Commanders finalize their coaching staff, hire ex-Eagles OC Brian Johnson as pass game coordinator

FILE - Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson speaks with members of the media at the NFL football team's training facility in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. The Eagles have fired offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)(AP/Matt Rourke)

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Commanders finalized their coaching staff Thursday, hiring former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and several others.

The moves fill out new coach Dan Quinn’s staff a day after general manager Adam Peters hired Lance Newmark to be assistant GM.

Johnson, who was fired after one season in charge of the Eagles offense, takes over as assistant head coach and offensive pass game coordinator. He previously served as quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia before being elevated a year ago when Shane Steichen left to take the head job with Indianapolis.

Also working under offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury are tight ends coach David Raih, who came from Tampa Bay, and David Blough, a QB who was on Detroit’s practice squad last season. Blough will be assistant QBs coach to Tavita Pritchard, one of a few returnees who worked last season for Ron Rivera.

Kingsbury said he coached Blough with the Arizona Cardinals and called him one of the brightest quarterbacks he has ever been around.

“I think he’s got a chance to move up really quickly in this profession,” Kingsbury said of Blough at the introductory news conference Thursday for him and defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. “Great rapport with the players, and I love his temperament. I think whoever the quarterback is, he’ll be great to be around him and just how he sees the game.”

Anthony Lynn left NFC champion San Francisco to be Washington’s run game coordinator and running backs coach, and former 49ers assistant Darryl Tapp is in charge of the defensive line, assisted by Sharrif Floyd.

Kingsbury was thrilled to add another Texas Tech alum in Lynn, who like himself has been an NFL head coach and brings more leadership to the staff.

“Can’t have enough of those rocket scientists on staff,” Kingsbury said. “We’re going to see where it fits in. He’s had a tremendous track record with running backs and run schemes and things like that, so that’ll be a big part of his role.”

Among the other hires, Tommy Donatell comes from the Los Angeles Chargers to be Washington’s new defensive backs coach with former NFL cornerback William Gay set to assist him. Whitt also has longtime assistant John Pagano on staff on his side of the ball.

Larry Izzo is the new special teams coordinator, joining the Commanders from Seattle. Bobby Johnson is their new offensive line coach after spending the past two seasons with the NFC East-rival New York Giants.

Along with Pritchard, back are receivers coach Bobby Engram and former Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, whose title is now assistant linebackers coach and pass rush specialist.



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