The Cincinnati Bengals are replacing both of their primary coordinators for just the second time in the 11 years Marvin Lewis has been head coach.
With a franchise that strives for continuity, the Bengals rarely have seen one coordinator leave, let alone both.
But with Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer now head coaches elsewhere, the Bengals are left with two new coordinators, one of which having never served in that role.
Paul Guenther was promoted from within to DC after serving as the team’s linebackers coach, and Hue Jackson was also promoted after working with the running backs and defensive backs in the past two seasons.
While Lewis doesn’t want to change things dramatically, he admitted this week that it will be a fresh start for a staff vastly different from [previous years:
“It’s kind of the start of the offseason for us as coaches so it kind of brings you back to reality,” Lewis said as he prepared to hop on a plane back home from the Senior Bowl.
“We’re going to get working again. We’re going to go back to Cincinnati and have to put the staff together and redo responsibilities and assignments and things like that because it’s different now. It’s a reboot of the reboot.
“We have to start again. We have to start fresh. The past is the past three years. It’s gone. We have to start new. We’re starting new with new coordinators and coaches. I think all the guys we brought in in new spots are going to energize us. They’re all excited and good, that’s great.”
At this point, a fresh start sounds like a great plan after three-straight one-and-done playoff showings in which the offense scored a combined 33 points in those games.
One other bit of news Lewis had was that he’s not sure yet if Andrew Whitworth is going to play left tackle or left guard. That could dramatically affect the offseason, as a move to guard would make re-signing Anthony Collins an even bigger priority.
Perhaps, the team plans to wait and see what Collins commands on the free agent market, then potentially offer him a contract that will at least double the $2.1 million he made in 2013.
If he leaves though, that would force Whitworth to go back to tackle next year after finishing the ’13 season playing at a Pro Bowl level at guard.
An offensive line of Collins at LT, Whit at LG, Cook at C, a healthy Kevin Zeitler at RG and Andre Smith at RT would be one of the most formidable lines in the league.