City of Cortland native and SUNY Cortland Alum Dan Pitcher is able to add another honor to his belt: 2020-2021 Cincinnati Bengals Assistant Coach of the Year. This is Pitcher's first year as the Cincinnati Bengals' Quarterback Coach.
A press release was sent out at 12:43 am this morning that announced the team's players and staff members for the 2020-2021 season. Here's the announcement of Pitcher's achievement:
"ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR, QBs DAN PITCHER: A very tight race. Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons could very well be the guy. After his unit was ranked No. 1 last season in the league by Football Outsiders, Simmons had to rebuild when he lost leader Clayton Fejedelem and they drafted three rookie linebackers. He does what he always does and quietly churned out a top 12 group. This one was No. 9 by the Outsiders and it's significant because Simmons did it after he was named assistant head coach.
But it's even harder not to give it to Pitcher in his first season on the job after four seasons as an offensive assistant. He was heavily involved in the scouting and drafting of Burrow and helped guide him to what looked to be a Rookie of the Year season until he was injured. Then he helped Ryan Finley beat the Steelers, but not before getting Brandon Allen ready to play when Allen spent the entire year away from everybody as the COVID quarterback.
Pitcher didn't even talk to Allen indoors until he got the job on Nov. 23 and even then most of their conversations were on the practice field. Allen didn't throw with the No. 1 receivers in a team drill until the week he was supposed to play. Yes, he had a 0 passer rating in the finale, but in his first four starts he had the best completion percentage (69.4) of any Bengals quarterback in his first four starts.
When Allen beat the Texans in the next-to-last game, it marked the first time since 1984 the Bengals had three quarterbacks to win at least one game in a season. "