After nearly two decades with Marvin Lewis at the helm, the Bengals have decided to move on and go younger at head coach.
The Bengals want to get a piece of the Sean McVay coaching tree and are intent on hiring Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as the new head coach.
Taylor, 35, has spent the last two seasons on McVay’s staff as the quarterback’s coach in 2018 and the receivers coach in 2017. His work developing Jared Goff and coordinating one of the league’s most explosive offenses is what the Bengals are hoping he can do with his first head coaching job.
Prior to working with McVay, Taylor worked with the Dolphins from 2012-2015 as both an assistant quarterbacks coach and interim offensive coordinator. Taylor has experience at the local level, spending the 2016 season as the offensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati.
Goff made a huge jump in 2018 under the 35-year-old coach’s watch, just as Ryan Tannehill had his best seasons in Miami under Taylor’s guidance. If the Bengals go through with their plan to hire Taylor when the Rams season ends, he’ll be the second coach from the McVay coaching tree to land a head coaching job in the NFL this offseason. The Green Bay Packers hired Matt LaFleur Monday; McVay and LaFleur spent time together on the Washington Redskins staff.
The trend is hiring offensive minds and the “next Sean McVay” so this is an exciting hire for Bengals fans who may have been fearful Hue Jackson would be the fallback plan after 16 years of Marvin Lewis.
Taylor will be tasked with getting the most out of veteran Andy Dalton and breathing new life into an offense that has plenty of talent at receiver with A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and former first round pick, John Ross and budding star running back Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard playing a nice complementary role. The Bengals finished No. 17 in offense in 2018 but if Taylor is able to take what he learned from McVay and take it to the Queen City, the Bengals have the potential to greatly improve on that.
The big question is what it would mean for the future of Dalton who has two years left on his deal and a combined cap hit of $33.9 million. The Bengals figure to be in the market for an upgrade at the position and could consider Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence in the 2020 and 2021 NFL Drafts.