For the first time in nearly two decades, the Cincinnati Bengals have a new Head Coach after Marvin Lewis was finally let go after following the team’s third straight losing season and not making the playoffs.
Lewis won more games than he lost during his career at the helm of the Bengals winning four division titles, making the postseason seven time, that included five straight from 2011 to 2015 and finishing with an overall record of 131-129.
The biggest blemish on Lewis’ career was his lack of success in the postseason and the glaring 0-7 mark on the team’s seven appearances under him, which is NFL record for a coach that shared that much success in the regular season.
The man tasked with turning around the Bengals recent woes and finally lead them to playoff prosperity for the first time since 1991 is new Head Coach Zac Taylor, who was officially hired on Feb.4 a day after the Superbowl. The latest of the Los Angeles Rams polarizing young head coach Sean McVay’s disciples, who was the Rams’ quarterbacks coach last and the assistant wide receivers coach in 2017, will now be the second youngest head coach in the league behind McVay at 35 years old.
As the league is moving towards an era dominated by offense these young offensive coaches in the mold of McVay are a hot commodity and being coveted a by every front office in the league that is trying to replicate what the Rams have done with McVay as he just became the youngest head coach to reach the Superbowl in just his second season.
Taylor expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the tutelage and experience he gained under McVay as he embarks on his new mission to bring the Bengals up from the basement of the AFC North and he believes his players are too.
“Players want to be coached hard. Everybody wants to win. The culture is important. Everybody’s going to buy into what we do. This team is hungry, they’re ready to be challenged. I look forward to getting that process started. The culture is a gradual build. It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but we’ll get there,” said Taylor in his introductory press conference.
The cupboards are not bare in Cincinnati as they have talent-laden roster on both sides of the ball with Pro Bowl players like AJ Green, Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap as well as young up and comers in running back Joe Mixon, receiver Tyler Boyd and a pair of young pass rushers in Carl Lawson and Sam Hubbard. The quarterback position might need to be addressed in this offseason in the draft or free agency since eight-year veteran Andy Dalton has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play over the past three seasons.