When Hue Jackson’s name was announced as the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns, some Bengals fans flashed back to two years ago when Jay Gruden left. The question all of a sudden became, Who will be able to fill a very large shoe left behind?
Only a few days later, we have learned that the man responsible for the success of the quarterbacks will now step in and help the offense get to the next level. Ken Zampese has been introduced as the offensive coordinator and will look to continue the success of Hue Jackson.
Coach Zampese has been quarterbacks coach for the Bengals for 12 years and has been one of the consistent faces for this offense since 2003. He has the benefit of seeing schemes by Bob Bratkowski, Jay Gruden, and Hue Jackson, which could benefit bringing a few different looks to this offense that we haven’t seen under Hue Jackson.
Although, we can expect some change in plays and schemes, but the set up and game planning will be similar enough that it shouldn’t be a huge jump for Andy Dalton and this offense. Zampese and Dalton, along with back up A.J. McCarron, seem to have a good relationship and trust, which could provide Dalton with the same comforts he has had with Jackson.
Ken Zampese has been in the NFL in some capacity since 1998. He joined the Eagles as an offensive assistant, then with the Green Bay Packers in ’99 and St. Louis (Los Angeles) Rams in 2000. He also served as Wide Receivers coach and Passing Game Coordinator for the Rams in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, he joined the Bengals as the quarterbacks coach and has worked with Carson Palmer, John Kitna, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and A.J. McCarron as starting quarterbacks.
Bengals fans should not expect much lag between learning what Zampese’s system and his expectations. The players and coaching staff respect what he brings to the table. Not to mention, the likes of Paul Alexander and Jonathan Hayes have worked with Zampese for over 10 years, and James Urban hasd worked with Ken since Andy Dalton and A.J. Green were drafted.
Although we will find out soon enough what players the Bengals will bring with Ken and the offensive coaching staff. We can be assured that the success that Andy Dalton has had this past year, should not be altered by the coaching in place.