Zoltan Mesko

NFC Notes: 49ers, JPP, Lions, Bears

A quick look around the NFC…

  • If the 49ers – losers of five of their first seven games – continue their downward spiral through the rest of the season, first-year head coach Jim Tomsula and his staff (notably offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and defensive coordinator Eric Mangini) could end up as the fall guys, per Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. While general manager Trent Baalke and quarterback Colin Kaepernick may also be under fire, Maiocco believes both have built up credit within the organization via past accomplishments. Thus, they have better odds than the coaches of remaining with the Niners in 2016.
  • Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, finally back with the team after a July 4 fireworks accident that cost him his right index finger, is confident his injury won’t affect his on-field performance. “There’s not going to be a major adjustment. As far as my hand goes, I’ll get used to it. I’m just fortunate to play football again,” Pierre-Paul said, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “The day I walked in here I already won. People said I was going to be out for the whole season,” the 26-year-old added. Pierre-Paul won’t play in the Giants-Saints game Sunday and it’s unclear at the moment when he’ll make his season debut.
  • New Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter had past run-ins with the law in Knoxville – a DUI in 2006 and an aggravated burglary charge in 2009 – but the records of his arrests mysteriously vanished, according to Robert Allen of the Detroit Free Press. “There’s no record. There’s nothing,” said Knoxville police spokesman Darrell DeBusk.
  • The Bears worked out free agent punter Zoltan Mesko on Friday, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Chicago brought in the left-footed Mesko in an effort to prepare for Vikings lefty Jeff Locke – whom the Bears will face Sunday.

West Links: Seahawks, Raiders, Chargers

Following coach Gary Anderson‘s departure to Oregon State, a head coaching job at Wisconsin suddenly opened up. Both Albert Breer and ProFootballTalk (via Twitter) suggested that Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell would be a worthy candidate for the job.

The former Badgers quarterback was asked about the coaching vacancy following Seattle’s practice (via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times):

“Being a head coach someday is of interest to me. I would say I have thought about college. I don’t know exactly at this point where it would be or what it would be. But I do feel like I want to be a head coach someday.”

Bevell was the Badgers quarterback from 1992-1995, when he set several single-game and career passing records.

Let’s check out some more notes from the NFL’s western divisions…

  • Bill Williamson of ESPN.com writes that Jack Del Rio could be included in the Raiders inevitable head coaching search. “He has experience, he is doing well in his current job, he is from the East Bay Area and he is highly respected around the league,” Williamson says of the Broncos‘ defensive coordinator.
  • Williamson adds in a tweet that Jim Harbaugh would be the Raiders top choice for the job, noting that the 49ers coach is a more realistic target than Jon Gruden. However, the writer warns that securing Harbaugh’s services “may not be easy.”
  • The Chargers signed Mat McBriar yesterday, but that wasn’t the only punter the team looked at. According to Howard Balzer (on Twitter), the team also worked out Robert Malone, Zoltan Mesko and Brian Moorman.

Free Agent Notes: Mesko, Whitlock

There are still plenty of former NFL players seeking a job for this season. Let’s check out what some of these free agents are up to…

  • The Lions brought in former Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko for a workout on Friday, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. The 28-year-old split last season between the Steelers and Bengals.
  • Fullback Nikita Whitlock has been suspended by the NFL for four games, tweets Wilson. The former Wake Forest standout spent last season with the Bengals.

Workout Notes: Chargers, Texans, Lions, Jets

The Chargers are on the lookout for a running back after losing Danny Woodhead to a season-ending injury, and it looks like the team is close to adding one. A number of free agents auditioned for the club today, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter), while Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) identifies D.J. Adams as one of the participants. Adams, who was most recently with the Cowboys, spent a month with the Chargers earlier in the offseason.

As we wait to see which player takes Woodhead’s roster spot in San Diego, let’s round up a few more updates on workouts around the league….

  • As first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), the Texans took a look at a handful of free agent punters today in case Shane Lechler misses any time. Lechler is day to day with a hip flexor, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), who also has the list of players who worked out for the club. According to McClain, the Texans brought in Mat McBriar, Zoltan Mesko, Brian Moorman, and Kasey Redfern.
  • Wilson reports (via Twitter) that veteran linebacker Pat Angerer auditioned today for the Lions, who are eyeing linebacker help after losing Stephen Tulloch for the season. Angerer has worked out for the Jets, Saints, and Rams since being released at the end of August by the Falcons.
  • Safety Jamarca Sanford, who was placed on injured reserve and then cut by the Vikings earlier this month, worked out today for the Jets, according to Wilson (via Twitter).
  • The Giants tried out about six players today, including safety Jawanza Starling, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.

Extra Points: Giants, Patriots, Hardy, Rice

Steve Weatherford was out punting during the portion of Giants practice that was open to the media on Friday, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The veteran had suffered a high left ankle sprain during Big Blue’s 35-14 Monday Night season-opening loss in Detroit and said that he wanted to test things out on Friday. He’s still listed as questionable, but today’s session is probably a good sign.

Nonetheless, the Giants seem to be preparing a backup plan just in case Weatherford is unable to go on Sunday. Per Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the team has worked out punters Zoltan Mesko, Brian Moorman, and Kasey Redfern.

  • The Patriots worked out defensive tackle Fred Evans this week, as well as a handful of offensive linemen, including Conor Boffeli, Caylin Hauptmann, and Martin Wallace, according to Yates (Twitter link).
  • Despite a rumor to the contrary, coach Ron Rivera says the Panthers plan to let the legal process play out with Greg Hardy and he will not be released before there’s a resolution in the courts, tweets Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
  • Roger Goodell made a serious error in how he handled the Ray Rice case, but Panthers owner Jerry Richardson still has time to get it right when it comes to Hardy, writes Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. For now the NFL and the Panthers are respecting the legal process, but they have the right to punish Hardy before things get underway in court, and Fowler thinks they should take advantage.
  • There’s a strong possibility that the NFLPA will file a grievance on behalf of Rice even without his approval, a source tells Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
  • With Josh Gordon‘s suspension set to be reduced to 10 games, it could “open a can of worms” with others who tested positive in 2013 fighting for a revised suspension, a league source tells Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Clowney, Harper, Goodwin

Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be in Atlanta next week to visit the Falcons, a league source confirms to ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. Clowney is said to be close to shutting down workouts with teams, but will still be making visits to clubs at the top of the draft. The Falcons have the No. 6 pick and Clowney would be an excellent fit in Atlanta, but the club would likely have to trade up in the draft to have a real shot at the South Carolina standout. The latest from around the league..

  • New Panthers safety Roman Harper told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that he chose Carolina in part because he wanted to go somewhere that was warm and would give him a chance to play. Cold weather and losing would be the quickest path to retirement for him, he explained.
  • The Saints brought in former center Jonathan Goodwin for a visit today, a league source tells Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (Twitter link). A reunion is possible for the two sides and makes a good deal of sense in Triplett’s view.
  • While the Bengals signed punter T.J. Conley earlier today, they also had fellow punter Zoltan Mesko in for a tryout, tweets Howard Balzer of USA Today.
  • The Saints brought Goodwin in for a visit today, but the Cardinals won’t do the same, tweets Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. That’s because offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin doesn’t want to coach his younger brother.
  • Florida State running back Devonta Freeman is visiting the Vikings on Monday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

Redskins Notes: Mesko, Jackson, Latimer

The Redskins signed Blake Clingan to a contract earlier today, giving the team a pair of punters on the roster — Clingan joins Robert Malone, who was signed following the end of the regular season. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), former Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko auditioned for Washington as well, but unless the club plans on a three-way competition in camp, it looks like Mesko’s workout with the Redskins won’t result in a contract.

Let’s round up a few more items out of Washington….

  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio yesterday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden suggested that when someone like DeSean Jackson becomes available, the team wants to do “whatever it takes” to land that player.
  • Asked in the same interview whether the club is done signing free agents, Gruden indicated the Redskins are focused primarily on the draft unless someone else piques their interest in free agency.
  • The Redskins are scheduling a pre-draft visit with Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). According to Wilson (via Twitter), Latimer will hold a private workout day later this month, and at least 17 NFL teams have expressed interest in attending.
  • Wilson also reports (via Twitter) that Rob Jackson‘s new one-year contract with Washington is a minimum salary benefit deal that includes a $65K signing bonus.