5 dark horse candidates to replace Anthony Lynn as Lions offensive coordinator
4. Rich Scangarello, San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach
After one year as Broncos offensive coordinator and a year as a senior assistant for the Eagles, Scangarello came back to the 49ers as Kyle Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach this year. He previously held that same post in 2017 and 2018.
Scangarello has a wide swath of experience in college and the NFL as an offensive assistant. His lone season as an NFL coordinator in Denver did not go well (28th in scoring offense), but the Broncos had Joe Flacco, Drew Lock and Brandon Allen start games under center in 2019. No offense would have great success with that set of quarterbacks.
Scangarello will probably get a coordinating mulligan at some point. If that opportunity comes in Detroit, the faint notion the Lions may trade for Jimmy Garoppolo would become easier to see.
3. Mark Brunell, Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach
Brunell is in his first year as Lions’ quarterback coach, as Campbell put together a staff full of former NFL players. His prior (however limited) coaching experience was at the high school level several years ago, so it would be quite a leap to being a coordinator after one season as a quarterbacks coach.
That said, Brunell is surely learning something this season, even if it’s what not to do and how a lack of talent hampers any offensive plan. He also went out of his way to heap praise on Jared Goff in August. If the Lions are stuck with their current quarterback next year, that coach-player relationship carry-over may be meaningful if the search to replace Lynn goes a certain way (and not necessarily awry). Brunell’s experience playing quarterback at a pretty good level in the NFL would help him in working with a young quarterback the Lions may bring in via the draft.