The latest coaches to emerge as likely additions to Chip Kelly’s Eagles coaching staff are Bob Bicknell and Mike Dawson, according to league sources.
Bicknell has coached in the World League, college and the NFL during a 20-year coaching career. Dawson, who coached with Kelly at New Hampshire, was out of coaching last year after taking a high school administration job.
Bicknell and Dawson both have strong connections to Boston College, as does Bill McGovern, another expected Kelly hire.
Likely spots for Bicknell are wide receivers or offensive line. He also has experience coaching tight ends, but holdover from Andy Reid’s staff (and Ray Rhodes’ staff) Ted Williams is expected to coach tight ends for Kelly.
Dawson has coached linebackers, special teams and offensive line at various coaching stops. It’s unknown exactly what role he’ll have, but it will likely be on the defensive side of the ball.
The Eagles did not confirm either hiring. They have not confirmed or denied any interviews or hirings for Kelly’s coaching staff, even among coaches who were wearing Eagles gear and donning Eagles ID tags at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., this past week.
Bicknell, son of long-time Boston College head coach Jack Bicknell and brother of Chiefs offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr., started his career as an assistant at Boston University in 1993 before going to the World League, where he was on the Frankfurt Galaxy staff in 1998 with future Eagles assistant and Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
In all, Bicknell coached with three World League franchises from 1998 through 2005 -- the Galaxy, Berlin Thunder and Cologne Centurions -- before joining Al Golden’s Temple staff in 2006.
Bicknell then spent three years with the Chiefs, two coaching offensive line under Herm Edwards and one coaching tight ends under Todd Haley, before spending the last two years with Chan Gailey in Buffalo. Gailey and his staff were fired after the season.
Dawson played at U. Mass-Lowell in the mid-1990s, where he also started his coaching career in 1998. He coached at Maine for two years. He spent 2000 through 2005 at New Hampshire and was on the UNH staff with Kelly all six of those years.
Dawson coached at Akron from 2006 through 2009 and then spent two years at Boston College before taking a job last year as athletic director at North Middlesex Regional High School in Pepperell, Mass.
Although the Eagles continue to refuse to comment on any moves, it appears that Kelly’s staff will include Pat Shurmur (offensive coordinator), Duce Staley (running backs) and Williams (tight ends) on offense, with Jerry Azzinaro (defensive line), Rick Minter and Bill McGovern (both or either possibly linebackers), Bicknell, Dawson and most likely 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell (coordinator) on defense, with Dave Fipp (special teams).
Former Oregon assistants Josh Gibson, Greg Austin, Matthew Harper and Todd Lyght have also joined Kelly’s staff in unknown roles.