Atlanta will be shopping for a new running backs coach this offseason.
Des Kitchings brought nearly a decade of experience as a running backs coach to the same role in Atlanta, having spent eight seasons with North Carolina State and one season with South Carolina, and he also spent time as the co-offensive coordinator for NC State in 2019. Given that experience and his work with and proximity to Cordarrelle Patterson during the veteran’s big breakout season for the Falcons, it’s not surprising that teams might be interested in talking to him about new roles.
Reportedly, one of the teams trying to lure him back to the college ranks with a new opportunity is the University of Virginia, which had him on a list of targets for their offensive coordinator opening. Today, we learned they’ve hired him, and Kitchings is taking the job effectively immediately.
Des Kitchings is taking the OC job at Virginia immediately per Falcons HC Arthur Smith.
Said that’ll be by committee this week at coaching that position.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) January 3, 2022
Presumably, quarterbacks coach Charles London will factor into the planning for Sunday, given that he was a running backs coach with Chicago just last season, but we’ll see what happens. The Falcons will need to hire a new coach and have some personnel decisions to make at the position now.
The Falcons would obviously love to re-sign Cordarrelle Patterson and will likely retain Mike Davis, but I’d be heavily on the team adding a young running back and weighing whether to keep Qadree Ollison and Caleb Huntley around. They’ll want a good coach for the younger backs and the veterans alike, and by all accounts, they’ve lost a good one with Kitchings leaving.
Kitchings will likely be the first of several coaches on the Falcons getting long looks from other teams now and in the future, especially if this team is more successful on offense in the years ahead. We wish him well at UVA.