AFC West: Juan Castillo

Evening AFC West notes

January, 21, 2013
Former Miami Dolphins head coach and former New York Jets’ offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is a potential offensive line coaching candidate in Oakland. He interviewed for the same job in Kansas City, but new Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid hired Andy Heck instead.

I think Sparano would be a good addition to the Oakland Raiders staff because of his experience. He also has a good track record as an offensive line coach. Oakland is also looking for a linebackers coach.

Meanwhile, Juan Castillo joined the Baltimore Ravens staff. Oakland interviewed him for its open offensive line coaching job.

The San Diego Chargers made the hiring of quarterbacks coach Frank Reich official. U-T San Diego reports tight ends coach Jason Michael is being retained, but offensive line coach Hal Hunter was dismissed. They are also changing their strength and conditioning coaching staff.


AFC West hirings: What's left?

January, 16, 2013
It’s been a busy 17 days in the AFC West since the end of the 2012 regular season.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers both fired their general managers and head coaches and they each found replacements for both spots.

Thus, the heavy lifting of the AFC West firing/hiring season is over, but there still is some work to do for each team. Let’s take a look at what is left for all four teams in the division.

Denver: It has been a light offseason for the division champions, but it is getting a little busy. The Broncos must now replace offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who took over as the Chargers’ head coach Tuesday. Among the potential replacements are former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt (if he doesn’t get a head coaching job), former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore, Colts quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and Denver quarterback coach Adam Gase. The Broncos quickly replaced secondary coach Ron Milus, whose contract was not renewed. Cory Undlin replaces him. He was with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville.

Kansas City: The Chiefs have moved fast. Coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey are in place and much of the staff is in place. Among the potential coaches who could join the staff are Brad Childress (senior offensive assistant) and Tony Sparano (offensive line).

Oakland: The Raiders have four assistant openings -- offensive coordinator, special teams, offensive line and linebackers coach. The only coaches reportedly interviewed in a very quiet process have been Mike Martz (OC) and Juan Castillo (OL), while there has been rumbling that Marc Trestman and Greg Olson could be offensive coordinator candidates. I think one name to keep an eye on for that job could be Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

San Diego: McCoy will likely keep the defensive staff together while hiring several other assistant coaches, including a new offensive coordinator.


Raiders talk to Mike Martz

January, 13, 2013
After a quiet couple of weeks, there is some movement on the Oakland Raiders coaching front.

The Contra Costa Times is reporting that the Raiders have interviewed former St. Louis head coach Mike Martz for their open offensive-coordinator position. The paper also reported that Eagles assistant Juan Castillo interviewed for the open offensive-line job.

The Raiders fired four coaches, including offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, a day after their 4-12 season ended.

Martz believes in a wide-open offense that could fit the Raiders’ fast receivers. Yet, he has not coached in the NFL since he was the Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2011. There will likely be more candidates.
It will be interesting to see who Andy Reid adds to his coaching staff.

Among the names who may be candidates to be his offensive coordinator is former Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur. He was on Reid’s Eagles’ staff from 1999-2008. There has been talk that perhaps the former Eagles’ offensive coordinator and former Minnesota head coach Brad Childress could be on his staff.

There have reports that former Philadelphia offensive line coach and former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo could be his offensive line coach. Castillo was fired during the 2012 season. He is a close friend of Reid’s and he is considered a much better offensive line coach than a defensive coach.

A key will be who Reid’s defensive coordinator will be. After the death of the highly successful Jim Johnson, Reid’s defenses have struggled. The Chiefs’ defense has talent, so Reid could be able to attracts some good defensive coordinators.

He needs to keep an open mind and get the best possible coach, regardless if the Chiefs stay in a 3-4 defense or become a 4-3 defense. Among the names that have popped up is Monte Kiffin, who wants to come back to the NFL after being on the USC staff where his son, Lane Kiffin, is coach.

Jamaal Charles wins fan award

February, 2, 2011
Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles won the FedEx Ground Player of the Year award. It’s a fan-based vote that goes to the top running back in the NFL.

Charles was second in the NFL in rushing with 1,467 yards in 2010. Charles –- a key member of the Chiefs’ AFC West championship team -- averaged 6.4 yards per carry. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers finished behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New England’s Tom Brady in the FedEx Air Player of the Year award.
  • In other AFC West early-evening news, Green Bay linebackers coach Winston Moss wanted the Eagles’ defensive coordinator job, but that has been filled by Eagles’ offensive line coach Juan Castillo. Moss has been mentioned as a potential defensive coordinator candidate in Oakland as well. Tuesday, Oakland hired former Oakland and Cincinnati defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan as a defensive coach. It is my guess that if Oakland doesn’t find a suitable defensive coordinator, Bresnahan will assume that role. If Oakland hires a defensive coordinator, Bresnahan could coach the linebackers.
  • New Oakland head coach Hue Jackson said in a radio interview that he doesn’t think Raiders owner Al Davis is anywhere close to the end of his run as the leader of the team. Davis is 81. Jackson said Jason Campbell is definitely the Raiders’ quarterback moving forward.
  • The Denver Post has a look at how Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will affect how 2011 quarterback draft prospects will be critiqued.