On Monday, February 4th 2019 the Cincinnati Bengals officially announced Zac Taylor as the new head coach. While it had been known for a few weeks that Taylor would be the hire, Bengals fans had to wait until after the Super Bowl for the official announcement. As the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams, Taylor also had to wait until after their Super Bowl run to accept the job and get to work. For the first time in 16 years the Cincinnati Bengals have a new head coach.
Who Is Zac Taylor?
Taylor is extremely young for a head coach at just 35 years old. At such a young age, he does not have the longest coaching history but seems to impress at each stop. He served as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M from 2008-2011 before making the leap to the NFL. Joining the Miami Dolphins as a quarterbacks coach straight from a grad assistant job in the college ranks is sneaky impressive.
His NFL career began with 4 seasons as the quarterbacks coach for the Dolphins. He even had a short stint as the interim offensive coordinator in Miami. That led Taylor back to the college ranks as an offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bearcats. While he did only spend one season at UC, it was his next job that propelled him to where he is today.
Taylor accepted a position as the assistant wide receivers coach for the L.A. Rams in 2017 with head coach Sean McVay. McVay is the next big thing as a head coach in the NFL and it says a lot that he trusted Taylor enough to give him the quarterbacks coach job. As the quarterbacks coach, Taylor even had a say in one of the best offenses in the NFL; specifically the third down packages. Taylor quickly turned that opportunity into a head coaching position.
Why Did The Bengals Choose Him?
Make no mistake, Zac Taylor was not chosen simply because he coached under wunderkind Sean McVay. Taylor is a young, motivated coach with an extremely bright offensive mind. Yes, coaching under McVay probably played a part in the decision. Being around McVay and learning from him would help any coach. Taylor can bring the things he learned in L.A. and use them to help create his own offensive image in Cincinnati. It’s that image that brought Taylor the Bengals organization.
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Bengals fans have been clamoring for change at the head coaching position for years now. With the league trending towards points and offensive heavy teams, the city of Cincinnati wanted a young, innovative, offensive mind. Taylor is that young, innovative, offensive mind. When asked if he would be bringing the Rams offense to Cincinnati, he stated in his opening press conference that “it would be silly to not have that as the basis of what we do”. That is what the Bengals team and fans both need and want.
Communication has come up multiple times throughout all the interviews that Taylor as done so far. He wants his coaches to be strong communicators with the players. That is something that seemed to be lacking in recent years with the previous coaching staff. I have to think that theme played a major part in his hiring. Communication between Taylor and director of player personnel Duke Tobin will be paramount. Tobin is basically the general manager so the shared views of him and Taylor could make or break this team.
The future is now for the Cincinnati Bengals and it looks bright. Zac Taylor is the young, exciting hire that fans were afraid wasn’t going to happen. He has spoken about wanting to establish a new culture in the organization. That is refreshing to hear after years and years of the same monotonous message. As a young Bengals fan, this is the first time I have felt real excitement about the direction of the team since the days of Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson. I can’t wait to see what Taylor and his new staff will have in store for this team and the city of Cincinnati.