NFL coaching veteran Monte Kiffin has joined the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coaching staff as a defensive assistant. He was officially named to the position on Monday. Kiffin was with the Jaguars as a consultant back in January, as the team searched for a defensive coordinator. According to ESPN.com, Kiffin has been helping Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley from time to time over the past eight months, but he was not paid for his efforts. He will be now. “We are excited about Monte Kiffin joining our staff,” Bradley said. “His wealth of experience and knowledge about the game will be a tremendous asset to our entire coaching staff.”
The 76-year-old Kiffin has spent 28 years in the NFL and has one Super Bowl, as defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2002. His defenses were consistently ranked at or near the top of the league for much of his tenure and he should be a great addition to a staff that needs to turn around one of the worst defensive teams in the league over the last three years, in Jacksonville. Also on Monday, the team hired John Benton as assistant offensive line coach and John Donovan as offensive quality control coach. Benton spent the past two seasons as Miami’s offensive line coach. He has 29 years of coaching experience, including 12 in the NFL. Donovan was the offensive coordinator and tight ends coach at Penn State for the past two seasons after serving as the offensive coordinator/running backs coach at Vanderbilt. This is his first NFL coaching job.
The Jaguars added some offensive line help last week, with the signing of former Pittsburgh Steeler left tackle Kelvin Beachum. He started 39 games in four seasons with Pittsburgh, but missed the last 10 games of last season thanks to a torn ACL. Beachum, if he can stay healthy, will challenge first-round pick Luke Joeckel, who has struggled for much of his three years in Jacksonville. Beachum will earn $4.5 million in the first year and can earn up to $6 million if he reaches his incentives, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In other free-agent news from last week, former Jaguars O-lineman Zane Beadles signed a three-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. The deal is worth 11.75 million, according to multiple sources. Beadles had three years remaining on a five-year, $30 million contract when the guard was released by the Jaguars on March 3. Defensive end Andre Branch was signed by the Miami Dolphins, following four years with the Jaguars. He recorded 14 sacks in four seasons with the Jaguars after being selected in the second round of the 2012 draft.
It has been a busy offseason in Jacksonville with some major moves made. Hopefully the efforts of General Manager David Caldwell, who has pulled the trigger on these deals and owner Shad Khan who has written the checks, will be rewarded come September and more importantly in December and January.