Bengals complete succession plan at offensive coordinator

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Per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Bengals have promoted quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher to offensive coordinator following Brian Callahan’s departure to the Tennessee Titans.

 

 

Pitcher has been with the Bengals since 2016 when former head coach Marvin Lewis brought him on staff as an offensive assistant to help out with wide receivers.

 

 

 

 

He would become the main receivers coach in 2017 while still having a hand in other areas of the offense. 2018 was Pitcher’s first year as quarterbacks coach, which was Lewis’ last year in Cincinnati. His title then changed to assistant quarterbacks coach in 2019 as he was Alex Van Pelt’s righthand man in the position room while also having game clock management responsibilities.

Van Pelt left Cincinnati in 2020, allowing Pitcher to retake his job as quarterbacks coach at the beginning of Joe Burrow’s career.

 

 

Pitcher would hold that position for the first four years of Burrow’s ongoing career, and we’ve seen how wonderful the results have been when No. 9 is healthy and on the field.

 

 

Bengals complete succession plan at offensive coordinator

 

 

Head coach Zac Taylor has held on to Pitcher throughout the years as a holdover from Lewis’ staff for good reason. He’s developed a great relationship with Burrow, which will only grow stronger with Pitcher in a more expansive role. “We mesh so well in the meeting room and on the sideline,” Burrow said of Pitcher. “We have a great working relationship.”

“I say this all the time but I couldn’t ask for a better group of coaches for my skill set and what I do.” The latest feather in Pitcher’s cap was elevating Burrow’s backup, Jake Browning for nearly two months.

Pitcher was crucial in implementing tweaks to the offense that best fit Browning’s skillset on top of the duties Taylor already relied on him for.

Bengals complete succession plan at offensive coordinator

“He’s such a critical part of third downs,” Taylor said of Pitcher. “He plays an integral part in that, and he has gotten two quarterbacks ready to win games for us.” The interest Pitcher garnered around the league over the past two hiring cycles says everything one could know about his prospects as a first-time OC.

The Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints were all interested in hiring him to the same position this month.

Pitcher decided to stay where he’s been for nearly a decade, and the Bengals expect to be better for it. Pitcher’s replacement at quarterbacks coach is expected to be Brad Kragthorpe.

Bengals complete succession plan at offensive coordinator

He’s been with the team since Taylor took over in 2019. Kragthorpe’s been an offensive assistant, assistant receivers coach, and spent the 2023 season as Pitcher’s assistant quarterbacks coach. Right before coming to Cincinnati, Kragthorpe spent the 2018 season as an offensive analyst for LSU.

That was the first year Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase played together for the Bayou Bengals.

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