In an odd turn of events, the 8-1 Birmingham Stallions have lost their defensive coordinator midseason due to health concerns. Coach John Chavis has moved on, and in his place, the Stallions have hired Anthony Blevins.

The Stallions have lost their defensive coordinator midseason, a significant loss considering he was one of the core coaches from their two championship runs. However, as one of the most well-equipped staff in the league, the Stallions should be able to weather the storm.

Corey Chamblin Steps in as Defensive Coordinator

Corey Chamblin who just returned to the Stallions this offseason after a year in the XFL has been tabbed as the interim Defensive Coordinator to finish out the season. Chamblin is a very experienced coach, who won five championships in his coaching career, including the first year of his coaching career. He has also had two previous stints as a defensive coordinator. 

His first came with Hamilton. Three years removed from his first Grey Cup victory in 2008, he was hired as the Defensive Coordinator for the Ti-Cats. In that one season, his unit produced 10 interceptions and 37 sacks. Chamblin served under the current Michigan Panthers Offensive Coordinator who was the Ti-Cats head coach at the time. This stint lasted just one season due to the Roughriders hiring him as their head coach the following season. 

He would hold this position for just over three years winning a Grey Cup in 2013 and being named Coach of the Year. Midway through a rough season in 2015, he was let go and he spent 2016 out of football before returning as the Defensive Coordinator for Toronto. This was another one-year stint followed soon after by a head coaching opportunity but it also amounted to four stints with three teams in five years. 

After a one-year stint as head coach for Toronto, he was out of football for two seasons before resurfacing as a member of the Stallions. He would win his fifth championship in 2022. He decided to go to the XFL rather than stick with the Stallions. He spent one season under Hines Ward with San Antonio before returning to Birmingham in 2024. Could he win a sixth championship in his fourth league in 2024?

Anthony Blevins Hired 

With Chavis stepping away to focus on his health, and his family the Stallions had an opening that just so happened to fit one of the ill-fated XFL head coaches who was let go; Anthony Blevins was hired to be the Vegas Vipers Head Coach late in 2023, just before the merger was announced erasing his team. With Todd Haley and Hines Ward replaced by John DeFilippo, and Wade Phillips, that left 6 coaches without positions. 

One of which was former defensive back Anthony Blevins. Doctor Blevins told me in an interview a few months ago he held no hard feelings toward the league and still believed in what they were building. He even said he would return given a chance, and now he proved he was not using coach speak, he was telling us the truth. He looked to the XFL for a chance to prove he could be a head coach, which didn’t pan out, now he joins a team simply to continue coaching. 

Blevins’ official title is Defensive Assistant but he has been assisting the defensive backs and linebackers. This makes sense given the loss of Chavis who previously oversaw linebackers, and promotion of Chamblin who oversaw defensive backs.

Blevins is a native of Birmingham, he attended Pleasant Grove HS in Alabama, later committing to UAB. It didn’t stop there as he played three years of professional football for three different leagues, all three teams were located in Alabama. This is ironically his first coaching job in Alabama. Blevins is Birmingham-born and bred, now he gets to return to where it all began and attempt to win his first championship.

It would be a fitting end to a whirlwind year for Blevins. There have been whispers that Skip Holtz could step away after a third consecutive championship season, could Blevins be the in-house replacement? 

Ahmed is out, and Blewitt Back 

Ramiz Ahmed is back on the free agent market, having been released just before week ten kicks off. In six games Ahmed went 10 of 13 on field goals, with a long of 46 yards. Ahmed sat out all of 2023, and now likely will be done after 6 UFL games this season. It’s hard to say his performance was good enough to send him back to the NFL, while the CFL is winding down camp and headed into the season. 

With Ahmed out, a corresponding transaction was made to move Chris Blewitt from injured reserve back to the inactive roster in preparation for this next game. Blewitt converted 8 of 9 field goals. In three games prior to his injury, Blewitt produced 24 points. An average of 8 points per game from the kicking position without the added points from extra point attempts is quite impressive. 

author avatar
Sam Just

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