Dan Pitcher

Assessing NFL’s OC Landscape

This offseason showed the turnover that can take place at the offensive coordinator position. As a result of several decisions in January and February, the NFL no longer has an OC who has been in his current role for more than two seasons. Various firings and defections now have the 2022 batch of hires stationed as the longest-tenured OCs.

One of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, Pete Carmichael is no longer with the Saints. The team moved on after 15 seasons, a stay that featured part-time play-calling duties. The Browns canned their four-year non-play-calling OC, Alex Van Pelt, while three-year play-callers Arthur Smith and Shane Waldron are relocating this winter. Brian Callahan‘s five-year gig as the Bengals’ non-play-calling OC booked him a top job.

The recent lean toward offense-oriented HCs took a bit of a hit of a hit this offseason, with five of the eight jobs going to defense-oriented leaders. Callahan, Dave Canales and Jim Harbaugh were the only offense-geared candidates hired during this cycle. But half the NFL will go into this season with a new OC. Following the Seahawks’ decision to hire ex-Washington (and, briefly, Alabama) staffer Ryan Grubb, here is how the NFL’s OC landscape looks:

2022 OC hires

  • Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions*
  • Mike Kafka, New York Giants*
  • Wes Phillips, Minnesota Vikings
  • Frank Smith, Miami Dolphins
  • Adam Stenavich, Green Bay Packers
  • Press Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars*

Although this sextet now comprises the senior wing of offensive coordinators, this still marks each’s first gig as an NFL OC. Three of the six received HC interest this offseason.

Johnson’s status back in Detroit has been one of the offseason’s top storylines and a development the Commanders have not taken especially well. The two-year Lions OC was viewed as the frontrunner for the Washington job for weeks this offseason, and when team brass did not receive word about Johnson’s intent to stay in Detroit (thus, waiting until at least 2025 to make his long-expected HC move) until a Commanders contingent was en route to Detroit for a second interview, a back-and-forth about what exactly broke down took place. Johnson should be expected to remain a high-end HC candidate next year, but Dan Campbell will still have his services for 2024.

Kafka interviewed for the Seahawks’ HC job, and the Giants then blocked him from meeting with the NFC West team about its OC position. Rumblings about Kafka and Brian Daboll no longer being on great terms surfaced this year, with the latter yanking away play-calling duties — given to Kafka ahead of the 2022 season — at points in 2023. Taylor may also be on the hot seat with his team. Doug Pederson gave Taylor the call sheet last season, and Trevor Lawrence did not make the leap many expected. After a collapse left the Jaguars out of the playoffs, the team had begun to look into its offensive situation.

2023 OC hires

  • Jim Bob Cooter, Indianapolis Colts
  • Nathaniel Hackett, New York Jets*
  • Mike LaFleur, Los Angeles Rams
  • Joe Lombardi, Denver Broncos
  • Todd Monken, Baltimore Ravens*
  • Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Drew Petzing, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Brian Schottenheimer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans*

Only nine of the 15 OCs hired in 2023 are still with their teams. One (Canales) moved up the ladder, while others were shown the door following that organization canning its head coach. The Eagles were the only team who hired an offensive coordinator last year to fire that staffer (Brian Johnson) after one season. Nick Sirianni fired both his coordinators following a wildly disappointing conclusion.

Hackett may also be drifting into deep water, given what transpired last year in New York. Rumblings of Robert Saleh — who is on the hottest seat among HCs — stripping some of his offensive play-caller’s responsibilities surfaced recently. This marks Hackett’s fourth chance to call plays in the NFL; the second-generation staffer did so for the Bills, Jaguars and Broncos prior to coming to New York. After the 2022 Broncos ranked last in scoring, the ’23 Jets ranked 31st in total offense. Hackett’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers has largely kept him in place, but 2024 may represent a last chance for the embattled coach.

Of this crop, Monken and Slowik were the only ones to receive HC interest. Neither emerged as a frontrunner for a position, though Slowik met with the Commanders twice. The Texans then gave their first-time play-caller a raise to stick around for C.J. Stroud‘s second season. Stroud’s remarkable progress figures to keep Slowik on the HC radar. Monken, who is in his third try as an NFL OC (after gigs in Tampa and Cleveland), just helped Lamar Jackson to his second MVP award. The former national championship-winning OC did not stick the landing — as Jackson struggled against the Chiefs — but he fared well on the whole last season.

Schottenheimer is on his fourth go-round as an OC, while Lombardi is on team No. 3. The latter’s job figures to be more secure, being tied to Sean Payton, compared to what is transpiring in Dallas. With the Cowboys having Mike McCarthy as the rare lame-duck HC, his coordinators probably should not get too comfortable.

2024 OC hires

  • Joe Brady, Buffalo Bills*
  • Liam Coen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
  • Ken Dorsey, Cleveland Browns
  • Luke Getsy, Las Vegas Raiders*
  • Ryan Grubb, Seattle Seahawks*
  • Nick Holz, Tennessee Titans
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Washington Commanders*
  • Klint Kubiak, New Orleans Saints*
  • Brad Idzik, Carolina Panthers
  • Kellen Moore, Philadelphia Eagles*
  • Dan Pitcher, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Zac Robinson, Atlanta Falcons*
  • Greg Roman, Los Angeles Chargers*
  • Arthur Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers*
  • Alex Van Pelt, New England Patriots*
  • Shane Waldron, Chicago Bears*

The 49ers do not employ a traditional OC; 16 of the 31 teams that do recently made a change. Most of the teams to add OCs this year, however, did so without employing play-calling coaches. This naturally raises the stakes for this year’s batch of hires.

Retreads became rather popular. Dorsey, Getsy, Moore, Van Pelt and Waldron were all OCs elsewhere (Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle) last season. Smith will shift from calling the Falcons’ plays to running the show for the Steelers. Dorsey, Getsy and Van Pelt were fired; Moore and Waldron moved on after the Chargers and Seahawks respectively changed HCs. Moore and Smith will be calling plays for a third team; for Moore, this is three OC jobs in three years.

Coen, Kingsbury and Roman are back after a year away. Kingsbury became a popular name on the OC carousel, having coached Caleb Williams last season. This will be his second crack at an NFL play-calling gig, having been the Cardinals’ conductor throughout his HC tenure. This will be Coen’s first shot at calling plays in the pros; he was Sean McVay‘s non-play-calling assistant in 2022. Likely to become the Chargers’ play-caller, Roman will have a rare fourth chance to call plays in the NFL. He held that responsibility under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco; following Harbaugh’s explosive 2015 49ers split, Roman moved to Buffalo and Baltimore to work under non-offense-oriented leaders.

Grubb, Holz, Idzik, Pitcher and Robinson represent this year’s first-timer contingent. Grubb has, however, called plays at the college level. Robinson is the latest McVay staffer to move into a play-calling post; he was a Rams assistant for five years. A host of teams had Robinson on their OC radar, but Raheem Morris brought his former L.A. coworker to Atlanta. Pitcher appeared in a few searches as well, but the Bengals made the expected move — after extending him last year — to give him Callahan’s old job.

* = denotes play-calling coordinator

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

After a crowded carousel previously stopped, the 49ers opened their defensive coordinator position. Here is how the NFC champions’ search looks:

Updated 3-2-24 (10:00am CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

  • Gerald Alexander, safeties coach (Raiders): Interviewed 3/1
  • Daniel Bullocks, defensive backs coach (49ers): Interviewed 2/28
  • David Merritt, defensive backs coach (Chiefs): To interview
  • Nick Sorensen, defensive passing game specialist (49ers): Promoted
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Titans Hire Brian Callahan As Head Coach

JANUARY 25: The Titans are giving the five-year Bengals offensive coordinator a five-year deal to lead their staff, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes. Callahan’s contract length matches what the team handed Vrabel back in 2018.

JANUARY 22: Brian Callahan had a second interview with the Titans today, and the organization isn’t letting him leave Tennessee without a deal. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Titans plan to hire Callahan as their new head coach. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds that the two sides are working to finalize a deal.

In recent days, there’s been growing momentum towards Callahan earning his first head coaching gig. Besides his second interview with the Titans today, the coach was also expected to meet a second time with the Panthers and Falcons. Per The Athletic’s Paul Dehner, the Titans viewed Callahan as a top target, and they were clearly determined to make sure he didn’t land elsewhere.

Callahan has been on the head coaching radar for a while after guiding a talented offense in Cincinnati. While his first two years at the helm didn’t necessarily go as planned, the Bengals finished top-seven in points scored in both 2021 and 2022. The offense took a step back in 2023, although that was partly attributed to Joe Burrow‘s injury, and suitors clearly recognized that context as they pursued him for HC jobs.

Callahan had a long stint on the Broncos offensive coaching staff before serving as the Lions QBs coach (2016-2017) and Raiders QBs coach (2018). During his time in the NFL, he’s worked with the likes of Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, and Burrow. This has led many to assume that Callahan would be an ideal candidate to guide an offense that’s expected to be led by 2023 second-round pick Will Levis.

The Titans had one of the more surprising head coaching vacancies of this hiring cycle, as Mike Vrabel‘s departure wasn’t necessarily expected. The organization cast a wide net in their search for a replacement, with Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn among those to earn second interviews.

Ultimately, Callahan was the choice. With the head coach soon to be under contract, the Titans will look to fill out the rest of their coaching staff. One name that will surely be connected to Tennessee is Callahan’s father, Bill Callahan. The veteran coach has spent the past four years as the Browns OL coach, and the senior Callahan was previously the head coach for the Raiders.

On the other side, Bengals coach Zac Taylor will now have to hire a coordinator for the first time since he took the Cincy gig in 2019. Dehner notes that Bengals QBs coach Dan Pitcher has been groomed for the job and will likely be a leading candidate to replace Callahan.

Bengals Promote Dan Pitcher To OC

Dan Pitcher appeared on multiple teams’ OC interview lists, but the Bengals have long viewed him as their coordinator-in-waiting. With Brian Callahan landing the Titans’ HC job, the Bengals will execute that succession plan.

Cincinnati will indeed elevate Pitcher to become its next OC, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports. Pitcher has been with the team longer than Callahan, and the Marvin Lewis-era addition will now become Zac Taylor‘s right-hand man on offense. The move is now official.

This hire is not as important as some of the other OC changes we will see this offseason. Taylor remains the Bengals’ play-caller, a role he has held since arriving in 2019. But this obviously elevates Pitcher’s stature and gives Taylor a new lead assistant on this side of the ball. Pitcher, 37, has been with the Bengals since 2016 and has been in place as QBs coach since 2020, a rather important year for this franchise.

After Pitcher worked as the Bengals’ assistant QBs coach in Andy Dalton‘s final Ohio season, Taylor elevated him to QBs coach during the offseason that featured the Joe Burrow investment. The Taylor-Callahan-Pitcher trio has helped Burrow become one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, and the former Heisman recipient is exiting this season as the league’s highest-paid player. While Burrow suffered an injury that altered the Bengals’ season, the Bengals’ Wednesday decision will ensure continuity.

Burrow does not have the career achievements of Ken Anderson or Boomer Esiason yet, but his trajectory points toward becoming the best QB in Bengals history. Pitcher being Burrow’s position coach throughout his career has boosted his stock within the organization and in other NFL facilities. Jake Browning‘s run of competent play — after spending his first four years without taking a regular-season snap — also worked in Pitcher’s favor. Browning finished his season having completed an NFL-best 70.4% of his passes, albeit on 243 attempts. Recently promoted from the third-string level, Browning finished with 8.0 yards per attempt this season as well.

The Buccaneers interviewed Pitcher for their OC post last year, and while they hired Dave Canales, Pitcher had bowed out of the interview process early after signing a Bengals extension. That likely came with an understanding he would be Callahan’s replacement. The Saints and Patriots had interviewed Pitcher this year. A Raiders meeting loomed, with the Saints having scheduled a second interview. The outside suitors will need to adjust their lists accordingly.

Charting Pitcher’s progress from the Lewis-Dalton years to now is interesting, given where the Bengals have gone since Burrow began his ascent. This also moves Pitcher into position to be considered for head coaching jobs come 2025. For now, he will attempt to help the Bengals recapture the form that had them as the Chiefs’ top AFC challenger prior to the Burrow setback.

Coordinator Notes: Pitcher, Robinson, Williams, Kelly

Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher appears to be a clear successor to offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, who is set to become the Titans head coach. However, that inside shot at the Cincy gig won’t stop Pitcher from taking coordinator interviews elsewhere.

[RELATED: 2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Pitcher is set to meet with the Patriots virtually tomorrow before meeting in-person with the Raiders tomorrow night. Pitcher is then expected to meet with the Saints on Thursday. According to Albert Breer of SI.com, Pitcher actually already met virtually with the Saints and is scheduled for an in-person second interview on Thursday.

The Raiders connection is also notable. As Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network points out, Marvin Lewis is expected to be on the Raiders coaching staff, and it was Lewis who gave Pitcher his first NFL job.

Considering the success of Joe Burrow, it’s not a surprise that Pitcher is in line for a promotion. The SUNY Cortland product has spent the past four seasons as the Bengals quarterbacks coach, and he’s been with the organization since 2016.

For what it’s worth, Pitcher signed an extension with the Bengals last offseason. However, that deal surely won’t stop the coach from pursuing a promotion elsewhere, although there’s a chance that opportunity comes in Cincinnati.

More coordinator notes from around the NFL…

  • Rams passing-game coordinator Zac Robinson has generated more offensive coordinator interviews. According to Breer, both the Steelers and Raiders have requested interviews with Robinson regarding their OC vacancies. Robinson has been connected to the majority of the OC openings in the NFL. He’s set to interview with the Patriots and Saints, and he was a candidate for the Bears job before they hired Shane Waldron. Robinson has spent his entire coaching career in Los Angeles, working his way up from assistant quarterbacks coach to passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
  • Titans assistant head coach/defensive line coach Terrell Williams will interview for the Bears defensive coordinator job, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Following stints as the Raiders and Dolphins defensive line coach, Williams took the same job with the Bears in 2018. He’s spent the past six years in that role, and he earned a promotion to assistant head coach this past season. Williams’ future in Tennessee is unclear considering the team’s decision to fire Mike Vrabel following the season. Williams joins a growing list of Bears defensive coordinator candidates, a grouping that includes fellow Titans coach Chris Harris.
  • A notable name could emerge as an offensive coordinator candidate. Sources told Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports that Chip Kelly has been mentioned as an offensive coordinator possibility by a handful of head coaching candidates. As a result, several organizations have already started doing their due diligence on the former Eagles and 49ers head coach. Kelly has been the head coach at UCLA since 2018, and he recently signed an extension that will keep him with the school through at least the 2027 season.

Saints Request OC Interviews With Dan Pitcher, Zac Robinson

The Bengals could not follow up their run of back-to-back AFC championship game appearances with another playoff berth, seeing Joe Burrow‘s injury disrupt their progress. But Cincinnati staffers are still being considered for promotions.

With Brian Callahan receiving extensive HC interest, Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher is also in the mix for at least one OC role. The Saints sent Pitcher an interview request for their play-calling post, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweets.

Pitcher interviewed for the Buccaneers’ OC job last year and drew interest from the Ravens. With Jake Browning submitting some quality work during the Bengals’ post-Burrow stretch, it stands to reason teams will be interested in seeing what Callahan and Pitcher have to offer on this year’s coaching carousel.

Fifteen years have passed since the Saints have searched for an offensive coordinator. Pete Carmichael held the job from 2009-23, serving as one of the longest-tenured assistants in modern NFL history. While teams have kept an offensive HC as their play-caller for longer (though, even that is rare), it is nearly unheard of for a coordinator to stay in one position that long. The Saints used Carmichael as their play-caller for the past two years, with defense-oriented Dennis Allen succeeding Sean Payton. But they fired the veteran staffer Tuesday.

The Saints could run into multiple issues with Pitcher. Not only will New Orleans attempt to hire an OC with its head coach set to enter the 2024 season on a hot seat, but Callahan’s prospects on the HC carousel would stand to affect Pitcher. The Bengals have employed Pitcher since 2016, and the team extended him last year. He is viewed as a natural in-house Callahan replacement, should he land a top job this offseason.

Pitcher, 37, worked as a Colts scout for four years under Ryan Grigson but has been a Bengals coach since their Marvin Lewis years. Zac Taylor kept Pitcher upon taking over and elevated him to assistant QBs coach in 2019; since 2020, Pitcher has been Burrow’s position coach. The Bengals have managed to keep their core staffers on offense together since Burrow’s arrival, but teams’ interest could disrupt that status this year.

Rams assistant Zac Robinson is also on the Saints’ radar. New Orleans sent Sean McVay‘s quarterbacks coach an interview request as well, according to NewOrleans.football’s Nick Underhill. The McVay tree is already one of the NFL’s most fruitful, and it is probably not a coincidence the Saints are requesting meetings with Pitcher — who has learned under a McVay pupil for five years — and one of his current lieutenants.

Robinson, 37, has been on McVay’s Rams staff for the past five years. Four of those, including the team’s Super Bowl-winning year, have come coaching QBs. Losing OC Kevin O’Connell in 2022, McVay elevated Robinson to QBs coach; he had been L.A.’s assistant QBs coach in 2021. The Rams went outside the organization to replace Liam Coen as OC, hiring Mike LaFleur, but Robinson remained onboard as QBs coach.

In addition to the McVay tree’s early supply of HCs, teams are looking into his current and former assistants as coordinators. The Bears are interviewing Shane Waldron and Thomas Brown. This is believed to be Robinson’s third OC interview request; he met with the Ravens and Chargers last year.

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

Dan Pitcher To Remain With Bengals

FEBRUARY 12: Pitcher will remain in Cincinnati, per Garafolo (via Twitter). It appears that Pitcher’s second interview with the Bucs went well, and he was clearly considered a top candidate, but he will return to the Bengals and will presumably be a name to watch during next year’s OC searches.

FEBRUARY 6: When Dan Pitcher‘s new deal with the Bengals was reported, it seemed as though his name as a potential OC candidate (at least outside of the organization) would be scratched off the list of interested teams. Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach could still be available for an outside hire, however.

Tampa Bay is set to hold a second interview with Pitcher for their offensive coordinator vacancy, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (video link). Unlike his first meeting, this one will be in person, and will take place this week, Garafolo adds. Having just been extended, many presumed Pitcher’s only opportunity to take on an OC role would be in Cincinnati, in the event Brian Callahan were to receive a head coaching gig.

The Buccaneers have cast a wide net in their search for their Byron Leftwich replacement. The team struggled on offense in general and on the ground in particular in 202, leading to internal strife between Leftwich, head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Tom Brady. With the latter now retired, Tampa Bay is looking for a new OC while dealing with plenty of uncertainty under center.

Picher, 36, interviewed for the first time with the Buccaneers last month. That preceded the news of his new deal with the Bengals, with whom he has worked since 2016. Picher has been the team’s top QBs coach for the past three seasons, and has played a key role in helping Joe Burrow become one of the top passers in the league. His work will likely lead to further OC interest in the near future, even if this second meeting with Tampa Bay does not yield what would be a surprising move to the NFC South.

With Pitcher set to interview for a second time, here is an updated look at the Bucs’ OC search:

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 TheMMQB.com (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.

Bengals Extend QBs Coach Dan Pitcher

Dan Pitcher will be sticking with the Bengals. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Cincinnati has signed its quarterbacks coach to a lucrative contract extension that will take him through at least the 2023 season.

Pitcher, 36, interviewed for the Buccaneers’ open offensive coordinator position on Friday, which was the first time in his career he had been connected to a coordinator post. Rapoport says that the Ravens also inquired on Pitcher, but rather than risk losing him to another club, the Bengals made a proactive move to reward one of their most important staffers.

Pitcher broke into the professional coaching ranks in 2016 as an offensive assistant on the staff of former Cincinnati HC Marvin Lewis. When Zac Taylor took over as the Bengals’ head coach in 2019, he retained Pitcher and promoted him to assistant quarterbacks coach. Pitcher became the club’s top quarterbacks coach the following year, and his work with 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow over the past three seasons is starting to pique the interest of other organizations.

Burrow, of course, has become one of the league’s best signal-callers and could be in line for a market-topping extension this offseason. He has the Bengals on the cusp of their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, and assuming the team continues to thrive in 2023, Pitcher will likely garner more OC looks.

Of course, the Bengals’ own offensive coordinator, Brian Callahan, has generated some HC buzz, and Pitcher could fill Callahan’s seat in Cincinnati if the latter should land a job as a bench boss elsewhere.