Bengals Likely To Hire Zac Taylor As HC

The Bengals’ “preferred choice” for head coach is Rams’ quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, according to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Taylor, who interviewed for the position last week, can’t be hired until Los Angeles is eliminated from the postseason. The Rams are preparing for a divisional round game against the Cowboys, and could potentially be tied up into February if they reach the Super Bowl. But Cincinnati’s head coaching job is reportedly Taylor’s to lose, per the ESPN scribes. As of yet, the Bengals have not held any negotiations with Taylor, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Given that he’s only 35 years old, Taylor would mark a departure for the Bengals, who had relied on veteran coach Marvin Lewis since 2003. But Cincinnati’s entire coaching search, which involved interviewing numerous young offensive minds such as the Chiefs’ Eric Bieniemy and Taylor’s Rams colleague Shane Waldron, represented a stark change for the club.

Taylor has only called offensive plays at the NFL level for a half-season: in 2015, he was promoted to offensive coordinator in Miami after the Dolphins fired Bill Lazor (who coincidentally is currently the Bengals OC). The following year, Taylor spent time in the Queen City, serving as offensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati before joining the Rams as QBs coach in 2016.

Taylor’s decision to take the Rams’ job proved to be fortuitous, as Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay‘s disciples are quickly claiming head jobs around the NFL. Matt LaFleur, who served as the Rams’ OC in 2016, just landed the Packers’ head coaching gig. And other young coaches with offensive backgrounds (Kliff Kingsbury, Freddie Kitchens) also received HC jobs.

In Cincinnati, Taylor will be tasked with improving an offense that ranked just 19th in DVOA a season ago. Andy Dalton is likely locked in as the Bengals’ starting quarterback for at least one more season, but Cincinnati could draft another signal-caller for Taylor to develop. Elsewhere on offense, the Bengals have a solid set of weapons that includes wide receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, plus running back Joe Mixon. 2017 first-round receiver John Ross, meanwhile, could represent something of a rehabilitation project for Taylor.

Reports earlier this evening indicated the Bengals were likely to hire an external candidate after interviewing a group of incumbent staffers that included Lazor, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, and special assistant Hue Jackson. Cincinnati also began dismissing some of its assistant coaches, which could be a sign Taylor has told the club which staffers he’d like to retain.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “Bengals Likely To Hire Zac Taylor As HC

  1. dray16

    NFL, stop it, please. going with the young offensive guru is so 2017, knock it off.

    • kenleyfornia2

      Thats just how the leauge is shifting. Offense is more important and the only way to create stability is to have the HC running it. Unless your the freak of nature New England Pats. Old school fossils are being weeded out. Adapt like Andy Reid or be stubborn like McCarthey.

      • Matt M

        History even recent history tells a different story regarding your assertation that offense is more important

        • PeterDipersio

          Tell me which team and what year that a team has won a game with the score of 0-0? You have to score points to win so yes offense is more important

  2. joeshmoe11

    ‘.. tasked with improving an offense ranked just 19th in DVOA..’
    Considering most of their playmakers ended the season on IR I think characterizing their offense as needing to be fixed as short-sighted

  3. kenleyfornia2

    If you have ever made contact with Sean Mcvay you will be a head coach

    • These guys have way too little experience and way too little time with Sean McVay to be ready for head coaching gigs. Backlash coming up in a year or two for these flavour of the day trendy hires.

  4. Thronson5

    This is kind of insane lol. I don’t blame teams for trying but just seems so crazy to hire these guys with such little experience and some of these guys have never even called plays. We shall see I guess. Worse that can happen is they continue to not be very good and they try over again.

  5. captainchaos55

    I am born and raised in Cincy. I would like to say that I would love to be able to tell Mike Brown ( Bengals owner) to go you know where. But I can’t do it. It’s not in me to just flip a switch and change teams. I have always been a Bengal fan and I will die a Bengal fan. That said, it is very very hard to be a Bengal fan. Marvin got us to some years of relevance but it was clear that was as far as that was going to go. I think he will be a great DC for someone. I do like this hire. I like it because, it tells me that Mr Brown, who has always been in his eyes , the football genius, that maybe, just maybe he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is about football. Maybe even does need to get a young innovative mind. As a fan, I hope this works. Having been let down so much, I don’t have a lot of confidence though.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The best years for the Bengals were those when the team was allowed to have fun. It was infectious even for fans who followed other teams. I’m not necessarily advocating that they resurrect the Ickey Shuffle but it’s definitely time for a fresh approach in Cincy.

  6. Chris

    Good luck to all the new coaches. Do wish a brotha had gotten a shot. Anthony Lynn is doing great

  7. itslonelyatthetrop

    They’re also considering some 9-year old who’s a beast on Madden.

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