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Bengals Chatting with Florida DC Todd Grantham About Defensive Coordinator Job

The Bengals are still on the search for a defensive coordinator for new head coach Zac Taylor, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the team has narrowed the search to put the focus on University of Florida DC Todd Grantham.

Sources: The #Bengals have narrowed their defensive coordinator search to focus on #Florida DC Todd Grantham, and he’s back in the building this morning. The only question is, can the #Bengals and new coach Zac Taylor pull him away from UF.

There’s been quite a few names that the team has chatted with about the DC spot, including Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, and Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn.

As for Grantham, he’s going to cost to make the jump to the NFL, as last year with Florida he made close to $1.5 million, so he won’t be cheap if the team can talk him into coming aboard.

Bengals Going All In on Youth with the Head Coach and OC Positions

Bengals’ Zac Taylor, 35, and Brian Callahan, 34, will comprise far and away the youngest head coach-offensive coordinator combination in the league, Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

They point out the need to dissect the true meaning of experience.

“When you look at where Zac and I come from and take out just years in the league or experience, we’ve got a lot of experience in a lot of different areas that are beneficial,” Callahan said. “His dad was a coach. My dad was a coach. We’ve had access to things that not a lot of people get access to at that age. I do think there’s kind of a shared experience with those types of things that give you the experience that doesn’t necessarily count on a resume.”

Callahan has been in the NFL 10 years. He made it to the Super Bowl twice, both as an offensive assistant with the Broncos.

Taylor’s coaching time frame dates back 12 years with his one Super Bowl trip last season.

“I think years in this league are like dog years,” Callahan said. “The amount of experience you gain in one year in the NFL, I think, is different than the traditional work environment. It’s so high stress. There are so many things that happen and move so fast. The amount of things that go on into a 16-game season and through the course of an offseason, you learn at an accelerated pace,” Callahan said. “I think that’s why you have so many younger coaches being able to handle these things. The lessons you learn happen so much quicker.”

Callahan points to the likes of Gruden, John Madden and Al Davis, Mike Shanahan, Sean Payton and Sean McVay. Across generations, coaches became coordinators or head coaches in the mid-to-early 30s. All of those names did.

That doesn’t change the reality of what’s happening at Paul Brown Stadium right now. At the most important staff combination in the league, nobody is close to as young as Taylor and Callahan. More importantly, neither led the creation and implementation of an offense before.

The average age of the current NFL offensive coordinators is 45. The average head coach is 50.

Taylor and Callahan are a combined 69 years old. No other combo is younger than 78.

Callahan is the fourth-youngest OC in the league. Dallas just hired 29-year-old Kellen Moore as the youngest. But all the young coordinators are paired with more experienced head coaches.

A thesis during this hiring period was the league has never been more uniquely positioned for young coaches to enter and experience instant success. McVay (33) serves as an obvious example. Kyle Shanahan (39) and Matt Nagy (40) the other successful iterations.

The dramatic personality and learning shift among today’s players merging with the changing model of the current offensive playbook all wrapped up in an analytics revolution move young coaches into the crosshairs.

Taylor and Callahan discussed these grandiose ideas – along with the granular intricacies of a post-wheel concept – during many breakfasts over the years at the NFL Scouting Combine. Neither can remember exactly when they came across each other, likely when Callahan’s dad was coaching Taylor at Nebraska.

Bengals Officially Name Zac Taylor as Teams’ New Head Coach

The Bengals made it official on Monday, hiring Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as the 10th head coach in the history of the franchise.

Cincinnati could not hire Taylor until the Rams were eliminated from the playoffs, and they had to wait till the conclusion of Super Bowl LIII, a 13-3 loss by the Rams to the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Taylor, 35, will be the second-youngest coach in the league behind his former boss, 33-year-old Sean McVay.

Reports say that the new Bengals coach, who took over for Marvin Lewis who was fired after the season, will bring in Raiders quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan, 34, as his new offensive coordinator.

“I am happy and fortunate to join the Cincinnati Bengals as head coach,” Taylor said in a statement.

“This is a great organization with good people and a rich history, and I am excited to get started. I am looking to add to that history by setting high standards, and holding everyone here accountable to those standards. There is a lot of work to do, and this is Day 1. We’re going to attack every day with enthusiasm to get this team ready to go.”

Bengals Want to Hire Rams QB Coach as Their New Head Coach

The Bengals race for a new head coach seems to be nearing its end, as reports from ESPN state that the team is going to go with Rams’ QB coach Zac Taylor.

If you would have checked the borgata race and sports book when Marvin Lewis was fired by the team after 16 seasons, not many could have predicted that Taylor would be the next head coach of the Cats down in the Queen City.

The report from ESPN stated that the 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.’

The hiring of Taylor is a complete change from what the team has been use to, as for the last 16 years they have had a defensive coach running the team in Lewis, but will now have a new voice on offense with Taylor and his hopeful high powered offensive attack running the show.

Taylor is a former star quarterback at Nebraska, and he started his coaching career in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins as a quarterbacks coach in 2012, helping to develop former first-round pick Ryan Tannehill, and took over offensive-coordinator duties during the 2015 season.

After spending a year with the Cincinnati Bearcats, he came back to the NFL under Sean McVay with the Rams, for whom he served as assistant wide-receivers coach in 2017 before shifting to quarterbacks this season.

Taylor and the Rams have had great offensive success the last two seasons, and this past season former first overall pick in the draft Jared Goff and the Rams went 13-3 and ranked fifth in the NFL this season with 282 passing yards per game.

One interesting thing to watch is if Taylor will get his family involved with the Bengals in terms of filling his staff.

His father in law is one-time Packers head coach Mike Sherman, who would be a great addition to the staff in terms of having an experienced voice for Taylor, who will need help in trying to find his way through his first season as a coach in the league.

The Bengals are still saying nothing about the hire, as they can’t by NFL rules do much of anything with Taylor until the Rams season ends, which could be this weekend against the Cowboys at home on Saturday.

Bengals Fire Head Coach Marvin Lewis After 16 Seasons

While he changed the culture of the Bengals organization, he was unable to get the team to the promised land of the Super Bowl, and Monday it cost him his job.

The Bengals announced they have fired coach Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons, as he took the Bengals to the playoffs eight times, losing the first game each time they got to the postseason.

He earned 131 wins as the Bengals head coach, and was the NFL coach of the year in 2009. He just was never able to get past the first playoff game with no matter who he had on the roster.

“I didn’t deliver what the No. 1 goal is, and that’s to be world champions, and we did not get that done,” Lewis said at a Monday news conference.

“A lot of positives, but that’s the one goal as a coach you look forward to doing. [Bengals president] Mike [Brown] and I both decided it’s time. I think it’s a tough moment for both of us, but we both realized.”

The team will chat with coaching assistant and former Browns head coach Hue Jackson for the job.

“I think he’s more than qualified,” Lewis said at the news conference. “I think he’s been in a couple of difficult situations [in Oakland and Cleveland], and that’s tough, and it hasn’t broke his way. But I think he’s an excellent football coach, he’s a great motivator. So I think he deserves an opportunity, if not here, somewhere else.”

Marvin Lewis Hasn’t Been Given Any Assurances He’ll Last the Season as Bengals Coach

One year after two late wins against Detroit and Baltimore went a long way to sway Bengals owner Mike Brown to retain Marvin Lewis for a 16th season, it would be hard to see a premature move before the traditional meeting between the two the day after the season ends.

Lewis said on Monday he has been given no assurances that the team would wait until the end of the year, Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

“No, and I wouldn’t expect any or ask for any,” Lewis said. “The least of my worries.”

When Lewis was asked if he wants to coach next season, he merely stated, “my job is to coach the football team.”

Last year, Brown admitted after retaining Lewis his preference to letting the season conclude.

“I chose not to make a decision on what we were going to do going forward until all the evidence had been submitted,” Brown told The Enquirer in January. “And that meant playing through the full season and not making a call prematurely.”

Four weeks of evidence remain, starting with a game at the streaking Los Angeles Chargers (9-3) this Sunday. Technically, the Bengals (5-7) have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs though their chances of making it are almost impossibly slim. They would need to finish 4-0 as well as get some help from across the league.

Brown admitted before the season started, those half-empty stadiums do leave a mark on him.

“Of course I worry about attendance figures,” Brown said in July. “I’ve been able to add and subtract for a long time. I can look out there. I see what you see. Does it bother me? It bothers me to my core. I don’t like it, and I dearly want to get us back to where we have the enthusiasm and the support that I think we want. That’s a big goal.”

“The only way we win back the fans is to win football games,” Lewis said. “It’s been true the whole time we have been here. We have to win games to get people to come out and enjoy it on Sunday. That’s what the goal is. The players can’t be affected by that. They just have to go play. I tell them they have to bring their own energy. It’s got to be up to them. It’s us, that’s what counts.”

Bengals WR A.J. Green in a Walking Boot; No Word on Playing Status

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was spotted in a walking boot on Monday but head coach Marvin Lewis declined to update his status according to Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Green had been out since Week 8 with a toe injury but returned to the field on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

He did not stay there long as he crumpled to the ground with a non-contact foot injury after catching one pass for seven yards and was carried off in a cart.

Apparently the Bengals will update his status when they return to practice on Wednesday but it seems likely he is done for the season. Even with the coaching staff struggling to save their jobs, it would be foolish to risk the team’s best offensive weapon further in a lost season with a backup quarterback.

Season Over for Bengals QB Andy Dalton After Thumb Surgery

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is undergoing thumb surgery and has been placed on injured reserve, ending his 2018 season according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.com.

Dalton was knocked out of Sunday’s home loss to the Cleveland Browns while trying to recover a bad snap that ended up as a Browns turnover. There was initial optimism in the Bengals locker room about the injury but it was clear the news would not be good when the Bengals claimed human turnover machine Tom Savage on waivers early Monday afternoon.

Athletic but erratic Jeff Driskel, a 2016 sixth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech, will finish the season as the starting quarterback for the Bengals.

So another promising season for Dalton and the Bengals goes down the drain. The team started out 2-0 and had visions of returning to the playoffs but those hopes are pretty much nonexistent now.

Dalton, who turned 31 last month, finished the 2018 campaign with a 21:11 TD-to-INT ratio and averaged 7.0 yards per attempt, once again reasserting himself as a mid-range to below-average NFL starter. The Bengals can save $16.2 million in salary cap space by releasing Dalton in the offseason with zero dead money.