In an announcement that's been rumored for weeks now, Zac Taylor today was named the new head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. The team had to wait until Taylor’s previous job ended — he was the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams, who played in the Super Bowl yesterday. The Rams lost the game. L.A.’s offense scored three points. L.A.’s quarterback, Jared Goff, did not account for any of those points.
It’s at least an inauspicious way to come into being introduced as the Bengals' new head coach, if not a fitting one for a team known far and wide as “The Bungles” for a reason. Given the organization's reputation, the "Welcome to the Jungle" tagline used in the online graphics (including a prominent banner at bengals.com) welcoming Taylor to the team can be taken as having ominous connotations.
The Bengals stuck with previous head coach Marvin Lewis for 16 years before deciding maybe it wasn’t a sign of great leadership to have never won a playoff game during your tenure (Lewis will reportedly be an analyst for the NFL Network now). The Bengalsest move the Bengals could have made would have been to hire Hue Jackson as head coach; Jackson was fired from the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching job last year after posting a 3-36-1 record in his career there, but he was welcomed back to the Bengals coaching staff with open arms about two weeks after getting the ax. (Like Lewis, Jackson — who interviewed for the head coach position — is no longer with the team.)
But for Bengals fans wanting a fresh start, Taylor is, at the very least, just that. Many see Taylor's signing as part of a "youth movement" wave that has resulted from 33-year-old Rams head coach Sean McVay's success. Taylor is 35 years old, just four years older than Bengals starting QB Andy Dalton. Taylor played quarterback for the University of Nebraska from 2005-2006. He began his pro coaching career with the Miami Dolphins as an assistant quarterbacks coach. In 2016, he came on as the Cincinnati Bearcats’ offensive coordinator before taking a job with the Rams in 2017; initially an assistant wide receivers coach, Taylor was promoted to quarterbacks coach last year. The Rams, obviously, had a phenomenal 2018 season, and Goff — and, presumably, Taylor — were a big part of that.
Read more about Taylor's first day as Bengals head coach here.