Lions passing game coordinator Tanner Engstrand to interview for offensive coordinator job

It is not surprising, but a team wants to interview Lions passing game coordinator Tanner Engstrand for their offensive coordinator post.

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
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Head coaching opportunities may be drying up for coordinators Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn, but that doesn't mean the Detroit Lions won't lose someone from Dan Campbell's staff. Or other assistants won't have opportunities elsewhere.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the New England Patriots want to interview Lions passing game coordinator Tanner Engstrand for their offensive coordinator position.

The #Patriots plan to interview #Lions pass game coordinator Tanner Engstrand for their OC position, source said. Engstrand’s name has become a popular one around the NFL thanks to Detroit’s offensive success. Engstrand also worked with Jim Harbaugh earlier in his career.

Engstrand joined the Lions staff during the 2020 season, and he's in his first season as passing game coordinator. He is on a similar track to Johnson, serving as tight ends coach and passing game coordinator in 2022 before narrowing his duties to passing game coordinator this year.

Detroit Lions: Tanner Engstrand coaching resume

Engstrand played quarterback collegiately at San Diego State. He started his coaching career at the University of San Diego in 2005, as a grad assistant under head coach Jim Harbaugh. From there, the 41-year old has built a long coaching resume.

  • San Diego, Graduate assistant-(2005–2006)
  • San Diego, Running backs coach-(2007–2008)
  • San Diego, Quarterbacks coach-(2009–2010)
  • San Diego, Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach-(2011–2012)
  • San Diego, Assistant head coach, offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach (2013-2017)
  • Michigan, Offensive analyst-(2018)
  • DC Defenders (XFL), Offensive coordinator & running backs coach-(2020)
  • Detroit Lions, Offensive Assistant-(2021)
  • Detroit Lions, Tight ends coach/passing game coordinator (2022)
  • Detroit Lions, Passing game coordinator-(2023)

Engstrand is the easy No. 1 in-house successor for Johnson whenever he takes a head coaching job (down to the Washington Commanders for this year). But the success the Lions' offense has had the last couple seasons naturally makes Engstrand someone who will draw interest from other teams who can offer him a promotion to offensive coordinator if Johnson stays again.

It's only a planned interview (carefully worded by Rapoport) at this point. If it happens, it's not guaranteed Engstrand will be offered (or takes) the offensive coordinator job in New England as new head coach Jerod Mayo works to fill his staff. A lot depends on what happens with Johnson, but Engstrand should take opportunities to interview elsewhere if they're out there until further notice.

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