Zac Taylor will be the Cincinnati Bengals next head coach. The Bengals are now focusing on the second step in their pursuit a fresh start. With the search for a new coaching staff now underway.
Taylor is currently the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. He was also the offensive coordinator for the University of Cincinnati in 2016. His hiring won’t be official until the Rams season ends. The Rams will face the New Orleans Saints in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. Depending on how that game goes, Taylor’s formal Cincinnati introduction could come next week or in early February.
The Bengals can now turn their attention towards other staff vacancies. Chief among these non-head coaching vacancies is the defensive coordinator job. The Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin after just nine games on the job. Austin was added to the Pittsburgh Steelers staff last Friday. Former head coach Marvin Lewis filled in as the Bengals DC after Austin’s firing.
A new defensive coordinator will face a significant challenge. Coaching a defensive unit that gave up more yards than any other defense in the National Football League in 2018. They will also guide that defense with an offense oriented head coach. Speaking of offense, the Bengals will also need a new offensive coordinator. After Bill Lazor was fired late last week after three seasons with the team.
Lazor was the Bengals offensive coordinator for two seasons. Taking over after Ken Zampese was fired three games into the 2017 season. His dismissal was one of several on the Bengals front last week. Hue Jackson was the most notable assistant sent packing aside from Lazor. Linebackers coach Jim Haslett, tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes and running backs coach Kyle Caskey were also let go. Offensive line coach Bill Pollack became the latest to be let go on Tuesday.
The eventual successors to these assistants will have their own challenges. A new linebackers coach and a new defensive coordinator will have the same challenge. A new tight ends coach will take over with their primary tight ends recuperating from injuries. Lazor and Pollack’s successors will inherit an inconsistent offensive line. The Bengals next running backs coach will need to do two things. Mainly utilizing Joe Mixon but also getting Giovani Bernard and Mark Walton to be more effective.
This offseason is turning into the most monumental one for the Bengals in nearly 20 years. Facing decisions that will leave an impact on the Bengals heading into the 2020’s. Their coaching staff decisions are among the first steps in this monumental offseason journey. Yet, these could be the important steps made in this journey.