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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Anthony Lynn - Commanders run game coordinator, running backs coach

Anthony Lynn is one of two Washington Commanders assistants who has served as an NFL head coach. He was the Los Angeles Chargers' man at the helm for four seasons. Though his teams fell off in his final two campaigns, he departed with a career-winning record.

At 55 years old, Lynn may not fit the profile of a modern NFL head coach. At least not from the offensive side of the ball where everyone seems enamored by the young genius label. Still, veteran coaches like Raheem Morris and Dan Quinn were able to turn strong coordinator performances into second chances this off-season.

Lynn has a wealth of experience coaching running backs. He has been serving as the assistant head coach under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco during the past two seasons. That is an excellent pedigree.

He will have a talented collection of runners to build his game plans around. Lynn will also have a dynamic quarterback who is a constant running threat.

Much of the Commanders' success running the football will depend on how well they can block. That remains a cause for concern. But if they can solidify the offensive line, the running game should flourish. That means Lynn’s star may rise again.

Joe Whitt Jr. - Commanders DC

Joe Whitt Jr’s ascendency to the upper echelons of defensive coaches took some people by surprise. Until arriving with the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, he had been making a long, slow climb up the coaching ladder. Many thought he had peaked with the role of defensive pass game coordinator.

Whitt had bounced around in that role from the Green Bay Packers, where he had been a position coach for almost a decade before being promoted. The no-nonsense figure also spent time with the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons. He served as passing game coordinator for a single season with each of those teams, and his units were respectable without standing out.

Serving under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in Dallas, he worked miracles. The Cowboys' pass defense was atrocious in 2020, the year before Whitt arrived. In a single season, he oversaw one of the more remarkable turnarounds any NFL unit has seen in the past decade. Yards-per-attempt and touchdowns-allowed plummeted. Interceptions skyrocketed. A liability turned into a weapon.

Whitt’s units may not have been able to reproduce the spectacular interception numbers of 2021, but his passing defenses continued to perform at a very high level in 2022 and 2023. Quinn brought him along from Dallas to serve as the Commanders defensive coordinator.

Washington’s defense was a shambles in 2023, necessitating the firing of previous coordinator Jack Del Rio during the season. Whitt has nowhere to go but up. If he can do for the Commanders' defense what he was able to do in Dallas, he will begin getting buzz about a top spot somewhere.

Despite his extensive experience, Whitt is still just 45 years old.