Thad Lewis

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

Thad Lewis, John Van Dam To Interview For Bucs’ OC Job

9:51am: After the team lost a host of staffers on offense over the past few days, two in-house candidates for the play-calling post exist. The Bucs are also meeting with tight ends coach John Van Dam for the OC position, CBS Sports Jonathan Jones notes. This will be Van Dam’s first OC interview.

Van Dam has been with the Bucs longer than Lewis, arriving as an Arians hire back in 2019. The Bucs promoted Van Dam from the quality control level in 2021, making him assistant tight ends coach ahead of what turned out to be Rob Gronkowski‘s final season. Van Dam moved up to his current position in 2022, overseeing the development of draftees Cade Otton and Ko Kieft.

9:11am: A number of teams have reached out to Thad Lewis about an OC role. The young assistant’s current team is now part of that mix. Amid a widespread search to replace Dave Canales, the Buccaneers have circled back to Lewis.

Lewis’ interview for the Tampa Bay OC post will take place Wednesday, according to’s Ian Rapoport. The Bucs, who employ Lewis as their quarterbacks coach, join the Bills, Bengals, Titans and Raiders as teams to have reached out to Lewis about their OC position.

When Canales-to-Carolina buzz began to intensify, Lewis came up as a natural candidate to take over. The former quarterback has been with the Bucs for the past three seasons, beginning as assistant wide receivers coach under Bruce Arians before being moved to work with QBs last year.

Although Lewis did not have a chance to coach Tom Brady, Baker Mayfield‘s 2023 showing has understandably generated interest here. The Bengals and Bills promoted candidates internally, while the Raiders and Titans are still looking. Lewis, 36, having just one season coaching QBs puts him on the lighter end in terms of ideal experience. But Mayfield bouncing back after a woeful 2022 in Carolina should give Lewis a quality platform toward being a serious candidate to move up the ladder in Tampa.

The Bucs have already lost three key staffers on offense, seeing Canales take wide receivers coach Brad Idzik, run-game coordinator Harold Goodwin and O-line coach Joe Gilbert with him to Charlotte. Lewis following Canales and his new Panthers assistants out the door would stand to drive a full-on reboot on that side of the ball. Seeing as Mayfield showed the form that once generated extension rumors in Cleveland, losing Lewis as well might be counterproductive for a Bucs team interested in a second contract with the quarterback.

Courtesy of PFR’s Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker, here is how the Bucs’ process looks as of Wednesday morning:

Buccaneers QBs Coach Thad Lewis Receiving Interest For OC; Bills, Raiders First To Reach Out

TODAY, 8:40pm: Lewis has secured an interview, as the former QB met with the Titans today about their offensive coordinator vacancy, according to ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin.

SATURDAY, 3:35pm: The Buccaneers made the playoffs this year partially thanks to some improvements to a re-tooled offense with a new starting quarterback in Baker Mayfield getting coached up by a new offensive coordinator in Dave Canales and quarterbacks coach in Thad Lewis. The success seen in Tampa Bay will result in the team having to re-tool once more. With Canales departing to become head coach of the Panthers, Lewis will see opportunities for offensive coordinator jobs moving forward.

The first of those opportunities will come in the form of an interview with the Bills, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Bills are looking to replace Ken Dorsey after firing the play-caller midseason this year. After firing Dorsey, the team went on to win six of their final seven games under the play-calls of quarterbacks coach Joe Brady, with their only loss coming in overtime to the Eagles. After failing to win the race for the Falcons’ head job, Brady will interview for the Bills’ full-time offensive coordinator gig, competing with Lewis.

Lewis has also had an interview requested by the Raiders to be the new coordinator under new head coach Antonio Pierce, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. If Lewis were to interview, he would join a field of five candidates that has been reduced from seven due to recent hires. There have also been rumors that Lewis could follow Canales to Carolina.

Lewis has risen quickly in NFL circles. After spending two years as an offensive analyst at UCLA, Lewis joined the Buccaneers as an intern in 2020. He was promoted to assistant wide receivers coach before earning his current position. After only four years in the NFL, Lewis is on the cusp of reaching one of the heights of offensive coaching.

Dave Canales Drawing Strong Interest For Panthers’ HC Job; Bucs To Consider Promoting Thad Lewis

The Panthers and Commanders have each been linked to placing Ben Johnson as their top HC candidate. Considering Carolina’s situation and David Tepper‘s recent actions, the team would seemingly need to extend a big payout to win a tiebreaker. In the event Johnson again spurns Carolina, the team looks to have another offensive staffer in mind.

Long connected to once again seeking an offense-oriented head coach, the Panthers have been impressed with Buccaneers OC Dave Canales, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson, who indicates he is a serious contender to become the next Panthers HC. Canales is set for a second interview for the Carolina job.

The NFC’s second divisional-round matchup pitted two ascending OCs against one another, and while Johnson’s Lions won, Baker Mayfield‘s bounce-back season undeniably helped Canales’ stock. Canales was the Seahawks’ quarterbacks coach in 2022, overseeing Geno Smith‘s shocking resurgence that secured him Comeback Player of the Year honors. Mayfield subsequently completed a turnaround season in Tampa, rising from last in QBR in 2022 to moving the Bucs — their substantial 2023 dead money notwithstanding — to the divisional round.

Mayfield shredded a reeling Eagles defense in the Bucs’ wild-card rout and is now firmly on the radar for an extension. It would be a blow for the Bucs to lose Canales; the rookie OC, though, is only in contention for one of the HC positions. The Seahawks, Chargers and Commanders have not met with the 42-year-old staffer. Neither did the Raiders, Patriots or Titans. It seems some level of doubt exists on Canales, with Johnson being a more popular candidate after two years as Lions OC.

The Panthers have DC Ejiro Evero and Rams DC Raheem Morris joining Canales in being set for second interviews. Johnson interviewed with the team over the weekend; as of now, no second interview is scheduled. The Commanders, who are scheduling a second Johnson meeting, boast a superior outlook compared to the Panthers presently. They are free of Dan Snyder and hold the No. 2 overall pick (whereas the Panthers traded the No. 1 choice to the Bears) to go with the NFL’s most cap space. But Tepper is the NFL’s second-richest owner, giving Carolina an advantage on that front.

If Canales lands the Carolina job, Tampa Bay may look in-house to replace him. QBs coach Thad Lewis will be considered for the post in that event,’s Adam Caplan notes. A Bruce Arians hire, Lewis just finished his first season as the Bucs’ QBs coach. He spent the 2021 and ’22 seasons as the team’s assistant wide receivers coach, but the ex-NFL QB’s work with Mayfield does not look to have gone unnoticed. Though, no team has yet reached out about an OC interview.

NFC South Notes: Panthers, Lombardi, Bucs

Drawing a few negative headlines during his five-year run as Panthers owner, David Tepper has seen his team continue a years-long search for a quality quarterback. Carolina will be at it again this offseason. Although Tepper’s multi-offseason push for Deshaun Watson stalled near the end zone, the Panthers came close to acquiring Matthew Stafford in 2021. After negotiations with Lions GM Brad Holmes, team brass left the Senior Bowl convinced it would land the longtime Detroit QB. The Rams subsequently swooped in, and Joe Person of The Athletic notes Tepper mandated his staff slow down on Stafford due to wanting more information on his injury history (subscription required).

At that point, Stafford had only missed games in one of the previous 10 seasons. Though, the rocket-armed QB had played through a host of injuries during his 12-year Lions run. This delay, however, helped allow the Rams time to formulate a trade package that ended up sending the talented QB to Los Angeles and Jared Goff to Detroit. This could have been a moot point, with Stafford indicating he did not want to play for the Panthers, but Carolina did offer its first-round pick (No. 8 overall) and more for a passer without a no-trade clause. The Panthers sent three picks for Sam Darnold soon after. Darnold is a few weeks from free agency.

Here is the latest from the NFC South:

  • Frank Reich has praised Tepper for his willingness to spend for assistant coach talent. This included what looks to have become a defensive coordinator bidding war. Shortly after the Broncos let Ejiro Evero out of his contract, the hot HC candidate drew interest from the Panthers and Vikings. Carolina outbid Minnesota to land the defensive coordinator, Person adds. The Panthers have also added ex-HCs Jim Caldwell and Dom Capers, along with Josh McCown, to Reich’s staff.
  • Broncos ownership could also outmuscle teams for assistants. It is not known what kind of interest Joe Lombardi drew, but the new Denver assistant also drew interest from the Saints, Jeff Duncan of tweets. The two-year Chargers OC spent 12 years under Payton in New Orleans. The Saints are keeping Broncos OC candidate Ronald Curry on staff as QBs coach, but they were unable to lure Lombardi back to town. Lombardi is set for a coordinator-type role in Denver.
  • The Buccaneers will fill their quarterbacks coach post by promoting former NFL passer Thad Lewis, in news reported by Seahawks QB Geno Smith (Twitter link). Lewis and Smith played against each other as Miami high schoolers and have remained close; the free agent-to-be clarified (via Twitter) this was the reason — not a sudden interest in joining the Bucs — for his excitement. The Bucs employed Lewis as their assistant wide receivers coach over the past two years, with the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud adding Bruce Arians had visions of Lewis as a future offensive coordinator (Twitter link). Smith and the Seahawks have begun negotiations.
  • Tampa Bay hired Dave Canales as OC, from Seattle’s staff, to help fix its league-worst rushing attack. Leonard Fournette did not make the same impact he had in 2021. While the Bucs signed Fournette to a three-year, $21MM deal in March 2022, the running back has changed agents (Twitter link). The seventh-year running back is now with GSE Worldwide.
  • North Carolina’s tight ends coach, John Lilly will be making an NFL move in the same state. The Panthers will keep Lilly in North Carolina, bringing him in to coach their tight ends, Person tweets. Lilly, who worked on the 2019 Browns’ staff, overlapped at Georgia with new Panthers OC Thomas Brown in 2015. He has 30-plus years’ experience at the college and pro levels.
  • Former Colts staffer Brian Decker will follow Frank Reich to Carolina. The Panthers announced Decker is now the team’s vice president of development, a role Darin Gantt of notes will involve evaluating and developing players and coaches. A 22-year military veteran, Decker joined the Colts in 2017 and was in on the interviews that produced Reich’s hire.

Buccaneers Officially Add A.Q. Shipley, Thad Lewis To Coaching Staff

The Buccaneers have officially added two more popular names to their coaching staff. James Palmer of NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed Thaddeus Lewis as assistant wide receivers coach and A.Q. Shipley as an offensive assistant.

Lewis was kind of, sort of on the Buccaneers coaching staff in 2020; he served as as “assistant to the offense” via the Bill Walsh Coaching Fellow program. According to the team website, he’d spend time catching for the quarterbacks, and he’d work with the receivers on reacting to the QBs’ cues. He’ll now have an official role in Tampa Bay, filling the gig that was previously held by Antwaan Randle El.

Following a successful collegiate career at Duke, Lewis put together a seven-year NFL career as a quarterback. He only saw time in seven games (six starts), throwing for 1,296 yards and five touchdowns. Following his playing career, Lewis worked under Chip Kelly at UCLA during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Shipley managed to stick around the NFL for a decade despite being a seventh-round pick. The offensive lineman was a favorite of Bruce Arians, having played with the coach in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Arizona. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Shipley joined the Buccaneers last offseason, but a spinal cord injury ultimately finished his career in November.

Shipley stuck around the organization as an unofficial coach for the remainder of the 2020 campaign, and he’ll now have an official role heading into 2021.

Coaching Notes: Kitchens, 49ers, Bucs

Freddie Kitchens will see his role expand in New York. The Giants are promoting the former Browns HC from tight ends coach to senior offensive assistant, according to’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). Earlier this month, we heard the Giants may be eyeing more responsibility for Kitchens. Derek Dooley, who received interest from other teams, will take over as the Giants’ tight ends coach, Raanan adds. Previously the Mizzou offensive coordinator, Dooley joined Joe Judge‘s staff last year. The Giants used Kitchens as their interim play-caller while Jason Garrett battled COVID-19 last season and will lean on him more in 2021.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • To replace Antwaan Randle El on their coaching staff, the Buccaneers will also turn to a recently retired quarterback. Thad Lewis will rise from intern to offensive assistant on Bruce Arians‘ staff, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Randle El left to become the Lions’ wide receivers coach. Lewis bounced around the NFL for nearly eight years; he was most recently with the Ravens in 2017.
  • A day after hiring Jay Valai as cornerbacks coach, the Eagles will lose him. Alabama will instead hire Valai, according to’s Adam Rittenberg (on Twitter). Announced as one of the Eagles’ hires earlier this week, Valai will join former Texans HC Bill O’Brien at Alabama. Valai will replace Karl Scott as the Crimson Tide’s cornerbacks coach. Scott joined the Vikings’ staff this week.
  • Hired recently after a one-year stint as Lions DC, Cory Undlin will serve as the 49ers‘ secondary coach and defensive passing-game specialist. Fellow former DC James Bettcher will be a senior defensive assistant and the team’s run-game overseer on that side of the ball. The 49ers are promoting Darryl Tapp to assistant defensive line coach and hiring former wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and Klay Kubiak as quality control assistants. Klay is one of Gary Kubiak‘s sons. Even after Gary’s retirement, there are still three Kubiaks in the NFL — Klay and brothers Klint (the new Vikings OC) and Klein (a Cowboys scout). Hankerson also has a history with Kyle Shanahan, having played with Washington from 2011-13.
  • The Bengals hired Justin Hill as running backs coach. Hill will come to Cincinnati from the college ranks, having spent the past six seasons as Tulsa’s running backs coach. This will be his first NFL job. The Bengals are also promoting former NFL wideout Troy Walters to receivers coach. Walters served as Cincy’s assistant wideouts coach last season, working under Bob Bicknell.
  • Robert Saleh made an interesting hire recently. The new Jets HC added Steve Scarnecchia as his chief of staff, per Brian Costello of the New York Daily News. The son of longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, Steve spent the past six years as the Falcons’ assistant to the head coach. Steve Scarnecchia was part of both the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, working in the team’s video department from 2001-04, and was the Broncos staffer whose filming of a 49ers walkthrough in 2010 led to Josh McDaniels‘ firing in Denver. The younger Scarnecchia will accompany new Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich in moving from Atlanta to New York.

Workout Notes: Patriots, Jets, Bills

The Patriots auditioned some players of note this week, including linebacker Akeem Ayers, quarterback Thad Lewis, and wide receiver Jeremy Ross (Twitter link via Mike Reiss of

Ayers has some history with New England after playing on their 2014 Super Bowl championship team. Last year, Ayers appeared in all 16 games for Indianapolis and recorded two sacks.

Linebackers Nicholas Grigsby and Antwione Williams also showed their stuff for the Pats.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s other workouts from around the NFL:

Ravens Cut Jeremy Zuttah

The Ravens have released offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah and quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, according to Adam Schefter of (Twitter link). Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro has also that he’s been waived (Twitter link).Jeremy Zuttah (Vertical)

Zuttah, 31, has had an eventful offseason, as Baltimore originally dealt him to the 49ers earlier this year. Unable to stick on the roster in San Francisco, Zuttah re-signed with the Ravens last month after the club suffered a multitude of injuries along the offensive line. The Colts were previously interested in Zuttah, who started all 16 games a season ago, so Indianapolis could potentially circle back to Zuttah now that’s available again.

Lewis and Dixon, meanwhile, were never expected to play large parts for the Ravens in 2016. With Joe Flacco on the mend, Baltimore will roll with Ryan Mallett as their No. 2 quarterback. Taliaferro wasn’t able to crack the roster despite the Ravens having lost fellow back Kenneth Dixon for the year.

Ravens Sign QB Thad Lewis

The Ravens announced that they have signed free agent quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. To make room, fellow QB Dustin Vaughan has been shown the door. Thad Lewis (vertical)

Vaughan was hoping to make the cut as a third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and primary backup Ryan Mallett. But, given Flacco’s back injury and Mallett’s struggles in practice, the Ravens are taking an especially look at their reserves. Vaughan apparently didn’t do enough to practice to assert his spot, prompting the team to look elsewhere.

Lewis, 32, signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last year, but a torn ACL ended his season before it could begin. The good news is that Lewis was medically cleared in May and he was able to hit the workout circuit starting in late July. An audition for the Rams did not yield a deal, but the Ravens apparently believe that he is 100% healthy and ready to contribute. It seems likely that the Ravens will allow Lewis to compete with Mallett for the QB2 role, though it could be challenging for him with only a few weeks to go before the start of the season.

The signing of Lewis may not sit well with those around football who were hoping the Ravens would sign Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is coming off of a decent season in which he spearheaded a less-than-decent offense. Lewis, meanwhile, hasn’t seen the field since 2013.