After weeks of being the presumed future Cincinnati Bengals head coach, it’s official. Zac Taylor officially became the Bengals head coach earlier this week. His introduction leaves Bengals fans and analysts pondering what comes next.
There are multiple concerns facing the Bengals in this offseason. With Taylor now able to turn his full attention coaching-wise towards the Bengals. After the low-octane offensive showcase that was last Sunday’s Super Bowl. There are at least three major concerns facing the Bengals in this offseason now. Concerns taking center stage after Taylor’s Queen City introduction.
Hiring a coaching staff
The Bengals still have many coaching vacancies to fill. They recently hired Brian Callahan to be the their offensive coordinator. Callahan is coming over from the Oakland Raiders. James Casey was recently hired as the Bengals new tight ends coach. Ben Martin will be their new assistant offensive line coach. Meanwhile, it’s reportedly expected that Jim Turner will become the new offensive line coach.
Turner would stand out as a notable hire for controversial reasons. Due to controversial moments in his previous roles with the Miami Dolphins and Texas A&M Football. Despite those moments, Turner’s hire makes some sense given his Miami ties to Taylor. Elsewhere, the Bengals still need to hire a defensive coordinator. The most important coaching vacancy left for Cincinnati; after a lackluster season defensively.
Approaching free agency
Free agency hasn’t been kind to the Cincinnati Bengals in recent years. Losing Super Bowl participants Andrew Whitworth and Rex Burkhead among others recently. In an offseason full of changes, the Bengals front office will have key decisions to make regarding free agency. Determining which free agents are worth the effort to keep them in Cincinnati. Along with potentially bringing in free agents from other teams.
C.J. Uzomah and Darqueze Dennard stand out as two of the most notable Bengals free agents. At least when one looks at how they did last year. For example, Uzomah stepped up in the wake of Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft’s injuries. Both Eifert and Kroft are also free agents in this offseason. Dennard had more total tackles last season than any other Bengals free agent.
Approaching the NFL Draft
Finally, one wonders how the first NFL Draft in the Zac Taylor era will go for the Bengals. There are many aspects to this upcoming draft for Bengals fans to speculate about. First, whether the Bengals will or wont draft a quarterback to give Andy Dalton some competition. Whether the Bengals draft a running back to compliment Joe Mixon or not. There’s reason to speculate about how the front office will approach this draft without Marvin Lewis. Also, what will the Bengals do to address their defensive woes in the draft?
These concerns provide a backdrop for the most significant Bengals offseason in years. How the Bengals deal with these concerns will play a role in the Bengals future prospects.