Defensive Coordinator Candidates

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Dantés

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Reported Interviews:

-Bobby Babich, LB's, Bills

-Aden Durde, DL, Cowboys

-Christian Parker, DB's, Broncos

-Brandon Staley, Former HC, Chargers

Other "Names to Watch" per Wendell Ferreira:
Chris Harris (PGC, Titans), Wink Martindale (Former DC, Giants), Aubrey Pleasant (PGC, Rams), Jim Leonhard (Analyst, ILL)


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In his most recent comments, it sounds like LaFleur is beginning to soften on his support of Joe Barry. I could be wrong, but I think there could be a change on the horizon. So if they make the move, who are the options to replace him? Here are the names that occur to me.

Preferred Candidates:

-Chris Hewitt, DB's, Ravens: Hewitt has served under some great defensive coaches and I think he's be a homerun hire.

-Dave Merritt, DB's, Chiefs: I'm speculating here a little bit, but I think Merritt could be a rising star as a defensive coach. The Chiefs have had a ton of success under Merritt getting great play out of young/unheralded DB's.

-Jim Leonhard, Analyst, Illinois: They offered him the job once and he turned it down. Would they try to make it work again?

-Mike Caldwell, DC, Jaguars: Caldwell was just scapegoated by Doug Pederson; he's a Todd Bowles disciple who employs a more aggressive, high pressure style of defense.

-Mike Rutenberg, LB's, Jets: Upon review, this is the Jets assistant I prefer over Manuel. He was a Pass Game Coordinator in SF before joining the Jets with Saleh.
 
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BrokenArrow

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About Saleh. The natives are calling for his head in NY more every week, both fans and the local press. I'm starting to feel like it's more likely to happen or not. Obviously, if they do, you know MLF will be on the phone with him within minutes. Does anyone think he would go elsewhere to be the DC if his BFF offers him the job in GB? What are the odds some other team offers him a HC job?
 

Team Ronny

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I will be very disappointed if they resign Barry after this season! Mediocrity only gets you so far! It's a win now league and if Lafleur is unwilling to see past the golden tongue..then he needs to go too!
 
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Barry’s had his 3 years. It’s enough to prove yourself. At best he’s had some great performances. He’s proven he’s not our guy if we want a Champion DC though.
 

milani

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In his most recent comments, it sounds like LaFleur is beginning to soften on his support of Joe Barry. I could be wrong, but I think there could be a change on the horizon. So if they make the move, who are the options to replace him? Here are the names that occur to me.

Preferred Candidates:

-Robert Saleh, HC, Jets:
Saleh does not deserve to be fired, but if he's scapegoated he would be a dream hire.

-Chris Hewitt, DB's, Ravens: Hewitt has served under some great defensive coaches and I think he's be a homerun hire.

-Dennis Allen, HC, Saints: Another guy who would need to be let go, but who would be a great hire.

-Dave Merritt, DB's, Chiefs: I'm speculating here a little bit, but I think Merritt could be a rising star as a defensive coach. The Chiefs have had a ton of success under Merritt getting great play out of young/unheralded DB's.

Good Candidates:

-Dave Aranda, HC, Baylor:
He would need to be fired or decide to leave the college ranks, but I think there's at least a chance he jumps ship for the NFL.

-Jim Leonhard, Analyst, Illinois: They offered him the job once and he turned it down. Would they try to make it work again?

-Al Harris, DB's, Cowboys: Harris has solid experience under two very different styles of DC's (Bob Sutton and Dan Quinn).

-Ejiro Evero, DC, Carolina: If the Panthers totally clean house, I could see them making another run at him.

-Todd Bowles, HC, Buccaneers: Maybe a little too old-school for today's game, but would bring a needed edge.

-Renaldo Hill, DB's, Dolphins: A Fangio tree guy-- this system is flagging in terms of success, but the godfather is still crushing it.

Not Ideal, but Acceptable:

-Brandon Staley, HC, Chargers:
The system wouldn't change under Staley, but I think he's a better representative of it. I don't see him being a hit in the locker room.

-Aubrey Pleasant, DB's, Rams: Consulted in GB last year; has had some success outside of Detroit.
I believe MLF will make a change at the end of the season. Right now with 3 games to play it will cause even more confusion and players would start throwing in the towel. When MLF says he will start getting more involved in the defense it tells you two things:
1) Barry is not doing his job.
2) MLF is not doing his job.

MLF should be in tune with the entire team. The impression we get is he is in charge of the offense and you guys take care of the rest. Lombardi spent a lot of time on the offense but he still went to defensive meetings and viewed every play of every phase critically. He and his coaching staff had its own list of Studs and Duds. If the offense was superb and the D was bad he was angry. And vice-versa. Apart from books, old wired clips, and interviews, when the Packers D faltered you could see Lombardi get livid on the sideline and he did not hesitate to get in the ear of a player or Phil Bengtson, his D coach.
 

milani

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He's going to get a pass for this seasons results. Expect him back another year with his fHOF preferred QB under center.
I am surprised that the Jets have won any games.
 

Sunshinepacker

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I would also add Kris Kocurek, DL coach for the 49ers, and Anthony Weaver, the DL coach for the Ravens, to the list of good options. Both have coached with REALLY good defenses for many seasons and both have a strong history of having defenses that are strong against the run.
 

gopkrs

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Changing now would also get players more acclimated for next season. It's hard not to agree that the position coaches can't be doing great either. Unless Barry absolutely ties their hands behind their backs. Like playing way too far off receivers. That makes it tough to coach.
 

BrokenArrow

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He's going to get a pass for this seasons results. Expect him back another year with his fHOF preferred QB under center.
Don't count on it. The Jets offensive woes go beyond not having Rodgers (I question how much difference he would have made anyway with their OL). Jets fans are particularly fickle and have turned their back on their team many times over the years with poor attendance and unsold season tickets. They keep a finger on the pulse of their fanbase and if enough fans call for guys to be fired, they often fold under that pressure. Jets fans seem to want him gone more every week. If they lose their final 3 games, which include Washington and NE, don't be surprised if Saleh is gone. Hell, if they get blown out this week he might be gone by Monday.
 
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tynimiller

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Couple things...

Saleh from a who I LOVE....my biggest worry is the fact that folks know and realize MLF's friendship with Barry is why he hasn't been canned yet. If Robert comes in and it doesn't work, MLF will face being fired before he could look Saleh in the eyes and fire him.


Does or should Ron Rivera get a call? Everyone expects that now that he got Commanders through the ownership turmoil and such they'll move on...he's led some fairly solid or been apart of staffs of rather good defenses in his past?
 

gopkrs

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Not sure what they would get acclimated to. Very much doubt the next DC is going to come from the present staff or, at least I really hope not.
I don't understand your statement. They would get acclimated in the next defensive theory. And that would suppose it would be different than what we run now. And the new coordinator could have a better grasp on what kind of players he needs to implement the new D. I doubt that would be hiring from within. In fact, maybe a new coordinator would have his own coaches he would like to bring in.
 

tynimiller

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I don't understand your statement. They would get acclimated in the next defensive theory. And that would suppose it would be different than what we run now. And the new coordinator could have a better grasp on what kind of players he needs to implement the new D. I doubt that would be hiring from within. In fact, maybe a new coordinator would have his own coaches he would like to bring in.

If we fired Joe now, we wouldn't go hire the next most likely unless it was from the college or unemployed ranks - likely an interim DC would happen and offseason hire would happen then. So no acclimation would occur to anything in the most likely scenario.
 

Team Ronny

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Now that I have had time to think about it..the best time to make that move will be once the season is over. It doesn't make sense to put a new guy in charge with 3 games left, only to can him after those 3 games. You also have from the beginning of May- September to get these guys up to speed on the new system.
I think Lafleur will clean house..some of these guys are holdover from pettines staff.
I do hope it is a young guy from one of Bal. S.F, Dallas, Philly, Buffalo staff!
 

El Guapo

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Couple things...

Saleh from a who I LOVE....my biggest worry is the fact that folks know and realize MLF's friendship with Barry is why he hasn't been canned yet. If Robert comes in and it doesn't work, MLF will face being fired before he could look Saleh in the eyes and fire him.
If Saleh is chosen as the DC and he gets two or three years to straighten things out, that would be 7 or 8 years at the helm for LaFleur. If his hand-picked DC choice is working by then and we haven't progressed to the Super Bowl, my guess is that they both would lose their jobs.
 
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Dantés

Dantés

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He's going to get a pass for this seasons results. Expect him back another year with his fHOF preferred QB under center.

I think he deserves a pass. Whether he gets one remains to be seen. It's not exactly a stable organization we're talking about.
 

mradtke66

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Al Harris seems like a guy people want because he used to play here. He looks to be a fine DB coach, but he could just be teaching DBs how to be DBs.

Some of the vanity titles are just that, but a lack of "passing game coordination" or "red zone package installer" implies to me he's a position coach only right now.
 

Firethorn1001

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Knowing MLF's makeup and who he loves to hire, I almost have to believe it would be even money odds on Staley. Not sure I have a strong desire for him to be a coach given notes about his personality.
 
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I’d be very interested in
Bobby Babich

Kent State 2006
Graduate Assistant

Easter Illinois (2007-10)
Secondary Coach

Carolina Panthers
Admin Assistant (2011)
Defensive Assistant (2012)

Cleveland Browns
Assistant Defensive Backs (2013-14)
Assistant Secondary (2015)

FIU
Secondary Coach
Def Pass game coordinator (2016)

Buffalo Bills
Assistant DB Coach (2017)
Safeties Coach (2018-21)
Linebackers Coach (2022-2023)
Buffalo Scoring Defense in Tenure
18th (2017)
16th
2nd
16th
1st
2nd
4th (current)

He also has Coaching Pedegree and he’s similar peer group MLF. He worked directly with Micah Hyde and Von Miller and put Jordan Poyer and Matt Milano into a position to go “1st Team All-Pro” status
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