The search for the Bengals new defensive coordinator intensified today, with rumors that the Ravens would not allow current defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to make a lateral move to a division rival, and the apparent refusal by the Carolina Panthers to allow the Bengals to take to defensive backs coach Tim Lewis.
A new name has jumped to the front of the list, as current Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer interviewed with the Bengals last Friday, and while he is still under contract with Atlanta, was apparently told he could, and should, look for a job elsewhere.
Zimmer is the sexiest name being bandied about for Cincinnati’s defensive head man, but he hardly seems the best. Atlanta’s offense took plenty of heat for their poor play but their defense was horrid this past season. Atlanta’s defense was so abhorrent they were on of just four teams actually ranked below Cincy in total defense.
At one point, Zimmer was a rising star, as defensive coordinator for Bill Parcells, Zimmer was actually asked to interview for several head coaching jobs, and received hefty pay raises to stick with the Cowboys, so whether or not Zimmer’s team collapsed because of him, or because of Mike Vick’s and Bobby Petrino’s ongoing soap operas is open for debate.
Other possibilities from inside the organization still remain, including defensive backs coach Kevin Croyle, and consultant Donnie Henderson, who has previously coached the defense for the Jets and Lions.