By HCR Staff | Aug. 6, 2018
Even for teams that did not make a head coaching change after last season, there is still turnover among the staff. It’s a way of life in the NFL. Fans tend to focus on the head coaches and coordinators, but there are position coaches throughout the league who have a profound effect on their teams’ fortunes. Here’s a look at what HCR considers to be the six most notable coaching departures.
Note: This is not a commentary on the coaches who are replacing these guys. It just means these are big shoes to fill.
1. Richard Mann, former Pittsburgh Steelers WR coach
Mann, who has retired after a 33-year NFL coaching career, had great success in his five seasons as the Steelers WR coach. He presided over a crazy room with a lot of different personalities. Mann deserves credit for the development of superstar Antonio Brown, not to mention the fact that other receivers like former Steeler Martavis Bryant and current Steeler JuJu Smith-Schuster have overachieved under Mann’s tutelage. Mann, who will be replaced by Darryl Drake, always had his players ready to go.
2. Wade Wilson, Former Dallas Cowboys QB coach
After 11 seasons as the Cowboys QB coach, Wilson was fired as part of a staff shakeup. Wilson, a veteran QB who played 17 seasons in the NFL, played a major role in the early development of Dak Prescott – and he helped Tony Romo as well. Prescott has reportedly been struggling in training camp this summer. Is it possible he misses Wilson? The new QB coach is recently retired backup QB Kellen Moore, who is much younger than Wilson and does not have nearly the same wealth of playing experience to draw upon.
3. Ken Dorsey, former Carolina Panthers QB coach
Dorsey left the Panthers to become the assistant athletic director at Florida International University. Ironically, the FIU head football coach as recently as 2016 was Ron Turner, who is the uncle of new Panthers QB coach Scott Turner (who, in turn, is the son of new Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner). How former MVP Cam Newton bounces back from a subpar 2017 will be a key storyline in the NFL this season, which makes Newton’s position coach an important figure.
4. Frank Pollack, former Dallas Cowboys OL coach
Another victim of the Cowboys’ staff shakeup following the 2017 season, Pollack had been with the Cowboys for three years. Over the last two, Dallas had arguably the league’s best offensive line. Pollack has since been hired as the Cincinnati Bengals’ OL coach. Ironically, he’s been replaced in Dallas by veteran OL coach Paul Alexander, who had been with the Bengals for two decades. Under Alexander, the Cowboys’ line will be using different techniques. Will it remain a dominant unit?
5. Brentson Buckner, former Arizona Cardinals DL coach
Buckner is the only coach on this list who has changed jobs because of an overall staff change. With Steve Wilks replacing Bruce Arians in Arizona, Buckner became the DL coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Defense was the strength of the team last year, and Buckner was popular with his players. In five seasons as Arizona’s DL coach, he was always honest with his players and developed a reputation for tough love. Also of note, he got Chandler Jones to play at an elite level. He’s replaced as the Arizona DL coach by Don Johnson.
6. Eric Studesville, former Denver Broncos RB coach
During his eight seasons with the Broncos, Studesville not only served under four different head coaches but also served as interim head coach for the last four games of 2010 after the team parted ways with Josh McDaniels. The Broncos’ running game has always been strong under Studesville and it was thought he’d be an assistant in Denver as long as he wanted to be there. But Studesville was part of a staff purge in January and now he’s the RB coach/run game coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. His replacement in Denver is Curtis Modkins.