The Bengals plan to hire an external candidate to fill their head coaching vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Therefore, provided they don’t conduct any more interviews, the Bengals appear set to tap either Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Buccaneers OC Todd Monken, former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, Rams quarterbacks coach Zach Taylor, or Rams passing game coordinator/tight ends coach Shane Waldron as their next head coach.
Given that they’ve yet to select a new head coach, Cincinnati is likely targeting an assistant who is still coaching in the postseason. That would rule out Monken and Joseph, but Bieniemy, Taylor, and Waldron are each preparing for Divisional Round matchups with their respective teams. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, the speculation around the NFL has all signs pointing to Bieniemy, although that’s far from official.
The Bengals began dismissing members of their incumbent staff this morning, tweets Florio. All of Cincinnati’s assistants had one year remaining on their respective contracts, but whomever the Bengals have decided on for head coach has presumably told management which staffers he’d like to retain. Linebackers coach Jim Haslett, tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes, and running backs coach Kyle Caskey are among those who will not return in 2019, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). Roughly half of the Bengals’ staff will be back next season, tweets Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Cincinnati interviewed a number of internal candidates as part of their head coaching search, including offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, and special assistant Hue Jackson.