The Cincinnati Bengals knew at some point the team would lose both offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
This offseason, the doomsday scenario occurred—the Bengals lost both, as Gruden took his talents to the Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III, while Zimmer went to the Minnesota Vikings.
As if to even further tout the modernization of his father’s franchise, owner Mike Brown expertly navigated the waters via the next man up philosophy.
Hue Jackson gets the nod at Gruden’s old spot, while Paul Guenther will take over in place of Zimmer.
It’s an impressive way to start. Jackson has experience as a head coach and perhaps better fits the style of football the Bengals want to play given the talent on the roster. By all accounts, Guenther was the right man for the job and will change little as the new captain of the ship.
But the good moves did not stop there.
Cincinnati then moved former assistant offensive line/quality control coach Kyle Caskey to running backs coach, the spot left vacant by Jackson’s promotion. The team then broke the news via Twitter that Caskey’s old spot will be filled by Braswell:
We have named Brian Braswell as assistant offensive line/quality control coach. #Bengals
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 23, 2014
Perhaps best of all, the Bengals chose to reinforce the defensive backs coach position by bringing on Vance Joseph to pair with incumbent Mark Carrier .
All sound moves, and ones that a championship team would make given the issues the Bengals were presented with this offseason. Continuity is important in the NFL, and each promotion or hire does much in the way of consistently, but also infuses a dash of change that may just be enough to put the team over the top.
Of course, the inverse is also true. But the Bengals must be heralded for their quick answers to all of the questions, which is a luxury in today’s NFL and showcases that a long-term plan is truly in place. An entire staff is now in place before the Senior Bowl, and they can now all get on the same page and continue to execute the blueprint that has been years in the making.
That is certainly something to behold in the city of Cincinnati, and an aspect of the organization the fans should appreciate.