NFC Coaching Updates: Bieniemy, Rams, Panthers

The Commanders have their new play caller in former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and they are wasting no time in allowing the new assistant head coach and offensive coordinator to explore some options for his new staff. Stanford quarterbacks coach Tavita Pritchard and Chiefs running backs coach Greg Lewis both visited Washington today for potential roles on Bieniemy’s new offensive coaching staff, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post.

Pritchard has been a longtime Cardinal staffer since finishing his college playing career as a quarterback at Stanford. The year after his final season as a player, Pritchard joined the coaching staff as a graduate assistant. He slowly worked his way up the staff from GA to defensive assistant to running backs coach to quarterbacks and wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He had spent the past five years in that last role after the departure of Mike Bloomgren to become head coach at Rice. Pritchard was retained by new head coach Troy Taylor following David Shaw‘s resignation but, reportedly, will only serve as quarterbacks coach, no longer holding the title of offensive coordinator.

Lewis is a former NFL wide receiver who has been coaching football since 2012. Following the conclusion of his eight-year career as a player, Lewis coached wide receivers at a couple of different universities before getting his first NFL opportunity as an offensive assistant with the Saints in 2015. The next year saw Lewis get his first NFL position coaching job over wide receivers with the Eagles. In 2017, Lewis joined the Chiefs’ staff in the same position, moving to running backs coach in 2021. He is reportedly highly regarded in league circles and has interest from several suitors this offseason, according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports. Lewis’s extended tenure under Bieniemy bodes well for the 43-year-old coach to find a top role in Washington.

Here are a couple other coaching updates from around the NFC:

  • The Rams have a new special teams coordinator after hiring the former Panthers coach of the same position, Chase Blackburn, according to Rams staff writer Stu Jackson. Blackburn began his coaching career in the city where he ended his tenure as a player as the assistant special teams coach for the Panthers. After two years, Blackburn was promoted to special teams coordinator in Carolina, where he remained until being fired by former head coach Matt Rhule following the 2021 season. He will return to his role as a coordinator after spending the 2022 season as the Titans assistant special teams coach.
  • New Panthers head coach Frank Reich is bringing along a lesser known assistant with him to Carolina, according to Joe Person of The Athletic. Reich told the media yesterday that he has hired George Li as his game management coach. Li served a similar role under Reich in Indianapolis with the title of senior football strategy analyst and game management coach.
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