Entries in Defensive Coordinator (9)


Ken Norton Jr. Hired as Raiders' DC

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ALAMEDA, Calif.) -- The Oakland Raiders announced Friday that they have hired Ken Norton, Jr. as their defensive coordinator.

The move reunites Norton with Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, whom Norton played with as a member of the Dallas Cowboys from 1989-91.

"We've always talked about being able to put my time and energy and knowledge together as well as his and really come together and make a winner," Norton said during a conference call Friday. "I have certain ideas that I have that I know that work. He has certain ideas that he has that he knows that work. We're going to bring them together and obviously make them the Raider way."

Norton, Jr. was the Seattle Seahawks linebackers coach the last five seasons. He has won three Super Bowls as a player and one as a coach.

Norton takes over an Oakland defense that ranked 32nd in the NFL in points allowed per game last season.

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Falcons Name Dan Quinn Head Coach

David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday that former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been hired as the team's new head coach.

According to ESPN, it's a five-year deal. The Falcons will have a press conference to introduce Quinn on Tuesday.

“This is an exciting day for the Atlanta Falcons franchise and our fans,” Falcons Owner Arthur Blank said. “Dan is a talented football coach who has a deep and diverse history in the game, which will serve us well. As we got to know Dan during the interview process, it became clear that he has a definitive plan for our football team and what it will take to win on a consistent basis. He also has a proven ability to develop players by maximizing their individual strengths. For these and many other reasons, Dan became our top pick, and I’m confident our players, staff, fans and community will be proud to have him represent the Falcons."

Quinn becomes the 16th head coach in Falcons history, taking over for Mike Smith, who finished his career in Atlanta as the franchise's winningest coach.

The 44-year-old Quinn spent the past two seasons as the Seahawks defensive coordinator. In both seasons, the 'Hawks defense led the NFL in fewest points and yards allowed.

“I am grateful for this opportunity, and I am excited to be the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons,” Quinn said. “This felt like the right fit from the beginning, and I want to thank Mr. Blank for his resolve as this was an extended and complicated process. My goal is to build upon the foundation that has been laid here and to play a physical brand of football as we build a championship caliber team.”

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Phillips Hired as Broncos DC

NFL via Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Wade Phillips is the Denver Broncos new defensive coordinator after the two parties reached an agreement Wednesday night.

The 67-year-old Phillips will reunite with head coach Gary Kubiak. Phillips served as Kubiak's defensive coordinator for most of three seasons with the Houston Texans.

Kubiak was fired from Houston in the middle of the 2013 season and Phillips took over as the interim head coach. Houston decided not to bring Phillips back the next season, leading him to take the year off.

This isn't Phillips' first time in Denver: he served as the Broncos defensive coordinator from 1989-92 and was the team's head coach from 1993-94.

Next season will be Phillips' 39th as an NFL coach.

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ESPN: 49ers Name Mangini Defensive Coordinator

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The San Francisco 49ers signed Eric Mangini to a three-year contract as their new defensive coordinator, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Mangini served as the 49ers tight ends coach last season, but has experience coaching defenses. He served as the New England Patriots' defensive backs coach from 2000 to 2004 before becoming their defensive coordinator in 2005.

Mangini takes over for Vic Fangio, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.

Mangini also has five years' experience as a NFL head coach. He spent three seasons with the New York Jets and two with the Cleveland Browns, compiling a 33-47 record while making one playoff appearance.

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Spagnuolo Returns as Giants Defensive Coordinator

NFL Photos via Getty Images(EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.) -- Steve Spagnuolo is once again the New York Giants defensive coordinator.

Spagnuolo, who served as the team's DC from 2007-08, was hired Thursday back into the role he served when the Giants won Super Bowl XLII.

The 55-year-old Spagnuolo spent the past two seasons as a member of the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff, serving as the team's assistant head coach and secondary coach last season. Before that, he was the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints and served three seasons as the head coach of the St. Louis Rams.

“I was hoping to take the next step, God willing, and be a coordinator again," Spagnuolo said. "I’m ecstatic that it’s with Tom Coughlin (head coach). Tom is the highest character guy I know. The feeling I have is one of excitement. We’re going to work our butts off, and hopefully we will do great things together.”

During Spagnuolo's last stint as a defensive coordinator with the Saints, his defense set an NFL record for yards-allowed. Still, his success with the Giants is undeniable, helping him beat out competition for the job.

"We spoke to a lot of very good candidates," Coughlin said. "The energy, enthusiasm and strong personality that we saw before in Steve Spagnuolo, all of that was very evident again. His desire to be a Giant again was very, very obvious."

Spagnuolo takes over a defense that ranked 29th overall in total yards allowed last season.

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Monte Kiffin Demoted in Dallas

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(IRVING, Texas) -- The Dallas Cowboys demoted defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin to assistant head coach/defense on Tuesday.

Kiffin joined Dallas last season, during which the Cowboys allowed the most points in franchise history.

Kiffin will be replaced by Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who served as the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 2012.

"Rod Marinelli's production in terms of creating turnovers and changing field position as a defensive coordinator is well documented," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said in a statement. "Monte Kiffin's overall knowledge and understanding of this defensive scheme will be put to use in mentoring all of the players and coaches on the defensive side of the ball. Monte was brought here to direct a transition in philosophy to the 4-3 scheme, and he will continue to oversee the development of our defense in this scheme."
The Cowboys also announced Tuesday that Scott Linehan has been hired as the passing game coordinator.
Linehan, who served as the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator the past five seasons, will take over the offensive play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.

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Georgia Hires Jeremy Pruitt as Defensive Coordinator

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(ATHENS, Ga.) -- Florida State's Jeremy Pruitt was hired by Georgia to be its new defensive coordinator, the school announced Tuesday.

Pruitt served as FSU's defensive coordinator last season, helping the Seminoles win a BCS national championship. Pruitt takes over for Todd Grantham, who left for the same job at Louisville.

"This is an outstanding professional and personal opportunity," said Pruitt. "I'm looking forward to meeting the current players and getting on the road to visit with recruits."

According to ESPN, Pruitt will make $800,000 annually.

Last season, Pruitt was in charge of a Seminole's defense that ranked first nationally in scoring defense (12.1 points per game) and third in total defense (281.4 yards per game). Pruitt was also a finalist for the Broyles Award which is given to the nation's top assistant coach.

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Wade Phillips Fired by Texans

NFL via Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Despite not getting the Houston Texans head coaching job, Wade Phillips said he wanted to stay with the team as defensive coordinator. That wish was squashed Saturday once Phillips was fired after a meeting with new head coach Bill O'Brien.

"Thanks to McNair family and great Texan fans and most all our players," Phillips tweeted. "It was wonderful being home. I wish the best to all."

Phillips served as the Texans' defensive coordinator since 2011. During the 2013 season, Phillips became the team's interim head coach for the final three games after Gary Kubiak was fired.

Phillips interviewed for the head coaching job after the season but lost out to O'Brien.

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison was also fired Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

According to ESPN, O'Brien is planning to hire former Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel as defensive coordinator. Crennel won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots while serving as their defensive coordinator in the early part of the century.

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Rob Ryan Out in Dallas

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A member of the Ryan family did get fired, it just wasn't Rex.

Rex's brother Rob Ryan was relieved of his duties as the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator Tuesday. 

Ryan was entering the last year of his three-year contract. This past season, Ryan led a Dallas defense that ranked 19th in passing and 22nd in rushing yards allowed.

"I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better," Ryan told's Tim MacMahon. "I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better. I'll be out of work for like five minutes."

In Ryan's nine seasons as a defensive coordinator with the Raiders, Browns and Cowboys he has not been part of a team that has posted a winning record.

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