Many would say the move was long overdue, but the Cincinnati Bengals finally did it after missing out on the playoffs for the third year in a row. They fired longtime head coach Marvin Lewis. It sounds like they have already zeroed in on who the next head coach is going to be—or at least who they want to hire.
According to what sources have told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, the Bengals are hoping to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach, Zac Taylor.
Bengals would like to hire Rams’ QB coach Zac Taylor after Los Angeles’ season ends, league sources tell @mortreport and me. It looks like it is Taylor’s job to lose. He is the preferred choice.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 10, 2019
Since the Rams were on a bye last week, the Bengals were able to interview Taylor. But they will have to wait for the Rams to be eliminated from the playoffs—or until after the Super Bowl should the Rams make it– before they can officially hire him.
In Taylor, the Bengals must be hoping to have the next Sean McVay because he certainly doesn’t have much of a track record. He got his start in the NFL in 2012 as the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Dolphins after working as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M for three years (2008-11).
The ‘assistant’ tag was removed after the first year, and in 2015 he became the team’s offensive coordinator as well during the season after Bill Lazor was fired.
He left the Dolphins after the 2015 season and took a job as the QB coach and offensive coordinator for Tommy Tuberville at Cincinnati. After serving in that capacity during the 2016 season, he got back into the NFL in 2017; this time as the assistant wide receivers coach for the Rams.
So, with only a handful of years of experience in the NFL and only five games (in 2015) as a coordinator, the Bengals think he is ready to handle the job of coaching the entire team.
He has been widely credited for helping make Ryan Tannehill as good as he was during the first few years of his career. Jared Goff has had a good season this year, but Goff was also pretty good last season.
So, how much credit should Taylor really get?
It is worth noting that just because they want to hire him, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will. Assuming he indicated he would accept the job if offered it, he could do like Josh McDaniels and decline it when the time comes.