The NFC East was the best division in football this season, as all four teams finished .500 or better and three made the postseason. Those three teams each made the divisional round, the first division to have three teams make the final eight since the NFC Central in 1997.
While the NFC East represented the conference in the Super Bowl and had three teams in the divisional round, the division had plenty of coaching changes that didn’t involve the head coach. Three of the teams either lost coordinators to promotions or parted ways with them over the past few weeks, changing the complexity of the NFC East for 2023 — even if all four teams should compete for playoff berths.
How will these coordinator changes impact the teams heading into the offseason? Here’s a look at how the “new-look” NFC East stacks up — keeping in mind all the coordinator positions haven’t been filled yet.
- Additions: TBD
- Departures: Shane Steichen (offensive coordinator), Jonathan Gannon (defensive coordinator)
The Eagles were the first team since the 2013 Cincinnati Bengals to lose both their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator in the same offseason, with Steichen accepting the head coaching job for the Indianapolis Colts while Gannon stayed in Phoenix after the Super Bowl to take the Arizona Cardinals gig.
With Steichen and Gannon gone, head coach Nick Sirianni will be searching for replacements after the Super Bowl loss. Quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson is the in-house favorite to replace Steichen, as he has known Jalen Hurts since the franchise quarterback was four years old. Johnson would call plays as the offensive coordinator, similar to Steichen.
The Eagles also have an in-house candidate to replace Gannon in defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, who guided the pass defense to its fewest yards allowed per game in a season since 2001. Philadelphia is also reportedly interested in Vance Joseph, who was recently released from his contract with Arizona as defensive coordinator. The Eagles may take the veteran route here, especially with how many high-profile defensive free agents they want to bring back.
Outlook: The offense shouldn’t miss a beat with Johnson at offensive coordinator, as he was being sought after for a promotion and an opportunity to call plays. Johnson and Hurts are expected to work very well together, as he was part of the braintrust that developed Hurts into a top-tier quarterback.
The defense will certainly have different pieces in 2023, which may be why having a veteran coordinator on a Super Bowl-contending team wouldn’t be a bad hire. Philadelphia can’t afford to lose Wilson, either, but he may be a year away from a coordinator job — which may have to be with another organization.
- Additions: Brian Schottenheimer (offensive coordinator)
- Departures: Kellen Moore (offensive coordinator)
After back-to-back playoff losses to the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys decided to make a surprising coaching change in parting ways with Moore. The Cowboys decided to move on from their play caller as head coach Mike McCarthy will call plays for the first time since he was coaching the Green Bay Packers.
Dallas replaced Moore with Schottenheimer, who only had a top-10 offense in yards per game in only one of his 12 seasons as an offensive coordinator. Schottenheimer did have a top-10 scoring offense in all three of his seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (2018-2020), having Russell Wilson in his prime at his disposal.
Outlook: Replacing Moore with Schottenheimer appears to be a downgrade, especially since the Cowboys had the top offense in yards per game in two of his four seasons at the position (and a top-5 scoring offense the past two seasons). McCarthy calling plays is also a downgrade here, as he hasn’t called plays for a top-10 offense in points and yards since 2016.
The Cowboys appeared to make a change for the sake of change, which doesn’t bode well for immediate results. Moore also poached quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier to the Los Angeles Chargers, another coach critical to Dak Prescott’s development.
If the Cowboys go to the conference championship game in 2023 and Prescott significantly reduces his giveaways, this move will be beneficial. But at this point, moving on form Moore felt like a reactionary move.
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- Additions: None
- Departures: None
The Giants were the only team in the NFC East to not lose or replace one of their two coordinators this offseason, the first year under head coach Brian Daboll. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka was a head coaching candidate, but there were only five openings available — so it was likely he was coming back.
Outlook: Keeping both coordinators is extremely beneficial for the Giants, who don’t have to learn a new scheme in year two under Daboll. Kafka will call the offense for the second consecutive season while defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will run the defense once again.
Will Daniel Jones return at quarterback, especially after he led the Giants to their first playoff win since 2011? What about Saquon Barkley, as he’s arguably the top running back on the free agent market? The Giants offense may look very different next season, so retaining Kafka may not matter as the offense will need time to gel. The Giants could be better in 2023, yet it will be hard to top what they accomplished this past season.
- Additions: TBD
- Departures: Scott Turner (offensive coordinator)
Head coach Ron Rivera doesn’t call plays, so whoever is hired as the next offensive coordinator will be responsible for the offense. Turner never had an offense ranked better than 20th in yards per game in the three seasons with Washington, which lacked a franchise quarterback in the process. The team’s points per game was never higher than 23rd, so the change was necessary.
The Commanders areas the team’s offensive coordinator, an instant upgrade over Turner. Bieniemy didn’t call plays with the Kansas City Chiefs, yet he was critical towards the development of Patrick Mahomes and the offense averaging 30.1 points per game over the last five years — just the third team in NFL history to average 30 points over a five-year span.
Outlook: Bieniemy would be a huge addition for the Commanders, but Washington needs a reliable starting quarterback to get the offense on par with the defense. Washington finished .500 with a top-10 defense last season, but the offense is the reason why it missed the playoffs.
If Bieniemy can convince a top-15 quarterback to play for the Commanders, they’ll challenge for the NFC East title and a playoff spot. Washington is a quarterback away from the playoffs with that defense and quality skill players.