The Cincinnati Bengals necessarily got a late start on rebuilding their coaching staff this offseason because the new head coach that they hired saw his former team advance all the way to the Super Bowl. Teams are unable to officially hire coaches until said coach’s season has come to an end, so the Bengals had to wait for Zac Taylor’s Los Angeles Rams to wrap things up earlier this month.
One does wonder how many choice hires that might have cost them, especially in light of the fact that they had several false starts as it pertain to hiring a defensive coordinator, which they only got done a couple of days ago. There are multiple other candidates that they went after, but each turned down the opportunity for one reason or another—usually money.
But they have now hired Los Anarumo, who spent last season as a defensive backs coach for the New York Giants. He held the same title with the Miami Dolphins from 2012 to 2017, and served as interim defensive coordinator in 2015, so he has a brief amount of experience in that role.
“I just felt that, that was the right thing to do, not put together a staff until after the game was over”, Taylor said of the delay in finding a new defensive coordinator. “It was easy to hire some guys on offense because I knew them all along, but I just really wanted to start that process when the game ended”.
Taylor was able to piece together the offensive side of his staff pretty quickly, but the defensive side was slower to fill out. “It feels like it’s gone on forever because we’re the last team to make these hires, but in reality, it’s taken the same amount of time that you would normally take with a new head coach and the hires we’ve made”, he said.
Coming from the Sean McVay school, if there is such a thing already for a two-year head coach well under the age of 40, Taylor carries with him a certain philosophy about what sort of people he wants to surround himself with on his coaching staff, and as you might guess, he has pulled, or tried to pull, people from all different areas, including many directly from the college ranks.
“Again, it’s just about the right people. There’s plenty of really good coaches out there, we just had to find the right one that fit what we wanted to do, and we found that with Lou”, he said. Time will tell whether or not that actually proves to be the case.
Marvin Lewis was convinced that Teryl Austin would be the answer at defensive coordinator for them last year, but he had to fire him mid-season and take over the defensive playcalling responsibilities himself at the end of his final season. A lot of people claim to surround themselves with the best people only to see them fall short.