Zac Taylor will return for a third season as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, but reassembling his staff for 2021 will be a big challenge.
As bad as his 6-25-1 record is, no one who follows the Bengals regularly should be surprised that Zac Taylor is getting another year to prove himself. For better or worse, Cincinnati has never been an organization that moves off head coaches after just two years.
However, while nothing is official yet, the team is poised to move on from some assistant coaches. This leaves Taylor in a tricky spot.
Zac Taylor can’t promise stability
With his record and a possible mandate from ownership to make staff changes, Taylor is justifiably on the hot seat for 2021. There is no way around that. If Taylor exits during or after the 2021 season, most, if not all of his staff will be gone too.
There is a very real possibility that whoever Taylor brings on to fill potential staff vacancies will only be in Cincinnati for a year. That makes Taylor’s pitch to join his staff a heck of a lot less attractive.
Taylor had a hard time filling out his staff when he was first hired too. He flirted with Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator, but both parties passed. Since then, Del Rio has gone on to lead a fantastic Washington defense into the playoffs this year. Regardless, the task of filling out a staff won’t be any easier for Taylor this offseason.
Family ties could be huge when it comes to a key opening
Offensive line coach Jim Turner is the biggest name rumored to be on his way out. This is a necessary step. Three quarterbacks saw meaningful playing time for Cincinnati this year. Why? The offensive line couldn’t keep the passer upright and two of the three got hurt.
If Turner is indeed gone, the Bengals will likely try to hire Bill Callahan away from the Browns. Callahan’s unit has been one of the best in football this year.
Callahan has coached in a variety of roles since 1980 and is well regarded. Cincinnati can offer him the chance to coach alongside his son, Brian, the offensive coordinator for the Bengals. Is that enough to lure him out of Cleveland? Only time will tell, but Taylor has to try. It would be a much-needed tremendous boost to his staff.