The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could move swiftly to hire Vikings offensive line coach Pat Morris after firing Pete Mangurian Friday. Morris, who is a 14-year NFL coaching veteran, has a history with Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson. They both served on the Detroit Lions staff under Steve Mariucci in 2004-05. Morris was the Lions offensive line coach both seasons while Olson coached quarterbacks in '04 and was offensive coordinator in '05. Morris has directed the league's No. 1 rushing attack three times during his career (1998-99, '07) and ranked in the NFL's top 10 on eight occasions.
The Browns are expected to hire former Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach Dick Jauron, 60, as their defensive coordinator soon, a league source told The Plain Dealer. One of the other leading candidates for the Browns job, Dave Wannstedt, accepted a job today with the Buffalo Bills to be their assistant head coach/linebackers coach, according to reports. A source close to Jauron said he "seriously doubts" a deal will get done today, but they are close enough to perhaps agree to "a general principle." Jauron has received multiple inquiries, including from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Veteran NFL coach Dave Wannstedt has agreed to join the Buffalo Bills' staff as assistant head coach, according to FoxSports.com. Wannstedt interviewed with the Bills last week and has a long relationship with Bills head coach Chan Gailey. Wannstedt interviewed with the Cleveland Browns for their defensive coordinator position on Thursday. A Bills spokesman said Friday morning the team has nothing to announce at this time. Wannstedt recently was forced to resign as University of Pittsburgh head coach after six season in that position. Wannstedt is a Pittsburgh native. Gailey was Wannstedt's first offensive coordinator when Wannstedt became head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2000.
Well, maybe the Browns won't scrap the 3-4 defense after all. Bill Davis entered the mix as a defensive coordinator candidate and interviewed for the Browns' vacancy Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. During the past two seasons as the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator, Davis employed a hybrid 3-4. Earlier in his 19-year career as an NFL assistant coach, he worked with noted defensive coordinators and 3-4 gurus Dick LeBeau and Dom Capers. Davis' 3-4 background separates him from two other defensive coordinator candidates who are associated with the 4-3 alignment.
Among the 17 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next month, the Ravens have many tough decisions to make in terms of whom to retain and how much to offer. One decision that is not difficult involves Haloti Ngata. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle set a career high with 5½ sacks this season and contributed to a run defense that finished the regular season ranked fifth in the NFL in yards per game. That's why general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said inking Ngata to a long-term contract is one of the foremost objectives the front office faces in the offseason.
After considering not one but two top assistant coach positions, Jim Mora may have ultimately decided he was better off not working at all. The Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, may feel like they were taken for a ride. Mora, a former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach, declined defensive coordinator offers Wednesday from the Broncos and the Eagles. One factor in Mora's change of heart, according to an NFL source, is that the Seahawks are still paying him a head coaching salary for one more season. He wouldn't get that full payout from Seattle if he accepted another job.
Re-signing quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is the Seahawks' top priority heading into the offseason, coach Pete Carroll said at his season-concluding press conference Wednesday at the VMAC. Hasselbeck said throughout the season and again on Monday that he'd like to return next season, and Carroll has made it clear the Seahawks would like to re-sign the veteran quarterback. He reiterated that statement again Wednesday. "It's the top priority," Carroll said. "It's the top priority in the program. You have to deal with this or you don't understand the game. I think we understand it really well."
The Seattle Seahawks have offered their offensive coordinator job to former Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a source said. Bevell flew to Seattle on Tuesday for a two-day interview with head coach Pete Carroll. After the interview, he was offered the job and contract talks have started. The source said the negotiations should be concluded within the next day.
A new name has emerged in the Eagles' search for a defensive coordinator: Dennis Allen. The team received permission from the New Orleans Saints to talk with their secondary coach, a league source said Wednesday night. Allen's name surfaced after the Eagles lost a candidate for the job when Jim Mora withdrew his name from consideration for the defensive coordinator positions in Philadelphia and Denver. Mora was not a serious candidate for the Eagles, team sources said. Allen, however, comes out of nowhere, partly because of his age and inexperience. The 38-year-old has never been a coordinator at any level.
The Browns lost out to the Vikings for offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, but a new candidate has emerged in former Steelers quarterbacks coach and Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, a report says.
The Carolina Panthers interviewed a Gruden for a job last weekend, and now they've brought in another name with even more history. The Panthers have interviewed former Alabama head coach and NFL assistant Mike Shula for one of the vacancies on their offensive staff, according to league source. Shula's father Don is the winningest coach in NFL history, but Mike could bring some valuable experience to an offensive staff that's in need of some. Mike Shula's been the quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville the past four seasons, but has also worked with tight ends and as a coordinator in his 23 seasons as a coach.