The Washington Commanders fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner on Tuesday afternoon, opening up a coaching vacancy under Head Coach Ron Rivera. The following steps are about focusing on who the Commanders will hire. The offensive production has been poor during Turner’s tenure, and while all of the issues were not his fault, there needs to be a significant upgrade from a coaching standpoint. But a common question among some fans has caused them to temper their expectations. With Rivera likely entering a season where his coaching future in Washington is uncertain, who can he hire that will be willing to take that risk in Washington?
Rivera has a track record of hiring players and past staff, people he trusts, which is a starting point for the research. Looking internally, receivers coach Drew Terrell or quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese might be high on his list. However, the coaching search may expand beyond who he is familiar with, as the Commanders coordinator position is an opportunity that does not come by often in the NFL.
SOURCE: Commanders HC Ron Rivera will hire a NEW Offensive Coordinator from the OUTSIDE and not promote from within. @wusa9 #HTTC pic.twitter.com/mpjOmc5oZV— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) January 10, 2023
On the latest Hogs Haven Podcast, Commanders insider JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington joined the show to discuss the coaching vacancy and why the Commanders coordinator job is highly-valuable despite Rivera’s future as Head Coach.
“Keep in mind that a lot of offensive coordinators aren’t the play-callers. A lot of these offensive coaches [head coaches] are the play-callers. They have an OC that has that [coordinator] title, but they aren’t play-callers. You come here, the play caller, and that’s a huge deal for people trying to become a head coach. ”
Finlay mentioned current Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur, who left his coordinator job under Rams Head Coach Sean McVay to call plays in Tennessee. A lateral move on the surface, but a promotion in job responsibilities, being able to call plays. “There’s 32 OC jobs, probably 20 of them you get to call plays, and probably five of them are coming up [each off-season].
Whether or not Rivera goes this route, there are clear incentives for an up-and-coming assistant or a current OC, if they aren’t calling plays, to take the Commanders job.
You can listen to the entire conversation between JP, myself, and my Trap or Dive co-hosts AJ and Dre. We tackle all angles of the coaching vacancy with names of potential hires and some more off-season priorities for the Commanders.