Arguably the worst-kept secrets in all of football are those pertaining to the hiring of coaches whose teams remain active during the postseason. It’s one of those things where everybody knows which coach a team is going to hire—and the fact that they have to keep waiting makes it all the more obvious—but the NFL rules preclude either side from openly discussing it until that coach’s current team’s season is over.
This year, there are two teams waiting on the Super Bowl to be over before they can formally hire and announce their next head coaches. The Miami Dolphins are widely expected to hire New England Patriots defensive coach Brian Flores, while the Cincinnati Bengals are anticipated to bring in Zac Taylor, the quarterbacks coach of the Los Angeles Rams.
After all, if that weren’t the plan, why wouldn’t they have hired a head coach by now?
And so both of them played the dance, fielding questions while not directly talking about their futures. But Taylor did talk about how much he has learned from Rams head coach Sean McVay, who is actually a couple of years younger.
“Sean has been very up front and honest if any coach on our staff has been put in that position to let us take our day to kind of handle all that business then put it to rest and move on”, he said of coaches under McVay interviewing for promotions in other organizations. “We have 24 hours to do what we need to do then have to refocus”.
The Bengals are replacing Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons in the job in Cincinnati. He was the second-longest-tenured head coach in the NFL behind only Bill Belichick of the Patriots, but both sides are said to have agreed to mutually part ways.
The hot commodity on the coaching circuit this time around has been finding the next McVay, and a couple of teams have already brought in new head coaches that have had McVay connections, with Taylor expected to be a third.
“Non-football, the way that he treats people” is what he said he has taken most from McVay. “The way that he treats every person in the building and affects them and motivates them. You want to take your game to a higher level because of the way he treats you and the respect he gives you. You always feel valued. Any time you have a leader at the top of your organization that makes the people feel valued, you get the best out of everybody”.
He’ll have to wait several more days before he can talk about how he will bring those lessons that he learned in Los Angeles with him to Cincinnati. Until then, the plan is for him to be able to bring in a Super Bowl with him to an organization that doesn’t have any.