Bengals Return Unprecedented Stability On Coaching Staff Entering Zac Taylor’s 5th Season

The Cincinnati Bengals have done quite a bit that they’ve never done or rarely done before in a short span of time. They managed to double their total number of postseason wins over the past two seasons, adding five more. They also doubled the number of conference finals they’ve played in after going back-to-back.

Nevermind the fact that the first postseason game they won in 2021 was the first for the franchise in over three decades. And they are hoping that they have put together something built to last. That starts with finding stability, which they hope to have with their coordinators.

With Zach Taylor entering his fifth season as head coach, he is also returning with the same coordinators he started with—Brian Callahan as offensive coordinator and Lou Anarumo as defensive coordinator. It wasn’t definite that that would happen until recently, as Anarumo had been in the running for a head coach job or two.

The 2023 season will mark their fifth year together, which will be the first time in franchise history the Bengals have carried the same individuals bearing the titles of head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator together in five consecutive seasons.

The closest they came was the second half of the 1980s with Sam Wyche as their head coach. Wyche had Bruce Coslet on offense and Dick LeBeau on defense with him for four seasons. Coslet left in 1990 to take a head coaching job with the New York Jets. LeBeau remained through 1991 but then left for Pittsburgh for two seasons before returning.

The Bengals have had stability in other areas, of course. They had Marvin Lewis as their head coach for 16 seasons, for example, and at one point Mike Zimmer was his defensive coordinator for six years. Bob Bratkowski was also their offensive coordinator for a decade, including two years before Lewis’ arrival, but he only overlapped with Zimmer for three seasons.

The 2022 Bengals ranked in the top 10 both offensively and defensively in points. They were top 10 offensively in yardage as well, though only 16th on the defensive side—not uncommon, granted, for an offense that moves the ball a lot.

They scored the second-most passing touchdowns while giving up the fourth-fewest. They were in the top 10 both in takeaways and giveaways. Clearly, they have something complementary going so it’s no surprise that they are pleased to be able to keep the staff together for at least one more season.

But they’re bound to lose a coordinator or two along the way if they continue to be successful, as they did with Zimmer and later offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

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