Tag:Jerry Gray
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:40 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 11:38 am

Report: Bucs want to hire Schiano; Jerry Gray out

Greg Schiano apparently has been offered the Tampa Bay job (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

While the Buccaneers coaching search has turned somewhat disastrous -- a flip-flop rejection from Oregon’s Chip Kelly will do that for you -- it seems like Tampa Bay also is getting closer to naming their next head coach.

And that new head coach is reportedly Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.

620 WDAE in Tampa reported (via the Tampa Bay Tribune) that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano also is a candidate, and ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported that team plans to hire Schiano and that the two sides are working out a contract agreement.

The Newark Star Ledger reported earlier this month that Schiano wouldn't have an interest in coaching in the NFL. Schiano was a secondary coach for the Bears from 1996-98, and he's been at Rutgers for the past 11 years. In the past, he's turned down potential head coaching opportunities at the University of Michigan and the University of Miami.

But like the Chip Kelly story, this potential hire has seemingly come ouf nowhere.

As CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson wrote Wednesday, former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski were reported to haved received second interviews with the team. On Thursday, Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray told the Tampa Bay Times that he’s officially out of the running.

"Told me they were going in a different direction," Gray told the newspaper.

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Gray found out he was no longer in the running during an early-morning call from Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik, and the paper also reported that a source said the team is planning to continue paring down the coaching candidate list today.

Other than Chudzinski, Sherman and Gray, the team also was connected to Marty Schottenheimer, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips (who pulled his name out of the search a few weeks ago) and Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements.

Gray also had been a candidate for the Colts job that went to Chuck Pagano on Wednesday.

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:54 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:08 am

Report: Tressell has interviewed with Colts TWICE

TresselBy Josh Katzowitz

On Friday, my CBSSports.com colleague Ryan Wilson asked the question: “Would the Colts interview Jim Tressel for a coaching job?”

Apparently the answer to that question is yes. Not only that, but it’s a resounding yes.

As WBNS-TV in Columbus is reporting (via the Cleveland Plain Dealer), Tressel already has had two interviews for the chance to replace Jim Caldwell, and the second one occurred Friday when owner Jim Irsay flew to Sarasota, Fla., where Tressel has a home, to talk with the former Ohio State coach.

If Indianapolis was to hire Tressel, it would be a stunning development.

On Thursday, CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman talked to a source about the Colts possibly speaking to Tressel, who worked with the franchise as a game day consultant this season, and that source told him that there is “no way in hell” the franchise would consider it.

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Well, it sounds like Indianapolis is more than considering it.

Already, it’s been reported that the Colts have focused their attention on Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.

Either way, this decision should be done seven days from now.

Already today, Irsay tweeted that Colts fans can expect a decision on the new coach by late next week. Will that person be Tressel? Somehow, it sounds like it’s most definitely a possibility.

And just as a reminder, this is what I wrotein October:
You wonder about Caldwell’s statement about wanting Tressel to get the hang of how the pro operation works. Does Caldwell eventually want to hire Tressel to be an assistant on his staff? Or what happens if the Colts deem Caldwell expendable after this debacle of a season is complete? Would Tressel be a candidate for the head coaching job?

If so, perhaps Caldwell should cool it on letting Tressel know too many secrets of pro football coaching (if it’s even Caldwell’s call). Otherwise, the guy he’s schooling might be the guy who is soon to replace him.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:39 pm

Colts looking to interview Jerry Gray, Carmichael

Jerry Gray likely will interview for the Indianapolis job (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Jerry Gray, the Titans defensive coordinator whose unit was the 18th best this season in yards allowed and eighth-best in points given up, likely will interview to replace Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis. The Tennessean reports the Colts have asked the Titans for permission to talk to Gray.

Gray was the defensive coordinator in Buffalo from 2001-05, and in two of those years (2003, 2004) the Bills were one of the top defensive teams in the league. He then was a secondary coach in Washington for four seasons before moving to Tennessee under coach Mike Munchak.

As a cornerback who played nine years in the NFL, Gray made four Pro Bowls.

“Jerry has a number of qualities that I think are assets for this role: he played the game, he coached a position group and he has coordinating experience,” Munchak said after he hired Gray before last season. “I respected him as a player and coach and he was someone that I knew right away that I wanted to talk to about the position. … He is a great teacher and a great person, and I think the players will respond well to his style.”

And if Gray gets the Indianapolis job, Munchak might be in a bind.

As ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky wrote earlier this month, “While the Titans' defense lacked the pieces to be a consistent unit, it was moving in the right direction in 2011. Players respond to Gray and respect him.

“If he leaves, there is no clear replacement on staff. Linebackers coach Frank Bush had a disastrous term as the Texans coordinator. Senior assistant Dave McGinnis lost his position job to Bush as the staff took shape and has been passed over the last two times the post opened.”

The Colts haven’t just been focusing on Gray, though. As Rapid Reporter Tom James writes, Indianapolis also has asked the Saints for permission to interview offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. The Raiders also are set to interview Carmichael.

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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.

12:30 p.m. ET
  • Looks like the speculation concering Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was true. He told Mike Tomlin he will retire.
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.

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.
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.


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: December 8, 2011 10:36 pm

Titans coach wants defense to put 'fear in guys'

Tennessee has to find a way to slow down New Orleans' high-scoring offense. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Titans are 7-5 and one game out of the playoff picture, trailing the 7-5 Bengals (Cincy beat Tennessee in Week 9).

The Titans started 3-1 the season, then went 1-3 before another 3-1 run over the last month. Their recent success has been a combination of Chris Johnson's resurgence coupled with a friendly schedule. And if they're to challenge for a wild-card spot, they'll need to continue to play well in December. They face the Saints this weekend, then it's at Indy, Jacksonville, and at Houston to wrap up the regular season.

You have to like Tennesee's chances if Johnson continues to round into form. Football Outsiders' Ben Muth, a former offensive lineman at Stanford has been impressed with the Titans' o-line play, as well as Johnson's return from obscurity.

"What sticks out most for me while watching Johnson recently is the sense of urgency in his running style that was absent in the first half of the season," Muth wrote Thursday. "Earlier this year, Johnson seemed too willing to take a very short gain and get back to the huddle to fight another day. He seemed to be waiting for that big play to come, and just trying to make do until it did. Well, big runs in the NFL aren’t just given to you. Sure, you’ll occasionally catch the defense with the perfect call and pop one untouched for forty yards, but that happens maybe four times a year. Big plays, more often than not, are the result of great downfield running or blocking, and neither of those things are provided solely by the offensive line."

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will look for their fifth win in a row when they take on the Tennessee Titans at LP Field this Sunday. Join Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan for a preview of this matchup.

Since there are no guarantees that Johnson will revert to his 2010 form, Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray is doing his part to motivate the troops. Specifically, that means owning the middle of the field, even if it comes at a price.

“The biggest thing I think in this league is you have to start putting fear in guys from throwing the ball in the middle of the field,’’ Gray said Wednesday, according to the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt. “And if that means getting a letter from the commissioner on Monday, that means getting a letter from the commissioner."

In related news: Gray should expect a letter from the commissioner. (We're kidding because Roger Goodell, whose disciplinary worldview seems to be "no violation is too small," has a history of liberally meting out punishments. But we wouldn't be shocked if, you know, Gray got a letter.) 

“A lot of times you have to be able to let these guys know: You are not going to be able to throw the ball in the middle of the football field," Gray said. "This is not a basketball game; it is a football game. So the ball doesn’t go down the middle of our field. And that is what safeties should do in this league.”

The Titans' defensive coordinator also made it clear that he's not telling his players to violate the new safety rules the league put in place this season. And the basketball reference? That's for Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, suddenly one of the NFL's best pass catchers. He played hoops at the University of Miami before a season with the Hurricanes football team changed his career plans.

“Just do a clean hit, hit a guy clean,’’ he said. “And the good thing is, [Graham] is 6-foot-7, so you are not going to hit him in the head anyway.”

This will be a stiff test for the Titans; the Saints are one of the league's most explosive offenses. With how well the o-line line protects Drew Brees, Tennessee's best strategy might be to get physical with his intended targets. Through 13 weeks, that's been easier said than done.

"I don’t think we’ve covered a 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7 tight end, but the thing is the safety has to come down and hit him and help out (the linebackers),’’ Gray said.

When asked if the Titans have been delivering enough big hits to make would-be pass-catchers wary, Gray responded, “Of course not. They wouldn’t be throwing the ball down the middle of the field if we had been doing enough of it.”

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 8:24 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 8:25 pm

Chris Johnson: Ravens were 'trying to hurt me'

                                        (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was hard to tell in Week 1 when the Titans faced the Jaguars, but running back Chris Johnson is back with the team after holding out for a new deal during training camp and the preseason. He rushed for just 24 yards on nine carries in the loss, and things don't get any easier this week when the Ravens come to town.

Baltimore is fresh off whipping division rival Pittsburgh, 35-7, and after the game some Steelers players accused the Ravens of playing dirty. Not wanting to be left out, Johnson added his two cents, pointing out that the Ravens tried to hurt him, too, back during a January 2009 playoff game.

“I wouldn’t say they are a dirty team,” Johnson said Wednesday, according to the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt. “I guess it was a playoff game, and when the playoffs get here teams do what it takes to win. …

“They were trying to hurt me a little bit,” Johnson continued. “But the play I actually got hurt on, it was a fair play, somebody landed on my ankle the wrong way and I fell back the wrong way. It was a fair play when I got hurt.”

To recap: the Ravens were trying to hurt Johnson, but as it happened, he ended up tweaking his ankle on a perfectly legal play.

While Johnson doesn't consider Sunday's meeting a chance for payback, Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray spoke frankly on the matchup.

“They’re trying to cut you and do those things,” Gray said earlier this week, via the Tennessean. “You’ve got to make sure you’re doing something that’s hopefully going to hurt them, too. You can’t just be the recipient of everything. You’ve got to start doing something that’s going to get you back on track and hopefully they’ll tone that stuff down when you do something else.”

Meanwhile, Baltimore head coach Jim Harbaugh has no issue with the way his offensive line blocks.

"The blocking scheme we're talking about is one that almost every team in the National Football League runs," Harbaugh said. "We've been running it for years. Some teams do it better than others. The block is absolutely legal. It's 100 percent ethical and there is no danger whatsoever with the way the block is being executed.”

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a dominate home victory against the Steelers, they will look to do the same on the road when they visit the Tennessee Titans this Sunday at 1 PM ET only on CBS.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:57 pm

Offseason Checkup: Tennessee Titans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.

The Titans are in need of an overhaul, which is exactly what they’ll be getting this year (whether they want it or not). Long-time coach Jeff Fisher is gone, replaced by his former OL coach, Mike Munchak. Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil is gone, replaced by Jerry Gray.

So is offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, replaced by Chris Palmer. So is QB Vince Young, replaced by, um, who exactly?

You might have forgotten this, but at one point last season, Tennessee was 5-2. Then, the Titans lost eight of their final nine games of the season to finish the season on a disastrous note. A note that signified that the organization needs a makeover and fast.

New coaching staff

The end of Fisher’s tenure in Tennessee was awfully strange. Though it seemed like owner Bud Adams thought about picking Young over Fisher, he actually didn’t. He wanted Fisher to stay, and Fisher agreed to return. Until he didn’t, changing his mind and resigning his position. Which means that the Titans are going through a wholesale change, and considering the lockout is preventing the staff from meeting with the players, Tennessee will have a tough time catching up.

One of the biggest losses to the team, though, was when DL coach Jim Washburn left for Philadelphia. Jason Babin – who made his first Pro Bowl last season – was really upset with the transition, because he knows how much Washburn tutored him. Washburn also helped develop Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Antwan Odom, and his loss will be felt, especially if Babin leaves via free agency.

1. Quarterback
Young is gone, and though he compiled a 26-13 record and two Pro Bowl appearances in his five seasons with the Titans, a clean break from the organization clearly was needed. So, who to replace him? Kerry Collins, but he’s 38 years old. Rusty Smith, but he’ll be a second-year player with only one start of experience. So, where do you go next? Backup Brett Ratliff? I don’t think so.

2. Interior Offensive Line
LG Leroy Harris and C Eugene Amano struggled last season – one reason RB Chris Johnson’s numbers weren’t as good as he expected. Harris is still young, so the Titans might continue to use him, but Johnson might be appreciative if the Tennessee played somebody else at LG and C. RG Jake Scott, meanwhile, is solid and dependable.

3. Defensive Tackle
When the Titans talked about trading back for Albert Haynesworth last season, you know they were desperate for another DT. Thus, the Titans have to be loving the recent supposed drop in value of Auburn DT Nick Fairley. Although the undersized Jason Jones is quite a strong player at one DT spot, Fairley could add big talent to the defensive line if he’s still available for the Titans to draft at No. 8.

Is there optimism for the Titans next season? I don’t see how. Not after they lost their quarterback and then hired a head coach who’s never even been a coordinator to lead the team. Munchak, a pro football Hall of Famer because of his playing skills, is well-respected inside the game, but it might take a year or two to turn around the organization that, let’s face it, was left in total disarray.

And while we can say the AFC South isn’t necessarily going to be dominated by the Colts next season, I’d put the Jaguars and Texans ahead of Tennessee in the race for the division crown. By far.

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Posted on: February 12, 2011 7:25 pm

Jerry Gray joins the Titans after all

Posted by Andy Benoit

New Titans head coach Mike Munchak has found his defensive coordinator. Two days after saying he would not leave the University of Texas to join the Titans, Gray left the University of Texas to join the Titans.

Gray is considered one of the better defensive back assistant coaches in the business. He has a 4-3 background from his days serving under Gregg Williams.

In a statement released by the Titans, Munchak said, “Jerry has a number of qualities that I think are assets for this role. He played the game, he coached a position group and he has coordinating experience. I respected him as a player and coach and he was someone that I knew right away that I wanted to talk to about the position. It was evident to me during interview process that he will fit well with us — he is familiar with our system and the type of players that we have on the roster.  He is a great teacher and a great person, and I think the players will respond well to his style.”

Gray replaced Chuck Cecil, who was fired before Jeff Fisher left town.

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