The Washington Commanders are moving on from offensive line coach John Matsko per ESPN’s John Keim. Matsko has been with Head Coach Ron Rivera since he was hired by the Carolina Panthers in 2011. He came with Rivera to Washington in 2020, and is now unemployed. Matsko was asked to replace Brandon Scherff and Ereck Flowers at guard last season with former Panthers Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner. That switch, along with another season-ending injury to center Chase Roullier proved disastrous, and Washington tried to piece together a competent offensive line for the team’s second starter Taylor Heinicke for most of the season.
A replacement has not been named, but if the team wants to stay in house, they still have assistant OL coach Travelle Wharton on the coaching staff. He has been an assistant for Carolina/Washington since 2018, and has worked closely with Matsko during those years. If Bieniemy wants to pull a coach from the Chiefs, former Washington Redskins OL Andy Heck is the current OL coach. There is also assistant OL coach Corey Matthaei who has held that role for the last 5 seasons.
Washington OL coach John Matsko is out; team moving in 'different direction', per multiple sources. Matsko was informed today of the move.— John Keim (@john_keim) March 14, 2023
John Matsko enters his 31st season coaching in the NFL and his third as Washington’s offensive line coach in 2022.
In 2021, Matsko helped guide an offensive line that aided in Washington’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2018. Washington ranked sixth in the NFC in rushing yards (2,061) and rushing yards per game (121.2). The offensive line also recorded a pass blocking grade of 78.3 according to Pro Football Focus, the fourth-best in the NFL. Washington’s 80.7 run blocking grade was the seventh-best in the NFL according to PFF.
In 2020, Matsko led an offensive line that adapted to four different quarterbacks, while allowing each quarterback to set a career-high in at least one category and assisting them in combining for the second-most completions in a single season in franchise history . Matsko contributed to the success of G Brandon Scherff who earned his fourth Pro Bowl selection and his first NFL First Team All-Pro nod.
With three decades of NFL coaching experience, two Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl Championship, Matsko’s career includes coaching roles with the Carolina Panthers (2011-19), Baltimore Ravens (2008-11), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-07), St. Louis Rams (1999-05), New York Giants (1997-98), New Orleans Saints (1994-96) and Phoenix Cardinals (1992-93).
Matsko began his NFL coaching career as offensive line coach of the Phoenix Cardinals in 1992 and served in that capacity for two seasons.
Prior to joining the NFL, Matsko spent 17 years on the college level. He worked as a graduate assistant at Miami (Ohio) from 1974-75 and returned as offensive line coach in 1977 after being the head coach at Danbury High School in Lakeside-Marblehead, Ohio, in 1976. Matsko served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at North Carolina from 1978-84 prior to stops as offensive line coach at Navy in 1985 and Arizona in 1986. He joined Southern California as offensive line coach in 1987 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1989 for his final three seasons with the Trojans.
Matsko played fullback at Kent State and lettered three years from 1970-72. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business education in 1973 and later earned a master’s degree in education from Miami (Ohio) in 1976.
Matsko and his wife, Kim, have four children: two daughters, Marie and Liz, and two sons, John and Michael.