Commanders deep dive: Assessing the new coaching staff under Dan Quinn

How is the new Commanders coaching staff shaping up?

Ken Norton Jr.
Ken Norton Jr. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Kliff Kingsbury - Commanders OC

  • Previous job: Senior offensive analyst, USC Trojans
  • Replacing: Eric Bieniemy

Before his brief sojourn to USC, Kliff Kingsbury had been a head coach for the previous decade. This was college at Texas Tech and in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. He has been known for creative offenses and developing quarterbacks including Johnny Manziel, Baker Mayfield, and Patrick Mahomes.

Green flag: "He was early in the game of saying ‘let’s maximize your strengths.’ He would teach me how to be more mechanical in the pocket, but he never restricted who I was.” That’s what Patrick Mahomes has said about Kingsbury, whom he credits with his early development as a quarterback. That's a pretty good endorsement, especially considering the Washington Commanders could bring in a rookie quarterback at No. 2 overall.

Red flag: In six years at Texas Tech, Kingsbury had a losing record. In four years in Arizona, he had a losing record. During his one year at USC, the offense seemed to regress. While he has developed some formidable talent, the offensive mind has not gotten good results on the field.

Joe Whitt Jr. - Commanders DC

  • Previous job: Secondary coach and pass game coordinator, Dallas Cowboys
  • Replacing: Ron Rivera (after Jack Del Rio)

Joe Whitt Jr. came from the Dallas Cowboys along with Dan Quinn, under whom he first worked with on the Atlanta Falcons in 2020.

Green flag: When he came to Dallas in 2021, Whitt instantaneously elevated the Cowboys' secondary from one of the worst to one of the league's best. His secondaries have been outstanding at generating turnovers.

Red flag: Whitt has been a pass game coordinator for the past six years. This will be his first time running the entire defense.