Anthony Lynn

Commanders Updates: Tapp, Lynn, Toub

The Commanders‘ new coaching staff under head coach Dan Quinn is starting to take shape as he and his coordinators continue to hire new assistant coaches. The most recent of which sees yet another former 49ers staffer in assistant defensive line coach Darryl Tapp find his way to the nation’s capital to serve as Quinn’s new defensive line coach, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Following a long playing career that saw him travel the NFC in places like Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay, Tapp went straight into coaching, taking a defensive quality control coaching job at Central Michigan. He followed that up with two more year-long stints as a special teams quality control coach at Vanderbilt and a co-defensive line coach at Virginia Tech.

Tapp got his first NFL coaching opportunity when offered his current position of assistant defensive line coach in San Francisco. He’s held the position for the past three years, helping Kris Kocurek coach up some of the best defensive linemen in the game of football. It didn’t take long for Tapp to get his first opportunity to coach the position on his own.

Washington traded away two of their better defensive linemen this past season in Chase Young and Montez Sweat, but the team still has some extremely talented pieces in Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. Tapp got to work a bit with Young after the former second-overall pick was traded, so he may have a bit of insight on how to connect with the Commanders defensive line.

Here are a few other staff updates coming out of Washington:

  • Speaking of former 49ers staffers, we already saw today that Washington has hired San Francisco’s assistant head coach and running backs coach Anthony Lynn to their new run-game coordinator position. Well, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, Lynn’s title will also include running backs coach. Lynn leaves Christian McCaffrey in California and will now coach a group that includes Brian Robinson, Chris Rodriguez, and Derrick Gore. Veteran back Antonio Gibson is currently bound for free agency.
  • Finally, on the coaching staff, Jhabvala also reports that offensive quality control coach Shane Toub will remain on staff for the Commanders. Toub just finished his first year on staff in Washington but has four prior years of experience on the Bears’ coaching staff. He will continue to work in Washington, now under new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.
  • Outside of the coaching staff, Jhabvala also informs that, in the front office, senior vice president of football administration Rob Rogers is set to remain in place “at least through the draft.” It’s unclear if the team has plans to switch things up in the front office after this April, but for now, Rogers’ job is safe.

Commanders To Hire Anthony Lynn, Sharrif Floyd; Team To Retain Bobby Engram

Dan Quinn continues to add high-profile names to his Commanders staff. The latest comes after a background with new football ops president Adam Peters.

Anthony Lynn will join Peters in making a San Francisco-to-Washington trek. The 49ers assistant head coach will join the Commanders as the team’s run-game coordinator, Adam Schefter of tweets. The Commanders pursued the former Chargers HC last year, interviewing him for their OC job, but went with Eric Bieniemy. Despite an ownership change and staff overhaul, Schefter notes Lynn is close with Peters and Quinn. This certainly makes sense as the veteran coach’s next landing spot.

In addition to Lynn, Washington will bring ex-Quinn assistant Sharrif Floyd over from Dallas. Floyd will join the Commanders as their assistant defensive line coach,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The former Vikings first-round pick was in place as a Cowboys assistant under Quinn last season. Despite new Cowboys DC Mike Zimmer having coached Floyd in Minnesota, the latter is following Quinn to Washington.

The Commanders, however, will not let their wide receivers coach go. Bobby Engram will stay in that role, per the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. The former NFL wideout joined Washington’s coaching staff last year. Although Engram was a Ron Rivera addition, he will stay on under Quinn. Outside interest in the veteran assistant emerged, Jhabvala adds.

Lynn, 55, made the most to San Francisco after washing out as Lions OC. Dan Campbell booted Lynn after one season, having taken play-calling duties away. The longtime running backs coach has since played a role in boosting the 49ers’ ground attack. The 49ers hired Lynn to aid their run game, and he received an unexpected personnel boost midway through the 2022 season (via the Christian McCaffrey trade). As a result, San Francisco’s ground attack has enjoyed dominant stretches.

This will be Lynn and Quinn’s first time on the same staff; Peters was with the 49ers for both of Lynn’s seasons in the Bay Area. Lynn, who has been an NFL coach since 2000, went 33-31 as Chargers HC from 2017-20. Lynn joins Kliff Kingsbury as former head coaches on Quinn’s Commanders staff.

Engram, 51, broke into coaching just after his lengthy playing career wrapped. He joins Lynn in having never coached with Quinn. Prior to coming to Washington in 2023, Engram served as Wisconsin’s OC. He was on John Harbaugh‘s Ravens staff from 2014-21, however. Floyd served as the Cowboys’ assistant D-line coach last season. He will follow DC Joe Whitt to Washington.

The Commanders are also hiring Tom Donatell as their defensive backs coach, The Athletic’s Ben Standig tweets. The son of veteran DC Ed Donatell, Tom spent the past three seasons with the Chargers. The Bolts promoted Tom Donatell to defensive pass-game coordinator last year. Quinn and Ed Donatell worked together with the Jets back in the 2000s. The team is also hiring David Raih as its tight ends coach, Schefter adds. Raih worked as the Cardinals’ wide receivers coach under Kingsbury from 2019-20, becoming Vanderbilt’s OC in 2021. He spent last season on the Buccaneers’ staff.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Coaching Notes: Texans, 49ers, Bengals, Panthers

DeMeco Ryans was a popular name on the head coach market before ultimately landing with the Texans. The now-former 49ers defensive coordinator also generated strong interest from the Broncos, but the coach admitted that his choice to join Houston instead of Denver wasn’t all that difficult.

“When it came down to it, there was no place I wanted to be any more than H-Town,” Ryans said earlier this week (via NFL Network’s Bridget Condon on Twitter). “…It was a no brainer.”

While Ryans’ comments could certainly be interpreted as shade being thrown at the Broncos, his comments were more about his connection to Houston and the Texans organization. Ryans was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2006 draft, and he proceeded to spend six years with the organization. While the Texans were able to lure their favorite for the job, the Broncos had to pivot to Sean Payton, who was ultimately dealt from the Saints to Denver.

With Ryans now in the building, the focus shifts to the rest of the coaching staff. Naturally, the coach will be looking to some of his former peers for positions, as we previously heard that 49ers passing game coordinator Bobby Slowik as well as 49ers defensive quality control coaches Andrew Hayes-Stoker and Stephen Adegoke are candidates to join Ryans in Houston. Matt Barrows of The Athletic adds another name to the list of targeted 49ers coaches, noting that Ryans leaned heavily on safeties coach Daniel Bullocks when he was in San Francisco. Barrows described Bullocks as Ryans’ “eyes in the coaches’ booth,” so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the head coach recruits his confidante to Houston.

More coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher interviewed for the Buccaneers offensive coordinator job before Cincinnati ultimately signed him to an extension. However, the new contract hasn’t stopped teams from inquiring on his availability. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor indicated that “there’s still interest from other teams” in adding Pitcher to their staff, per ESPN’s Ben Baby on Twitter. Pitcher became the club’s quarterbacks coach in 2020, and his work with 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow over the past few years is starting to pique the interest of other organizations.
  • It’s been a bit since we heard that the Commanders requested an interview with 49ers assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn for their offensive coordinator vacancy. Earlier this week, Josina Anderson passed along (via Twitter) that Lynn had follow-up and informal conversations with the Commanders to determine “if there is mutual interest.” It’s uncertain if the two sides decided to move on with a formal interview.
  • Commanders defensive backs coach Chris Harris interviewed for the 49ers defensive coordinator vacancy earlier this week. If Harris doesn’t land the gig, he’s most likely going to end up on the Titans coaching staff, per Albert Breer of (via Twitter). We heard last month that Harris was set to join the Titans as their their defensive pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. However, no deal was finalized, and Harris was clearly waiting out the 49ers’ search before fully committing to Tennessee.
  • The Panthers are searching for new coordinators on both sides of the ball, but it sounds like their special teams coordinator will be sticking around under new head coach Frank Reich. According to Joseph Person of The Athletic, general manager Scott Fitterer and owner David Tepper encouraged head coaching candidates to retain ST coordinator Chris Tabor and offensive line coach James Campen for next season. Following a four-year stint as the Bears special teams head, Tabor joined the Panthers last offseason, with Reich describing the unit as “really strong.” Campen has bounced around a bit in recent years before landing in Carolina for the 2022 campaign.

Commanders, Ravens Interested In Eric Bieniemy For OC

JANUARY 29: Like the Titans, the Commanders and Ravens have formally requested OC interviews with Bieniemy, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter links). John Keim of adds (via Twitter) that Washington will continue to be patient and will wait until it is allowed to interview Bieniemy and 49ers assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn, whose teams are playing in the championship games for their respective conferences today.

JANUARY 26: A key talking point each January, Eric Bieniemy‘s head coaching candidacy has tapered off in recent years. Despite Matt Nagy and Doug Pederson landing HC jobs from Andy Reid‘s Chiefs staff, Bieniemy has been stuck at the coordinator level. Only one team — the Colts — has interviewed him for its HC post this year.

Others remain interested in the five-year Chiefs OC. The Commanders and Ravens are the latest rumored to want an OC meeting with Bieniemy, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. The Indianapolis HC path remains in play for Bieniemy, but similar avenues have repeatedly closed for the longtime Reid lieutenant over the past several years.

The Commanders and Ravens jobs are not classified as lateral moves, since each position would come with full play-calling responsibilities. Thus, the Chiefs cannot block Bieniemy from an interview. Reid has been Kansas City’s primary play-caller throughout his 10-year Missouri stay, and the top-tier HC receives the bulk of the credit for Patrick Mahomes submitting arguably the greatest early-career resume in quarterback history. Bieniemy has been Kansas City’s OC throughout Mahomes’ run as the team’s starter, but after extensive interest emerged early during his time in this job, the league has cooled on him.

Bieniemy, 53, signed an extension with the Chiefs last year and has not been closely connected to other OC jobs prior to this month. It would be bring somewhat of a risk to leave the Reid-Mahomes infrastructure the Chiefs provide, but Bieniemy having success as a play-caller could also finally break down the door to a top job. Ex-Chiefs QBs coach Mike Kafka is now on the HC radar, after becoming the Giants’ play-caller. Mahomes is ticketed to win a second MVP award and has powered the Chiefs to a fifth straight AFC championship game, doing so this time without Tyreek Hill.

Washington has seen multiple options — Jim Caldwell and Darrell Bevellturn down the chance to interview. Ron Rivera‘s hot-seat status also complicates this season, since the OC role has a greater chance of being a one-and-done here than it does in most places. Many around the league expect, for this reason, the Commanders to promote quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese to replace Scott Turner, Albert Breer of tweets. Baltimore has also begun its interviews to replace Greg Roman. While Bieniemy, Frank Reich and Byron Leftwich have been linked to the position, none has been confirmed as an interviewee just yet.

Commanders Request OC Interview With Anthony Lynn

Anthony Lynn is back on the coordinator radar. The Commanders have requested permission to interview the 49ers assistant head coach/running backs coach for the offensive coordinator vacancy, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post (on Twitter). A formal request will be made following the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, per ESPN’s John Keim (on Twitter).

This is the first time Lynn’s name has come up this offseason. The 54-year-old joined the 49ers last year as an assistant head coach, but when it was announced that Bobby Turner wouldn’t be back in 2022, Lynn also took on the title of running backs coach. The 49ers dealt with a number of RB injuries prior to their acquisition of Christian McCaffrey, but the team’s rushing attack still finished top-10 in yards, touchdowns, and yards per attempt.

Lynn has lost a bit of his shine in recent years. After being hired as the Chargers head coach in 2017, he guided the team to a 9-7 record during his first season at the helm. The Chargers improved to 12-4 and won a playoff game in 2018, but the wheels fell off during a 5-11 2019 campaign. Lynn was kept around for the 2020 season, but following a 7-9 finish, we was let go by the organization. Lynn quickly landed on his feet when he was hired as the Lions OC, but he was canned after only one season in Detroit.

Former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and Dolphins quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell declined Washington’s interview request. Lynn is now the sixth known candidate for the OC position previously held by Scott Turner:

49ers Hire Anthony Lynn As AHC

The 49ers are hiring Anthony Lynn as their new Assistant Head Coach (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of Lynn will be tasked with helping to guide the 49ers’ offense with a focus on the ground game, Schefter hears. 

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Lynn, 53, spent four years as the Chargers’ head coach. His highpoint came in 2018 as he guided the Bolts to a 12-4 record and a playoff win. Things took a turn after that, however. The Chargers went just 5-11 last season and 7-9 in 2020, losing a mind-boggling amount of close games in those final two campaigns.

Lynn spent the 2021 season as the Lions’ offensive coordinator, but head coach Dan Campbell didn’t invite him back for ’22. The Lions averaged just 16.8 points per game during Lynn’s eight games as the play-caller, and they failed to record a win during that time. In the following eight contests, they averaged 19.25 points per game, squeezing out two victories and a tie.

Still, Schefter hears that Lynn had a healthy market in this cycle, garnering offers in the pro and NCAA ranks. Despite his lackluster run in Detroit, he’s still regarded as a solid offensive mind, particularly when it comes to the ground game.

For now, Lynn is set to report to Mike McDaniel, though he’s also in the mix for the Dolphins’ head coaching job.

Detroit, OC Lynn Part Ways

In one of the less surprising moves of “Black Monday,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell confirmed in his Monday morning press conference that offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will not remain a part of the coaching staff in Detroit. 

Coming off being fired by the Chargers last season, Lynn took the role of play caller under first-year head coach Dan Campbell. After starting the season with eight straight losses, Campbell relieved Lynn of his play calling duties. The Lions proceeded to finish 3-3 over their last six games and it became apparent that Lynn was a lame duck in his position.

Lynn’s resume isn’t terrible as he left Los Angeles boasting a winning record as a head coach. In his first two seasons leading the Chargers, they finished 2nd in the division and even nabbed a Wild Card spot in his second year, winning a playoff game before getting beat in the Divisional Round. Lynn has had success in the league as a running backs coach and has strong leadership qualities that his players respect. He should find a job in the NFL again, before long.

As for the Lions open offensive coordinator position, Campbell will need to decided whether he would like to continue calling plays himself or if he wants to hire an offensive coordinator who can run the show. We’ll see that search play out as “Black Monday” continues to create new candidates for open jobs.

Lions, OC Anthony Lynn To Part Ways

The Lions and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn are set to end their relationship after just one season, per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). The parties are expected to part ways following Detroit’s 2021 finale this afternoon.

One year ago, the Chargers fired Lynn as their head coach after he spent four years in that role. Lynn initially planned to sit out the 2021 season, but he had discussions with the Seahawks about their OC post, and he ultimately elected to join Dan Campbell‘s inaugural staff in Detroit.

As it turns out, Lynn may have been better off following through on his original plan to take the year off. In November, he was stripped of his play-calling duties, and although he continued to help run the offensive meetings and structure the game plan and rushing attack, he conceded that he was not happy about the loss of responsibility (Twitter link via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News).

The Lions were averaging only 16.8 points per game during Lynn’s eight games as the offensive play-caller, and they failed to record a win during that time. In the following eight contests, they averaged 19.25 points per game and squeezed out two victories and a tie. Correlation does not equal causation, and myriad factors have contributed to another lost season for the Lions, but his time in the Motor City clearly did not help Lynn’s stock as a coach.

The 53-year-old may end up having to accept a position coach post to start working his way back up the ladder (he has previously served as the RBs coach of the Jaguars, Cowboys, Browns, Jets, and Bills). The fact that he is a highly-respected figure in the league will certainly help him get a job somewhere, and his HC experience could be especially useful to someone who lands a head coaching gig for the first time in 2022. He might also be interested in a job in the college ranks.

The Lions, meanwhile, will have to search for a new OC. Ben Johnson, the club’s TE coach who was appointed pass game coordinator when Campbell took over play-calling responsibilities from Lynn, is perhaps the top in-house option. It will also be interesting to see if Campbell wants to remain the play-caller going forward.

Tim Boyle To Start At QB For Lions; Latest On Coaching Staff

Lions QB Jared Goff is dealing with an oblique injury, so as Adam Schefter of reports, Tim Boyle will be Detroit’s starting signal-caller in the club’s matchup against the Browns this afternoon. It will be the first start of the 27-year-old’s career.

Boyle served as Aaron Rodgers‘ backup in Green Bay over the past several seasons, and though he had attempted just four career passes, the Lions inked him to a one-year, $2.5MM deal in March after he was non-tendered by the Packers (who were making room for Jordan Love). Unfortunately, Boyle’s strong training camp was marred by a thumb injury, and he was forced to start the 2021 campaign on IR as a result. He was designated to return earlier this month.

In the meantime, David Blough has been operating as Goff’s clipboard holder, and he will stay in his QB2 role today. Schefter says that if Boyle should struggle — he only recently returned to practice, so he is not as sharp as he could be — then Blough could be sent into the game. Because the Lions also play their traditional Thanksgiving contest in just a few days, either Boyle or Blough will likely be in line to start on Turkey Day as well.

It has been another difficult year for the Lions, who managed a tie with the Mason Rudolph-led Steelers last week to improve to 0-8-1. Detroit hoped that Goff, acquired in this offseason’s blockbuster Matthew Stafford trade, would be able to recapture the Pro Bowl form he displayed in the 2017-18 seasons, but he has largely struggled. Though O-line issues and a dearth of receiver talent are at least partially to blame, Goff’s 84.0 QB rating would represent his lowest mark since his seven-game rookie output. As such, Schefter confirms that the Lions’ quarterback situation for the rest of this season and beyond is unsettled.

The team has no realistic way of getting out of Goff’s contract until after the 2022 season, so he will almost certainly be back next year. But it does not sound like he is guaranteed to get his starting job back even when he is fully recovered, and the Lions will likely be in a position to draft one of 2022’s top collegiate passers in the spring. Starting today, Boyle will try to make his case to be involved in the conversation.

Of course, Boyle will have head coach Dan Campbell calling his offensive plays. Campbell took over play-calling duties from OC Anthony Lynn for the Pittsburgh game, and that arrangement will presumably hold through the end of the year. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Campbell — who still has the full respect of his locker room — is not planning to make any in-season coaching changes, but there will probably be some sort of shakeup to the staff in the offseason.