Managing partner Josh Harris introduced Adam Peters as the Washington Commanders new GM on Tuesday, January 9th, and he spent the rest of the month searching for his new head coach. That list was slimmed down to 4 candidates after the two youngest OCs on the list decided to stay with their current teams. Cowboys DC Dan Quinn will be named the Commanders next head coach soon, and now he has to assess the previous coaching staff, and then fill out his new staff. The offensive and defensive coordinator positions will be the most important, but he’ll also have to decide if special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor can survive another change at head coach.
There have already been several names linked to Quinn, both from his previous attempts to get another head coaching job, and this year’s round of rumors and reports. Quinn is expected to bring some coaches with him from the Dallas Cowboys, and current DBs coach Joe Whitt has been reported to be his choice for DC in Washington. He is currently the Cowboys passing game coordinator/secondary coach, and is expected to join Quinn’s staff when the hiring becomes official.
One of Washington’s main candidates, the 17-year assistant joined Dallas in 2021. The Cowboys led the league in takeaways in that first year and 2022. The streak ended this season despite Daron Bland’s leading the league in interceptions two years after Diggs.
The offensive coordinator job is considered the most important in Quinn’s new coaching staff. Eric Bieniemy is still under contract with the Commanders for another year, and he received an interview for head coach. He is expected to be replaced after an disappointing season that saw first-year starting QB show promise, but nose-dive in the most pass-happy offense in the NFL. Washington has the #2 pick in this year’s draft, and is expected to draft a new QB. Quinn will need to hit on the OC hire, and develop the QBs on the roster.
San Francisco 49ers passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak has been mentioned several times as a potential hire for Quinn. Kubiak is the son of former Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, and he joined Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff last year. He was the Minnesota Vikings OC for a season in 2021, and also spent time with the Denver Broncos in two different stints. He was on the coaching staff for one season when new Commanders GM Adam Peters was their Director of College Scouting in 2016.
Teams want coaches from the Shanahan tree. Like Griese, Kubiak interviewed for the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator opening last month. Kubiak’s one year as the Vikings’ coordinator in 2018 resulted in Minnesota’s ranking first in fewest turnovers and 14th in points scored. Rick Spielman, part of Washington’s coach/GM search committee, was the general manager for that 2018 campaign.
Stay tuned for the latest updates as they happen
Rumors and reported interest and interviews
Saints are expected to hire Klint Kubiak after the Super Bowl:
Saints are working to hire 49ers’ passing game specialist Klint Kubiak as their offensive coordinator, per sources. Kubiak would join the Saints after he coaches his final game with the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. No deal can be finalized until after the game. pic.twitter.com/nS14wU7Qow— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 2, 2024
Coaches with ties to Quinn:
Coaches with direct links to Dan Quinn. Would think guys like Kris Richard and Al Harris get long looks— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) February 1, 2024
Haven’t included Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur and Mike McDaniel, but he had those 3 all on staff in Atlanta and could conceivably try and add from their staffs (Klint Kubiak?) pic.twitter.com/h1y0CzT6fb
Washington is expected to hire Joe Whitt Jr. for DC:
#Commanders are expected to hire highly regarded #Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. as their new defensive coordinator, and Dallas will be looking to replace him as well as Dan Quinn, per league sources @KPRC2— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 1, 2024
Name I heard that Quinn had told other teams he'd bring as DC: Dallas secondary coach/pass game coordinator Joe Whitt, Jr. Nothing official.— John Keim (@john_keim) February 1, 2024
Possible DC candidates with Quinn:— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) February 1, 2024
*Joe Whitt Jr., Cowboys pass game coordinator
*Joe Cullen, Chiefs D-line coach
I would expect Quinn to bring along secondary coach/passing game coordinator Joe Whitt to be his defensive coordinator. https://t.co/qU7rI2FYvS— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) February 1, 2024
Adam Schefter names two other Cowboys assistants as potential DCs:
One of the next questions will be whether Dan Quinn attempts to bring any other added Cowboys assistant coaches with him to Washington, such as defensive backs coach Al Harris or defensive line coach Aden Durde. Both could be defensive coordinator candidates if Dallas grants… https://t.co/jOOnXfLOPg— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2024
Chip Kelly to return to the NFL with Washington?:
UCLA head coach Chip Kelly is a potential candidate for #Commanders OC under new head coach Dan Quinn, per sources. Kelly, a two-time NFL head coach, is believed to have interest in returning to the league and Washington will consider talking with him.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 2, 2024
Raiders were one of those teams. Source with one team who interviewed Dan Quinn this cycle said Chip Kelly was considered by Quinn. https://t.co/wzLEl5DNEU— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) February 2, 2024
49ers passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak is a popular name for Quinn’s OC:
Another part of the connection: He was the QB coach for two years and the OC for one in Minnesota when Rick Spielman was the GM. So this group should know him well. https://t.co/Ams7mHp64Q— John Keim (@john_keim) February 1, 2024
The Commanders chose to hire Dan Quinn. Now the new head coach has decisions to make with assembling a new staff.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) February 2, 2024
On possible targets at offensive and defensive coordinator, potential holdovers -- and my personal wild card staff pick.https://t.co/Jt9K7fIruo
Head of Football Operations
49ers AGM Adam Peters - Hired as GM, 5-year contract
Cowboys DC Dan Quinn
Cowboys current coaching staff
Joe Whitt, secondary/Pass Game coordinator
Al Harris, defensive backs coach
Aden Durde, defensive line coach
Sharrif Floyd, quality control/asst. D-line
Cannon Matthews, asst. defensive backs
Scott McCurley, linebackers coach
Pete Ohnegian, quality control/ defensive assistant
Eric Simonelli, quality control/analytics
Darian Thompson, quality control/asst. LB
Rayna Stewart, asst. special teams
Harold Nash, strength & conditioning coordinator
Cedric Smith, asst. strength & conditioning
Kendall Smith, asst. strength & conditioning