Cincinnati Bengals: Zac Taylor could be one and done
The Bengals organization is known for giving its coaches time, but the performance of Zac Taylor’s Bengals may leave the Brown family no choice.
The Bengals are 0-7. Anything can happen in a given week in the NFL, but it seems few realistic possibilities remain on the schedule for the team to actually earn a win this year. Yes, the offensive line stinks. Yes, Andy Dalton has been awful. Yes, the team has been hit hard by injuries. Yes, the ownership of the Brown family leaves a lot to be desired.
But what is increasingly obvious and most worrisome for the Bengals is that first year head coach Zac Taylor is in over his head as the man in charge on the sidelines. No one disputes Joe Mixon’s ability to run the ball. He is only 23 years old and averaged almost five yards per carry last year.
This year through seven games, Cincinnati has 372 total yards rushing as a team. That doesn’t even sound possible. There is no way that is all on the offensive line. Some of it has to fall on the offensive scheme that Taylor says himself he is heavily involved in.
There are also things like running an end around when Cincinnati had a second and six in Jacksonville territory in the first quarter on Sunday. Taylor is the play caller. That play had no chance, lost 11 yards, and killed the drive. Something like that seems to happen every week for the Bengals.
Coaching in the NFL is hard, but Taylor was and is not ready to be the head man. Now, I want anyone reading this who follows the NFL to go look at the Arizona Cardinals roster. Can anyone honestly say they are that much better than the Bengals on paper? I can’t. Yet, Arizona is sitting at .500 with another first time NFL head coach, Kliff Kingsbury at the helm.
Lastly, I want to address the “Marvin Lewis got 16 years, how could/would the Brown family give Taylor only one?” line of thinking. It is a fair one, but check out the photo below from FOX 19’s Joe Danneman on Twitter.
That is a mostly empty NFL stadium in mid October right before Sunday’s game. The one way to get the Brown family’s attention over the years has always been via their bank accounts. When the stadium looks like that, the Brown family doesn’t make money. The same can be said of several businesses in Cincinnati.
The Bengals have somehow managed to regress under Taylor. If the losses continue to pile up, and they will, the crowds will only get smaller. Once that happens, ownership may be left with no choice but to make the Zac Taylor era a remarkably short one.