6 Commanders coaches who can bolster head coaching chances in 2024

These coaches have huge opportunities awaiting them in 2024.
Kliff Kingsbury
Kliff Kingsbury / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY
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The 2024 season will begin with eight new head coaches.

Five of them ascended from the ranks of coordinator, which has been the standard stepping stone to the top spot for decades. One was a college head coach who has had head coaching success in the pros. Another was an interim head coach last season. And the final one leaped straight from a position coach into the driver's seat.

That final one was a special circumstance. Jerod Mayo had long been viewed as Bill Belichick’s eventual successor on the New England Patriots. He was being groomed for the job and got it. The interim hire, Antonio Pierce, was also in-house. It is extremely rare to see a position coach surge with a different franchise.

The Washington Commanders' new coach, Dan Quinn, came from the ranks of coordinator. He has constructed a staff that includes six coordinators, seven position coaches, six assistant position coaches, and seven other men and women filling miscellaneous roles. Of those 27 staff members, only three remain from last year. None have been with the team for more than two seasons. 

Commanders fans are all too familiar with the list of names Washington had on the coaching staff during the 2010s, and how many of them have gone on to build successful careers as head coaches with other NFL teams. While the organization has been stuck in neutral for a decade, many former assistant coaches have taken new teams to the playoffs. Some have gone to the Super Bowl. One of them won the big game.

Do the Commanders have any coaches like that on their new staff? Is anyone destined for the top spot in the next few years?

Let’s look at six assistant coaches who could seriously bolster their resumes with a good performance in 2024. Some may still be a few years away from a head coaching job. Others may be in line for a promotion as early as next year.

Tavita Pritchard - Commanders QBs coach

If you’re looking for a coach in the mold of all those young, offensive wizards who served under Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden, Tavita Pritchard is your man. He made the jump from Stanford to the NFL last year and was one of the three coaches retained by Adam Peters and Dan Quinn. His work with Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett, under very difficult circumstances, was excellent.

Pritchard is young and smart. He was a college quarterback who rose through the ranks at Stanford to become their offensive coordinator before coming to the Washington Commanders. Though there is no typical path to an NFL head coaching position, his path is about as standard as it gets.

He is going to have every opportunity to impress by working with Jayden Daniels in 2024. If he can shepherd the rookie along to the production that many are predicting, Pritchard will put himself in line for an offensive coordinator job as soon as 2025.

From there, the top spot is within reach.

Pritchard is only 37 years old. Dave Canales and Brian Callahan, the two new head coaches who were elevated from offensive coordinator, are both a few years older with several years more experience in the pros. But if things work out, it is not unreasonable to think he could be getting head coaching interviews soon.