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Brian Callahan listed as top-5 offensive coordinator, per NFLPA player poll

Or is it Dan Pitcher? Who knows?

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

As the NFL regular season comes to a close after this weekend’s games, not only will the playoffs begin, but coaching hiring and firing season will begin as well.

For the last couple of years, both Cincinnati Bengals coordinators Brian Callahan and Lou Anarumo have been on the short list of head coaches to be hired, and both have been interviewed by other teams in the past, but both were passed up on for one reason or another.

According to Tom Pelissero, the NFL Players Association asked over 1,700 active players to rank their coordinators 1-10, and Callahan ended up on the list.

There may not be a direct correlation from this list to which of these candidates, if any, get hired, but you better believe a team owner wants to hire a coach his players like playing for.

There are two funny things about this list. One, that’s not Brian Callahan pictured above, it’s quarterback coach Dan Pitcher, whose name has also been floating around.

And two, Lou Anarumo, who has probably received more attention than any other Bengals assistant coach, isn’t on the list. In the end, this could be good news. Maybe it means the Mad Scientist will be sticking around. After a down defensive year, his star isn’t shining quite as bright.

Callahan, though, helped keep the Bengals in playoff contention all the way until the end of Week 17 without star quarterback Joe Burrow. Instead, he did it with Jake Browning and either Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins, but rarely both. Also, he did it without a functioning running game.

Will Zac Taylor’s coaching tree expand in 2024? We’ll see.