PALM BEACH, Fla. — Ten things from the NFL’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday:
1. Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay and new Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero first worked together as entry-level assistants with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008, the first NFL posts for both. Fast forward to 2017, when Evero joined McVay’s Rams staff, and over five years, Evero rose from safeties coach to secondary coach/passing game coordinator.
2. Said McVay: “He’s so smart and he’s so self-assured, but he’s a great collaborator and one of the things that I really enjoyed watching with (Rams defensive coordinator) Raheem (Morris) and E was their ability to work in coordination and figure out the best ways for our defense to be able to operate. (Evero) has such a clear vision of what he wants (the defense) to look like.”
3. McVay cites Evero’s experience “around great coaches that he’s been able to learn from,” as an advantage taking over the Broncos’ defense. “I’m really fired up for E,” McVay said. “I know he’s going to do a great job. He’s been somebody I’ve worked with for such a long period of time and you just watch the growth he’s had as a coach. He’ll do a great job of connecting and helping make guys better players and he’ll be able to adjust and adapt accordingly.”
4. For obvious reasons, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson remained a conversation topic during the NFC coaches’ media availability (Dallas’ Mike McCarthy, Detroit’s Dan Campbell and Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians were no-shows). Seattle coach Pete Carroll gave the Seahawks’ view of the decision to trade Wilson to the Broncos for three players and five draft picks.
5. “It was a long period in there working it and I didn’t have the intention of wanting to trade him,” Carroll said. “But we looked at the opportunity and once we got a good look at it, there was reason (to do it). We got a really good deal so we went ahead and made it. It took a long time to get to that, though. It was a long process where I didn’t think we would do it.”
6. Carroll said the deal is a “complicated trade. … I thought it would be all but impossible to pull it off, but it did work out and we got an opportunity that we thought was really too good to pass up and we made a decision for the franchise that I think was a really good one.”
7. Asked about Wilson’s Broncos playing at Seattle this year, Carroll simply said: “It will be kind of a classic. Nice match-up.”
8. Drew Lock will get a chance to win the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job. “When Drew came out of college, we made our assessment and we saw him as a big, strong-armed, mobile, aggressive, athletic quarterback and he had thrown a ton of footballs and been in a very aggressive program where you saw him do everything and use the entire field,” Carroll said. “We saw all of that and we really liked what we saw — we can still see that when we watch the film.”
9. Carroll added: “Unfortunately for him, his play has come about where there are a lot of turnovers (20 interceptions in 24 appearances) in his game and that just doesn’t fit with us. We just have to fix that and change his mentality and do the things to help him be his best. There is nothing we see there that doesn’t show us the potential isn’t there. He’s in a developmental mode as he enters our program, but yet he’s been through three (NFL) years in and out of activity and played a lot of football and we think we can capitalize on that. What we’re seeing now, it’s all upside.”
10. Minnesota coach Kevin O’Connell interviewed for the Broncos’ opening that went to Nathaniel Hackett. In the meeting was assistant general manager Darren Mougey, who was O’Connell’s college teammate at San Diego State. “Just going through the process with those guys, (general manager) George (Paton) ran a really great process and Darren was a big-time part of it,” O’Connell said. “You could see, as experienced and successful as George has been, he’s going to rely on Darren a lot and has probably said as such.”
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