The process is underway to hire John Garrett as Oregon St.'s new Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach, replacing Danny Langsdorf, who departed to become the quarterbacks coach of the NFL's New York Giants.
Like most of head coach Mike Riley's hires, Garrett has a history with Riley, having played for him in 1991 for the San Antonio Riders of the defunct World League.
Garrett, 49, spent last season as the wide receivers coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but found himself in search of a job after the Bucs turned in a 4-12 season, last in the NFC South, and head coach Greg Schiano and his staff was sent packing in favor of new coach Lovie Smith.
Tampa Bay was last in the NFL in passing last year, averaging only 176.3 yards per game passing.
Garrett went to the Bucs after 6 years in Dallas, where he was an assistant under his brother Jason Garrett. John Garrett was the Cowboys' tight end coach from 2007 through 2010, before adding "passing game coordinator" to his title for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
After 6 years of mostly mediocre football, John Garrett was one of those removed when his brother was directed to clean house or be part of the housecleaning by owner Jerry Jones.
Before going to Dallas when his younger brother took over, the elder Garrett had spent 4 years as wide receivers coach at Virginia, the last as also the Cavalier's offensive assistant head coach. It was Garrett's only collegiate coaching experience.
Prior to that, Garrett's coaching career included 6 years with the Cincinnati Bengals, in 2 stints with a 2 year stint with the Arizona Cardinals injected.
Garrett played for Princeton, and after graduation, spent a year on Dallas' practice squad as an undrafted free agent before playing 1 year at wide receiver for the Bengals. After a year out of football, Garrett resurfaced for a year with Riley in San Antonio, and then spent some non-playing time with the Buffalo Bills.
With his playing days over, Garrett was a "pro personnel assistant" in Tampa Bay for 3 seasons before landing the first time as an assistant with the Bengals.
Garrett won't be the only personnel move Coach Riley will have to make this offseason, as graduate assistant Kyle DeVan announced last weekend that he's leaving the Beavers to take an offensive graduate assistant position at USC. DeVan is the second Oregon St. assistant to be plucked away by Steve Sarkisian, who also lured defensive backs coach Keith Heyward to Washington, and then took Heyward with him to the Trojans.
Additionally, offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh may or may not be back either. Cavanaugh is interviewing this week for the same position at Oklahoma St., after Joe Wickline left Stillwater to become the offensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns, under new head coach Charlie Strong.
While trading scenic though rainy (and sometimes snowy) Corvallis for the bleakness of Stillwater for the same job might seem like something less than a lateral transfer, its worth noting that with T. Boone Pickens writing the checks, Oklahoma St. paid Wickline about twice as much to do that job as Cavanaugh got at Oregon St., and more than any Beaver assistant besides Defensive Coordinator Mark Banker received.
We should learn later this week what Cavanaugh winds up doing.
The hiring of Garrett is the second hire of a journeyman NFL assistant by Riley in recent years, who brought in Rod Perry to replace Heyward, after Perry was a casualty in Indianapolis of the Colts' tanking in order to win the Andrew Luck draft derby.
That hire prompted even more "googling" that Garrett has, but that move also modernized the Oregon St. secondary, though that upgrade in sophistication proved overwhelming at times last year.
With Sean Mannion returning for his senior season, after finishing #2 in the nation in passing yards last year, Riley has said there won't be major changes to the Oregon St. offense, though he has acknowledged he'll look for opportunities to "add a few things here and there."
Riley hasn't indicated whether he would continue to call the plays, as he did the last 2 seasons, until handing the task back to Langsdorf for the Civil War and the Hawaii Bowl.