Aqib is very similar. And, like I said, extremely pleased that we got him and it’s a real credit to Les and his staff for getting that trade done.”

On first-year quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor:

“Yeah I think when you look at Zac, great college quarterback, had some success playing professionally, Big 12 Player of the Year. He’s got a great even-keel demeanor and disposition. He’s been a coordinator, when he called plays for the Dolphins. He was at the University of Cincinnati. But I think he’s just got such a great perspective and a really good way about relating to the players, communicating in a clear, open, and honest fashion. And that demeanor, that disposition — especially dealing with the quarterback position — I think is perfect. Extremely detail-oriented. Been really pleased with what he’s done. And he’s another guy, having had him in place, getting to work with our receivers last year, and now watching the way he’s interacting with Jared, with Sean, and with Brandon — it’s been a really seamless transition. And he’s done a really good job so far.”

On avoiding a “boom-or-bust” mentality:

“I think the NFL is so competitive — don’t really look at it like that. Look at it as, we feel confident with the players that we have, with our coaches. And we’re focused on getting better every single day. And I think in the short amount of time that I’ve been fortunate to work in this league, you realize how competitive all 32 teams are — the other 31 teams other than us. And [they’ve got] great coaches, great players. And you can’t afford to kind of get complacent. You’ve got to always focus on getting better one day at a time, establishing a standard of performance and how our process guides our everyday approach — and that’s the one day at a time. And you can’t really get caught up in things that we can’t control. We kind of just want to be just want to be where our feet our planted, and that’s being present in the day and controlling what we can control.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Fangio, Rams, Broncos

Free agent coach Vic Fangio is an extremely popular man at the moment — as PFR’s 2018 Coordinator Tracker indicates, Fangio is a candidate to return to the Bears or join the division rival Packers, and he could certainly be linked to more jobs as other head coaching vacancies are filled. But hiring Fangio won’t come cheap, as he was reportedly among the NFL’s highest-paid defensive coordinators last season with a salary in excess of $2MM, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The average DC, per Biggs, earns closer to $1.5MM annually, so any club that wants to add Fangio will likely need to pony up.

Here’s more from the coaching front:

  • The Rams have promoted assistant wide receivers coach Zac Taylor to quarterbacks coach, the club announced today. Taylor will replace Greg Olson, who left Los Angeles to become the Raiders’ next offensive coordinator under new head coach Jon Gruden. Taylor has previous play-calling experience, having served as the OC for both the University of Cincinnati and the Dolphins. But he won’t be leading the offense with the Rams, who also employ head coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. Instead, Taylor will help guide former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff as he enters his third NFL campaign.
  • The Broncos have a new special teams coordinator in Tom McMahon, tweets former NFL punter Pat McAfee. McMahon, who’s coached in the NFL for more than a decade, comes to Denver from Indianapolis, where he helped the Colts rank eighth in special teams DVOA. The Broncos, on the other hand, ranked 30th in ST DVOA under former coordinator Brock Olivo.
  • Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin has set up assistant coaching interviews with multiple AFC teams, reports Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM (Twitter link). While Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher was given a head coaching interview after Bruce Arians retired, Goodwin wasn’t afforded the same opportunity. Goodwin has interviewed for four head coaching positions over the past two seasons.
  • While the final decision to fire former offensive coordinator Mike Shula was ultimately left to Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, Rivera “kept the lines of communication” open with interim general manager Marty Hurney during the process, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).