BMitch & Finlay discuss top OC candidates for Commanders


The Washington Commanders added two new candidates to their short list of potential offensive coordinators, with ESPN's John Keim reporting they are set to interview Miami's Eric Studesville and Thomas Brown of the LA Rams.

Studesville, 55, spent the 2022 season as the Dolphins' associate head coach and running backs coach and has been with the organization dating back to 2017. Prior to that he was with the Denver Broncos (2011-2016), where he won Super Bowl 50 as a running backs coach and offensive coordinator.

Brown, 36, first joined the Rams as a running backs coach in 2020 and was elevated to assistant head coach in 2021, when Los Angeles won Super Bowl LVI. He also served as running backs coach that season and then moved over to coach the tight ends this past season.

The Commanders have already interviewed Falcons quarterbacks coach Charles London (47), Broncos offensive coordinator and former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (57), and in-house candidate Ken Zampese (55), who's served as Washington's quarterbacks coach since Ron Rivera's arrival in 2020.

106.7 The Fan's Brian Mitchell and JP Finlay discussed the new candidates on Friday and analyzed how they measure up to those already interviewed.

"We've got some news coming out of Commanders land," Finlay said. "Two new names — I don't know how new either of them are — but Eric Studesville is gonna interview for the job Monday. And Thomas Brown from the LA Rams is going to be up for an offensive coordinator interview."

"I've been advocating for Thomas Brown for awhile," he said. "When you listen to the way Sean McVay talks about that young man, I think he's a real up-and-comer. I'm not entirely sure that this is the right job for a real up-and-comer."

"When you get that assistant head coach title on your thing sometimes and you get involved with the play-calling — not necessarily making the calls, but get involved with it — do you want to just take a step back and become a coordinator without having that title too?" BMitch wondered of Brown. "Or do you want to go get a head coaching job?"

"I think you want to be a play-caller," Finlay replied. "Because let's be real about the Rams, they had a tough year, obviously, but I don't think people would expect them to remain sub-.500 next year."

In Brown's defense, BMitch noted the reality of the Super Bowl hangover and how enjoying the perks of free food and drinks around town can have a very notable impact. Mitchell was a Super Bowl champion with the Washington Redskins.

"So Studesville is interesting," Finlay said. "I believe he called somebody earlier this week to kind of get some information about the Commanders and what they're all about, what the staff looks like. Studesville is 55 and has never been an OC. I think that's a good opportunity for him, honestly."

"This is a guy with a long history as a running backs coach," he added. "I think he was OC with the Broncos and then he was co-OC in Miami last year, so he's had the chance. I don't know that he's ever been the top play-caller. He's got a Super Bowl ring from the Denver teams. He's got a long impressive resume and I think that matters."

At this point, BMitch & Finlay transitioned to discuss the candidates already interviewed by the Commanders and how Brown and Studesville measure against them.

"We know they've interviewed London, Zampese and Shurmur," Finlay said. "And I don't know that there's a ton of excitement for any of those dudes. I've been advocating for Brown. I'm not sure this is the right gig at the right time for a young guy, but it's a great opportunity certainly."

"Especially if things could change up next year," BMitch noted. "A young guy might want to go and deal with something that's more... stable."

"Right," Finlay agreed. "Like, if you're a young guy and say you've come here, and maybe they're gonna rebuild this offensive line in a hurry but there's a lot of work to be done. You're gonna have a young quarterback. The odds of having an established stud quarterback here next year are very, very slim. So you might have a guy with 11 completions to his name."

"A little growing pains," BMitch replied. "But it can be a great paragraph to your resume if you come in and make that young quarterback play well."

"Hell yeah," Finlay said. "It's an opportunity, man, and opportunities don't always present themselves exactly how you want them."

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