Jets interview Bills' Daboll, Colts' Eberflus, Rams' Staley

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NEW YORK — The New York Jets' quickly growing list of head coaching candidates got quite a bit longer Sunday.

Buffalo offensive co-ordinator Brian Daboll and Indianapolis defensive co-ordinator Matt Eberflus interviewed remotely with New York a day after their teams squared off in a wild-card playoff game won by the Bills 27-24.

The Jets also spoke to Rams defensive co-ordinator Brandon Staley on Sunday night after Los Angeles shut down Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks 30-20 on Saturday.

Daboll, Eberflus and Staley make seven known candidates to speak with the Jets, who fired Adam Gase after two seasons last Sunday. New York has also interviewed Kansas City offensive co-ordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, San Francisco defensive co-ordinator Robert Saleh and Carolina offensive co-ordinator Joe Brady.

The Jets are also expected to interview former cornerback and current New Orleans defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn. Titans offensive co-ordinator Arthur Smith has also drawn interest from New York.

The 45-year-old Daboll helped Josh Allen lead the Bills to their first playoff victory since December 1995. He met with the Jets remotely and was expected to interview with the Los Angeles Chargers later Sunday.

Daboll has earned respect around the league for his work, in particular, with Allen the past three seasons. The Bills quarterback has developed from a big-armed but raw rookie first-round pick in 2018 to garnering MVP consideration this season. Buffalo had the NFL's second-ranked overall offence , behind only Kansas City.

Allen threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score Saturday to lead Buffalo to its first post-season win in a quarter century.

Daboll, who interviewed for the Browns' vacancy last year, began his coaching career in 1997 as a volunteer assistant at William & Mary before joining Nick Saban's staff at Michigan State for two years as a graduate assistant. His first NFL gig came in 2000 as a defensive assistant for New England and Bill Belichick, who promoted him to wide receivers coach in 2002.

He joined former Patriots assistant Eric Mangini's staff with the Jets in 2007, working as the quarterbacks coach for two seasons. Daboll then had stints as an offensive co-ordinator with Cleveland (2009-10), again under Mangini, as well as Miami (2011) and Kansas City (2012) before returning to the Patriots as the tight ends coach.

Daboll rejoined Saban, this time at Alabama, in 2017 as the offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach while helping the Crimson Tide win the national championship with then-freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The 50-year-old Eberflus has been in charge of the Colts’ defence since 2018 and helped Indianapolis improve steadily under him. The Colts had the eighth overall unit this season, and ranked second only to Tampa Bay in run defence .

He began his coaching career in 1992 as a student assistant at Toledo, where he played linebacker. He also served as a graduate assistant, recruiting co-ordinator , outside linebackers coach and defensive backs coach for the Rockets before being hired by Missouri as the defensive co-ordinator in 2001.

Eberflus’ first NFL job came in 2009 as Cleveland’s linebackers coach under Mangini. He was hired by Jason Garrett for the same role with Dallas in 2011 and added passing game co-ordinator duties in 2016.

Eberflus was set to join Josh McDaniels’ staff as Indianapolis defensive co-ordinator in 2018 before McDaniels backed out of the job — which then went to Frank Reich. But Eberflus remained with the Colts and has built them into a consistently solid defence .

The 38-year-old Staley is in his first season as the Rams' defensive co-ordinator , hired by Sean McVay to replace Wade Phillips. Staley's defence ranked first in the NFL in the regular season in yards per game, points allowed per game and yards passing per game. Los Angeles was also third in yards rushing allowed per game.

Against Seattle, the Rams allowed Wilson and the Seahawks just 278 total yards and 11 first downs.

Staley worked previously as the outside linebackers coach in Denver (2019) and Chicago (2017-18).

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northern Illinois (2006–08). Staley was the defensive line and special teams coach at St. Thomas in Minnesota (2009) and the associate head coach/defensive co-ordinator at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas (2010-11) before serving as a graduate assistant at Tennessee under Derek Dooley.

Staley then had two stints as the defensive co-ordinator /secondary coach at John Carroll (2013 and 2015-16) sandwich one season as James Madison's defensive co-ordinator /linebackers coach before getting his first break in the NFL.


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Dennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press