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Bengals assistants name-dropped as future head coaching candidates

It’s good to be an offensive assistant nowadays.

Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

If you’re an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach for a team with an up and coming offense, you will naturally be spotlighted for a possible promotion. That has been the reality in the NFL for the past several years now as struggling teams in need of fresh starts look to find offensive sustainability to keep with the top teams.

The Cincinnati Bengals know this, as they hired a quarterbacks coach with minimal play-calling experience to lead their football team nearly three years ago. Now, a couple of Zac Taylor’s top assistants are on a watch list for potential head coaching candidates in the near future.

Bengals’ OC Brian Callahan and QBs coach Dan Pitcher popped up on NFL.com reporter and insider Tom Pelissero’s annual coaching candidate watch list.

Pelissero generates his list every year by asking league executives and coaches whom they think will be featured in the upcoming hiring cycle. Typically, half the of the most prominent names he hears about get hired.

Callahan and Pitcher didn’t make the main list, but they did come up as names to watch in the years to come. If Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ offense continue to ascend this season and the next, we could be looking at Callahan and or Pitcher garnering interest for future head coach openings.

As the son of a former head coach, it would make sense that Callahan would receive interest to become the top guy himself. He spent years as a quarterbacks coach before helping Taylor run the Bengals’ offense as his right-hand man. He’s also still under the age of 40, which helps, considering the league has shifted towards younger head coaches.

Pitcher started as a scout before transitioning to coaching wide receivers and eventually quarterbacks. His path has been a bit different as a former quarterback himself, but being associated with Burrow’s growth and having part in that will help his resume.

There’s still work for both coaches to do in Cincinnati. Sitting at 5-4 on the year, the team’s offense has been promising, but inconsistent thus far. Perhaps if the passing game takes a gigantic leap in these last eight weeks, Callahan and Pitcher’s names will be talked about more frequently as the coaching carousel begins to turn.