Even though the Chargers deny they have made the decision to fire Norv Turner and A.J. Smith at the end of the year, Mike Florio explains why Turner’s exit from San Diego is a done deal.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Turner firing a done deal?
The Raiders, who apparently won’t be having to replace director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales this year, may already have an in-house substitute in mind, if/when someone else makes Clinkscales a General Manager.
The team has promoted midwest scout Trey Scott to the position of Assistant Director of Player Personnel. Scott, 28, has spent five prior seasons with the team. Before that, he worked for Washington.
Scott arrived in Oakland with Clinkscales and others in May 2012. Both are names to watch, especially if this year’s playoff berth from the Raiders is a sign of things to come.
Washington continues to add to its search for a defensive coordinator, with a fourth name joining the list.
According to Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post, former 49ers linebackers coach Jason Tarver is scheduled to interview.
Former Bills coordinator Rob Ryan met with them today, and they’ve also interviewed former Browns head coach Mike Pettine and former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley.
Tarver was defensive coordinator in Oakland from 2012-14, and previously worked for the 49ers as a position coach.
Washington had received permission to talk to Panthers secondary coach Steve Wilks, but he got the same promotion in Carolina after Sean McDermott got the Bills head coaching job.
For much of the 2016 season and into this year’s playoffs, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman would get days off practice that the Seahawks would claim on their official injury report were “not injury related.”
Now the Seahawks are admitting that an injury did affect Sherman for much of the season.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said today on 710 ESPN in Seattle that Sherman suffered an MCL injury during the season. Carroll said the injury was affecting Sherman both physically and mentally.
That raises an obvious question: Why did the Seahawks’ injury report repeatedly list Sherman’s days off as “not injury related” when an injury was affecting him physically and mentally? The whole point of the injury report is that the NFL wants teams to be transparent about which players are ailing and which players are healthy. The Seahawks were less than transparent.
Carroll surely believes the Seahawks’ decision not to list Sherman on the injury report was true to the letter of the law, or else he wouldn’t have mentioned it today. And he might be right: Not every bump and bruise has to be listed on the injury report, and if the Seahawks were certain Sherman was going to be able to play through the injury, they may be in the clear as far as the league office is concerned.
Still, it’s odd that Carroll is talking about injuries affecting Sherman now, when the official word from the Seahawks all season was “not injury related.”
Tom Coughlin interviewed for the Jaguars head coaching job, didn’t get it, and still ended up employed there.
And Chip Kelly might be following the same path.
After interviewing for the head coaching job that went to Doug Marrone, the former Eagles and 49ers head coach was back at EverBank Field today talking to Jaguars officials, according to Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union.
Kelly as coordinator would be a fascinating idea, and could give Blake Bortles a better chance to succeed. They haven’t officially parted ways with coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, but if Kelly’s hanging around, there are only so many other jobs for him there.
The report said Shead will have surgery to repair the tear. The Seahawks feared after the game that Shead had torn his ACL but no official diagnosis was made until the team returned to Seattle.
Shead will become a restricted free agent in March.
Shead started all 15 games he played in 2016. He had one interception and a career-best 14 pass breakups.
The Titans have hired ex-NFL player Frisman Jackson as their new wide receivers coach and Craig Auckerman as assistant special teams coach.
This is Jackson’s first NFL coaching job. Jackson spent the last two years as wide receivers coach at Temple and previously coached at North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, Western Illinois and Akron. He added the title of passing game coordinator at Temple last season.
Jackson played under Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie with the Browns in the early 2000s.
Auckerman was special teams coordinator with the Chargers last season after serving as assistant special teams coach the previous three seasons with the Chargers. Auckerman has 10 years of NFL coaching experience.
It may not be “no concern,” but the Falcons are apparently confident wide receiver Julio Jones is OK.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters that Jones might be limited in practice this week, but would be “ready to rock,” in time to play Sunday against the Packers.
Jones aggravated the foot/toe injury he’s been dragging around the last few weeks, and may not be 100 percent.
But it’s also clear there’s nothing so significant it will keep him off the field against the Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
The Browns are hiring Blake Williams as their new linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as assistant defensive backs coach, per multiple reports.
Williams is the son of Gregg Williams, who was hired as the Browns’ defensive coordinator earlier this month. The Browns have made staff changes on both sides of the ball since the end of last season.
Blake Williams worked under his father with both the Saints and Rams. He’s spent the last four seasons coaching in the college ranks, the last two at Southeastern Louisiana.
Kruse will work under DeWayne Walker, who was hired as the secondary coach last week. Kruse also coached at Southeastern Louisiana.
The 49ers might be honing in on a head coaching choice (or just picking whoever’s left), but their search for a General Manager is continuing.
Via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, the 49ers are interviewing Seahawks personnel man Trent Kirchner today.
They’re presumably clear to also talk to Seattle’s Scott Fitterer today, as he was among the previously reported candidates and the Seahawks’ schedule is clear after this weekend’s loss to the Falcons.
The 49ers have cast a wide net for G.M. candidates, and initially suggested they wanted to fill that position before they hired a head coach. And if the Falcons beat the Packers this week, they’d technically have another two weeks to accomplish that goal, since presumed choice Kyle Shanahan would be held up the way Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was.
That became certain when Brady’s Patriots and Roethlisberger’s Steelers won this weekend to meet in the AFC Championship Game. Either Brady will start his seventh Super Bowl, adding to his own NFL record, or Roethlisberger will start his fourth. Manning also started four.
The only other quarterback to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl in the last 13 years was Joe Flacco, whose team topped Roethlisberger’s Steelers to win the AFC North in 2012, then beat Manning’s Broncos in the divisional playoffs and Brady’s Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Before that, the last other quarterback to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl was Rich Gannon, whose 2002 Raiders dethroned Brady’s 2001 Patriots as reigning AFC champions.
Sunday will be, incredibly, the 11th time Brady has started in the AFC Championship Game. It will be Roethlisberger’s fifth AFC Championship Game. Manning also started five AFC Championship Games.
Since 2001, the Patriots have advanced to 11 AFC Championship Games, the Steelers six (five with Roethlisberger, one without), the Colts four (three with Manning, one without) and the Broncos three (two with Manning, one without). So counting this year, those four teams will have accounted for 24 AFC Championship Game appearances since the 2001 season, with the other 12 AFC teams accounting for a combined eight AFC Championship Game appearances.
Here’s a list of the starting AFC quarterbacks in the Super Bowl for every season in the 21st Century:
2001: Tom Brady, Patriots
2002: Rich Gannon, Raiders
2003: Tom Brady, Patriots
2004: Tom Brady, Patriots
2005: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
2006: Peyton Manning, Colts
2007: Tom Brady, Patriots
2008: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
2009: Peyton Manning, Colts
2010: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
2011: Tom Brady, Patriots
2012: Joe Flacco, Ravens
2013: Peyton Manning, Broncos
2014: Tom Brady, Patriots
2015: Peyton Manning, Broncos
2016: Brady or Roethlisberger
Monday brought word that Josh McDaniels will be remaining with the Patriots as their offensive coordinator after pulling his name from consideration for the 49ers head coaching job.
That decision leaves the team with a pair of candidates that they’ve interviewed in Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the team is “honing in” on hiring Shanahan as their next coach.
Shanahan interviewed during the Falcons’ bye week and can talk to the 49ers again after the NFC Championship Game. Should the Falcons win, the 49ers would have to wait until the game is over to formally hire Shanahan and they’d be able to make a hire right away if Green Bay goes to the Super Bowl.
Shanahan has had several head coaching interviews over the last couple of years. If he does wind up with the job in Santa Clara, he’ll be a bit behind — quite a bit if the Falcons get to Houston — other teams when it comes to filling out a staff.
That’s an inconvenience, but it may not be a major one for Shanahan given how it has worked out for current boss Dan Quinn, who was hired in Atlanta after the Seahawks lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl two years ago.
There’s one head coaching vacancy in the NFL right now and it appears it will not be filled by Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
According to multiple reports, McDaniels has pulled his name from consideration for the position. He interviewed during Wild Card weekend and would be eligible to speak to the Niners again after Sunday’s game against the Steelers whether the Patriots win or lose, although any hire would obviously have to wait until after the Super Bowl if the Patriots advance.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports reports that McDaniels gave the 49ers job a lot of consideration, but is making a “personal decision” to stay put rather than move across the country at this time. McDaniels has said that he wants another chance to be a head coach and will likely be a candidate for openings again next season.
With McDaniels out of the running, Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable are the other candidates who have interviewed with the team without getting another job. The 49ers are also looking for a new General Manager after dispatching Trent Baalke along with Chip Kelly after the end of the season.
UPDATE 11:42 a.m. ET: McDaniels confirmed he’ll be staying put during a Monday conference call.
Rex Ryan’s departure from Buffalo struck a serious blow to his hopes of more head coaching work in the NFL and many have opined that his coaching future in the league would be as a defensive coordinator.
There’s been no sign that Ryan is going to go that route in 2017, but his brother appears to have interest in such a position. Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports that Rob Ryan is scheduled to interview with the Redskins for their defensive coordinator opening this week.
Ryan spent last season in Buffalo with his brother, although their combined efforts didn’t do enough to get the defense where it needed to be. He came to Buffalo after being dismissed as the Saints’ defensive coordinator during the 2015 season and Ryan has also run the defense in Dallas, Cleveland and Oakland over the course of his career.
Washington fired Joe Barry after the season and they interviewed Mike Pettine, who was a longtime Ryan assistant before becoming the Browns head coach, and Gus Bradley for the opening.
The absence of wide receiver Jordy Nelson didn’t stop the Packers from coming back to beat the Giants in the Wild Card round and it didn’t stop them from taking down the Cowboys 34-31 on Sunday, so the team knows they can win if Nelson’s injured ribs keep him out of the lineup against the Falcons.
They’d prefer to have everyone on hand helping with the effort to get to the Super Bowl, however. After Sunday’s win, Nelson said that his ribs were feeling “a lot better” than he was a week ago but that it’s too early to say if he’ll be able to play.
“No, there’s no guarantees,” Nelson said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We’re a whole week away.”
The Packers had a handful of other players get banged up during the win over the Cowboys. Safety Morgan Burnett’s thigh injury appears most serious as a return after getting hurt in the first quarter was short-lived. Tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga joined wide receiver Davante Adams and cornerback Ladarius Gunter as players who were briefly sidelined before returning to action, something that should bode well for their availability in the NFC title game.
Sunday afternoon’s Packers-Cowboys game has done blockbuster TV ratings for the NFL on FOX.
Packers-Cowboys drew a 28.2 overnight rating, which is the highest rating for a divisional playoff game in 20 years.
The combination of two popular teams and a great game that was decided as time expired gave the NFL an absolutely phenomenal rating — the kind of rating that can be topped only by the conference championship games and the Super Bowls. Other sports simply can’t draw those kinds of ratings, even for the biggest and best games. For context, Game 7 of the 2016 World Series drew a 25.2 overnight rating, while Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals drew an 18.9 overnight rating.
That’s very good news from the NFL, which spent much of the 2016 season mired in low television ratings. Those ratings began to rebound after the election, and the playoffs have been particularly strong.
From a ratings standpoint, the Cowboys losing is not great news for the NFL and FOX, as the Cowboys are the league’s biggest television draw. But Packers-Falcons and Steelers-Patriots are both attractive matchups as well, and the league should expect strong ratings for the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.