Jon Gruden: Brian Callahan leaving for Bengals OC job


The Cincinnati Bengals don't yet officially have a head coach, but they apparently have an offensive coordinator.

Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan is leaving the team to join the Bengals as their offensive coordinator, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday during his media availability at the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

"Here's an announcement for you, Brian Callahan's no longer with us," Gruden said. "He's gonna go with the Cincinnati Bengals, believe he's gonna be the offensive coordinator of the Bengals. And I'm really proud of him, happy for him, happy for this opportunity. We're short-handed right now. We've lost a lot of quarterback guys over the years and they've all gone on -- a lot of them have done great things and I'm sure Brian will do the same."

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Callahan was a target of the Bengals for the position, as was former Raiders coach Jack Del Rio for the defensive coordinator position. Cincinnati, though, does not yet have its head coach hired.

Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor is expected to take over as the Bengals head coach once the Rams' season is complete, but the Rams have reached Super Bowl LIII, making the wait two weeks longer for Cincinnati. That doesn't mean Taylor's staff can't be filled out in the meantime.

Callahan is the son of former NFL offensive coordinator and head coach Bill Callahan, for whom Taylor played when he was a quarterback at Nebraska. The elder Callahan also replaced Gruden as head coach of the Raiders after Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay before the 2002 season.

Brian Callahan brings nine years of NFL coaching experience, including two years as Matthew Stafford's QBs coach in Detroit before moving to Oakland with Gruden. He's also spent six years with the Denver Broncos in a variety of offensive roles.

In other Raiders news, Marshawn Lynch's future with the team remains murky. Gruden said the team will meet with Lynch following Super Bowl LIII.

"I don't know that yet," Gruden said of whether Lynch will return to the Raiders. "I think, when we get back after the Super Bowl, we'll have a lot better indication on his health and his desire, on what he wants to do. I'm sure if he wants to play, somebody like me would love to have him back."

Lynch came out of retirement to play for the Raiders, who acquired his rights from the Seahawks via trade, in 2017. He was limited to six games in 2018 due to a groin injury that landed him on injured reserve.

Gruden was similarly unsure about the future of tight end Jared Cook, who had a career year at 31 years old (in part because there weren't many other pass-catching options on Oakland's roster), saying he knew there would be a competitive market for Cook.