Bengals coordinators to return in 2020 and that’s a good thing
To say the jury is still out on Zac Taylor as a head coach is likely an understatement, but all three Bengals coordinators returning for 2020 is a good thing.
Whatever the plan was for year one of the Zac Taylor era, it surely wasn’t going from six wins in the final year under Marvin Lewis to just two in 2019. I have been very critical of Taylor. There are still major questions about him as the head coach long term.
However, the news that all three Bengals coordinators are poised to return for a second season for the first time since 2015 is positive.
Most importantly, it is very difficult to build anything good when you are making major changes to the upper levels of your coaching staff every year or two. Just ask the Browns. While Marvin Lewis was in Cincinnati for 16 years, the guys underneath him changed all the time. That takes its toll and not every hire at every spot on a staff is going to be a good one.
Almost as important is the fact that both Lou Anarumo’s defense and Brian Callahan’s offense slowly figured things out as the season wore on. The defense held capable offenses like the Rams and Raiders to 24 and 17 points respectively. As tempting as someone like Wade Phillips is, other teams can offer him more talent to work with and Anarumo did okay at baptism by fire this year.
Callahan’s offense averaged 24.4 points per game over the final five weeks of the year thanks to finally centering things around Joe Mixon. This stretch also included Cincinnati’s only two wins. Thus, there may be something to build on.
Also, if the Bengals do bring in a highly touted rookie quarterback, he will have to learn a new system. It isn’t smart to have everyone around him also learning a new system. Callahan staying is wise. In fact, him assuming play calling duties from Taylor is something that should be on the table.
Special teams was about the only thing Cincinnati was good at last year. As such, coordinator Darrin Simmons has been rewarded with an extension and promotion.
There are several positional coaches who could be replaced in Cincinnati. For now though, continuity amongst coordinators is the right call.