The Cincinnati Bengals are not an organization that knows a whole lot about winning. While they have played in the Super Bowl, they did not win, and their last appearance was a long time ago. In fact, their playoff victory drought is becoming quite impressive, now in excess of 10,000 days.
So the team was hoping that their next head coaching hire would have the opportunity to bring in some hardware to show his new players in replacing Marvin Lewis, who reached the postseason seven times in 16 seasons, posting six losing seasons to seven winning seasons.
Lewis had a bit of a resurgence courtesy of good drafting starting in 2011 when they were able to find a Pro Bowl wide receiver and quarterback tandem. They made the playoffs for five straight years but lost in the Wildcard round every time.
But with the team and Lewis mutually agreeing to part ways, the Bengals’ next head coach will actually know what it’s like to experience a playoff victory. They are expected to announce the hiring of Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor today.
Taylor, whose Rams just lost the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots, was not prepared to talk about his next chapter just yet, however, as he told reporters after Sunday’s game.
“I’m going to finish everything up with these guys in this locker room that have given us their heart and soul and this coaching staff I’ve grown to be so close with”, he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Tonight we focus on us, this team and relationships we built, and we will approach tomorrow when it comes”.
While he wouldn’t answer questions specifically about what his plans are for the morning, those plans have been readily apparent for a while now. He will be on a plan to Cincinnati in the morning, and he will be finalizing his contract to be the Bengals’ head coach upon arrival, after which there would soon be a press conference to announce the signing.
Only after which point the work can finally begin to be done. The coaching staff still needs to be fleshed out, as the organization very much gutted the staff with the departure of Lewis. They were able to make some moves in the interim in conjunction with communication from Taylor about his wishes, but finalizing the coaching staff is the top priority.
The down side of reaching the Super Bowl is that it puts you behind everybody else in preparation for next season. That becomes exaggerated even further when you’re a team making a change at head coach, and bringing in such a coach. Other teams have already sent their staffs to the Senior Bowl and such. The Bengals still need to assemble one.
But now they can finally start.