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Tag:Dennis Allen
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:33 pm
 

Greg Knapp takes OC job with Raiders

By Josh Katzowitz

While T.J. Yates came out of nowhere to help lead the Texans to the playoffs after they lost Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart to injury, his quarterbacks coach is getting a big promotion.

As the Houston Chronicle writes, Houston coach Gary Kubiak confirmed that Texans quarterback coach Greg Knapp has taken the Raiders offensive coordinator job.

Knapp shouldn’t be unfamiliar with the Raiders organization, considering he was their offensive coordinator from 2007-08 (he also has been the offensive coordinator for the 49ers and the Falcons).

Also, according to Foxsports.com, new Oakland coach Dennis Allen is trying to fill out his staff by interviewing former 49ers and Chargers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for the same job with the Raiders.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:17 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 10:10 pm
 

Del Rio to take over as Broncos DC

Del Rio

By Josh Katzowitz

After losing Dennis Allen to the Raiders head coaching job, Broncos coach John Fox is bringing in Jack Del Rio to be the new Denver defensive coordinator, the team announced Friday night.

"We are thrilled to be able to add such a well-respected defensive coach to our staff," Fox said in a statement. "He was an integral part of our turnaround on defense during my first year with the Panthers in 2002. His defenses with the Jaguars have ranked among the NFL's best, and we are excited he's a Bronco."

The move is most certainly not a surprise, as a report emerged on Wednesday that the Broncos seriously were considering Del Rio.

Plus, Del Rio was Fox’s defensive coordinator in Carolina in 2002 when the team finished second in the league in yards allowed and fifth in points (despite a 7-9 finish) that directly led Del Rio to snatching the Jaguars job.

So, from pretty much all angles, the move makes sense for Fox, and assuming Del Rio -- fired before the end of the 2011 season -- wants to find work again, the move makes sense for him as well. Especially since he’ll take over a defense that improved greatly in the second half of last season.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:29 am
 

Report: Jack Del Rio could be next Broncos DC

JDR could be the next Broncos defensive coordinator. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With Dennis Allen now headed to Oakland as the next head coach of the Raiders, the Broncos now need to fill a big void at defensive coordinator. According to one report, Jack Del Rio could be the guy to take over for Allen in Denver.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network cites sources on Wednesday who believe that Del Rio has "emerged as a possible replacement" for Allen after he departs for the Raiders.

Del Rio was axed from Jacksonville in late November and since then's been ripped by former players, been basically called "not as good as Tom Coughlin" by his former owner, and he was reportedly mentioned as a candidate for the Chiefs job.

Defense is JDR's calling card (along with lumberjacking and leather jackets) and the Broncos could particularly make sense given the success he had in 2002 as John Fox's defensive coordinator with the Panthers. That year the Panthers finished first in yards per rushing attempt allowed, second in total yards allowed, fifth in points allowed and seventh in takeaways in the NFL.

Del Rio parlayed that success, along with his work as the Ravens linebackers coach before that, into becoming the replacement for Coughlin in Jacksonville. He only compiled a 68-71 record over nine years, but his defenses were typically stout. 2010 and 2011 were the exception, not the rule.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:43 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 7:03 am
 

Raiders hire Broncos DC Dennis Allen

Bruce Allen has been hired to be Oakland's next coach (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz


Dennis Allen, the former defensive coordinator of the Broncos, has been hired to be the next Raiders head coach, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed (the news was originally reported by Fox’s Jay Glazer).

Reports out of Oakland suggested Allen had done well in his two interviews with the Oakland front office and that early favorite Winston Moss, the Packers assistant head coach, had not.

Latest Coaching News, Rumors

In his only season as the head of Denver’s defense, he helped lead a unit that propped up quarterback Tim Tebow for the last half of the season and allowed the Broncos to win the AFC West and beat the Steelers in the first round of the postseason.

Glazer writes that the two sides still have to negotiate a deal, but with Allen, the Raiders will get a coach whose defense finished in the bottom half of the league standings but who was lauded for the improvements his unit made in the final half of the season.

Although Moss -- who knows new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie quite well from their days together in Green Bay, leading to the speculation that he had a good chance of landing the job -- seemingly fell out of favor during the interviewing process, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg reportedly had a good shot at landing the job.

The Raiders also interviewed Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice and former Dolphins defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, while Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy declined his chance to interview.

Considering former owner Al Davis was such a big proponent of hiring offensive-minded coaches (see: Hue Jackson, Tom Cable, Lane Kiffin, Art Shell, Norv Turner, Bill Callahan, Jon Gruden, etc.), seeing a defensive-minded coach hired is an interesting concept.

It shows that Mark Davis, Al Davis’ son who is now in charge, will take a different tact than this father. Only time will tell whether this new path is the beginning of a Raiders resurgence or if Al Davis had the right idea the whole time.

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Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:28 pm
 

OAK has interviewed Moss; to look at Allen again

Winston Moss reportedly interviewed with Oakland on Jan. 14 (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

When Reggie McKenzie was hired as the Raiders general manager, the league consensus was that Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss was an early favorite, particularly since McKenzie was coming to Oakland from the Green Bay player personnel director position.

But since then, we hadn’t heard much about moss, though we know the Packers have interviewed Todd Bowles and Marty Mornhinweg and have shown interest in Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy (who declined an interview) and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Plus, as CBS Sports’ Charley Casserly reported Sunday, the Raiders also want to speak with Packers defensive coordinator* Dom Capers.

Turns out, though, that Moss already has interviewed for the job, all the way back on Jan. 14, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The day before the Packers lost to the Giants, Moss interviewed for four hours with the Raiders.

*Jeez, it seems like the only Packers assistant coach who the Raiders didn’t interview was the guy who ended up getting the Dolphins head coaching job.

But if you’re forecasting a favorite besides Moss, the paper has a thought on the matter.

Latest Coaching News, Rumors
Writes Vittorio Tafur, “There are those who think Mornhinweg might be the new favorite for the Raiders' job. He worked with McKenzie in Green Bay and was the Packers' quarterbacks coach when Green Bay won the Super Bowl with Brett Favre. Al Davis always liked to hire offensive coaches, and maybe his son, Mark, and McKenzie follow suit.”

In other Raiders head coach news, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Allen has been lined up for a second interview with the Oakland brass. That interview is scheduled to occur during this week's Senior Bowl activities in Mobile. 

Which might mean that Allen -- and not necessarily Moss or Mornhinweg -- is the favorite at this point.

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Raiders interview Mornhinweg for head coach job

Marty Mornhinweg interviewed with Oakland on Friday (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Suddenly, Eagles coach Marty Mornhinweg has become a legitimate head coaching candidate again, and this time, it has nothing to do with the Colts and their new general manager, Ryan Grigson, who worked with Mornhinweg in Philadelphia.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Mornhinweg interviewed for the Raiders head coaching job on Friday. While Mornhinweg has been mentioned as a candidate to replace Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis, the newspaper writes that the Eagles haven’t been contacted for permission (and considering Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted today that he plans to hire a coach next week, it seems like Mornhinweg doesn't have a shot at that job).

While Mornhinweg failed at his only other head coaching job, going 5-27 in two seasons in Detroit in 2001-02, he’s been a solid hire in Philadelphia.

This year, via Football Outsiders, the Eagles had the eighth-best offense in the league. Since he was hired as the Eagles offensive coordinator in 2006, Philadelphia consistently has ranked in the NFL’s top-10 points scored and yards gained.

Mornhinweg left Oakland on Friday without the job, but that’s probably because new general manager Reggie McKenzie has a long list of candidates, including Todd Bowles (who’s already interviewed), Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss, new Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, and Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:00 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 1:13 pm
 

Latest coaching rumors, news (Week 3)

Black Monday, part III

By Josh Katzowitz

Coaching news and rumors don't slow down just because there's football. If you missed all of last week's action, hit it here to catch up on Black Monday, week one and Black Monday, week two and then scroll down. Make sure to bookmark this page as we'll be updating it throughout the week with the latest news and rumors.

FRIDAY
12:30 p.m. ET
  • Looks like the speculation concering Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was true. He told Mike Tomlin he will retire.
THURSDAY
11:50 p.m. ET
  • Ah, the old switcharoo. Now that Steve Spagnuolo has taken the Saints offensive coordinator job, the circle is complete. He replaces former New Orleans offensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who left to take the Rams offensive coordinator job to work for Jeff Fisher, who replaced Spagnuolo as head coach. What does it all mean? Nothing, except the NFL is a crazy business.
10:55 a.m. ET
  • Although it appears that former Chiefs coach Todd Haley wants to coach in Arizona and that the Cardinals want Haley to coach for them, the Arizona Republic reports the two sides are having a difficult time making that happen. There's an open spot for a quarterback coach, but it sounds like Haley wants more responsibility than that.

WEDNESDAY
9:40 p.m. ET
  • After firing Jim Caldwell, the Colts have begun to prowl for their next head coach. First on the agenda: Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.
  • There is now a question whether Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will return to Pittsburgh next season. His contract is up, and it sounds like he might decide to retire from the game.
7:30 p.m. ET
  • Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, one of about 300 candidates for the Raiders head coaching position, has decided to decline his chance to interview with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, according to the Denver Post. McKenzie seemingly will still interview Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
  • As the Tennessean reports, Mike Reinfeldt has been promoted to senior executive vice president/chief operating officer and moved Ruston Webster to general manager.
TUESDAY
10:40 p.m. ET
  • Though it's been thought that Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss has a good shot to land the Raiders job, Oakland will interview at least four more candidates. That includes Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Bears defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
  • As Rapid Reporter Dan McLellan writes, Chargers offensive line coach Hal Hunter has been named San Diego's new offensive coordinator. “Hal has been an important part of our offense since I’ve been here,” coach Norv Turner said. “He has a complete understanding of what we want to do in the run and the pass.”
7:45 p.m. ET
  • One defensive coordinator domino has been knocked down as the Falcons have hired Mike Nolan to replace the departed Brian Van Gorder. Which could open up Steve Spagnuolo heading to New Orleans to replace Gregg Williams as Saints defensive coordinator.
  • According to the Florida Times-Union, former University of Florida and University of Illinois head coach Ron Zook will interview Wednesday for the Jaguars special teams coach.

5:30 p.m. ET

  • The Dolphins are down to three head coaching candidates -- Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, Miami interim coach Todd Bowles and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. You can now eliminate Mike Zimmer and Dave Toub from consideration.

MONDAY

5:15 p.m. ET

3:50 p.m. ET

  • Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has made the lateral move to become the defensive coordinator for Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Yep, it'll be a good old fashioned Titans reunion party in St. Louis

11:30 a.m. ET

  • Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy did such a good job with a Tim Tebow-led offense that he'll be interviewed by the Dolphins for their head coaching job.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:40 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 9:40 pm
 

Film Room: Patriots vs Broncos divisional preview

Will Gronk get his Gronk on this time around? (Getty Images)
Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

It was assumed the Patriots would draw a rematch in their divisional round playoff opener. However, most figured that rematch would be of their Week 8 bout with Pittsburgh, not their Week 15 bout with Denver.

Here’s the breakdown of what could turn out to be the highest-rated divisional round Saturday night game of all-time.


1. New England’s plan for Tebow
Something to keep in mind is the Steelers had a sound gameplan last week, playing man coverage and using a tepid pass-rush to ensure that Tim Tebow stayed in the pocket. What the Steelers didn’t count on was Demaryius Thomas being able to get by Ike Taylor and Tebow being able to pull the trigger on downfield throws. Those two young ’10 first-rounders both had career days.

The Patriots might bet that the two youngsters can’t do it again.

On the one hand, that’s a smart bet given that Thomas and Tebow were inconsistent all season (Tebow especially). On the other hand, it’s foolish given that cornerback Kyle Arrington – who would draw the Thomas matchup, as Thomas almost always lines up on the favorable side of the left-handed Tebow – is not half the cover artist Ike Taylor is, and given that logic says if Tebow can win against the man coverage of the league’s best pass defense, he can surely win against the man coverage of the league’s worst pass defense.

In the last meeting, the Patriots played predominant Cover 3 in the first half:

The Broncos had success throwing skinny posts to Tebow’s left against the Patriots Cover 3 defense in the last meeting. Cover 3 is what you’d guess it is: three defensive backs each responsible for a third of the field. Because there is so much field to cover, the outside defensive backs often play man-to-man concepts (as Devin McCourty is doing on the right side). Cover 3 is something defenses play when they blitz or when they want to force a quarterback to throw (it’s the default zone coverage behind an eight-defender box).

In this example, the Patriots were clearly baiting Tebow to throw. Notice there are only five rushers (which is hardly a blitz considering Denver has seven guys in pass protection – the idea was to keep Tebow from scrambling). Also notice how linebacker Dane Fletcher has his back to the quarterback and is running towards the left passing window. (Fletcher was late getting there; Tebow did a good job recognizing the coverage and getting the ball out quickly. The result was a 22-yard completion to Eric Decker.)

The Broncos used great routes for beating this anticipated coverage, but Tebow was unable to connect on some of the throws.

Still, throws against Cover 3 are easier than throws against quality press-man, as long as the pass protection holds up. Denver’s protection was tremendous last week.

If tackles Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin (who may need some help on the right side) can keep speed-rusher Mark Anderson at bay, the Broncos will be golden. (Keeping a backup like Anderson at bay may not sound difficult, but the former Bear was actually very disruptive in the last meeting.)

2. Stop the run!
The Patriots gave up 167 yards rushing in the first quarter of the Week 15 contest. They wound up winning the game handily, but they were on the fortuitous side of a few fumbles.

Common sense says you can’t bank on having success with such porous run defense. The issue last game was outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich’s inability to set the edge and the defensive line’s inability to prevent the Bronco linemen from contacting inside linebackers. This was a problem both with New England’s 3-4 and 4-3 fronts.

Nose tackle Vince Wilfork must stand out more this time around. The Broncos will be willing at times to block him one-on-one with J.D. Walton. The second-year center has been up-and-down (in a good way) handling tough solo assignments against nose tackles down the stretch this season. He was phenomenal against Antonio Garay of the Chargers in Week 12 but had been just so-so the previous week against Sione Pouha of the Jets. In Week 15 he held his own against Wilfork, but in Week 16 he got schooled by Marcell Dareus.
 
If Walton has a strong game, the Broncos can pound the rock inside. If he struggles, Denver’s at least capable of getting to the perimeter, though they’ll miss the fervid blocking of wideout Eric Decker.

3. Defending the Patriots tight ends
Greg Cosell, executive producer of the NFL Matchup Show, did an excellent job breaking down the Week 15 film back in December. Cosell wrote that the Broncos focused their coverages on Rob Gronkowski, successfully disrupting his timing by hitting him at the line of scrimmage.

However, that left fourth-round rookie safety Quinton Carter on Aaron Hernandez. Carter, like the rest of Denver’s safeties, is not great in man coverage, which Hernandez proved by posting what were at the time his career highs in catches (nine) and yards (129).

Though still a little green as a route runner (particularly against zone), Hernandez has the movement skills of a wide receiver. The Broncos may choose to defend him with rising rookie nickel back Chris Harris. That would leave safeties and linebackers to cover Gronkowski.

Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen may figure he can get away with that as long as coverage linebackers Wesley Woodyard and D.J. Williams are once again physical with the second-year superstar.

The Patriots’ counter to this would be splitting Gronkowski into a slot receiver position (likely in a spread 2 x 2 or 3 x 2 set), where he could line up a few yards off the line and operate against an overwhelmed defender in space. Even if the Broncos decided to sacrifice their run defense by going with dime personnel against the two tight ends, they still would be overmatched.

After all, just because Jonathan Wilhite is a corner doesn’t mean he can cover Gronkowski. This is the problem New England’s offense poses, this is why the Patriots are the No. 1 seed.

4. If lightning strikes twice ...
As the tight end analysis just suggested, the Broncos are faced with a very serious matchup problem that can only be solved by their players rising up and doing things no one thought they could do. It’s improbable, but as Denver’s offense showed last week, not impossible.

So let’s say for the sake of extra analysis that the Broncos can stop Gronkowski and Hernandez with their inside pass defenders. That leaves outside corners Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman on Wes Welker and Deion Branch (who did not play in the last matchup).

If the Broncos want to avoid the matchup problems that New England’s flexible formations create (such as Welker working against a linebacker in the slot), they’ll have to play man-to-man, with Bailey assigned on Welker and Goodman on Branch. Those aren’t bad matchups for either side – it would come down to who executes better (general rule of thumb, over the course of 60 minutes, put your money on the offense).

What we’re not considering is New England’s ability to run the ball. They’re not known for that, but against nickel or dime defense, they’re capable of controlling the game the old fashioned way.

Danny Woodhead has great lateral agility. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a steady, highly professional runner. Of course, he may lose snaps to the more dynamic Stevan Ridley, a third-round rookie who has come on as of late. The Patriots have an excellent run-blocking front five with LG Logan Mankins being a premier puller, RG Brian Waters a shrewd playside anchor, LT Matt Light a crafty angles-creator (including at the second level) and RT Nate Solder a ridiculous athlete out in front.

5. Broncos pass-rush slowing down?
Pass-rush pressure is always a prerequisite for beating Tom Brady. Lately, the Patriots have nullified it with an increased emphasis on three-and five-step drops. Brady is especially sharp at this when working out of an empty backfield.

The Broncos have not had the most fervid pass-rush the last month anyway. They sacked Brady just twice in Week 15. They got Ryan Fitzpatrick just once the next week and Kyle Orton once in the season finale. They got to Ben Roethlisberger in the wild card round but that’s a product of Roethlisberger’s style of play. Denver’s pass-rush did not control the flow of last Saturday’s game. Von Miller has had just one sack since his first game back from a thumb injury (December 11 at Minnesota) and has been less explosive playing with a cast.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all divisional-round games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com