With so much going on around the NFL right now and the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, here are the latest news and rumors around the league from PFN National NFL Insider Aaron Wilson. Make sure to continue to check back here as we update you with the most recent NFL news and rumors on February 19, 2022.
NFL News and Rumors: NFL Scouting Combine informs prospects of bubble environment, rules
The NFL scouting combine informed invited draft prospects and their agents in an email that the league and National Football Scouting, which operates the combine, of its intentions to create a bubble environment with consequences for anyone who violates procedures.
It’s a restrictive situation intended to prevent potential COVID-19 outbreaks. The memo from the league, obtained by Pro Football Network, outlines the rules, which includes limited exposure to medical trainers.
“Players will be restricted to secure Combine venues during their entire time in Indianapolis for their protection,” the memo stated. “Players who violate this policy at any time will be disqualified from further participation and sent home.”
Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline previously reported that this would be the situation for NFL Draft prospects invited to attend the Combine in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Because of the restrictive nature of the rules, several agents are advising their clients to not have their players work out at the Combine and will instead focus on auditioning for NFL scouts at campus pro day workouts. They will become an even more important evaluation portion of the draft process this year.
Texans hire Dele Harding as defensive assistant
The Houston Texans have hired former Illinois All-Big Ten Conference linebacker Dele Harding as a defensive assistant, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly. Dele played for Texans coach Lovie Smith at Illinois and was a team captain.
The Texans also hired former Illinois defensive tackle and Miami Dolphins coaching assistant Kenyon Jackson as assistant defensive line coach, per sources. Jackson led the Big Ten conference in 2019 with 153 tackles, 14.5 for losses, 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. He returned interceptions for touchdowns against Rutgers and Minnesota. Against Eastern Michigan, Jackson had a career-high 17 tackles.
As a junior, he was a special-teams captain. The Maryland native was a two-time all-state selection and team captain. He originally committed to Michigan and also had scholarship offers from Rutgers, Tennessee, and USC.
Browns hire Jordan Thomas, Jeff Anderson
The Cleveland Browns hired Jordan Thomas to be their assistant defensive line coach. In addition, they’ve hired Jeff Anderson as defensive quality control coach, according to a league source.
Thomas was previously at San Diego State where he played on the defensive line. He coached all-conference defensive linemen Cameron Thomas and Keshawn Banks. He’s also previously coached at Lamar and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
NFL News and Rumors: Bills LBs coach Bob Babich retires
Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Bob Babich is retiring, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly. His son, safeties coach, Bobby Babich, will replace him.
A former North Dakota State head coach who had a 46-22 record from 1997 to 2002, Bob Babich was a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears. Babich also spent time as an assistant head coach for the Bears. He was also a defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars and a linebackers coach for the Chargers.
Bobby Babich joined the Bills in 2017 as an assistant secondary coach. In 2018, he was promoted to safeties coach. He coaches standout safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde.
Giants hire Angela Baker
The New York Giants hired Angela Baker as a minority coaching fellow and offensive quality control coach, according to a league source. Baker, 29, coached special teams and was a defensive quality control at Division III University of Redlands.
She played for the Pittsburgh Passion as an All-American and Offensive Player of the Year in the Women’s Football Alliance contact football league.
While with the Cleveland Browns as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coach Fellowship program, Baker worked with the team’s quarterbacks.
Baker joins Laura Young, the Giants’ director of coaching operations, as the second female on the coaching staff.
As the league transitions into free agency, there will be plenty of news and rumors from around the NFL in regard to your favorite team. That includes chatter about players who will be on the move (or not) in free agency. Stay updated and keep track of Pro Football Network’s Top 50 Free Agent Rankings to better understand the free-agent market.