On Tuesday afternoon, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan officially departed Ohio to take on a new challenge as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans. It is always a bittersweet moment to see the departure of excellent staff: you obviously worry whether the inevitable change is good or bad but there is also a certain degree of hope and fear involved. Cincinnati has become one of the most dominant offensive units in the NFL and no one wants that to change. Callahan did an excellent job in Cincinnati but it is time to turn the page to a new chapter on the offensive side of the ball.
Bengals to Choose New Offensive Coordinator
After the departure of Callahan, fans will be holding their breath to see who replaces him as the first lieutenant to Head Coach Zac Taylor. After struggling to find willing candidates to follow him to a cellar dweller in 2019, Taylor’s ability to turn this Cincinnati franchise around has earned him the pick of the litter as any legitimate coach would be chomping at the bit to get a chance to coach elite quarterback Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati offense. Let’s take a look at the most likely candidates for the job.
1st Choice: Dan Pitcher, Quarterbacks Coach, Cincinnati Bengals
As of right now, the clear favorite to take over as the offensive coordinator right now is quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher. Pitcher has been with Cincinnati since 2016 and has been a foundational piece to elite play from quarterbacks Andy Dalton, Joe Burrow and Jake Browning. That is a tremendous set of quarterbacks to have coached and Pitcher would also keep continuity in the play calling scheme as the offensive play calling is reportedly crowd sourced by all of the offensive coaches over their headsets during the game.
Obviously another major boost for Pitcher is that the Brown Family has notoriously hired from within and kept the people they trust close. The team stuck with Marvin Lewis for two decades before moving on and has frequently promoted from within at the coordinator spots. While Pitcher isn’t the most experienced option for this position, the familiarity he has with Taylor and the rest of the personnel in Cincinnati would be an invaluable asset to hitting the ground running as a coordinator.
Alternative Option: Mark Brunell, Quarterbacks Coach, Detroit Lions
If that name seems familiar to you, it is likely because Mark Brunell was a starting quarterback in the NFL for almost twenty years between 1993 and 2011. After he retired from the NFL, Brunell went on to be the head coach at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville at the high school level. Brunell was hired in 2021 by his former New Orleans Saint teammate Dan Campbell as the quarterbacks coach for the Detroit Lions. In that position,
Brunell has done a remarkable job completely turning starting quarterback Jared Goff‘s career around. Goff has gone from being run out of Los Angeles to being a Pro Bowl quarterback playing in the NFC Championship game. Goff has turned his game around dramatically without elite wide receiver talent and most of that credit belongs to the coaching staff.
The difficulty in getting Brunell is that he is the likely candidate to take Ben Johnson’s job as offensive coordinator of the Lions after Johnson is likely hired as a head coach somewhere. It is also clearly after Taylor hired Callahan that he likes people who (like himself) have served time on an NFL team as a quarterbacks coach.
Alternate Option: Eric Bienemy
Talk about a move that would make some headlines. Eric Bienemy has been one of the top offensive minds in football since joining Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid‘s staff in 2013. After he was repeatedly wrongfully passed over for head coaching jobs year after year, he finally left Kansas City to become the offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders this past season. Even though the Commanders wiped house, Bienemy did a remarkable job maximizing the talents of quarterback Sam Howell this season.
While I think Bienemy is a terrific coach, I struggle to see how he would fit in with the Cincinnati coaching staff. For starters, he spent nine years with Cincinnati’s bitter rivals and has far more experience than anyone else on the Cincinnati coaching staff. I imagine it would be difficult for Bienemy and Taylor to crowd source plays the way Cincinnati has grown accustomed to. Even after all that is said though, he would without a doubt transform the Cincinnati offense into a league power and irritate a interconference foe.
While there isn’t a perfect option, there are plenty of solid options to fill in for Callahan, there are plenty of solid options. The reality is that when you have the talent that Cincinnati has on the offensive side of the ball, you’re going to be in pretty good shape with anyone as offensive coordinator as long as that person is even remotely qualified. Callahan has served Cincinnati well over his five years as the top offensive coach in Cincinnati but fans are excited to see who will step up to take command of one of the leagues most explosive units.
For More Football News:
Follow me on Twitter at @Super_Squatch76. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in college and NFL news, click here! If there is a topic you’d like me to cover or a question you’d like to ask, feel free to contact me at my email email@example.com.