View Full Version : Let's see the resume's for HC and GM position.
12-31-2008, 03:12 PM
Josh McDaniels for Head Coaching Position.
Josh McDaniels enters his eighth NFL season and his eighth season in New England. He joined the Patriots on March 1, 2001 as a personnel assistant in the scouting department and assisted the defensive coaching staff for three seasons. He began serving as the Patriots' quarterbacks coach in 2004 and was named offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach on January 20, 2006.
McDaniels oversaw an offense that broke several NFL records in 2007, including points scored, touchdowns scored and most players scoring a touchdown. Under his tutelage, 2007 NFL MVP Tom Brady broke the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season (50) and led the league in both passing yards (4,806) and passer rating (117.2). Brady also set franchise marks in nearly every major passing category, while new wide receiver Wes Welker set the franchise record for receptions in a season (112). New acquisition Randy Moss broke the NFL record for touchdown receptions with 23 and set the Patriots' franchise record for receiving yards in a season (1,439). The Patriots offense also posted the franchise's highest average yards per rush in 22 seasons with 4.1 yards per carry and the team's 17 rushing touchdowns were the second highest total in the last 20 years.
In 2006, McDaniels helped integrate several new players into the offense, including free agent signee Reche Caldwell, mid-season acquisition Jabar Gaffney and rookie Laurence Maroney. In all, six new Patriots caught at least 10 passes, including Caldwell, who led the team with career-highs in receptions (69) and receiving yards (760). Gaffney, acquired prior to week six, became a starting receiver by the end of the regular season and was the team's most productive receiver in the playoffs. Maroney, splitting time with Corey Dillon, was the third leading rusher among NFL rookies.
In his role as quarterbacks coach, McDaniels has worked closely with Brady. In four seasons working with McDaniels, Brady has compiled the top four passer ratings of his eightyear career – 92.6 (2004), 92.3 (2005), 87.9 (2006) and 117.2 (2008).
In 2005, Brady led the NFL with a career-best 4,110 passing yards, a number that exceeded his previous career high by nearly 350 yards and represents the third highest yardage total in Patriots history. Patriots quarterbacks threw 28 touchdown passes, tying the fifth-highest total for the position in franchise history. The mark was also achieved in 1986, 2002 and 2004, McDaniels' first season as quarterbacks coach. Also in 2005, the Patriots finished the season as the NFL's second-ranked passing offense (257.5 yards per game), marking the team's highest ranking in that category in 11 seasons.
In addition to assisting in Brady's continued development, McDaniels has tutored Matt Cassel, a four-year backup quarterback in college and a seventh-round draft choice in 2005. In the 2005 regular-season finale, Cassel threw his first two touchdown passes since high school as he led the Patriots on a fourth-quarter comeback against Miami that fell just two points short.
In 2004, McDaniels earned his first positional coaching responsibilities and worked with Brady to help the quarterback produce his then highest passer rating of his career (92.6) and the third highest single-season passer rating in team history. Brady's 28 touchdown passes ranked second in the AFC and tied his career high set in 2002.
Upon his arrival in New England prior to the 2001 season, McDaniels served as a personnel assistant and quickly expanded his role to include film breakdown and scouting preparation for the defensive coaching staff. He became a coaching assistant in February of 2002. In that role, his responsibilities included film breakdown and scouting chart preparations for the defensive staff. In 2003, he drew additional responsibilities working with the defensive backs
McDaniels began his coaching career in 1999 as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, working under head coach Nick Saban.
12-31-2008, 03:13 PM
Scott Pioli for General Manager.
Scott Pioli is in his ninth season with the Patriots and along with Head Coach Bill Belichick has instilled a football philosophy designed to create a consistent championship contender in New England. Their work has produced an NFL-best three Super Bowl championships, four conference titles and six division crowns in the seven seasons since 2001. Pioli and Belichick's nine seasons together makes them the NFL's longest-tenured current personnel director/ head coach tandem.
Pioli's primary personnel objective is to build a team, not to simply collect individual talent. As a result, the Patriots have been able to prosper despite the NFL realities of injuries and the salary cap, which have proven in many cases to be impediments to long-term success in pro football. The depth and versatility of the clubs that Pioli and Belichick have assembled have been integral to the Patriots' success, as players from a wide spectrum of previous experience have played important roles in the team's achievements.
Once Pioli and Belichick arrived in New England in 2000, it took the pair just two seasons to rebuild the foundation of the team. Since orchestrating the franchise's first Super Bowl victory following the 2001 season, Pioli and Belichick have produced consistently solid results, becoming the only personnel director/head coach tandem in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span (2001-04). The Patriots are the only NFL team to win at least one playoff game in each of the last five seasons (2003-07) and are the only team in the league to win nine or more games in each of the last seven seasons (2001-07). Additionally, New England's 11 playoff wins over the last five seasons are tied for the highest total by a team over any five-year span in NFL history. The Patriots' 14 playoff wins this decade tie the NFL record for most playoff wins in any decade, equaling the marks of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers and the 1970s Dallas Cowboys.
In recognition of his achievements, Pioli was awarded The Sporting News' George Young NFL Executive of the Year award (voted on by NFL executives) following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. He is one of just three NFL executives, along with Bill Polian and Bobby Beathard, to win the award in consecutive years. Pioli is the youngest executive to win the award.
In 2007, the Patriots embarked on a record-setting campaign during which they became the first team in NFL history to complete a 16-0 regular season. Of the 53 players on the Patriots' Super Bowl XLII roster, 50 were acquired since 2000. New England set team records for total points scored (589), largest point differential (+315) and most touchdowns (75), while tying the league mark with 18 overall wins. Additionally, quarterback Tom Brady's 50 touchdown passes set an NFL record and Randy Moss's 23 touchdown receptions also set a league mark.
In each of the last five seasons, the depth and versatility of New England's roster helped overcome key injuries to win five straight AFC East titles. The Patriots have used an average of 40 different starters over the last five seasons, and claimed two NFL records for success in that category. In 2005, the Patriots set a post-merger league record for a division champion by utilizing 45 different starters. In 2003, the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII despite using 42 different starters, the most in league history by a Super Bowl champion. In 2004, the Patriots employed 40 different starters as they won their second consecutive Super Bowl, and in 2006 won their fourth straight AFC East title while using 39 different starters. Last season, the Patriots tied the all-time NFL record with 21 different players scoring touchdowns. Of the 53 players on the Patriots' Super Bowl XLII roster, 43 were acquired after the team's first championship in 2001 and 31 were acquired since the team's third title in 2004.
The Patriots have used an effective combination of free agent signings, trades and draft picks to acquire championship-caliber players. In 2007, six Patriots players drafted by Belichick and Pioli were selected to the Pro Bowl and were named to the Associated Press All-Pro first or second teams. Those elite players came from a wide variety of draft positions - Tom Brady (sixth round), Dan Koppen (fifth round), Matt Light (second round), Logan Mankins (first round), Asante Samuel (fourth round) and Vince Wilfork (first round). Since 2000, Belichick/Pioli draft choices have earned one Associated Press Most Valuable Player Award (Brady), three Super Bowl MVP awards (Brady and Deion Branch) and 15 Pro Bowl berths (Seymour 5, Brady 4, Light 2, Koppen 1, Mankins 1, Samuel 1 and Wilfork 1). Veteran free agents signed by Belichick and Pioli include defensive co-captain Rodney Harrison, outside linebacker Mike Vrabel and three-time Pro Bowl special teams captain Larry Izzo among dozens of other contributors to New England's championship squads. New England's trades have netted improvement in drafting position that led to the ability to exchange draft picks for key veterans such as Randy Moss, who set the NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007, Wes Welker, who tied for the NFL lead with a team-record 112 receptions in 2007, and Corey Dillon, who set the Patriots' single-season rushing record in 2004.
Pioli was honored with Executive of the Year honors from national media outlets following the 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007 seasons. Following the Patriots' first Super Bowl victory, the Dallas Morning News picked him as the league's top executive. Two seasons later, following Super Bowl XXXVIII, he earned Executive of the Year honors from Pro Football Weekly (voted on by the media), The Sporting News (voted on by NFL executives) and Sports Illustrated. In 2004, Pioli's accolades included the NFLPA's Award for Executive Achievement and NFL Executive of the Year awards from The Sporting News, USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle and SI.com. In 2007, Pioli again earned Executive of the Year honors from Pro Football Weekly, the Dallas Morning News and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Pioli began his NFL career when Belichick hired him as a pro personnel assistant for the Cleveland Browns in 1992. In Cleveland, he was responsible for the evaluation of both college prospects and veteran free agents as well as negotiating various player contracts. He also coordinated all player tryouts. He was promoted to director of pro personnel after the Cleveland franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996. He spent one season with the Baltimore Ravens, where he oversaw all aspects of pro personnel and negotiated the contracts of free agents and several draft choices.
In 1997, while serving as head coach of the Jets, Belichick hired Pioli as the director of pro personnel. He was credited with the signing of a number of veteran free agents who played critical roles in the Jets' rebuilding process. In just two seasons, the Jets completed a worst-to-first turnaround, rebounding from 1-15 in 1996 to 12-4 in 1998. The 12 wins were the most in franchise history and gave the Jets their first division title since 1968.
Pioli played defensive tackle at Central Connecticut State (1983-87), where he was a three-time Division II All- New England selection. In 1988, after graduating with a degree in communications, he accepted a two-year graduate assistant position at Syracuse University, where he also earned a master's degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
He accepted a full-time coaching opportunity at Murray State, where he spent one season as the offensive line coach (1990) and one season as the defensive line coach (1991). He left the coaching ranks to join the Browns personnel department in 1992.
Pioli was born on March 31, 1965 in Washingtonville, N.Y. He is an avid baseball fan. He currently serves on the board of directors for various non-profit foundations and serves on the board of directors for the College for Every Student Foundation, a national non-profit organization that partners with public schools in high-need communities to raise student aspirations and performance. He remains actively involved in fund raising for several organizations in his hometown (Washingtonville, N.Y.) and at his alma mater (Central Connecticut State). He established the Rose Pioli Scholarship in the name of his grandmother to benefit children of educators, professional firefighters, police and other emergency medical service providers. He was enshrined in the Central Connecticut State Hall of Fame in 2005. Scott and his wife, Dallas, have a daughter, Mia Costa Pioli.
12-31-2008, 03:21 PM
Jim Schwartz for Head Coach
Jim Schwartz is in his 10th season with the Titans and eighth as defensive coordinator.
Last year, the Titans defense was a catalyst to the team’s success and ranked in the top 10 of the NFL in a number of categories, including overall yards (5th), rushing defense (5th), defensive points allowed (7th, 276), takeaways (6th, 34), first down yards (1st, 4.34) and sacks (7th, 40). The Titans limited three teams under 200 total offensive yards during 2007 and RB LaDainian Tomlinson was held to the lowest rushing total of his career (42) with 20 or more carries in the playoff loss to Chargers.
During his tenure as defensive coordinator, two statistics have been at the heart of the team’s success – third-down defense and rushing defense. Over the last seven seasons, the Titans rank sixth in the league in third-down defense (36.3% conversion rate) and eighth in the league in rushing defense (105 yards per game). Currently, the Titans defense has allowed only eight 100-yard rushers in the last 56 home games.
In 2005 and 2006 the Titans saw plenty of transition in personnel and the defense is no exception, as seven of the team’s regular starters from 2004 were replaced by new and often, younger talent. The highlights from 2006 included holding eventual Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis to a combined 31 points in two games (the lowest total by any division foe in AFC South history).
In 2005, Tennessee fielded one of the youngest defenses in the league with starters averaging only 3.5 years of experience, including starting two rookie corners for only the second time in the franchise's 46-year history. The defense still had plenty to boast about, ranking eighth in the NFL in third down defense (35.5%), ninth in sacks (41) and second in three and outs (31.3%).
In 2003, Schwartz directed a unit that ranked first in the NFL in rushing defense for only the second time in franchise history (1993). Tennessee's ferocious play against the run extended a streak of nine consecutive seasons in the Top 10 for rushing defense, which led the NFL.
That top ranking in rushing defense didn't come easily in 2003, as the Titans faced eight (for a total of 10 games) of the NFL's top 13 rushers who accounted for 12,018 yards. The highlight of the season was holding 2,000-yard rusher Jamal Lewis to 35 yards in the Wild Card game at Baltimore, his second lowest total as a starter.
In addition to leading the NFL in rushing defense in 2003, the Titans also led the league in third down defense at 27.7%. The conversion rate was the lowest in franchise history and the lowest by an NFL team since the 1998 Oakland Raiders (26.3%).
The 2003 edition of the Titans defense yielded a number of accolades and successes beyond the rushing defense, including: ranking fourth in the AFC in "red zone" defense (43.9%), fifth in the AFC in takeaways with 34 and recording the most interceptions (21) by a Titans defense since 1995.
In 2002, the Titans defense finished in the league's top 10 in total defense, despite a number of obstacles, including the loss of All-Pro Jevon Kearse due to injury and the addition of six new starters on defense. The Titans defense came together after the fifth game of the season and finished with the third-best defense in the league over the final 11 contests. Including all 16 games, Tennessee's defense finished 5th in the league in scoring defense (282 points scored with the defense on the field).
Schwartz was elevated from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator in January of 2001. In addition to coaching the linebackers in 2000, he also coordinated the team's third-down package, which led the NFL in third-down efficiency, with opponents converting only 30.8% (68/221) of their third-down chances. Schwartz also was instrumental in the integration of newly acquired linebacker Randall Godfrey into the Titans defensive scheme, as he set career highs in tackles (169) and interceptions (2). Schwartz originally joined the Titans coaching staff in 1999 as defensive assistant/quality control.
Prior to joining the Titans, Schwartz spent three years as an assistant/quality control coach with the Baltimore Ravens. While in Baltimore, Schwartz also coached the Ravens' outside linebackers. Prior to the Cleveland Browns moving to Baltimore, he spent three years in the Browns' personnel department, serving as both a college and pro scout. He also assisted the defensive coaching staff with film breakdowns and scouting reports. Schwartz began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Maryland, tutoring the Terrapins' linebackers from 1989-90 and then served as graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota (1990-91). He became a position coach in the secondary at North Carolina Central (1991-92) before moving to Colgate (1992) as linebackers coach.
A native of Baltimore, Md. (6/2/66), Schwartz was a four-year letterman at linebacker for the Hoyas of Georgetown University, where he earned his degree in economics. He also received Distinguished Economics Graduate honors at Georgetown and earned numerous honors in 1988, including Division III CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-America, All-America, and team captain.
An avid chess player, Jim and his wife, Kathy, reside in Brentwood, Tenn., with twins Christian (7) and Alison (7) and Maria (5).
12-31-2008, 03:26 PM
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle height=15>Mike Heimerdinger for Head Coach
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</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle height=15>Offensive Coordinator
</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle colSpan=2>http://www.titansonline.com/team/coaches/staff.php?PRKey=148
Following a three-year absence, Mike Heimerdinger rejoined the Titans this past offseason as offensive coordinator and now enters his sixth season with Tennessee at the offensive controls.
His offenses have been receiver-driven, but also have the ability to control games with a rushing attack. In his first tenure with the Titans, he directed an attack that produced the only two 3,000/1,000/1,000-yard seasons in the 48-year history of the franchise in 2002 and 2003 (McNair/George/Mason). Also during his tenure, Steve McNair earned NFL co-MVP honors in 2003, becoming the franchise’s first quarterback to earn the accolade.
The last two seasons with the Denver Broncos, Heimerdinger held the title of Assistant Head Coach and worked with the Broncos offense. He helped Jay Cutler move into the starting role as a rookie and as a full-time starter entering the 2007 season. Cutler ranked fifth in the AFC in passer rating (88.1) in 2007, while throwing for 3,497 yards and 20 touchdowns. Overall last season, the Broncos ranked 11th in total offense and ninth in rushing yards.
He spent the 2005 season as offensive coordinator with the New York Jets under head coach Herman Edwards, a year that saw the offense ravaged by injuries. The team was forced to use five different quarterbacks and saw two starting linemen relegated to injured reserve.
Heimerdinger originally joined the Titans as offensive coordinator in 2000 and presided over the offense during one of the finest five-year stretches in franchise history. Tennessee advanced to the playoffs in three of his five years with the team and ranked in the top 10 in offense twice. During his tenure, the offense reached new heights with nearly every offensive player posting career-best seasons (McNair, George, Wycheck, Mason, Bennett, Brown and McCareins) and establishing new franchise marks. His finest season came in 2003, where the Titans posted the second highest point total in franchise history (435), a franchise record six consecutive games scoring 30 or more points and the franchise’s first quarterback to win NFL MVP honors (McNair).
He took an established run game that featured Eddie George, built on it and developed a dangerous passing game over time. In Heimerdinger’s first season at the controls in 2000, George posted a career-high 1,509 rushing yards and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. In each of his five seasons as offensive coordinator, Tennessee ranked in the top five in time of possession.
While leaning on the run game, Heimerdinger was developing McNair into an elite passer and yearly progress was evident in his passer rating. In the year prior to his arrival (1999), McNair posted a 78.6 passer rating while leading the team to an AFC Championship. In his first season with Heimerdinger, he improved to a then-career best 83.6 and started a yearly climb that culminated with his co-MVP season in 2003 with a 100.4 rating.
The wide receiver corps raised its play under Heimerdinger as the offense transitioned from one that focused on the tight end, to one that was more wide receiver driven. During his tenure with the team wide receivers Derrick Mason and Drew Bennett blossomed into terrific NFL receivers. Over the five years in Heimerdinger’s offense, Mason went from a receiver who caught 33 passes in his first two seasons to a Pro Bowl receiver who averaged 81 receptions, 1,101 yards and seven touchdowns per season. He also became the first player in franchise history to record four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons from 2001-04.
Heimerdinger originally joined the Titans after five seasons coaching the wide receivers for the two-time world champion Denver Broncos. Under his tutelage, the Denver tandem of Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey became one of the top duos in the NFL.
Heimerdinger came to Denver in 1995 from Duke University where he was the offensive coordinator and running backs coach in 1994. Before Duke, Heimerdinger spent five years (1989-93) as offensive coordinator at Rice University. During his tenure, the Owls produced the school’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 1960-61. In 1988, Heimerdinger served as offensive coordinator at Cal-State Fullerton, where his club set the school’s single-game record for most points scored with 58.
Heimerdinger began his coaching career in 1975 in the high school ranks of Illinois and earned a head coaching job at Johnsburgh High School in McHenry, Ill. Two years later, he served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Florida in 1980. He spent 1981 at Air Force and at North Texas State in 1982 before returning to Florida in 1983. He spent five years at Florida before moving on to Cal-State Fullerton.
A native of Dekalb, Ill. (10/13/52), Heimerdinger played wide receiver (1970-71) and centerfield at Eastern Illinois, where he earned his degree in history in 1975. He also participated in the NCAA Division II College World Series in 1974 and is the school’s all-time base stealer (51). In the fall of 2008, he will be inducted into Eastern Illinois’ Hall of Fame. He later earned his master’s in Administration from Northern Illinois. Mike and his wife Kathie are parents of daughter, Alicia, and son, Brian.
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12-31-2008, 03:28 PM
Jim Goodman for GM (this is seeming more and more possible based on Bowlen's comments)
Vice President of Football Operations / Player Personnel Denver Broncos
Jim Goodman is in his 11th year with the Denver Broncos in 2008 and begins his first season as the club’s Vice President of Football Operations/Player Personnel, a position he was named to on May 6, 2008. Goodman spent the previous two seasons as Denver’s director of player personnel after four years (2002-05) as its director of college scouting.
In his first four years (1998-2001) with the Broncos’ organization, Goodman worked as an area scout evaluating the South region.
Goodman is in charge of managing the Broncos’ overall scouting process and all aspects of its year-round schedule as well as coordinating the work of the club’s area scouts. He also is involved in the overall acquisition of players and in overall personnel department matters.
Goodman was hired by the Broncos in May 1998 after four successful seasons on the coaching staff of Rice University, where his duties also included coordinating the program’s recruiting efforts. Goodman coached the tight ends and special teams all four years (1994-97) and added the duties of wide receivers coach for the 1997 season. The Owls were Southwest Conference co-champions in 1994 and produced three of the best special teams seasons in school history during Goodman’s tenure.
Goodman was an associate athletic director in charge of football recruiting at Clemson University from 1991-93 and also coached the team’s kickers. He earned consideration among the nation’s top-10 recruiting coordinators by the Chicago Sun-Times for his work at Clemson. Goodman was an assistant athletic director in charge of recruiting and high school relations at the University of Florida from 1989-90 and was recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach at the University of Arkansas from 1986-88.
Goodman began his coaching career at Vanguard High School (1974-75) in Ocala, Fla., before moving into the collegiate ranks at the University of North Alabama (1976-78). He then was head coach and athletic director at Marion (Ala.) Institute Junior College (1979-80), where his teams ranked in the top 15 in the national polls both seasons. He also coached the school’s baseball team.
Goodman coached outside linebackers at the U.S. Air Force Academy under Ken Hatfield in 1981 before accepting the head coaching position at Valdosta (Ga.) State (1982-84), where he also served as associate athletic director before accepting the full-time athletic director’s position in 1985. As coach, he started a program from scratch and fashioned a 15-16-1 record over three years with a squad that included former Atlanta Falcons All-Pro linebacker Jesse Tuggle.
Goodman, 55, holds an associate’s degree from Chipola Junior College (1972), a bachelor of science in physical education from Florida (1974) and a master’s in education administration from North Alabama (1977).
A native of Blounstown, Fla., where he attended Blounstown High School, Jim and his wife, Jennie, have three adult children: Jeff, Nancy and Tyler. Jeff—a former wide receiver at the University of Florida who is in his second year as a scout with the Broncos—was married in the spring of 2004. Nancy earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Florida. She was married to Thomas Estes in May 2006, and they reside in Atlanta. Tyler, a former Broncos equipment intern, graduated from Florida in May 2007 and will spend this year working with the Georgia Tech University football program.
12-31-2008, 03:31 PM
Steve Spagnuolo--We have the offense and Bates so give me Defense
Now in his second season as the Giants’ defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo is one of the most highly-regarded assistant coaches in the NFL.
The Giants ranked seventh in the league in total defense, allowing 305.0 yards a game. In 2006, the season before Spagnuolo’s arrival, the Giants ranked 25th in defense, surrendering 342.4 yards a game. The No. 7 ranking was the Giants’ highest since 2002, when they were ninth. The 305 yards per game were the fewest allowed by the Giants since 2000, when the NFC champions gave up 284.1
The defense ranked in the top 10 in the league in eight statistical categories, including opposing third down conversions (34.6 percent) and yards allowed per play (4.96 yards).
In 20 regular season and postseason games, the Giants’ defense held opponents to 17 points or less 12 times. The Giants were 12-0 in those games. Opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of less than 75.0 in 11 games. The Giants won 10 of them.
The Giants were eighth in the NFL in rushing defense, surrendering 97.7 yards per game, or about 17 fewer yards on the ground per game than they allowed in 2006. That was their highest ranking and lowest yardage allowed since 2001, when they were eighth 96.6 yards a game.
In 2007, the Giants led the NFL with 53 sacks, their highest sack total since they had a league-high 54 in 1998.
The defense did its best work in the playoffs, particularly in the 17-14 victory over New England in Super Bowl XLII. In four games, the Giants allowed a total of 65 points. The last three of those games were against teams ranked at the top of the league statistically in the NFL during the regular season: Green Bay (No. 2), Dallas (No. 3) and New England (No. 1). The Giants limited them to a total of 51 points, or just 17 a game. The Patriots scored only 14 points in the Super Bowl after averaging 37 points a game in the regular season.
Spagnuolo designed a game plan that put constant pressure on Tom Brady, who was sacked five times and knocked to the ground at least a dozen more times. The Patriots gained only 274 yards – 127 below their season average – including 45 on the ground, and did not have a play longer than 19 yards.
Earlier in the playoffs, the Packers gained only 264 yards – 90 on one play – had just 13 first downs and owned the ball for 22:34. The previous week in Dallas, the Cowboys scored only three second-half points.
Spagnuolo was hired as the Giants’ defensive coordinator on Jan. 22, 2007. He came to the Giants after eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, the last three as the club's linebackers coach. While he was in that role, middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter was selected to two Pro Bowl berths. In 2005, Trotter was voted to the game after leading the Eagles with 169 tackles, including 13 for a loss. That season, Philadelphia led the NFL with 60 tackles for a loss, including 25 by the linebackers.
Spagnuolo spent his entire tenure in Philadelphia working under highly-respected defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. During six of his eight seasons with the Eagles, Spagnuolo coached a player who earned Pro Bowl honors.
In his eight seasons in Philadelphia, Spagnuolo (pronounced SPAG-no-low) helped coach an Eagles defense that is traditionally one of the NFL’s best. In a six-year period from 1999-2005, Philadelphia’s defense ranked first in the NFL in opposing third down percentage (33 percent), second in points allowed (17.0 per game), second in sacks (265) and third in red zone defense (43.3 percent). During this period, the Eagles played in four consecutive NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. In 2001, the Eagles’ defense allowed no more than 21 points in all 16 regular season games, just the fourth time in league history that was accomplished.
Spagnuolo originally joined the Eagles coaching staff in 1999 as a defensive assistant/quality control coach working specifically with the team's safeties. Two years later, he was promoted to defensive backs coach, where he spent three seasons tutoring Pro Bowlers Brian Dawkins, Bobby Taylor, Troy Vincent, Lito Sheppard and Michael Lewis. In those three seasons, the Eagles pass defense ranked in the NFL's top 10 in three key statistical categories: third-down defense, touchdown passes allowed and net yards per pass attempt.
Prior to joining the Eagles, Spagnuolo coached 15 seasons in college football and two years in NFL Europe.
He spent the 1998 season as the defensive coordinator of NFL Europe's Frankfurt Galaxy, who finished second in the league in total defense en route to a World Bowl appearance. Four of the six linebackers and nine of the 11 defensive starters he tutored went on to play in the NFL. Spagnuolo also served as the defensive line and special teams coach of the Barcelona Dragons in 1992.
A native of Grafton, Mass. Spagnuolo has served as a defensive coordinator on the college level with Connecticut and Maine. In addition, he served as assistant coach at Massachusetts, Lafayette, Rutgers and Bowling Green.
Prior to his stint at Maine, Spagnuolo spent four months as a scout for the San Diego Chargers under then-general manager Bobby Beathard. His first NFL experience came in 1983 as an intern with the Washington Redskins under then-assistant general manager Charlie Casserly.
Spagnuolo played football at Springfield (Mass.) College for head coach Howard Vandersea. He was a two-year starter at wide receiver and received the school’s AAUP Male Scholar Athlete award in 1982.
Spagnuolo was born in Whitinsville, Mass. He attended Grafton High School, where he is a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. Spagnuolo earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Springfield College and a master's degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts. He is married (Maria).
SPAGNUOLO AT A GLANCE
1983……………….Washington Redskins……player personnel intern
1984-86……………Lafayette…………………defensive line/special teams
1987-91……………Connecticut……………..defensive coordinator/defensive backs
1992……………….Barcelona Dragons………defensive line/special teams
1993……………….San Diego Chargers……..scout
1993-94……………Maine…………………defensive coordinator/def. backs/linebackers
1996-97……………Bowling Green………….defensive backs
1998……………….Frankfurt Galaxy………..defensive coordinator/linebackers
1999-00……………Philadelphia Eagles……..defensive assistant
2001-03……………Philadelphia Eagles……..defensive backs
2007-08…………….New York Giants……….defensive coordinator
12-31-2008, 03:31 PM
Rick Dennison for Head Coach
Rick Dennison enters his 14th year on the Denver Broncos’ coaching staff in 2008 and his third as offensive coordinator, a position he was named to on Jan. 30, 2006, and one that includes the instruction of the club’s offensive line. Dennison, 50, spent 11 years working as an assistant for the Broncos, coaching the offensive line from 2001-05, special teams from 1997-00 and serving as an offensive assistant from 1995-96.
He also brings a wealth of experience as a former NFL linebacker who played nine seasons with the Broncos from 1982-90 and appeared in three Super Bowls during that time.
Working with Denver’s offensive line from 2001-07, Dennison has overseen a unit that annually is regarded as the best in the business. Anchored by five-time Pro Bowl center Tom Nalen, the Broncos’ line has helped the team rank fifth in the NFL in yards per game (349.1) since 2001 and post a top-10 league ranking four times during that period.
The Broncos have rushed for the second-most yards (15,753 / 140.7 ypg.) in the NFL and produced five individual 1,000-yard rushing seasons by four different players from 2001-07 with Dennison instructing their offensive line. Denver’s offensive line has been equally adept at pass blocking under Dennison, surrendering the sixth-fewest sacks (214) in the NFL from 2001-07, including a franchise-low 15 in 2004.
With a line that had three players in their first season starting at their respective positions for the majority of the year, the Broncos’ offense still was among the league’s most productive under Dennison in 2007. Denver was fourth in the NFL in yards per play with a 5.7-yard average that marked the sixthbest single-season total in club history. The Broncos ranked fifth in the NFL in yards per rush (4.6) and were led on the ground by Selvin Young, who posted the third-most rushing yards (729) by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.
In his first year as offensive coordinator during the 2006 season, Dennison’s offensive line helped the Broncos become one of only three teams in the NFL to feature two running backs with at least 670 rushing yards in Tatum Bell (1,025 yds.) and undrafted rookie Mike Bell (677 yds.). His group overcame the loss of veteran tackle Matt Lepsis to an injury that required first-year player Erik Pears to start the final 10 games at that position.
Dennison’s line paved the way for the NFL’s fifth-ranked offense (360.4 ypg.) in 2005, helping Denver post a 13-3 record and capture the AFC West title en route to advancing to the AFC Championship Game. The Broncos ranked second in the league in rushing offense (158.7 ypg.) and totaled the second-highest single-season rushing total (2,539 yds.) in franchise history.
The Broncos’ offensive line continued its dominance under Dennison in 2004 by setting a franchise record for fewest sacks in giving up only 15 quarterback takedowns for the third-best mark in the NFL. Dennison’s group was instrumental in the Broncos ranking fourth in the NFL in rushing behind Reuben Droughns’ 1,240 yards, the converted fullback’s first 1,000-yard rushing season and the third 1,000-yard performance by a Bronco in the last four years. Additionally, the offensive line helped quarterback Jake Plummer set a franchise record for most passing yards (4,089) in a season.
In 2003, the Broncos finished as the AFC’s third-best offense (7th in NFL), which included the NFL’s No. 2 rushing attack. The line cleared the way for running back Clinton Portis, who led the Broncos with 1,591 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns.
In 2002, Dennison’s line helped Portis, who rushed for 1,508 yards and 15 touchdowns, win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Denver’s offense in 2002 finished the season ranked second in the AFC in total offense and third in rushing.
As special teams coach from 1997-2000, Dennison’s group was instrumental in the Broncos’ success that was highlighted by their back-to-back World Championships from 1997-98. His coverage units held opponents to a tie for the deepest average drive start (26.1-yard line) in the AFC in 2000. One of Dennison’s most outstanding performers, Detron Smith, was recognized in 1999 for his excellence in an often under-appreciated realm, being voted to the Pro Bowl as the special-teams performer. It marked the third time in Dennison’s tenure with the Broncos that he saw one of his pupils earn a Pro Bowl invitation.
Kicker Jason Elam enjoyed the finest season of his six-year NFL career under Dennison in 1998, earning his second Pro Bowl selection by setting a franchise record for PATs in a season (58-of-58) and converting 85 percent (23-of-27) of his field goal attempts. Elam also tied Tom Dempsey’s 28-year-old NFL record for longest field goal with a 63-yarder vs. Jacksonville on Oct. 25, 1998. His career numbers continued to escalate as well as he became the all-time leading scorer in franchise history during the 1999 season while also establishing franchise dominance in field goals, field goal attempts and PATs.
Punter Tom Rouen consistently performed at or near the top of the league rankings under Dennison’s tutelage, posting a gross punting average of more than 46 yards per punt for the second year in a row in 1999 to lead the NFL. His career-best 46.9-yard average in 1998 ranked second while Dennison’s kick-return unit ranked sixth in the NFL, staking the Broncos’ opponents to an average drive start of their 28-yard line.
Under Dennison’s guidance in 1997, the Broncos’ special teams played an integral role in leading the franchise to its first World Championship. Darrien Gordon tied for the NFL lead with three touchdowns on punt returns and ranked second in the NFL in punt return average (13.6 yds.) while Elam ranked second in the AFC (4th in NFL) in scoring (124 pts.) and Rouen ranked fourth in the AFC (5th in NFL) in net punting average (38.1).
As a unit, Denver’s kick return and kick coverage teams in 1997 ranked among the league leaders as the Broncos recorded an average drive start of the 28.6-yard line (4th in NFL) while forcing their opponents to an average drive start of the 24.4-yard line (9th in NFL). Denver also led the NFL in punt return average (13.5 yds.).
A former standout linebacker for the Broncos, Dennison joined the Broncos’ coaching staff in 1995 after spending the previous three years coaching at the high school level for Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn. He served for two years in Denver as an offensive assistant (1995-96), providing quality control work and assistance of all types to the offensive coaching staff before being promoted to special teams coach on Feb. 12, 1997.
A former standout linebacker for the Broncos, Dennison joined the Broncos’ coaching staff in 1995 after spending the previous three years coaching at the high school level for Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn. He served for two years in Denver as an offensive assistant (1995-96), providing quality control work and assistance of all types to the offensive coaching staff before being promoted to special teams coach on Feb. 12, 1997.
In Dennison’s two years on the offensive staff, the Broncos’ offense posted the most prolific two-year totals in franchise history at that time, including a No. 1 NFL ranking in total offense for 1996 and a bevy of franchise offensive records set in both seasons.
Dennison played linebacker for the Broncos from 1982-90, appearing in 128 games (52 starts) and three Super Bowls. In 1989, he received the Ed Block Memorial Courage Award. Dennison ranked second on the team in tackles in 1988 with 133 and led the team with three fumble recoveries for the year. Perhaps the best performance of his career came in a 1987 playoff game against Houston when he registered eight tackles and one quarterback pressure. He also had an excellent season in 1984 when he had 164 stops and a career-high three sacks in his first full season as a starter. Dennison was a freeagent acquisition by the Broncos in 1982.
Dennison joined the Broncos after a fine collegiate career at Colorado State University, where he was a second-team Academic All-American as a senior and earned three varsity letters. In 1979, Dennison received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from CSU followed by a master’s degree in the same field from CSU in 1982.
Dennison, born in Kalispell, Mont., on June 22, 1958, attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colo., where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. His father, George, is in his 18th year as president of the University of Montana. Rick, his wife, Shannon, and sons, Joseph and Steven, along with 4-year-old twin daughters, Abrynn and Allie, and newborn son Trey reside in Centennial, Colo.
12-31-2008, 03:36 PM
Urban Meyer for Head Coach.
When University of Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley hired Urban Meyer on December 4, 2004, the goal was to return Florida football to Southeastern Conference and national prominence.
After a 41-14 win over No. 1 ranked Ohio State in Glendale, Ariz., on January 8th, 2007, Meyer and The Gator Nation stood center stage basking in the glory of the second national championship in school history.
Meyer, 43, became the seventh head coach in NCAA history to win a national championship in his first or second year at a school and the 14th- youngest head coach to win a national title since 1950.
Meyer is one of only four active coaches to win a national championship, coach a Heisman Trophy winner and coach a number one pick in the National Football League Draft.
Florida's run to the 2006 national championship featured a school-record 13 wins, including the school's seventh Southeastern Conference Championship with a 38-28 win over Arkansas in the SEC Title tilt.
The magnitude of the national championship grows when one considers that the 2006 Florida schedule ranked as the toughest in the country by the NCAA, featuring six ranked teams and 11 teams that played in bowl games – the top total in the nation. Meyer was named the National Coach of the Year by the All-American Football Foundation at the conclusion of the season.
The three-year tenure of Coach Meyer in Gainesville extends beyond the 2006 National Championship and Southeastern Conference Championship. UF is 31-8 during the last three seasons, tied for the third-best win total in the nation during that time, and no other SEC Eastern Division school posts a better league mark than UF's 17-7 record during that span.
Meyer, who has 22 years of coaching experience, including seven as a head coach, became the only coach in school history to post seven-consecutive wins against UF's traditional rivals - Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State. Overall, Meyer has won eight of nine against the trio.
Florida has been ranked in the each of the 47 polls under Coach Meyer, including 23 weeks in the top 10.
A three-time national Coach-of-the-Year, his career record stands at 70-16 and his .814 winning percentage ranks third nationally among active coaches with at least five years of coaching experience. Just as impressive, Meyer owns an 11-3 record against the other top 10 active winningest coaches in college football. He is one of nine coaches in the history of Division I-A football to reach 70 wins in seven seasons or less.
He owns a 41-3 record at home in his career, including 19-1 in The Swamp. Few are better than getting a team ready to play, as Meyer sports a 23-3 record when having more than a week to prepare for a game.
Fourteen Gators have been selected in the NFL Draft, including a nation's best nine in 2007. Overall, 31 Gators have signed NFL contracts under Meyer.
Off the field, Meyer established the Gators' Leadership Committee, a group of players charged with acting as spokesmen for the team and handling situations related to team policy issues, academic affairs, off-campus circumstances and other topics.
His priority on academics has resulted in more than 38 percent of the University of Florida football scholarship student-athletes earning above a 3.0 GPA in the 2008 Spring Semester and 70 players have been named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll in the last three years. This past season, Tim Tebow became the first Florida football player named to First Team Academic All-America since Danny Wuerffel in 1996. Tebow also is only the second sophomore football player in school history and the fourth sophomore athlete overall at UF to earn first-team Academic All-America honors.
Chris Leak was a finalist for the 2006 Draddy Trophy, dubbed the Academic Heisman and was selected as the 2006 Fall Graduating Outstanding Leader for all students on campus. Leakwas the featured speaker at UF graduation ceremonies in December of 2006 and overall 59 players have graduated under Meyer. In addition, Mike Degory was named to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III Team in 2005 in Meyer's first year.
Meyer is equally committed to the University of Florida as he and Billy Donovan agreed in October of 2008 to lead a campus charge to raise $50 million for UF's Florida Opportunity Scholars Program. The program was created by UF President Bernie Machen to provide financial assistance to first-generation, financially disadvantaged students working towards a bachelor's degree.
Meyer's 2007 Gator team produced one of the most prolific offensive attacks in school history. Behind Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, the Gator offense ranked third nationally (42.5 ppg) and was just eight points shy of tying the school mark for most scored in a season. The team led the nation and established a school record by converting on 53 percent of third downs and posted the second-highest passing efficiency mark in the country (170.17). UF was the only school in the nation to rush for a touchdown and pass for a touchdown in every game.
Against the third-toughest schedule in the nation, UF won nine games for the third-straight year for the first time since 1999-2001 and extended its school record with its 17th straight bowl appearance – the longest active streak in the SEC.
Meyer's first year at Florida produced a nine-win season and January Bowl game victory, the Gators' first since 2001. Not only did Florida defeat three of its biggest rivals (Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State), the Gators never trailed in each of those games – a first in program history. Florida's final ranking of No. 12 in the Associated Press Poll was also its highest season-ending ranking since 2001.
Meyer became the first coach in UF history to defeat four ranked opponents in his initial season at Florida and his nine wins tied a school record for most wins by a first-year coach in Gainesville.
Meyer's 2005 team continued to follow his blueprint for success. Take care of the ball, control the clock, win the field position battle and put the ball in the hands of the best players. Florida ranked third nationally in turnover margin at +18, just one shy of the school record set in 2000 and its average time of possession was 32:37, second-best in the SEC and best in UF records dating back to 1986. UF's average starting field position was also tops in the league, thanks in large part to a punt return unit that allowed just 3.3 yards per return – the best in school history and second nationally. For the fifth straight season under Meyer, a wide receiver ranked among the top 20 nationally in catches per game – this time Chad Jackson tied a school record with 88 receptions, sixth-best in the nation and tied for fourth-best all-time in the SEC.
"Urban Meyer represents the qualities that we were looking for in our head coach," Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley said. "He is an innovator of the game with proven success as a head coach. He has shown the ability to attract recruits and is a tremendous teacher. Urban's accomplishments speak for themselves. He is a man of high values and principles and we welcome him and his family to the University of Florida family."
"I am certainly excited about the opportunity to be the head coach at the University of Florida," said Meyer. "There were a lot of factors that went into this decision that our entire family had to consider. The opportunity to compete at the highest level at one of the nation's most-respected academic institutions is something that was attractive for us. The passion of Gator fans is legendary in collegiate athletics and I am eager to be a part of that environment.
"The quality of recruits within the state of Florida and the Southeast Region offers a tremendous recruiting base for us," Meyer continued. "The support from the University's administration is evident in their commitment to my family and I am looking forward to leading the Gator football program."
"Urban Meyer is an outstanding coach with a strong record, great leadership skills and a very promising future," said UF President J. Bernard Machen. "I am very happy to welcome him along with Shelley and the Meyer family to UF and Gainesville."
Meyer earned multiple National Coach of the Year honors in 2004 after leading Utah to a perfect 12-0 season, the school's first in 75 years. Meyer collected the Home Depot National Coach of the Year, the George Munger Award for the Collegiate Coach of the Year presented by the Maxwell Club and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (Named by the Football Writers Association of America). He also was named National Coach of the Year by Pro Football Weekly and earned the Woody Hayes Trophy Award and the Victor Award.
With its post-season bid to the Fiesta Bowl, Utah made history by becoming the first school from a non-Bowl Championship Series conference to earn a berth in a BCS Bowl. Utah finished as the outright 2004 Mountain West Conference champion to become the only back-to-back outright winners in the league's history.
Under his direction, the Utes ranked in the top five nationally in six statistical categories. Utah ranked third nationally in scoring (45.3), total offense (499.7), net punting (40.8), turnover margin (+1.25) and passing efficiency (173.4), and was ranked fifth nationally in kick returns (26.2). The Utes were the only school in the nation to have their rushing offense (236.1, 13th) and passing offense (263.7, 19th) rank in the top 20 nationally.
Utah led the MWC in 11 categories, including scoring offense, total offense, pass efficiency offense, pass efficiency defense, turnover margin, kick returns and third-down conversions (52.3). The Utes were the MWC runner-up in rushing offense, passing defense (203.3), scoring defense (19.5), total defense (343.2), punt returns (10.9) and sacks against (18).
Meyer completed his Utah coaching career riding a 16-game winning streak, the second-longest in the nation behind only Southern California (21). The Utes did not trail at halftime of any 2004 game and their closest margin of victory was 14, a 49-35 win over Air Force on Sept. 25.
Meyer's mark has been made on the NFL Draft as well, tutoring the No. 1 pick in the 2005 Draft. Quarterback Alex Smith, the first-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers that April, is one of 59 former Meyer players who have signed contracts with NFL teams.
Meyer was named the 2003 National Coach of the Year by The Sporting News after leading the Utes to a 10-2 record, their first outright conference championship since 1957, a bowl victory and a final national ranking of No. 21. He became the first coach from the MWC and just the second coach from a non-BCS program to receive the coveted TSN award. Meyer was also voted the MWC Coach of the Year, becoming Utah's first conference coach of the year selection since 1978. He became the only coach in the school's 111-year football history to win a conference title in his first year.
Ironically, Utah's 2003 wins came against one of the toughest schedules in school history. Two were against Pac-10 foes Oregon and California, and the Ducks were ranked No. 19 when Utah scored a 17-13 upset. The Utes also knocked off perennial league powers Colorado State, Air Force and Brigham Young. It was the first Ute sweep of that trio in 10 years and the first-ever road sweep against them. Meyer's Utes capped the season with a 17-0 victory over Conference USA champion Southern Mississippi at the AXA Liberty Bowl.
In 2003, Utah won five more games than the previous year, when it was 5-6, and matched BCS national champion LSU as the fifth-most improved team in the nation. Meyer's explosive spread offense and one of the nation's best defenses brought Utah local and national attention. The 2003 Utes shattered their previous home attendance record by averaging 41,478 fans. The largest crowd ever to attend a Utah athletic event (46,768) and a national ESPN television audience watched the Utes beat California, 31-24, in Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Known as a defensive power, Utah's reputation on that side of the ball held true while the offense simply took off using Meyer's system. Utah shut out its last two opponents, Brigham Young and Southern Mississippi, and finished No. 19 in the nation in scoring defense (19.1 points per game). On the other side of the line, Utah went from last in scoring offense in 2002 to third in the league by averaging 28.7 points per game in '03. A similar improvement (seventh to fourth) was made in total offense. Red zone scoring, a Meyer point of emphasis, rose 11 percentage points (68 percent -79 percent, with 61 percent of those scores coming on touchdowns (versus 49 percent in 2002).
Utah's special teams, under Meyer's direct supervision, also improved dramatically from past years. The Utes led the nation in kick return average (28.2 yards per return) and ranked second in the league in kickoff coverage (16.4 yards per opponent return) in 2003.
Meyer began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, where he engineered the top turnaround in NCAA Division I-A football, showing a six-win improvement from the previous season. The Falcons rebounded from a 2-9 record to post their first winning season since 1994 with an 8-3 finish. For his efforts, he was named the 2001 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. A year later, he guided BGSU to a 9-3 record and its highest national ranking in school history (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today and No. 20 Associated Press). Bowling Green spent five weeks in the national polls and finished third in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 40.8 points per game.
The Falcons, who became the highest scoring team in MAC history, also finished ninth in the nation in total offense (448.9 ypg) and 11th in rushing offense (219.1 ypg) in 2002. They were the only team in the nation to average at least 215 yards rushing and 215 yards passing per game. BGSU also led the nation in red zone production, scoring on 61-of-63 trips (.968) inside the 20-yard line, including 52 touchdowns.
His teams fared well defensively, too. In 2001, BGSU ranked first in the MAC in scoring defense (19.5 ppg), rushing defense (86.3 ypg) and total defense (319.5 ypg). Bowling Green led the MAC in turnover margin both years under Meyer.
Meyer's 17-6 record at Bowling Green included a 5-0 mark against BCS teams and two wins over ranked opponents. After his first of two wins over Missouri, Meyer was named ESPN.com National Coach of the Week in 2001.
Meyer apprenticed at Ohio State (1986-87), Illinois State (1988-89), Colorado State (1990-95) and Notre Dame (1996-2000) before getting the head job at Bowling Green. The Ashtabula, Ohio, native learned the coaching trade from the likes of Sonny Lubick, Lou Holtz, Earle Bruce and Bob Davie.
The 1999 season saw Meyer's receiving corps break the Irish single-season record for pass receptions with 192 and total receiving yards with 2,858. During 1998, Meyer coached split end Malcolm Johnson, who ended his career with 110 receptions, the seventh-most in school history.
In 1997, Meyer coached Johnson and fellow receiver Bobby Brown as they became the first Irish pair of players to record 40 or more receptions individually in a season as Brown had 45 receptions and Johnson had 42. In addition, the Notre Dame receivers helped set a then single-season school record with 190 receptions.
Meyer coached a youthful Irish receiving corps in 1996 and helped integrate those players with veteran quarterback Ron Powlus to contribute to a Notre Dame offense that produced the third-highest figures for total offense and scoring in Irish history.
Prior to going to Notre Dame, Meyer had served as wide receiver coach for six years at Colorado State. He helped the Rams to the 1994 Western Athletic Conference title and to Holiday Bowl appearances following both the 1994 (10-2) and 1995 seasons (8-4).
In 1992, he coached wide receiver Greg Primus, an All-WAC pick who finished as Colorado State's all-time leading receiver and ended up with 192 career catches for 3,200 yards (then 10th on the NCAA's all-time yardage list). He also helped the Rams to the Freedom Bowl title following the 1990 season.
Meyer spent the previous two seasons at Illinois State, coaching quarterbacks and receivers in 1989 and outside linebackers in 1988. He worked as receivers coach at Ohio State in 1987 and helped the Buckeyes to a Cotton Bowl win following the 1986 campaign, when he coached tight ends.
A 13th-round pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft in 1982, he played two years in the Atlanta Braves' organization. He played as a defensive back at the University of Cincinnati before earning his degree in psychology in 1986. He went on to earn a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio State in 1988.
Born July 10, 1964, Meyer and his wife Shelley are the parents of two daughters, Nicole (17) and Gigi (15), and a son, Nathan (9).
URBAN MEYER FACT SHEET
Year School, Title
1986 Ohio State, Tight Ends (Grad. Asst.)
1987 Ohio State, Receivers (Grad. Asst.)
1988 Illinois State, Outside Linebackers
1989 Illinois State, Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers
1990-95 Colorado State, Wide Receivers
1996-2000 Notre Dame, Wide Receivers
2001-02 Bowling Green, Head Coach
2003-04 Utah, Head Coach
2005-present Florida, Head Coach
HEAD COACHING RECORD
Year School Record Conference Record Final Poll*
2001 Bowling Green 8-3 5-3 NR
2002 Bowling Green 9-3 6-2 NR
2003 Utah 10-2 6-1 (First) 21/21
2004 Utah 12-0 7-0 (First) 4/5/3
2005 Florida 9-3 5-3 12/16
2006 Florida 13-1 7-1 (First) 1/1
2007 Florida 9-4 5-3 13/16
Totals: 7 Years 70-16 (.814) 41-13 (.759)
*Polls listed AP/Coaches'/Sports Illustrated
BOWL GAMES AS A COACH
1987 Cotton Bowl
1990 Freedom Bowl
1994 Holiday Bowl
1995 Holiday Bowl
1997 Independence Bowl
1998 Gator Bowl
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2003 Liberty Bowl
2005 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Outback Bowl
2007 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
2008 Capital One Bowl
12-31-2008, 03:40 PM
Rex Ryan was retained by the Ravens as defensive coordinator on January 28, 2008. He was also named assistant head coach on John Harbaugh's staff.
Rex Ryan entered his 9th year with the Ravens holding a new 2-year contract after directing the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense and earning 2006 NFL Assistant Coach of the Year honors from Pro Football Weekly and The Pro Football Writers Association...This marks Ryan's 3rd year as Baltimore's defensive coordinator...Rex is the only remaining Ravens' assistant coach from the 2000 Super Bowl XXXV season's superb defense...He spent 6 seasons as the Ravens' highly-successful defensive line coach and owns a distinctive NFL bloodline when it comes to coaching defenses...The Ryan family is a "who's who" trifecta that has coached in 6 Super Bowls with 5 different NFL teams*...Rex's father is the legendary Buddy Ryan; his twin brother is Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.
OVERVIEW: Replaced Mike Nolan (49ers head coach) as the defensive coordinator in 2005...Ryan has long been a major contributor to the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense in 2006 and prior Ravens defenses dating back to 1999, when he joined the team...Ryan's groups have all been near the top of the NFL and noted for steady improvement, including the record-setting Super Bowl year in 2000...Baltimore finished 1st against the run and 2nd in the NFL in overall defense that season...The Ravens' defense did not permit a 100-yard rusher in 50-straight games, including the playoffs (from game 16 in '98 to game 14 in '01)...On their way to Super Bowl XXXV, Rex coached an impressive veteran D-Line: DEs Michael McCrary, Rob Burnett, and DTs Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams, all of whom enjoyed their best years under Ryan...Launched pro career in 1994 with the Cardinals as the DL coach under his father, Buddy...Rex returned to college ranks for 3 years before Brian Billick asked Ryan to come to Baltimore.
1999-2006: (with Baltimore) 2006: The Ravens' No. 1 defense again was dominant, and ranked 1st in points allowed (201, including just 64 [9.1 per game] in the final 7 games; 26 teams allowed 300 or more points for the season); 1st in total defense (264.1 yards); 1st inside the 20 (33.3% TDs allowed); fewest 3rd downs converted (28.8%) and fewest 1st downs permitted (236); 1st in takeaway/giveaway ratio (+17), 2nd in takeaways (40 to Chicago's 44); 1st in INTs (28, including 5 for TDs); and 2nd in sacks (60 to San Diego's 61), and 1st in the NFL in sacks per play...Always seeking out the ball, 6 defensive TDs were scored (5 INTs, 1 FR) by 5 different players...Six defensive players earned Pro Bowl nods: LB Ray Lewis (led team in tackles with 164 for the 9th time in his career; suffered a hand injury that caused various rotations by LBs-Bart Scott, Mike Smith and Jarret Johnson); CB Chris McAlister (posted a team-high 6 INTs, including 2 returned for TDs); Ed Reed, the NFL's top play-making safety, leads the Ravens with a career- and franchise- best 27 INTs...Both Reed and rookie Dawan Landry tied for 2nd on the team with most INTs (5) in ‘06; LB Terrell Suggs and Scott (9.5) tied for 3rd on the team in sacks behind DT Trevor Pryce (13) and LB Adalius Thomas (11)...Against Oakland (9/17), Thomas marked the 1st time in franchise history that a player had collected 1 sack, 1 INT and 1 safety in a single game...Bart earned his 1st-career Pro Bowl, as well as numerous honors, after finishing 2nd on the team with 135 tackles and 9.5 sacks.
2005: Overall, the defense finished 2nd in the AFC and 5th in the NFL and allowed just 284.7 yards per contest...Lewis (thigh surgery) missed 10 games after starting the 1st 6...Reed missed 6 games (ankle) and Will Demps was held out 5 games (knee)...McAlister led the team with 20 PD, missing 2 games (hamstring and shoulder)...Against the rush, Baltimore ranked 6th in the AFC and 9th in the NFL...Scott started the 1st 10 games of his career, finishing 2nd on the team with 119 tackles and 4 sacks...Despite being double-and sometimes triple-teamed, Suggs posted 86 tackles, finished 2nd on the team with 8 sacks and tied a career-high with 6 FFs...Thomas posted a then-career high 9 sacks...Adalius was voted team MVP by Baltimore media...LB Peter Boulware remained the Ravens' sack king, reaching 70 for his career and hitting the 500-tackle milestone...Baltimore allowed the 4th-fewest 1st downs in the AFC (17.7 per game)...The defense's best effort came againt the Jets (10/2), giving up only 152 yards on 48 attempts...Opponents starting RBs were held to under 100 yards 12 times and under 65 yards 8 times...Ravens defense finished 3rd in the AFC in 3rd-down efficiency allowing opponents to convert on just 36.1% of their opportunities...Baltimore allowed 4.56 yards per play, closing the year behind the Steelers (4.55), ranking 2nd in the AFC and 3rd in the NFL...Against the pass, Baltimore ranked 4th in the AFC and 8th in the NFL...The 5.63 yards allowed per pass play was tops in the AFC and 2nd in the NFL.
2004: Baltimore's defense allowed the 6th-fewest points in the NFL and ranked 6th in defense (total yards)...Was 1st in the AFC and 2nd in the NFL with 3.6 yards allowed per rush...Defensively, the Ravens scored 7 TDs (5 INTs and 2 FRs), including 1 by DE Jarret Johnson, who scored the 1st TD of his career vs. Miami (1/2/05)...DE Marques Douglas ranked 3rd on the team with 92 tackles, plus 5.5 sacks, 2 PD and 1 FF...NT Kelly Gregg (1.5 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR) tied with Reed for 4th on the team with 89 tackles...Suggs produced 10.5 sacks and earned his 1st Pro Bowl...DE Anthony Weaver recorded 61 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT (1st of his career in Game 16), 5 PD and 1 FR...Ravens-"D" was 1st in the AFC and 2nd in the NFL in opponent QB rating (68.0), and 1st in the NFL in the number of 3-and-outs (59 – NFL average was 43).
2003: Ravens defense was among the NFL's best, finishing 3rd (4th vs. rush and 6th vs. pass)...Led the NFL in sacks (47) and tied for 1st in the AFC and 2nd in the NFL with 41 take-aways...Ravens ranked 1st in the AFC with 17 FR...Allowed the fewest yards per play (4.2) and the 4th-fewest passing yards (175.3 per game) in the NFL...Suggs had a Ravens' rookie-record 12 sacks as a 3rd-down DE and earned NFL-Defensive Rookie of the Year honors...Gregg had the most tackles (104) in the NFL for a DL.
2002: Defense held opponents to AFC-best 3.7 yards per carry...Linemen averaged 2 years of experience and 24 years of age...Then-rookie Weaver proved to be a new fixture on the line (65 tackles, 3.5 sacks)...A.D. logged 68 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 FR and 2 INTs, including 1 for a TD...Despite being double-and-triple-teamed, sometime-DE Peter Boulware was voted to the Pro Bowl as a LB (his 3rd) and produced a team-high 7 sacks.
2001:Finished 2nd in the NFL in defense, 4th against the run...Defense finished in the NFL's top 4 in several important categories, including 1st in total yards allowed per play (4.4), 2nd in total yards allowed per game (277.9), and 3rd in rushing average allowed per play (3.4)...Was 4th in the NFL in fewest points allowed with 265...Record-setting defense did not permit a 100-yard rusher in 50 straight games, including the playoffs.
2000:Finished 1st against the run, 2nd in the NFL in defense...Set 16-game NFL-record by allowing only 970 yards rushing and 2.68 yards per rushing attempt...Defense gave up the fewest points (165) in NFL history in a 16-game season...Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV with an impressive lineup: DEs McCrary, Burnett and DTs Siragusa and Adams. 1999: Joined Brian Billick's staff...Ravens were 2nd in the NFL in overall defense, 2nd against the rush.
1998: (with Oklahoma) Defensive coordinator...Ranked 6th in nation in total defense.
1996-97: (with U. of Cincinnati) Spent 2 seasons as defensive coordinator. 1997: Team finished 8-4...UC won (12/29) the Humanitarian Bowl vs. Utah State, 35-19...Was the 1st Bearcats' bowl appearance in 50 years...Defense ranked 5th vs. the rush...Held opponents to 930 rushing yards. 1996: Team posted a 6-5 record and ranked 13th in overall defense in the nation.
1994-95: (with Arizona Cardinals) Spent 2 seasons coaching under his father, then-head coach Buddy Ryan. 1995: Coached the LBs.
1994: Rex coached the D-Line...Cardinals ranked in the NFL's top 5 in every major defensive statistical category, including 3rd in overall defense.
1990-93: (with Morehead State) Named defensive coordinator...Eagles defense ranked among the highest in the nation during Ryan's tenure.
1989: (with New Mexico Highlands) Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
1987-88: (with Eastern Kentucky) Launched collegiate coaching career as DE coach...Colonels shared the Ohio Valley Conference title in 1987 with Youngstown State, each posted a 5-1 record...Eastern Kentucky won the title outright in 1988...Colonels were Division I-AA quarterfinalists in 1987 and I-AA semifinalists in 1988.
COLLEGE: Played at Southwestern Oklahoma State...Earned both a bachelor of science and master's degree (1988) in physical education from Eastern Kentucky.
PERSONAL: Attended Stevenson (Prairie View, IL) HS...Ryan is on the Maryland Special Olympics honorary board of directors and regularly volunteers to help this important group... Participated in Maryland State Police's Polar Bear Plunge last 2 years (2006-07)...Ryan and his foursome of Ravens coaches, including Rex, Mike Pettine, Mark Carrier and Vic Fangio, won 2 trophies and the main event at The Chris McAlister Foundation's golf tournament last May...Rex and wife Michelle have 2 sons: Payton (15) and Seth (13)...The Ryans live in Ellicott City, MD.
COACHING BACKGROUND: 1987-88 (Eastern Kentucky); 1989 (New Mexico Highlands); 1990-93 (Morehead State); 1994-95 (Arizona Cardinals); 1996-97 (University of Cincinnati); 1998 (Oklahoma); 1999-2007 (Baltimore Ravens)
12-31-2008, 03:43 PM
21st NFL Season, 2nd with Chargers
Ron Rivera was promoted to defensive coordinator on October 28, 2008.
Rivera’s first year coaching the Chargers’ inside linebackers produced solid results. In his first year as a starter, Stephen Cooper led the team with a career-high 179 tackles during the regular season and he added 38 more in the playoffs. Despite missing two games to injury early in the season, fellow ILB Matt Wilhelm finished second to Cooper with 144 stops for the season. The two players also combined to intercept five passes with Cooper snatching a pair and Wilhelm pulling down three.
Rivera’s coaching train pulled into San Diego from Chicago where he coordinated one of the NFL’s top defenses from 2004-06. En route to an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, Chicago led the NFL with 44 takeaways in 2006, while finishing fifth in the league in total defense and third in scoring defense. In 2005 the Bears won their first of two consecutive NFC North titles and ranked second in the NFL in total defense. In Chicago, Rivera and the Bears ran the “Tampa 2 Defense,” a scheme that relies heavily on zone coverage.
The list of Bears defensive players that went to the Pro Bowl under Rivera includes linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, safety Mike Brown, cornerback Nathan Vasher and defensive tackle Tommie Harris.
Before becoming a defensive coordinator, Rivera spent five seasons as the linebackers coach under one of the most aggressive defensive coordinators in the NFL, Philadelphia’s Jim Johnson. The Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship Game in each of Rivera’s final three seasons in Philly.
Twice during his tenure with the Eagles, the team finished second in the NFL in scoring defense. In 2001, Philadelphia held all 16 of its opponents under 21 points, becoming one of only four teams in NFL history that can make such a claim. Rivera played a key role in the development of linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
Rivera is a former Bears linebacker who spent all nine of his professional seasons in Chicago. During his playing career, which included a Super Bowl Championship in 1985, Rivera was coached by the innovative Buddy Ryan, the architect of the “46 Defense” which involved blitzing on nearly every down.
Following his retirement, Rivera spent four years (1993-96) as a television analyst covering the Bears and college football for WGN-TV and SportsChannel Chicago. In 1997 he went back to the Bears to work as the team’s first defensive quality control coach.
A consensus All-America selection at Cal-Berkeley, Rivera finished his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in sacks (22) and tackles (336). He also set the school record for single-season tackles for loss (26.5 in 1983). Rivera was drafted by Chicago in the second round of the 1984 draft and played 149 games with the Bears.
Rivera was born in Fort Ord, California. His father was an officer in the United States Army and the family lived in Germany, Panama, Washington and Maryland before settling in Marina, California. He attended Seaside High School where he was a three-sport athlete, excelling in football, basketball and baseball. As a senior, he was honored with the Golden Helmet Award as the top football player in the Monterrey Bay League.
Rivera and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Christopher and Courtney.
12-31-2008, 03:53 PM
Jeff Davidson, OC for Carolina. Smashmouth type guy.
Change was the constant for Jeff Davidson in his first season as the Panthers offensive coordinator in 2007. Four different starting quarterbacks never started more than three consecutive games, but Davidson still coaxed the second-best rushing season in team history with 1,824 yards while Carolina became the first team in 10 years to win at least win game with four different starting quarterbacks.
Davidson joined the Panthers as offensive coordinator after two seasons in Cleveland that followed a successful eight-year stint with New England. With the Patriots, he contributed to five playoff appearances, four division titles, three conference championships and three Super Bowl wins as the tight ends/assistant offensive line coach from 1997-2004.
In those ten years, Davidson experienced challenges of every nature in preparation for a full season as an offensive coordinator. His units in Cleveland were decimated by injuries, while his time in New England was characterized by remarkable stability. Davidson met both with the same resolve.
Davidson joined Cleveland in 2005, and his impact was immediate as he molded a unit that helped the Browns end a 20-year drought without a 1,000-yard rusher. Reuben Droughns easily eclipsed that plateau with 1,232 yards behind an offensive line that included three new starters.
He was promoted to assistant head coach/offensive line coach in 2006, and Davidson's role was expanded after six games when he became Cleveland's offensive coordinator. Despite having to shuffle the offensive line throughout the year because of injuries, he oversaw an offense that featured tight end Kellen Winslow and wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who produced breakthrough seasons with 89 and 61 catches, respectively.
With New England in 2004, Davidson and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia worked with a unit that had only three lineup changes all season as the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX. The offensive line proved adept at run blocking and pass protection as Corey Dillon rushed for 1,635 yards and Tom Brady was sacked only 26 times, sixth fewest in the NFL. Meanwhile, New England's tight ends, under Davidson's tutelage, accounted for 11 touchdowns and nine pass plays of 20 yards or more.
His time with the Patriots was exemplified by such play from the tight ends as well as the offensive line. As tight ends coach in 1997, Davidson helped Ben Coates emerge as the team leader with 66 receptions and earn a Pro Bowl berth. In 1998, he moved to assist with New England's offensive line for four seasons before adding tight ends to his coaching duties in 2002. The results were immediate as the receiving production for the position more than tripled from the previous year. Then in 2003, the Patriots tight ends again improved their performance by combining for 66 catches and six touchdowns.
Davidson began his NFL coaching career in 1995 as a volunteer assistant with New Orleans. A year later, he was named offensive assistant, responsible for the breakdown of game tapes, opponent scouting and self scouting in addition to a number of on-field coaching responsibilities.
Playing and Personal
Davidson's coaching success is an extension of his playing career. A fifth-round draft choice by Denver in 1990, he moved into the starting lineup in his second season. Davidson started 16 games at left tackle in 1991 and every game at left guard the next year. After signing with New Orleans in 1994, a shoulder injury seven games into the season ended his career. Prior to the NFL, Davidson earned All-Big Ten honors as a senior and was a four-year letterman at Ohio State.
A native of Akron, OH, Davidson attended Westerville (OH) North HS, where he earned Parade All-American honors as a senior. He and his wife, Judi, have two sons, Nicholas and Alexander.
Offensive lineman Ohio State 1986-89. Pro offensive lineman: Denver Broncos 1990-92, New Orleans Saints 1994. Pro coach: New Orleans Saints 1995-96, New England Patriots 1997-04, Cleveland Browns 2005-06, joined Panthers in 2007.
12-31-2008, 04:04 PM
if we did go with Schwartz we might be able to be in a better position to get Hayneworth.
12-31-2008, 04:59 PM
Nice thread ALF.
Theres a couple scenarios there.
The most obvious being Pioli/McDaniel
But then theres the Steve Spagnuolo who primed to be the next "big thing" in coaching. Defense anyone?
Jim schwartz and Ryan are both very highly thought of, so i see them at least being interviewed.
I dont think Urban Meyer will go anywhere, i even think theres a better chance Bob Stoops gets a call from Bowlen. But it would be intruiging considering that Shanny has said his dream job is coaching at Florida.
I think Pioli and McDaniel have already contacted CLE and the NYJ and said,
"Yeah, uh you know that meeting we had scheduled, uh, well, uh something came up and we gotta re-schedule for, um say next Wedneday? How does that sound? Hehe, sorry bout that, something just came up, em kay"
12-31-2008, 05:17 PM
Romeo Crennel, DC
Born on June 18, 1947, in Lynchburg, VA; son of Joseph Crennel a U.S. Army sergeant; married Rosemary; children: Lisa, Tiffany, Kristin
Education: Western Kentucky University, BA, physical education, 1969.
Western Kentucky University, graduate assistant, 1970, defensive line coach, 1971-74; Texas Tech University, defensive assistant, 1975-77; University of Mississippi, defensive ends coach, 1978-79; Georgia Tech University, defensive line coach, 1980; New York Giants, special teams/defensive assistant coach, 1981-82, special teams coach, 1983-89, defensive line coach, 1990-92; New England Patriots, defensive line coach, 1993-96; New York Jets, defensive line coach, 1997-99; Cleveland Browns, defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, 2000; New England Patriots, defensive coordinator, 2001, defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, 2002-03, defensive coordinator, 2004; Cleveland Browns, head coach, 2005-.
With a lifetime of football experience and a spirit of persistence forged during a pioneering coaching career in the Deep South, Romeo Crennel seemed a promising choice to lead the faltering Cleveland Browns National Football League franchise when he was named head coach in 2005. Crennel had already been part of two successful turnarounds, serving as defensive line coach for the consistently championship-level New York Giants of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and for the New England Patriots in the early 2000s. Among his mentors were two of the NFL's top coaches, Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, and over his long career he amassed a long list of other supporters and well-wishers.
Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on June 18, 1947, Crennel grew up in military towns around the country as his United States Army sergeant father moved every three years. Joseph Crennel was an admirer of playwright William Shakespeare and named his oldest son after the lead character in one of the Bard's best-known plays; one of Crennel's sisters was named Juliet. At home, though, the atmosphere was not artistic but military. Crennel grew up in a household where his father gave the orders and the kids obeyed them. A hard worker on the athletic field, Crennel excelled in both football and baseball as a high school player in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Amherst, Virginia. Crennel's brother Carl was a gifted football player who later joined the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Edmonton Oilers of the Canadian Football League.
Military Dreams Dashed
Crennel himself entered an Army ROTC program at Western Kentucky University, but his dreams of following his father into the officer corps were terminated for medical reasons-he had flat feet. Crennel applied himself on the field as a defensive lineman at Western Kentucky, and in his senior year he impressed his coaches and teammates by switching to the offensive line without complaint. At the time--Crennel graduated from Western Kentucky with a physical education major in 1969--black representation on southern college football teams was still sparse. But when Western Kentucky won six straight games after Crennel's midseason position switch, he was voted team captain and the team's most valuable player.
He had also laid the groundwork for his future coaching career. Hired as a graduate assistant in 1970, he became the team's defensive line coach the following year. As an African-American recruiter in Kentucky's Appalachian mountain regions, Crennel was a novelty but was well liked. He moved to a larger school, Texas Tech, as a defensive assistant in 1975. It was there that he first met Parcells, Texas Tech's defensive coordinator at the time; the two became lifelong friends. He also impressed head coach Steve Sloan, who brought Crennel along when he was hired at the University of Mississippi in 1978.
In Mississippi, the racism that Crennel had mostly avoided as an Army brat confronted him face to face. At one high school, he had to claim to be an Italian named Romano Crennelli. The worst of several incidents came when a semi truck crashed into the Crennel family car. Crennel's wife Rosemary was hospitalized for several weeks and, as he recalled to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, told him, "I don't mind dying, but I'm not dying in Mississippi." Crennel, his wife, and their three daughters fled Mississippi for Georgia Tech in 1980 and the following year he was hired as a special teams assistant by the New York Giants. His first boss in New York was Giants assistant coach, and future New England head coach, Bill Belichick.
Coached Under Parcells and Belichick
Crennel was promoted to special teams coach in 1983. In the late 1980s, with Parcells as head coach and Belichick as defensive coordinator, the Giants were perennial championship threats, and Crennel absorbed motivational tricks from Parcells and on-field smarts from Belichick. In 1986 he participated in the first of what by 2005 were six Super Bowl games as the Giants won Super Bowl XXI by a score of 39-20 over the Denver Broncos. Moving to the position of defensive line coach in 1990, Crennel once again traveled to the Super Bowl with the victorious Giants squad.
After Parcells became head coach at New England, Crennel moved there as defensive line coach in 1993. The following year, the Patriots won their last seven regular-season games and earned their first playoff berth in eight years. Crennel's skills were apparent as the Patriots held their opponents to an average of 13.3 points per game over that stretch. Crennel and the Patriots made it to Super Bowl XXXI but lost to the Green Bay Packers, 35-21. From 1997 through 1999, Crennel served as defensive line coach for the New York Jets.
In 2000 Crennel spent a year as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, a step up from his previous positions. He returned to New England as defensive coordinator in 2001, just as the Patriots under Belichick were showing signs of becoming a dynasty. He added Super Bowl rings to his collection in 2001, 2003, and 2004, winning a citation from the Pro Football Writers of America as assistant coach of the year in 2003. The Patriots' defensive statistics were impressive through this entire period, but especially so in 2003, as the defensive squad allowed a league-leading and franchise-record 14.9 points per game.
Went 0-for-5 in Interviews
By 2003, Crennel was recognized as one of the top coaches in the game, and discussion swirled among sportswriters as to his chances of filling one of various open head coach slots. During one grueling 36-hour stretch just before the 2003-04 playoffs, Crennel was interviewed by the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Atlanta Falcons teams, coming away empty-handed in all five cases. The even-keeled Crennel took the frustration in stride, telling the New York Daily News that "I didn't go jump off a bridge because it didn't happen.... There are too many good coaches in the NFL that never get an opportunity. I don't see why I should be bitter about that."
Crennel did get his opportunity on February 8, 2005, however, when he was named head coach of the Browns to succeed the fired Butch Davis. He was the Browns' first African-American head coach and just the ninth in NFL history. His father had died just the previous November. Crennel saw himself as a role model, telling Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon-Journal that "In many cases I've been the only African American on a staff or in the neighborhood. The way I carry and conduct myself, I know it carries an impact on the rest of America and African Americans in particular. The best thing I can do for minorities trying to work themselves up the ladder is to be successful."
One sportswriter asked Crennel at his inaugural Browns press conference whether he might face pressure from a different direction: at 57, he was old for a first-time coach and might feel the need to succeed quickly. But the unflappable Crennel took a realistic view of the rebuilding job he faced with the hapless Browns, who were predicted to finish with a 2-14 record in one 2005 poll. Another issue facing Crennel as he began his head coaching career was that new Browns general manager Phil Savage, 18 years Crennel's junior, retained final say over roster decisions. The consensus, though, was that working with Crennel would prove a rewarding experience for all concerned. "I can't ever remember a moment I didn't enjoy working with him," Sloan told Marla Ridenour, and he had other friends and associates around the NFL who would say the same.
Selected: Pro Football Writers of America, NFL Assistant Coach of the Year, 2003; holds five Super Bowl rings.