Zac Robinson

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

Patriots To Conduct Second OC Interview With Rams’ Nick Caley

JANUARY 28: With Robinson now off the market, the Patriots are narrowing their OC search. Per Breer, Caley is flying from Los Angeles for a second interview with the club. Joining Caley is fellow Rams staffer Jeremy Springer, who will sit for a second interview for the Pats’ ST coordinator position. The two men will have dinner with New England brass tonight and will interview tomorrow.

JANUARY 21, 11:25am: Sean McVay‘s staff continues to generate interest; the Patriots are now scheduled to meet with two Rams assistants. Zac Robinson will also interview for the job, per’s Albert Breer, who notes the Robinson-Patriots meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. Robinson has been the Rams’ QBs coach for the past two seasons.

The Patriots have company with Robinson. The Bears and Saints have sent out requests to meet with the 37-year-old assistant, whom the Rams retained last year despite shuffling their coaching staff. If neither Caley nor Robinson lands a job, each is expected back in L.A. McVay said recently the team is not planning to shake up its staff this year.

8:18am: For a second straight year, Nick Caley is set to interview for the Patriots’ offensive coordinator post. A failure to land this gig in 2023 led Caley to the Rams, but with Bill O’Brien returning to the college ranks, the job is open again.

Jerod Mayo still has the former Patriots assistant on his radar, with’s Adam Schefter indicating Caley will interview for the position Monday. Caley, 40, spent this season as the Rams’ tight ends coach, the same title he held in New England previously. O’Brien became OC at Ohio State this week; he was far from certain to stay on with the Patriots under Mayo.

Caley coached Pats tight ends from 2017-22 and spent eight years in New England, arriving back in 2015. This timing gave Caley two Super Bowl rings and provided him an opportunity to work with Rob Gronkowski during his final years with the team. The Patriots’ view of Caley back in 2022 led to a responsibility increase following Josh McDaniels‘ Las Vegas exit, but they passed on him for O’Brien — a staffer Robert Kraft helped bring back to Foxborough.

Both the Jets and Texans also met with Caley about their OC post last year as well, but each team went with familiarity. The Jets were able to convince Aaron Rodgers to put off retirement by hiring Nathaniel Hackett, a move that led Mike LaFleur to Los Angeles, and DeMeco Ryans brought ex-49ers assistant Bobby Slowik with him to Houston. Slowik’s performance in his first season calling plays could well open the Houston OC gig once again, as HC interest has come his way.

This would obviously be a major opportunity for Caley, who is the Pats’ first known OC interview during this cycle. With O’Brien leaving, the team will feature a different play-caller for a fourth straight season.

Falcons Hire Zac Robinson As OC

With Raheem Morris set to make the move from Los Angeles to Atlanta, at least one Rams staffer will join him. The Falcons are hiring Rams QBs coach/passing game coordinator Zac Robinson as offensive coordinator, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. This agreement will include a three-year contract, SI’s Albert Breer adds.

As Rapoport unsurprisingly notes, Robinson represented Morris’ top choice for the position. The latter took the head coaching position in Atlanta in a reunion with his former team. Now, he will bring at least one familiar face along with him, bringing an end to Robinson’s busy involvement in this year’s coordinator hiring cycle.

The 37-year-old was connected to several OC openings around the league, making him a logical candidate to depart Sean McVay‘s staff. Robinson received at least an interview request from six teams looking for a new OC, despite the fact he has no experience at that role during his coaching career.

Robinson had a brief NFL playing career as a quarterback, but he has been with the Rams as a coach since 2019. He served as assistant quarterbacks coach in two different seasons, while working with the team’s wide receivers in between. Over the past two years, he held the title of QBs coach but also passing game coordinator, making him an integral part of the Rams’ offensive staff. Los Angeles in general and quarterback Matthew Stafford in particular experienced a rebound with respect to health and productivity in 2023. The team put up strong showings in total and scoring offense while ranking 10th in passing yards per game (239).

Robinson will take the place of Dave Ragone, who had served as the Falcons’ non-play-calling OC during Arthur Smith‘s head coaching tenure. The Falcons left plenty to be desired during their time at the helm, never finishing better than 17th in scoring while posting a 7-10 record each year. Ragone has not taken a position elsewhere, but he will be in line to do so now with Morris and Robinson in the fold.

Atlanta had requested an interview with LSU’s Cortez Hankton earlier today, but the team has instead moved quickly in tapping Robinson for the gig. The latter has drawn praise as another up-and-coming offensive mind under McVay, and he will face a significant challenge upon arrival with the Falcons. The team boasts recent top-10 picks at the tight end, receiver and running back positions, as well as a strong offensive line. As was made clear during the 2023 campaign, however, quarterback represents a significant roster hole.

The Falcons have both 2022 third-rounder Desmond Ridder and veteran Taylor Heinicke under contract for next year, but an addition should be expected after the team’s struggles under center in 2023. Regardless of who is in place at the position next year, Robinson will be tasked with overseeing an improvement in efficiency through the air in particular. Morris has experience on both sides of the ball, but the bulk of his NFL work has come on defense, meaning Robinson could have a notable degree of autonomy despite his inexperience.

Already in need of a new DC to replace Morris, the Rams will now need to conduct a search for an internal candidate or an outside hire to take on Robinson’s duties. While that process will be worth watching, the Falcons have immediately filled a significant vacancy on their staff.

Buccaneers Arranging OC Interviews With Kellen Moore, Zac Robinson, Ken Dorsey, Brian Johnson

Tampa Bay experienced a batter-than-expected season on offense with first-year coordinator Dave Canales in charge of the unit. He has departed to become head coach of the Panthers, however, leaving the Buccaneers in need of a new OC for the second straight year.

A list of targets has begun to emerge. Tampa will speak with Chargers OC Kellen Moore on Monday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports. Colleague Ian Rapoport adds that Rams QBs coach Zac Robinson has received a Bucs interview request. The team also plans to speak with ex-Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who notes his Tampa interview will take place next week. Lastly, Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports ousted Eagles OC Brian Johnson has a Buccaneers interview lined up.

Moore’s future with the Chargers has not yet been determined, but with Jim Harbaugh now in place, he is likely to bring his own assistants aboard. That could lead to a number of opportunities for Moore, who joined L.A.’s staff last offseason after a successful run with the Cowboys. The 34-year-old has also been connected to the Browns and Eagles during this year’s hiring cycle, so he could have a few options to choose from in the event he does wind up in a new home for the second offseason in a row.

Robinson has been one of the hottest coordinator candidates in 2024. He has interviewed three times so far, and he has received a request from an additional three teams including today’s slip from Tampa Bay. Robinson, 37, has been with the Rams since 2019, spending much of his time working with the team’s quarterbacks. For each of the past two seasons, he has held the additional title of passing game coordinator. Staffers often make the jump from that combination of roles to a coordinator gig, and Robinson doing the same would leave a signficant vacancy for Sean McVay to fill.

Dorsey saw his run with the Bills come to an end midway through the 2023 season. Buffalo’s offense went in a different direction under interim OC Joe Brady, whose success down the stretch has him in consideration for the full-time position. Still, Dorsey is on the radar for a new coordinator opportunity right away, having interviewed with the Browns. The 42-year-old’s Buffalo stint was his only NFL coordinator position to date, but he has extensive experience as a QBs coach.

Johnson was promoted to OC of the Eagles last year, and his familiarity with Jalen Hurts and the team’s offense led to signficant expectations despite Shane Steichen‘s departure. Earlier in the year, Philadelphia performed well in a number of areas, and the team put up solid overall numbers in several offensive categories. As was the case on defense, however, things took a turn for the worse late in the year through the wild-card round of the postseason. Johnson was dismissed as part of the Eagles’ staff overhaul, but he took head coaching interviews before that, and he is also on the OC radar.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield enjoyed a productive campaign under Canales, and keeping the former in place will be a key offseason priority for Tampa Bay. One of the most important factors in replicating Mayfield’s success will of course be the latter’s replacement, and the Bucs could have competition for some of the most in-demand candidates. Their search will start to take shape in the coming days.

Falcons Hire Raheem Morris As HC

The only team to interview Bill Belichick this month, the Falcons are heading in a different direction. The team is closing in on hiring Raheem Morris as its next head coach,’s Tom Pelissero reports.’s Adam Schefter reports the Falcons plan to make the hire.

This comes after CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reported the Rams’ defensive coordinator impressed during his second interview this week. Morris had a Seahawks interview scheduled; this Falcons hire will nix that. Morris spent six seasons in Atlanta prior to moving to Los Angeles, finishing that Falcons tenure as interim HC replacing Dan Quinn. The Rams will pick up third-round picks in 2024 and 2025 for seeing a minority assistant hired as a head coach.

[RELATED: Latest On Falcons’ Leadership Structure]

While Belichick overshadowed this search, the Falcons conducted a wide-ranging process to replace Arthur Smith. The team met with Mike Vrabel on Wednesday and conducted second interviews with Panthers DC Ejiro Evero and Texans OC Bobby Slowik. The Falcons also met with Ben Johnson, Aaron Glenn, Anthony Weaver and Mike Macdonald virtually, but due to the Lions and Ravens staffers being tied to teams in the conference championship round, Atlanta could not meet in-person with those candidates this week. The NFC South franchise will move forward with Morris.

The Belichick piece is obviously significant here, as this represented the longtime Patriots leader’s most likely landing spot, but this also provides a true second chance for Morris. Now 47, Morris was hired as Buccaneers HC back in 2009 at just 32. Morris lasted three years as Tampa Bay’s HC but did not prove ready for the job. (Although the 2010 Bucs won 10 games, Morris went 17-31 in Tampa.) After leaving the Falcons on good terms for L.A. in 2021, Morris collected a Super Bowl ring. Sean McVay and Rams brass offered endless praise for Morris, who will become the latest in a line of Rams staffers to land promotions elsewhere.

Another Rams piece lingers here, too. Zac Robinson, McVay’s QBs coach, has emerged as a lead candidate to follow Morris and become the Falcons’ next OC, Jones reports. This would be interesting due to the volume of interview requests in Robinson’s inbox. Robinson has interviewed with the Patriots, Saints and Bears and received requests to meet with the Steelers and Raiders. After the Bengals took Dan Pitcher off the board Wednesday, Robinson following Morris to Georgia would further deplete the OC candidate pool.

Arthur Blank targeted Belichick early, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, but some internal persuasion looks to have swayed the owner. While Belichick’s accomplishments lap every other candidate in this year’s cycle, Morris also checks the experience box Blank sought — now becoming the first retread HC hire in the owner’s 22-year run — due to his Tampa Bay tenure and 2020 stay as the Atlanta interim boss.’s Albert Breer indicated this week the non-Blank sect of Falcons brass may not have been as interested in Belichick, and it is worth wondering if the prospect of the six-time Super Bowl champion HC shaking up Atlanta’s power structure played a role in the organization passing.

Belichick, 71, is five years older than anyone ever hired to be a full-time NFL head coach. The Bucs’ 2019 Bruce Arians hire still leads the way here, and this offseason would represent one of the most interesting carousels in league history if it leaves Belichick without a chair. Reports last week pegged Belichick — the first coach to meet with the Falcons twice — as the clear favorite, to the point he had the right of first refusal and was in a way interviewing the Falcons about a fit. As the days passed since Belichick’s Atlanta meeting, it started to look like Belichick was losing ground. The Falcons ended up meeting with 14 candidates.

Throughout Belichick’s Patriots tenure, he held personnel power. The Falcons had Blank and CEO Rich McKay running this search, but the team still has GM Terry Fontenot in place. Fontenot arrived as Morris exited in 2021; the two are now set to work together. The prospect of Belichick ultimately answering to McKay could have also been a red flag for the legendary HC, and Fontenot’s role would likely have been impacted by a Belichick hire. The Falcons also passing on Belichick bringing back a host of ex-Patriot staffers, including the likes of Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, also could have served as a dealbreaker for the team.

After Morris and Dave Canales (Panthers) agreed to terms in the NFC South today, only two teams — the Commanders and Seahawks — are looking for HCs. Neither have met with Belichick, and neither is believed to be interested. Rumblings about teams with HC vacancies being open to Belichick have surfaced, but unless a team were to fire its coach and create a late vacancy, it is looking like the 2024 season will be the first without Belichick in a head coaching role since 1999.

Belichick has been either a head coach or an assistant in the NFL each year since 1975. Beginning with his native Baltimore Colts, Belichick initially landed on the HC radar after winning two Super Bowls as Giants defensive coordinator. A Browns partnership in the early ’90s did not produce consistent success, but after Belichick teamed again with Bill Parcells with the Patriots and Jets later in the decade, Robert Kraft brought him back as head coach. That union (with a heavy assist from Tom Brady) produced one of the great HC runs in sports history, but the Pats have moved on after a 4-13 season, hiring heir apparent Jerod Mayo.

Will Belichick — 14 wins shy of Don Shula‘s all-time record — be willing to take an assistant job somewhere to continue his career? Belichick made a public comment indicating a willingness to relinquish authority in New England, but it worth wondering if other teams were leery about giving him the keys after recent struggles on the GM front in Foxborough. This Morris hire represents good news for Fontenot, who was tasked with a rebuild upon being hired in 2021. He appears set to continue that work with a second head coach.

The Falcons gave Morris the interim job in October 2020; he went 4-7 in that span, finishing off a 4-12 season for the team. Atlanta has since finished 7-10 in each of the past three seasons, with ugly late-season losses ending Smith’s run. In Morris, the Falcons have a familiar face who was part of Quinn’s Super Bowl LI staff. Morris also showed versatility during his first Atlanta stint, being the rare coach to work on both sides of the ball for the same franchise. The Falcons employed Morris as their wide receivers coach from 2016-19, shifting him to defensive coordinator in 2020.

Morris replaced Brandon Staley as Rams DC and served as the top defensive voice in the building for a Super Bowl champion. Riding an Aaron DonaldVon MillerJalen Ramsey veteran nucleus, Morris helped that defense crest at the right time. That said, the Rams ranked first in scoring and total defense under Staley in 2020; they never placed higher than 15th in either category under Morris. But the latter also displayed his coaching acumen this year, seeing several Super Bowl pieces stripped from the roster. The Rams still found their way back to the playoffs, with third-rounders Kobie Turner and Byron Young providing vital Donald support during what was initially labeled a rebuilding season.

It is still interesting the Falcons hired a Quinn staffer to be their next HC, and the Morris move also marks new territory in modern NFL history. Although 12 teams have elevated interim HCs to the full-time post in the 21st century, this is the only post-2000 occurrence of a team bringing back its interim leader after he subsequently coached elsewhere.

Morris will be tasked with leading a team Fontenot has indeed upgraded but one that appears in need at quarterback. The Falcons are expected to pursue an upgrade on Desmond Ridder, and Morris will be expected to use his defensive background to enhance that unit’s capabilities as well. The Falcons have not made the playoffs since 2017; they will bet on Morris over Belichick to become a better long-term leader.

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, 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.

Kliff Kingsbury, Marcus Brady, Zac Robinson On Bears’ OC Radar

Kliff Kingsbury spent this season out of the NFL, returning to the college ranks after his Cardinals ouster. The Bears are interested in gauging his credentials for their newly vacated offensive coordinator gig.

The USC assistant is expected to interview for the Chicago opening, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets. Kingsbury has never been an NFL coordinator, though he spent four seasons as the Cards’ HC. Additionally, the Bears requested an OC meeting with Eagles assistant Marcus Brady, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Brady spent two seasons as Colts OC under Frank Reich.

With Caleb Williams potentially Chicago-bound, the Kingsbury fit would certainly be interesting. Kingsbury joined Lincoln Riley’s staff ahead of Williams’ final Trojans season, serving as the Pac-12 program’s quarterbacks coach. The familiarity gained would be of interest to a Bears team — perhaps even as an additional Williams scouting mission.

Although Kingsbury is the bigger name here, Brady and Matt Eberflus have more history. Both were assistants under Reich from 2018-21. The 2021 season involved Brady, who replaced Nick Sirianni as Indianapolis’ OC, and Eberflus in place as Reich’s coordinators.

The Reich coaching tree has taken a hit this year, seeing as Reich himself has been fired during the past two seasons and Sirianni’s Eagles completing one of the most shocking freefalls in recent memory. But Eberflus received a third year with the Bears, showing improvement down the stretch. He should be expected to meet with Brady, who spent this season as a senior offensive assistant in Philly. Brady has not yet called plays in the NFL, with Reich holding that responsibility throughout his Colts tenure.

Kingsbury, 43, guided a Cardinals team down J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins to the playoffs in 2021. But cracks in Arizona’s foundation became glaringly apparent a year later. Kingsbury-Kyler Murray discord emerged, and the Cardinals’ offense — already reliant on shorter passes — took a step back in a 4-13 campaign that ended with Murray on the shelf with a torn ACL and Kingsbury fired months after he had inked an extension. The Cards ranked 21st offensively in 2022 but finished 13th and 11th in 2020 and ’21, respectively. Kingsbury was believed to be rejecting OC meetings last year, though he did end up in Houston to discuss the Texans’ play-calling job that went to Bobby Slowik.

Returning to the college level, Kingsbury coached Williams to another strong season. Although Williams was not on the Heisman radar in 2023, he topped his Heisman-year numbers in yards per attempt and completion percentage. The Trojans also finished third in scoring nationally, matching their place from 2022.

Additionally, the Bears scheduled an OC interview with Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson,’s Albert Breer tweets. Robinson, 37, has been on Sean 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.

The Bears, who essentially have a Williams-or-Justin Fields decision looming, is Kingsbury’s first connection to another NFL job. Here is how their OC chase looks so far:

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Thomas Brown, offensive coordinator (Panthers): To interview
  • Liam Coen, offensive coordinator (Kentucky): To interview
  • Kliff Kingsbury, quarterbacks coach (USC): To interview
  • Greg Olson, quarterbacks coach (Seahawks): Interviewed 1/12
  • Zac Robinson, quarterbacks coach (Rams): Interviewed 1/18
  • Greg Roman, former offensive coordinator (Ravens): To interview
  • Shane Waldron, offensive coordinator (Seahawks): Interview requested

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’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