Cincinnati Bengals assistant Dan Pitcher reportedly is in line for an offseason promotion. Whether his elevation comes internally or externally, however, seems to be up in the air.

Pitcher, who joined the Bengals organization in 2016, has served as Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach the last four seasons. By all accounts, he’s been a guiding light to Joe Burrow while working under former offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and play-calling head coach Zac Taylor.

With Callahan recently being named the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, many quickly pointed to Pitcher as the succession plan in Cincinnati. Pitcher, though, has attracted external interest as the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders all requested to interview him for their respective offensive coordinator positions. The Saints reportedly have requested a second interview with Pitcher.

There’s one major reason why Pitcher could opt to leave Cincinnati despite the fact he’s expected to earn the same title: Play-calling. Taylor calls plays for the Burrow-led offense. Moving on from the Bengals would give Pitcher a better chance to add that to his resume in the short term.

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However, an internal elevation in Cincinnati might still be most the attractive long-term option. The reasoning is multi-fold. The Saints, Patriots and Raiders don’t have set-in-stone quarterback situations. And there aren’t many situations in the National Football League better than Burrow and the Bengals. Never mind the fact the Bengals also have a legitimate WR1 in Ja’Marr Chase, another advantage over the Patriots, specifically. New England’s offense doesn’t compare to Cincinnati’s.

“It’s a tough call because, obviously, these other places don’t have Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote Tuesday in reference to Pitcher’s situation.

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The 37-year-old Pitcher spent the last 12 seasons in the NFL. Prior to working in Cincinnati, he served as a scouting assistant and pro scout for the Indianapolis Colts. This impending opportunity in Cincinnati, the chance to serve directly under Taylor and work as Burrow’s offensive coordinator, is the best he’s had. It feels like it’s better than working under Saints head coach Dennis Allen, whose future in New Orleans is no sure thing after the 2024 campaign. And it’s arguably better than working under first-year head coaches like Raiders’ Antonio Pierce or Patriots’ Jerod Mayo, despite the fact Las Vegas has an aging Davante Adams and New England could land a quarterback No. 3 overall.

All told, New England fans probably shouldn’t hold their breath about Pitcher to the Patriots.

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