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13 NFL Coordinator Changes & Fantasy Football Impact (2024)

13 NFL Coordinator Changes & Fantasy Football Impact (2024)

The NFL coaching carousel, always in operation this time of year, might be old news. It appears the NFL decision-makers finally reached the height requirements to board the big, bad roller coaster.

As fantasy football managers and fans of the NFL, we know the drill by now. When a coaching staff falls short after a year or two, we are ready for the new hires – or heroes – to come in and save the franchise.

This offseason, however, saw more movement than we’ve seen in quite some time. Eight new head coaches have been hired, which is on the high end of the range we typically see. The turnover at the coordinator positions has also been extreme. If you blinked in the last couple of months, you may have missed a firing or hiring.

Let’s get up to speed on the new offensive coordinators, and the impact they will have on their team’s outlook and the fantasy implications.

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NFL Coordinator Changes & Fantasy Football Impact

Atlanta Falcons

  • Offensive Coordiantor: Zac Robinson

“All options are on the table” when it comes to the Falcons quarterback position, according to new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson. Although we can file this away as “coach speak,” I tend to believe the first-time offensive coordinator. Robinson may have the most unique resumé of the NFL’s most recent round of coordinator hires. He was a successful college quarterback, had a cup of coffee in the NFL and joined the coaching ranks. In between his retirement and coaching, however, Robinson was an analyst for PFF, giving some credence to PFF and football analysts across the world wide web.

Nonetheless, Robinson will now call plays under Raheem Morris after the duo worked together with the Rams. Robinson’s time at PFF will surely be glossed over in favor of being a Sean McVay disciple, a story we’re all familiar with by now. Robinson spent time coaching quarterbacks and receivers with the Rams. While his arrival in LA mirrors the timeline of Cooper Kupp‘s breakout, Atlanta called upon Robinson to get the most out of whichever option ultimately lands on the table at quarterback.

Part of the reason that I believe Robinson’s statement boils down to his work in LA. Jared Goff was a two-time pro bowler when Robinson arrived, and not much changed in Goff’s next two years with the Rams outside of a slightly lower yardage per attempt total and more interceptions. Matthew Stafford enjoyed one of his best years in the league in 2021 with Robinson as the assistant quarterback’s coach, a season that ended with a Super Bowl ring. Robinson also helped guide Baker Mayfield‘s resurrection as a starting quarterback by slapping the training wheels on and playing to his strengths.

The point is that Robinson comes from an offense that adapts to its players’ strengths, not vice versa. The Rams’ run-to-pass ratio has varied greatly over the past few seasons, depending on their personnel and team strengths. When discussing Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson, the newly minted offensive coordinator put an emphasis on their versatility and that they will be maneuvered around the formation to get the most out of them. Once again, I tend to believe him.

This is a breath of fresh air for fantasy managers, but the Falcons will still need to find a distributor of the football. A lot is riding on that and Robinson’s ability to call plays. Ultimately, this hire allows for an uptick in expectations from Robinson, Pitts and Drake London.

Carolina Panthers

  • Head Coach: Dave Canales
  • Offensive Coordinator: Brad Idzik

After just one year with Frank Reich calling the shots, the Carolina Panthers cleaned house with eyes toward the development of Bryce Young. As such, David Tepper brought in quarterback whisperer Dave Canales as the club’s next head coach. Canales served as the offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay last season and will bring their wide receivers coach, Brad Idzik, along as his offensive coordinator.

The duo also worked together in Seattle prior to last season and are very familiar with one another. While they will build the offense together, Canales will be calling plays. Although we have just one year of play-calling data on Canales, his work as quarterbacks coach with the Seahawks in 2022 is largely responsible for Geno Smith‘s success. As if that wasn’t enough, Canales was tasked with elevating Baker Mayfield in Tampa. The former No. 1 overall pick played well down the stretch of 2021 with the Rams despite being viewed as a major failure in Carolina and nothing more than a bridge quarterback. Instead, Mayfield is expected to receive a nice payday from the Bucs after working with Canales for a year.

Mayfield enjoyed the best season of his career alongside Canales, throwing for 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns, both of which are career-highs. With 7.3 air yards per attempt, the Buccaneers’ offense featured many short passes, emphasizing Mayfield’s quick release and accuracy, with the occasional shot downfield to Mike Evans. Even with a shorter passing game, the team finished with the 14th-highest passing rate in the league, relying heavily on Mayfield and the passing game.

I anticipate we will see a lower volume of passes in Carolina but a similar structure to the offense. If Young can work in a fluid offense with many efficient looks, it’s possible that he can experience a turnaround like we saw with Mayfield. The Panthers, however, do not feature players like Evans and Chris Godwin on the outside. They will undoubtedly need to add more playmakers for Young, but Canales has as good of a chance to help the young quarterback as any. Still, it will take a heroic effort for this offense to climb back into fantasy relevance this season.

Chicago Bears

  • Offensive Coordinator: Shane Waldron

Another former Sean McVay assistant, Shane Waldron, landed an offensive coordinator role this offseason. McVay initially brought Waldron over from Washington as a tight ends coach before being the pass game coordinator. More recently, Waldron led the Seahawks offense for three seasons, from 2021 to 2023.

Waldron’s offensive philosophy shifted dramatically from his first year in Seattle with Russell Wilson to his last two years with Geno Smith. With Wilson at the helm, Waldron’s offense was 20th in pass rate. With Smith under center, the offense finished at 13th and fifth in pass rate.
Waldron has his fingerprints on Goff’s success and Wilson’s lack thereof in his final Seattle season, but Smith is unquestionably his most prized work. Smith, considered to be a bust, bounced back under Waldron in 2022 with 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.

It’s difficult to project what Waldron can do with the Bears’ offense without knowing their quarterback situation, but he brings with him a much heavier emphasis on the passing game. Both the Seahawks and Bears were among the league leaders in passing plays in which the quarterback left the pocket. Both Luke Getsy and Waldron fall under the West Coast offense umbrella.

Ultimately, this hire could play for Justin Fields or Caleb Williams. However, I lean towards Williams, partially for Waldron’s affinity to utilize receivers downfield more frequently, particularly over the middle. The Seahawks targeted the middle of the field 18% of the time in 2023 and 21% in 2022, while the Bears sat at 15% and 17%, respectively. The Bears went from targeting wide receivers 60% of the time in 2022 to 54% in 2023, while the Seahawks jumped from 60% in 2022 to 66% in 2023. Of course, this is partially due to personnel, but it may hint at the adjustments the Bears want to make on offense.

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Los Angeles Chargers

  • Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman
  • Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh

Just when we thought Greg Roman calling plays was a thing of the past, we now see Roman once again paired with a dynamic young quarterback. Roman was an offensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh from 2011 through 2014. After the split with Harbaugh, Roman spent a season and a half with the Bills and three seasons with the Ravens. We know his strategy revolved around the run game in Baltimore, but that wasn’t exactly specific to Lamar Jackson. Roman’s offenses were bottom-three in overall pass rate in seven of his nine seasons, never finishing above 23rd overall. His neutral script pass rate landed at an average of 28th across his nine seasons of calling plays.

On the surface, you might assume this is great news for Austin Ekeler and bad news for Justin Herbert, but I expect the Chargers to add more talent to the backfield. If anything, Roman’s offense may hurt Ekeler’s receiving volume, as that’s an area lacking in the coordinator’s previous stops. With Ekeler’s age, injury history and Roman and Harbaugh’s propensity to run the ball, it would be wise for the Bolts to add a thumper to the backfield.

For Herbert and the receivers, it’s nearly a lock that we will see a drop in overall volume. To Roman’s credit, however, he does push the ball downfield when he lets it fly. He pulled Tyrod Taylor‘s best season out of him in Buffalo with an average depth of target of 10.7, the highest of his career. Colin Kaepernick also saw his highest average depth of target under Roman, slightly above 10 yards. Herbert has only passed an ADOT of 8.0 one time thus far, but I’d expect the offense to lean on the run game but open up the deep ball for Herbert. If it leads to more efficiency, it may net out close to even in terms of Herbert’s fantasy value.

Still, Herbert is a much riskier option in fantasy football, and the Chargers don’t feature any receivers who win downfield if Mike Williams doesn’t return. These are all questions we need answers to, but my favorite value for the Chargers will be whomever they add at running back.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Offensive Coordinator: Luke Getsy

Name an offensive statistic, and the Bears were near the bottom of the league in it in 2023. Luke Getsy ran an offense relying heavily on the running game, with play-action bootlegs allowing Justin Fields room to move. Getsy’s offense features an outside zone running scheme, which should play well in Las Vegas. This may be one of the biggest reasons for Getsy’s hire and should bode well for Josh Jacobs if he returns to the Raiders. The Bears were 31st in pass rate, and there’s no reason to believe Getsy won’t continue to rely on the running game if Jacobs is in his backfield.

The passing game, however, is a major question mark. The Bears lined up in 12 and 21 personnel at the eighth and seventh-highest rates, respectively. Will that continue in Vegas, or will Getsy spread it out more? This likely depends on who is under center for the silver and black. Still, we can assume that Getsy would prefer a quarterback who can run a rhythmic, timing-based offense with short and intermediate throws to complement the running game. It’s unlikely we will get much from a Raiders quarterback this upcoming season, but Getsy’s hire should yield results for Michael Mayer in his second season.

New England Patriots

  • Offensive Coordinator: Alex Van Pelt

Alex Van Pelt has tons of NFL experience working with quarterbacks and as an NFL coordinator, but he hasn’t called plays since 2009. He worked closely with Aaron Rodgers, gaining his support, among many other successful NFL quarterbacks. Having not called plays for many years, we can only assume what Van Pelt’s offense might look like.

His philosophy revolves around the West Coast offense, which is a theme among these coordinator hires, relying on an outside zone running scheme and play-action passing. In his four seasons with the Cleveland Browns, the runs were in the bottom third of the league in pass rate for three seasons.

When asked about his offensive philosophy, Van Pelt states that the mark of a good coach is adapting to his players’ skill sets. It’s one thing to say this, but it’s another to operate in that manner. In an offense like the Patriots, it might take some time to actually identify those skill sets. The offense is void of talent and desperately needs an identity.

So what will that look like? I would expect a heavy dose of Rhamondre Stevenson, but beyond that, I want no part of this offense.

New Orleans Saints

  • Offensive Coordinator: Klint Kubiak

If his name wasn’t a dead giveaway, Klint Kubiak hails from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree, which produced his son Kyle Shanahan’s fruitful tree, as well as Sean McVay’s. Son of former head coach Gary Kubiak, Klint Kubiak has been around the game his whole life, hopping between the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos in various assistant roles throughout his NFL career. He called plays as the Vikings offensive coordinator in 2021 before joining the Broncos again as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, where he called plays for a few weeks. Last season, Klint Kubiak spent his time with Kyle Shanahan as the passing game coordinator for the 49ers.

The Vikings finished 18th in overall pass rate under Klint Kubiak in 2021 and were in the top five of both 2-1 personnel and 2-2 personnel. Klint Kubiak utilizes a fullback and runs a balanced scheme, relying on an outside zone running scheme and a passing offense that uses all areas of the field. Kirk Cousins delivered a strong season under Klint Kubiak, as did Dalvin Cook. Of course, Justin Jefferson dominated, and Adam Thielen was solid, but the Vikings went just 8-8, and Kubiak was out.

The goal in New Orleans will be to elevate a running game that finished 21st in rushing yards last season while managing Derek Carr‘s impact on the game. Klint Kubiak’s arrival does little for Carr’s value and shouldn’t greatly impact the pass catchers. Still, I’m intrigued to see if Kendre Miller can take a leap forward in the running back-friendly system.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Offensive Coordinator: Kellen Moore

A few short years ago, the former Boise State quarterback was one of the hottest offensive assistant names in the NFL. At the time, Kellen Moore was receiving head coaching interviews, and it appeared as though his time was coming sooner rather than later. Fast forward a couple of years, and it’s now later rather than sooner, if at all, with regard to his head coaching candidacy.

After one year in Los Angeles, Moore has been hired to revive a stagnant Eagles offense. Head Coach Nick Sirianni used the term “stale” when referring to Philadelphia’s offense last season and said they would be looking for someone to bring in new ideas.

Although Moore’s time in Southern California was no walk on the beach, he was the poster boy for “new ideas” after the 2021 season. In four seasons as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, Moore’s unit led the league in yards twice and finished top 10 in scoring three times. The 2021 and 2022 Cowboys each finished with 1.85 plays per minute, which tied each other for the second-most among all offenses in each of the four seasons. In 2022, Moore’s Cowboys finished 15th in pre-snap motion at 54.6%, while his Chargers unit in 2023 finished sixth at 68%. When Sirianni refers to the offense being stale, we have to assume this was part of the assessment, as the Eagles used pre-snap motion just 32% of the time, placing them dead last in that category.

So, what does this mean for the Eagles offense? We will likely see more creativity and innovation but also more specific play calls and opportunities for players to utilize their skill sets. In 2019, Dallas was 21st in pass rate but leaned heavily on Ezekiel Elliot. In 2020 and 2021, we saw them shift more towards a pass-heavy approach, finishing at 12th and 11th in pass rate. The Chargers finished with the sixth-highest pass rate last season and never really could get the running game going. I don’t anticipate the tush push going away, but I envision Moore focusing on what works and finding creative ways to put players in those situations.

One of my biggest gripes last season was the utilization of A.J. Brown, as his patented slant-and-run after catch seemed to disappear. Moore will find ways to make that happen once again, whether it involves pre-snap motion, shotgun or any combination of personnel you can think of. It feels a tad risky of a hire, as the offense shouldn’t stray too far away from Hurts’ ability to run the ball, but there’s a chance we get the best of both worlds. This offense can do it on the ground and through the air, and I’m excited to invest in the Eagles once again.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Offensive Coordinator: Arthur Smith

Please, go ahead. I’ll allow for a moment of frustration while you think about Pitts, London and Robinson. Let it all out.

OK, now that it’s over, we are moving on because this hire makes a whole lot of sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Arthur Smith isn’t considered a young, innovative offensive mind who can develop a young quarterback, but that’s not what the Steelers need. Art Rooney stated that the team was looking for somebody who could come in and work with the existing talent on the roster, and Smith can do that.

In his two years as offensive coordinator, Smith’s Titans were second in rushing yards per game at 153.5 and in yards per carry at 5.1 yards, second only to the Baltimore Ravens. Of course, this unit was built around Derrick Henry, but the Steelers are certainly hopeful that Smith can revive Najee Harris‘ upside as a runner and make the most of Jaylen Warren. It makes sense to lean into that strength. Plus, Smith pulled 1,000 yards out of Tyler Allgeier in his rookie season while the Falcons finished third in rushing. The passing game was a different story, but the quarterback situation did him no favors in Atlanta.

In Tennessee, however, the Titans led the league with 8.3 yards per pass attempt and 12.7 yards per completion across the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Smith’s work with Ryan Tannehill, a quarterback who wasn’t living up to his potential, was vital in the Titans’ success. In Smith’s five years as a play-caller, his teams have finished in the top 10 in rush attempts four times.

This move is obviously centered around the run game, but last season, the Falcons finished seventh in play-action attempts with 156, while Pittsburgh was last with 80. A strong running game and play-action passing is the recipe to get the most out of Pittsburgh and whoever is taking snaps for the Steelers. If they are able to replicate Tannehill’s league-leading yards per attempt and yards per completion, we could even see Diontae Johnson and George Pickens blossom. Until we see that, we’re looking at an uptick for the Steelers running backs and a major question mark for the pass-catchers.

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Seattle Seahawks

  • Offensive Coordinator: Ryan Grubb

After spending a few weeks in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Ryan Grubb opted to return to the Pacific Northwest and join the Seattle Seahawks. Grubb called plays at the University of Washington for the past two seasons, and less than three years ago, he was calling plays in the Mountain West as Fresno State’s offensive coordinator. A successful transition from the Mountain West to the PAC12 is one thing, but can his scheme work in the NFL?

With the hire of Mike McDonald as head coach, it’s easy to assume that the Seahawks will be a run-first team, but Grubb is known for throwing it around the yard. His Huskies were second in the nation in passing yards per game in 2022 and topped all of College Football in 2023. Grubb is known for an aggressive approach, attempting 22 fourth downs and converting 64% of them at Washington. Grubb has already compared his new trio of receivers to the three he worked with at Washington, exemplifying his understanding of each player’s specific skill set.

In addition to an aggressive approach, the former Huskies play caller excels at motion and creating advantageous matchups. If that element of his work makes its way to the NFL, the Seahawks pass-catchers will benefit. I’m intrigued to see what he can do with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Noah Fant if he returns to Seattle as a free agent. This should be a fun passing offense in 2024.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Offensive Coordinator: Liam Coen

When asked about returning to Tampa Bay, Mayfield stated that it may depend on who the offensive coordinator is. If the Buccaneers weren’t willing to come out and publicly say they expect Mayfield to return, this move ought to do it. Liam Coen joins the Bucs after a season with Kentucky, but his time with the Los Angeles Rams overlapped with Mayfield’s two seasons ago. That stop for Mayfield helped revive his career, so it shouldn’t be a shock that the Bucs looked Coen’s way when Canales left for Carolina.

Coen is a big proponent of balanced offense and will look to install a steady running game, which the Bucs have lacked over the past few seasons. It would not be surprising to see this team invest more in the running game this offseason, whether that be through the offensive line or adding more talent to the backfield.

It remains to be seen if Evans will return, but Godwin managers have plenty to be excited about. Referring to Godwin, Coen said that he “can be really dynamic inside. That’s where I envision him playing, is that F position that Cooper [Kupp] played. A lot of things run through that, so I’m excited about that.”

So are we, Liam, so are we. Godwin to the moon in 2024, especially if Evans is out.

Tennessee Titans

  • Head Coach: Brian Callahan
  • Offensive Coordinator: Nick Holz

After Brian Callahan was hired as the head coach in Tennessee, he announced that he would be the one calling plays. Nick Holz will join Callahan as the offensive coordinator in a setup similar to what we saw between Callahan and Zac Taylor in Cincinnati. Taylor called the plays, but Callahan was responsible for putting together much of the game plan and collaborating on the overall strategy. Callahan and Holz’s relationship dates back to high school, so they know each other well and should coexist in this environment as well anybody.

Prior to the 2023 season, Callahan stated that the teams that usually win are the teams that pass the ball the best. We can only take a guess of what Callahan’s offense will look like, but that type of statement feels like foreshadowing for what we can expect. Will Levis is a tough, hardworking gamer, and I expect Callahan to pull the best out of him. He will likely have one season to prove his worth, and if Callahan isn’t sold on what he sees, we could see the Titans dip their toes back into the quarterback pool in the summer of 2025. The Titans’ offense is likely to be bleak and void of talent, so it remains to be seen how effective Levis and Callahan will be in year one. However, it won’t be for lack of trying. I expect Callahan to push the ball downfield and let Levis showcase his big arm, for better or for worse.

Washington Commanders

  • Offensive Coordinators: Kliff Kingsbury

If it wasn’t already clear that Dan Quinn and the Washington Commanders would be adding a new quarterback to the fold, it’s clear after the hire of Kliff Kingsbury, who will have full control of the offense. When asked what he needs in a quarterback to run his system, Kingsbury responded by highlighting the ability to move around and be mobile. He doesn’t necessarily need a running quarterback but somebody who can move effectively. It’s not that Sam Howell is a statue, but his league-leading 65 sacks last year are not only an eye-sore but something that won’t fly with Kingsbury.

With the second pick in the draft, it’s a matter of who the Commanders will be taking. Assuming Williams is off the board, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels both make sense. I would go with Maye, who has sneaky athleticism and mobility. But whichever way the cookie crumbles on the quarterback position, Kingsbury has experience developing Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray, which bodes well for the Commanders.

Kingsbury’s offensive issues in Arizona centered around a lack of ingenuity. The team often placed Murray in shotgun, left DeAndre Hopkins out on an island and let them try and make plays. More often than not, this resulted in Murray scrambling around and taking off or eventually finding somebody with some separation. Running backs and tight ends were seldom targeted, and the wide receivers were tasked with running deep or hitting a curl route as if they were allergic to the middle of the field.

All this to say, I’m not thrilled for Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson. However, if the Commanders get the right quarterback, it could be a net positive.

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