|Greg Roman could be Michigan’s next offensive coordinator
We as fans are never happy. We just got our dream coach, and now we’ll be concerned about who his assistants will be. When Jim Harbaugh was asked about filling his staff, he said, “Measure twice. Cut once.” So he wants to be careful about who he brings on as assistant coaches. Here is a look at some potential coaches to fill out the ten offensive and defensive staff jobs:
1. Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach: Signed, sealed, and delivered. Next.
2. Offensive coordinator: San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been with Harbaugh since the Stanford days, and some reports – as well as common sense – suggest that he will follow Harbaugh to Michigan. Roman is from New Jersey and has spent most of his time in the NFL, except for two years in Palo Alto. Roman has mostly worked with the offensive line and tight ends throughout his career, so I would expect him to help out with one of those positions.
Other possibilities: Andy Moeller, Tyrone Wheatley
3. Running backs: Buffalo Bills running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley has not been promised a return in 2015, and being a Michigan legend, he might feel a desire to return to Ann Arbor to help resurrect the program. Harbaugh might also float the idea of being a co-offensive coordinator, which would make a little more sense from Wheatley’s perspective. He has a desire to be a head coach someday, so one would expect him to be looking for some kind of promotion up the ladder.
Other possibilities: Reggie Davis, Fred Jackson, Roy Manning
4. Wide receivers: No, this isn’t the former Detroit Lions wide receiver, but San Francisco 49ers wide receiver coach John Morton is out of a job. Morton grew up in Michigan and played wide receiver at Western Michigan, so he’s a midwest guy and would presumably have some connections in the area. San Francisco’s wide receivers weren’t spectacular, but he has worked with some pretty big names in Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.
Other possibility: Ronald Curry
5. Tight ends: Kentucky tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow has been rumored to be a possibility. Harbaugh has reportedly already reached out to Marrow, whose help in recruiting at Kentucky has been pretty impressive. Marrow grew up in Ohio and played football at Toledo, so he’s another midwest guy.
Other possibility: Reggie Davis
6. Offensive line: San Francisco 49ers offensive line coach Reggie Davis was with Harbaugh for each year in San Francisco. He has spent his entire playing (Washington, San Diego Chargers) and coaching (UNLV, Oregon State, San Francisco 49ers) career on the west coast. Maybe he’s attached to the lifestyle, family, and friends out there. If he comes with Harbaugh, he’ll be a much needed connection on the west coast.
Other possibilities: Tim Drevno, Andy Moeller
7. Defensive coordinator: Florida defensive coordinator and interim head coach D.J. Durkin has been a popular name floating around for the past few weeks. He worked with Harbaugh at Stanford and has experience working with special teams, defensive ends, and linebackers, so he could help out in any of those areas.
Other possibility: Greg Mattison
8. Defensive line: Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has been suggested as a possibility. Montgomery, of course, was at Michigan for the first couple years of Brady Hoke’s tenure and then left for a bigger paycheck in Norman. Montgomery was only ever in charge of part of the defensive line at Michigan, so the only real reasons to move back would be another pay raise and/or control over the whole position group.
Other possibilities: D.J. Durkin, Roy Manning, Greg Mattison
9. Linebackers: Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison might be a holdover from the previous staff to this one. Mattison has family in the area, loves the University of Michigan, is a pretty good coach with NFL experience, and is a great recruiter. He also has connections to Harbaugh and potential defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.
Other possibility: Roy Manning
10. Defensive backs: San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach Greg Jackson will be looking for a job. He is from Florida and played college football at LSU, so his potential connections in Florida and SEC country could help Michigan’s recruiting efforts in difficult locations.
Other possibility: Roy Manning
It would be unlikely that so many 49ers guys would follow Harbaugh to a college to which they have no connections, and other guys coming to Ann Arbor from the NFL (Wheatley, Moeller) would also be a bit of a stretch. Will all of those guys end up standing on the sidelines of Michigan Stadium? Probably not. But I would expect at least a couple of them, particularly Roman. Otherwise, some likely possibilities seem to include Vince Marrow and D.J. Durkin.
Otherwise, Michigan has a couple ace recruiters in its pocket with Mattison and Manning if they so choose to keep them. Manning is supposedly still in Ann Arbor and hoping to catch on with the new staff. I didn’t list him as option #1 at any positions above, but that’s partly because he has coached running backs, linebackers, and cornerbacks, and he played a hybrid defensive end position. Harbaugh could put him in a variety of spots, although Michigan’s cornerbacks performed questionably this past season under his tutelage. I would not want Manning to be in charge of all the defensive back positions by himself, but maybe a year of honing his skills with the cornerbacks could help him improve in year two of coaching the position.