Report: Lions parting ways with quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan

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The Detroit Lions have parted ways with quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan, according to Albert Breer of

Callahan spent the last two seasons as the Lions quarterbacks coach. He spent the previous six years as an offensive assistant in various roles with the Denver Broncos.

Matthew Stafford has had two of his most efficient seasons with Callahan as his quarterbacks coach. Stafford has tossed just 10 interceptions and completed over 65 percent of his passes in each of the last two years. He also set career highs in yards per attempt and passer rating in 2017.

Callahan’s father, Bill, is currently the offensive line coach for the Washington Redskins.

Report: Darrell Bevell interviewing with Cardinals

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Former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was interviewing for a job with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Bevell was let go by the Seahawks two weeks ago as head coach Pete Carroll has made numerous changes to his coaching staff since the start of the offseason. Bevell had spent the last seven seasons with Seattle as their offensive coordinator.

The Cardinals previously interviewed Bevell for their head coaching position when the team was seeking a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt following the 2012 season. Bruce Arians was hired instead and coached the team the last five seasons before retiring earlier this month.

Arizona is now seeking a new offensive coordinator to serve under newly hired head coach Steve Wilks.

The Seahawks ranked in the top five in the league in rushing offense in four straight seasons with Bevell as coordinator, including leading the league in rushing in 2014. Despite serious running game issues this season, Russell Wilson led the league in passing touchdowns in Bevell’s offense as well. The Seahawks were also 4-0-1 in their last five games played against the Cardinals in Arizona.

Bevell grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz. and spent his first year of college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Report: Richie Incognito won’t be punished for alleged racial slurs

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Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accused Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito of making racial slurs during a playoff game between the two teams earlier this month.

While the NFL said they would look into the matter, it appears as though no discipline will be levied against Incognito over the alleged incident. According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, the investigation has concluded and Incognito is not expected to be punished.

However, a league spokesman told Carucci and that it continues to review the matter.

Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins vouched for Incognito after Ngakoue accused him of using the slurs. Ngakoue stood by his claims.

Incognito and Ngakoue will be teammates this week at the Pro Bowl in Orlando.

Church’s hit on Gronkowski was textbook illegal, avoidable

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A debate emerged on Sunday regarding whether Jaguars safety Barry Church could have avoided applying an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Church, without question, could have.

This wasn’t the kind of play about which Steelers safety Mike Mitchell complained during the regular season, with a low throw forcing the receiver to lunge into the path of a tackler who was trying to apply a legal hit to the midsection. Gronkowski jumped for the ball, stretching his six-foot-six-inch frame — and giving Church a broad strike zone. Church opted not to take it.

He wasn’t facing the dilemma of applying an illegal hit to Gronkowski’s head or a legal (but dirty) hit to Gronkowski’s legs. The league expects, via rules enacted and emphasized before Gronkowski or Church entered the NFL, a hit to be applied below the head or neck area.

Then there’s the separate question of whether Church actually wanted to hit Gronkowski high. The bounty scandal of nearly six years ago (yes, it’s been that long) made taboo any talk of targeting certain players for physical incapacitation, despite the obvious strategic benefits of finding a way to keep the best players from the other team off the field. But would be naive to assume that modern players suddenly are unaware of the benefit of putting a player like Gronkowski on the sideline.

Last week, we mused (partially in jest) on PFT Live about the potential value of Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey baiting Gronkowki into a fight that would get both of them ejected. Church’s hit managed to get Gronkowski ejected, as a practical matter.

While there’s no reason to believe that Church was specifically hoping to apply a knockout blow to Gronkowski, the available evidence shows that he made no effort to avoid it when the opportunity arose. And he’ll eventually suffer the consequences for it, regardless of intent. Still, it’s hardly crazy to think that Church intended to do precisely what he did.

Seahawks mutually part ways with defensive assistant Travis Jones

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The Seahawks have mutually parted ways with senior defensive assistant coach Travis Jones.

Jones had spent the last five seasons as a member of the team’s defensive staff. He replaced Dan Quinn as the team’s defensive line coach when Quinn was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2013. He then transitioned into a role as a senior defensive assistant last seasons with Clint Hurtt taking over the defensive line coaching duties.

Jones becomes the fifth member of the Seahawks’ coaching staff to move on after their 2017 season. Seattle fell short of the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and finished with a 9-7 record. Jones joins offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Kris Richard, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable and assistant head coach/linebackers coach Michael Barrow as coaches that won’t return to the staff in 2018.

Additionally, the Seahawks appear to be moving Dave Canales from receivers coach to quarterback coach under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. That would leave Carl Smith, the team’s quarterbacks coach for the last seven seasons, needing a new role for next season.

Jones coached with Nick Saban at LSU and followed him to the Miami Dolphins in 2005 for his first NFL coaching job. After coaching linebackers and defensive line in Miami for three seasons, he spent five years as defensive line coach of the New Orleans Saints under Sean Payton before joining the Seahawks in 2013.

Seahawks expected to move Dave Canales to quarterbacks coach

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The Seahawks are expected to move Dave Canales from wide receivers coach to quarterbacks coach, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News.

Canales has coached the team’s receivers the past three seasons. He joined the Seahawks in 2010 after one season as USC’s offensive administrative assistant.

Among the Seahawks’ changes to their coaching staff, they will reassign quarterbacks coach Carl Smith.

Smith arrived in Seattle in 2011, overseeing the development of Russell Wilson.

Broncos getting an up-close look at Josh Allen this week

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The Broncos have drafted a quarterback in each of the past three drafts. It appears they are ready to make it four in four years with yet another this spring.

Broncos General Manager John Elway scouted Josh Allen and Sam Darnold in person. He is getting an even closer look at Wyoming’s Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield at the Senior Bowl this week, with Broncos coaches coaching the North team.

It’s fun to look over there and see a guy with as a great stature as John Elway,” Allen said Monday, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “It’s really cool that he went to one of my games. It speaks a lot about what the Denver Broncos are trying to do this offseason. I actually got a chance to speak with them right now. Super good guy, super down to earth and obviously he wants to win. And he’s doing the right thing by being down here and scouting as many players as he can and ultimately he’s going to make the best decision for that franchise.”

Since Peyton Manning retired after the 2015 season, the Broncos have had a revolving door at the position. Trevor Siemian has started 24 games the past two seasons, while Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler have started four each.

Siemian, Lynch and Chad Kelly, who spent his rookie season on injured reserve, are under contract for next season. It isn’t likely they all return.

Allen will try to show the Broncos, as well as other quarterback-needy teams, that he is worthy of a high pick by looking the part of a franchise player this week.

“I want to prove I belong,” Allen said. “I know there’s some skepticism about the type of player I am and where I come from, the University of Wyoming. So getting out here and playing with the best of the best and showing I can make all the throws and understand offenses in the NFL. That’s the main reason I’m here.”

Mike Brown: Bengals have no intention of moving

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With the team’s stadium lease 10 years from expiring and the NFL’s franchise shuffle renewed in recent years given the approved moves of three of the league’s 32 franchises, the Bengals are at least on the outer edges of the relocation radar screen. Bengals owner Mike Brown disputes that notion, however. Strongly.

This is just a figment of somebody’s imagination,” Brown recently told the team’s official website. “We have no intention of moving. We had an opportunity to move when we came here to the stadium. We turned it down knowing full well that we were turning down literally hundreds of millions of dollars that we would not see here that we would have seen if we moved. I think that ought to be understood. It seems to be ignored.”

What can’t be ignored is the reality that, when the lease expires in a decade, the local politicians may not be willing to cut the kind of sweetheart deal that kept the Bengals in town when Riverfront Stadium was replaced by a football-only facility. Coupled with the possibility that some other market may be willing to make the Bengals an offer they can’t refuse if Cincinnati refuses to make a viable offer, relocation can’t be completely ruled out.

“I played a role in bringing it here,” Brown said. “I played a role in keeping it here. I don’t know if there’s much more I can do. I would hazard to guess the Bengals will be here when I’m not.”

Brown is now 82. A decade from now, it’s unclear who will be making the decisions about where the team will be. But basic economics could make a move at least a possibility, depending largely on the local political will to keep the team — and the political will of some other community to pry it away.

If those dynamics weren’t real and substantial, nearly 10 percent of the league’s teams wouldn’t have secured permission to change cities in the last two years. So it’s hardy a figment of anyone’s imagination to flag the Bengals as a team that could move. When current NFL cities can’t or won’t fund new stadiums and other cities will, it’s reasonable to peg teams with expiring leases in aging stadiums as potential candidates to get a new stadium in a new town.

Cowboys hire Kris Richard as defensive passing game coordinator

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It didn’t take long for Kris Richard to find a new job.

The Cowboys have hired Richard as their defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator, Gee Scott of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.

Richard became the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator when Dan Quinn left to become the Falcons’ head coach in 2015. The Seahawks defense ranked in the top three in points allowed in 2015 and ’16 before falling to 13th this season. Seattle ranked 11th in total defense this season despite losing several key players to injuries.

The Seahawks parted ways with Richard after the season. He interviewed for the Colts head coaching job, but Indianapolis settled on Josh McDaniels.

Richard replaces Matt Eberflus as defensive passing game coordinator. Eberflus left to join the Colts as their defensive coordinator. Joe Baker coached the Cowboys’ secondary last season, but the team did not renew his contract as they have turned over their coaching staff this offseason.

What should the Eagles do with Nick Foles?

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The Eagles turned a $4 million investment in a backup quarterback into a Super Bowl berth. Unlike the one-year deal that the Vikings signed with backup-turned-starter Case Keenum, the Eagles signed Foles to a two-year deal (technically, five; actually, two). For another $4 million in salary, a $3 million roster bonus, and a total cap charge of $7.6 million, the Eagles can keep Foles as insurance behind Carson Wentz for a second season.

Some have suggested that the Eagles actually have a quarterback controversy heading into the 2018 season, which is ludicrous. It’s the opposite of ludicrous to have a viable alternative behind Wentz, given Wentz’s propensity for playing with reckless abandon — a propensity that likely won’t subside based on one measly torn ACL.

So what will the Eagles do? The smart move will to keep Foles around for another year. The shrewd move could be to try to trade him, the same way that the Eagles under Andy Reid flipped quarterbacks like Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley.

But Foles, based on his travels beyond Philadelphia, knows the grass isn’t any greener elsewhere. He should want to stay with the Eagles, at least for another year. Come 2019 when he’s free and clear and able to sign with any other team, maybe the right opportunity opens up elsewhere. Until it does, his best opportunity will be to remain with the Eagles.

Report: Browns hire Todd Haley

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The deal is done: The Browns have hired Todd Haley as their offensive coordinator, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Haley, 50, is expected to call plays under Hue Jackson, who doubled as the play-caller his first two seasons. Haley likely gets a rookie quarterback to coach, with the Browns expected to use the No. 1 overall pick on one.

The former head coach of the Chiefs ran one of the most explosive offensives in the NFL the past four seasons. But the Steelers did not renew his contract after their 45-42 loss to the Jaguars in the divisional round.

Haley has his work cut out for him with the Browns. They ranked 24th in total offense, 22nd in passing offense and 32nd in scoring.

Cardinals could hire Al Holcomb as defensive coordinator

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The Cardinals are interested in hiring Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb as their defensive coordinator. Holcomb is the “front-runner” for the job, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Holcomb would follow former Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, whom the Cardinals have hired as their head coach.

Sean McDermott sought to take Holcomb with him to Buffalo last year, but Holcomb remained under contract in Carolina.

Holcomb spent five seasons working with the Panthers’ linebackers, overseeing the development of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. He previously coached with the Giants, spending two seasons as a quality control coach and two seasons as a defensive assistant.

Packers adding Ryan Downard to defensive staff

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Ryan Downard will join the Packers’ coaching staff. Bowling Green announced the move, losing their safeties coach after he spent two seasons at the school.

Downard is believed to have accepted a yet unknown position under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Downard worked for Pettine in Cleveland, assisting with the defensive backs in 2015 and the defensive line in 2014.

Downard previously served as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech and Toledo.

The Packers have yet to make Pettine’s hiring or other staff changes official.

Bill Belichick-Bill Parcells relationship gets the 30 for 30 treatment


Bill Belichick is getting ready to try to win his sixth Super Bowl with the Patriots. But a victory at Super Bowl LII would actually earn Belichick his eighth Super Bowl ring, as he won two as defensive coordinator for Bill Parcells with the Giants.

The long relationship between Belichick and Parcells is explored in the new 30 for 30 documentary The Two Bills, which premieres on ESPN on February 1. It details the decades-long relationship with the two men, which started when Belichick applied for a job on Parcells’ staff at Air Force, moved to Belichick working for Parcells with the Giants, saw them coach against each other when Belichick was in Cleveland and Parcells was in New England, and then saw Belichick work for Parcells again with the Jets before leaving for the Patriots.

The documentary alternates back and forth between NFL Films footage of their time coaching in the 1980s and 1990s, and a recent joint interview the two men gave. Both men seem to agree that Parcells was the better coach when it came to relating to and motivating players, while Belichick was the superior strategist. Parcells credits Belichick for the game plans that shut down Bill Walsh’s offense in San Francisco and Joe Gibbs’ offense in Washington. Belichick says in the recent interview that he appreciates Parcells calling him aside from time to time and teaching him other aspects of being a head coach.

“I so appreciate what you did, Bill,” Belichick told Parcells. “Periodically I’d go into your office and you’d say, ‘I just want you to know what’s going on.’ . . . The draft, maybe a player’s got a discipline problem or a contract problem, when you’re a defensive coordinator you don’t know about all that, but Bill would tell me what’s going on. I really appreciate you doing that. It helped open my eyes to some things that I really wasn’t playing much attention to.”

Belichick and Parcells also have a remarkably detailed memory of game plans. They both could recall exactly how Belichick proposed running the dime as the base defense to stop the Lions’ run and shoot offense in 1990, and how Parcells thought running the dime as a base defense was ridiculous. And then they simultaneously smiled as they remembered how the Giants ended up beating the Lions 20-0.

Parcells controversially jumped from the Patriots to the Jets in 1997, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft says in the documentary that the NFL basically allowed the Jets to get away with tampering with Parcells. Kraft, who would later feud with the league office over Deflategate, first began to question the integrity of the league office over its handling of the Parcells transition.

“It also told me that the league office was not as pure as I might have thought,” Kraft said. “I think the league office tacitly blessed it and told them how to do it.”

For his part, Parcells sounds regretful, wondering if he could have lasted as long in New England and had the same success as Belichick if only he would have developed a better rapport with Kraft.

“If I had just been a little bit smarter about it and a little bit more diplomatic I think it probably would have worked out. Maybe not to the extent it did for Bill, but I think it could have worked out better,” Parcells said.

That “maybe not” is an extraordinary admission from Parcells. He’s a Hall of Fame coach, but he has to admit that in the end, his protege Belichick has had even greater success. Parcells sounds both proud of that and a little jealous, as a competitor who always wanted to be the best. That’s the kind of relationship the two Bills had.

Kyle Rudolph, Linval Joseph, Harrison Smith headed to Pro Bowl

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Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, safety Harrison Smith and defensive tackle Linval Joseph are headed to the Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Monday.

Rudolph replaces Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, who withdrew with an injury; Joseph replaces Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who can’t play for obvious reasons; and Smith replaces Giants safety Landon Collins, who withdrew with an injury.

It is Smith’s third consecutive Pro Bowl. Joseph and Rudolph both will play in their second. Rudolph earned Pro Bowl MVP honors in the 2013 all-star game.

The Vikings had seven players earn Pro Bowl honors, with linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Adam Thielen also earning all-star nods. Barr and Griffen withdrew earlier Monday.