After 16 years without a playoff win under Marvin Lewis, the Bengals decided to try something different. But they had to wait more than a month before hiring Zac Taylor as their next coach in hopes of ending a long streak of futility.
Taylor’s already been in town enough to know the history.
The Rams quarterbacks coach reached a deal Monday a few hours after LA’s 13-3 loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl at Atlanta. Cincinnati had to wait until after the title game to make his hiring official. The Bengals and Dolphins were the last two teams to fill head coaching vacancies, with Miami getting the Patriots’ Brian Flores.
After three straight losing seasons and 28 years without a playoff victory, Cincinnati joined the latest wave – turning to a young, offensive-minded coach.
“Zach is a bright coach with an offensive mind and background, which is important to have in today’s NFL,” owner Mike Brown said in a statement. “And he’s young. He embraces new ideas and new ways to do things, which will be a good thing for us.”
Taylor is the Bengals’ youngest head coach since they hired Dave Shula at age 32 in in 1992. Shula went on to lose 50 games faster than any coach in NFL history, finishing 19-52.
The Bengals will introduce Taylor on Tuesday in what amounts to a homecoming for the 35-year-old coach.
Taylor has a head start, familiar with the city’s affinity for chili parlors. He was offensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati in 2016, when the Bearcats finished 4-8. Coach Tommy Tuberville was replaced after the season, and Taylor headed back to the NFL.
Taylor’s work with quarterbacks made him a head coaching prospect.
He joined the Dolphins in 2012 and helped Ryan Tannehill develop into one of the league’s top passers. He took over as offensive coordinator for five games in 2015 after Bill Lazor – the Bengals’ coordinator last season – was fired. After one season at the University of Cincinnati, Taylor hooked up with the Rams to work with Jared Goff.
Hours after his team won the Super Bowl, New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores was hired Monday as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Flores helped the Patriots shut down the high-scoring Los Angeles Rams for a 13-3 victory in the title game Sunday night in Atlanta, and then flew to Miami to seal his deal with the Dolphins.
“It has been a whirlwind 24 hours,” Flores said with a smile at a news conference that drew two dozen cameras.
“Looking at this crowd here, you’d think we won the Super Bowl,” Miami owner Stephen Ross said. “I’ve never seen this many people in this room. … To me, you start an organization by signing a great leader. I believe we’ve found that leader.”
Flores was the first person the Dolphins interviewed after they fired coach Adam Gase on Dec. 31. They decided on Jan. 11 to offer the job to Flores, the Patriots’ defensive play-caller, but had to wait until New England’s season ended to complete an agreement.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.