Joe Brady

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Bills, Pioli

The dominoes continue to fall in NFL coaching circles and that’s certainly the case in the AFC East. The Dolphins made a trio of adjustments to their 2024 staff with two promotions and an external hire.

We learned about a week and a half ago that, after failing to land Miami’s defensive coordinator position, which went to Anthony Weaver, outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik was set to remain on the team’s staff for next season in a different capacity. Thanks to Charean Williams of NBC Sports, we now know that Slowik’s new position will be as defensive backs coach and pass game specialist. Williams also informed us that assistant defensive backs coach Mathieu Araujo has earned a promotion, as well. Araujo will serve as cornerbacks coach in 2024.

Additionally, we learned today that University of Montana defensive coordinator Ronnie Bradford will be taking the role of senior special teams assistant with the Dolphins for next season, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Bradford has extensive history as an NFL special teams coach, even serving as special teams coordinator in Denver back in 2005, when both Slowik and head coach Mike McDaniel were low-level staffers for the Broncos.

Here are a few other staff updates from around the AFC East:

  • The Bills made a serious addition to their defensive staff with the recent hiring of Scott Booker as their new nickel coach and senior defensive assistant. Booker spent the last four years as safeties coach for the Titans, mentoring one of the league’s best in Kevin Byard. Thanks to ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg, we also learned that last year’s midseason hire, DJ Mangas, has earned a promotion in Buffalo. After spending the back half of the season as an offensive assistant, he will serve as an offensive quality control coach in 2024. The former teammate and roommate of offensive coordinator Joe Brady joined the team after Brady’s interim promotion last year.
  • Lastly, we learned that the Patriots had finalized their coaching staff today, but changes are still expected in the front office. Now, we know that New England plans to take their time in making the decisions in the player personnel department, but we did throw out a few names to watch for. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated believes that former Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli is another name that could be a factor. Pioli held the Patriots vice president of player personnel position for nine years back from 2002-08, essentially helping to set the stage for the team’s eventual dynasty.

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

2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

The Commanders’ hire has wrapped this year’s cycle. Barring a team making an 11th-hour change, the 2024 HC carousel has come to a stop. The final breakdown produced five defensive coaches being hired compared to three with backgrounds on offense. Many teams are still searching for offensive and defensive coordinators, however.

Updated 2-1-24 (10:37am CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Jerod Mayo, linebackers coach (Patriots): Hired

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Bills Make Joe Brady Full-Time OC

Joe Brady will have a chance to continue in his current position. As the Bills considered outside options as well, their interim OC was believed to be the favorite for the job. He now has it.

The Bills will remove Brady’s interim tag and make him their full-time play-caller,’s Ian Rapoport reports. This will be Brady’s second stint as a full-time NFL OC. The Panthers employed him as such from 2020-21. Known to hire an ex-Panther or two under current management, the Bills have announced the decision.

While the Bills have earned their Panthers North identity during Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott‘s stewardship, the Brady connection is more coincidental compared to the other Carolina importing calls Buffalo has made. Brady’s Panthers stay came well after McDermott and Beane had arrived in Buffalo. Still, Brady trekked to Buffalo after a two-season run in Charlotte. Although he came to the Bills as a quarterbacks coach, the ex-LSU pass-game coordinator is back in a high-profile job.

The Bills only lost twice with Brady in place as OC, though a production spike did not occur after he took over. The team did better incorporate emerging Pro Bowler James Cook into the offense and grow comfortable under Brady, doing so despite a concerning second-half production dip from Stefon Diggs. The Bills finished sixth in scoring and fourth in total offense — down from second in both categories in 2022 — and third in DVOA during its Dorsey-Brady season.

Important in the Brady OC equation, Diggs and Cook are auxiliary pieces. Josh Allen‘s performance will play the lead role in determining how long Brady stays in this job, with HC interest sure to follow — in a period that features built-in advantages for offense-oriented HC candidates — if Allen stays on course as one of the NFL’s best players. Brady, 34, conducted his first HC interview in three years this offseason, meeting virtually with the Falcons. Brady mentored Teddy Bridgewater to what remains the top Panthers QB showing post-Cam Newton, but Matt Rhule fired his OC late in a 2021 season primarily featuring Sam Darnold at the controls.

Allen vouched for Brady, joining others in that regard. The superstar passer sported his best completion rate (66.5%) since 2020 and displayed run-game dominance under Brady. Allen runs became an essential part of the Bills’ late-season blueprint, and all four his 50-plus-yard performances on the ground this season came after Brady replaced Ken Dorsey. McDermott expressed interest in limiting Allen runs this past offseason, as less punishment in that area will help extend his career. But Allen showed the historically rare skillset he provides in the Bills’ final three games, totaling 213 yards and three touchdowns against the Dolphins, Steelers and Chiefs.

While Brady will need to strike an appropriate balance regarding the team’s reliance on Allen’s rushing chops, Cook’s emergence will help. That said, the Bills will need to recapture the Allen-Diggs connection that transformed the 2018 first-rounder’s career. Not only did all five of Diggs’ 100-yard games this season occur on Dorsey’s watch, but the star wideout managed just one 80-yard performance with Brady at the controls. Although defenses undoubtedly key on Diggs, the Bills will need to see more from their $24MM-per-year receiver in 2024.

This will be a pivotal offseason for the Bills, who are only the third team since the NFL shifted to record-based playoff seeding in 1975 to lose home divisional-round games in back-to-back years. Just the 1986-87 Bears and 1976-77 Colts match this. As the highest-ranking offensive coach in the building, Brady will become central to the organization’s quest to win its long-elusive Super Bowl.

Bills To Interview Joe Brady For Full-Time OC Position

While an ill-timed wind gust is partially responsible for the Bills’ divisional-round elimination, the team’s offense struggled to make explosive plays in its 27-24 loss to the Chiefs. The Bills are now conducting a search to determine if they will once again chance offensive coordinators.

Buffalo fired Ken Dorsey midway through his second season as OC, giving way to Joe Brady‘s second run as an NFL play-caller. The Bills remain interested in Brady, with’s Jeremy Fowler indicating the team will interview him for the full-time OC post. Brady took over on an interim basis in November and held the job through season’s end.

[RELATED: Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

The Bills only lost twice with Brady in place as OC, though a production spike did not occur after he took over. The team did better incorporate James Cook into the offense and grow comfortable under Brady, doing so despite a concerning second-half production dip from Stefon Diggs. The Bills finished sixth in scoring and fourth in total offense — down from second in both categories in 2022 — and third in DVOA during its Dorsey-Brady season.

Josh Allen has vouched for Brady, with The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia offering that several Bills offensive players have done the same (subscription required). While Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott said they were not ready to discuss the staff, each praised Brady for his performance back in a coordinator role. Brady, 34, also received his first HC interview request (from the Falcons) since 2021.

Brady, 34, joined Matt Rhule‘s Panthers staff in 2020, helping Teddy Bridgewater to what remains the best Carolina QB season since injuries brought down Cam Newton beginning in 2018. But Rhule fired Brady during the 2021 campaign. The Bills hired the former LSU pass-game coordinator in 2022, bringing him aboard as QBs coach.

Brian Daboll‘s 2022 exit has impacted the Bills, who employed the current Giants HC as their play-caller for four seasons. It will be interesting to see if more names enter this search, but Buscaglia labels Brady the favorite. Giving Brady a full offseason to work in this capacity would make sense, given the recent turnover at this position. Then again, the Bills lost a home divisional-round game for the second straight year. That naturally warrants an examination into where the team stands on both sides of the ball.

Falcons, Commanders Request Second HC Interviews With Lions’ Ben Johnson, Aaron Glenn

12:13pm: Joining the Falcons in expressing considerable interest in Detroit’s coordinators, Washington will also schedule second interviews with Glenn and Johnson,’s Tom Pelissero adds. These meetings are set to take place in Detroit next week. Teams cannot interview staffers attached to the four conference championship-bound teams this week, injecting a hiccup into these assistants’ timetables on the HC carousel.

A second Commanders-Johnson summit has long been expected. Josh Harris‘ club has been high on the two-year OC for a bit now. The Panthers remain interested in Johnson, however, as they have been tied to the North Carolina native for some time. While Glenn was believed to be in the mix for the Titans’ HC job, the AFC South team has since hired Brian Callahan.

11:05am: The Falcons continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new head coach. Atlanta has requested a second interview with Lions offensive and defensive coordinators Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein reports.

[RELATED: Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Both interviews will take place in person, but the team will need to wait for them to take place. With the Lions having advanced to the NFC championship game, neither Johnson nor Glenn are permitted to meet with prospective teams until next week. The Falcons do have a number of other interviews to get through in the coming days, however.

For some time now, Bill Belichick has been the name most frequently linked to Atlanta’s vacancy. A recent report indicated the position is open for the six-time Super Bowl winner if he desires it, and Belichick has already interviewed twice. The Falcons are believed to be eyeing head coaching experience – a departure from owner Arthur Blank‘s previous hires – something which would lend itself to candidates such as Belichick and Jim Harbaugh.

Nevertheless, it comes as little surprise that Johnson in particular continues to receive significant interest. The 37-year-old was a top HC candidate last year despite his age and lack of experience as a play-caller. He has only two years under his belt in the latter department, but his success with Detroit’s offense has made him one of the top staffers available. Johnson is believed to be the top target for the Panthers and Commanders.

Glenn has also been one of the most popular staffers in the 2024 cycle. He has met once with the Falcons, but also the Chargers, Titans and Commanders. This follow-up with the Falcons will mark the first time this year that he interviews for a second time, however. Glenn has routinely drawn praise from Lions head coach Dan Campbell, and Detroit did manage its best showing to date with him at the helm (including a second-place ranking against the run) this season.

The Falcons have a number of notable options to choose from, but a dark horse candidate could be Bills OC Joe Brady. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes that Brady is a name worth watching in the event a more established coach like Belichick or Harbaugh does not land the Atlanta gig. The 34-year-old had a two-year OC stint with the Panthers before joining the Bills’ staff last year. He replaced Ken Dorsey midway through the 2023 campaign, and the team’s success down the stretch could make him a logical candidate to be retained on a full-time basis. Brady was, as Breer notes, though, the runner-up to Arthur Smith when the latter was hired.

Here is an updated look at the Falcons’ search:

Falcons Request Joe Brady HC Interview

Joe Brady‘s two months as the Bills’ interim offensive coordinator have landed him back on the head coaching radar. The Buffalo assistant received a request from the Falcons regarding their HC position, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones.

In his second season with the Bills, Brady has not interviewed for an NFL HC job since 2021. That offseason brought a host of interviews for the former Panthers OC. The Eagles, Chargers, Jets, Texans and Falcons met with Brady about HC vacancies. After firing the coach they hired during that cycle (Arthur Smith), the Falcons want to check in on Brady once again.

The Bills hired Brady, 34, as quarterbacks coach in 2022, doing so after they promoted Ken Dorsey to OC to replace Brian Daboll. Dorsey’s stretch did produce impressive statistics, and the Bills went 13-3 last season — one that saw a game removed from their schedule following Damar Hamlin‘s life-threatening injury. But Buffalo flamed out in the divisional round and began this season making mistakes that pushed this year’s team to the wild-card fringe. This led to the Bills firing Dorsey and promoting Brady in November.

While the offensive statistics have not spiked under Brady, the Bills are 6-1 in his OC tenure — with the loss featuring Josh Allen accounting for 420 yards against the Eagles. The team has also leaned more on James Cook, who finished with 1,567 scrimmage yards — the most by a Buffalo running back since LeSean McCoy in 2017.

A former pass-game coordinator with LSU’s unbeaten 2019 national championship team, Brady spent two seasons as Panthers OC before being fired during the 2021 campaign.

The Falcons have already gone far down the road with Bill Belichick. The NFL’s second-winningest coach is meeting with team brass this weekend, making it possible the team will not get to all of its interviews requested. Courtesy of PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker, here is how Atlanta’s candidate list looks as of Friday afternoon:

Latest On Bills HC Sean McDermott, GM Brandon Beane

The Bills entered the 2023 season on the short list of Super Bowl favorites, but Buffalo currently sports a 5-5 record and has a difficult schedule over the remainder of the campaign. With the team already having moved on from offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, it is fair to wonder if even more significant changes could be on the horizon.

Both Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post and Dianna Russini of The Athletic (subscription required) used the terms “scapegoat” and “scapegoating” when describing Dorsey’s recent dismissal. As Russini writes, head coach Sean McDermott told reporters that he fired Dorsey following the Bills’ narrow loss to the Broncos last week because he felt his team could not walk back into the locker room without knowing something had changed. That is about as blunt as a coach will be when it comes to publicly assigning blame, and since the team has bid adieu to both of its top coordinators in less than a year — longtime defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier stepped away in February — the pressure is squarely on McDermott to right the ship (interestingly, La Canfora said the Frazier situation was fueled by panic-stricken scapegoating, which suggests that his exit was not entirely voluntary, as had been presumed).

Scapegoat or not, Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News believes it was the right call to part ways with Dorsey, whose scheme lacked creativity and whose play-calling had become predictable in Skurski’s eyes. That said, while Skurski believes McDermott will be on the hot seat if the Bills miss the playoffs, he does not believe McDermott will be fired. After all, Buffalo snapped its 17-year playoff drought in McDermott’s first season at the helm in 2017, and McDermott has posted a 67-40 regular season record while failing to qualify for the postseason field just once from 2017-22. La Canfora also hears from rival execs that McDermott has built up enough goodwill to survive one disappointing campaign.

However, additional staff shakeups should be expected. McDermott took over defensive play-calling duties in the wake of Frazier’s departure, and the Bills have slipped from sixth in the league in total defense in 2022 to 17th in 2023. While injuries have certainly played a major role in that regression, McDermott’s failed decision to call an all-out blitz in the Denver loss and the subsequent special teams snafu that allowed the Broncos a second chance at the game-winning field goal support one rival GM’s belief — as articulated to La Canfora — that Bills ownership will not allow McDermott to continue as de facto DC and defensive play-caller in 2024.

That same general manager does not believe that the Buffalo offense will find its footing under interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The GM said Brady’s scheme was proven to be a flawed one during his brief stint as OC with the Panthers, though Albert Breer of reports that most people within Carolina’s organization saw Brady as an imaginative and detail-oriented coach, and that Brady’s ouster was fueled primarily by a personality clash with then-head coach Matt Rhule. Still, should the Bills’ offense falter under Brady’s stewardship, Skurski believes McDermott will also be looking for a new offensive coordinator in the offseason.

GM Brandon Beane, who came to Buffalo alongside McDermott in 2017, also seems like a good bet to keep his job, as Skurski suggests. While La Canfora reports that team ownership is getting a bit restless, it should be noted that both Beane and McDermott were handed thru-2027 extensions earlier this year. Their contract situations and their track records may afford them the chance to return the Bills to powerhouse status, but if Buffalo misses the playoffs in 2023 and does not exhibit marked improvement in 2024, Beane and McDermott will likely be looking for new employment.

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